Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Mac-using musicians

Marie Brown

Recommended Posts

OK, I'm taking the plunge. Last spring when I was getting ready to buy a new computer, I set out to get myself a PC. I even bought a book and started reading up on PCs.

So I dithered around until I got an alumni letter from Southern Illinois University telling about their brand-new Mac lab. I visited a friend in the UM-St. Louis music department and learned that they're also continuing to invest in new Mac equipment, despite the fact that the rest of the University is PC.

As in 1991 when I got my first computer, the professors around here just keep insisting that Macs work best for musical applications. As soon as I decided to get another Mac, my head cleared, and I cheerfully went through with all the purchases.

I apologized to my sister, an avid PC user. "It happens in the best of families," I quipped, and promised to get the black one. (Actually, I don't like those lollipop colors, either.)

Yesterday and today both, no Mac user came forward on this bulletin board as I tried to figure out what to do about my MP3 player. (See "Internet Musicale".) Several possible explanations come to mind:

1. Nobody on this board has a Mac.

2. Some board members are Mac users, but, like me, they just use them without understanding them (kind of the way I use my lungs and heart), so are not able to answer questions about them.

3. The Mac users are there, know how they would solve the problem for themselves, but don't know how to begin explaining it to a newbie. (I can relate by imagining myself trying to tell someone how to play in tune when I can't hear them, and have just read a post where they refer to moving their finger toward the scroll as "going up".)

Can anyone elucidate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can help you just a little smile.gif

First thing is the Mac like it's close cousing the Sun Micro is a 'wide' path machine. It innards are 128 bit wide, the cables etc. However the Processor tends to be slower than the PC.

That does not mean it is slower - it can be faster, what it does mean, it can do far more complex instructions in ONE move.

A simple analogy which is very accurate is imagine a Pipe as the hardware and Fluid as the data, when the Pipe is narrow and high volume is 'forced' through then the Pipe gets hot, however if the Pipe is wider then more Fluid passes through and the Pipe does not get hot. Hence some PC chips are now refrigerated LOL

In fact along with the Amiga it is one of the best Mutimedia Machines made, so why don't people buy them? I think, because the cost of upgrades etc., Memory is one place where one gets firmly ripped off.

I believe your problem is a Quicktime issue, I would probably unistall the existing one and get the most recent version, or if Mac recommends it get the updated drivers.

If I could afford it I would get the super Mac or the Sun Micro with the 256 data path.


[This message has been edited by toasty (edited 12-31-2000).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a mac and have since they came out with the first mac classics (20 mb hardrive and 4 mb of ram - boy they've come a long way). I didn't respond to your mac question, because I didn't read the thread you posted it in.

Unfortunately, your problem is not a quicktime problem - I have the latest version of quicktime and it does the same thing to me. It's that you don't have a plug-in for your internet browser that reads mp3s.

Are you using internet explorer or netscape? What kind of mac are you using and what operating system are you running? I might be able to help you set it up to read mp3s over this discussion board, but no promises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marie- sorry- I am a Mac user but missed that thread initially. I visited Oldbear's link and indeed, if you just click on the track title you get nothing just as you described. What you need to do is either click _and hold_ on the link, or else hold down the option key while clicking. This will bring up a "popup" or contextual menu, like what PC folks get by clicking the right mouse button. From the choices on that menu, choose "download link" (i.e. move to that choice and release the mouse button). This will download the mp3 file to your hard disc. From there you can see if your computer has a program that can play it- if not, people more experienced than I with this stuff can tell you where to download a player. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I think I can help you.

1. Go to EDIT in Internet explorer and go to Preferences.

2. Go to "file helpers" under "Recieving Files"

3. Scroll in that file helper window down to "MPEG-1 layer 3" (in the right hand column you will see .mp3)

4. Double click on that and it should open a new window.

5. In the new window, under handling, select "view with plug-in" Now a new section should appear with the plug-in name. Choose "quicktime plug-in" and hit the OK button, the window should close and now hit the OK button in the preferences and that should close. Now you are set up.

6. In order to listen to the mp3 s on that website listed, click on the link you want to listen to and you should get the white screen with the http address listed. NOTICE that the http address in the window is different than the address in your address box of your browser! The browser says something like minstrel.mpu but the white window address says mp3. Change the address in your browser to match the one in the white window wait a little bit for it to download and shortly your quicktime player should launch and show up to allow you to listen to the mp3.

I hope you can follow this and it works OK for you, if you have problems let me know. smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

toasty's explanation is confused and, depending on how it's read, also inaccurate.

The PowerPC chip which the later generation of Macs use is a RISC processor, meaning that the instruction set -- the things that you can tell the chip to do -- is relatively small and simple and uniform. RISC chips understanding things like "add these two numbers". (Sun Microsystems' computers also use RISC chips, from the SPARC family.)

CISC chips, like Intel's Pentium, understand much more complex instructions, like, "add these two numbers, and move the results over here". (However, recent RISC chips, including the PowerPC, have "compound instructions". There's been an interesting convergence in chip design strategies over the years.)

However, the PowerPC is what's known as a "superscalar", allowing it to handle more than one instruction per clock cycle, as long as the instructions go to independent parts of the processor. You can think of each of these independent processing units as a little black box into which you feed data. There are three "pipes" leading into the black boxes.

Pipelining has nothing to do with why processors get hot.

And you're confused over the number of bits in the architecture. Even the latest, not-yet-public Sun UltraSparc III is a 64-bit chip. But the PowerPC G4 has something called "AltiVec" (a trade name, not a technical one) which allows a 128-bit engine to be divided into smaller engines, and has a 128-bit data path -- but this is a "separate" vector unit.

Sorry, I dislike seeing obfuscated explanations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear, sorry to 'obfuscate'.

Data paths in the MAC and Sun machine is wider -

PC has severe overheating problems.


There is less wire per AMP. ergo the PC HAS to run faster. Also why PC Mobos are cheaper and getting cheaper all the time.


Now that couldn't be clearer

Help for Fiddle Student.


Because this is a Fingerboard Forum

[This message has been edited by toasty (edited 12-31-2000).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites


All modern chips have heating problems. In fact, one of the most serious problems that Sun is facing right now is their inability to scale the UltraSparc chip thanks to unsolved cooling issues.

It's not "wire" or "amp". RISC chips require fewer *transistors* to implement than CISC chips do.

Marie Brown,

My experience is that it's a mixture of both, depending on the software that people need to run, and who is sponsoring the lab (i.e., if Intel donated the lab, it's gonna be PCs smile.gif ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lwl -

You are talking about CPU's -

I am talking about Computers, Mac, PC Sun Micro.

Maybe you shold go write some serverhog audio software that does work on all platforms.

I prefer Sun Micro - Linux , and some Microsoft Products.

Schools, tend to get stuff given to them, tend to vere towards Linux these days, tend not to bother with streaming audio because of Bandwidth, tend to select MP3 instead, tend to have capable Math Teachers who know how

to make the Mac work well.


[This message has been edited by toasty (edited 01-01-2001).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lwl - you are a pest smile.gif

I don't have the time for such silly junk!

'Resume' to me is a Bowl of Chicken soup LOL

Can ya cook?

I give in ...'I don't know a Diode from a Dogs Leg'

I cannot play anything not even the Radio

Will that do it?

Twinkle twinke little star How I wonder where you are, Up above the Earth so high like an Elephant in a Tree.


River is this the one?

Funnier than a Dog in a Sausage Factory

but it is really Help for Fiddle Student.


End Edit

[This message has been edited by toasty (edited 01-04-2001).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...