Showing all posts tagged mercalli:

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Well, I have finally reached the end of this long and frustrating process, the outcome is not the one I wished for. I originally started this quest when I located the proDAD Mercalli software for sale on the AV3 Software website where it is for sale as either a SAL version or as a plug-in for Final Cut Express, I also saw this information on other sites I visited.

When I failed to get the package to work properly I followed this up with AV3 Software and proDAD and as readers of this blog will know there has been a protracted process of trying to get the software to work, following all the advice I have been given. The SAL version did not satisfactorily export to AVI format in spite of this being a menu option and the plug-in version for the mac didn't run at all.

Today I received the following statement from proDAD support:

"You use Final Cut Express (without Support at the moment). Please use Final Cut Pro. But we have in the next time support in Final Cut Express"

So there it is. Those few words said it all, in spite of all that was advertised the fact is that Final Cut Express is not supported by the proDAD Mercalli package and as I have demonstrated, at least on my up-to-date iMac and current version of Final Cut Express, it simply DOES NOT WORK.

I hope if nothing else that by documenting my experiences I might have saved someone else all the grief I've had. proDAD are presently unable to give a timescale for the implementation of support for Final Cut Express. Perhaps if that information does become available a comment could be put on this blog for people to read if they arrive here via one of the search engines.

And here endeth this ongoing review, back to the drawing board, I think I'll forget this project.

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Still no word from proDAD so I currently don't know whether they are actually interested in getting Mercalli up and running on my W7 PC and on my iMac. Stuck in no-man's land really with something I want to buy but which currently doesn't work whilst at the same time not knowing whether I'm going to get any help in getting it to work. I've followed all the information I've been given by proDAD to the letter but since then heard nothing and have not been offered any further advice or suggestions. I do have the option of posting off a video file but in the end that isn't going to get this working on my machine which is what matters to me.

What I find so depressing is if I take the failure of the software to run on my iMac as the best example all that I am trying to do is to get the software to do exactly what it is supposed to do and I would have thought that proDAD would have been interested in the fact that is wasn't working.

I'm using a brand new iMac with a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor (quad core) which on the memory front has 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3, the iMac is running the latest Mac OS X 10.6.5. Installed on this machine is the latest version of Final Cut Express, 4.0.1.

I then download from proDAD the mac plugin trial package of Mercalli and installed it, this package is designed to work with this software and it installs fine and shows up as an available filter. However, when I actually try to use the filter I get the error illustrated below, the dreaded red screen. All I am trying to do is to run the software in the environment that it is supposed to have been designed to run in!

So, the only conclusion is that on a modern mac the Mercalli plugin for Final Cut Express DOES NOT WORK, at least I have no evidence that it does.

I have to confess that if I were working for proDAD what I would be doing is providing me with the latest official version of the software and letting me try it to see if it works. If it works I buy it and if it doesn't I can't use it anyway. This does not appear to be an option at the present time but it's hard to see any other way forward. I am confident that this is nothing to do with the clips themselves as they are standard MOV files which open fine in other packages such as Lock and Load from CoreMelt that I mentioned previously.

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Out of interest I downloaded another video stabilisation package which can be installed on the iMac as a plugin for Final Cut Express. The plugin is called Lock and Load from a company called CoreMelt.

What I wanted to see was whether the plugin would actually load and render the video clip in Final Cut Express which it did with no problem and specifically with no red screen warning of the type produced by proDAD Mercalli.

So, it doesn't seem to be the file that's the problem at all but at first inspection the Lock and Load package didn't seem to produce quite the results I'm after, what I want is for the Mercalli package to work!

Still no word from proDAD support :-(

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

I've now installed the plugin version of Mercalli for use with my iMac, this has also not started well. I downloaded the package without any problems and then also installed it without any problems, so far so good.

The plugin appears fine in the video filters list and I went into this again with my hopes raised, to no avail. I loaded a couple of clips (MOV files) into the timeline and tried to apply the Mercalli filter to the clips, I was greeted with yet another error message.

Can it get any more depressing?

Waiting to hear from proDAD.

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

I've now had an enquiry from proDAD support asking what exactly is the problem with my SAL installation of Mercalli.

I have once again submitted a report of the problems I am experiencing. I've been told that "there are limitations to the AVI export that is a function of the library we currently use; that problem is on the list to be addressed. Our programmer suggests exporting to WMV to see what happens; this is also the best format for HD export out of SAL for the time being".

