Adobe has licensed Apple ProRES playback for Wndows

Adobe today announced that they have licensed playback of Apple's ProRES, so it will be natively supported within Adobe Creative Cloud, without having to use Apple's Quicktime to do so (since it has been killed for Windows). Now it won't be able to write out to ProRES (so Window users will need another format), but it will be able to be read, and should be out soon.

They are also adding export support of mov wrapped DNxHD and DNxHR as well as playback of AAC audio and PNG compressed frames, and the native reading and writing of the legacy Animation format.

At least this gives ProRES a lifeline, though it is really too bad that it won't be able to write it as well, as ProRES is a great format, that looks to be in decline from now on.

I love that Adobe is doing this, but I still can't wrap my head around Apple's thoughts on this. Sure it saves them money in development, and in licensing fees, but to have a really pro format it needs to be cross platform!

Honestly with Apple's history with Pro Products (constantly making them great then killing them), and with the MacPro not being customize-able or upgrade-able at all (and not having been upgraded since it release in 2013), it looks to me like Apple is moving completely out of the high end pro market, and I worry that any of their high end software may not survive either!
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Apple has released iTunes 12.4 and made it even more of a pain to use!

And yet another update to iTunes, with version 12.4, and once again Apple has made things harder to do.

Yes the sidebar is back permanently, instead of having to turn it on, but they have made it harder to use. Instead of tabs that were always up, now you pick, music and videos from a drop down menu. which is much slower than individual buttons. And now if you want to listen to your music list by songs, you have to scroll to the top of the playlists, which is obviously much slower than having a dedicated menu to do it (I think the menu was slow, but having to scroll to the top of the playlists to do is just dumb).

And then Playlists. When you create a playlist it puts it in a playlist format, where you can't change order or see different ways to sort it at all, and there used to be a dedicated drop down to change it to Songs, so you can edit the order, or see if the order is by track or whatever. I hated having to do that, but now you have to go to the view menu, and go to the sort as Drop Down menu! Much harder and slower! And come on apple, lets us pick our default setting for Playlists! The default Playlist setting is useless! You can't change anything, which is the whole point of playlists! Let us chose our own default choice, especially if you are going to make it even harder to use!

And now to create a new playlist from a selection of your music you used to right click, and select create new playlists, now you have to go to the add to playlist drop down and go to the top and select New Playlist. Additional drop down menus DON'T MAKE THINGS EASIER, THEY MAKE THEM HARDER APPLE!

And the back button. I don't understand how it works. If I go to a playlist then to teh Songs in the Library and a new Playlist, and hit back, it goes back to the first Playlist, not the Songs that I was just at that I have to scroll all the way to the top of the list to get to. These items should stick to the top!

I do like that when you make a new playlist it is selected and shown on the left (which was gone as of recent versions), but it makes it hard to get back to sorting music by songs, since that is at the top of the sidebar!

I don't know why Apple who is supposed to be all about making things easier thinks they have to change things and make them harder or even remove features with an update! First they took away the ability to open multiple playlists, then they made playlists default to an unchangeable playlist view. And now they have just make everything take more steps and be harder (and there aren't even keyboard shortcuts to make it easier). What is next?

I really wish someone could come up with an interface to replace iTunes that works with the iTunes back end, and lets you customize it and use it like you want to, instead of being forced to do it how Apple wants, which seems to constantly be a harder and harder method! WTF APPLE!
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Frontier Communications has taken Over FIOS from Verizon on the west coast, and so far things are not good

So Verizon recently sold it's West coast FIOS division to Frontier Communications, and the transition so far has been anything but easy.

First off I was given absolutely no notification of the change, in fact the first time I realized it had happened was when I tried to log into Verizon to check something on my service and they said I was no longer a customer! WTF! And it means that any Tripple Play service you had where you got TV, Internet and Cell Phone through Verizon for a discount, is literally not longer active since they are no longer Verizon!

Sure my TV and Internent have kept working, mostly. Actually TV seems fine, with the exception of some stuttering on shows, which doesn't look so good. I use TIVO though so I don't have the On Demand issue that everyone else is having, as I don't get on Demand.

