MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Digital Media

Apr. 10, 2009
Apr. 11, 2009
Apr. 14, 2009
Apr. 16, 2009
Apr. 24, 2009
Apr. 25, 2009
Apr. 27, 2009
Apr. 28, 2009
Jun. 22, 2009
Jun. 23, 2009
Jun. 24, 2009
Jul. 11, 2009
Jul. 13, 2009
Jul. 14, 2009
Jul. 15, 2009
Jul. 16, 2009
Sep. 18, 2009
Sep. 19, 2009
Sep. 21, 2009
Oct. 2, 2009
Oct. 3, 2009
May. 11, 2010
May. 12, 2010
May. 13, 2010
May. 14, 2010
Apr. 19, 2011
Apr. 20, 2011
Apr. 21, 2011
Apr. 22, 2011

Newer entries...
Apr. 10, 2009

item.90288

Ric Ford [MacInTouch]

Why baseball benched Microsoft Silverlight

The thwacking sounds of bats striking balls will once again fill stadiums, as Monday is opening day for Major League Baseball. This year, Microsoft will watch from the sidelines.

MLB.com no longer uses Microsoft's Silverlight to stream games to its 500,000 subscribers. This season fans will watch live and on-demand video via Adobe's Flash player.

In November, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the league's tech unit, announced it would discontinue using Silverlight, the browser plug-in that MLBAM had signed up for barely a year earlier. The decision was not insignificant.

Apr. 11, 2009

item.90337

John Grout

Though MLB.com's adoption of Flash Player may have resolved complaints about Silverlight video, it has also showcased Flash Player's inability to control streamed server-side archival content... all it can do is display a stream without rewind or fast-forward... basic technologies built into all the other streaming players that MLB.com has used before 2009.

The adoption of Flash Player has trashed MLB.com's Gameday Audio subscribers, who must play 2009 archived games from the beginning of the pre-game, often an hour or more before the first pitch, and have no rewind or fast-forward and no recovery for broken streams (other than starting over from the beginning). If MLB.com preserved the half-inning bookmarks they've had in recent years for archived video content, the adoption of Flash Player will be undesirable (e.g., no way to position to a key at-bat) but at least bearable to those subscribers.

I hope MLB.com will convert their 2009 archived audio and video content to a multi-platform format that supports full random access. They've dabbled with the iTunes Store... how about going whole-hog and putting archived game audio and video there for every single game and giving subscribers season passes?

item.90358

J Ake

For the last several years I have, against my better judgment, signed up one more time with MLB for online baseball coverage after hearing their assurances that this year finally things will work. And each year the streaming is a piece of crap, just like it was the previous year. As a result, I will not be signing up this year.

The NCAA coverage this March was terrific so I know solidly smooth live video streams are possible, but whether MLB sees fit to deliver that to customers remains to be seen.

I am not going to bet on it.

item.90386

Mark Paul

[Re: John Grout's note]
I'm subscribed to MLB.TV Premium. The FlashPlayer allows me (on a 2007 MacBook Pro) to rewind and fast forward on current games and archived ones, both in video and in the GameDay audio; it also displays a line score that lets me jump to a particular inning if I want to see where runs were scored or to scout the at-bats or pitch sequence of a player I've never seen. I've run HD video at full screen without a hiccup, and two games side by side in small format. If it keeps working this way, I'll be very pleased.

Apr. 14, 2009

item.90467

Semi Loon

John Grout wrote:

Though MLB.com's adoption of Flash Player may have resolved complaints about Silverlight video, it has also showcased Flash Player's inability to control streamed server-side archival content... all it can do is display a stream without rewind or fast-forward... basic technologies built into all the other streaming players that MLB.com has used before 2009.

The lack of transport controls is probably an implementation problem at MLB.com. It is not a limitation of the Flash player or server side software as there are numerous sites that use Flash RTMP streaming (implemented through FMS3) to Flash clients with full transport controls.

Apr. 16, 2009

item.90584

John Grout

Semi Loon wrote:

The lack of transport controls is probably an implementation problem at MLB.com.

MLB.com just fixed their implementation, adding three transport controls for archived Flash audio content: play, pause and fast forward. This isn't as useful as the slider they provided for WMP/Silverlight content, but it is acceptable.

Apr. 24, 2009

item.91108

Celeste Suliin Burris

TNT.tv full episodes will not play on a Mac. I see that this has been briefly mentioned, but no discussion. When I went to the TNT support center, their FAQ had this to say.

Knowledge Base
TNT Support > Full Episode Viewing >
Why can't I view full episodes on a Mac?

TNT.tv would like to apologize for not being able to accommodate Mac users.

The issue is related to the Windows Media Player, specifically video with Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is because the WMP for the Mac is not supported directly by Microsoft. Our agreement with the studios that produce the shows stipulates that their content be protected (full episodes) from piracy with DRM software.

Additionally, WMP is more universal than other platforms like QuickTime and Flash Video for distributing protected content.

http://support.tnt.tv/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=5477

The last paragraph about WMP being less universal that Quicktime and Flash smells wrong to me, but I am not a Video Expert. I do know I can watch Hulu and SciFi without these problems. Maybe someone who is more knowledgeable about video could comment.

Apr. 25, 2009

item.91120

Gregory Weston

Celeste Suliin Burris muses re:

'Additionally, WMP is more universal than other platforms like QuickTime and Flash Video for distributing protected content.'

