I'm having a strange video playback problem

FredT2

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
556
96
I have a 2012 Mac Mini 2.6 i7, running Mavericks. I recently bought a new camera, which of course can record video. My videos when panning have been pretty poor, with lots of stuttering. I put a sample up on Vimeo to demonstrate to a DP Review thread, and it played fine. So I went back to look at other playback options on the Mini. VLC played smoother than Quicktime, but still a bit jerky. When I put it in iTunes and played it on my HDTV through AppleTV, it played perfectly with no stuttering. Same with iPad, implicating the Mini. Just to be sure, I went to an Apple store and tried it on a variety of computers, including a lower spec Mini than mine. All played perfectly.

So what's wrong with my Mini? I don't have a clue as to where to start looking, though I did check memory.
 

fa8362

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
1,343
54
If it's Quicktime, why do the Macs at the Apple store play it smoothly? And why is there still some stuttering when played with VLC?
I don't know. The Macs at the store might be using a different version. You might have installed something on your Mini that alters how Quicktime works. You might also have converted your original to a compressed version (iTunes/apple tv/vimeo), so it's no surprise that that plays more smoothly.
 

FredT2

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
556
96
I don't know. The Macs at the store might be using a different version. You might have installed something on your Mini that alters how Quicktime works. You might also have converted your original to a compressed version (iTunes/apple tv/vimeo), so it's no surprise that that plays more smoothly.
Same version of OS and Quicktime at store as on my Mini, and I took the unaltered file to the store. I just tried one more thing, brought in my 2009 Mini and swapped it with the 2012, updated the OS to current, and the video plays fine on it. I guess the only thing left is to do a clean reinstall on the 2012. Big mess.
 

FredT2

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
556
96
I set up a fresh install of Mavericks on an external drive, so there were no extra added programs running. The video played exactly like it does on the internal drive. Something's going on with this computer, and unfortunately it doesn't look like I'm going to get to the bottom of it.
 

mausdesign

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2002
11
0
re: I'm having a strange video playback problem

That's an odd RAM configuration. I'm guessing it is 8GB + 2GB DIMMs?

A matched pair that is specifically qualified to work on a Mac may solve the problem for you. Aside from this, just because a DIMM may match Apple's specs, does not mean it is Mac-compatible. I've seen that many manufacturers have RAM that will not work on Macs or they "sort-of" work. You can look up the DIMM model on the relevant manufacturer's website to be certain of whether it is fully compatible with a Mac.

Other World Computing -- MacSales.com -- makes RAM that is certified to work on a Mac. I would recommend going there if you find yours not Mac-certified.
 

FredT2

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
556
96
That's an odd RAM configuration. I'm guessing it is 8GB + 2GB DIMMs?

A matched pair that is specifically qualified to work on a Mac may solve the problem for you. Aside from this, just because a DIMM may match Apple's specs, does not mean it is Mac-compatible. I've seen that many manufacturers have RAM that will not work on Macs or they "sort-of" work. You can look up the DIMM model on the relevant manufacturer's website to be certain of whether it is fully compatible with a Mac.

Other World Computing -- MacSales.com -- makes RAM that is certified to work on a Mac. I would recommend going there if you find yours not Mac-certified.
Yes, it's a Crucial 8GB stick with on e of the original Apple 2GB. I tried all the varies combinations, the original Apple 4GB, the 8GB alone, and the 8GB with each of the Apple 2GB sticks. Unfortunately I don't think it's RAM related.
 

mausdesign

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2002
11
0
You could try using Handbrake (freeware) to see if your Mac handles the file better at a reduced resolution or a different file format (some formats are handled better than others, depending upon the player).

Also, how large is the file and at what resolution? It could be that you are having trouble with uncompressed video at 1080p.

In any case, I would still check the Crucial RAM part # against their website for Mac compatibility in any case. They list the exact part required for the Mac mini you have.

http://www.crucial.com/store/advisor.aspx
 

FredT2

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
556
96
You could try using Handbrake (freeware) to see if your Mac handles the file better at a reduced resolution or a different file format (some formats are handled better than others, depending upon the player).

Also, how large is the file and at what resolution? It could be that you are having trouble with uncompressed video at 1080p.

In any case, I would still check the Crucial RAM part # against their website for Mac compatibility in any case. They list the exact part required for the Mac mini you have.

http://www.crucial.com/store/advisor.aspx
It's 1080p 25Mbps straight out of an Olympus E-M1. Taking it down to about 10 Mbps with Handbrake does smooth it out, but that's not a reasonable solution. Besides, my much much slower 2009 Mini plays it just fine.

RAM part number checks out. Thanks.