The internet, now that hasn't been so good. While Broadband Speed Test still shows good results, as I pay for 75/75 Mb, and am getting 83.24 Mbps down and 90.98 Mbps up, but that isn't the whole picture. As since the switch all my iOS devices get constant drop outs. Where the internet or an app (live the Marvel Unlimited App) will completely stall out. Now I have a current Verizon Router with WIFI as well as an Apple TV connected via Cat 6 Ethernet. And usually I have to drop whichever router I am connected to and manually switch to the other for Internet to come back. This never happened when it was Verizon, and is even weirder as one of the routers is also the modem, so why it loses connection I will never know. And yes I have restarted both routers many times.

And even worse is the services not implemented, with no time frame for their implementation! The two biggies on these are the aforementioned VOD, and also internet streaming of TV shows, with services like HBO GO. Yes the streaming exists (though with a new log in, that is much harder to find, especially with the crappy Apple TV remote interface), but Verizon you got 9 accounts you could set up and allow internet access to, so your family could all have their own accounts. Now you only have the main account! This is totally unacceptable. And Customer service can't get the answer straight. My first call about this, said it would be implemented by that weekend, which was more than a month ago, and today they said they have absolutely no time frame to implement the feature.
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OneRiver Media on NVIDIA GTX 1080 being death nell of high end Mac Graphics

NVIDIA recently announced the GTX 1080, which is half the price ($699) of it's Titan, twice as fast and draws less power.

Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media talks about the NVIDIA GTX 1080 being the end of the MacPro as a high end graphics and editing system, since there is no longer a PCI based Mac! I do agree. The old PCI based MacPro will only last so much more, and it is already so far behind on modern technology.

So while I would prefer to run a Mac and OS X, I don't want the ridiculous Trashcan MacPro, and I want 2 GTX 1080's for a video card (or theoir version of a Titan), and hell I want the Microosft Surface Book as a laptop. Apple is pushing me away from the computer I love!
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VideoCopilot has released a free Star Wars Model Pack for Element 3D for May the 4th

VideoCopilot has released the Star Pack of Star Wars Elenents for Element 3D or Star Wars day May the 4th!

Awesome!
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Hitfilm 4 Express a simple editor and full 3D compositor has been released for Free

Hitfilm has released Hitfilm 4 Express for free. It is a simple editing program in the style of Premiere Pro, AVID and Final Cut Pro 7 (though not as full featured), with a full 3D compositing program built in. You can also buy individual expansion packs, or a full pro version for $399, which includes a Boris titling tool, and Mocha Camera Tracking as well almost 140 FX as plug ins for use in other programs!

I can't believe I didn't even know about this program, and am looking forward to giving it a try. Would love the Pro version to try some gunshot fx, that are rendered on the fly, so every one can be different. And for a fast full 3D compositor to be this cheap is impressive.

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Micromat releases free MacCheck

Micromat the creator of the excellent TechTool Pro utility for Mac has released the free utility MacCheck. It can do a Power On Self-Test, I/O check, Battery Test, Memory Test, Smart Test, RAID Status, Volume Structures and Partition Map. It won't fix anything, but it will show you if anything is wrong. And is a perfect addition if you have TechTool Protogo.
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Apple has killed Quicktime for Windows, and this could be a big problem for ProRes!

So this is a scary thing, Apple has killed Quicktime for Windows, and it currently has major security flaws in it, so if your computer is attached to the internet you should uninstall it.

The problem is that there are many video formats that require Quicktime to run. This includes all forms of ProRes, which has even become a major camera format, as well as Animation (a major format for After Effects) and DNxHD/HR.

Now Adobe says they are working on it, but will likely have to license components to get these to work, so if it ever does it will take a while.

Overall while this seems like a very Apple thing to do, it makes me once again worry about Apple and it's future in Video. The thing is even if you are not going to release your software for Windows, you want the video to be able to run for cross compatibility, like AVID always released versions of it's drivers for people who didn't own AVID. And ProRES is such a great format that it has become a defacto standard across a lot of the Post Production industry, but with this action ProRES will slowly be relegated to a sidestory, In the future cameras are going to be less likely to support it, and eventually it will be a FCP only format (that is if Apple even keeps developing FCP X in the future). Other than the short term why would Adobe support it, if it is literally only able to work on a Mac, that is less than half it's market, so why bother.