The last paragraph about WMP being less universal that Quicktime and Flash smells wrong to me, but I am not a Video Expert. I do know I can watch Hulu and SciFi without these problems. Maybe someone who is more knowledgeable about video could comment.

To borrow from Douglas Adams, I suspect TNT is using a definition of 'universal' of which I wasn't previously aware. Hard to see how a product that supports one platform could be "more universal" than alternatives that support that platform and one or more additional ones.

item.91149

MacInTouch Reader

This was quoted from a FAQ:

"WMP for the Mac is not supported directly by Microsoft."

This was also quoted from a FAQ:


"Additionally, WMP is more universal than other platforms like QuickTime and Flash Video for distributing protected content."

There is at least a tension between these two statements; I suspect the tension is sufficient to derive an outright contradiction, in fact.

Also, I do not even know what it means for one thing to "more universal" than another. Either it's universal or it's not. Be that as it may, it seems odd to say that WMP is not available for a significant platform and then to say that it is "more" universal than the other formats. Which platforms are Quicktime and Flash Video NOT available for?

Apparently the writers never took a course in logic or critical thinking.

Apr. 27, 2009

item.91168

David Krafchick

I tested the TNT site. It automatically offered to download Filp4Mac, but it was an earlier version. I ran the Installer just to double check and it reported that nothing needed to be installed.

None of the videos work at all. Buttons respond (like Start and stop), but nothing works. I guess this is a no win situation.

item.91181

Robert Rosenberg

Re:

"The issue is related to the Windows Media Player, specifically video with Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is because the WMP for the Mac is not supported directly by Microsoft. Our agreement with the studios that produce the shows stipulates that their content be protected (full episodes) from piracy with DRM software."

So ask them why they do not support a DRM System that DOES support the Mac OR why they do not ask Microsoft to fix the problem by issuing a version of WMP for the Mac that DOES contain the needed DRM support.

item.91213

Dave Perrin

This is just more of the same old BS. Perhaps TNT considers it more "universal" because it's already installed on every Windows PC. It is probably just a lazy IT manager who doesn't want to encode for any other player. I'm amazed that companies hide behind this excuse when the very people they are trying to entice, those who live their lives with technology, are probably iPod/iTunes users and already HAVE Quicktime. Face it, everybody has QuickTime as part of iTunes.

Ask a Windoze user in a poll if he/she ever uses Quicktime and they'll say no, but of course they do. I believe the penetration is much higher than the industry believes. Those IT managers who always fall back on the "95% of computers have WMP" because 95% of computer have Windoze are just lazy and not paying attention to the market. Shame on TNT for having such a bonehead at the helm.

Apr. 28, 2009

item.91265

MacInTouch Reader

Just some commenting...

"It is probably just a lazy IT manager who doesn't want to encode for any other player."

Just to be fair to lazy IT managers everywhere (and I don't think it would be an 'IT manager' making this decision, but whatever), everyone knows it is not difficult to encode video, nor is it generally more difficult to encode with one codec or another. And to say the person is 'lazy' disqualifies the fact they had to encode the file in the first place.

But this leads us to quote 2:

"Additionally, WMP is more universal than other platforms like QuickTime and Flash Video for distributing protected content."

Note the last part. It's all about DRM, not which player is on more systems. I know nothing of Flash and it's DRM capabilities. However I do know that Quicktime does not support and DRM except Apple's own. And, in case you didn't notice, Apple isn't licensing their DRM to anyone, because they want people to buy their content through them.

Now, this leads us to quote 3:

"So ask them why they do not support a DRM System that DOES support the Mac OR why they do not ask Microsoft to fix the problem by issuing a version of WMP for the Mac that DOES contain the needed DRM support."

Well, I guess we ask a question to answer a question. "What DRM system does support the Mac? Are there any out there? And is it strong enough that the content providers will approve it?"

As for asking MS for support, why should MS add support? It gains them nothing to add the support. Maybe they'd do it if TNT paid for it. We could also ask why they don't use Apple's Fairplay instead, but, as stated, Apple isn't licensing.

I know it always feels best to just slam people as lazy who aren't supporting your platform, but there's lazy and there's budget-conscious (esp. in this economy).

Jun. 22, 2009

item.94639

C P

I am sure there's no a coincidence that iTunes offers TNT's The Closer for $2.99 per episode, and at the same time we can't watch the SAME episode FREE of charge at the TNT site unless you are running Windows.

The TNT site has a disclaimer that reads "Sorry! This clip requires Microsoft Windows to play."

I think the disclaimer should read:

"Sorry, you are running OS X: Apple doesn't want you to watch this."

item.94673

David Charlap

C P wrote:

"I am sure there's no a coincidence that iTunes offers TNT's The Closer for $2.99 per episode, and at the same time we can't watch the SAME episode FREE of charge at the TNT site unless you are running Windows. ...Sorry, you are running OS X: Apple doesn't want you to watch this."

Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity and laziness.

Do you seriously think that Apple contacted TNT and said "since you are selling your content on iTunes, you aren't allowed to give it away free to Mac users"? That makes absolutely no sense. Especially when you realize that Windows users can also buy iTunes video content.

It is far more likely that Mac support simply never crossed the minds of the TNT executives that hired the software developers. They probably contracted out the playback system to the lowest bidder, and never even asked for something Mac-compatible.

