Vintage Mac News

No PowerPC Support for iPhone 5, Ripping Video on PowerPC, and More Vintage Mac News

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.10.05

Vintage Mac News is a roundup of news related to vintage Macs* and other older Apple products. For other Mac and Apple news, see Mac News Review. For iBook, PowerBook, and other portable news, see The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in iOS News Review.

Purchases made through links to Amazon.com and Apple's iTunes/iBook/App/Mac App Store support Low End Mac.

News & Opinion

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News & Opinion

With iPhone 5, Apple Abandons PowerPC Users

iPhone 5This isn't something that's received a lot of coverage, although it has been mentioned on Low End Mac's Facebook page: The iPhone 5, 5G iPod touch, and 7G iPod nano require iTunes 10.7, and that in turn requires OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, which was the first version of Mac OS X with no support for PowerPC Macs.

The last version of iTunes for PowerPC Macs is 10.6.3 for OS X 10.5.8 Leopard (OS X 10.4 Tiger users were left behind after version 9.2.1), so if you haven't already made the migration to Intel and want the newest iPhone or iPod touch or nano - or the next iPad - it's time to bite the bullet and go Intel.

Or you can just pick up a cheap PC with Windows XP SP2. Yes, iTunes 10.7 supports a 10-year-old version of Microsoft Windows, but not a 5-year-old version of Apple's own operating system.

As for iTunes 11, we'll know more when it becomes available in October.

Ripping Video on PowerPC

PowerPC Liberation reports:

"The only limitations are in the software you rip with and the capability of the hardware the video is intended to be played on. The software you will use for playback should also be taken into consideration so that what you rip will play flawlessly.

"In my opinion there are two PowerPC compatible apps on OS X worthy of keeping in your ripping toolbox, Handbrake and Media Converter. The Handbrake team ceased PowerPC development during the 0.9.4 - 0.9.5 transition, but Media Converter continues to have G4/G5 support. Both are very capable and allow fine tuning of rips beyond what anyone would ever really need. Many will find Media Converter a little more user friendly because once you have all the presets fine tuned just the way you want it's simply a matter of drag and drop."

"With Handbrake you shouldn't go past version 0.9.3 on Leopard unless you're happy with h.264 as your only codec option. 0.9.3 was the last build to still offer full FFmpeg and XviD (avi) options alongside h.264. It also is much more MP3 and AC3 friendly. Tiger users cannot go past 0.9.1 which is a very solid build also.

"For Media Converter just use the most recent build or any version you tend to prefer. I use the current 1.2 version and other than a few small tweaks I needed to make the built in presets are quite good out of the box. Once it's all setup the way you want all you have to do it open it and drag whatever you have to rip onto the window."

"No matter if you're ripping DVD's or re-ripping compressed video there is a sweet spot for all G4 and G5 hardware. Anyone on a slower G4 with the will and patience to watch something their hardware can't handle can down-rip videos to a codec and resolution more fitting their hardware playback capability.

"Before doing any large quantity of ripping it's best to first figure out the codec/resolution sweet spots for your playback hardware . . . you need to work within the capability of your hardware."

"In terms of what hardware is suitable for ripping it would be wise to only use G4/G5 on OS X . . . AltiVec has a big part in the performance of ripping."

"A laptop is not the best piece of hardware to use because they are simply not built for running at 100% CPU consumption for the hours or even days it takes to rip a big que of video. Towers can do this with ease for months . . . a nice cheap dual 450-500 MHz Gigabit G4 would do an admirable job for well under $100 and could also be used for file serving, torrents or whatever else you think of."

The article goes on to make specific recommendations for various categories of G4 and G5 Macs.

Another Flash Alternative for PPC Macs

PPC Luddite reports:

"Since myself and others have written about the thousand or more flash alternatives out there, I thought I'd add one more to the mix. I've discovered a new tool for Linux called quvi. It works from the command line and streams YouTube videos to your player of choice. It basically works like this:

"Install quvi, create the file ~/.quvirc and add:

exec = "yourplayer %u"
format = your preferred format

where yourplayer can be vlc or smplayer or whichever. I prefer to run mplayer from the command line with arguments, so my exec line is 'mplayer -really-quiet -framedrop %u'.

For your preferred format, typical YouTube formats are fmt18_360p, fmt22_720p, and fmt37_1080p, which play mp4s in those resolutions."

"When using quvi with mplayer, I find this the most cpu-efficient way to waste time, I mean, watch YouTube videos, and I can even watch them without frame-skipping on a G3 laptop, something I couldn't say for MacTubes."

Apple Ends Software Update for Mac OS X 10.3 and Earlier

From My Mac Collection:

"For those of you who are running Macintoshes with OS 10.3 or earlier (including OS 9), you will no longer be able to download software updates through the application 'Software Update.' OS 9 was Apple's first operating system to tout automatic software updates and now Apple sees it fit to shut it down unless you're running OS 10.4 or later. This is likely due to the cost of running update servers for the small amount of Mac users who run these vintage operating systems. This is quite a disappointment for those of us who are still running OS 9 or a version of OS X before 10.4 'Tiger.' If you thought that wasn't bad enough, there's more to be upset about. For anyone running a vintage version of iLife or iWork on OS 10.3 or earlier, you will not receive updates for those either (unless you download them directly from Apple's support site). If one has already received all necessary updates, I strongly recommend regular backups of your Macintosh OS in the event you experience a hard drive failure and need to reinstall the OS. Lastly, software updates for the affected operating systems can be found manually by heading to the link below."

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* Although Apple defines vintage as models discontinued over five years ago but less than seven years ago (at which point Apple calls them obsolete), we prefer a definition that has more to do with a lack of functionality and the end of active support by Apple than with how long Apple makes service parts available.

Dictionary definitions of the word vintage start out with wine, but it is also applied to a group of items that share certain characteristics, originated in a specific time period, and/or is characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal - a classic.

As we use the term here, vintage refers to Macs and related software, operating systems, and peripherals that Apple has left behind over the years, whether that's an original Macintosh or a Power Mac G5 running OS X 10.5 Leopard. At present, we consider all pre-Intel Macs and all versions of OS X that run on them vintage (and at some point we'll extend that definition to include Intel Macs that can't run OS X 10.7 Lion, and so on).

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