Disappointed in inability for G4 to play videos.

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I just came from a Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop to a new G4 Powerbook. I have a lot of home-made video clips in .mpg and .avi, but Quicktime, Windows Media Player, nor the VLC media player I downloaded off of www.versiontracker.com works.



As much as I hate saying this, my Dell was waaaaay better at playing videos. With my Powerbook, its a 1 in 20 chance it is actually going to play something.



What gives?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Trailboss

    I just came from a Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop to a new G4 Powerbook. I have a lot of home-made video clips in .mpg and .avi, but Quicktime, Windows Media Player, nor the VLC media player I downloaded off of www.versiontracker.com works.



    As much as I hate saying this, my Dell was waaaaay better at playing videos. With my Powerbook, its a 1 in 20 chance it is actually going to play something.



    What gives?




    you must have some sort of hardware issue then. those apps should be working fine. you have more than enough power in your system to play videos, it's just a matter of troubleshooting.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Trailboss

    I just came from a Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop to a new G4 Powerbook. I have a lot of home-made video clips in .mpg and .avi, but Quicktime, Windows Media Player, nor the VLC media player I downloaded off of www.versiontracker.com works.



    This most likely means you made the videos in something very non-standard. This is the fault of the tools you made the videos with, not Apple's fault. And if VLC cannot play them, then you truly have a screwed up file, VLC is simply a collection of all these nasty non-standard codecs.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    I find it's the opposite for me. I rarely if ever find videos that won't play on my Powerbook using the apps you described.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Agreed. Sorry to break the news.. but whatever app you used for home movies...probably did a nice .avi type proprietary codec.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    I have to concur.



    If there's any chance of going back and re-encoding them as an open standard codec, I'd go that route. Yes, sucks to do, but it ensures the best possible migration path in the future for you. (What, you thought H.264/MPEG-4 was going to be around forever? )



    Of course the *best* approach is to keep the original source materials around as long as you can, since they're lossless, and you can re-encode them to whatever you need later... but that's rather cumbersome for most folks.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    Thanks for the replies. Here is some more information.



    Before I downloaded the VLC player, when I tried the .mpg types in quicktime, I was getting messages like "Quicktime doesnt understand the file, and the update isn't available on the QT server" so I changed the file extension to .avi and it said "are you sure you want to do this?" and stuff like that. I did, but it still didn't work. Thats the only "playing around" I did with the files.



    The files were created and edited on a Dell PC about a year ago with a Final Cut Pro-esque type program. (Around $250-300 from Dell)





    Additionally, the DVD player won't play movies. When I put in a valid DVD (like Lost in Translation), it says "Welcome, please select the regional code." It gives me regions 1-6 to select from, but when I hit continue after selecting 1, it says "Error" and ejects the disk.



    *sigh*



    I feel like I am going to be taking a trip to the Genius Bar soon. Thanks for the replies.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Well, changing the file extension from .mpg to .avi was just plain not going to work. \



    All you did was further confuse the software by telling it to expect an AVI file, but that's not what was in it.



    Put them back to .mpg and then use VLC to inspect the file contents. It will tell you what codecs were used internally, and then we might be able to give you a hand.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Put them back to .mpg and then use VLC to inspect the file contents. It will tell you what codecs were used internally, and then we might be able to give you a hand.



    I'll give this a shot. I know I didn't change all of them, so I might be able to find some of the "untampered" ones to find the original info.



    I'll let you know what I find.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    karl kuehnkarl kuehn Posts: 756member
    Are you sure that the DVD is region 1? Chances are it is and you have some sort of a problem with the DVD player (hard/firm-ware). But if it is a different region DVD (say an import), then this is the correct behavior. You can thank the DVD Consortium for that one...



    Oh... and there is the possibility that this is MEPG-2. For licensing reasons Apple has to charge a separate fee for the MPEG-2 codec. VLC on the other hand has the "licenses, what are they" reaction... Apple cannot afford that sort of attitude. But if it is MPEG-2, I though that QuickTime re-directed you to the page to buy the license.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Karl Kuehn

    Are you sure that the DVD is region 1? Chances are it is and you have some sort of a problem with the DVD player (hard/firm-ware). But if it is a different region DVD (say an import), then this is the correct behavior. You can thank the DVD Consortium for that one...



    Oh... and there is the possibility that this is MEPG-2. For licensing reasons Apple has to charge a separate fee for the MPEG-2 codec. VLC on the other hand has the "licenses, what are they" reaction... Apple cannot afford that sort of attitude. But if it is MPEG-2, I though that QuickTime re-directed you to the page to buy the license.