You should write to TNT. They might not do anything, but they definitely won't if nobody tells them that there's a problem. If enough do, they may decide to insist on Mac compatibility from their developers or give the job to someone else who does support Macs.

item.94679

Francis Volpe

I'd be suspicious here too, except for one thing: The iTunes store is open to Windows users, of which the store surely has a significant number. Which means "The Closer" on iTunes is losing potential sales from those folks because it's free at TNT. My guess is that TNT uses Silverlight or some other protocol that is known to be unavailable on the Mac platform -- in other words, this is the usual marginalization story, not a deliberate strategy to profiteer at the expense of Mac users.

Jun. 23, 2009

item.94675

Bill Cameron

Re:

"Sorry, you are running OS X: Apple doesn't want you to watch this."

If that were true, then all the shows from other networks sold through iTunes wouldn't play for free to OS X users either. Somehow I manage to watch any number of shows on my Mac through Hulu, Fancast, and network web sites, despite their availability through the iTunes Store. Besides, it's not like iTunes or the iTunes Store is Mac-only.

The only thing going on here is TNT can't be bothered with supporting OS X. If everyone else can do, so can TNT - if they choose to.

item.94694

MacInTouch Reader

Re the TNT situation -- definitely send an email:

TNT@turner.com

Also, be sure to boycott the channel and purchasing on iTunes. And spread the word. In this day and age, it is a moronic decision on the network's part to knowingly go with one platform and exclude all Macs.

item.94697

Rich Cruse

The sad excuse for web sites that use "Windows Only" features like video is "Most Macs can run Windows".

I repeat my mantra, "The web is about breaking down barriers. Design your site for everyone and your site/business will flourish."

item.94733

MacInTouch Reader

Francis Volpe wrote:

I'd be suspicious here too, except for one thing: The iTunes store is open to Windows users, of which the store surely has a significant number. Which means "The Closer" on iTunes is losing potential sales from those folks because it's free at TNT. My guess is that TNT uses Silverlight or some other protocol that is known to be unavailable on the Mac platform -- in other words, this is the usual marginalization story, not a deliberate strategy to profiteer at the expense of Mac users.

SilverLight is available here--
   http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/resources/install.aspx
SilverLight 1.x will run on PPC 800 MHz or better with OS X 10.4.8 or higher.

Silverlight 2.x requires 10.4.8 or higher and an Intel Mac. Microsoft says it works with Safari and Firefox.

Silverlight 2 GDR 1 (2.0.40115.0)is the current version. Page will check if you need to update. You must allow scripts for that to work.

item.94734

MacInTouch Reader

Addendum:

TNT site doesn't have a SilverLight problem as much as it uses Microsoft DRM that Microsoft doesn't support for Macs.

There are other Silverlight sites that play just fine. Example--
  http://www.nbcolympics.com/

Jun. 24, 2009

item.94809

Henry Larsen

Rich Cruse bemoans "web sites that use 'Windows Only' features" and adds

I repeat my mantra, "The web is about breaking down barriers. Design your site for everyone and your site/business will flourish."

This looks like an appropriate time to dredge up once again, for those who have never seen it, the famous comment by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (widely credited as the 'inventor' of the worldwide web):

"Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network."

(quoted in Technology Review, July 1996)

Jul. 11, 2009

item.95644

Vance Haemmerle

VideoLan.org *finally* gets their version 1.0 out and supports Windows back to Windows 2000! A nine year old operating system, but only supports the current Mac OS, Leopard, which is less than two years old. Very unequal support.

Jul. 13, 2009

item.95649

Christopher Moss

Several pages I visit have embedded video, and since NBC went over to HD video, I cannot view any videos from NBC. Looking on their site, I see a special Windows only player must be downloaded, and as for supporting Macs, they say to use BootCamp. Thank you very much, NBC. I assume this has something to do with their falling out with Apple over the iTunes Store.

item.95650

Christopher Moss

Update: now I find I can see the embedded video on other webpages, but the problem with NBC's own site remains.


item.95825

Andrew Main

Regarding VLC's Mac OS support:

While I too was surprised to see VLC 1.0 dropping 10.4 support, I don't regard this as a case of Mac Marginalization, a term which properly applies to deliberate or thoughtless neglect of the Mac platform by commercial entities who have the resources to support it and ought to know better (and in most cases actually do themselves harm by their neglect).

VLC, on the other hand, is Open Source software, which is developed entirely (so far as I know) by volunteer labor -- and given the complexity of this project, I'm sure it must be a great deal of labor. The only appropriate response is gratitude and kudos to the hardworking developers who've gone way out of their way to offer this great program to us -- free, gratis and for nothing.

If VLC supports many old versions of Windows but only the current version of Mac OS, I can only assume it's because of a relative dearth of Mac programmers willing/able to contribute the time and effort to broaden VLC's Mac support.

I note the following on the VLC home page:

Contribute!
VideoLAN welcomes all contributions to the project! You can contribute time (development, documentation, packaging, tests, user support, ...), material or even money. See the contribution page for more information.
Developers can join us by undertaking one of the Mini Projects.

I'm reminded of a sign seen on the kitchen wall of an L.A. commune back in the 60s (yes, I was there, and I do remember): "If you care about it, it's your responsibility."

If VLC doesn't do what you need, you can (a) find something that does, or (b) get involved and help make it into what you want. Complaining is inappropriate, pointless and counterproductive -- if anything it will discourage further generosity from those who created the application as a gift to the rest of us.

(The same goes, of course, for snide comments about how long it's taken for VLC to get to v.1.0. If Videolan had Adobe's resources, I expect VLC would have gotten out of beta sooner -- but then it would be Adobe software. Need I elaborate?)

