Apple is one of the most screwed up companies I've ever dealt with

“It just works.”

This is one of the most ridiculous claims I have ever met in advertising. I know numerous people who claim they love their Macs, including my brother, but I can only believe that they have never tried to interface with the computing world at large.

“Apple is better for graphics and video” I hear.

Yet even Quicktime Pro is unable to deal with the standards of the REAL video world. I have beat my head against its inability to deal with Divx and XviD video, and I have tried to convert this video, even making mp4 files, but Apple apparently does not play nice with others, even on a Windows platform. When it apparently takes a “Genius” session at an Apple store (none of which are within 150 miles of me) to figure out what in God’s name iMovie and Quicktime want in the way of a video file, I think I give up. Almost every incentive to use my Mac Mini has been removed, and I can’t see my way clear really to holding on to it much longer as it depreciates. HOW can Jobs claim he wants switchers when he makes it appallingly difficult to navigate the Mac system of doing things?

I can’t delete folders and files on the Mac because I don’t have permission, but there is no discoverable login to do this. It only tells me I don’t have permission and gives me no login to verify my admin status. Using help to explore the idea of login has yielded nothing promising. My Mac buddy doesn’t know how to help me.

I know that Apple has a more artistic approach to computing, and I have cursed Bill Gates personally numerous times, but the idea that Apple is the “ahhhhhhh” computer just makes me laugh. They act like they’re not a tiny minority in the computing world, and like everyone will make files their way. The fact is they DON’T, and almost every video you can find on the net is not in an Apple-compatible format. I’ve tried several free converters on Windows, and I still can’t seem to discover what Quicktime freakin’ wants. That is one of the most useless programs I’ve ever seen. Why on earth would you make a video player for “artistic type people” computers that only plays the most limited range of video files? The mind boggles. Zoom Player plays almost everything, and with one additional download, plays 99% of the videos I’ve ever seen. Why wouldn’t Apple include these free codecs in Quicktime? Even converting with Super (a program) to .mov doesn’t always work, as apparently you can have the wrong codec inside the .mov file.

If anyone has a reference to how to get Quicktime/iMovie to actually read .avi / Divx / Xvid / wmv files, please, please say so. I have been unable to discover this magic even with Google. OK, actually, I got QT to play DivX files, but what I really want to do is edit them. Don’t get me started on the QT Pro editing sliders…

There’s no time to talk. Here, I made this survival kit for you. There’s no time to collect your belongings, just go! Your family is probably lost, no doubt torn to shreds by rabid fans. Stay away from major cities, art schools, and architecture firms. For your own good do not contact anyone for at least 3 months, their agents are everywhere. Godspeed, brave Cardinal!

I don’t know the answer to the question, but it seems to me to be wiser that if you’ve read the manual, searched the web, and offered up all your male children to the god of Hallyballymallacha and yet discovered no way to make Quicktime play a certain file type, perhaps you’re best to assume that they just aren’t supported. There are other sound and video applications in the world.

Here’s a thread with some handy Mac info. Also, I recommend subscribing to the OSX Mailing List as you can ask questions of plenty of folks who use Macs. You might also drop Johnny L.A. an email since he does video work for a living and uses Macs. Once you get the hang of using a Mac, crap like this won’t be so bothersome.

Here is the Apple Discussion boards. You can find a lot of good info there.

If you are the only user on your mini, go to System Preferences choose Sharing make sure file sharing is off. Then, go to Accounts, click on the lock and make the changes you wish.
If a particular application is locked, click on the file name once then hit Command (the apple key) and “I” together. This will bring up the info page, open the ownership and permissions caret, then click the lock.

If you aren’t the only user, and you are the administrator, you’ll have to follow the directions in the Sharing folder, I don’t remember off the top, since I don’t share.
If you need a book to look this stuff up, I like the Mac OS X The Missing Manual by David Pogue. It’s easy to understand, and covers things the “Help” menu doesn’t.
Hope I helped a little.

For .wmv and .avi support, download and install Flip4Mac.

Anytime you do not have permissions, try doing a control-click on the file/folder, click on the “Ownership/Permissions” arrow, and then change to Read/Write. You may have to click on the “lock” icon first. If you cannot, do this, you need root access.

to enable root user access:

Applications->Utilities->NetInfo Manager
Choose Security->Authenticate
then Enable Root User.

for AVI movies, I use DivX which I assume is a QT plug-in because once I installed it, I can view AVIs with QT.

hope that helps…

This still doesn’t sem to work with the Intel Macs. I’ve been to the Apple discussion boards and installed Flip4Mac as recommended, and I still can’t play .wmv videos. :mad:

Anoyne have another solution?

Another application I’d really like for my Mac is something similar to Irfanview. I can’t afford to buy Pa graphics program right now and I’d really like a small, fast, free app to resize photos.

Have you tried Windows Media Player for Mac? You can find it at Mactopia.

I’m not sure if this’ll be any help, but you might find some handy info here. It’s probably a touch outdated though.

The DivX codec phungi linked should play most XviD files, but if not the XviD codec can be found here.

