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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

wmv support (everything just works my a...)


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anze

 
Member Since: Jan 17, 2007
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Hi,

The following is a rather uncontrolled rant by someone who was pumped up about macs beyond anything realistic, so please bear with me and take it with a pinch of salt. However, the answer to my question no 1 would actually be very much appreciated, as this is really quite crucial for me.

My partner wanted to buy a new laptop and there were five requirements she listed: must go to sleep, must be legal (so far we used a hacked windows copy), must be able to check her favourite website, must be able to check mail, must be ok for word-processing. I suggested mac, good hardware for the price and in OSX everything should "just work". I never had a mac, but I really believed in this "just works" mantra. In fact, with the exception of sleep nothing works. So let me start:

1. The wmv movies don't play! So it is not "just working", in safari they just don't play. (don't get me started about microsoft, I hate it too, but the thing is supposed to work out of the box). So I install Flip4Mac. They still don't play, they produce an error -1960 and a pop-up dialog about it not going to play it. The website in question is 24ur.com, my partner always watched it and she can't watch the movies and is quite upset. Same with BBC when one selects wmv. Any ideas? This is quite crucial.
I installed firefox. Movies still don't play. Installed MPlayer OSX, but couldn't get mozilla-plugin precompiled for OSX. Any ideas? I can't believe I am back to compiling and hacking as THE FIRST THING YOU DO.

2. Safari is generally useless. Google docs don't work. Gmail works suboptimaly. Doesn't remember passwords. How can you call this "just works?"

3. There is no friggin package manager. I thought you can't get a unix derivative without a package manager. It is the same idiotism as with microsoft, installing programs, moving them to folders and stuff. Am I supposed to check for update for every piece of software installed manually or what? I mean, surely the system updates itself, but there is no infrastructure for the remaining installed programs. Or am I just missing something?

4. Tried the "test drive" version of word that came with it. Internet is wrong: you can so obviously see that it is emulated in rosetta. Come on, it has a intel core 2 due, its a power horse and yet word is usable, but not as smooth as one would expect from such machine... And it is supposed to be the "king" of office. Huh. Will try neooffice.

5. It tried to open a .sitx file with excel?!?! A "file" command in terminal said it is a stuff it archive. Why are the two inconsistent? And why do I have to download random programs to open something that looks to me like a standard compressed format for the platform? The smelliest linux distribution opens .tar.gz and windows can open .zip archives so why can't mac open stuff-it archives out of the box? Isn't it supposed to "just work"?

6. This itunes business. I was really looking forward to see this, I was expecting to be blown apart by this quality piece of software. What the heck: first you have to spend 10 minutes looking through the options to switch off the annoying store and prevent some idiotic copying which I don't quite gather and then it pretty much just plays stuff, nothing else works. I mean the last kind of view would be quite cool, but it doesn't download covers for you, at least I can't make it to do that - any half baked player even forlinux does that automatically these days. No wikipedia or similar entries for artists either. No pandora, no last.fm, come on!

7. And now the cherry on the cake. The entire system is so patronisingly DRM it makes me sick. I always imagined OSX as this hippy kind of os, you know the "young gentlemen in colourful clothes making graffiti" kind of system. But then even before logging in for the first time it asks you to pay money for .mac, the itunes seems just a thinly veiled excuse for itunes store marketing but the worst of all is this DVD regioning. I put in a DVD and then it says I can choose the region code, but also that I have only 5 more changes left. How insulting! I bought you, computer and not the other way round. How demeaning is this towards users? I've never seen anything like that, ever, before. I don't believe windows does that (i also don't think windows writes over you firmware), and while I have never tried playing DVD in windows, linux definitely plays all DVD without saying anything. And when you go and check the internet it says that if you crack this it invalidates you warranty. If it was my computer I would change the code 6 times and then demand that apple fixes it. Or just get rid of OSX the moment it starts to insult me...
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RNDdave

