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Old 2007-07-17, 01:57   Link #1
ChibiDusk
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Switching Over to iMac and Macbook.

I'm torching my PC, and switching over to Apple. I've purchased a Macbook and iMac. Before they arrive, I'm wondering what will come of the software I've used on the PC. Mainly, the basics here.

Codecs. I've used realtime and quicktime alternative, divx, xvid and h.264. I've handled this with the Combined Community Codec Pack. What will I need for my Mac systems? I assume quicktime and h.264 will be taken care of, no? Is this pack still the best solution?

Also, DVD-wise... is the encluded DVD player really all that? Is there any other DVD software for Macs out there, that are better, or you would recommend? Mainly I just need the basic options (play, pause, skip, etc) along with a nice screen capture feature.

Tuner-wise and DVR... I have an ATI All-in-Wonder card, but I am assuming that will be useless. What is available for the Mac in this section? I need something to view and record my satellite signal.
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Old 2007-07-17, 02:30   Link #2
GHDpro
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H.264 isn't taken care off with Mac, as as far as I know they still don't support the part of the standard that most MP4/H.264 fansubs actually use. Furthermore, as Mac OS X doesn't have DirectShow, there isn't really such a thing as a codec pack like CCCP for Mac OS X*. Your best bet is probably to install mplayer, details here.

I don't use my Mac for many tasks and playing DVDs isn't one of the few things I do use it for. But from what I've read it will do the job, albeit it's not exactly the most feature rich DVD player app (so I'm not sure about a screenshot feature).

As for TV tuners, afaik neither iMac nor MacBook support internal solutions, so you'll have to look at USB or Firewire products like eyeTV.

*) Well there are plugin packs for QuickTime, but you really don't want to use QuickTime for fansubs, truse me.
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Old 2007-07-18, 13:37   Link #3
killmoms
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Don't listen to GHDpro. The new Perian 1.0 will work great with almost all fansubs in QuickTime Player, including MKVs with softsubs. It should be pretty much all you need (well, Flip4Mac if you need Windows Media support). There's no RealMedia support in anything but RealPlayer though. I avoid this by never using RealMedia files. Have VLC around as a backup for strange files that QT+Perian won't support.

Built-in DVD player will not let you screencap. VLC will.

eyeTV are the products most used for TV tuning. I've never done it myself.
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Old 2007-07-19, 18:54   Link #4
Epyon9283
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Perian 1.0 works ok for subs as long as you let the whole file load first. Kind of annoying.

Flip4Mac works great for smaller WMV videos but longer/higher res videos make it choke. Takes forever to open the videos and a long time to seek around them.

Realplayer on Mac works fine for Real content but its slow.

Mplayer with patches works well with softsubs.

VLC works fine for most stuff. They added WMV3 support in the last version which was nice.

The DVD player that comes with OS X is functional but it doesn't seem to de-interlace stuff well.
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Old 2007-07-20, 02:55   Link #5
Loniat
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I use Mplayer and VLC, but when I need to watch fansubs I go right back to Linux, I'm used to it. Unfortunately Macs are not so fansub-friendly yet (so much for a 'multimedia' computer)..Perian is the closest codec package ala cccp you can get in mac, but is not nearly as good.
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Old 2007-07-20, 20:37   Link #6
Epyon9283
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Why go back to Linux when the same media player software exists (for the most part) on OS X? Mplayer handles subs on OS X just as well as it does on Linux.

I had been using Linux full-time on my PC at home for 3 years before getting a Mac. Video playback isn't something I miss from Linux.

