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Old 05-02-2007, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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This add-on to QuickTime or QuickTime Pro provides the ability to import and play back MPEG-2 content, including both multiplexed (also known as muxed, where the audio and video tracks are interleaved together into one track) and non-multiplexed (also known as elementary) streams. Compatible with both QuickTime 6 and QuickTime 7.

However, Apple is charging $19.95 for this plug-in, and of course, customers seem to be unhappy with this.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...iLYd23A6VtbeGg

NOTE: I have updated this post with corrected info. I had not seen this QuickTime add-on before today, but as other online-shashki'ers have pointed out below, it previously has been available, and may not be "new" or even a "new version."

Geo
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:30 AM
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How is this plugin different than the QuickTime MPEG-2 plugin that has been available for a year or two (or more)?
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:36 AM
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Yeah, this has been around for several years. It ran on QuickTime 6 for MacOS 9. Maybe even older.

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Old 05-02-2007, 08:38 AM
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If it's new, then the only thing new about it might be that it is now Universal. Otherwise, there's been a PowerPC MPEG-2 plug-in for years nows as others have already said.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:24 AM
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I recall the download (purchased a few months back) to include one version for QT6 and another for QT6.4 and up and Intel Macs, or something to that effect. Is there news to suggest that this is a new development? MPEG Streamclip is a sad floaty fish without it....
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Obviously, I had no idea this has been available for so long. So why do so many people on this forum complain that Apple's DVD Player doesn't handle MPEG-2? Doesn't it use QuickTime as a foundation? Or do I have this wrong too, and they are complaining that iTunes doesn't handle MPEG-2?

What do I have confused here? Someone set me straight and set me free...

Geo
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwedding View Post

Obviously, I had no idea this has been available for so long. So why do so many people on this forum complain that Apple's DVD Player doesn't handle MPEG-2? Doesn't it use QuickTime as a foundation? Or do I have this wrong too, and they are complaining that iTunes doesn't handle MPEG-2?

What do I have confused here? Someone set me straight and set me free...

OK, you are free!

I am pretty sure that Apple's DVD Player has its own framework and does not use QT. I am not so sure about iTunes. But, even with the plug-in, QT still cannot output 5.1 sound.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Further View Post

OK, you are free! I am pretty sure that Apple's DVD Player has its own framework and does not use QT. I am not so sure about iTunes. But, even with the plug-in, QT still cannot output 5.1 sound.

Well, I may have been deemed free, but not so for Apple's $19.95 QuickTime MPEG-2 plug-in. So, I guess adding this does not enhance DVD Player or iTunes...if true, perhaps the Leopard versions will be enhanced...or perhaps, Apple will do the right thing, and just build this capability into the Leopard version of QuickTime, DVD Player, and iTunes, along with proper 5.1 audio support.

Geo
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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...Here is part of the Q&A on the QuickTime add-on product from Apple's Web page (which I also did not read until just now). Does the Q&A referring to "transport stream" below mean .ts files? I think DVD Player and iTunes both must be based on QuickTime and the Q&A below would then explain why neither DVD Player nor iTunes supports .ts video files, or DTS or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (Isn't DD 5.1 just AC3?)

However, it would not explain why Apple doesn't yet support these standards...

What types of streams can be played back with the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component?
The MPEG-2 Playback Component can play back both elementary audio and video streams, as well as multiplexed program streams.

What file types can be played back with the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component?
There are a number of MPEG-2 file types that the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component can play back, including .mpg, .mpeg, .vob, .vro, .m2v, .m2a, and .m2s files.

Can the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component play back DVDs?
The MPEG-2 Playback Component can play back MPEG-2 files on non-encrypted DVDs. Professionally produced, commercial DVDs (such as Hollywood movies) are usually encrypted with special anti-piracy software, called Content Scramble System (CSS). In order to view these DVDs, decryption software is required and is included in DVD players. But decryption software is not included in QuickTime or the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component.

Can transport streams be played?
The MPEG-2 specification defines two forms of data streams, program streams and transport streams. While the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component will play program streams, playback of transport streams is not supported.

Can the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component play back AC3 audio?
No, MPEG-2 files containing AC3 audio cannot be played back with the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component.

What audio formats does the QuickTime MPEG-2 playback component support?
The QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component supports the playback of MPEG-2 files (.mpg, .mpeg, .vob, .vro, .m2v, .m2a, and .m2s) that contain MPEG audio layers I or II. The MPEG-2 Playback Component does not support audio playback for MPEG-2 files containing PCM, DTS or AC3 audio.