I don't know of any Free / Open Source software that's "perfect" -- but I don't of any commercial software that is either, and plenty that's far less than it could be, considering the resources available to its perpetrators. What continues to amaze me is how many developers seem to be willing to expend mega man-hours on projects for which their only remuneration is the satisfaction of something well done, and appreciation from users. I figure, if I like the flowers, I should water the garden.

item.95838

Marc Rhodes

Vance Haemmerle notes that VLC supports much older version of Windows than it does Mac OS. Could it be that the coding to the newer version of Mac OS really improved VLC while coding to the newer versions of Windows provided no significant improvement to the application?

Jul. 14, 2009

item.95866

Paul Specter

Well here's another site that won't play on Macs. TNT, the TV station that has shows, The Closer and Raising the Bar, will not play under Mac OS X. Here is their statement:

"TNT.tv would like to apologize for not being able to accommodate Mac users.

The issue is related to the Windows Media Player, specifically video with Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is because the WMP for the Mac is not supported directly by Microsoft . Our agreement with the studios that produce the shows stipulates that their content be protected (full episodes) from piracy with DRM software.

Additionally, WMP is more universal than other platforms like QuickTime and Flash Video for distributing protected content."

How can they say that WMP is more universal when all it does is play on Windows machines, while QT and Flash play on everything. There isn't even a way to send in a rant to let them know of my displeasure.

item.95877

John Daniel

I've never understood what was so great about VLC. I have had a need to try it out about once a year. I've never seen it manage anything more than about 1 frame per 2 to 3 seconds.

If I have something that iDVD or QuickTime Player won't play, MPlayer always seems to work nicely. MPlayer is open source like VLC. It also runs on all platforms. I have used it to watch Windows Media that even Window Media Player on Windows wouldn't display. It has always been rougher around the edges than VLC, but it has also always worked for me whereas VLC never has.

item.95878

John Grout

There is a very detailed explanation of the desupport of Tiger for VLC 1.0 on the VideoLan forums.

The primary problem is that Apple's llvm GCC 4.2 and its runtime provide the only support for pthread cancellation points (used extensively in VLC 1.0) on Mac OS X... but llvm uses Leopard APIs. Some posters have stated that there are other VLC problems with Tiger behind this primary one.

There is one positive thing to say... VLC appears more committed to continuing support of both little-endian and big-endian platforms than Apple itself.

Jul. 15, 2009

item.95948

MacInTouch Reader

Regarding Paul Specter's complaint about tnt.tv:

There IS a way to send in a rant to show them your displeasure.

http://support.tnt.tv

Click "request support" and then click "contact us".

Select "website questions", click the "contact us" button, scroll down and click the "my answer is not here" button.

You'll be taken to a form where you can rant away!

item.95960

Steven Wicinski

Paul Specter wrote:

"How can they say that WMP is more universal when all it does is play on Windows machines, while QT and Flash play on everything. There isn't even a way to send in a rant to let them know of my displeasure."

They didn't say it was 'more universal'. They said it was "more universal... for distributing protected content." Which I'm sure it is.

I don't know anything about Flash video and how good the DRM it can use is. But Quicktime only has support for Fairplay, and Apple won't license Fairplay (plus I don't think it is a streaming DRM). They could do some other type of MP4 video file with their own DRM, but now you've got yet another incompatible DRM video format, and they'd have to spend resources to create this DRM for at least three different platforms. That's time and money. And why should they spend that rather than use a pre-existing DRM that works (albeit limited to just 90% of the computers out there)?

item.95962

Antonio Tejada

John Daniel reports:

"I've never understood what was so great about VLC. I have had a need to try it out about once a year. I've never seen it manage anything more than about 1 frame per 2 to 3 seconds."

On what hardware and OS? The performance you report is opposite what I've ever heard.

I've used VLC for years and years, and it's always exceeded the performance of any other player (for example, playing H.264 with 1/2 the CPU consumption of QuickTime, at least in some OS versions.) VLC's lousy interface keeps me using other apps for everyday use (QuickTime with Flip4Mac and Perian takes care of almost everything), but for the few formats nothing else can open, it's a lifesaver.

item.95966

MacInTouch Reader

Paul Specter wrote,

"There isn't even a way to send in a rant to let them know of my displeasure."

Paul, they have an email address (tnt@turner.com) right here: http://www.tnt.tv/contactus/

I used a few weeks back and included a long list of all the other stations/networks that allow viewing by Macs (and I assume also care about protecting their content), including some that are also owned by Turner ironically.

item.95973

Robert Howells

John Daniel reports consistent problems using VLC .

I have the opposite experience running 10.5.6 and using VLC build 0.8.6h .

When all else fails VLC almost always will play the video I wish to view.

Perhaps he has a combination of other software that precludes it's operation.

item.95917

Andrew Spark

I find VLC to be an extremely capable media player, on any platform. It runs very well even on older machines, (particularly Windoze boxes) I'd suggest that Mr Daniels has a particularly specific problem given the performance issues he describes.

item.95930

Paul Constantine

As for the "we need to furnish video in a DRM format" a clear call to Apple to license it's Fairplay DRM system? It seems that if they did license it, the "we need to have DRM" become not the real issue?

Jul. 16, 2009

item.95984

Seth Elgart

John Daniel wrote:

I've never understood what was so great about VLC. I have had a need to try it out about once a year. I've never seen it manage anything more than about 1 frame per 2 to 3 seconds.

