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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?" :)

Thinking of getting a mac - but... some newbie questions


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vaughan80

 
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Hi everyone,

My PC has just died a sudden death, rather than get it repaired (it is 4 years old now) I am considering buying a new one - or a MAC.

Now, the mac seems like the sensible choice for me, I do a lot of video editing (music videos and films which this year i'm looking at turning my hobby into a business) also design work, such as photoshop. Obviously editing is easier (and cheaper) to do with a mac as you do not need an additional capture card, even for HD, not to mention I can edit with the wonderful final cut.

However, there are a couple of things that I want to knwo before I spend a small fortune on a new machine...

Can the mac play windows media files, div x, all mpegs etc.. Basically, can the mac play all types of video files the PC can?

Is there word for the PC (if so, how much is it and will it open PC word files?)

Presuming at somepoint I get a licence for photoshop will my PC photoshop files open on a mac version?

Are windows fonts compatable?

Will my images, music files and other documents need converting or will they open?

Is software for the PC and mac the same? i.e. - can I install software that I used to have on my PC onto a mac, for example - final draft or photoshop?

Thanks for your help, i'm sure i'll think of some more things soon. If anyone can inform me of anything else that I need to be aware of I would much appreciate it.

Thanks.
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joshbrez

 
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Welcome to MacForums, vaughan80! It sounds like a Mac may be a good choice for you. Let me try to answer a few of your questions.

Macs cannot play certain video file types out of the box, but easily obtainable free software will give you these capabilities (Flip4Mac, Perian, etc.), so there are no worries there.

Yes, Word exists on the Mac. Office:mac is written by Microsoft itself, and is completely compatible with all Office filetypes (.doc, etc.). The education version can be had at the Apple Store for $149.95 and the standard version is for $399.95. Both versions include the standard Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

All images created in Photoshop on a PC can be opened on a Mac, with a variety of applications, including Photoshop.

I'm going to leave the font question to someone else. I haven't tried playing around with font compatibility.

Most things on a Mac no longer need conversion from the PC filetypes. The days of PC-Mac incompatibility are pretty much over. All standard image and audio filetypes can be opened on your Mac, including .jpg, .png, .bmp, .mp3, .ogg, &c. &c.

Your PC software cannot, unfortunately, be installed on your Mac. You'll have to, for example, get the Mac version of Photoshop. The PC and Mac versions of software will, however, generally have the same feature set. Keep in mind with Photoshop that a Universal Binary version for Macs has not yet been released, meaning that the current version runs in emulation on current Macs (which should run with no significant performance problems on a pro-level machine, like the MacBook Pro). The next version of Photoshop will run natively on the new Intel Macs.

Hope this helps! Judging from your stated needs, I'd recommend a MacBook Pro. They're great machines.
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Red Snapper

 
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I have never had a problem finding a way to open any media files, I do much of the same work you do.

There is Word for mac available in Office 2004 which you can get at any apple store. Additionally you may want to look into iWork.

.psd files from windows will work on the mac.

Not entirely sure about fonts...

Nothing will need converting.

Depends on the software but most likely you'll need to get the mac version.

You should swing by your local Apple store and talk to a sales associate as they are quite knowledgeable and are reassuring about switches and compatibility. Good luck.
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snoslicer8

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshbrez View Post
Keep in mind with Photoshop that a Universal Binary version for Macs has not yet been released, meaning that the current version runs in emulation on current Macs (which should run with no significant performance problems on a pro-level machine, like the MacBook Pro). The next version of Photoshop will run natively on the new Intel Macs.
Minor correction here: Adobe Photoshop CS3 has already been released, and it is a Universal Binary Application. This means it runs natively, without Rosetta emulation, on both Intel and PPC Macs.

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joshbrez

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoslicer8 View Post
Minor correction here: Adobe Photoshop CS3 has already been released, and it is a Universal Binary Application. This means it runs natively, without Rosetta emulation, on both Intel and PPC Macs.
D'oh! Thanks snoslicer8. Sorry about that, vaughan80. CS3 was in the wings for so long that it's like a default response to say "yeah, we're still waiting for it".
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vaughan80

 
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Thanks guys, looks like i'll have to obtain some software then.

My nearest apple store is about 300 miles away (london) - hence posting on here. Can anyone shed light on the font issue?

Also - how about plug ins for After effects / photoshop. I presume they might work.

One more thing, is there a new mac coming out soon (or new OS)? If so I can wait a while.
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joshbrez

 
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Originally Posted by vaughan80 View Post
One more thing, is there a new mac coming out soon (or new OS)? If so I can wait a while.
To answer this, a new version of Mac OS X, Leopard, is being released in October. Check out apple.com for some of the features. As far as new Macs go, Apple refreshes its product line fairly regularly. If you're looking for a laptop, then now is the time to buy, since new MacBooks and MacBook Pros were just released.
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vaughan80

 
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I was actually considering an imac, I would like the portability of a laptop, but for editing a imac just seems more sensible.

Obviously, I would love a powermac, but I just don;t have that kind of money.
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another option for the word replacement is neooffice (or openoffice). these programs are free and extremely compatible with word and excel. really only if you have to use these programs for work and your documents contain very specific formatting or macros will you run into any issues.

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vaughan80

 
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thanks eric. that sounds like a good option. it's just for personal use really, to be honest - i want to make the move to mac and get out of lining mr gates' pockets. sounds good!

also - one more thing i've noticed - the mac forums are far less patronising and far more helpful than most pc forums. comes with the territory i suppose.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaughan80 View Post
I was actually considering an imac, I would like the portability of a laptop, but for editing a imac just seems more sensible.

Obviously, I would love a powermac, but I just don;t have that kind of money.
I was considering the exact same thing before choosing my Mac. I went with the 20" iMac. Couldn't be happier! Portability is definitely nice and important, depending on how portable you need to be. But you can't beat the 20" screen on the iMac.
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joshbrez

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaughan80 View Post
I was actually considering an imac, I would like the portability of a laptop, but for editing a imac just seems more sensible.

Obviously, I would love a powermac, but I just don;t have that kind of money.
Be advised with iMacs that the current iMac model is getting to be a bit old (in Apple terms), with an update probably coming before the end of the summer, at least theoretically. Also, for heavy editing, Apple's consumer line may or may not provide the oomph you're looking for to get the job done. A great compromise for being unable to get a Mac Pro is to get a MacBook Pro and connect it to an external monitor. You can use it as a desktop replacement, and travel with it when you need to.
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vaughan80

 
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True. I will defnitely be waiting until leopard comes ot, hopefully by then a new imac will be out. if not ill go with a powerbook.
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just wanted to make a quick thing known, althogh you can capture video through firewire if you are shooting dv, if you are going to be shooting anything other than dv (uncompressed, some hd formats, etc.) you will need a capture card. This is the same on the PC.

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a lil' side note:

"Power Macs" and "PowerBooks" have been discontinued since the switch from PowerPC to Intel processors.

Now, it's "Mac Pro" and "MacBook Pro."

;p

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