fixed : quickly create GIF from QuickTime or MP4 video

Question :

For my social media I regularly want to create a .gif-animation from small clip out of an .mp4-video file that I have, but I don’t have a lot of video-editing skills or specialised software.

Is there a simple way to do this ?

 

Answer :

There are lots of ways to do this. And no video-editing skills are required to do the most basic, but with some editing you can quickly get better results.

I would recommend buying the $5 GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore and doing the editing in QuickTime (or iMovie).

The recommendations for a good GIF-animation for most social media are (suggested by .gif-database GIPHY) :

  • duration of about 6 seconds (shorter is better)
  • file size close to 8MB (smaller is better)
  • video resolution of 480 pixels (or 720 pixels maximum) on the shortest side (depending on either landscape or portrait view, or square, or any custom size)
  • total number of frames of 100 maximum (less is better)

If you just want to turn part of an existing video into a GIF, do this :

  • get GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore ( the $5 price tag is worth it if you plan on doing this more frequently )
  • first, open the video source in QuickTime.app
  • then, in the top menu bar, click on “Window”
  • then, in the pulldown menu, click on “Movie Inspector”
  • then, check out the number that is at “Encoded FPS” and remember it (you need this later)
  • then close QuickTime.app
  • now, open your source video in GIF Brewery 3
  • then, in the video slider below your video, slide the green slider to match the first frame of your desired GIF
  • and slide the red slider to where you want your GIF to end
    • click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-length is not okay, readjust the green and/or red slider to improve your clip
  • now, in the editing window, click on the Resize-button top left
  • then, in the popup window, make sure “Maintain aspect ratio” is checked
  • then, move the Scale-slider until either Width or Height is 480px (if the clip size is less than 5 seconds, you could also stop the Scale-slider at 720px)
  • now, in the editing window, click the Settings-button top right
  • then, at “Frames Per Second” set the fps to match the “Encoded FPS” of the original video
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-speed is too slow, adjust the Speed-slider to a higher value (anything less than 110%, even 103%, will usually do)
    • if the preview-speed is too fast, adjust the Speed-slider to a lower value (anything over 95% will usually do)
  • then, make sure there’s a checkmark at “Optimize GIF colors”
  • then, adjust the ColorCount-slider to 48
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview looks okay, leave the ColorCount-slider at 48
    • if the preview looks too dark or otherwise odd, adjust the ColorCount-slider to a higher value like 96, 128, 216 or 256, but make sure to set it as low as possible
  • then, click the “Create”-button (at the bottom, slightly right of the middle, with a beer glass in it) to generate the GIF
  • then, click on the Save-button (bottom right)
  • in the popup window, type the name you want your GIF to have, set the location where you want it stored and click the Save-button
  • then, browse the Finder to find the GIF’s icon and ALT-click on it
  • first, select “Get Info” from the popup menu and check if the file size is 10MB or less
    • if the file size is over 10MB, go back to GIF Brewery 3, lower at least one of the values you have set there and create an extra version of your GIF that has a file size of 10MB or less
    • as mentioned before, the main values you can adjust are :
      • Length of the clip
      • Scale / Resize (might make the picture more grainy)
      • Frames Per Second / FPS (might make motions less fluent)
      • Color Count (might make the colors less vibrant)
  • then, ALT-click on the GIF’s icon again and select “Open with” from the popup menu and select your internet browser (probably Safari) to preview the animated GIF
  • If you are happy with the end result, you are ready to post the GIF on your social media
    • if not… redo your editing and try again

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

 

tip : quickly cut-out part of a picture in OSX

Question :

I have a nice picture I want to use in a presentation, but I don’t want the entire picture, just part of it.

Is there an easy way to cut the desired piece out ?

…even if I don’t have Photoshop ?

Answer :

Even if you don’t have Photoshop, cutting out part of a picture for (re)use in PowerPoint, Keynote, Word, Pages, your website, LinkedIn, FaceBook, etc. is very easy on your Mac :

1- open the picture in Preview app (usually that would only require you to double-click on the picture’s icon)

2- click on the Image-button (Edit button)

3- in the Editing-toolbar that appears, click on the Image-button (Selection button)

4- now the + (Plus sign) appears, so : click on one corner of the part of the picture you want to select and drag to the opposite corner [ you can do this rather ‘roughly’ ]

5- then the selection area appears [ normally a rectangle with dots in the corners and on the middle of the side ] ; drag the dots so, that the selection area exactly fits the part of the picture that you want to take out

6- then press the ‘Copy key-combo’ (CMD + C)

7- now choose “New From Clipboard” from the “File”-menu, or press the ‘New key-combo’ (CMD + N), and you will get a new window with only your ‘cut-out part’ in it

8- if that looks as you envisioned it, choose “Save” from the “File”-menu, or press the ‘Save key-combo’ (CMD + S), and save the cut-out picture as a JPEG or PNG (or TIFF)

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tip : play some Angry Birds on your Mac for free [2]

I’ve found some new FREE versions of Angry Birds for Mac for you to play :

There’s a FREE download (demo) version of Angry Birds Rio for MacOSX available here :

http://riodvd.angrybirds.com

And if you’re using Facebook, you can play some Angry Birds Star Wars online also :

https://www.facebook.com/angrybirds/app_229005017191889

Note : please be aware that playing games on Facebook comes with some ‘unpleasant obligations’ that some of us might even consider breach of privacy :

“This app may post on your behalf, including your high scores, tournaments you unlocked and more.”

Enjoy !

If you haven’t seen my previous post on playing some Angry Birds games on your Mac for FREE, you should have a look here :

https://macmanus.nl/2012/05/05/play-some-angry-birds-for-free/

…it’s full of links to other FREE Angry Birds games for your Mac !

