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Rhys
02-13-2005, 09:42 AM
I'm mightily fed up with Windows vCD and DVD writing software that never seems to work. The best I've had so far is ArcSoft which makes a nasty mess of all the images and Sonic which seems completely incapable of writing more than half a CD without complaining there's not enough space on the CD.

I note that most graphics people seem to use Macs. Has anybody managed to write a complete vCD with a Mac and the iLife package?

And what mac setup would you suggest is best for networking, use on the internet, photos, videos and general office stuff plus website development?

Jason25
02-13-2005, 11:11 AM
I'm mightily fed up with Windows vCD and DVD writing software that never seems to work. The best I've had so far is ArcSoft which makes a nasty mess of all the images and Sonic which seems completely incapable of writing more than half a CD without complaining there's not enough space on the CD.

I note that most graphics people seem to use Macs. Has anybody managed to write a complete vCD with a Mac and the iLife package?

And what mac setup would you suggest is best for networking, use on the internet, photos, videos and general office stuff plus website development?
It's funny you post this, as I'm about to get a new 12-inch PowerBook G4 within the next few days :D From what I've read (which is a lot), it should handle all that type of work. If I like the PB enough, I may swap to a Mac desktop as well lol :D Check out forums.macnn.com , lots of valuable info on there.

Samuel Lo
02-17-2005, 11:22 AM
I'm mightily fed up with Windows vCD and DVD writing software that never seems to work. The best I've had so far is ArcSoft which makes a nasty mess of all the images and Sonic which seems completely incapable of writing more than half a CD without complaining there's not enough space on the CD.

I note that most graphics people seem to use Macs. Has anybody managed to write a complete vCD with a Mac and the iLife package?

And what mac setup would you suggest is best for networking, use on the internet, photos, videos and general office stuff plus website development?

I have both Mac and PC at home and office. I don't write VCD, but DVD. DVD-R/DVD+R is so cheap now (about US$0.4 each) why don't we have a much, much better format? When using iLife, the iphoto is quite good, especially when it pairs with Photoshop Elements, it will be very powerful. ILife including a DVD editing software iDVD, it's quite good but the burn speed is very, very slow (you can put a blank DVDR in the drive and go to bed, it will be ready when you get up), I use DVD Studio Pro instead.

I have both powerbook and desktop Mac, they are both G4. I think you can get a G5 with superdrive; there are many choices: G5, iMac G5 and Mac mini, you can check it up on the website: www. store.apple.com. All the 3 will be enough for photos and video, but remember to save some money to buy more RAM, especially for Video.

Rhys
02-17-2005, 12:18 PM
I have both Mac and PC at home and office. I don't write VCD, but DVD. DVD-R/DVD+R is so cheap now (about US$0.4 each) why don't we have a much, much better format? When using iLife, the iphoto is quite good, especially when it pairs with Photoshop Elements, it will be very powerful. ILife including a DVD editing software iDVD, it's quite good but the burn speed is very, very slow (you can put a blank DVDR in the drive and go to bed, it will be ready when you get up), I use DVD Studio Pro instead.

I have both powerbook and desktop Mac, they are both G4. I think you can get a G5 with superdrive; there are many choices: G5, iMac G5 and Mac mini, you can check it up on the website: www. store.apple.com. All the 3 will be enough for photos and video, but remember to save some money to buy more RAM, especially for Video.

vCD has the advantage in that it'll work in all DVD players wheras some will read DVD- and some DVD+ and some won't read DVD+/- at all.

Jack C
02-17-2005, 01:00 PM
I have a PowerMac G5 and it is great for making movies. If by vCD, you mean putting a movie on a CD, then yes, I have burned home movies on a CD using iMovie. The format is in Quicktime though. If you can accept Quicktime as your movie recording format, then yes, the Mac platform can make vCDs painlessly. The way you make movies on the Mac is so amazingly intuitive that it will shock you when you first try it. :D

I personally think the Apple Macintosh platform is superior to MS Windows in graphic arts, video editing, and music, but that is my personal opinion from my personal experience. The G5 CPU is so much more efficient than any x86 in floating point calculations.

pmnapier
02-17-2005, 04:45 PM
And what mac setup would you suggest is best for networking, use on the internet, photos, videos and general office stuff plus website development?
I would definitely suggest a G5 if you are looking for a desktop. You might as well get the latest in processor speed and power, particularly for video and photo intensive tasks. The G5 iMacs are quite attractive, especially if you've got limited space. The G5 towers are huge, but I think most of those models come with dual processors - really for heavy duty pro applications. But if you're doing a lot of DVD work, give them a look. One other thing to check out - you may have better DVD writing options (speed, formats) with a 3rd party DVD burner, e.g. LaCie vs. the Apple Superdrive.

