NV-GS100K: Downloading MPEG-4 to a Mac at DVinfo.net

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Old July 19th, 2003, 10:32 PM   #1
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NV-GS100K: Downloading MPEG-4 to a Mac

Folks,

I have successfully connected my GS100K to a Windows 2000 PC. I installed the included USB drivers and connected the camcorder directly to my PC. The SD Card simply appears as a drive on my PC and I can then copy my JPEGs and movie files.

However, I cannot seem to make a connection to my Mac (which is where the files need to go). When I connect the camcorder to my Mac, it does not recognize it. Any ideas?

Patricia, did you download your MPEG-4 movie onto your Mac? Did you connect the camcorder directly to your Mac? Or did you use a Mac compatible SD Card reader? Which brand?

Any help is most appreciated.
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Old July 20th, 2003, 01:13 AM   #2
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Eng Yew, I do use a card reader with my Mac for MPEG4 (it's a $20 cheapie by Lexar which advertises itself as OSX and Windows compatible). I found, however, that on first try the reader did not appear on my screen. (I'm using OSX - 10.2.4, BTW.) Nor could I get tape recordings to download to iMovie via firewire. So I upgraded iMovie to 3.0.3 and Quick Time to 6.3 - even purchased QTPro. Once I did that, the card reader worked fine and so did iMovie. (FYI, being one to disregard injunctions in manuals, I blithely plugged in the USB cable despite the warning not to do so without downloading drivers - after all, the drivers are for Windows only. It actually caused instability in OSX. Ouch. But it was a clue that I needed to upgrade some of my software.)
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Old July 20th, 2003, 01:33 AM   #3
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Eng Yew, I forgot to mention that MPEG4 from the SD card will only play on Windows Media Player. I also downloaded that for Mac. (The card reader still did not work without the other upgrades I told you about earlier, however.) If you figure out how to get stuff out of Media Player into QT, let me know. I have some stuff I would like to move so I can use it in a longer piece. Would be great if it could be done.
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Old July 21st, 2003, 12:48 AM   #4
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Patricia,

Thanks! I will give it a try.
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Old July 25th, 2003, 12:39 PM   #5
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I went to Best Buy and bought a cheap Mac compatible PNY SD card reader ($19.99 - $10 rebate), stuck my SD card in and, lo and behold, it mounts as a disk drive on OS X! I can drag and drop my photos and movies. Great!

There are 2 freeware programs that play MPEG-4 files apart from Mircoshaft Window Player. You can get both at www.versiontracker.com.

One is MPlayer OS X, which I use a lot. Its pretty good. The other is VLC media player which is also supposed to be good but I don't use it.

Initial impressions, the MPEG-4 movies at Superfine compression (best quality) exhibits significant compression artifacts and is only 320x240. Why anyone would use this - I don't know.

The 2048x1512 photos at Fine compression (best quality) exhibit horrible color dithering probably due to Panasonic's "pixel shifting" technology. Not useable. Why anyone would use this - I don't know.

The GS100 is a great camcorder for $1200+, but don't bother about the webcam function (get iSight) and don't bother about its digital camera function (get a Canon PowerShot).

Overall, I am satisfied with my GS100. Like I said before, I have never been interested in its MPEG-4 or digital camera functionality. I rather camcorder manufacturers not include multi-purpose functionality and make their high quality camcorders smaller instead.
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Old July 25th, 2003, 01:37 PM   #6
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Eng Yew, out of curiousity, did you try Windows Media Player at all? Someone in another fora indicated it doesn't quite follow the standard for mpeg4. Just wondering if you noticed any difference when playing back footage. Having recorded exactly once in mpeg4 with my GS100, I can say that I definitely received a "wow" response from my e-mail recipients (it was a clip of people jamming at a party). I would not, however, use mpeg4 again while shooting. You can always convert what you've shot to a format suitable for e-mail, but converting from mpeg4 is an exercise in futility. On the other hand, if for some reason I ran out of tape and had the choice of using the SD card or getting nothing... (Well, okay, so maybe nothing is preferable?)
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Old July 25th, 2003, 01:49 PM   #7
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Patricia,

I did try Windows Media Player and it was the same. Perhaps I am more particular than others when it comes to video quality as I make my own DVD movies as a hobby.

If I recall correctly both WMP and MPlayer report the GS100 MPEG-4 movie bit rate at around 700 Kbps which is nothing compared to the 4,000 to 7,000 Kbps used for MPEG-2 DVD.

At 700 Kbps with real-time MPEG-4 compression I really don't expect much. This is VCD quality at best. This is probably the best that can be done given the technology today and the bandwith of SD cards.

BTW. DV bit rate is 25 Mbps. It would be really nice if I could record DV to a SD card. The GS100 is really silent when recording to SD - no tape mechanism noise.
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