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fixed : Flash 11 needed on PowerPC Mac (for BBC iPlayer, Facebook video, etc.)

Question :

I was a happy user of BBC iPlayer, but it has stopped working on my G4 (or G5) PowerPC Mac, since the new BBC iPlayer version requires Adobe Flash 11, and the latest version of Flash released is version Player 10.1.102.64

Isn’t there any way for me to view Flash 11 content on my PowerPC Mac ?

Answer :

There is an unofficial version of Flash for PowerPC that tells websites it is Flash 11 to enable you to view Flash 11 content. This works for BBC iPlayer, Facebook video, YouTube video, Adobe Kuler and various other web services.

This will enable you to access Flash 11 content on your PowerPC Mac, but please be aware that modern video will still be stuttering on a G4 Mac… even with this trick… for YouTube viewing you might be better of using MacTubes ; go here for more info :¬†https://macmanusnl.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/fixed-watch-yo‚Ķwered-g4-ibook/

Installing the unofficial Flash 11 is rather simple, but as always with ‘home-brewed’ software, using it is completely AT YOUR OWN RISK !

– first and foremost : BACKUP your Mac ; make a copy of your entire hard drive before you proceed (use TimeMachine for instance)

– after that, and ONLY after that backup being done, open Safari and download the edited Flash-plugin here :

http://www.steelbin.com/FBforFBPPC

Р then goto the download button in the upper right corner of Safari and click it

– then in the “Downloads” windows that opens, click on the folder named “FPforFBPPC”

– when the Finder opens, click on the alias folder named “Internet Plug-Ins” (this folder can also be found at [your hard drive] –> Library –> Internet Plug-Ins)

– inside that folder, right-click (= CTRL + mouse click) on the file named “Flash Player.plugin”

– in the popup menu that appears, choose “Compress Flash Player.plugin”

– you will now have a file named “Flash Player.plugin.zip”, rename it to “Flash Player(original).plugin.zip”

– then right-click on the file named “Flash Player.plugin” and choose “Move to Trash”

– then quit Safari

– then go back to your downloads folder, click on the folder named “FPforFBPPC” once again, and right-click¬†the file “flash Player.plugin” that’s in there

– from the popup menu choose “Label” and a color that indicates to you that this is not an original file (e.g. red or yellow)

– then drag the file “flash Player.plugin” onto the folder alias named “Internet Plug-Ins” that’s right below it

– then click on the file “READ FIRST.rtf” and read the disclaimer that the maker (called SteelBin) has for you !

– now reopen Safari and goto this website :

http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/find-version-flash-player.html

– there you can check if you see the video (at STEP1) and if your Flash Player Version is recognized as 11.1.102.55 (at STEP2)

– if that’s okay, you’re done (don’t bother about STEP3 and STEP4)

(if you get any older version of Flash listed… repeat the procedure,¬†and if that still doesn’t work, follow the instructions below for installing a web browser for PowerPC Macs that’s still being updated)

– Now you’re able to use BBC iPlayer and many other modern sites once again on you ‘old’ Mac !

Enjoy !

A big thanks to SteelBin for creating this, please donate to him if you wish to thank him for doing so…

…and a special thanks to Telford Moore for testing the BBC iPlayer with this trick

NOTE :

– if you have trouble using a website or web service because you still get an error that your browser is too old, start using a web browser for PowerPC Macs that is still being updated. You have two options :

Camino :

http://caminobrowser.org

OmniWeb :

http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omniweb/overview/

Note : even though it is suggested elsewhere on the web to combine the use of the unofficial Flash 11 plugin with the TenFourFox web browser, I would advice to not hack TenFourFox to do so…¬†

Yes, the big advantage of TenFourFox is that it is the closest you can get to the modern day Firefox, but the flipside is that it has plugins (like Flash and QuickTime) completely disabled for security reasons… they’re waiting for HTML5 to make plugins obsolete…

http://code.google.com/p/tenfourfox/wiki/PluginsNoLongerSupported

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fixed : “Your browser is not supported” error in Safari on iCloud.com

Question :

I have OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion with Safari 6, but when I try to log in on iCloud.com, I get a message saying “Your browser is not supported. To use iCloud, we recommend using the latest version of Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.”

The error on iCloud.com is the worst, but I also get reminders on other sites like Facebook and ANWB.nl that my browser isn’t recent enough, and I should update…

I can’t upgrade as I am already on the latest version of Safari.

I’ve tried switching the User Agent under the Develop chapter in Safari’s menu bar, but whatever I try, when I restart Safari, it automatically defaults back to a custom User Agent string that reads :

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible- MSIE 6.0- Windows NT 5.1- SV1- .NET CLR 1.1.4322

What can I do ? this is getting on my nerves…

Answer :

the solution is rather straight forward : delete all plist-files associated with Safari manually

here’s how to do so :

– in the Finder, in the upper menu bar go to “Go”

– then “Go to folder…”

– in the popup window type “~/library/preferences”

(that’s how you get into the hidden Library-folder)

– then drag these files to the Desktop (you might not have all of them on you Mac) :

com.apple.Safari.plist

com.apple.Safari.plist.ByIRcYZ

com.apple.Safari.plist.lockfile

com.apple.Safari.plist.RRS.plist

com.apple.Safari.plist.RSS.plist.lockfile

– then restart Safari and check if everything works as you would like it to

– if so, drag those .plist-files you just moved to the Desktop to the Trash

…that’s it

FYI : theoretically you could also have replaced the custom User Agent string by the proper one for Safari 6 :

Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A5355d Safari/8536.25

…too bad that your Safari will probably not be able to save that though, so you’ll still have to follow the directions outlined above…

more User Agent strings can be found here :

http://www.useragentstring.com/_uas_Safari_version_.php