I've been using Linux on the side at home (still full-time at work) and it seems to me that media playback has been getting worse in Linux on default distro installs. Gstreamer codec support is terrible. Absolutely awful. First thing I do on Fedora or Ubuntu is replace rhythmbox and totem with their xine backed versions. Even then you have to jump through hoops to get decent playback of non-free formats. This was easy to do in Gentoo but not so much in the strictly free distros.
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Old 2007-07-23, 08:13   Link #7
Loniat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epyon9283 View Post
Why go back to Linux when the same media player software exists (for the most part) on OS X?
The answer is in the first phrase, if you read what I have wrote again: I'm used to it. Besides, OS X nowadays is pretty much messed regarding codecs, for a commercial multimedia OS, or so they want to call it.
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Old 2007-07-23, 10:55   Link #8
killmoms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loniat View Post
...for a commercial multimedia OS, or so they want to call it.
Because it doesn't play X Y Z obscure-format? Trust me, say the word "soft subtitles" to almost anyone and prepare for blank stares. OS X is very much a multimedia OS—it allows for the easy creation and manipulation of media, and is used for those sorts of duties in numerous professional level fields. It's the ability of an OS to create/manipulate media that makes it a multimedia OS, not whether it can play back a barely-used open-source container format.
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Old 2007-07-23, 12:52   Link #9
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epyon9283 View Post
Even then you have to jump through hoops to get decent playback of non-free formats. This was easy to do in Gentoo but not so much in the strictly free distros.
OT:

On Fedora (as "root"):
Code:
rpm -Uvh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-7.rpm
yum -y update mplayer* xine* totem* kaffeine* kplayer* mencoder*
Replace "7" with the appropriate version of Fedora.

On Ubuntu, installing http://getautomatix.com did the trick for me the one time I built a Kubuntu machine.

Can it really be much easier than this in Gentoo?
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Old 2007-07-23, 13:07   Link #10
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
Even then you have to jump through hoops to get decent playback of non-free formats. This was easy to do in Gentoo but not so much in the strictly free distros.
With Ubuntu, when it comes to audio playback, it's as easy as adding the medibuntu repository and downloading the "restricted" extras from the usual software channels, such as Synaptic. And making mplayer run all encodes is almost as easy as downloading CCCP (you download the codecs from the mplayer homepage and copy them to a specific folder). Sure, it may be hard for a regular user, but for a slightly more experienced one?
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Old 2007-07-23, 20:54   Link #11
Epyon9283
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In gentoo you don't have to add extra third party repositories. Just add the appropriate use flags.

When I said jump through hoops I really meant that if it was a new user. Who the hell coming from windows is going to know to add a yum repo, let alone what yum or a repository even is. Same with Ubuntu although automatix makes it pretty easy. Even then though, after installing codecs, they go to whats labeled as video player in their multimedia menu in Gnome and what do they see? Still broken, half-assed media playback.

How are they supposed to know that they can't use totem so long as gstreamer is the back-end because gstreamer codec support is still terrible? Even if they do manage to figure out that mplayer is what they should be using, what about if they encounter media embedded in a web page? Well that still uses totem in a default install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loniat View Post
The answer is in the first phrase, if you read what I have wrote again: I'm used to it. Besides, OS X nowadays is pretty much messed regarding codecs, for a commercial multimedia OS, or so they want to call it.
Being used to it? I'm used to Linux too (been using it for years... use it full time at my job) but that doesn't mean I want to use it all the time. I think you're probably referring to quicktime codec support. OS X is no worse than Linux when using Mplayer or VLC. Anyway, I can play back a variety of different media types using quicktime now with perian, flip4mac, and xiph qt components.

Anyway, compare the out of the box codec support of OS X to the out of the box codec support of Windows. Neither are great. Windows just has gotten far more third party support than OS X. This is to be expected though if you look at market share. Look how easy it is to create your own media with a Mac out of the box though. You have, with ilife (installed on every Mac), the ability to make movies, podcasts, audio, music, etc.
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Old 2007-07-23, 21:26   Link #12
WanderingKnight
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The point is, there's almost no platform where there's an easy out-of-the-box solution for media playing. Not even Windows qualifies (try to ask a regular user to download CCCP, they'll think you're trying to get them into downloading a communist virus or something like that). In Linux, there is trouble due to the proprietary nature of some of the codecs. I can't speak too much for Macs, since I haven't messed around them for a while, though.
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Old 2007-07-29, 14:56   Link #13
Takeru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
I can't speak too much for Macs, since I haven't messed around them for a while, though.
As far as I've learned in the last 2 weeks of owning my MacBook Pro...all I've needed to view everything (I'm not fond of soft subs, but they still work without fonts and colors) is VLC, Flip4Mac, and Perian.
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