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serious codec issues mac?

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Nigel Askew
serious codec issues mac?
on Nov 18, 2009 at 11:46:02 am

I've been trying to convert (re-wrap) a ton a of avis to movs for a couple of days now and it's not gone well. Final cut pro was running quite badly with them but it managed to do some if i did a few at a time. i didn't want to leave it going over night at the risk of crashing and getting nothing done.

so i tried mpeg streamclip, which did the job but the videos came out looking interlaced. i tried to install ffmpeg but got lost.

I dont know at what point this happened, but a codec or something must have become corrupted, because now final cut crashes everytime i try to do save out one avi as a mov, and mpeg streamclip AND quicktime have both slowed to a crawl when i open an avi and so to "save as" - mov. before, they would both rocket through it, but now both are painfully slow. does anyone know what i might have done?


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Chris Blair
Re: serious codec issues mac?
on Nov 20, 2009 at 5:17:41 am

I noticed no-one responded to your post so thought I'd offer what I know. I'm mainly on Windows so Mac users can certainly correct me if I'm wrong (which I may be).

But I thought the Perian Plug-in provided avi support on a Mac?

http://perian.org/#detail

According to wikipedia it's built upon ffmpeg.

You'd also likely have less headaches using a dedicated encoding app. Doesn't Compressor come with Final Cut?

I also think Handbrake was built upon the ffmpeg framework..but I'm not sure if it can read AVI files (we've had no luck with AVI on the Windows version).

With ffmpeg on Windows if you get even one setting wrong, it can can wreak havoc with playback or encoding of various codecs or formats. I'd suggest uninstalling it (if possible) to at least get Final Cut running properly again.

We typically use ffmpeg as a codec pack solution of last resort. Meaning we only install it and try it if we can't get ANY other solution to properly play or encode a file. Plus many other apps are built upon it's framework, so I would think that installing them would be a much cleaner and safer way to go.

ffmpeg is an amazing tool (on Windows) when it's configured properly, and on very fast machines it can work wonders preprocessing video files for playback or for decoding prior to compressing into another format. But it's got a really confusing interface (at least on a PC), and unless you're a codec guru, it's nearly impossible to know which settings to mess with and which ones to leave alone.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Nigel Askew
Re: serious codec issues mac?
on Nov 23, 2009 at 12:00:34 pm

That's a very helpful post, thankyou.

The problem has actually fixed itself now, with no explanation, which is actually very frustrating, because i'd like to know why it happened.

It's nice to hear from someone that codecs can be affected by programs. I'm assuming that this was the case, as finalcut, streamclip and quicktime were all affected at the same time, and they've all gone back to working like normal now.

Again, thankyou for taking the time to respond to my post, if this problem crops up again i'll get in contact :P


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Chris Blair
Re: serious codec issues mac?
on Nov 23, 2009 at 3:18:52 pm

You're welcome. I think you meant the opposite. That codecs can affect programs...which they definitely can. Odd that it fixed itself. We've had codec insallations break other codecs and cause all sorts of weird things to happen in a program. There are literally thousands of codecs out there...all with numerous versions. Not all are well written. In fact, I'd say from my experience that many are poorly written. That's why we only install codecs as we need them.

Case in point. We have one Blackmagic Decklink Extreme based editing system, and 4 Harris Velocity based editing systems. In order to read the blackmagic based AVI files on the Velocity NLE systems, we had to install the Blackmagic software codec. Problem was, it made the Harris based AVI wrapper stop working. In fact, the Blackmagic codecs caused several AVI based codecs to stop working across mutliple systems, including some AVID and Matrox based ones. We had to uninstall it. Queries to Blackmagic basically were ignored.

Posts on Creative Cow found several other Blackmagic users having similar issues with their drivers and codecs. This is a pretty well-established mature company with mature products. But we've found their software to be a nightmare if you want it to work with other systems. If all you have it Blackmagic based systems it's less of a problem.

So it's not just obscure codecs and "all-in-one" codec packs that can cause issues, even established ones can wreak havoc to your system.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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