September 13th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

iTunes 9 info window, you can see the High-Efficiency profile for the audio stream.Looks like Apple finally added HE-AAC audio decoding capabilities to both QuickTime X and iTunes 9. I have been praying for this for a long long time, seems like it is finally a fact and it works flawlessly.

Posted in General Rants | No Comments »

September 5th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

So um… some weeks ago I released a new version of MediaInfo Mac with several fixes on my own code, with also a newer build of the MediaInfo Lib by Jerome Martinez, and, finally, a newer version of Sparkle (the amazing framework that i use for the automated software updates).
To make a really long story very short, Sparkle changed an important behavior: Now each and every update that I release has to be signed with a digital certificate, which is nothing but good, because it gives an extra layer of security for the final users.
Bad news are that I totally missed that part in Sparkle’s release docs, so I released an update without the certificate, and from there on, users were stuck on that version without the possibility to update.
I still had the ability to show to the users a nice dialog informing them about my error and kindly asking to update manually, but even that, i still can see that a LOT of people is still using the broken version (0.7.7.58), which leads me to the following conclusion:
Most people will NOT upgrade their software unless the process is totally automatic and painless, not even users of MediaInfo which are usually over the “Average Joe”.

This can be seen on the usage statistics that i keep (which I did reset some hours ago btw, due to some preparations for the upcoming MediaInspector beta) where you can see that there are still a LOT of users stuck on 0.7.7.58.
So to sum things up:

  • If you are using Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”, the latest version that you can use is 0.7.17.3, get it here.
  • If you are on Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” or newer, just get the latest version here.

Cheers!.

Diego.

Posted in Apple / Macintosh, Computers & Tech, General Rants | No Comments »

July 29th, 2009 | Tags:

As you maybe noticed, i have announced some days ago about the discontinuation of MediaInfo Mac. The reasons behind this are a lot, being the most promiment one that the codebase is really dirty due to the fact that I was totally new to the Mac platform when i started writing the application, and due to a lot of “workarounds” that I have to do in order to keep compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 aka “Tiger”.

MediaInfo Mac has been a really succesful app in terms of user adoption, at least based on those users who accept to send anonymous statistical data to my server (which are the minority), i can tell that there are around 50.000 users.

In any case, MediaInfo Mac is being rewritten from scratch under a different name, and I will be publishing a public beta really soon (click here for an early screenshot). The main differences when compared to the actual version are the possibility to compare and load several media files at the same time, possibility to print / share movie file reports, including stills every X seconds, complete archival grade report generation for the most popular high end formats and the possibility to automatically format and upload movie reports to the most popular pastebin services (I had a lot of request for this last feature).

There are going to be 2 versions of the new MediaInfo iteration: a freeware one which will have exactly the same features that MediaInfo Mac actually have, plus multiple file load and comparison and the new UI.
In parallel, I will be releasing a commercial version of MediaInfo Mac for that people or companies interested in the enhanced reporting and archival sheet capabilities (usually TV channels, video production studios, etc).

If you are interested in beta-testing the new MediaInfo Mac, feel free to leave a comment here or contact me directly at: diego (at sign here) massanti.com.

So in other words, MediaInfo Mac, is not dead, it is just changing shapes.

Posted in General Rants | 9 Comments »

July 17th, 2009 | Tags:

mediainfo_macHi there, just a quick note to let you all know that MediaInfo Mac is now officially discontinued.

You can get the latest MediaInfo Mac release by visiting the releases archive but no new versions or bugfixes will be released.

Thanks to the more than 50k people who downloaded, contributed and used MediaInfo Mac.

Posted in Software | 7 Comments »

June 26th, 2009 | Tags: ,

Michael Jackson

I have no words to express how sad i feel regarding the sudden and unexpected death of Michael Jackson. The music just lost an icon and a true creative person.
Rest in Peace Michael Jackson, only God will judge you now, and thank you for the Music, after all, thats your legacy.

Sincerely, Diego.

The following tribute video is something that i did like a year ago, enjoy.


Posted in General Rants, Music | 1 Comment »

February 25th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

So yesterday I downloaded the new Safari 4 beta release from Apple… and yes, it is faster, the new “top sites” feature is kinda “cool”, but I happen to see way too much “Chrome like” UI features here, specially, the new tabs design. Apple clearly wanted to imitate the tabs in Chrome, but they did it wrong, because, if you have 3 opened tabs and you want to reach the 3rd one, the distance between Tab 1 and Tab 3 is more than 2/3 of your screen (or more than 1000 pixels in most standard screens).

Die hard apple fanboys have told me things like “It’s just a matter of getting used to them” or “You have to use keyboard shortcuts to switch tabs”.

