Monday, October 30, 2006

Sonic Solutions or Sonic Problems?

Sonic Solutions: The leader in Digital Media... or so their website tells us. Maybe you've guessed... I'm back to problems with the infamous DVD we are making. Today I burned what should have been the penultimate DVD having corrected all the problems. There are 100 video titles, countless menus and playlists in this DVD so checking is a task in itself.

First when I came to make the DVD my dear friendly DVDit Pro came up with an error saying 'Cannot recode MPEG audio' or something very close to that message. With 100 audio titles all having MPEG audio and nearly 50% of the menus also having MPEG audio you are left screaming a question... "Which MPEG audio?"

Of course, being a computer it just sits there looking blankly at you not answering at all. Obviously the programmers at Sonic Solutions thought a guessing game was more productive to the spirit at this stage in the proceedings than actually telling us... so guess and guess again and I found the offending files.

Hallelujah... with the offending files corrected it made a DVD image. Took it home to burn. Remember the new office burner has failed and I haven't had time to pull the system apart and take it back to the shop where they would test it for 3 days, send it back to the supplier who would test it for who knows how long and eventually pronounce they will... maybe... supply a replacement.

Yes, it burned correctly. Yes, it plays correctly. No, its not perfect. Some of the corrections I did appear not to have happened. Second award for duff computer program goes to Adobe for their flagship program Premiere for video editing which when you click 'Use audio from the left channel only' sometimes indicates its doing this, plays it back through the speakers from the left channel audio but then creates a file with the left channel audio missing!

Now just in case you are wondering, please ask any Apple MAC users you know if they have the same problems with Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro. When I said to a colleague from another organization that I felt like chucking the Windows based system out of a very high window she offered to help me with it! She had changed from Windows to MAC and knows my frustration. It was why she changed. While you are looking for Apple Mac users [not difficult to find they are increasing every day] go to the Apple website and watch their extremely funny adverts contrasting Windows and Mac computers.

But is everything Apple Mac perfect? No, far from it. We have a system for allowing people to send SMS messages securely to our servers. We want to have a small neat system we can ship to remote locations to enable the SMS messages to come in from all over the place. A Mac mini should be perfect. The old G4 that was available till this summer worked great. Now they introduced Intel processors and... won't work with the SMS system. Intel processors? Aren't they the processors that Windows computers use? I'm not saying a word! Silence speaks louder than words.

Well... I have 4 more days before our vacation and two things to do:
  • complete this DVD
  • complete a sound mix for the audio for a film dubbed into Farsi

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