 
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Member Since: Sep 04, 2006
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Well I for one am sorry to hear that you are not getting all that you hoped for from your Mac.
Quote:
7. And now the cherry on the cake. The entire system is so patronisingly DRM it makes me sick. I always imagined OSX as this hippy kind of os, you know the "young gentlemen in colourful clothes making graffiti" kind of system. But then even before logging in for the first time it asks you to pay money for .mac, the itunes seems just a thinly veiled excuse for itunes store marketing but the worst of all is this DVD regioning. I put in a DVD and then it says I can choose the region code, but also that I have only 5 more changes left. How insulting! I bought you, computer and not the other way round. How demeaning is this towards users? I've never seen anything like that, ever, before. I don't believe windows does that (i also don't think windows writes over you firmware), and while I have never tried playing DVD in windows, linux definitely plays all DVD without saying anything. And when you go and check the internet it says that if you crack this it invalidates you warranty. If it was my computer I would change the code 6 times and then demand that apple fixes it. Or just get rid of OSX the moment it starts to insult me...
I have to admit that I have never seen Windows alert me about the DVD region on a new Windows system - however I have seen the message about multi regions if you try to play a region that is not the default one - example I had a region 1 movie a while back - I went to watch it and was alerted to the DVD region thing and the only 5 changes thing - this is common practice - a quick Google brought this web site up which includes a few things DVD manufacturers have to agree to: Clicky.

1 You've mentioned Flip4Mac - did you try the MS Windows Media Player 9? I don't know if this is something to look at - just a quick Google took me there.

2 If you don't like Safari - get FireFox, Camino or Shiira.

I can't imagine what you were expecting from iTunes.

I think the player is a bit dull compared to the visuals you get from Windows Media Player - but the album art is pretty cool and looks good when you get it working. Which by the way... To get Album art for some reason you need to have an iTunes store account - even though the album art is free. Then you can select all of your music and update the album art by clicking on Advanced (this is a menu in Windows - I assume it's on Mac as well) choosing the Get Album Art option.

Alternatively - select all the tracks from one album and then click File and choose Get Info you should see some boxes for info relating to the selection(s) and there is a window for album art which will very likely be empty. If you go to Amazon and search for the Album - when you see an Album image get the larger view of it and then just drag it from the browser window to the Album Art window and click OK or update.

I am trying to help you from a Windows P.O.V. so the menus may be a little different and you may find the options for Get Info or Get Album Artwork in different places to those that I have described.

I hope these points help you get a little more from your new mac.
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RNDdave

 
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Oh I had moved on to another thread which took me to an Apple UK page and from there I ended up looking around the Pro pages.... I'll get to the point in a minute...

There is an Archiver built into OS X it works with .zip files - I guess .sitx is like getting a .rar file in Windows - you need to download Winrar to open it - you need a third party application.

Quote:
By the way, if someone sends you a ZIP file, don’t worry — just double-click it and Tiger will automatically decompress it.
This was from an Apple Pro page - Pro Tips: Zip

A little further reading into StuffIt and...
Quote:
StuffIt X is a revolutionary new archive file format powered by Aladdin's exclusive ATOM™ compression technology. StuffIt X makes archives with a .sitx file extension. The StuffIt X file format integrates compression with security and safety options to meet the requirements of business and today's digital lifestyle.
Not a standard platform archiver - .zip does that job and just like Windows; Mac OS can open it without anything extra.
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rman

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anze View Post
5. It tried to open a .sitx file with excel?!?! A "file" command in terminal said it is a stuff it archive. Why are the two inconsistent? And why do I have to download random programs to open something that looks to me like a standard compressed format for the platform? The smelliest linux distribution opens .tar.gz and windows can open .zip archives so why can't mac open stuff-it archives out of the box? Isn't it supposed to "just work"?
StuffIt Expander

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Del

 
Member Since: Dec 24, 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anze View Post
but the worst of all is this DVD regioning. I put in a DVD and then it says I can choose the region code, but also that I have only 5 more changes left.
Every PC i have ever owned also does this.
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dtravis7

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del View Post
Every PC i have ever owned also does this.
Agreed. Every Windows system does the exact thing. It's the law. That is why Linux out of the box does not even play DVD's. There is a LOT of legal issues when doing so. I have had friends cuss up a storm when they kept changing their region and found all of a sudden they could not change it anymore. This was on Windows systems. It's nothing to do with the OS.