This just shows me how out of touch Apple really is.
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Yet again it looks like no SpeedGrade Upgrade in the next version of Creative Cloud

RedShark has a post on the Roadmap for the next version of Creative Cloud for Video to be shown at NAB this year. And the rumors look like once again, no more upgrades for SpeedGrade.

At a press briefing a few weeks ago where we first learned of these upgrades, but of course were not allowed to speak until the official announcement, a journalist questioned Adobe about Speedgrade future development and received a response to the effect of "we're concentrating on Premiere Pro in this iteration."

Actually what Adobe is doing with SpeedGrade seems to mirror what Apple did with Shake. Buy it, make it cheaper without changing it much, and integrate some part of it's tech into it's other apps, then stop updating it, until they just eventually kill it.

And the unfortunate thing is that SpeedGrade is a really great program, and the fact that a full grade comes back into Premiere Pro as a plug in is so much greater than having to render out each shot in DaVinci. And really the only thing it needs to get better is to let you move windows to a seperate monitor so you can have scopes be as big as you want.

And while it is great to have more SpeedGrade tech in Premiere (and even better to have it carry into After Effects), the simplified Lumetri color panel is so much less powetful than a full grade from SpeedGrade that it is almost useless. And really should have a more advanced version that allows for more powerful grades instead of lightroom like simplified controlls!
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Lytro gets out of consumer cameras and creates it's Cinema Camera

So Lytro is breaking the internet today with it's announcement of it dropping it's unsuccessful consumer division and instead making an incredible Cinema Camera.

Lytro Cinema from Lytro on Vimeo.


This camera sounds amazing. Sure it is only the start for this, as with a foot and a half wide sensor and a 755 megapixel sensor recording at up to 300 frames per second, the recording and post on this camera is going to be literally insane! And it is all connected to a giant rack of computers and storage. The thing is the ability to refocus and change the depth of field, create a stereo 3D image, and record a 3d Image of the scene to add in CG, or to create a perfect matte with any background, and add 3D without needing to motion track is amazing, it is a game changer for high end productions. Especially once this technology matures, and shrinks a bit in size and in price, this will change everything.
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PCWorld on the aging MacPro, which is too positive

PCWorld has an article on the aging 2013 MacPro update, which hasn't seen a single update since it's release. Honestly though the article is too psitive on what Apple can do if they a new update with new technology.

The Problem is they made an unupgradeable pro Macintosh, and to make a better machine, you have to but a new one. Many people including me, have an old style MacPro that we have continued to upgrade to make it relevant. And the New MacPro can't do that. You have on hard drive and two custom video cards and that is it. No upgrade other than RAM and external devices. And they have huge issues with external thunderbolt, like drives being disconected for no reason (See this article on MacPerformanceGuide).

Sure a non upgradeable machine means more money for Apple, but not upgrading the machine in 3 years, and making it much less than most desktop pc's, means PC's are much more powerful for less money with much better technology! It means pro users are going to consider leaving Mac altogether!

Seriously, does Apple want to lose Pro users? I have been an Apple user since the Apple IIC, but the non-upgradeable MacPro makes me consider moving to PC! At least if they consistently upgrading the unupgradable MacPro with the latest tech, it would make me consider the MacPro, but a 3 year or longer upgrade cycle is not acceptable! I mean Thunderbolt 3 is out on PC, and the latest NVIDIA graphics cards blow anything out of the water made in 2013, not even considering only having AMD video cards as an option, why are these not available on a Mac! Shit I would be OK with a non Xeon i7 Mac Pro with upgradeability, as it would blow my my MacPro 4,1 out of the water!

Apple is obviously not caring about Pro users, and not minding if they leave, which is scary since they are the people that kept Apple alive when it was the worst in the market. Honestly just admit it and give up on Pro users or actually make upgraded pro machines!
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VideoCopilot has released a new free plug in, SABER!



VideoCopilot has released a new free plug in and tutorial, Saber! Yes this plug in is to easily create Light Saber effects, but in fact has many more uses, especially for free.

