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Should I switch to Mac?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by hickok45, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. hickok45

    hickok45 Millennium Member

    Oct 17, 1999
    I sound like some of the questions I get on YouTube, I realize. Very general question without a lot of information, but here's my thinking.

    I've been a Windows guy since 1993 and have struggled through the various versions along with everybody else. In my profession, I will always be using Windows machines, however much longer that involves?

    Anyway, I'm looking at upgrading my camcorder before too long for my YouTube videos. Along with that, if I go HD, which I will, I'll need to upgrade computers, external hard drive storage devices we use for backups and for master storage, etc, as well as video editing software.

    The camera does fine, but we really need to upgrade everything before too long. The drives are about full, computers aged, and we're still using Windows Movie Maker.

    I'm thinking that if it made sense that it might just be a good time to go Mac with all of it. I know that Macs excel in the area of video and graphics. I know it involves a bit more money generally ( I was a Mac guy originally in the early '80s.), but other than that, do you think it might be a good move?

    I'm wondering if compatibility is still as much an issue as it once was. Would we be able to read our existing drives of videos if we switched to Mac? Guess we'd have to convert them to Quicktime?

    Just looking for opinions before I begin shopping.

    Thanks for any input. Maybe I'll get lucky and some of my viewers / subscribers are computer nerds, too! ;-)

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  2. I have many computers at home running OS X, Windows 7, Windows XP and Linux. I've been slowly switching to Macs over the last few years and haven't regretted that decision once.

    They do cost more up front, but the time and aggravation saved just in malware prevention/removal alone has been worth it to me.

    You shouldn't have any problems with your existing videos, but without knowing the format, I couldn't say for sure.

    My suggestion would be to visit a local Apple store and explain what you have and what you want to do. They can give you specific answers and suggestions.

  3. lilop


    Jan 5, 2008
    If you're at the point where you're needing to upgrade hardware anyway, then I would seriously consider changing platforms. Yes, Macs are more expensive. The beauty of them, however, is that the Mac platform is just more intuitive than its competitors. Video/Image editing is more about software than hardware. The entry level Mac video editing software, iMovie (that comes standard on all Mac computers), is good enough for many pro-level jobs. The gold standard in small studio video editing is Apple's Final Cut Pro, which I have used extensively. Yet, even though I have and am fluent in Final Cut Pro, I still find myself using iMovie for quick jobs. The client can't tell the difference. As far as compatibility is concerned, as long as you use the Mac version of the same software, then there is no issue. For example, if you created a Word document on your Windows PC, you can open/edit/save it on your Mac as long as you have the Mac version of Word installed on your Mac. This also works in reverse, so if I have clients that I'm sending files to, they don't have problems opening them. You shouldn't have to convert your existing video files either. Your Mac (if you get it) can open up pretty much all video files (.wmv, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .mov, .mp4). The software necessary for it comes pre-installed, so you won't have to buy any additional software. The only software that I felt I needed to buy was Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Entourage [Mac version of Outlook]). Another advantage to the Mac is the lack of maintenance time needed for it, i.e., no registry corruptions, no major virus issues, etc. Backing up your system is automated (the software for this is effective, free, and pre-installed), so losing data is a non-issue if you activate this feature. Don't get me wrong; I'm not an Apple fanboy, and I can use both platforms fluently, yet the Mac offers greater options and flexibility, especially with regard to video/image editing. Good luck in your decision, and TAKE YOUR TIME! They're not gonna run out of 'em!:)

    P.S. Love your videos!
  4. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    If you are going to start editing HD video you'll likely want to go to a high end computer regardless of the operating system. When the latest Mac Pro came out I compared it with a Dell work station that had similar hardware and the price wasn't much different but theese were the $3000-plus models. The Dell and others update more often with not much price difference but the Mac's seem to take a while between updated hardware. I haven't checked how recent the current version is.
  5. There is a version of OpenOffice for OS X, that will read/create/edit Word Docs. It's free. The only problem you will have is if you've created PUBlisher files, I don't believe OO can work with those files.
  6. Yes, OpenOffice, NeoOffice or Google Docs are all free, compatible with Macs and good replacements for basic MS Office functionality.
  7. Ralff


