Jul 30, 2012

Got the Compressor blues? Use Adobe Media Encoder!

I'm fortunate to have both FCP 7 and Production Premium CS6 on my system.

Just yesterday I was going to use Compressor to encode a very short Blu-Ray to then be authored in Encore.  (There has been a workflow for this ever since CS4)

As fate would have it, Compressor started giving me the infamous, "I can't do any kind of work because I've lost my mind..." error message.  Actually the error message was, "Qmaster file agent not found."  First time I've seen that excuse not to work.

After spending 20 minutes trying to suss out the issue and running through the usual methods for troubleshooting - including using Digital Rebellions' Compressor Repair - I finally gave up and fired up Adobe Media Encoder and "got 'r done".  What a relief. Remember those old Apple ads for Macintosh, "It just works." ?  That's what can be said for AME.

In another post I did a comparison between Adobe Media Encoder and Compressor and the results were fanatasic, both in speed benefits and quality.

So why even bother with Compressor at this point?  Eh, force of habit and I simply wanted to compare H.264 encodes for BR and see what the differences were.  But since Compressor decided to take a nap, that just wasn't possible!

Adobe offers AME as a download on it's website however, it's not clear if you can use it *without* Premiere Pro also being installed or not.  It's worth trying if you can't get Compressor to play nice.

Jul 23, 2012

Bias Inc gone!

If you're a user of Bias Peak, Peak Pro, Deck or any other audio-editing software created by Bias Inc, you're out of luck with future support:  The company has ceased operations.

And what's worse is that nobody picked up their product lines, not Avid, Apple, Microsoft... nobody.  The entire Bias product line is just dead.

If you've already purchased the software fear not, it will keep working presumably forever or, until you upgrade your system to the point that the software is no longer compatible, but if you've only gotten a trial version there's no real way to make it a full version now.  Not unless you're willing to hack into it with some code-monkey wrangling that I'm sure people on the internet are offering.

I don't know the circumstances surrounding the companies demise but they never were that great when it came to customer support and some of their products really needed a serious re-vamp, such as Deck, which went virtually unchanged for years.

So what are your options for products similar to the now defunct Bias offerings?  To be honest I'm not sure myself.  Adobe has a few audio editing offerings, as does Avid and a few others, but an exact replacement for Peak or Deck?  I just don't know.

I've been using Peak for years, ever since version 4 and don't have plans to replace it with anything since it does it's job quite well, but at some point I'll have to invest in something that has support!

FYI to the community.

Jul 1, 2012

VirtualPilot3D: A repackaged flight-sim scam - again!

Not long ago I published an article about "Pro Flight Simulator", and that it is a full-on scam to swindle you out of your hard-earned cash (see post for details).

Now it appears the same people who created PFS have re-named their high-gloss, flight simulator scam into "Virtual Pilot 3D" with a new website.  Apparently there's big profit in scamming flight-sim enthusiasts into purchasing what you can actually get for FREE, otherwise there wouldn't be this refresh of an old scam.

If I had the time and money I'd make it a point to legally go after these f****rs and shut them down.  No, it's not like they're cheating the elderly out of their healthcare funds or abusing little children, but the blatant and rampant attempt to sell their re-packaged crap is offensive, nonetheless.

If you believe their hype, they make it appear that you'd be purchasing the "Mercedes Benz" of flight-sim software, but in fact all you'd end up with is a Mecury Merkur, with all the warts and failures.

For those unfamiliar with the original Pro Flight Simulator scam:  It's a retail packaging of FREE software called, "Flight Gear", which has been around for years and is open-source.  The only difference between FG and PFS - and now VirtualPilot3D - is that they compiled all this free data into a self-installing routine, rather than you having to manually bind and install the Flight Gear data yourself.

And for this "favor" of creating an installer, you can throw out the window as little as $67 dollars on "special" or, if your money is just burning a hole in your wallet you can give them as much as $120 - and more!  All for a product that is and has been 100% free!

By contrast, the GOLD version of Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) which includes the Acceleration Pack is now avaialble for direct download for less than $30.  And you can still purchase the DVD set for less than $19 at some retailers.

And as far as I'm concerned, FSX is still the undisputed king of flight-simulation software.  And yes, that's includind comparing it to the recently released Aerofly FS, Microsoft Flight, and X-Plane 10.  And for those who wish to debate that assessment, save it for another thread; this topic is about helping people from throwing away their money.

If you're into or curious about flight-sim software, don't get hooked by the ultra-glossy campaign for either Pro Flight Simulator or, VirtualPilot3D.  They're both scams, both software packages are actually available for free AND, they don't compare to what FSX has to offer.  Not even close.