Video frustrations

Most of the time I’m quite happy with the products that come out of Cupertino. If I wasn’t, I’d probably not start a blog with so many Mac tips.

But recently I’ve noticed 2 video-related things that have stymied my plans of multimedia bliss.


I use my MacBook to do a lot of video presentations inside Keynote and PowerPoint. These vary in complexity but mostly involve photos and text. Recently I wanted to up the ante with a video background with text over top, but Keynote didn’t want to play nice. Instead it offered the helpful warning you see here and told me to either lower the resolution or lower the number of colors. I tried both: I lowered the resolution of the projector to 800×600 and changed the colors to thousands, but nothing happened. I even used the external monitor as the single display but that didn’t change anything.

All this because Apple decided to use an integrated graphics chip and only give it 64 MB of video memory. Why not make the amount of memory given to the graphics related to the amount of memory in the system? I have 2 GB in my MacBook, so I can easily offer up an additional 100 MB of memory to the graphics processor. Or, why not just solve all the problems with a dedicated graphics system.


My second beef has to do with the way Apple’s video applications deal with second monitors. Using Front Row, iTunes visualizer or an iPhoto slideshow with an extended desktop will always result in the video being played on the primary display. There is a specific preference inside Quicktime that tells the application which screen to use when playing fullscreen. Why not have the other programs honor this? It would be so handy to be able to have a visualizer playing on one screen, while still being able to select the tunes on the internal display. I was able to come up with a solution with Front Row but that is far from the most effective.

These may be small issues that only affect a small number of users, but with these fairly simple changes, Apple could make their products even more enjoyable to use, and effective when running a professional presentation.

[tags]Apple, OS X, MacBook, iPhoto, Front Row, graphics[/tags]

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