This is disappointing to me as I can import AVI files directly into Final Cut Express but I can't import WMV files directly and I really don't want to get into another lengthy file conversion process with the quality degradation that involves.

Anyway, that's the latest situation on the Windows SAL version of Mercalli V2, I'm still waiting to hear back from proDAD but it's looking as if the .avi export function is a non-starter for me, very disappointing indeed.

I've downloaded and installed the proDAD Mercalli plugin for Final Cut Express and that's also problematic, update coming up.

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

It is interesting to see that at the present time a Google search for "Mercalli Review" brings up my ongoing review of the proDAD Mercalli package as third in the Google hit list. I just hope all this typing is helpful to people and I'm really hopeful that this comes to a good conclusion as the package looks excellent.

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

It is time to take stock of where I am with this process and to see whether there is actually a way forward here or not. The bottom line is that the trial version of the Mercalli software seems to work very well and be very convenient, up to a point.

On my machine I am able to analyse, stabilise and export a 15 second clip using a MOV clip from the ContourHD camera. However, if I try to do the same with a 47 minute clip from the same camera I can analyse the clip fine and play the analysed clip in the Mercalli package but NOT export it, this renders the package practically useless.

Given that I can get the package to import, analyse, and export a short clip this suggests that this is no longer a codec issue but "something else" and I'm awaiting further word from proDAD support.

If this software wasn't so costly I would take a gamble and buy it to see if the "official" version would deal with a 47 minute clip but the price would be too much of a gamble if it didn't work. This is an interesting thought because the version number of the trial version is 2.0.391 and the current version number of the official version is I think 2.0.73 so the trial and official versions are different in some way but of course the differences may not be relevant to my problems.

Could the trial version have a video clip length or file size limit in comparison with the "official" version? This possibility has been suggested by 2 friends from Ireland and Sweden who have been taking a particular interest in this case.

Is there anyone around with the full version of the SAL installed that I could post a 47 clip to on a DVD to try it?

I'll keep trying until I know one way or the other what the problem is.

mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Ok, I have now re-installed the software which went fine. I then installed the MatroskaSplitter and ffdshow as per the instructions. I then analysed a 15 second MOV clip which went fine and it also exported fine using the ffdshow option for the .avi.

Then came the proper test, stabilising a 47 minute clip with a filesize of 3-4GB. The video opened and would play perfectly well in the Mercalli package. The analysis went well and the preview played perfectly on the PC. Now to the important bit, to export the file so that I can use it, no good.

I selected exactly the same options as for the short clip and it just sits there at 0% on the progress bar doing nothing. I opened the task manager and the CPU usage was very low, the machine was barely doing anything, and certainly not rendering a video.

Hope someone at proDAD can suggest where I go from here because I'm damned if I know!

Mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Things have got rather confusing and the good folk at proDAD thought I was a registered user when in fact I am trying to get the trial to work before doing anything else. This meant that the link I'd been sent was to the "official" version of the software which I was unable to install, naturally enough, because I don't have a serial number. Anyway, an email resolved that and I'm now up and running again with the trial version and I can continue my labours.

I was sent this information earlier on so I have now removed the CCCP codec pack and have followed these instructions, as provided by proDAD support:

The Video-Codec at this system transfers the data erroneous to Mercalli, for which reason the loading failed. A possible solution could be to install a free available Codec-Pack such as following:
1.First of all please install this package*
2. Then please install this package*
Now please try to load the video file again.

The current position is that I have successfully loaded a very short video clip into the Mercalli package which analysed fine and I then exported it as an AVI file, so far so good, but I've been here before.

I have now loaded a 47 minute MOV clip which is currently analysing and I expect that to work fine, the big test comes when I try to export it, I expect it to sit at 0% and do nothing, I'll let you know!

Mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Well, as you can see from my first posting I have now received a response from technical support at proDAD and I've just started to follow the recommended steps even though I did follow them previously, just in case I missed something as I really want to get this up and running.

To ensure that I was using EXACTLY the trial version recommended I uninstalled the original download and then downloded the version proDAD support had sent me the link to. I went through the installation process and, I'm sure you can guess...

Surprise surprise when I came to reinstall I am now asked to enter a serial number with no option to continue with the trial. I am now therefore further back than I was beforehand as I don't even have an evaluation copy to try to get to work.

I have a strong feeling this is going to be a failure :-(