Mac Mini g4 - Use as videplayer or is it too old?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by WoodenShoez, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. WoodenShoez, Nov 16, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016

    WoodenShoez macrumors newbie

    WoodenShoez

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    #1
    Hi guys, I bought a Mac Mini for cheap the other day to be used a videplayer. I installed VLC on it but playback is too choppy and slow. Is it possible to use this old mac Mini as a videoplayer or is just too old???
    Will replacing OS X 10.4 to Linux Lubuntu help?

    The Mac Mini is the 1,25ghz / 1gb / 40 gb model.. OSX 10.4.11

    Thanx for taking the time to answer these questions..
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #2
    CorePlayer, once paid software but now abandonware, will handle up to 720p smoothly on a G4. 1080p can get a little choppy though, it is an age issue unfortunately. Mac mini G4 comes from a time when 480p MPEG2 was still the video standard, although high-end G5s from the time can handle 1080p playback today.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 16, 2016 ---
    An Intel Mac mini is the minimum I would recommend as a HTPC. I have a 2010 Core 2 Duo for this use, but an older 2009 should still work fine.
     
  3. AmazingHenry, Nov 16, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #3
    I think this should work as an OK video player. Just make sure the videos aren't 1080p or anything. It should handle 480p and below just fine with VLC. Maybe 360p. I agree with @redheeler, however, that an Intel Mac Mini is much better. A Core 2 Duo should play 1080p, plus the Intel Mac minis come with Apple Remote support.
     
  4. akator macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2016
    #4
    As others have mentioned, a G4 Mini can handle video playback appropriate for its time. DVD quality playback shouldn't be a problem. However...

    Playback issues on older devices is often about encoding. MPEG-4 video has lots of variations. H.263, Xvid, Divx, play fine on my various G4 machines. H.264 often causes problems, especially if the content uses more recent advanced H.264 encoding features that have become common over the years.

    H.264 decoding is built-in to modern video hardware including smart phones, tablets, computers, Roku, you name it. A lot of this wasn't around or included in video hardware back when the G4 Macs were in production.

    I've got a 2007 Core 2 Duo with Snow Leopard with 3GB RAM and a SSD that runs great as a HTPC. We watch video from our network server (another 2007 Mini running Linux Mint) and network streaming with a browser. Even crappy Flash video content still plays fine.
     
  5. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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  6. WoodenShoez thread starter macrumors newbie

    WoodenShoez

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    #6
    Allright,
    so basicly it's too old. I was a little afraid for that. I will try out the sugestions that you gave me but if that doesn't work I will use the g4 as a door stopper :)
     
  7. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #7
    Or it could just be a DVD player. Or most online videos with PPC Media Center. The point is, there's tons of video out there that will play. YouTube, most notably. But there's also some things that won't work well. It all depends on the videos you want to watch.
     
  8. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #8
    A G4 mini makes a good coffee coaster. I was never a fan of them and you'd be better off with a mini that has a C2D for multimedia purposes.
     
  9. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #9
    I don't understand why nobody realizes the potential of this mini. I might even buy a G4 mini soon. They have many uses, including a video player. And, if you know the right software, they make nice main machines. I could easily use my 1.33GHz G4 daily. You need to optimize Leopard, and then install LWK. After that it's a great little computer.
     
  10. gavinstubbs09, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #10
    G4 minis suck. Low performance, low amount of memory, and two USB ports. I have given two different minis a chance and they both were good for Spotify or PianoPPC but nothing else. I'd much rather use a MDD since those have far better options over the mini, as well as dual processors.
     
  11. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #11
    Everyone's different. To some people, the specs of a G4 mini are just fine. I could live with it. But I understand that it would be too slow for you, and many others. It depends on the person and the speed they're used to.
     
  12. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #12
    You live with an iPhone 2G. The Mac mini is pretty bad IMHO. Difficult to service, external PSU, limited by RAM and CPU speed. Its just not worth it.
     
  13. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #13
    That's not fact. This is all opinion. Some people can use the older hardware, some can't. Please stop acting like your personal experience and opinion is fact. That goes for you too, @gavinstubbs09.
     
  14. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #14
    That's the equivalent of using a Celeron. Nobody ever desires to use a machine powered by one, and in this case, a G4 Mini is about the same thing regarding performance.
     
  15. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #15
    So? That doesn't mean it's unusable. Your opinion is that a G4 Mac mini is too slow and underpowered. My opinion is that it's useable as a main machine. Let's leave it at that. It doesn't need to turn into some long debate.
     
  16. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #16
    *it's usable as a gun target
     
  17. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    #17
    I don't think anyone is arguing that it's underpowered. In fact, I would hope nobody IS arguing this point.

    Now would it be usable as a theater PC? I'd say that it'd be extremely hard to pull off. Videos have just progressed to the point where a G4 processor is just too underpowered for all but the most basic video. So it's doable, but it'd take a lot of work to pull it off and keep pulling it off.
     
  18. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #18
    I find it sad to see people on the PowerPC Macs section of MacRumors calling a PPC Mac obsolete. I thought that we all believed PowerPC wasn't obsolete. Yet here you are saying how slow and unusable a PPC Mac mini is.
     
  19. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #19
    You're goddamn right Henry.

    For the twentieth time Henry, a G4 mini does not serve much of a purpose these days and is lackluster compared to other machines of the same era. G4 QS or MDD? G5? Whole different story, Henry.
     
  20. RhianB, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    #20
    Target practice ... now that was funny ;) OK, for the record, I will gladly take all of your mini G4 orphans :D I'm sure I can figure out some cool things to do with them. I think Mint would be nice to try out, maybe a classic video game emulator for Atari/NES/SNES/Sega Master Sys/Genesis/NeoGeo - maybe throw in a 486 & C64 emulator ... ahh man all that on one system? That is a mid-80's to early 90's kid's dream come true right there - and on a 50"+ flat screen to boot. Time to order some pizzas and beer, find the gaming chair n' pencil out my weekend lol :)
     
  21. Dannyshing27 macrumors regular

    Dannyshing27

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    #21
    personally I like the G4 mac mini. I use it in my office at work for sharing the fax machine in the secretaries office (so I dont have to print then fax). It serves the purpose of being sufficiently compact and powerful enough to serve that purpose.
     
  22. WoodenShoez thread starter macrumors newbie

    WoodenShoez

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    #22
    I was just looking for a cheap mediaplayer that could play the video files that I download…
    So, when I download a mp4, avi, mpg, flv, video + srt file, iso…. I just open it with VLC on my c2d Macbook and it plays…

    So I was hoping this g4 was powerfull enough to do just that.. A Core 2 Duo Mac Mini will work for sure, but over here they cost EUR 100,- secondhand, while this g4 only cost me EUR 30,- :)
     
  23. abundantmussel macrumors member

    abundantmussel

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    #23
    For a cheap media player grab a raspberry pi 2 or 3 (if you want WiFi), and use KODI on it. I have 5 working as media centers in the house.
     
  24. WoodenShoez thread starter macrumors newbie

    WoodenShoez

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    #24
    Does a Rasberry Pi / Kodi play video + seperate .srt files from a usb stick? Or can I play an iso or flv file on it? If so that would be great.. They're really cheap and make no noise..
     
  25. abundantmussel macrumors member

    abundantmussel

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    #25
    .srt files yes, flv files yes and iso files yes.
     

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