New to Mac and to its a/v potential: I do have a special project though

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by WirelessInn, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. WirelessInn macrumors regular

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    New Mexico
    #1
    Greetings, New to Mac - MBP/2.4gh/2gb mem/160 gb 7200rpm HD / Plus an external large USB HD - one month of working on understanding its paradigms! I come from and still network with, a large Win network. I purchased my MBP based on its vaunted a/v capabilities, and of course the fact that running Win on it is quite possible. I will elect to install BCamp and Win XP a little later.

    Eventually/soon, I have the following large and important project to tackle (among others):
    1. I have a large inventory of family digital photos, VHS/BETA tapes, already processed digital footage into mpeg files, paper photos, and other items (letters, awards, etc...) to be scanned. Goes back many years - all family items which I need to gather into some distributable format (to family members) - DVD most likely.
    2. I am looking into using some smooth, easy process and yet comprehensive enough to handle that task quickly effectively, efficiently and attractively. For one thing, I have to process and digitally archive all the Betamax stuff from the 80's!! I have previously started to use Pinnacle Studio on my Win machines.
    3. I heard a lot about the capabilities of iLife and its complete integration from entry (photo/videos) to final DVD products with menus, themes.
    4. I'll appreciate any and all input in regard especially to sequencing all this nto a final distributable product, i.e. get photos and video snippets to fit together nice! I am not tryijng to do a Ken Burns production, but yet something presentable!

    Thanks for all the input. I have started reading this forum, but i thought I would narrow my quest to a more specific framwork, as outlined above!

    - Roger T
     
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #2
    You may have problems if you plan to capture video to your external USB drive. While USB 2 is theoretically faster than firewire 400 the way that it transmits data (in pulses or waves) is not as good as firewire (which sends a constant stream) for capturing video.

    Saying that, you may have no problems at all I'm just highlighting a possible trouble area.

    Sounds like you are going to have fun with those projects :). I'm not sure exactly what feedback you want though, you have not been very specific at all.
     
  3. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

    Joined:
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    #3
    You can do it with USB 2.0, BUT, you may risk more dropped frames etc than FireWire for the exact reason that Cromulent posted.

    FireWire is definately worth looking into, or better still, FireWire 800.

    Edit: PS, just to reassure, you can do everything you want with the very intuitive iLife apps, editing video, photo slideshows with music, and producing a DVD with nice title menus is a breeze. Just remember to save your progress regularly as you advance. Good luck, sounds like a great project.

    Rich.
     
  4. WirelessInn thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    New to Mac and to its a/v potential: I do have a special project though

    Hummm... Actually, it's a Maxtor, both FIREWIRE and USB! Sorry for creating the commotion!

    Cromulent: thanks for the reply too
    I'm not sure exactly what feedback you want though, you have not been very specific at all.
    Actually, I wanted to test the waters re: iLife for my project, before investing time into it (looks like the consensus is that it's worth it!) and having to look into something else instead - Final Cut Express came to the mind, but at close to 300 clams, I'd rather experiment first with's what is on board the MBP!

    - rt
     
  5. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #5
    Well here is my suggestion, make sure you keep everything organized. With a project that big, if you aren't organized you will waste a lot of time. I dont know enough to start into details with it but that will help you out in the long run.

    Now, if you plan on keeping things separate, I'd maybe go through and convert all you videos over and make them a dvd. knock that out of the way and then move onto pictures and documents. That is unless you plan on combining the video with the docs.

    On the documents and pictures, you could scan them all and put them into iphoto, and then create a slideshow if you want something quick and easy and then put all the original documents on the dvd as well so you can pull them up in the computer later if you wanted to and print them.

    I mean its hard to say exactly what to do because it depends on what your video and pictures are about and if they would flow together nicely.
     
  6. WirelessInn thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    New to Mac and to its a/v potential: I do have a special project though

    Thanks, folks!
    Diamond3, some excellent points. Reminds me that i have been wondering about the level of integration in place in iLife.
    Correct me if I am wrong:
    Photos are brought into and processed by iPhoto, with certain flows and effects and slideshow patterns
    Then video clips are generated and if necessary assembled by and in iMovie (also with themes and effects)
    Then everything is brought into iDVD for assembly into menu driven ensemble. iTunes and other sources of music are brought into action along the way to jazz things up.
    So it seems to me that one could have, say, a series of arranged video clips, followed by a stills slideshow, and then followed by perhaps another series of coordinated v. clips, then some single photos separated by short clips or other animations, etc... The iDVD menu(s) would reflect such a succession of materials and refer to them.
    Something like that OK?
    - rt
     
  7. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    #7
    Yep.

    Sounds great!

    Good luck and enjoy!

    Rich.
     
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    hi wireless,

    i offer this type of service to my clients, but i'm not trying to sell you...one word of advice:

    storyboard it first. review your photos...decide which ones you want to keep (probably most of them); have you reviewed your tapes? if not, know what's on them. i use a very large piece of graph paper and quite simply, storyboard it all together.

    for me, this does 2 important things:
    1. creates a vision of what i'd like to see done, based on what i have.

    2. it's a plan. i'm sure you're looking at all your material thinking Oh My Lord! b/c there is alot. knowing what you're going to do takes some pressure off the workflow as you move along.

    as someone else mentioned, work on your movies first b/c they take up the most space and time to process. then start working on your photos/awards/letters etc... you'll want to read up on proper scanning if you haven't yet. i highly, highly recommend silverfast.de software. the quality of the scans (if your scanner is amazing). allows you to fix things (dust, scratches etc...) BEFORE the scanning process. awesome apps.

    also, if you are taking the pains to scan in stuff, scan them at a high, printable resolution, then scale down appropriately for video sizes. Why? Simple - you then have a copy on DVD to show, but then you can burn data DVD/CDs for your family so they each have a copy of great-great-great-great grandpa and grandma to print themselves. I do this for my clients. well worth it.

    hope that helps. congrats on getting this started and remember, keep organized or you may end up hating the process :)

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  9. WirelessInn thread starter macrumors regular

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    New Mexico
    #9
    New to Mac and to its a/v potential: I do have a special project though

    Thanks for the advice, folks.