How do I open a .bin file? It tries to open it with MS excel, but it is a bunch of gibberish - not a program. I tried on that site to get Stuffit expander, but they want my email address to get it. Ugh. Is there another way to get it?

Well, if you really don’t want to give Aladdin a hotmail/gmail/yahoo address for some reason, then I suggest you grab a copy of Azureus or similar and get it off bittorrent. Unfortunately Stuffit is one of those must-have utilities for the Mac.

Stuffit should have been on your mini when you got it. check in the Applications folder, I may need to be initilized

I use Seashore. It’s like a stripped-down, not-quite-as-professional, but-with-more-options-than-irfanview version of Photoshop.

I actually have a whole list of nifty Mac programs I’ve found. The list so far is here.

SINCE we’re talking about Mac programs, though, has anyone found a free, better-than-iMovie program for video editing?


Not to belabor this, but:

a) Windows doesn’t play DivX normally, either, and

b) The procedure for both Windows and Mac to get it is identical.

Go here, download the codec, and QuickTime will just see it. Or install everything including the player, and you don’t need QuickTime at all.

One of the other sites I visit maintains a list of avaliable video editors for various systems. The Mac list is predictably short with 5 options, including iMovie. The only other free editor listed is ZS4 Video Editor. I can’t say anything about how good it is, I’ve never used it, but unless you have $300-1000 to spend, it looks like your only other option.

Stuffit’s .sit format more or less went away in Apple’s eyes with OS X, replaced with .dmg disk images. (At least it’s not included with Tiger, and I had to go out and download it) To borrow a mainframe or Windows term, Stuffit is a legacy application.

Thank you all for trying to deal with my late night rant.

I used a number of those links, and QT Pro now plays the xvid files, and I’ll be looking at the Seashore program for cutting photos.

I used the help file in iMovie, and from what I can tell, it simply cannot deal with anything but DV and mp4 files. Even QT Pro is almost unusable in editing for my purposes, as far as I can tell. I cut out parts of a 1 hour xvid file, and then have to export the file, which apparently means re-encoding the whole thing, taking about 5 hours. The trouble is I wanted to do this with about 56 files, so that’s like 56 days to do this or something, because you edit one and then have to let it export in the night, repeat the next day. Amazing. Can you stitch together multiple clips with QT Pro, so that I could mash together multiple episodes and let it export for 9 hours while I’m at work?

I got the trial version of Adobe Premiere, and it’s so complicated I can’t even figure out how to make simple cuts. Am I nuts, or am I beginning to understand why some people consider Macs great computers for people who don’t really want to do much? OTOH, Window Movie Maker was a right pain, too. I imported all these videos, and it automatically cut them up into clips that had nothing to do with the scenes, and you couldn’t jump forward or backward except by these ~20 second clips, and it ONLY exports to .wmv, because it’s Microsoft, and God forbid they play nicely with others.

“iMovie HD supports importing video in common formats, such as standard digital video formats like NTSC and PAL, high definition video formats (HDV 720p and 1080i), and MPEG-4, 16:9 widescreen format, and clips from Apple’s iSight camera.”

What this seems to mean is, “If you let this run for hours, we’ll take your hour video and turn it from a 700KB Xvid file into a 12GB DV file.” Gee, thanks.

Others have taken care of some of the codecs. Sorry Flip-4-Mac isn’t ported over yet. I think your main frustration is that you’re caught in a bit of a learning curve inherent in converting to a new system and you’re in the middle of getting through that before you can get to the stuff you really want to do.

If you have to change permissions to delete a file, ask yourself if you really should be doing it. The files have permissions to keep people from messing with things they aren’t meant to. If you delete an essential file, you could screw up the entire system. You should not delete a protected file unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re doing, or unless you don’t really mind reinstalling your system from scratch.

DO NOT enable root. Only übergeeks need to enable root. It opens you up for some security exploits and enables access to things you probably do not need to ever mess with. If you’re having problems with something as relatively simple as video file conversion, you almost certainly should not be messing with anything that you can do as root.

On to the file conversion. iMovie and many other video programs want to capture the file directly from the camera. If you can hook it up and access it through iMovie you will save yourself a lot of headaches. I had the same exact difficulty with a video editor for Windows XP. If not, then you need to get the file into something that iMovie can handle, like DV or MPEG4.

I used FfmpegX, a UNIX program ported over to OS X, to do the conversion from MPEG2 when I had to do a video project for my fiancee. It’s got so many options for ways to import various files that I think it’s probably a professional-grade program. It felt like overkill for me, but it got the job done.

On preview: What program did you use to encode the Xvid files? Was that the player’s native export format? If so, then there was hardware conversion at work which is a lot faster than any software conversion.

If you want commiseration on file incompatibility, Windows doesn’t play nice with anyone else. MS Office files are not open standards and have to be converted to be read by non-native programs. Even in text files, I’ve run into several text encoding problems from Microsoft’s propensity to “improve” on an international standard. Unicode means “one code” not “text encoding with a few extras that we felt like throwing in to #^¢* with people.”