in Personal

Mac Experience – Not too bad

Yesterday I was in one of the campus computer labs watching some video editing happen on some high-end Apple OS X workstations. I’ve gotta say that those things are pretty nice. The interface doesn’t look terribly different, but there are some subtle changes in the way things work…plus it’s just plain weird to have only one mouse button (which in this case was the whole top of the mouse…so just press down anywhere and you get a click). I like the little menu at the bottom of the screen that has all of your favorite programs in it for easy access (BTW, there is 3rd party software to give you something similar on Windows but it’s not quite the same feel).

I was basically watching Robert take a DV tape of his wedding (he got married on the 1st of Jan and I filmed it for him) and build a DVD out of the video. We were using Final Cut Pro HD which wasn’t too bad to use although you can tell it’s a professional tool because it’s quite complex (but full featured). Good thing the lab staff was around to help us figure out what to do. All we really had to do to the video was to raise the overall volume, remove a little hiss (from raising the volume), add a little music to certain parts (the music at the wedding was played in the wrong order, so Robert corrected it to what it should have been), and add a little bit of text to the end. All in all, the longest parts of the process were the digitization of the tape (it happens in real-time…so a 1 hr tape takes 1 hr to digitize) and then messing with the sound (mainly because there were a million options of things you can do and neither one of us knew what each one did so it was a trial and error thing). Apparently it takes quite a while to export the video out to a DVD though once you get everything put together…we started the export and it said it’ll take about 2 hours to export 37 minutes worth of video (and that’s not the time it takes to write it to a DVD, just the time it takes to create the MPEG-2 file we need to build the actual DVD). Anyway, the lab closed before we got it to a DVD, but I think it’ll be done next week.

Overall though, the experience of using a Mac wasn’t all that bad, BUT it doesn’t have visual studio, Tablet PC OS (mainly digital ink), or .NET so it’s not the place I want to be, but I could see having a second PC that is a Mac for playing around with audio and video…plus, it is always good to be familiar with other technologies so you can learn their limits.