    Sep 10, 2008
    Central FL
    Macs are pretty much the way to go for anything multimedia.
  8. Fragadelic


    Aug 27, 2010
    Jumped on the Mac-wagon in 1984 - jumped off in ~1990 due to business necessities. Jumped back on about 2 years ago and haven't looked back. Given your requirements, definitely come on over to the dark side but if I see you wearing an Apple hat or t-shirt in your vids, I think I'll ***** myself.
  9. Tsx


    Dec 3, 2010
    TX ī„“
    You won't have to convert your videos over to QuickTime, just use vlc. Vlc plays every video format on the Mac and it's free. There are alot of free video converters if you evrer prefer on format over the other.

    I switched over to Mac about a year ago, I was tired of paying 50 a year for antivirus and was tired of windows always "not responding". I was worried about programs and school stuff not being compatible with Mac but that has never been a problem.

    I recommend getting an iMac i5 or even the i7 both are super fast machines ( I have the 27" i5 and it handles all my movie stuff great and fast) if shop at the apple online store be sure to find the educational store and you can save a couple of hundred dollars on a new computer, but if you buy a refurbished Mac (from you can't go wrong either and can save even more.

    Here is the apple education store:

    Just pick a local school or college in your state and begin shopping.

    If you have a apple store by you they will transfer all your files from your windows machine to the Mac free of charge. There should be no compatibility problems what so ever. Also Macs can run windows too should you need it.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  10. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Hey Hickok45,

    How many languages do you currently speak? What if you switched from English to Spanish... Would you expect to be efficient with your business transactions immediately???

    Yah, it's kinda like that.

    Linux is free... Earning the knowledge to actually keep a system running is another thing. My off-duty time has Three Times the Value as my on-duty time...

    Mac is no different. You will need to unlearn some old concepts, and take on some new ones... Is that 'slack time' in your 'budget'?

    It is different, and you can adapt. If it is your Business systems you are considering changing, then please DON'T RUSH THE DECISION.

    The lines on multimedia between Windows and Mac are sufficiently blurred to the point where Mac no longer rules. Truthfully, Windows applications have caught up. When Adobe no longer offers Mac Video Editing solutions, and that is where they built their biz, then you have to ask some serious questions...

    Now - Mac is some quality equipment.

    If you spend the same amount of $$$ on a Windows 7 system, you could be into *wickedly* fast system, but the learning curve is not as steep.

    With the video library you have built, and the limited amount of information that we have... it's really hard to think that we could give you *good* advice without knowing more about what you are doing with your computers.

    If you really think you need to go Mac, then go for it. If it isn't a business that your doing .... just a passion you are following... then the interruption as you work through your new way of thinking will be no big deal.

    But Make No Mistake... There Will Be A Transition Period.

    For some (Me) it is significant. For others, it will be natural.

    If your computer use IS a way of presenting credibility, and online presence, then ... perhaps you should spend a couple $$$ and get a consultant to help you out.

    Personally, I have no dog in this fight. I have been using a Mac as a 'living room' computer for a while. It's a decent system, but I have 20 years into Microsoft products, and I don't see the 'value' that Mac says it is presenting. It IS very useful, but I am not willing to PAY to change the way I think when what I am doing works, and works very well.

    Spend $1000 on a Mac system and work with it for a while. But plan your conversion carefully.

    You will be told you can simply run Parallels to do your Windows work. You KNOW that this will require that you purchase a valid Windows OS to use this option.... that adds some $$$ to the process.

    Bottom line - If you have a critical application that you require to do what you do, you best find a suitable Mac product to fill the gap... and do price comparisons.

    That's my $0.02 worth... that and $4.50 will get you a cup of coffee...

