MindManager for Mac has always been the lesser of the MindManager family. That’s been changed since Corel took over and the Mac version now is very close to the Windows version, with almost identical features, except the interchangeability with Microsoft Project and the lack of an Enterprise version.
Apple fills up their iMacs with far too little memory to be useful, so the first thing you want to do when you buy a new machine is think about installing additional memory. Apple’s memory isn’t cheap and iMacs – apart from the iMac Pro – can easily be upgraded after having purchased one with the standard 8GB installed. The question is how much you need to buy, given that even third-party RAM like that of Crucial isn’t for free. It all depends on what you plan out to do with your new iMac.
Here’s a puzzle: you’re shooting video or photos on location, using a CalDigit AV Pro 2. At your workstation you have a RAID system that you normally use for offloading images or video clips shot when in the studio directly. The AV Pro 2 is also used as a secondary offload drive for those studio-shot clips. That introduces a problem: how can you make sure — easily, quickly and simply — that everything on the AV Pro 2 is synchronised with the RAID? The answer can be to change your workflow, buy a new AV Pro 2 that’s going to be used only as secondary offload station, or buy a $50 licence to a software called ChronoSync.
Bombich Software recently released an upgrade to its backup and disk cloning application, Carbon Copy Cloner. Carbon Copy Cloner 5 offers complex task filtering, coaching tips, smarter pruning, task grouping and scheduling and more. It still allows you to create exact — bootable — clones of a startup disk and enables you to check if a backup or clone hasn’t been corrupted due to bit rot or other errors. And while I was at it, I had a short talk with Mike Bombich, the developer and publisher of Carbon Copy Cloner, on backing up, offloading and securing your backups.
Europe is home to some pretty innovative developers. In Slovenia, Lumulabs is a small operation that developed the Lumu Power light meter, a Kickstarter success that started well over a year ago and which successfully ended in June with the first shipment of the finished devices. The Lumu Power light meter is a hardware sensor combined with an iOS app. It has both a fast-response silicon photo diode and true colour sensor in a package the size of a big marble.
Most users in the creative industry know they should regularly calibrate and profile their monitor for colour-critical work, but there’s more to colour accuracy than keeping your monitor in shape colour-wise. If you’re going to be printing or projecting your photos, art or videos, you’d better calibrate the output equipment as well. In fact, if you want to be absolutely certain colours will be accurately rendered from input to output, you will need to calibrate — or at least profile — cameras, scanners, monitors, printers and projectors. There’s only one affordable option that is accurate enough: the Red Dot Award winning X-Rite i1Pro 2 and I had the chance to test the Photo version.
I’m not a fan of automatic image enhancement tools, but Perfectly Clear 3 struck me as a Photoshop plug-in that allows for subtle improvements on portraits without making you look like a plastic Barbie doll. It offers a plethora of presets and a full set of controls too.
Telestream has just upgraded Switch, their QC and quick-export app for videos up to 4K. New features in the Pro version that I have been reviewing include a comparison capability that lets you open additional files to compare with your primary media file, an external preview to Blackmagic Design devices, more publishing options, more containers and improved playback.
Telestream Switch 2 is the new version of the screening, quality control and desktop conversion player. It’s a major upgrade with must-have features and improvements. Video editors will love the new timeline with its capability to view a clip’s GOP structure. Switch 2 also enables you to view VANC (Vertical Ancillary) data on an external monitor, jump to any point in your video, play clips better and decode WMV files.
Creating a movie, outputting it to the highest possible standard and then distributing it over the Internet. What could be easier? It’s actually a lot less simple than it sounds. Which compression level are you to use? Do you even have to bother? Doesn’t Youtube and Vimeo handle all of this themselves? You should bother and you should decide for yourself, and Compression Preview helps you with this important task. It’s an After Effects plug-in that shows you what your video will look like when compressed to a specific setting.