Any Mac will be a breeze for networking (wired or wireless). Internet is a snap. The Mac arguably has a better selection of browsers available. And the iLife suite is great. I use iPhoto in conjunction with PS Elements - very easy. I've dabbled with iMovie a little, transferring some camcorder video to cd, but I'll wait until I get a DVD burner before I do any serious video burning.

Check out the Apple Store or a site like MacMall. I've purchased two Macs from MacMall, both transactions went perfectly. And those places always throw in free RAM, etc.

You can also check out sites like http://www.macintouch.com, http://www.macnn.com, or http://www.macobserver.com for news and product information.

Rhys
02-17-2005, 06:31 PM
I'm very drawn to running the following setup:

mini mac (1.25ghz) with lan link to a PC-based Linux server.

I'm not sure whether the memory on the mini mac is the same as PC memory. If it is then it's a snap to add extra. I gather there are two slots.

I'll be looking to include digital photos plus quick-time and avi format video files onto a vCD capable of being played in a standard DVD player on a TV.

That's my main special requirement - something that so far PC-based software has been utterly useless at doing. Otherwise, I'll be using the computer to do the normal kinds of things including: stock control, email, web, web admin, word processing, printing photos etc.

pmnapier
02-17-2005, 07:19 PM
I'm not sure whether the memory on the mini mac is the same as PC memory. If it is then it's a snap to add extra. I gather there are two slots.
The Mac mini uses full-sized PC2700 (333MHz) DDR SDRAM. However there is only ONE slot, so get the max you can afford right from the start. You can take it to 1GB.

Samuel Lo
02-18-2005, 09:06 AM
But if you're doing a lot of DVD work, give them a look. One other thing to check out - you may have better DVD writing options (speed, formats) with a 3rd party DVD burner, e.g. LaCie vs. the Apple Superdrive.


Please note that iDVD only support internal DVDR drive, not external firewire one.

erichlund
02-18-2005, 09:40 AM
Rhys,

Before switching to the most proprietary computer system made for the general public (like buying a camera with special lithium batteries, so that might get your attention), perhaps you should check out these links:

vCD FAQ:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2496/vcdfaq.html#what

GNU VCD Imager
http://www.vcdimager.org/


I have no interest in vCD, those links may help you, and save you the cost of a complete new system.

Cheers,
Eric

Rhys
02-18-2005, 11:03 AM
Rhys,

Before switching to the most proprietary computer system made for the general public (like buying a camera with special lithium batteries, so that might get your attention), perhaps you should check out these links:

vCD FAQ:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2496/vcdfaq.html#what

GNU VCD Imager
http://www.vcdimager.org/


I have no interest in vCD, those links may help you, and save you the cost of a complete new system.

Cheers,
Eric

Thanks for the information. vcdimager doesn't appear to have any software to download and the first link only seems to talk about the technology of how to do it.

Again, I come to the problem that PC software is just utterly incapable of the things Mac software does so well.

dwig
02-18-2005, 12:33 PM
You might also consider looking at software from companies that specialize in video editing software instead of looking at data CD software that has had some video functions tacked on. I've had no problem burning vCD's under Win98 and WinXP using a old basic app from Pinnacle. What I use is no longer available as is, but its functions have been integrated in the Pinnacles other video apps.

Macs are good and any "modern Mac" (G4 or G5, OSXv1.3.x or newer) would meet your requirements as long as it has the appropriate CD/DVD drive built-in.

pmnapier
02-18-2005, 02:02 PM
Please note that iDVD only support internal DVDR drive, not external firewire one.
Absolutely correct. I should have noted that. Of course something like Toast 6 Titanium, included with some drives will do the trick. My point being that external drives are now capable of double layer burning as well as burning both DVD+RW and DVD-RW formats. Just more flexibility than the Superdrive at this time.

Rhys
02-18-2005, 02:57 PM
Absolutely correct. I should have noted that. Of course something like Toast 6 Titanium, included with some drives will do the trick. My point being that external drives are now capable of double layer burning as well as burning both DVD+RW and DVD-RW formats. Just more flexibility than the Superdrive at this time.

Yes. The internal drive if it's not the combo drive, can do DVD burning. Personally though, I'm happy at the moment with a Combo drive as I want to read DVDs and write vCDs.

This will be my first forray into Mac territory. I imagine it'll be possible to upgrade to a DVD writer after purchase as these things are usually interchangable. I suspect it's a laptop-style drive since the Mini-Mac is so small.

Looking at processor speed, I see little advantage in getting 1.45 ghz over 1.25. My data will be stored largely on the server so the miniscule 40gb drive doesn't worry me either. I suspect it's a laptop hard drive but I'm not certin. If it's not then it's a piece of cake to change drives.

pmnapier
02-18-2005, 03:19 PM
Yes. The internal drive if it's not the combo drive, can do DVD burning. Personally though, I'm happy at the moment with a Combo drive as I want to read DVDs and write vCDs.

