iMac v. MacBook for audio?
Dec 3, 2007 at 11:10 PM Post #31 of 34

Tarkovsky

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I have both and I say go with the iMac. Recording is one of the most RAM intensive things you can do. So go big! RAM will be your bottleneck, not CPU.
I've been over the moon with my imac.

Before I beginning to answer that anti-mac lunatics questions I'd like to inform you that you can use rEFIt in much the same manner as bootcamp. In fact it's better.

Now on to a bit of school

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, you can consider yourself and family lucky. I'm just one of many I know that have had hardware related issues with Macs and share similar experiences with the repair center botching the repair and destroying the system and then having to go a month or so without it.


This is a fundamental flaw in windows users understanding of why creative professionals see macs as reliable. It's not that their hardware is better, depending on what you buy it is or it isn't. It's not that the service is necessarily better either. it's that the OS and software are built to run together. Eliminating compatibility issues. As an aside I think the only issue with the OS is really the price of the hardware that comes bundled with it.

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

I've been using Windows since the 3.0 days. I've used 3.0, 3.11, 95, 95B, 98, 98SE, ME, XP, and Vista. Out of all of those various versions of Windows, I can count the combined number of times I had a full system lockup on one hand. Through all of the various versions of Windows, all of them combined, I have only had 5 total system crashes.



And you wouldn't describe this as unusual?

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

I've been using OS X since March, upgraded to Leopard the day it came out. Since March I have had OS X crash 5 times. One time it crashed while I was trying to burn a DVD of data. All I did was right click > New Burn Folder then I dragged the files over to the folder. I clicked "Burn" and put the DVD in that it asked for. System locked up. Just a couple of days ago I was installing Photoshop CS3. System locked up during the installer. Couldn't force quit anything. Complete system lockup. I've had other random crashes for no reason while browsing the web in Safari or using iDVD to create a DVD.



Yeah the system can lock up from time to time, but it's really very unusual. Putting excessive strain won't make it lock up like a windows PC though and well, you're just a bit silly aren't you? You're using a new version of the OS with software that hasn't been designed for it and wondering why it's unstable. Yeah, I reckon it's not as stable as it should be, but hey its still more stable than vista, doesn't have the HDCP nonsense that slows down you're computer (in fact leopard runs faster) and costs less!

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Well, one big example is the lack of firewalls for OS X. The only way to get outbound connection control is to buy Little Snitch. There are no other options. Theres also lots of other little programs that try to charge small amounts of money. Software for OS X seems to start out free then turn paid more often than not. Look at iFuntastic as an example. Started out free and now its "Shareware". Ridiculous.



As mac osx is built round linux it doesn't need it in the same way windows does. Admittedly this is an oversight. But have you ever had to virus scan your mac? Check for trojans? Does that software come free with windows? Is it vital in windows? But is little snitch vital in osx?

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

You basically have VLC, which isn't very good, and DVD Player. Up until Leopard, DVD Player didn't even properly upscale video. It simply stretched it to whatever resolution your display was set to. This resulted in washed out and blurry video when set to fullscreen. Leopard finally upscales video properly (Quicktime, however, still does not), but the "advanced deinterlacing" that Apple tries to say is one of Leopards 300 new features just about kills any kind of TV based content. DVD Player still lacks the capability to decode the .1 LFE channel and send it to headphones or speakers. Something Windows DVD players have been doing since the 90s. It also lacks advanced power saving features, such as caching the disc to RAM like WinDVD and others in Windows do. This saves the life of the battery and the drive in question. Considering Apple uses very low quality optical drives and they are not meant to be serviced by the user, this is something that every Mac owner should consider very important.



VLC is actually one of the most advanced bits of audio playback software out there, if you know how to use it. I've not had a problem with my optical drive...

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Quicktime requires you to pay extra money to make it useful. At least Apple finally decided to let people go fullscreen without paying. But yet they stupidly decided to take away the ability to view the stream statistics. Whats up with that?



Quicktime is more of a core system component than a player. Again try using VLC or any other bit of software you want to, there's an absolute plethora of free stuff for osx. And it's not a virus.


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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

GarageBand is okay at best. It's an extreme resource hog, however. Apple also requires $100 a pop to get full functionality out of it. GarageBand is basically one of those free pieces of mixing software that used to come with non-Creative soundcards, yet has a prettier interface. Even the newest GarageBand has all of the original functionality toned down and the focus more on recording podcasts and cheesy lounge music to go with it.