And here is there tutorial.

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Adobe Media Encoder won't put chapter markers in H264 Video

So this is something that has annoyed me for some time, and has really been annoying me of late, so I have been trying workaround.

So basically the issue is that you can create Chapter Markers in Adobe Premiere Pro in your sequence, which are ostensibly for use in Adobe Encore, but that program stopped with CS6, and after my last hard drive bailed after the El Capitan Update I don't even have it installed on my current hard drive.

Anyway, back in the day with Final Cut Pro 7 I could export a video with chapter markers and compress an H264 video with chapter markers using compressor. It would make Apple Compatible m4v files instead of a normal mp4 files, but chapter markers would work in most programs and show up on the web in most cases.

Unfortunately Adobe Media Encorder won't do this, as it only makes straight mp4 files, and since Encore is a dead program, the Chapter Markers in Premiere Pro are pretty much useless.

After much searching, and seeing all the ways people were making chapter markers (most of which are really a pain the ass, and don't use standard formatting for either the text file, or the timcode), I went back to basically my old way of doing this.

This is to export my video as a ProRES video which includes chapter markers, and then use HandBrake to encode it with Chapter Markers. Now not only this take longer, but also take up more hard drive space, but at least the chapter markers work!

And while m4v is a subset of mp4, it does play in most players including directly in Firefox, though doesn't show the chapters markers, but at least it plays fine. And I am OK with my chapters only working on Macs, because at least they will show for most people looking at my reel.
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A couple DJI Osmo Reviews one very good and one good and bad

So I have been really looking into the $650 DJI OSMO and really want one, and would love to try it on my 2 axis Glidecam Smooth Shooter for really stable shots.

The first review I watched was from Everyday Reviews on YouTube. It is a very positive review overall.


The next review I checked out is a bit less positive from Chelsea & Tony. They had more issues, especially with it working right away, but overall they will still use it and it still makes me want one.







I still so want one. I wish I had one to review, as the short I have been working on for ages could really use it, and it has a lot of low light so I would like to test it's low light capabilities.
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DJI is giving away free Microphones to fix OSMO's audio issues!

I saw this at DIY Photography, after getting really interested in an OSMO just 2 days ago. And have been watching a lot of reviews and everyone complained about the audio, so this sounds to be very good news.


It will be free with all OSMOS as of now, but you can also get one for your already purchased one starting in March. Very cool.

Looking forward to how well it does with getting rid of the servo noise!

I so want one of these!
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Why are there not Ergonomic Editors keyboards?

So I have been an editor for a long time now, and I spend so much time on a computer that at times I get massive Carpal Tunnel attacks. I have figured out solutions, and my main one is to use an ergonomic keyboard. I currently use a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.

In fact I own 2. And I carry one to work with me ,as well as Kensington Expert Trackball as I never really got why you would need a wireless mouse or especially trackball.




 Of course at home I still use my last (my 3rd) Microsoft Trackball Explorer, which they stopped making years ago, and now sells for around $200 on ebay for a used one, and will never be replaced as the best Trackball ever made. No idea what I will do when my current one dies, but that is a bit off topic of this post.

So back on topic, I always use an ergo keyboard, and have an Aeron on home to help with my wrists (as well as some exercises with rubber bands I do when things get bad), but I would love to have an Editing keyboard. Yes I know most of the keyboard shortcuts I use on a regular basis, but there are still some in Premiere I don't know or think about and would love an a Premiere Pro editing keyboard, but they tend to be the standard Apple keyboards, which are flat and have no key travel (I like my keys to click and loved the old apple clicky keyboard) and they hurt my wrists! WHY OH WHY HAS NO ONE MADE AN ERGONOMIC EDITORS KEYBOARD?

I mean most editors spend way too much time on a computer, so you would think someone would do this! So if anyone is listening an Ergonomic Editors keyboard would be AMAZING! AS would someone copying the Microsoft Trackball Explorer, though unless I someday become a billionaire I doubt either will ever happen! Oh well.



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DJI Osmo, a stabilized action cam for $649!