    Hope That Helps...
  11. wct097


    Jan 11, 2000
    I believe the myth of Macs excelling in graphics to be a falicy. Maybe back in the day when they actually paired higher end hardware with their OS. These days, from a technical standpoint, Macs lag behind 6-18 months in the hardware world, depending on when you time your purchase.

    Compatibility is less of an issue today.

    Macs are very good computers. I'm going to be buying one for my next machine. OS X doesn't really do anything for me, but I do like some aspects of their machines.
  12. Tsx


    Dec 3, 2010
    TX ī„“
    What's new to learn/unlearn? I didn't have to learn anything new to use a Mac.

    Mac uses some of the top hardware for there computers apple updates their computers 2-3 times a year to keep there products fresh. There was a shortage of the i5 and i7 processors last year because apple just about bought them up. Right now apple and intel are working on light peak that will blow USB 3.0 out of the water.

    The difference between apple and Microsoft is: microsoft makes (OS) software which then companies like hp,Dell,ect. make the hardware. Apple matches the hardware and their OS so you get the full potential out of the machine.

    That's why you can't go to best buy and buy OSX and put it on your computer, they don't want people getting crappy experience because of some third party hardware.
  13. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

    Jul 13, 2003
    I can't even imagine coming back to PC.
    My wife bought a laptop lately (PC) and after two days it was full of everything despite some pre-installed anti-virus software.
    It stopped working and gave us a big headache.
    There is some time needed to switch for Mac with all those, new functions and layout, but this was the best tech related decision that I ever made.
    I'm a computer idiot kind of guy, who needs a computer for sending emails, watching your Youtube movies and reading the forum.
    Apple is money well spend.
    Take your time, make the choice and buy it.
    You won't look back.
  14. wct097


    Jan 11, 2000
    This is absolutely not true on both counts. Apple certainly doesn't update their machines 2-3x yearly (they average 200-300 days between refreshes). That's one of the biggest disadvantages to buying Apple. If you time your purchase badly, you can be paying the same price for a year old machine as the next guy pays for the brand new machine the following week. They don't drop their prices as they age. I'm currently waiting on the MBP line to refresh. If you bought a 13" MBP today, you'd be getting ripped off with a C2D processor in a 13" laptop for $1300. It's been out since last April, and probably won't be refreshed before this April.

    Apple products traditionally lag behind their counterparts by at least 6 months, up to 12 or 18 if you're near the end of a cycle. Until last April, the MBP line had comprable specs to my 3yr (at the time) Dell. To date, they still don't include a 1650x1080 screen standard on their 15" machines. Top hardware my @$$. You can't even get more than a 512mb video card, a quad core CPU, or Blu-ray drive in a current generation 'Pro' line of laptop with a $2k price tag.... compared to a POS Toshiba offering all of the above for half the price.

    Light Peak probably won't hit this year. Everyone spending $2-3k on Macs will be stuck with USB 2.0 compared to everyone and their dog getting USB 3.0 on every non-Apple machine & device known to man. Again... lagging behind.

    They do a pretty decent job at that.

    They don't want people buying something that they don't make all of the profit on, and tightly control. Control being the optimal word there, and one of the reasons Apple will never be M$, and the reason Android will be the next Microsoft, beating out Apple's iPhone with Android.

    To the original poster.... before you buy, do yourself a favor and check the buyer's guide at Paying the Apple tax is understandable, but buying just before the line gets refreshed is like buying a new 2009 car, in 2011.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  15. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Mac hardware is not any better than PC hardware. as a matter of fact a modern mac is a pc in a fancy box with a different OS. So much for the mac are better theory. Mac just look cooler and cost more. You can make your own mac and save a ton of money. I did and so can you.

    I decided to have the best of both worlds. If you like to tinker with things you can have a hackentosh. All my new computers are setup to run windows and mac OS. By ordering components that are similar to a mac you can set them up to work on both OS. For the foreseeable future I plan on all my computers to be dual boot MAC WINDOWS.