Well, let me tell you that i see no reason why i should “get used” to something that I don’t like at all, and let me also tell you that when I’m browsing the web, i usually DON’T use the keyboard at all which is why I’m blaming at the new tabs. Of course, thanks god you can switch back to the old tabs scheme, but right now, the preference is hidden, so i really hope that apple adds this as a standard preference for the final release.

Anyway, a video is better than a thousand words.

Last minute note…. while editing this post, i found that Safari 4 breaks the Rich Text Editor in WordPress, but since it is yet a beta, i guess it’s ok.

[flashvideo file=”/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/safari-4.mov” /]

Posted in Apple / Macintosh, Computers & Tech, General Rants, Software | 9 Comments »

November 8th, 2008 | Tags: ,

For those of you who know me because of my music, here is a snippet of what is coming.

[flashvideo height=20 filename=/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/01-elife.m4a /]

Instruments and Software Used for this track:

  • Roland XV-5080, JV-2080 and XP-80.
  • Korg Legacy Collection (MS-20 and Polysix)
  • Rob Papen Albino 3.
  • Waves TrueVerb, the amazing API eq’s.
  • Focusrite MixMaster Platinum.
  • Native Instruments Battery & Kontakt.
  • Cubase SX3 Mac.

Produced and Composed by Diego Massanti (aka Insphire) 2008.
ASCAP / BMI / SADAIC by Diego Massanti. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of this material for commercial purposes is forbidden.

Posted in Music | 1 Comment »

October 21st, 2008 | Tags: ,

So i have a lot of family videos on several analog media (VHS-C, Super VHS, Hi-8 and 8mm) that i want to finally convert to something not so vulnerable to aging, DVD being an option but Blu-Ray saying “me! me!” on my head.

Even the fact that I have several workstations with professional level video capture devices, those machines are usually working doing renders or any other thing and is not that I can waste days capturing all that media there, so i decided to buy one of those EasyCap devices on eBay and give it a try.

The specifications are pretty outstanding for what it is, and specially, for the $15 price… AND it is compatible with Mac OS (by using the non-free VideoGlide app) which makes it even better.

Just some highlights:

  • Complies with Universal Serial Bus Specification Rev 2.0
  • Supports NTSC, PAL (B), Video format
  • Video input: RCA composite or S-Video
  • Audio input: Stereo audio (RCA)
  • Dimension(Main Body): 8.8cm x 2.8cm x 1.8cm typical credit card size is 8.5cmx5.4cm)
  • Powers by USB 
  • Supports high quality video resolution for 
  • NTSC: 720 x 480 @30fps
  • PAL: 720 x 576 @25fps

Im still waiting for it to arrive, and i will post several video examples and personal impressions as soon as i get it.

Posted in Computers & Tech, Video Encoding | 2 Comments »

October 12th, 2008 | Tags: , , , , ,

Some days ago, I published a tutorial with some bash scripts to automate the whole process of encoding MP4 files with H264 video and HE-AAC audio which are playable by flash players and the like.

Since I’m working on a really big project which involves a “youtube like” behavior, i though it would be cool to also create iPhone / iPod compatible streams (I’m amazed at the fact that 3% of the people coming to this site is using iPod’s or iPhone’s)… so, I did some modifications to the original script for it to generate the compatible streams.

Now, how am i dealing with this… well… let me explain you:

The iPhone specification states:

Video formats supported: H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

This means that the high profile streams that I am generating with the MKMP4 script won’t play, simple as that. So i have 2 possible approachs:

  1. I could just use a single low profile stream for the iPhone and iPod, and since the stream is H264 and low complexity AAC audio, it will just play fine on the flash players too.
  2. I could have 2 different files, one for the flash players (making use of b-frames, entropy coding, and a high profile stream, which substantially improves the final video quality).

I decided to use the option 2, mostly because i want to give desktop users as much quality as possible, and i want to use the HE-AAC encoder to save some extra bandwidth that i can instead use for the video stream, so I am using 2 different files, one for desktop users, and a different one for iPhone or iPod users.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Video Encoding | 22 Comments »

September 26th, 2008 | Tags: , , , ,

I have been nothing but amazed about the feedback that i got on my prior tutorials on how to automate the whole chain of free and open source tools to create amazing quality video at really low bitrates (great for flash streaming, etcetera).

I usually write such tools and scripts for myself or for clients, but due to the fact that it seems a lot of people is interested in the process, I’m releasing here the new version of my encoding tools for the Mac and any Linux / Unix variant.

Needed tools and applications

For all this to work, you will need the following things

Extra pre-requisites for Mac OS X

Mac OS X users need to install the Apple Developer Tools (aka XCode) in order to compile software, also, for building the x264 encoder, you will need to get and install YASM.

Now, you have to build and install all the tools, AND they have to be on any directory in your executable path. My scripts assume that all the tools are in your executable path.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Computers & Tech, Video Encoding | 61 Comments »