Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

iPad 2 and Macs/PCs as External Monitor (via AirDisplay for Mac & MaxiVista for Windows)

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

I just wondered if this were possible, for a Mac at least, and the answer is (apparently) Yes!, for Windows as well as Mac, and via WiFi.¬† That’s really useful, as I’m thinking of getting a new MacBook but their screens are currently only 15 inch and not DreamColor (as is my Windows laptop).

Connection via WiFi will be slow, but that shouldn’t be a barrier for things like static text or color grading (the latter is often based in practice around a succession of individual frames).

I’ll pause my enthusiasm to try it out until I have made a full system backup on my primary computer…

WebSearch Results:

  • Google:[ipad2 external monitor]
    • http://store.apple.com/us/question/answers/readonly/can-the-ipad-2-be-used-as-an-external-monitor/QD7HPAA477DYFFFTF
      • simple answer – YES
      • in depth answer
        • the only way this can be done as far as i know is by using one of two apps. one is for windows, the other is for Mac. this is done through a common wifi connection. this means that there is a very bad lag when dragging windows and watching movies and probably all other tasks. so basically yes it can, but quite poorly.
        • the only way that it could be done really well and smoothly is by using the HDMI connection to the computer. but i don’t think that it can be done yet. so when the IOS allows it (I HOPE) the ipad can be properly used as a secondary monitor.
        • but if you cannot wait for that (thats only if it happens) then here are the two apps necessary for this process.
          • for Mac – “Air display”.
          • for windows – “MaxiVista” (note the letter “i”)
        • both of these apps have sister software for your computer. the apps are kinda expensive at $9.99 for airdisplay and $12.99 for maxivista. they include instructions for the whole process.
      • enjoy your second monitor ūüôā

NLE Adulteration of Source Media: Potential Workflow-Issues

Friday, September 13th, 2013

I highlighted in http://blog.davidesp.com/archives/598 (10 months ago) that Adobe Premiere etc. can adulterate media files, in terms of metadata and/or sidecar-files (depending on user-configurations of these applications.  I indicated that, regardless of the reasonableness of at least some of these actions, this could potentially cause problems to other applications.

Validating that concern, I note a post (2012-06-12) by Matt Davis on Philip Bloom’s website, stating (my italics):

  • …if sharing assets with FCPX and Adobe Premiere, Adobe ‘touches’ (resets the modification date) of each file without doing anything else to it, but also sprinkles sidecar files into directories of transcodable files for metadata, thus sending any returning FCPX activity into a tailspin, requiring a re-linking session. It’s oddities like these which haunt the implementation of FCPX in a wider system and make system managers wonder if FCPX is actually worth implementing in its current state.

That was over a year ago, and so the issue may or may not exist for the current version of FCPX.

As users, whether or not the actions of one application adhere to standards and another don’t, what we as users ultimately care about is workflow, which in this case translates to “does it connect up with my other tools/processes?”.¬† So we have to maintain a “situational awareness” of potential interoperability pitfalls.

Incidentally, I¬†recall that FCPX’s predecessor (in history at least, if not development-line) FCP7 could adulterate source directories with its own¬†sidecar files, produced by its SmoothCam effect.¬† Not knowing anything further for sure, I nevertheless wondered (at that time) what it might be doing “under the hood” of the QuickTime [.mov] wrapper.

Replacement Hard Drive for MacBook Pro of 2009 Vintage

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Need a replacement for a failing drive in my MacBook:

My late-2009 MacBook Pro has been acting oddly, with corruptions, suggestive of a failing disk.¬† I suspect this was caused by the machine coming out of Sleep while travelling by car…

Replace with what kind of drive?

