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Object if Mac

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There's invaluable video tools, like VLC and ffmpegx and then there's mind blowing freeware you can't live without. D-Vision 3 from www.objectifmac.com is firmly in the latter category.


I wanted to solve a simple enough sounding problem. A friend of mine is a talented budding graphic artist. I'd told him about Bert Monroy's excellent video podcast PixelPerfect - from the people who bring you diggnation and GeekDrome among many others, where Bert - an expert of many years standing and famous in the US for his spot on an old Tech TV show called The Screen Savers - shows you how to use Adobe CS 3 tools like Photoshop and Illustrator to create amazing digital artwork.


Unfortunately for my friend his budget won't stretch to an iPod video of his own to watch the shows on, much less an internet connection. The only real tool he can afford to run and self-study on is a trusty old G3 PowerBook he saved up for.


I really wanted him to see Bert's shows, but burning every episode on to CD ROM would have taken a lot of time and besides that I would have had to transcode each clip into a lower quality file type, so they would play smoothly on his slow old machine. What I ideally wanted to do was burn them to DVD, so he can watch them on TV.


I could have dragged and dropped each episode into iMovie and burned a dual layer disc. This would have been nice as I could have added chapter markers and so on, but - if I'm honest - I've never really liked the way iMovie insists on converting everything to DV format before you can do anything with it - and since I was going to have to wait quiet some time for it to do that, even on my fairly nippy iMac Intel core 2 Duo, I didn't see the point, since immediately afterwards I'd have to wait another couple of hours for iDVD to re-convert the videos for a second time to DVD TS.


So I began trawling the internet for something which can join many video files together into one so I could use another excellent freeware title, Burn - to author the DVD image.


That's when I came across D-Vision 3. It has every bell and whistle you could wish for to manipulate video. We've all pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that, useful though it is for some things, Quicktime Player isn't great for playback of obscure .AVI files. That's what VLC is for. But even VLC can't join multiple files together into one. It claims to be able to, if you read up on it, by using the streaming wizard, but I've never managed to get this to work.


Imagine my relief then at finally finding something which not only does this incredibly quickly, but features tools I didn't even realize I could use until I saw it. Like for example being able to join .VOB files, or add .srt subtitle files or segment a clip into multiple chunks or even fix broken AVI files - something which often happens to LimeWire and BitTorrent downloads which refuse to complete because the peer to peer share is no longer being seeded and won't play, despite the fact you already have 99% of the file and can probably live without the remaining 1%.


There's more to the application than I can ooze about here, but I challenge anyone to find something it can't do.


Ten out of 10.





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