What's so great about VLC is that it will play almost any media in almost any format. I used it just this morning, for example, to play a Sheepsaver screen saver preview. Quicktime said it needed a new plug-in, and helpfully takes you to a page with half a dozen plug-ins without bothering to tell you which one it needs. I simply rolled my eyes yet again and then launched VLC, and of course the movie played just fine.

Hey, without VLC I wouldn't be able to watch any of the new Doctor Who episodes. Case closed!

Sep. 18, 2009

item.100689

MacInTouch Reader

I e-mailed TBS (owned by Turner/Time Warner, just like TNT), which uses the same WMV-DRM system as TNT for full free online episodes. I mentioned in my e-mail that not only is Flash available on more platforms that WMP, but Flash actually has 21% higher penetration than WMP. Although the FAQ hasn't changed their tune (same as TNT), the response I got in my e-mail was different.

Here is TBS's response:

Thank you for contacting us about the issue when using a Mac to access our full episodes online.

We are aware that our Mac users are experiencing frustration when it comes to the limitation of DRM. We are currently investigating ways to resolve the issue and offer our programming to all users, regardless of their personal computer choice. Ideally we want our programs to be viewed by the largest possible audience and so this issue is a top priority. We appreciate your feedback and time. Thank you for giving us the chance to communicate our efforts about the subject. Your continued patience is very appreciated.

Best,

TBS Web Staff

Sounds like enough Mac users can (possibly) make a difference after all.

Sep. 19, 2009

item.100767

Robert Rosenberg

The issue with non-support of Protected Video for Mac Users is due to Microsoft's refusal to issue the needed plug-in to support it for Macintosh's version of the Microsoft Media Player. If they did, there would not be this issue. I think that TBS (and all the other users of the MMP support) should complain to Microsoft on this issue of not allowing Macintosh users access to their streaming content.

Sep. 21, 2009

item.100829

MacInTouch Reader

[Re: Robert Rosenberg's note:]

WMV-DRM is a dying technology. Not only because it is limited to Windows, but also due to the far greater fact that it consumes too much bandwidth for streaming video compared to modern technologies such as Flash and Silverlight. How many local news sites have you seen that are still on non-protected WMV, much less WMV-DRM?

Hence why Microsoft is aggressively pushing WMV-DRM developers to switch to Silverlight, which is less bandwidth-intensive and does have Mac support (albeit only for Intel Macs, which are the majority of Mac users). Netflix is a perfect example of one company that switched from WMV-DRM to Silverlight, and Silverlight is very easy to transition WMV-DRM content to. If TBS/TNT were smart but wanted to stay in the Microsoft camp, they would transition to Silverlight like Netflix did.

Oct. 2, 2009

item.101670

Chris Brewer

So, thought you all could raise awareness of a nasty bug that's disrupting my world. I work at a major university and am working on sealing a big deal to install XServes, Snow Leopard and Podcast Producer. During the final Apple demo to seal the deal, no videos uploaded to the demo system would play in *any* Windows browser, proving to the naysayers the misguided but prevalent belief that Macs don't work with Windows.

I heard today that this probably derailed the deal that I've been working on for 8 months. I was utterly befuddled, because it has worked in every pilot I've run, on both Mac OS and Windows.

Turns out that the new QuickTime 7.6.4 breaks the ability to play videos (playing only the audio track). Early feedback indicates it's something to do with (get this) how Apple tools like Podcast Producer embeds the video. Ouch.

QuickTime 7.6.4 update breaks MobileMe video gallery on Windows PCs

Topic : No video, Audio only after Downloading Quick Time 7.6.4

and there are many many more.

Oct. 3, 2009

item.101718

Brad Price

Re: the WMV and Silverlight debate.

As a Netflix user, I am reasonably impressed with Silverlight on the Mac. It delivers very good performance with considerably less CPU overhead than Flash - compare Hulu to Netflix, and you'll see it (and hear your fans kicking in with Flash!).

I am no Microsoft fan, but kudos to the Silverlight team for a truly decent Mac implementation. Adobe should take heed and bring Flash for Mac up to par with its Windows offering.

item.101725

Jubal Kessler

Re:

During the final Apple demo to seal the deal, no videos uploaded to the demo system would play in *any* Windows browser.

I feel your pain and disappointment. That said, always test using the target audience's setup. Sadly this does mean a bog-standard Internet Explorer 6, which Microsoft has announced will be supported until 2014.

item.101742

MacInTouch Reader

Perhaps you can find someone with the QuickTime 7.6.2 updater and install it. Or use the Snow Leopard DVD and install QuickTime 7.6.3 from Optional installs.

With Snow Leopard you can run an installation without having to start up from the Snow Leopard DVD.

item.101754

Bill Martin

I don't know if this is part and parcel of the same problem, but I have noticed, since upgrading to Snow Leopard, that videos sent as an attachment to an email, must fully load in Mail.app, before video will play. If you attempt to start the video, (as in times past), before the file fully loads, you get audio but a black screen instead of video with the audio.

May. 11, 2010

item.114222

Monty Lee

I saw an ad this weekend for a Sony Handycam DVD Digital Camcorder. When I look at the product specification it says "Not supported by Mac OS." So I contacted Sony and asked if they sold any camcorders that worked with a Mac. They said: "We regret to inform you that our products are compatible with Windows only."

I really can't believe they are completely ignoring the Mac market, but looks like I won't be buying Sony.

May. 12, 2010

item.114252

Skot Nelson

Re:

I really can't believe they are completely ignoring the Mac market, but looks like I won't be buying Sony.