I could simply replace with an identical make and model to the original, which is:

  • According to W7 WindowsExplorer Properties:
    • ST9500420AS ATA Device
  • Printed on disk:
    • Seagate Momentus 7200.4
    • 500GB
    • WWN: 5000C500380A2AC9

On the other hand, I could see if there’s anything better I can rfeplace it with now, e.g. offering greater capacity and speed.¬† Of course, have to be careful to ensure capacity…

Following a web-search, and due consideration, my plan is:

  • SSD is possible, but may have to be careful about some technical issues in selection and ongoing system maintenance.¬† Also, given they cost a small number of hundreds of pounds, it is difficult to justify investing such an expensive component in a computer that, due to its age and visible wear-and-tear, is only worth about the same amount itself.
  • Hybrid SSHD is plug-compatible and looks the same to the OS as an ordinary HD, thus no technical complications should arise (no special configuration or ongoing maintenance).¬† Also, the price is below ¬£100, which is justifiable for the described system.
  • Physically, to fit in the MacBook, the drive must have a SATA 2.5″ form factor and no more than 9.5 mm in height.

A recommended SSHD Drive:

  • Seagate 750GB Momentus XT hybrid
    • ¬†ST750LX003
    • This (unlike larger 1TB variant) comes with 7200 rpm HD
    • It is available from Amazon:
      • ¬†SATA 6Gb/s compatibility with NCQ for interface speed.
      • Product Dimensions¬†¬† ¬†10 x 7 x 0.9 cm
      • Item model number¬†¬† ¬†ST750LX003
      • Shock Tolerance:350 g @ 2ms (operating) / 1000 g @ 1ms (non-operating)
      • Interfaces:1 x Serial ATA-600, Compatible Bays:1 x internal – 2.5″ x 1/8H
      • Spindle Speed:7200 rpm
      • Drive Transfer Rate:600 MBps (external), Average Latency:4.2 ms
      • Non-Recoverable Errors:1 per 10^14
  • There is a 1TB variant but its spindle speed is only 5400 rpm

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Adobe Files Recovered in Trash – Unwanted

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Whenever I boot up Mac OS, there are recovered Adobe files in the Trash.  Even if I did not use Adobe in the previous session!  Of course I can [Empty Trash] but why do they keep cropping up there in the first place?  Is this symptomatic of some error or malware in my Mac OS system?  Last time it happened, these were the files concerned:

  • The file [com.adobe.dynamiclinkmanagerCS6]
  • A [.prmdc] file, with prefix as per one of my project names.
    • Maybe [pr] indicates association with Premiere?
  • A bunch of files named as [I-Frame Only MPEG~xxxx.epr], where [xxxx] represents a pseudorandom hex value (of more than 4 characters).
    • I guess these are preview-accelerating renders. ¬†But I thought such renders were retained, not temporary.
    • From¬†http://help.adobe.com/en_US/mediaencoder/cs/using/adobemediaencoder_cs5_help.pdf¬†it seems that [.epr] generally means “exported preset”. ¬†So maybe that’s what it means here also. In which case these are I guess temporary exported presets when sending to (encoder) Queue from Premiere?

The best advice I could find on the web was that this kind of thing, while not generally expected, is of no importance, so “just keep emptying the trash”. ¬†Concerning and irritating though…

Presumably Adobe is not cleaning-up when I close it, but in that case why and what else is it not doing?  Could this be associated with the Kaspersky issue I recorded in my previous blog-post?  Like had the Kaspersky-augmented kernel shutdown been methodically waiting for some Adobe clean-up process that never terminated, whereas un-augmented kernel shutdown simply (and silently) forced-killed that process?   Just guessing with my overactive imagination, no supporting knowledge/information/evidence.

The fact (I have observed) that recovered Adobe files can appear in Trash even when Adobe has not been used in the current or the previous Mac session (between machine boot-ups) tends to suggest that some independent Adobe clean-up process is always happening in the background, as a result of normal system start-up, regardless of whether Adobe has explicitly been run by the user. ¬†Gives me some “gut feeling” that my “imagination” might be on-track…

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Adobe CS Review …No more it seems

