July 2009
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I don’t sweat much for a fat guy drumming

OK, I lie.  I sweat plenty.  But it’s been quite a warm day and the so-called air conditioner I’ve put in this room is basically just a little fan in a box.  What can you do?

The reason for this video is two-fold.

1. I wanted to try a few different video recording modes on my new digital SLR (Canon EOS 500D) and specifically to see how the 1080p mode (at a reduced 20 frames per second) compared to 720p (at 30fps).

2. I wanted to find out whether it was going to be possible to edit HD video in Vegas on my now-aging laptop, or if it would be a job for my (almost as portable) Mac Mini.

So, in the absense of anything resembling live action going on around me, I thought I’d record a few songs with different settings.  But I only went and aced Reptillia, so I thought that I really should share this achievement with the world and modestly declare just how much I totally rock.

I’d been thinking about making a Rock Band video when Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” becomes available for it.  But although it’s on the list of upcoming songs, there’s no release date set yet – and of course no guarantee I’ll be able to play all four parts well enough, which is what I wanted.  Let’s hope this still happens, eh?

Anyway I only picked up the Mac so I could try to learn how to write software for the iPhone (which is going horribly; the language may as well be Martian compared to what I’m used to) but now it’s looking likely it will be coming on holiday with me (I’ll need to pick up a cheap monitor over there for it), and after that I fear it may only be a matter of time before it becomes the main machine on my desk.

What’s that I hear?  A gazillion Mac owners saying “I told you so”?

I never doubted you.  I just liked having two mouse buttons.  And now I realise that I actually still can.  And that I don’t actually need a keyboard with that funny squiggle key on it.

Here’s the thing.  My PC, which is a dual-core thing with 2Gb RAM and is a little over a year old, struggled even with the lower quality format.  The sound wasn’t quite in sync at times and it certainly wasn’t playing at the full frame rate.  My laptop (3 years old, mobile Celeron something) didn’t stand a chance – what I saw could barely be called video.

Whereas the Mac – on paper a less powerful machine than my PC – lapped up the full HD format without even blinking.  I was even dragging it around the screen manically (even between two monitors) while it was playing – not a hiccup.

So I loaded the clip into iMovie (which I’d never used before), trimmed off the ends (which took literally 20 seconds), hit a button and it went straight up to YouTube.

Well, not quite straight away.  It took nearly an hour to render and upload in top quality, but that didn’t matter so much.  I could actually do other things at the same time.

Oh. My. God.  It could be only a matter of weeks before I’m fully converted.