Sony has a long history of proprietary formats with limited Mac compatability. They introduced a tiny camcorder that used a proprietary tape in competition with MiniDV several years ago. Despite having a FireWire port, it wouldn't talk to iMovie at all.

Weird company, Sony.

item.114253

Luke Rademacher

Sony & a lot of other companies has never made a product that is Made for a Mac. And yet there have been a multitude of products that still somehow do work.

I have an ancient Sony Handycam Digital 8 Camcorder. Technically it was never advertised or designed to work with a Mac. But It can be used with a Mac very easily. My old handycam has something called an iLink. Well iLink is IEEE1394 aka Firewire. Using the Sony iLink cable I had no problem sending digital video from my Handycam into my Mac for editing with iMovie.

Another example. I got a low end Panasonic point and shoot compact digital camera, 10MP. It's got some USB port on it and all its software and features advertised up the wahoo for Windows only. But heck I have no problems taking my SD camera card out, popping it into a Media Card reader and using my Mac with iPhoto or Photoshop Elements to view/edit/design/print every photo I ever snap.

99.9% of the electronic gadget makers out there have no clue that a Mac is essentially just a regular computer except it's got a superior OS. In this day and age its rare when a gadget does not work with a Mac or its apps... There are always workarounds.

item.114256

David Zatz

You can add JVC Everio camcorders to Sony; while they are barely Mac compatible, that requires in-camera conversion from their native format to MP4, resulting in horrifically bad video, at least in my experience with one camera. Nothing like HD video that looks like each frame was JPG-ed at the lowest quality level.

item.114257

Jack Mac

Their product is below the quality and capability of Canon. Don't fret.

item.114258

Chris Ridd

Apple publishes a list of the camcorders that they support in iMovie:
   http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3290

and in Final Cut:
   http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2948

Hope that helps!

item.114268

Leonard Hermens

Monte Lee might be interested in this list:
  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3290

item.114277

Steven MacDonald

Re:

"We regret to inform you that our products are compatible with Windows only."

I have a wide variety of Sony still cameras (some shooting AVCHD for 720p HD) and video cameras and have no trouble importing and editing in iPhoto, iMovie and Final Cut.

They are probably talking about the disk of crappy software they include with the camera.

item.114282

John Schultz

The Mac compatibility might not really be an issue. (I'll admit that my experience is with Sony digital cameras and not their camcorders.) What is probably the case is that the Sony software that comes with the camera will not work on a Mac. However, the digital video files will probably still import and work with the software you already have on your Mac.

item.114285

Herbie Hollar

I bought a Canon DV camera and it only came with Windows software. But I had Final Cut and iPhoto so I didn't need any of that crappy software that usually comes with cameras.

You can use iMovie or the reasonably priced Final Cut Express with any DV/HD camera with a Firewire (Sony calls it i-Link) port.

item.114286

DV Henkel-Wallace

Monty Lee: almost nobody's DVD or hard disk handycams are Mac-compatible. But Sony's Memory Stick handycams are.

But I recommend Canon over Sony for family video, if that's what you'll be using it for.

item.114290

Michelle Steiner

I bought a Sony camcorder about six years ago, and it works just fine with my iMac. I wonder what changes Sony made to make the newer models incompatible with the Mac OS.

item.114293

John Olson

Following is extracted from the Q&A at the Sony site for the DCR-SR88 120GB Hard Drive camcorder:

How to transfer video to an Apple? Macintosh? computer from a camcorder with a hard disk drive.
Solution

You can transfer the video from your camcorder using the Apple iMovie? software.

item.114295

MacInTouch Reader

In reply to Monty Lee's comment about Sony cameras not working on a Mac. I'm not sure if any of these cameras are current, but Apple maintains a list of cameras known to work with iMovie 09.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3290

item.114300

Alan Newman

Like the Sony camcorder experience reported, I bought a Sony Bluray player which is not Mac friendly. The Read-me First card said that there would likely be software updates available as the Bluray standard was still evolving. Options for updating the SW included connecting the player to the internet, or downloading the updater image to be burned to a disk. From the Mac, the Sony support website will not even allow you to check if an update is needed, much less download one to a Mac. About a dozen verions of Windows supported, but zero for the Mac. This unit is going back.

item.114302

Daniel Smith

Monty Lee wrote that

"the Sony Handycam DVD Digital Camcorder... product specification... says 'Not supported by Mac OS.'"

That's particularly disturbing since Sony was a strong early supporter of FireWire, to the point where you could almost say FireWire was a joint Sony-Apple development. All of Apple's early FireWire demos at MacWorld and WWDC featured Sony cameras.

item.114303

Jason Newman

We recently went through the digital video camera options ourselves, and finally settles on an HD one from Panasonic which advertised that it plays nicely with iMovie 08 or 09. So far, no issues. I believe many of the Canon models do as well. We have a still image Canon camera that has played well with iPhoto.

As far as camcorders go, it seemed like ones that record to just a disc don't generally don't play well with Macs. There are also ones that still use the MiniDV tapes, but connect via USB only. I think iMovie only supports those via firewire, so those might be windows only. I suggest looking into ones that have a hard drive, support SDHC cards, or can use both. Double check on Mac compatibility, but many of those will probably fine if they record in a format iMovie can deal with.

item.114304

Matthew Cave

Strange that you got that response, as I have used at least 2 different DVD camcorders models made by Sony in the past 12 months - yes the software they supply is Windows only, but I have found iMovie 09 recognizes the camera/dvd and have been able to import and manipulate the footage successfully. I don't think we get any models in New Zealand that differ in any major way electronically than in the rest of the world.

item.114309

MacInTouch Reader

I thought your experience was a bit strange, so I went to Sony's (Canadian) site. I checked out the HDR-CX110 Flash Memory Handycam? camcorder. There in the graphic at the bottom of the page was the Mac OS icon and "Works with iMovie". I doubt the products are that different between Canada and the US, so I'm wondering what you were actually looking at. Furthermore, on the iMovie info page, around a hundred Sony camcorders are listed, including current model. Some have various limitations in function, though nothing onerous that I could see (For example, some camcorders can record both HD and regular video. iMovie can't import the HD until the regular video is erased).