    It is my understanding that is for encoding. Playback is free for users, Apple paid the license for that.



    I think you're thinking of Windows, where you *do* have to pay extra for MPEG-2 playback (or did until recently), thereby convincing hordes of Windows users that MPEG-2 was proprietary, and WMV open. :P
  • Reply 11 of 20
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    It is my understanding that is for encoding. Playback is free for users, Apple paid the license for that.



    I think you're thinking of Windows, where you *do* have to pay extra for MPEG-2 playback (or did until recently), thereby convincing hordes of Windows users that MPEG-2 was proprietary, and WMV open. :P




    Apple, like every legit mp2 en/decoder is not free or included It is just another reason that mpeg la is anything but open.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    I have tried using each Region code (1-6) and each time I get "Error: -70001" (or something like that) and the DVD ejects. I've tried it with a bunch of big-name American DVD with no such luck.



    Still haven't found time to see what the deal is with those file types yet.



    *bangs head against desk*
  • Reply 13 of 20
    karl kuehnkarl kuehn Posts: 756member
    On the DVD thing... how many times have you switched regions? You only get 5 changes before it sticks and can't be changed. Once again, this is what the DVD Consortium enforces/requires licensees such as Apple to enforce.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    It could also be that you simply have a dodgy DVD/CD player.

    If you had a spare USB or Firewire drive handy you could confirm this.

    Are you able to burn your movies to CD/DVD and try them on a Mac elsewhere like a mac store?



    Dobby.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    wow i feel sorry for you. must suck having a mac that doesn't work. tough to imagine...
  • Reply 16 of 20
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    This is related to the topic, but not the rest of the thread.



    The next Mac I buy has to have the horsepower to run HD video. The 1.2GHz G4 iBook coughs and dies when I put it in the same room with 720p XVid. This is the only thing that makes me want more power in my Mac, otherwise it's fine.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    I've got a mess of Windows Media files on my Mac that I simply cannot play. Obviously, I tried to play them with Windows Media Player first, but that piece of garbage doesn't even play its own file format. VLC won't play them, either. I also tried using Cleaner to convert them to a usable format - no dice.



    Perhaps this is an issue with the files being in a Windows format that is unsupported on other platforms. I mean if WiMP can't even play its own files on the Mac...
  • Reply 18 of 20
    karl kuehnkarl kuehn Posts: 756member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg

    I've got a mess of Windows Media files on my Mac that I simply cannot play. Obviously, I tried to play them with Windows Media Player first, but that piece of garbage doesn't even play its own file format. VLC won't play them, either. I also tried using Cleaner to convert them to a usable format - no dice.



    Perhaps this is an issue with the files being in a Windows format that is unsupported on other platforms. I mean if WiMP can't even play its own files on the Mac...




    Unfortunately Microsoft has yet to port the DRM from the latest version of (Windows) Windows Media to the Mac, and if I remember right there are part of the WMF 9 format that WindowsMedia 9 on the Mac can't handle... they say they are trying... (*insert your own comments herre*)
  • Reply 19 of 20
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    I find MPlayer can play WMV files pretty well, but its pretty temperamental, worth a shot at least I guess.



    It either sounds as though you've got "specially" encoded files, or toasted hardware. I remember a situation like this when I used Softimage to render a few scenes I made into AVIs. On my mac I couldn't play them for a long time simply because the codec was so rarely used.



    VLC can usually play anything under the sun. However I find the length of time it takes to open a 350MB file or above on my Powerbook (1.33Ghz 1GB RAM, 5400RPM 80GB HD) pretty dissapointing. Compared to my Dual 1Ghz G4, which opens any size file in VLC within 2 seconds, and can play about 12 different videos in quicktime at the same time, smoothly (each 60MB), that machine is still a pleasure to use.



    If they were AVI files, I'd recommend DIvX Doctor II, which fixes any problems and converts them into .mov format. It's a handy app.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Karl Kuehn

    On the DVD thing... how many times have you switched regions? You only get 5 changes before it sticks and can't be changed. Once again, this is what the DVD Consortium enforces/requires licensees such as Apple to enforce.



    Every time I try to switch it, and hit "Select" I get the same error message. It still tells me I have 5 chances left, even though I have tried changing it more than 5 times.



    As for the video formates, I haven't had any time because I'm in the middle of midterms, but I'm having doubts about being able to play the videos
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