As far as all the DRM, MP3 files have to have DRM of some kind or the government will start suing people. I find Apples DRM some of the least restricting out there.
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1. i only have flip4mac installed and opened up that 24ur.com unfortuntalty i cant read a word on the page but found a video and played it perfectly in safari....

2. safari remembers all the passwords i want it to. myspace, google, yahoo mac-forums, apple-group, extremeoverclockers just to name a few. i dont know what you mean by google docs. and googlemail works flawlessly just like on my windows computer, and my linux boxes

3. package managers. every program i have updates through software update in preferences. it updates every i(insert program) program, the os etc. Adobe updates itself upon opening it. MS word updates itself as well. as for other programs i update them the same as i did in windows. need an update for flip4mac? go to the site and update if it doesnt do it for you. update winamp in windows? i always went to the site to update

4. emulation is emulation is emulation....it is emulated software i dont care how fast of a processor you have emulation is going to be a bit slower. just wait until microsoft puts out a universal version before you begin to use it or purchase it. until then i usually use neooffice

5. i grew up with stuffit expander and it always works fine for me. i hear that osx now can handle it as well, but i never bothered with it

6. DVD region stuff is the law, no way around it other than a firmware hack which may actually mess up your computer completely. It only asks you if you would like to sign up for a .Mac account...is hitting no that difficult if you dont want it? .Mac is a great thing and of course apple is going to push for their own product to be used. why would they suggest you use some other companies stuff.

i honestly still think that you have a lot to learn about macs and you need to realize that OS X is not Windows and is different than other *nix's
-chris

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anze

 
Member Since: Jan 17, 2007
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Hi again,

thank you for all your replies... After two more days I am somewhat happier with osx, but it is just an os after all, it does some things better and some things worse... I quite like the built-in pdf support and flash. Not, bad, but not lightyears ahead of everyone else either...


Quote:
Originally Posted by coach_z View Post
1. i only have flip4mac installed and opened up that 24ur.com unfortuntalty i cant read a word on the page but found a video and played it perfectly in safari....
How do you do that, what kind of machine and which version of osx do you have? For me it plays movies on some sites, say cnn, but not bbc or 24ur.com. There it says -1960 error or pops a window saying that flip4mac cannot play that movie and that I should check updates. In firefox it just becomes slow... Googling doesn't find anything...

Quote:
2. safari remembers all the passwords i want it to. myspace, google, yahoo mac-forums, apple-group, extremeoverclockers just to name a few. i dont know what you mean by google docs. and googlemail works flawlessly just like on my windows computer, and my linux boxes
Well, I don't think you are completely correct here. In gmail, there is not chat and no new upper-right-corner reply/replay all/forward/etc menus either (I can send you a screenshot from safari and mac if you don't believe.). In docs.google.com it just says "Safari support for Google Docs is coming soon!"
However, you are right, it has both tabs and passwords, but you need to enable them... I've heard about this "enabling" philosophy before and I sort of buy it...


Quote:
3. package managers. every program i have updates through software update in preferences. it updates every i(insert program) program, the os etc. Adobe updates itself upon opening it. MS word updates itself as well. as for other programs i update them the same as i did in windows. need an update for flip4mac? go to the site and update if it doesnt do it for you. update winamp in windows? i always went to the site to update
Yes, ok, it does some updating, but every piece of software has its own system.... It is not as centralised as on most linux systems, i still hold that updates on say ubuntu are way better...

Quote:
6. DVD region stuff is the law, no way around it other than a firmware hack which may actually mess up your computer completely. It only asks you if
Yes, but there is law and there is law. Honestly. Any dvd player you buy in show has a region coded in, but then you just find the magic combination of keys with a simple google search. And using decsss or whatever is completely legal as far as I can gather, so it could be done more sensibly...
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