Recently in Mac OS X Category

I ran down to Macworld San Francisco 2003 this morning and had a great time there ... amongst the many activities for the day I visited the Alias|Wavefront booth and picked up another training DVD, bought the latest update of Animation:Master from Hash along with their own training DVD set, and of course grabbed the requisite convention swag which will probably take me days to go through.

I'm really impressed by the new PowerBooks ... I'm tempted to get one, but I just bought a new 15" Titanium model last September and I really haven't outgrown it yet. I do wish that Apple offered the new 802.11g Airport cards for older models though. I've posted a few digital photos taken while I was at the show in the convention gallery.

I'm hoping to buy an Octane next week, something with MXE/MXI graphics at minimum. I have a couple possible candidate machines lined up; I'd really like to get an R12000/300 but might settle for a slower dual CPU configuration. At any rate it should be fun!

My IRIX tip for the day is common sense but I personally seem to have a hard time with it: never leave cold beverages in front of a powered-on Indigo 2 MaxIMPACT (with tower feet) unless you want them to be warm. :)

White Reflection on MPEG2

Two-Mix has a great DVD out featuring their awesome "White Reflection" track set to very nicely done anime style animation. I'd first encountered this video through an MPEG1 file I downloaded and it was more than enough to hook me; I already loved the song and the anime was just too cool. I immediately purchased the region 2 DVD and set about making a higher quality file for playback on my PowerBook G4 (which lacks an RPC-1 DVD-ROM). Sure I could burn a new copy of the DVD without region encoding, but I was really only interested in this single track.

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Unfortunately I wasn't able to simply rip the VOB for the White Reflection video and play that back through QuickTime as is, even though the filesize wasn't extravagant. PCM 48KHz 2-channel audio was used during the authoring process, and QuickTime refused to play it back with sound. What follows are the steps I went through to get a nice QuickTime compatible MPEG2 file without re-encoding the video.

Originally I used OSEX 0.0101b to extract the separate .m2v (video) and .pcm (audio) elements with the intention of converting the .pcm to .mpa and then remuxing. I used two approaches to converting the .pcm file into a standard 2-channel audio file (wav/aiff). The first attempt was with an older Mac OS 9 program called PCMtoAIFF. Attempts to run the converter via Classic under Mac OS X failed much to my chagrin. After a reboot into OS 9 (I hate rebooting into OS 9) I was able to utilize the program, which produced an audio file that sounded okay barring an annoying rhythmic clicking noise through the length of the track. Not acceptable. Back to OS X. My second attempt was to compile SoX and run the PCM file through that. Same clicking sound. Obviously OSEX was doing bad things to the PCM track during the demux.

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I then used OSEX to simply extract the VOB and ran that through a52decX which produced a nice clean .aiff file which I subsequently converted to .wav using QuickTime's export function. I then turned to MJPEGTools (compiled via Fink), first converting the .wav to .mpa using mp2enc and finally remuxing the project with mplex. Success; works beautifully under QuickTime with the full glory of the original MPEG2 video!!

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