May. 13, 2010

item.114327

MacInTouch Reader

Handling proprietary video formats easily:

I've used developer Tosa Seberian's MPEG2 Works 4 for several years now after I had some old Sony Digital 8 video importing problems. It costs $25, which has been an incredible bargain for me, since no charges are made for upgrades (just fired it up now and yet another free upgrade was downloaded).

It's my "go to" tool when other video editors and authoring goes awry. It handles NTSC/PAL/SECAM whatever which is fine when friends in Europe send videos to me in their formats. If you just look at the start-up screen, the options are amazing and there is much more when you dig into it. Seberian obviously enjoys what he is doing and welcomes suggestions which usually appear as part of the next release if feasible. i suspect that he developed the app when running into similar problems himself.

If you do anything with video, this is worth a visit to their web site. Support via e-mail is super.

Disclaimer: I'm just a happy customer.

item.114338

Michael Downing

Reply to Alan Newman about a Sony BlueRay player:

You can very easily check the version of firmware on your player through the onscreen menus. If you can't connect your player to the internet (preferred), then you can go to Sony's support site for your model and if there is a newer version, you can download an ISO which Disk Utility will burn to a CD easier on the Mac than on a Windows machine that will not burn .iso files without extra software.

I love my Sony BlueRay player!

item.114362

Grandy Pollo

David Zatz is miffed by:

You can add JVC Everio camcorders to Sony; while they are barely Mac compatible, that requires in-camera conversion from their native format to MP4, resulting in horrifically bad video, at least in my experience with one camera. Nothing like HD video that looks like each frame was JPG-ed at the lowest quality level.

The problem here (and with DVD recording video cameras) is the recording format, MPEG-2 is a delivery format and not an editing one.

Easiest with Everio is to put the mod files on the desktop and do basic edits with MPEG Streamclip to de-cruft the outtakes etc., then export to either DV or a high bitrate Quicktime file such as animation or maybe Apple TV.

Those look pretty good and can be imported to iMovie etc. You may like the results more than connect to iMovie and its transcoding to a Quicktime format on import. At least it imports, the old days you could not even do that.

I guess the movitvation in conjunction with JVC with Windows software (which I haven't used as supplied by JVC) was to edit in MPEG-2 and prepare for output to DVD so in its native format you'd be able to work pretty fast.

In OSX if all you want is basic edited video you can use the files from Streamclip in Toast without re-encoding. Just export as MPEG in Streamclip after cuts and trims and set Toast to never reencode. It creates DVD from native MPEG-2 in only a few minutes.

May. 14, 2010

item.114460

Alan Newman

Re:

"You can very easily check the version of firmware on your player through the onscreen menus. If you can't connect your player to the internet (preferred), then you can go to Sony's support site for your model and if there is a newer version, you can download an ISO which Disk Utility will burn to a CD easier on the Mac than on a Windows machine that will not burn .iso files without extra software."

The only way I can see to download anything from Sony is to first select the OS I am downloading to. Only Windows options are given. (I know I can act like a Windows machine and get the .iso files downloaded on my Mac.) Also, you have to download the latest driver before you can find out what version it is in order to determine if you needed it to begin with. If I liked the Bluray's GUI, I might put up with this, but the machine is hardly any friendlier than the website support page.

Apr. 19, 2011

item.133683

Dave Johnson

I just received an email announcing DirecTVs new DirecTV2PC offering. But, it comes with this notice:

"DIRECTV2PC is not currently compatible with Macintosh computers".

Sigh.

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/directv/technology/directv2pc

Apr. 20, 2011

item.133688

Mike Weasner

Dave Johnson noted:

I just received an email announcing DirecTVs new DirecTV2PC offering. But, it comes with this notice:
"DIRECTV2PC is not currently compatible with Macintosh computers".

I also received that email and even went to their web site. Why? Because the email had a MacBook photo on the DIRECTV2PC announcement. It was even used on the web page.

Too bad companies can't be sued for such false advertising.

By the way, I emailed DirecTV about this. Waiting for a response.

item.133703

Mike Weasner

Followup on my earlier comment. Just heard from DirecTV about the DIRECTV2PC app and Macintosh. They just acknowledged that the application does not run on a Macintosh. They ignored my point about using a Macintosh to advertise a Windows application.

Apr. 21, 2011

item.133731

MacInTouch Reader

And how does DirecTV's policy differ from TiVo's?

Since TiVo is making boxes for DirecTV, this remains to be seen.

TiVo https://www3.tivo.com/store/accessories-software.do offers free Windows software TiVo Desktop that lets you send music and photos to your TiVo. Plus it lets you transfer shows from TiVo to PC.

The free TiVo Desktop for Mac software lets you send music and photos to your TiVo. To transfer shows to your Mac, you need TiVo Transfer.app which comes with Toast. TiVo offers $20 off on Toast.

