I will say it right off the top. I am a video super-nerd. I lovedocumentaries, films, sitcoms and animation, among many other things.There is no doubt to how much I love my video collection and the factthat I can play it all beautifully on PowerPC hardware. The hardware Icurrently use for playback is a PowerMac G4 Sawtooth with a 1.8GHz 7448 CPU andover 10.5 TB local storage, but I have used hoards of different PowerPC Macs over theyears, and with many different Mac OS, codecs and playback software. TheAltivec engine found in all G4 and G5 CPU's is key to good playback onmore codecs and resolutions. In the next month or so I will be doinganother article based on G3 video playback, but since video really comesto life with Altivec support I wanted to lead with it.Since at least the early 90's, Apple hardware has been a leader in theprofessional video production industry, with Mac OS and Avid basedapplications.
For years consumers have been able to play DVD's, and edittheir personally filmed camcorder video on their Macs. Until 2002 though,the Mac platform was very limited in terms of good software and codecsfor the ripping and playback of compressed video like DivX, XviD oranything FFmpeg based.
This was a shame before then, because these are byfar the most efficient codecs in terms of low CPU use and file size, andin turn the best for people that want to rip or digitize their videocollections.When OS X 10.2 Jaguar came out in August 2002, it really wasa great time, as that was when a lot of new developers started portingtheir apps to Mac OS. Because of the BSD foundation of OS X this broughtmany developers over from the Unix and Linux world, and along with them theybrought greats like VLC, Mplayer and Handbrake, just to name a few.
Bysummer 2003, the Mac platform had done a complete 180 from DivX inept tofully capable, and I for one was very excited by this as a lover ofvideo. Although I am going to explain how to get good playback on othercodecs, I just want to first emphasize how crucial DivX and XviD are to agood experience, because of how inherently efficient both are, especiallyon sub-700MHz G4 hardware. Even if you have hardware far beyond thatspec, it's still nice to keep CPU cycles free for other things. On theextreme low end of the G4 scale, like a 350-600MHz, these codecs will beyour saving grace.When it comes to h.264 video, it's less blocky, but can easily use 2-3xmore CPU compared to DivX etc. The YouTube web interface for example isFlash on top of h.264, and will make many PowerPC systems come toscreeching halt unless you have a faster G4 or a G5 system, but even thenanything higher than 360p can be taxing on it.
Core Player Powerpc Downloads Free
Flash has not been supported on PowerPC for over 2 years now, and I don't recommend anyone use it any longer. There are far too many security holes in 10.1, and any technically sane person would never use it. Those that love to spread the 10.1 plugins that are modified to show as newer versions should be banned from ever helping anyone with computers.
For those that are a true slave to flash, and simply have to use it, you shouldn't do it on a PowerPC. Life can exist without it very easily.
In my opinion using it is like saying you love things that are covered in horrible. Far too many people are slaves to this horrible technology.I do have a few tips onhow to improve playback and lower CPU use that I will get to in thisarticle. One app out there that several PowerPC users I know online haveraved about is CorePlayer, which several have confirmed can play 720pand 1080p h.264 on higher end G4 and G5 systems. CorePlayer costs $20 andonce I buy and do extensive testing on it I will write an article onit. Since this writing, CorePlayer has closed operations and is no longer for sale. I was one of the lucky few to get it while still available, and yes it does play 1080p perfectly on my single G4 1.8GHz.
This article, however, is focussed on freeware playback software suchas VLC, Mplayer etc.I am now going to group the hardware into twocategories based on computing power, as it will help fine tune theplayback options to the power you have to work with. The lowest OS Iwill advise on in this article is 10.4 as anything lower really limitsplayback options. When I do a G3 playback article I will add 10.3 andeven 10.2 to the mix. Anyone running a G4 or G5 is far better off on10.4+ for playback in terms of better software with more codecplayability.Group 1 - Single G4 350-600MHzYour only real options are DivX (FFmpeg) based codecs at a lowerresolution (240-360 high) for compressed video or standard DVD. LuisMadridYesterday I uninstalled the 2.0.2 (the 2.0.4 was definitely horrible) and brought back to combat the 1.1.12 version with great results in terms of video. Fluent, light, reliable on my 1.33GHz and 1.25Gb iBook.
Also confirmed my thoughts about audio issues: annoying lapses during playback in FLAC and crazy way to order songs in playlist(why not a song number column?). To solve the first one and most important I'd tried before to increase the VLC CPU priority and caching time but now I seem to be unable to find the last one.if you knew some special setup for VLC please let me know.Anyway somehow it works now and I'm glad to confirm that some pleople still believe (and demonstrate) our macs are, even today, big guns.Take care and thank you. Beautiful brown mac. MarlonThis is such a useful post; thank you. I've got these programs running nicely on an MDD FW800, and imagine it will be even better with an upgrade to 2GB RAM. I found some Youtube videos that wouldn't load in MacTubes because embedding was blocked, but they run fine as a network stream in VLC.The one thing lacking for me in this area would be getting BBC iPlayer content (at least audio, if not video, but ideally both).I found this experimental player/downloader, but need to look into it further sometime: http://www.infradead.org/getiplayer/html/getiplayer.html.