Aug 23

Alert 2015-08-23 10-49-28After many years working with iDVD, I've finally beaten the worst bug - I mean feature - of that clunky kids' program.

The worst thing that could happen when creating a long iDVD project was to realize, after burning, that there was a typo in the credits or a sound glitch that you had missed in editing.  Bad enough to go back and re-edit the footage, and re-output to an MOV file, that's some time and effort.  But the worst part was that when you re-opened your iDVD project, iDVD would throw up an error - "Modified Asset Warning."

The only thing iDVD would fail on at that point would be to mess up all your chapter buttons.  They would still be there, with their proper names, but they would all point to chapter one.  This was unavoidable, even if you had named the file the same thing, all the chapter markers were in the same place, etc etc.

Since renaming chapter buttons and selecting thumbnails is so clunky in iDVD (my projects often have 40 chapters per disk!) it's worth finding a way to avoid this error if you ever need to re-export a video file with minor changes.

I finally figured out that the reason it fails to accept the file is that the TIME STAMP has changed!  This is truly the mark of an amateur program - good as it is.  It assumes that if the file has been modified since you last opened iDVD, then there must be a mistake, and it doesn't even bother checking the length, the file size, the placement of chapter markers - anything!

Notice the "modified asset warning" error message - click through to see an example - complains about the date stamp!  It's easy to miss if you don't hit the dropdown triangle - the first time I've ever seen such a drop-down in an error message.  No wonder I never noticed it before.

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Aug 27

I couldn't update iMovie today at the lab where I work.  It just said:

"Update unavailable with this Apple ID

This update is for an app downloaded with a different Apple ID. Sign in with that Apple ID and try again."

I tried deleting the half-downloaded app from the Applications folder, restarting the computer, and that fixed it.

But then it happened a few more times on other computers, and by the third time my fix didn't work anymore!

After trying a few things, including signing out and back into the app store, restarting everything, re-indexing my whole hard drive on spotlight, deleting iMovie and copying a version that worked on another computer into the failing computer's Applications folder, here's what worked:

When I started the App Store update, it made another copy of iMovie in the Applications folder (in addition to the one I copied from another computer), with the same name.  Bizarre, but whatever.

I noticed that Launchpad had a "downloading" strip in its icon.  Clicking that in the dock brought up a page of apps, one of which was a blank square with "downloading" written underneath.  So I clicked and held on it until all the apps started wiggling (with little x's, iphone-style).

I deleted the delinquent app, then tried the app store again.  Now it didn't even show any need to update - everything works fine.

The end!

Nov 4

Had a crazy crash with my Parrot AR Drone while I was testing some ideas for the Parade of the Lost Souls (you can see my test footage at left).  This is how I assessed and fixed it.

I hit a street light about 25 or 30 feet up. Down it came crashing. Why, oh why, did I listen to the passing child who insisted I try out the outdoor hull? I usually use the indoor hull at all times because I just think it will help the thing last longer. But no, it came straight down on the corner and broke a rotor gear in half, and broke the pin. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 7

(I've just made the leap to Adobe Premiere from Final Cut, because I HATE the new FCPX and no, I'm NOT afraid of a new paradigm.  Adobe's keyboard shortcuts alone are reason enough to be glad I switched.  I mean - tilde (~) expands the panel you're hovering over to fill the whole screen?!  And then tilde again puts everything right back!  Sign me up.)

SO I had this problem which I solved in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and i thought I'd mention it here.

I imported a few camera cards full of AVCAM / AVCHD footage from my HMC-150 and edited for a few days.

Then I clicked on one imported clip and found that the audio was wrong.  Glitches, skips, out of sync, weird things happening - all nice sounding, but not in the right places.

I checked the original MTS files on my HD using VLC player.  Sound was fine, everything was in sync.

I tried dragging the files into the Premiere project window, to see if it was a media import problem.  Same thing happened when I did that - the identical glitches, which were the same every time I played the file.

So I started guessing that Premiere had imported it wrong, and had recorded some wrong metadata.  That turned out to be the case.

I went to the "PRIVATE" folder where I'd copied my SD card to HDD.  Premiere distressingly fills this folder up with metadata files associated with each clip, which violates the law of "DO NOT MESS WITH YOUR SD CARD DIRECTORIES."  But it seems to cause no harm because it only ADDS files, it doesn't alter or delete any.

For each imported clip in .mts format, Premiere adds a file with the same name with .xmp as the extension in the same folder.  Feeling bold, I quit Premiere then deleted all these the .xmp files for that card - though i didn't empty my trash yet.  I re-opened Premiere and double-clicked that file.  It was dead silent, as clips often are when first imported to Premiere.  It does some meta-data-ing... and then the sound was all back in proper order, problem solved.

The XMP files had been re-produced in that folder, although this time, apparently, without glitches.

-Flick