Why are macs (or my mini at least) so SLOW at encoding video???

VoodooDaddy

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May 14, 2003
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I have a sizeable avi file. I wanted to put it on dvd so I put it in toast and hit start. About 20min later I notice its going to take FOREVER to finish. So I drop the file on my ipod, transfer that to my 3.5yr old windows machine, open Nero and start that. Right now Im burning the disc in Nero and Toast looks like its only about 60% done encoding. What gives? Ive also noticed that ripping/burning dvds on my mini is like getting a root canal without anesthesia. Its AGONIZINGLY slow. My old pc gets the job done in 30min or less, depending on the size of the files.
 

technicolor

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Dec 21, 2005
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VoodooDaddy said:
I have a sizeable avi file. I wanted to put it on dvd so I put it in toast and hit start. About 20min later I notice its going to take FOREVER to finish. So I drop the file on my ipod, transfer that to my 3.5yr old windows machine, open Nero and start that. Right now Im burning the disc in Nero and Toast looks like its only about 60% done encoding. What gives? Ive also noticed that ripping/burning dvds on my mini is like getting a root canal without anesthesia. Its AGONIZINGLY slow. My old pc gets the job done in 30min or less, depending on the size of the files.
What are the spces of your mini and what are the specs of the pc?
 

VoodooDaddy

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technicolor said:
What are the spces of your mini and what are the specs of the pc?
Mini is the stock core duo

My old pc is an XP2100 (1.67ghz) with 512mb pc2100 ram
 

tabaczka

macrumors member
Sep 5, 2006
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Hmmm. The ram could be an issue?

Maybe try setting your processor from "Automatic" to "Highest" in your energy panel...
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
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Montreal, QC
I think your problem may be with Toast. I know that it takes forever to encode even on my 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, so I can't see that you'd have better luck on a Mini. I wish I could offer you a viable alternative, but unfortunately I don't know of one.
 

livingfortoday

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2004
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The Msp
I believe ffmpegx will let you encode things for DVD burning, under the "tools" section. It should be considerably faster than Toast, which is painfully slow on any computer I've used it on.
 

VoodooDaddy

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BlueRevolution said:
I think your problem may be with Toast. I know that it takes forever to encode even on my 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, so I can't see that you'd have better luck on a Mini. I wish I could offer you a viable alternative, but unfortunately I don't know of one.
I was thinking maybe toast was the problem but everyone usually gives it rave reviews so I didnt know. I just cant understand why there isnt something better. There are 50,000 apps to encode on a pc, but we only have 2 on mac? And macs are suppose to be THE computer to use for multimedia?

Ill give that ffmpeg a try I guess. Just "burns" my up that I wasted $ on toast.
 

amin

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Aug 17, 2003
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Boston, MA
Are you using Toast 7.1 (first universal binary version)? Also, what kind of video card in your XP2100 PC?
 

VoodooDaddy

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amin said:
Are you using Toast 7.1 (first universal binary version)? Also, what kind of video card in your XP2100 PC?

Yes.

Does the video card even do anything when encoding? Im not a noob but maybe this is just something I didnt know.
 

VoodooDaddy

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and 3 1/2hrs later...its done! A 55min avi video took that long to encode and burn in toast. I could have done it twice in nero :rolleyes:

Im seriously now considering installing bootcamp just for stuff like this.
 

deepy

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Jun 28, 2006
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VoodooDaddy said:
There are 50,000 apps to encode on a pc, but we only have 2 on mac? And macs are suppose to be THE computer to use for multimedia?
Is this true? Not the 50,000 apps part (i know theres loads on windows - i've got through loads tryin to find the perfect one for me. turns out i like virtualdub) but the fact theres only 2 on the mac? that doesnt sound like much fun at all!

Edit: this turns out to be my hundredth post! i can now sell stuff on the marketplace forum....hmm....what to sell lol
 

VoodooDaddy

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deepy said:
Is this true? Not the 50,000 apps part (i know theres loads on windows - i've got through loads tryin to find the perfect one for me. turns out i like virtualdub) but the fact theres only 2 on the mac? that doesnt sound like much fun at all!

Edit: this turns out to be my hundredth post! i can now sell stuff on the marketplace forum....hmm....what to sell lol
na, just feels that way. IMO this is one area macs are severly lacking (dvd ripping/encoding/burning software)

BTW, I do have a little egg on my face. I was sure that I was using Toast 7.1. But I checked the info and it said powerpc. I downloaded/installed the UB upgrade and its going much faster. Running the same file just to compare and after 1 hour its about where the other one was after 3. (still slower than nero, but way better than before)
 

dpaanlka

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Nov 16, 2004
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Macs aren't too hot with AVI files. Try using a QuickTime file instead. QuickTime is popular in the video editing world for a reason.
 

Yannick

macrumors member
same experience

Hi! This is my first post :)

My name is Yannick and I live in France.

I had kind of the same experience on my PB G4 15" 1.5 GHz 1.5 GB RAM. I wanted to create a DVD with iDVD with 370 pictures and 33 movie clips taken with my digital camera. The iDVD project is 2.14 GB (2.6 GB actually burnt because I chose the option to add in folders the pictures for a backup). Anyway, it took the PB about 63 hours non stop to encode the movie clips.

I may have found the reason why. The movie clips are NTSC (standard in the USA, about 30 pictures per second) because I want to be able to share them with my in-laws. In Europe we use PAL standard (about 25 pictures per second). My iDVD project was set to PAL, so it means the computer had to encode the movie clips but also change them to have the correct number of pictures per second. I imagine this could be the cause of the slowness. Of course, I will know for sure when I recreate the project in NTSC, but I didn't have time to do it yet. Another thing which may have not helped is that my hard drive was left with about 10 GB only of free space.