Geo
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:48 PM
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This component has been around for at least a few years. I bought it a couple of months ago in order to edit video in MPEG Streamclip. It will allow Quicktime to playback HD files I captured with a TV tuner card, but sadly, it won't pass the sound through. And I've tried various audio codecs......no dice.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:53 PM
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The reason people complain about MPEG-2 support, at least the reason I hate it, is that it does not decode in the graphics card hardware, even though most cards support it. But MPEG-4 does use hardware to decode, so even though it's more compressed, you need less of a CPU for MPEG-4 than MPEG-2, at least on Mac OS X.
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwedding View Post

Obviously, I had no idea this has been available for so long. So why do so many people on this forum complain that Apple's DVD Player doesn't handle MPEG-2? Doesn't it use QuickTime as a foundation? Or do I have this wrong too, and they are complaining that iTunes doesn't handle MPEG-2?

What do I have confused here? Someone set me straight and set me free...

"The MPEG-2 Playback Component does not support audio playback for MPEG-2 files containing PCM, DTS or AC3 audio." This is why people complain. But hey, their stock is high and sales are good. Too bad they weren't able to get one more AppleTV sale which would have been mine. Lack of MPEG2 support was the deal killer for me.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I now better understand those observations about MPEG-2, and the investment many long-time online-shashki members have in the technology. I guess the consensus is that Apple will not be supporting it because of concerns that it crosses into the pirated video area. Correct?

At the same time, the majority of new online-shashki members (and of consumers, myself included) have not yet invested time or money into creating and storing MPEG-2 content on computers. So, to us, MPEG-2 is merely just an old technology standard of the past, that we are not concered with. I even wonder if eventually, it will just whither away as MPEG-4/h.264 takes root. Isn't their validity to this point of view?

And since MEPG-2 is not used ubiquitously by the masses, will it really hang around like the aging .mp3 audio standard (which did become widely used by the masses)? While .mp3 has been surpassed technologically, it remains in use because it is DRM-free and is deeply rooted in the systems of early adopters who downloaded pirated music or legally ripped their own CDs before iTunes downloads and the updated AAC compression standard (i.e. .m4p) came along...So, if AAC also becomes DRM-free (as Steve Jobs hopes), won't this marginalize the old .mp3 standard?

I guess I don't think MPEG-2 will hang around, and that over the next few years, it also gradually could be marginalized. I know that Comcast still uses MPEG-2, but won't even cable companies like that eventually switch to MPEG-4 out of necessity (because of the inherent bandwidth shortage in their MPEG-2 based systems)?

My bottom line question is: "What do you think about the future of MPEG-2? If someone is just getting into HDTV now with newer technology (and has no interest in downloading pirated P2P movies), is the fact that it isn't fully supported by Apple TV really a non-issue (for some buyers)? Or will Apple gradually add support and fix the limitations you cite?

Geo
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwedding View Post

I now better understand those observations about MPEG-2, and the investment many long-time online-shashki members have in the technology. I guess the consensus is that Apple will not be supporting it because of concerns that it crosses into the pirated video area. Correct?

I don't know about consensus. But this is true to a degree. But MPEG-2 still has lots of legitimate uses outside of piracy. Ask any video producer, an you're not likely to get any of them to pan MPEG-2's usefulness into the mid-future.

Quote:


At the same time, the majority of new online-shashki members (and of consumers, myself included) have not yet invested time or money into creating and storing MPEG-2 content on computers. So, to us, MPEG-2 is merely just an old technology standard of the past, that we are not concered with. I even wonder if eventually, it will just whither away as MPEG-4/h.264 takes root. Isn't their validity to this point of view?

If we are only thinking in terms of the SD -> HD revolution for optical formats. For instance, I have no interest in archiving SD material (just like I no longer archive most mp3 material, given a higher quality alternative). Given the ability to archive HD material in a cost effective manner in the future, I might do so.

Quote:


And since MEPG-2 is not used ubiquitously by the masses, will it really hang around like the aging .mp3 audio standard (which did become widely used by the masses)?

Only to the degree that an increasing body of content becomes publically available in this format over the next few years. Those mp3 libraries are not going to disappear just because of newer formats. Think about libraries that accumulate material over the year. They are full of different formats. Some material will only be avaiable as mp3 or mpeg-2 eventually. People will still collect them.

Quote:


So, if AAC also becomes DRM-free (as Steve Jobs hopes), won't this marginalize the old .mp3 standard?

Don't get caught up in the popular misconception that just because Apple has added Fairplay DRM to AAC, that that is its original form. AAC is an open format meant to suplant mp3, and is DRM-free from the get-go. AAC will gain traction as more and more hardware/software and mp3 players support the format. Unless something better comes along, or lossless formats become more popular due to increased bandwidth and lowered storage costs, AAC should gain ground on mp3.

Quote:


I guess I don't think MPEG-2 will hang around, and that over the next few years, it also gradually could be marginalized. I know that Comcast still uses MPEG-2, but won't even cable companies like that eventually switch to MPEG-4 out of necessity (because of the inherent bandwidth shortage in their MPEG-2 based systems)?