What Garageband is better on PCs? If you don't like garage band, their are better free alternatives - ardour.

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Let's not forget that Pro Tools, the defacto standard for musicians, is available on Macs and PCs. As well as every tool made by M-Audio.



Rubbish - pro tools isn't the defacto standard in smaller studios these days at all - I say this as PTLE user. M audio gear is awful and PTLE's performance on PCs is the reason I switched to macs in the first place.

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Let's not forget that the quality of the DAC and ADC on the Macs built-in audio isn't exactly the best.



Neither are those on comparable PCs. No one in their right mind who could afford to would use a stock computer soundcard as a pro audio device. BUT the soundcards on macs can unusually take a guitar output and come with optical in and out so that you can easily use external converters.

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

All of the artists I know (musician, anime, graphic artists for websites, photographers that get in nationally published magazines) have no troubles with their Windows machines. In fact, some software that anime and other artists use (like openCanvas, pretty much the standard for anime and Japanese artists) is not available on OS X.



And I'm very happy for them. But how does this affect OS X for that small minority who aren't manga artists?

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Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Both of my Macs have sounded better than the first HP notebook I had. But this system I have now? Its not even close. The headphone output on my HP, compared to my Mac, has actual base. The midrange is alive, and theres detail on the higher end. The MacBook just sounds flat. Detailed, but even more flat than any of the iPods I own. It's basically lifeless, but detailed.



I have no experience with your macbook, so I cannot comment. How about using an external dac through the TOSLINK? Afterall this is an audiophile forum last time I checked.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

When it comes to using it for movies... it's pathetic. DVD Player can't decode the LFE channel and send it out to headphones or speakers. So you have to use Apple's poor little EQ thats built-in to DVD player. All that does is artifically pump up the bass that would have been sent to the two front speakers. With my HP's headphone out and WinDVD decoding the LFE channel, my A500s rumble just as low as the 12" subwoofer I have hooked up to my home entertainment system.



Yeah it's Rubbish. So use VLC you nimwit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MoSXS /img/forum/go_quote.gif

The original poster really needs to reconsider the iMac purchase. It will be a disappointment once the honeymoon and "wow" factor wears off and it's time to get down and dirty with the system.



I think you need to reconsider why you bought a mac, but didn't read up on how to use it properly. I'm not saying macs are perfect, but I've been very very happy with mine, and it looks like you could be too if you learn how to use it.

Here are some websites I suggest you have a look at:

Freemacware

Macrumors

Macosxhints
 
Dec 5, 2007 at 10:04 PM Post #32 of 34

kerelybonto

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tarkovsky /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have both and I say go with the iMac. Recording is one of the most RAM intensive things you can do. So go big! RAM will be your bottleneck, not CPU.


I just want to point out that both the MacBook and iMac support up to 4GB of RAM. This has been the case since the MacBook was updated about a month ago to use the Santa Rosa platform. See this page for more info.

Whichever computer you end up getting, I second ruZZ.il's recommendation to buy more RAM from Newegg, or Other World Computing, or really anyone but Apple, and install it yourself. I also suggest you go for two 2GB DIMMs and max it out, or at least buy one 2GB DIMM now and plan to get another later when you have more cash on hand. You'll notice the snappiness that comes with not having programs page out.

Also, Ars Technica put out a review of the newest MacBook today, complete with benchmarks compared to the iMac. Might want to check it out for the non-audio perspective.

Eric
 
Dec 18, 2007 at 10:28 PM Post #33 of 34

ruZZ.il

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nuu, OP, what did you do?
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..and Tarkovsky, good one! I can't be bothered anymore :p
 
Dec 19, 2007 at 8:38 AM Post #34 of 34

etemkin

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Well, I got swept away with some other crap for the past few weeks. So, thus far I've done nothing. But a plan has solidified - I'm leaving for the holidays shortly, so not worth getting anything 'til I get back home in January. But, since Mac World is in the middle of the month, I'll wait and see what's announced. Hopefully they'll give the iMacs some minor upgrades. Depending on what Steve says, I'll buy away in the middle of January and have one shortly thereafter to start playing with.
 

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