Monday, June 4th, 2012

As a relatively new Adobe user, I¬†was vaguely aware of an attractive-sounding Adobe Premiere collaboration¬†feature, I think it was originally called Clip Notes (http://boardreader.com/thread/Clip_notes_alternative_for_CS5_other_tha_1yitjXfs3i.html¬†confirms this), where one could send out reviews to people, who accessed it via Acrobat or as a pdf or something.¬† Having Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 I explored under Premiere’s File menu, discovering Create New Review.¬† I wish I had not, for it wasted several hours of scarce production time…¬† It seems that this feature has been discontinued, as announced at http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/cslive.html¬†and complained about at http://forums.adobe.com/message/4266469.¬† The only reason I discovered this, following three hours of rendering by the Create New Review command and further one hour waiting for the Share Review website to complete (black screen with rotating wait-animation) was googling for acrobat.com login problems.

How come there wasn’t a simple website message to say “Discontinued”?¬† Furthermore, why not an Application Update to remove this feature from the File menu or change the menu action to state that¬†this feature¬†was discontinued?¬†¬† Just as well I had not based¬†a commercial workflow¬†on this¬†feature. ¬†I feel¬†somewhat Apple’d….

My alternative, until I find anything better, will be good-old-fashioned highly compressed renders with burnt-in timecode, shared bia DropBox.   I am also aware of Sorenson 360, it looks like it has a great set of features, but its cost is prohibitive for my current purposes.

One item I did manage to salvage from my “wasted time” was the render – that had taken 2.5 hours – that had been generated as part of the CS Review process.¬† It appeared in the folder [C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Temp] with the pseudo-random probably-unique filename of [8D4E4C20-0C00-0F8A-A501-B6B7CA2E4883.f4v]. The [f4v] extension indicates it is an Adobe Flash container, most likely containing h264-encoded media.¬† I moved it to my own [Renders] folder for the given project and it played fine in VLC Media Player, which confirmed h264 was the codec and indicated it had resolution 960×540 i.e. half-size in terms of length, quarter-size in terms of area, bitrate was around 1Mbps.

iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My girlfriend has one of these, ethernet-connected to her router and thus available on her home network.  However, in order for any computer, Windows or Mac (what about linux?) to access it, it is necessary (aside from any hacky-workarounds that may possibly exist) to install the Iomega Home Storage Manager.   This makes volume(s) offered by the NAS appear, on the Mac in Finder under SHARED, or on a Windows machine as additional drive letter(s).

To acquire the Iomega Home Storage Manager, go to https://iomega-eu-en.custhelp.com/app/platform/p/1031,1043 or else try https://iomega-eu-en.custhelp.com/ and click on [Desktop Network Storage > Home Media Network Hard Drive].  May need to establish and login-to an iomega support account (free) first.

I wondered at first about enabling the NAS as a Mac OS Time Machine (backup) disk.¬† An iomega article I saw suggested that should be possible, for iomega firmware 2.0 and above.¬† But the disk as it stands is NTFS-formatted – because when it was set up we had only Windows machines.¬† Now that disk contains much material in that NTFS.¬† I guess it might be possible to partrition the disk e.g. to keep the existing NTFS and add alongside it a HFS+ partition for Time Machine to use.¬† But it’s guesswork that carries risks (of disruption/damage to existing contents).¬†¬†We want an easy geeking-minimal life, so maybe better to repurpose that NAS and get a purpose-made Apple Time Capsule instead.¬†Either way,¬†the evening wears on, so I’ll shelve that idea/investigation for now…

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EDL-Associated Apps on Mac OS

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

These are the applications  listed when, in my Windows VM on Mac, I did [RightClick>OpenWith] on a [.EDL] file:

  • Avid:
    • ALE
    • EDLManager
  • Apple:
    • Color

Mac OS Upgrade: Snow Leopard: Apres-Install

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Before checking for updates, install the bundles, iWork and iLife. ¬†Reasoning: they were designed at the same point in time, at which they were most likely to be compatible; it is possible that later Mac OS updates could (in principle) detract from this – so I opt to “play safe”.