Don't know what works with DirecTV but if your TiVo has a Cable Card from TimeWarner cable, any show recorded off cable can't be transferred to your Mac or another TiVo. Programs recorded off the air can be copied in HD. Don't know about other cable providers.

This policy is likely at the insistence of the content providers. Most cable boxes won't let you send HD programming to anything except an HDMI/HDCP device.

If you have a DVR from DirecTV built by TiVo, it is possible TiVo will work out a deal with Toast. Or maybe not if HDCP is required and Mac OS doesn't support HDCP.

The DirecTV software only allows streaming to the PC, it doesn't allow copying.

item.133769

Joel Benson

Three comments--

a) They've had DirecTV2PC for at least a year, so it's not exactly new.

b) It has some stringent DRM requirements that most Windows PCs can't meet either. I have an HP laptop with an I5 processor, purchased last summer, that can't run it because the video card doesn't meet their requirements. Nor can our 2008 MacBook Core 2 Duo running XP under either Parallels or Boot Camp, nor any of our three Pentium 4 desktop PCs. My HP4400 Core 2 Duo desktop couldn't run it either until I installed a compatible video card.

c) I didn't get the email, so I'm wondering if you can tell if the MacBook it shows is actually running the program and (if so) under what operating system. It is possible a newer MacBook than mine might run it under Windows, although I doubt any of them support the DRM requirements.

item.133777

John Grout

Both Microsoft and Apple license OS logo artwork for use on retail software packaging as an indicator that the product supports their OS.

If the DIRECTV2PC ad prominently displayed a Windows logo and omitted a Mac OS X logo, I wouldn't even notice what kind of computer was pictured in the ad: I'd know that it was a Windows-only product and buy (or not buy) accordingly. If they omitted OS logos, they made a mistake... but Microsoft would feel the same way, not just Apple.

item.133792

Joseph K

Not only does the drectv2pc app not work on Macs, but it doesn't work in a virtual PC session either - the message is:

DIRECTV2PC cannot display this video because your graphics card does not currently support screen capture protection for protected content. Try updating your graphics card driver or modify your driver settings.

Maybe if run in Boot Camp it'll work. Maybe not.....

Apr. 22, 2011

item.133823

Chucky

An anonymous reader comments about TiVo on the Mac:

"The free TiVo Desktop for Mac software lets you send music and photos to your TiVo. To transfer shows to your Mac, you need TiVo Transfer.app which comes with Toast. TiVo offers $20 off on Toast."

This is indeed the case; however there are certain caveats:

- The Roxio Toast bundle on the Mac offers better TiVo capabilities than the free TiVo Desktop for Windows, and even has better TiVo capabilities than the $25 TiVo Desktop Plus for Windows.

- There are quite good freeware tools available for OS X that allow sending and receiving of shows between a Mac and a TiVo. So the savvy can avoid having to pay for the (pretty nice) Roxio Toast bundle.

Overall, OS X actually has pretty strong TiVo capabilities available.

if your TiVo has a Cable Card from TimeWarner cable, any show recorded off cable can't be transferred to your Mac or another TiVo. Programs recorded off the air can be copied in HD.

It varies by provider to provider. All providers, by law, must allow transfer of OTA shows, and different providers have different policies about transferring shows on basic and premium cable channels.

item.133830

Johann Beda

In regards to Mac TiVo software, I haven't been downloading TiVo files from my series 2 to my Mac for a few years, but when I did I found that "TiVoDecode Manager" worked well for me http://tdm.sourceforge.net/ It seems to have been superseded by the open source "iTiVo":
  https://code.google.com/p/itivo/

Going the other way is what is more important for me (so I can watch ripped DVDs on the TV rather than just on the computer). I have been very happy with pyTivoX:
   https://code.google.com/p/pytivox/

pyTivoX should allow me to play music on the TV from the Mac, but I haven't managed to get that working - but I haven't tried very hard. I'm happy with the video transfers.

item.133862

David Ramsey

You can transfer Tivo shows to your Mac easily with no third party software. Using your browser, go to http://[ip of your tivo]/nowplaying/index.html. Your user name is "tivo" and your password is your Media Access Key (get from the info screen of your Tivo).

Use the browser to download the "MPEG-PS" version of any recorded show. Strip the Tivo DRM with Tivo Decoder or TivoDecode Manager (the latter will handle downloading, too). Watch the resulting MPEG file as-s with VLC or use Handbrake to re-encode for your iOS device. All of this software is free.

Easy! I've never had a problem transferring any show, even shows from HBO and other "premium" channels.

item.133868

Mike Shulman

I have been using the DirecTV2PC for about 1.5 years now on my 'late 2009' 15" Macbook Pro booted to Windows 7 Ultimate. I use a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter (with optical digital audio input) from monoprice.com to connect my MacbookPro to a 32" Sony EX600 LCD HD TV. It works beautifully via WiFi. The DirecTV HD DVR is connected to my home LAN via an 802.11n WiFi bridge. The DirecTV2PC app is developed by CyberLink Corp.

item.133871

Chucky

Johann Beda writes:

In regards to Mac TiVo software, I haven't been downloading TiVo files from my series 2 to my Mac for a few years, but when I did I found that "TiVoDecode Manager" worked well for me http://tdm.sourceforge.net/ It seems to have been superseded by the open source "iTiVo": https://code.google.com/p/itivo/

FWIW, I find the cross-platform Java app, kmttg, to be a better OS X freeware solution than either or the above:

http://code.google.com/p/kmttg/

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