The newly announced DJI Osmo stabilized action cam for $649 really blows my mind! It is basically a 4K GoPro with full image stabilization and some cool still features as well. And it can also be used with the $2100 X5 which can use 3 interchangeable lenses, but really I think this is more to get individual shots that raise the production value enough that you don't mind that it is basically a GoPro because the shots are so cool.

I would love to get my hands on one of these! It would be amazing!
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Editing Hail Caesar by the Cohen brothers in Premiere Pro

Adobe is highlighting how the Cohen Brothers editing their new film, Hail Ceaser on Premiere Pro! Great to see a big film done on Premiere since I like it so much better than AVID of late. It's integration with the rest of the creative cloud just makes it so powerful if you do some good organization techniques.
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Adobe Upgrades SpeedGrade update, but still not multi-monitor support, SpeedGrade needs an interface upgrade now!

Eric Philpott at Adobe blogs has the info on the latest update. While I am excited for some of the updates, especially LumetrinColor changes in Premiere carrying over to SpeedGrade, overall I am completely dissapointed.

I have really come to love SpeedGrade, and it's ability to put the grade as filters on clips, but the program needs an interface overhaul! The fact that it is still a single monitor program is unforgivable! You need to be able to move the viewer and scopes to a seperate monitor as you see fit! I want my controls and timeline on one screen and 3 scopes and a viewer on a second monitor (the viewer for doing masks, which you really can't do on an external video display). 

Sure DaVinci is a more powerful program, but the integration with Premiere and not having to render out your grade is amazing, but Adobe needs to stop porting it's features into Premiere, and fix it's interface!
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Adobe has release After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) with CINEWARE 3.0

Check out Tim Kurkoski's blog post on the new features, which mostly are Bug Fixes and CINEWARE 3.0 for Cinema 4D with most features for the latest version (not the Lite Version included with After Effects).
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Problems with MXF files that have been imported into Final Cut Pro X

So I was given some footage with absolutely no knowledge of how it was shot, or what format it was, but was not worried as I have am running Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Unfortunately I was wrong.

They all appear to be quicktime movies, but will not open in anything, or if they do only audio appears. And when I opened them in VLC it says it is a missing XALG encoder.

The only thing I could find on this issue is this unanswered post at Adobe Forums, and it seems to be my exact problem.

It turns out these are MXF files shot from a Sony Camera, and they were brought in through Final Cut Pro X (which I do not have on this machine), and it wrapped it in an MOV with the XALG encoder. The strange part is I do have the latest version of Motion so that I can get the Apple Pro Codec Updates, so you would think it would have the codec to play the video, but even motion won't open this quicktime movies.

Luckily I was able to get the person with the footage to send the original cards that the footage was shot on, and was able to copy them over and import the MXF files directly into Premiere Pro with no problem, but I can't seem to get the MOV's that Final Cut Pro X to open in anything. I figured Motion would do it, and was thinking maybe Compressor, but if Motion can't do it I am not spending the $50 on compressor, and certainly not paying Apple for Final Cut Pro again because it made some video footage useless.

This is a huge issue. Final Cut Pro X should not do anything to the files it imports, it should just play them all natively. That it wraps them in another file that makes them unusable by other programs makes me dislike this program even more.
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No Film School on why Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be shot on the RED WEAPON 8K.

No Film School has a good article on why Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be shot on the Red Weapon in 8 K.

It includes James Gunn's post on Facebook, which is really interesting, and I love what he is saying about Film and Digital. How he is not trying to replicate film and just finds it easier to do digital work when it is all digital (which is always what I felt, and what made doing a film like Star Wars The Force Awakens on film seem a little ridiculous). It also for Long Takes and for the small size of the body.
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Kodak is releasing a new Super 8 Camera!

One of the surprise announcements of CES this year was Kodak's very cool new Super 8 Camera! It will be $400 and $50 for a cartridge of film that you send and will be processed and that includes a digital scan as well! And it records sound to SD card.

Not only is this cool because most thought this format was mostly dead, except for Pro 8 Film (which crazily will do up to 5K scans).