Don't minimalize the huge expense of the cable industry to move from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4. There isn't much incentive right now for the industry to make the huge investment to do so. More likely cablecos will look at alternative strategies for delivering content like iptv (move to a streaming network topology) or pumping up bandwidth with fiber or newer copper delivery technology. They will take the path of least resistance (read cheapest) to your pocketbook.

Quote:


My bottom line question is: "What do you think about the future of MPEG-2? If someone is just getting into HDTV now with newer technology (and has no interest in downloading pirated P2P movies), is the fact that it isn't fully supported by Apple TV really a non-issue (for some buyers)? Or will Apple gradually add support and fix the limitations you cite?

Apple really has no incentive to support MPEG-2 on the consumer side. The future for Apple is h.264. On the other hand, for content producers, Apple will be supporting MPEG-2 for years to come, and whatever else that producers want/need. I really don't see any disconnect between its two stances. They both make perfect sense. Apple will allow third parties to some degree provide support for other formats in the consumer sphere, as providing "blanket" support has never been an Apple trait, and gains them little.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwedding View Post

My bottom line question is: "What do you think about the future of MPEG-2? If someone is just getting into HDTV now with newer technology (and has no interest in downloading pirated P2P movies), is the fact that it isn't fully supported by Apple TV really a non-issue (for some buyers)? Or will Apple gradually add support and fix the limitations you cite?

Define future? I own a 4 year old 42" Plasma TV. I got a "screaming" deal on it for $3500 when every store was selling it for $5,000. Today you can get it all day long for $999. If you have no archived MPEG2 content and don't plan on ripping any DVDs, downloading content from sources other than iTs / podcasts, then the AppleTV will probably be fine for you. It is anyone's guess as to whether Apple will eventually support other formats natively. Knowing Apple if they do it will be on an upgraded product. I can see it now, the "new AppleTV Pro". It wil also depend on how well the competition does. I just bought a Mvix. I already know the interface is not as stunning as aTvs, but it plays all my stuff. So if other competitors gain on Apple they will probably change their ways. As it stands right now, no one is even close to implementing and marketing this segment well.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:49 PM
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As long as there are DVDs and over-the-air HDTV, MPEG-2 will be with us.
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:54 PM
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Like rezzy, I bought the MPEG2 component a couple months ago to edit HD video with MPEG Streamclip. A few observations:

- Even with the component, MPEG2 Transport Streams (broadcast HD) are not supported in QuickTime. (VLC does support them).

- Apple's DVD Player application supports MPEG2 acceleration, but no other apps, including QuickTime, can use this. No open APIs are available to allow other applications to use this capability. A project exists to reverse engineer those interfaces, but I don't think it's stable/usable yet. The Mac version of the MythTV frontend integrated the accellent code, so if that stabilizes, HD PVR playback becomes achievable on older Macs, like the PowerPC Mini, and maybe even the AppleTV.

- Overall, VLC does a much better job with MPEG2 than QuickTime+MPEG2-Component. The only reason I bought it was because MPEG Streamclip needed it. The free part, MPEG Streamclip, was worth $20, the MPEG2 component was not.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
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This continues to be an educational discussion to air in public. We can hope that Apple engineers still are lurking, reading all this commentary and making appropriate improvements to their hardware and software products.

Geo
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tji View Post

Like rezzy, I bought the MPEG2 component a couple months ago to edit HD video with MPEG Streamclip. A few observations:

- Even with the component, MPEG2 Transport Streams (broadcast HD) are not supported in QuickTime. (VLC does support them).

Quicktime will play them for me, but no audio throughput. Why in the world won't they support AC-3 in QT?





Quote:
- Overall, VLC does a much better job with MPEG2 than QuickTime+MPEG2-Component. The only reason I bought it was because MPEG Streamclip needed it. The free part, MPEG Streamclip, was worth $20, the MPEG2 component was not.

Strongly agreed.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:29 AM
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So what's the rumors? Will we get video acceleration in Apple's upcoming Leopard? Something that's the equivalent to ATI's Catalyst or NVidia's PureVideo?

To squeeze a bit more HDTV performance out of Intel Mac Mini's will be have to use *ugh* Windows *spit*

TIM
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dotheDVDeed View Post

So what's the rumors? Will we get video acceleration in Apple's upcoming Leopard? Something that's the equivalent to ATI's Catalyst or NVidia's PureVideo?

To squeeze a bit more HDTV performance out of Intel Mac Mini's will be have to use *ugh* Windows *spit*


I don't think the Mini will benefit from acceleration, regardless of the OS used. According to their graphics guide, the chipset used in the Mini doesn't support much for video acceleration. You need the newer X3000 GPU to get the really nice acceleration features.

http://download.intel.com/products/g...hics_guide.pdf


One possibility would be if the older GPUs could support OpenGL shader language (GLSL), which some say is the best way for video accel. But, I don't know if this is supported on the Mini's GPU.. I doubt it.
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