Windows Media Player HDWMV on Mac OS

It should work, it does work, but not quite...

I was looking at the Windows Media High Definition Content Showcase site the other day, and downloaded some of the files to check out on my PC. Very nice I thought. The 1080p files play very nicely on my 3Ghz/1Gb/Radeon 9800 (128Mb) system. I woudl have expected as much... but was that some articacting I saw? Just a little bit. Well never mind. It still looks pretty amazing!

Then my thought turned to my Mac. I've just got a new 1Ghz G4 Laptop. after an accident with my old TiBook. It's got 1.5Gb RAM and a ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 (64Mb) ... it's below equivalent spec of what's on the site for a PC but I thought I'd give it a whirl. The 720p videos did open, but didn't play at all efficiently. No surprise there.

So In turn I decided to try it on Adam at SHOWstudio's G5 tower. Dual 2Ghz with 1.5Gb RAM and ATI Radeon 9800 (128Mb) ... generally consdiered faster than most Pentium based machines. I donwloadede the .exe's [which are self extracting winzip files which Stuffit easily expands].The 720p file mostly played, with a couple of stutters where there were large changes on screen [a fade at the begining of one of the files]. With the 1080p it just didn't handle it.

Which seems a bit odd, given that the shorted pipeline [and I could be wrong here] in the PowerPC processors should be better for the kind of maths involved in video decompression. My conclusion is that Windows Media Player 9 for the Mac just isn't as well written. This might not be microsofts fault, it could simply be that it _can't_ be as well written because of the OS X environtment [again I could be wrong here] or it could be that it's intentionally not as well written for OS X.

I wonder if anyone has any more thoughts on this?

published 2004.03.02 updated 2014.11.03

The small things in life

a lens adapter for my camera

A small package from arrived today. It contained a single piece of metal. It was a 58mm to 72mm lens adapter for my Nikon Coolpix 5700. It means that I can put filters on my camera, and still use the full scope of my zoom lens. It's such a simple thing, but will be so nice to use. I wonder why Nikon don't produce one, and why I had to find a company in America to get one shipped.

But still another vote for the Internet, much more helpful than any camera shop I've been in to... I found it after all [after some searching] and maybe this page will help other people with the same need find it as easily.

It also has the stunning advantage of making my camera much nicer to hold. Feels more like an SLR now as I can hold the camera with two hands and not obstruct anything.

Now all I want is for my anamorphic lens to arrive from Italy...

published 2004.02.24 updated 2017.06.26

For once, the Royal Mail help...

... unfortunately the Inland Revenue still suck

So, the Inland Revenue managed to 'loose' my 2001-2002 tax return. The year before last. So I redo it in April 2003 and send it to them and hear nothing, no being top of my agenda I forget about it, time passes and I get on with my year. In december I get a letter demanding it... call them up, no record of delivery.

So I send two tax returns this year, one for 2001-2002, one for 2002-2003. I send one to my tax office [the 2002-2003 one] and within a fortnight get a receipt for the cheque I send them. Well, at least that is this years sorted.

This morning I get a call from the other office, the once where I sent my 2001-2002 return : they say the haven't got it.

Fotunately I sent it Special Delivery. I check out the Royal Mail site and they tell me it's been delivered.

If I find out they have lost it internally, and that is potetially what happened with April 2003's copy, and the one I sent originally in January 2003, I am going to be furious. The inland revenue are all too happy to charge huge amounts of interest on non-payment, but would they refund me for my wasted time, energy, paper and postage? I doubt it very much. They probably won't even let me off with the interest. Argh.

published 2004.02.11 updated 2017.06.26


Dorian: "next year?"

published 2004.01.26 updated 2017.06.26
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