I hope this gets some use at Film Schools, though I bet most have moved to digital.
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Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheets

Jamie at Make a Web Site has posted an Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects Keyboard shortcut Cheat Sheets. Very cool. Check them out.
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The Verge on Apple not using Final Cut Pro X

The Verge noticed a job listing for an editor at it's Beats Music division, but it is asking for someone with experience with AVID MEDIA COMPOSER and ADOBE PREMIERE PRO! Ha! It seems even Apple does not use Final Cut Pro X.
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iTunes update

So I have been spending all the time I can re-rating my iTunes Library, and so far I am only in D! This is going to literally take forever! Such a pain. And it seems to have been slowing down the more things I rate or make playlists, but that seems to have changed.

iTunes updated to version 12.3.2.35 recently, which allows for 100,000 songs in iTunes Match, and iTunes seems to have sped up again, no more beachballs all the time. Nice! Lets hope it stays this way! This is such an improvement. My almost 50,000 library seems zippy again!
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Message now works on my Mac and all it took was resetting my PRAM! Some NVIDIA weirdness though.

I can't believe I had not tried that, but Apple support got me and now Messages works in El Capitan

There was some strangeness though, and it is to do with my NVIDIA Geforce GTX 670 I mentioned in my previous post. After resetting the PRAM the computer came back up, but all the blue was orange again, and this time I took screenshots, but they looks correct once the problem is fixed! And to fix the issue I had to re-install the latest NVIDIA web drivers, though they were showing as already installed. Next time I will take a physical picture.


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10.11.2 El Capitan update did not require NVIDIA web driver to boot (though it looks crazy)

I run a NVIDIA GTX 670 with 4 GB of RAM in my MacPro, and it is not flashed. So when I update the system I have to use VNC to sign into my Mac and update the NVIDIA Web drivers and restart before my Mac shows anything on the monitors (or I have to swap my old GTX 270 and do the Update).

This seems to have changed with 10.11.2. In fact it showed the updating screen before the Desktop, and then came to the desktop. Of course it was not normal, in fact all Blue Colors were Orange! I wish I had though to take screen shots, as after the update I upgraded the NVIDIA web driver and restarted and everything was back to normal.

This is awesome news if this continues in the future, as it makes it much easier to upgrade to the latest NVIDIA web driver. I hope it just wasn't a fluke.
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Still unable to log into Messages with iCloud in El Capitan 10.11.2

So 10.11.2 came out, and I am still unable to log into Messages with iCloud on my Mac, though it works fine on my iPhone and iPad.

So I am on the phone with Apple Tech support. They for sure can see that my MacPro is not authorized. We went through signing out my iPad and iPhone of Messages, Facetime and iCloud and then signing back in, but that didn't help.

I was then moved to a level 2 tech, who sent me and apple application called Capture Data, and had me try to log into Messages with it collecting packets, and I sent the info to Apple and they will be contacting engineers.

They were very nice and I am supposed to hear back Monday. Fingers crossed that they can figure this out. Seems like it has to be on their end, as it worked fine before El Capitan and the weirdest part to them as well is that it still happens on my clean install of the OS.
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Update on iTunes and El Captian

So I have still not got iMessages to work in El Capitan and I have to Log into iCloud every time I restart or it doesn't work, but this is about iTunes.

After getting my iTunes back working, but losing all of my playlists and Metadata, I have been working on re-rating my tracks, and remaking my playlists.

What is interesting, and scary to me is as I rate more tracks, iTunes slows down more and more, and I am getting more and more beachballs. Basically I listen to a track and give it rating then skip to the next track, and often it starts playing the new track, but doesn't show it in the interface for a while and I get the beachball for a bit before I can rate the next track. And as I rate more tracks and remake more playlists it gets worse.

I just hope once I am done (as I am only in B so far) that it doesn't slow down to the speed of my old messed up Library. I thought the new clean library would just stay faster, but it seems to be getting slower the more work I do on it!

This is really scary as it shows that the slowdowns are indemic in iTunes code with large libraries and a large metadata collection.

It means Apple really needs to start over on iTunes and rewrite the code from the base up, but that is a scary prospect as it will likely break much of the functionality that exists (and they have already been losing more and more functionality over time), and create new issues for a while.

Honestly I just hate to have to put all the time into fixing my iTunes only to see it be slow and hard to use again.
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