Creative Mac

T2: Road Hog Edition

T2: The Road Hog Edition. Made on the Mac but not for the Mac.

Road Hog:
Road Hog Blues [Page 4 of 4]

Last week's mention of peecee emulation in the same column that I described the creation of the new elements in the Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition DVD on a Road Hog stirred more than I imagined. Geoffrey Tully wrote, "You did not mention one application that is dear to my heart: the ability to play the cool Web-connected DVD-Video applications from InterActual Technologies ( that come with many of the hit DVD movies these days. I have been told by others who have tried, that VPC sees the DVD drive simply as a CD-ROM and cannot use any of the various programs such as winDVD to playback movies."

I have to confess that I was surprised to hear this and asked for some details. "HTML control of the DVD-Video playback, video in a window with collateral material (screenplay, etc.) displayed in sidebars ... generated from HTML on the disc or from the Web. Very cool stuff, and all impossible on the Mac due to architectural decisions by Apple." Among the examples of DVDs with significant features unavailable to Mac users, according to Geoffrey, is the T2 Ultimate Edition so prominently featured on Apple's Web site!

He was kind enough to set up an e-mail conference that also included Van Ling, producer of the T2 DVD (among other award-winning DVD and laserdisc supplements), and Blaine Graboyes of Zuma Digital, which produces cutting-edge DVD material that simply can't be viewed on Macs.

"I recall being in a meeting with Apple a few years ago in which a number of us film industry Mac users were asked what we wanted to see most out of Apple," writes Ling. "Yet to almost every request, the answer was 'maybe in a few years, but you're just not a big enough market for us now.'

"I can only hope I can talk to the Apple folks on the DVD front and cajole/beat/plead with them into taking point position on the DVD frontier. Or is that battle already lost due to hesitation?

"All I want to do is do great work on the platform I love, without feeling like a second-class citizen and without feeling like I've cut myself off from nine-tenths of the planet."

Graboyes went to Connectix, hoping that Virtual PC might offer some hope to Mac users, but could it be that Apple's architecture is too much for even Connectix to overcome? "They felt that within two years, which may still not be time enough for an Apple solution, this could be reasonably addressed," he reports. "This is such an issue for my clients and business that I am almost speechless with agony and disgust at how Apple is handling this issue."

There's much, much more of the story to tell in another venue, but the bottom line for us is this: PowerBooks are capable of creating content that Apple's architecture prevents us from enjoying. Van Ling and his partner Jonathan Banta are dedicated to an authoring platform that doesn't allow them to see all of their own work on it. It really is nothing short of heartbreaking.

Except that the same people responsible for this sorry state of affairs are featuring that work on their own Web site as an example of the best the Mac has to offer, without, of course, revealing that people using Macs can't see all of that work.

So, keep writing me, but drop a politely firm note to Apple describing your unhappiness with this irony. To feature Ling and Banta's work without letting us see all of it just plain bites. The entire platform deserves better. Road Hogs deserve better: you and me, and Ling and Banta.

Long live the Road Hog.

Tim Wilson, Man About Town™, is the Producer of Plug-in Central, one of the Core Connections here at Digital Media Net. Saddle up and write him at [email protected].


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