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New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse

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Matt M, PA
New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 3:20:12 am

Hey guys.... we had to upgrade from our G5 (non intel) to do HD. I was assured that the 2.7 iMac was up to the job so we ordered that and a Blackmagic Ultra Studio 3d. I am using the internal drive, and the unit has 4GB of RAM.

My issue is jerky playback in both Quicktime Player and FCP X...although worse in FCX, which I suppose makes sense since the program is also using resources.

I've tried many different compressions, the one that seems to work best is 1920x1080, h.264. This file is a 5 sec. video clip that is 52.2 MB. I have exported the same piece with different compression and one is over 1 GB...this one plays terribly.

I do notice that the 52MB file mentioned above plays "differently" in QT Player each time...sometimes without a hitch...other times with a stumble or two...but it varies with each play. The bigger files are horrible all the time.

Is this a RAM issue, a hard drive speed issue...? According to the Blackmagic Speed Tester the internal drive is only reading at about 100 MBs.

Thanks in advance..


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Jonathan Cheever
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 4:09:53 am

Letting you know you are not alone.
I have problems with 720 30fps and 1080 30fps. Strangely enough, shootin gin 720 at 60 fps works with everything.

Here is what I crossed off as problems.

Ram is not an issue. Tried it on my computer and also a friends (latest macbook pro, 8 gigs ram dual core SSD + video card)

Getting jerky playback on RealPlayer, compressor Quicktime and FCP.

VLC is like butter. Transcoding videos via VLC may be an option, however it just makes editing that much longer.

I hope narrowing it down helps, but I am finding a lot of people with this problem and no solutions. Mac is seeming to become less professional.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:06:16 am

[Jonathan Cheever] "I am finding a lot of people with this problem and no solutions. Mac is seeming to become less professional."

Sorry Jonathan, but that's just a ridiculous statement. There's an entire ecosystem of FCP users all over the world, including a huge bunch here in Hollywood, and we wouldn't be editing with FCP on Macs if there were issues inherent in these systems. Of course, if you're referring to FCP X, that's a whole different can of worms.

What exactly are the issues you're having? What version of FCP? What type of hard drive(s) are you using as media drive?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Jonathan Cheever
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 13, 2011 at 9:20:22 pm

Well not to start beef but that seems the way Mac is going. My experience with customer support is terribe. I am using FCP7 so I just get pointed to forums.
As far as the issue goes. I talked to some camera mfgs and reps. From what I understand is new firmware and mac aren't getting along with my drift and the T3i I was using. I guess that should be corrected soon enough. In the mean time I have to stick shooting in 720 60 with certain cams.
Also I have come across many message boards with people having the same problem. The only culprits being pointed out were video cards and machines not having the muscle to view HD.
I may make the switch to AVID as my personal belief is Mac is trying to appease the masses opposed to the pros. I guess I am neither at the moment, but an autononous company isn't for me.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 4:58:34 am

[Matt M, PA] " I am using the internal drive, and the unit has 4GB of RAM.

My issue is jerky playback in both Quicktime Player and FCP X...although worse in FCX, which I suppose makes sense since the program is also using resources."


First, if you're using FCP X all of your future questions should be submitted on the X forum. This is the legacy FCP Forum, for questions concerning FCP vers. 1 thru 7.

Second, the internal drive in your iMac is your system drive, and it should be used only for applications and data, not media. All FCP versions require that your audio and video be stored and run off of separate drives, never your system drive, and the faster the drive the better. So, you can expect jerky playback so long as you're playing back media off your system drive. Firewire 800 drives are slowest drives you should consider as a media drive, and don't try to save a few bucks by buying a USB drive, as they do not have the sustained throughput necessary for video.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Shane Ross
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:48:52 am

Disconnect the Decklink. That's a USB 3 device, and the iMac doesn't do USB 3...it has USB 2.

Uninstall Decklink and try to play back.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt M, PA
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 6:37:28 am

I am using the single internal drive for the video..and perhaps that's part of the problem.

The Blackmagic unit we have is connected via Thunderbolt, not USB.

Thanks for the help guys...and now another problem has raised it's head. I downloaded the Thunderbolt update (thinking perhaps this could be part of the problem) and now almost an hour later I have a grey screen and the segmented circle. I guess a trip to the Apple store is in order in the AM. Arg.



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Shane Ross
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 7:14:00 am

OOP. I'm getting my BMD products mixed up.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Drake Hale
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 2:49:33 pm

I've got the 27" iMac with FCP6, 4GB of RAM, and use only the internal drive for the small amount of editing I do and it works swimmingly with whatever I've thrown at it. I do transcode all my footage to ProRes as has already been suggested. So I would say there is some third party causing your playback issue.


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Steve Eisen
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 2:01:15 pm

[Matt M, PA] "My issue is jerky playback"

[Matt M, PA] "I've tried many different compressions, the one that seems to work best is 1920x1080, h.264."

Convert your original footage to ProRes and tell us how it plays back.

Follow David's advice for FW 800 drives.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Matt M, PA
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:39:18 pm

OK guys...some progress.

I got an external G Drive running on Firewire. I've placed the media there and it plays back fine in Quicktime Player.

Still a bit jerky...though not as bad in FCPX. Perhaps I have some setting in Blackmagic off?



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David Roth Weiss
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:45:03 pm

[Matt M, PA] "it plays back fine in Quicktime Player.

Still a bit jerky..."


Quicktime Player does not play at speed reliably - never has, never will.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Matt M, PA
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 7, 2011 at 11:40:28 pm

Well guys....another update and not quite what I expected.

I spoke with Blackmagic who admitted that the Ultra Studio 3D will not playback smooth video to an external monitor with FCP X. It WILL work with FCP 7...which Apple does not offer anymore.

Great.



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Matt M, PA
Re: New iMac, Jerky Playback...the Bigger the File..The Worse
on Dec 8, 2011 at 1:07:30 am

Well guys...sometimes things work out.

I was able to buy FC Studio with FCP 7 by calling Apple directly. So..we should be good to go. Thanks for all the thoughts.

I had heard that X was bad...but this is crazy that it doesn't support external video playback.



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