Do anybody have an idea of what is considered a normal time to encode movie clips on a PB G4?

Yannick
 

jarinehart

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2006
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I'll second that comment about using quicktime instead of AVI. I do a lot of encoding on both a g4 powerbook and g4 powermac with toast and have also noticed encoding is slower than a PC using Nero. I also think some of the issues might be with the internals of the machine. The slower hard drive in the mini means that the data is accessed a little slower and rewritten a little slower. All of that combined does slow it down a touch.

My opinion though is that my disc failure rate with Toast is less than Nero, but that is my own little world.

Most encoding jobs i do though are done overnight so i don't care how long it takes. Press go and go to bed always works well for me.
 

MasterRex

macrumors newbie
Sep 6, 2006
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Fort Pierce
Might I point out; The graphics chipset in the MacMini is QUITE insufficient for that kind of work. Integrated graphics just don't cut it. AVI format or not, encoding video isn't specified from PC to Mac, and in my own experiences, takes LONGER on PC's.

- What graphics card/chipset is in your AthlonXP 2100+ System? A GeForce4 MX440 would blow the integrated graphics chipset found in the MacMini' series out of the water.
 

MacBoobsPro

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Jan 10, 2006
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MasterRex said:
Might I point out; The graphics chipset in the MacMini is QUITE insufficient for that kind of work. Integrated graphics just don't cut it. AVI format or not, encoding video isn't specified from PC to Mac, and in my own experiences, takes LONGER on PC's.

- What graphics card/chipset is in your AthlonXP 2100+ System? A GeForce4 MX440 would blow the integrated graphics chipset found in the MacMini' series out of the water.
My PMG5 with 2GB RAM and 256VRAM is quite slow too. Can take a good few hours to encode 90 minutes of video in iDVD. Pain in the ass to be honest!
 

Shadow

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Feb 17, 2006
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MasterRex said:
A GeForce4 MX440 would blow the integrated graphics chipset found in the MacMini' series out of the water.
Actually, I have a GeForce 4 MX440 and my MacBook simply blows it away in terms of GFX, CPU, HDD, ect (specs in siggy). I've done tests to prove by just how much my 1.83GHz laptop beats a 3GHz Pentium 4. It turns out to be quite a lot.
 

FireArse

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2004
891
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Your AVI file, it is MPEG4?

What you're asking the software to do it decode the MPEG4 stream, and re-encode it to MPEG2 for DVD. iDVD is slow for this.

A tip? Buy an MPEG 4 DVD player. They are the nuts. Progressive scan & cheap price? Bargain if you ask me.

Otherwise, leave it to encode overnight.

F
 

dpaanlka

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Nov 16, 2004
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MasterRex said:
Might I point out; The graphics chipset in the MacMini is QUITE insufficient for that kind of work. Integrated graphics just don't cut it.
That is just so false.

The processor does the encoding, not the video card. The time it takes to export video into another format depends entirely on the processing power, type of codec being exported from and type of codec it is being exported to. The video card in your Mac Mini Solo or Mac Pro Quad makes no difference whatsoever.

Unless you were using a dedicated encoder card for such a task, such as this $2800 AJA Kona 3 or other such item. However I highly doubt that anybody in this thread has one of those in their machines.

The video cards in our machines "accelerate video" in the sense that they have built in decoders to handle QuickTime instructions and are meant to display videos and graphics very quickly, often faster than a processor alone. However, no video card that ships in any Mac has a built in encoder, which is entirely different. Thats why encoding video is not even close to being in real time, on any of our machines.
 

amin

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Aug 17, 2003
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Boston, MA
dpaanlka said:
That is just so false.

The processor does the encoding, not the video card. The time it takes to export video into another format depends entirely on the processing power, type of codec being exported from and type of codec it is being exported to. The video card in your Mac Mini Solo or Mac Pro Quad makes no difference whatsoever.

Unless you were using a dedicated encoder card for such a task, such as this $2800 AJA Kona 3 or other such item. However I highly doubt that anybody in this thread has one of those in their machines.

The video cards in our machines "accelerate video" in the sense that they have built in decoders to handle QuickTime instructions and are meant to display videos and graphics very quickly, often faster than a processor alone. However, no video card that ships in any Mac has a built in encoder, which is entirely different. Thats why encoding video is not even close to being in real time, on any of our machines.
Don't some graphics cards have the ability to help encode video?
 

VoodooDaddy

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May 14, 2003
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dpaanlka said:
That is just so false.

The processor does the encoding, not the video card.
I'd made mention of this above. IF the video card was in anyway involved in the encoding it was something I was not aware of. I didn't see how encoding from one format to another had anything to do with the video card, and apparently is doesn't.

This is also something I'd typically do as an overnight project. Just I happened to start it about 430pm knowing I didn't need to use the computer for a couple hours. I was a bit surprised over 2hrs later it was barely past 50%.

As it turns out it was in rosetta, as I hadn't upgraded to the UB version of toast. That upgrade did cut the encode time almost in half.
 

dpaanlka

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Nov 16, 2004
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VoodooDaddy said:
I'd made mention of this above. IF the video card was in anyway involved in the encoding it was something I was not aware of. I didn't see how encoding from one format to another had anything to do with the video card, and apparently is doesn't.
Absolutely. I was just correcting that other person's statement, which I quoted in my reply.

VoodooDaddy said:
As it turns out it was in rosetta, as I hadn't upgraded to the UB version of toast. That upgrade did cut the encode time almost in half.
Huzzah!