This will be my first forray into Mac territory. I imagine it'll be possible to upgrade to a DVD writer after purchase as these things are usually interchangable. I suspect it's a laptop-style drive since the Mini-Mac is so small.

Looking at processor speed, I see little advantage in getting 1.45 ghz over 1.25. My data will be stored largely on the server so the miniscule 40gb drive doesn't worry me either. I suspect it's a laptop hard drive but I'm not certin. If it's not then it's a piece of cake to change drives.
Yes, you can get a combo drive or superdrive (DVD burning). The point made by Samuel Lo was that Apple's iDVD burning software only works with the built-in Apple Super Drive.

You'll be able to upgrade to an external DVD burning drive any time. As for swapping out the original internal drive, I'm not so sure. Apple, particularly in their "small-thin" products (new iMac, Mac Mini) make it very difficult to upgrade internally. Often times RAM and adding (if needed) an airport card is about it. You may want to check out some mac forums (http://macs.about.com/mpboards.htm) or magazine sites like MacWorld (http://macworld.zdnet.com) or MacAddict (http://www.macaddict.com) to get their take on possible upgrade paths.

gary_hendricks
02-20-2005, 08:04 AM
I have both Mac and PC at home and office. I don't write VCD, but DVD. DVD-R/DVD+R is so cheap now (about US$0.4 each) why don't we have a much, much better format? When using iLife, the iphoto is quite good, especially when it pairs with Photoshop Elements, it will be very powerful. ILife including a DVD editing software iDVD, it's quite good but the burn speed is very, very slow (you can put a blank DVDR in the drive and go to bed, it will be ready when you get up), I use DVD Studio Pro instead.

I have both powerbook and desktop Mac, they are both G4. I think you can get a G5 with superdrive; there are many choices: G5, iMac G5 and Mac mini, you can check it up on the website: www. store.apple.com. All the 3 will be enough for photos and video, but remember to save some money to buy more RAM, especially for Video.

The iLife suite - iPhoto, iDVD, iMovie, GarageBand - they are first rate. I use the PC at home, but have meddled with Apple before. It's great.

Samuel Lo
02-20-2005, 09:05 AM
Yes, you can get a combo drive or superdrive (DVD burning). The point made by Samuel Lo was that Apple's iDVD burning software only works with the built-in Apple Super Drive.

You'll be able to upgrade to an external DVD burning drive any time. As for swapping out the original internal drive, I'm not so sure. Apple, particularly in their "small-thin" products (new iMac, Mac Mini) make it very difficult to upgrade internally. Often times RAM and adding (if needed) an airport card is about it. You may want to check out some mac forums (http://macs.about.com/mpboards.htm) or magazine sites like MacWorld (http://macworld.zdnet.com) or MacAddict (http://www.macaddict.com) to get their take on possible upgrade paths.

Up to this moment, there is no 3rd party internal DVDR drive for iMac, Mac mini, or powerbook (the drive does not fit in the case). You can use external drive if you are not using iDVD (I don't know why Apple does not allow to do that, I use DVD Studio Pro, which is also made by Apple, can use external one!)
Rhys, do not burn DVD, once you use DVD, you won't want to go back to burn VCD.

Rhys
02-20-2005, 09:35 AM
Up to this moment, there is no 3rd party internal DVDR drive for iMac, Mac mini, or powerbook (the drive does not fit in the case). You can use external drive if you are not using iDVD (I don't know why Apple does not allow to do that, I use DVD Studio Pro, which is also made by Apple, can use external one!)
Rhys, do not burn DVD, once you use DVD, you won't want to go back to burn VCD.

I don't know what's wrong but it's probably PC software that's bad. I never seem to get much joy out of DVDs. The software writes to them then tells me the DVD is bad and I have to discard and start over. Sure, it does this more with one brand than another but it seems to me that the software's greatly at fault, being unable to mark sectors as bad.

I rarely have problems with CDs though. I decided that I'll back up everything to CD and will take a cake box of CDs with me to America. I intend to write to vCD rather than to video DVD on the grounds that all video players take vCDs but only a few take DVD+, DVD- etc.

My aim is to compile attractive combined slide and video shows that I can post to friends and relatives. Currently Sonic almost works but believes in wasting half or more of a CD. It also asks me whether I want to write in PAL or NTSC format and then complins that my AVI and QuickTime files are all in NTSC format which is utter nonsense. Fortunately my parents' DVD player will play both formats. Considering it was the cheapest on the market at 25, I think that's pretty good.