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allanrob_22's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 24
Converting video files to play with old macs?

What specific settings should I use when converting video files for playback on older macs using quicktime 2.5?

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bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

I'm not sure what you mean by "video files". TV shows ? movies ? game video ?

QuickTime 2.5 is very dated, and the resolution and framerate will be very limited. Support for codecs will also be extremely limited, so forget about any advanced encoding codecs like H.264. Maybe even any codec offering compression will be a non-starter.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

And some extra questions. What Mac OS? 7.x - 9.2.2? What type of Mac? 68k? emulator/actual hardware? PPC? emulator/actual hardware?

allanrob_22's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 24

In more detail I'd like to convert a video file, for example a music video in MP4 format to something viewable with QT2.5 I'm using Mac OS 7.5.5 on real PPC hardware.

Gary's picture
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Joined: 2011 Jul 21

I recently wrote a small application that displayed a QT movie as the background to a realtime wiring diagram. The wiring diagram would change to reflect the state of each circuit. The QT movie would play in a continuous loop as long as the application was running.

I digitized the movie as Photo-JPEG at 640x480 pixels with a frame rate of 30 fps.

This played fine on a G4 800 mhz machine. But when I moved it to its ultimate host (a Beige G3 desktop at 233 mhz) the best frame rate I could get out of it was 15 fps (intermittent) and 7 fps (sustained).

To get the full 30 fps rate out of the G3 I had to reduce the resolution to 320x240.

Gary

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

One thing you can try is, if you have any existing QT .mov files, is to look at what compression was used to create them in the QT 2.5 Player app. The Player will give you details of a file in its menus.

For example, there is a good QT music video on the Mac OS 8.0 & OS 8.1 install CD, located in "CD Extras:QuickTime Sample", named "The Old Apartment - BNL". Its a good example, because its wide screen, a great track and its optimized for QT 2.5

Looking at the codec info for this track, it says that "Cinepak" was used.

Nicolas Bahamondes's picture
Joined: 2011 Jun 16

Using Sorenson Squeeze 7.0+ you can convert videos to the Sorenson Video 3 Codec.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

You're right, Nick.

Using Cinepak will also create videos compatible with 68k Quadras and higher, but they will surely be larger and of not as smooth as the Sorenson codec on PPC Macs. 68k emulation worked well for me though. See my post on that here:

http://macintoshgarden.org/forum/video-playback-mac-os

Mike's suggestion to check the encoding on CD-ROM QuickTime samples is also a good one, probably you're best bet, especially if they play back well on your system or emulator. There are direct, and indirect ways using extensions, to mount CD-ROMs virtually in Basilisk II and Sheepshaver.

If you're encoding for real Macs, you can burn those videos onto System 7-8 compatible CD-ROMs, if you have an optical drive for your system, and then save and play them back on a large external, or even a networked hard drive if you have an Appleshare or other Mac network.

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

Am running into a LOT of WebM videos now that use non-standard file-headers to play in a browser, but not be easily convertable to other formats. The only app I've run into that Converts EVERYTHING is Winff (in Linux). Would be well worth seeing if there is a version for a system you have.

Also, in PPC conversion, x.264 (4K) mp4s are turning up a lot now (especially on Vimeo) and they are really hard to deal with. In Leopard PPC, last I checked, you could use the converter in VLC to deal with them but that is pretty much it.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

You're so right Max, the web and systems in general have been evolving at an accelerating rate in response to 4k and now 5k resolutions, so PPC Macs just can't keep up with all these new web media formats, like Google'd WebM without some muscle like VLC, let alone ever-increasing video resolutions: our beloved PPC Macs are being left behind!

Winff would certainly be worth looking at for some of the 68k conversions I'm attempting to do. Certainly no (free) online conversions I tried play back on QuickTime or Sparkle so far. I'm also trying out an AVI to Quicktime Converter from here on SheepShaver (we'll see how that one pans out!): http://catcode.com/cvtmovie.html

Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

Best Part is WinFF has a great, user-customizable presets. I usually use 720p, as it isn't too big in file-size but still looks great.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Do look at Xmedia Recode if you have a Windows PC lying around. I use this software a for a lot of my conversion needs. It handles pretty much all you can throw at it. A lot of tweakable features, but easy to use with an intuitive UI.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

I appreciate the suggestion Mike!

I have a few converters installed on my Win7 tower, so i may play with Sheepshaver and Basilisk II and some conversions. I do hope CVT Movie can convert an MPG/MP4 video file to Cinepak. That would really Rock! Then I'd play them on my Android-Basilisk'ed Chromebook and have a tiny video library of 68k-ready media, lol! Laughing out loud

MadMac's picture
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Joined: 2010 Mar 20

I think you can use Cinepak for avi's files or Sorenson compression, and use a low frame rate (15 fps should be fine) for files large than 320px-240px.
If you don't mind about file sizes, you should use Sorenson Video or Sorenson Video 3 with ADPCM or IMA
I don't know for what kind of proyect you need to encode those videos, but you definetly have to check these posts:
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/cinepak-toolkit-10-cinepak-pro-10
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/vid4win-2-qt

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Fantastic MadMac!

I checked-in with some friends over at videohelp.com and we've they've been able to encode some video that played back on my chromebook's Basilisk II emulator. Their 15 fps sample played much, much better than their 24 fps one.

The thread I posted there:
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/388428-Cinepak-video-encoding

The link to the samples they encoded:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aoePo3au41ABsuph5vKNxyBKf0YdrlG8

If anyone wants to try these out on their 68k Macs let us know how they play for you Laughing out loud

I only wish I had a clue about how to use VirtualDub (with scripts), the encoder they used! Shock