    As you know, I am new to Mac altogether - just bought a brand new top of the line MBP 17". I do have a couple of decades' experience with working computers of all kinds into my businesses (starting with radio Shack TRS80)

    I have not even installed any new apps yet - Very busy going through the motions of finding remedies to the many bugs and idiosynchracies affecting the Mac system: incompatibility with Web sites and video material embedded in them (BBC news for example). I am really very frustrated to discover 3K$ too late that this Mac mystique, and corresponding virulent put down of anything Windows-like (as if the world of Business, for one thing, could even try to run on Mac stuff!!).

    I am working twd trying to get to the much vaunted audio/video capabilities of the Mac, even though I am starting to feel shaky about the whole mac thing. No, I did not get a Mac to do business, databases and all.

    I yo-yo through periods of satisfaction and disappointment with this evidently wonderful machine! I run a B&B Inn among other businesses, and I need much print and DVD type of info to be put together and distributed to travel organizations: I still hope the mac will help with this.
    It's a nice system, I know it - after all, Mac does have about 5% of the share of computer system sales. It is very small indeed, but not insignificant. I have seen some of our Guests work great a/v productions with Macs.

    Some other observations: the huge size of Mac apps (iPhoto - 1/2 gb+ - wow), and the incredible number of files and folders present on the Mac before anything else is even installed (422000+ files and 101000+ folders - wow, I am just used to poke around my computers, just to see what;s there!). Also, some perceived heavy reliance upon key combinations to issue some commands - takes me back to way back when such a way to do things was prevalent (i.e. MS DOS days). After all, "Cmd-V" for PASTE???!!! Mmmmm..

    Anyhow, I'll just forge on, and continue to hang out at this forum to learn everything I can before starting to get into something useful Hey: I am not a mere Microsoftie just ranting here - I have 3K$ on this venture already, having "paid my dues" to enter the hallow Mac Club! Probably will purchase some other programs at some point, since as it comes, Mac does not really have much on board (perhaps that accounts for the relative absence of Bloatware on the Mac - we could in fact use bloatware like MS Works on the Mac!): at least i purchased iWork to get ahold of a decent word processor (TextEdit barely hold a candle to Win Notepad, IMHO)

    I do appreciate everything I read on MacRumors' forums. Very helpful. I hope that my criticisms about the "Mac Mystique" do not irreparably affect my standing here (Apple folk seem often quite "on edge" indeed: man, spending a little tme at the nearby - very nicely appointed - AppleStore was quite an experience in Computing as a Relgion!)

    - Roger T
     
  10. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #10
    I have no idea why you are complaining about the number of files and folders on your hard drive, it makes no difference.

    As for the huge size of applications that is because most of them nowadays are universal binaries which means they are basically two applications in one (one for PPC Macs and one for Intel Macs).

    Download Flip4Mac to play WMV files on the Mac and you may want to use Firefox if you are having problems with Safari (although Safari 3 Beta is great).

    Any other problems you are having feel free to PM me, I'm sure they will be very easy to solve.
     
  11. WirelessInn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #11
    New to Mac and to its a/v potential: I do have a special project though

    Cromulent, tanks for the reply and the tidbits of info. Interesting what you mentioned about the "dual binaries". I was just hanging out at the Adobe site, and they mention that they do NOT intend apparently to re-issue some of their apps in that format, but rather that they will put out apps in a format exclusively compatlble with the Intel Macs.
    Size of things, etc..: I am just planning to install BootCamp and Win, so I am observing how the Mac fills up its disk, to better size the BC/Win partition I will select.
    Another question about Mac and its current and previous iterations. If I understand well, through its recent developments stages i.e. transition between PowerPC and Intel, Mac has had to implement a couple of legacy compatibility schemes to retain some backward compatibility, as follows - correct me if I am wrong: Rosetta and Universal. The latter seems to be used by software Cos to produce apps totally, natively compatible with both Intel and PPC processors,while the built-into Mac OSX, while the Rosetta process allows for apps primarily designed for PPC machines to be run on Intel based ones. And now, some software Cos are talking about issuing distinctly Mac/Intel based apps.
    I am just curious: I like to see what's under the hood!
    I did install Flip4Mac as recommended often here, and it seems to make things easy in terms of allowing viewing of some quirky sites (BBC being one of them, and even CNN sometimes!) Gotta finagle with Flip's preferences though, especially regarding how and when it should take over WMV playing. And, re: quirky sites, there still are some out there! NOTE: what's the difference between allowing F4M rather than MS Media Player to play WMVs?

    Thanks for everything!

    - Roger T
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #12
    You are correct. Rosetta is a PPC emulator that allows you to run PPC applications on an Intel Mac. Universal binaries are programs which actually contain two versions of themselves, one compiled to run on PPC Macs the other compiled to run on Intel Macs.

    You mention trying to figure out a good size for your Boot Camp partition. I use a 100GB windows partition on my computer and it seems to do me well (on my second drive, my boot drive is getting pretty full now :)).

    Use Flip4Mac instead of Microsoft Media Player because Microsoft have official stopped developing it (Media Player that is) for the Mac anymore. Instead they have decided to support the Flip4Mac project instead to offer a replacement.

     

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