Tag Archives: Utilities

Random 365 #7 and the politics of deregulation

Electric Fence

Originally uploaded by fcapria

With a rare October nor’easter bearing down on us, and threatening widespread power outages, I thought this image appropriate for tonight’s Random 365. The lights have been flickering and parts of town are already without power.

While utilities blame freakish weather patterns for the deterioration of service the past few years, it’s not likely. The culprit is deregulation. Utilities are cutting back on maintenance to improve short term margins and regulators no longer have the necessary tools to force more responsible behavior. Perhaps it’s time the regulatory pendulum swings the other way. We deregulated airlines, and flying is just a miserable experience. We deregulated banks, and we have the mother of all recessions to show for it. Does anyone really think deregulating core infrastructure is a good idea? What pennies we might eventually save each month comes at the cost of Soviet-level quality of service.

Sundry Mac video utilities

It’s no secret that the TV Weasel is a Mac weasel. Though I dabble in Windows when working with Avid gear, my native tongue remains Mac. Herewith are some tools I’ve discovered and use in varying degrees that Weasel readers might find of interest.

Whacked TV from Apple’s developer site:

A replacement for the venerable Carbon HackTV. It shows how to use the Sequence Grabber API’s to capture movies from external video and audio sources, just as HackTV, but adds many important new features, including simultaneous capture from multiple SGChannel’s, use of the new SGAudioChannel, video preview using ICMDecompressionSession’s and OpenGL.

SimpleVideoOut also from Apple’s developer web site:

Demonstrates how QuickTime Video Output Components can be used to play video out to hardware. A common use would be playing a DV stream (.dv file) using QuickTime’s FireWire Video Output Component and recording it on your handy dandy DV camera. But the fun doesn’t stop there!

Another use would be to add TV tuner and recording capabilities to your Mac.

HyperEngine-AV from Arboretum Systems:

A non-linear video editing software that lets you capture, import, edit, arrange together and process video, photos, audio and text to create DV quality movies and slide shows.
It combines an extensive set of features with a streamlined user-interface. It gives you an unprecedented ease of use while retaining the power of real time compositing and real time video and audio effects.

It runs circles around iMovie though the interface is a bit less intuitive to experienced editors.

Lostify from Lowell Stewart:

Lostify is a metadata tagger for MP4 videos. It runs on Mac OS X, and the tags it produces aim to be compatible with iTunes and the iPod video (5G).

Read through the author’s notes and learn how the utility got its name.

iPod video formats redux from iLounge.com.

Far more technical detail than the TV Weasel has presented. Very useful for those kept up at night torn between standard MPEG-4 and H.264.

Handy iPod video converters

 On the Mac side MoviesForMyPod allows for batch encoding for the iPod with the H.264 codec (which Compressor 2 still doesn’t allow). It’s no faster than QuickTime Pro’s export, but the batch capabilities are huge workflow improvement.

There are a bunch on the PC side. Videora has a nice feature set and deals with a decent number of file formats.

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