  • Install iWork
    • Occupies about 1 GB
    • Installed in about 10 mins
  • Install iLife
    • Occupies about 3 GB
    • Installed in about 30 mins
  • Apple Update
    • Estimated duration 6 hours – so do it overnight instead (set a reminder!).

Mac OS Upgrade: Leopard to Snow Leopard

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Upgrading a Mac Pro from Mac OS Leopard to Mac OS Snow Leopard. ¬†Now that I’m no longer mid-project, and have some “spare” time, I’m ready to have a go. ¬†Experiences:

  • Paranoia:
    • Will the installation offer an “Upgrade” (as opposed to “Fresh Install”) option?
      • It didn’t ask me
    • Will my Boot Camp partition be at risk?
      • Doesn’t seem so. ¬†The installer recognises the partitions and asks which one you want to install to.
    • Any install instructions/advice/tips:
  • ¬†Steps Taken:
    • Backup both partitions – Mac OS & Boot Camp.
    • Check installation disk appearance of quality
      • It was slightly marked. ¬†Could not easily be cleaned.
    • Boot to install-disk
      • Prompted for default/custom install
        • Looked at Custom option, it installs everything except Rosetta. ¬†That app is only needed when running old (PowerPC) apps. ¬†It is being phased out (along with the apps…). ¬†If an app needs it, you will be prompted to download it anyway, so no real disadvantage in omitting it, in fact an advantage – running any ancient apps will highlight them as such.
      • Installation started
        • From top-menu, selected option to display Logger.
          • Indicated that the process “migrated” my Preferences. ¬†Sounds hopeful…
      • Run-time
        • Estimated 42 minute. ¬†Still said that 10 minutes later.
        • The estimate was about right – maybe an over-estimate – it’s just that the progress was nonlinear.
      • Completion:
        • Prompted to Reboot.
    • Reboot
      • Started up with no apparent problems.
      • Prompted me for my contact details.
        • Some of them needed updating – I did so.
  • Success!
    • So far…
  • Backup
    • Prior to any Apple Updates (system, apps…)

NLE Handling of 10-Bit Recordings

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

There exist various HD-SDI device to record 10-Bit 422 video data. ¬†10 bits is useful for shallow gradients especially when expanded (steeper contrast curve) by grading, while 422 gives better detail, that can matter when pixels are big (e.g. when close to a big screen or when digital zoom employed in post). ¬†In any case, such recorders tend to compress less than on-board camera systems, or in some cases not at all, improving the quality. ¬†But to what extent can the various NLEs cope with this? ¬†From my web searches it seems that the answer is “sometimes”. ¬†For example some NLEs will accept 10-bit only in their own favourite formats, otherwise they discard two bits, interpreting the footage as 8-bit. ¬†One might (naively) have thought the way to be sure was to experiment – but there is plenty of room for confusion when doing experiments, for example Avid’s color correction tool allegedly only displays to 8-bit resolution even when it is importing/processing/exporting at 10-bit. ¬†Other “loopholes” may exist, like it seems (if I understand it correctly) that if you AMA or import 10-bit ProRes then Avid only sees 8-bit, implying one needs instead to transcode ProRes->DNxHD externally (e.g. via MPEG StreamClip?) and import that. ¬†But even that might not be possible, as one post suggested DNxHD 10-bit encoding could only work from Avid, not external apps. ¬† Furthermore, whereas all ProRes formats handle 10-bit, for DNxHD, only formats with an “x” suffix do; the only one I know of is DNxHD 220x. ¬†There exist further subtleties/loopholes/pitfalls, hence more research to be done on this… and I’ll tread very carefully…

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Apple: Final Cut: Color: Tutorial

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8BPMQrNlpA&feature=channel

Apple: Final Cut: Motion: Tutorial

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te6B7pn_FNM&feature=channel

Apple Motion

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

At startup (by default), in addition to “new project” options, it offers:

On my system at least, these load surprisingly slowly, then if either of the above are selected then the Motion GUI closes, leaving the Motion app active (but, as far as I can see, useless). ¬†Maybe I’m missing something?