fixed : compress video for WhatsApp (or eMail)

Question :

I would like to send a small piece of a video I just shot at a birthday party to a group of friends on WhatsApp, but it’s too big to upload.

How can I compress it for easy viewing on Whatsapp ?

 

Answer :

If you have shot the video on your iPhone you can send it right away, and iOS will do the compression for you.

However, if you already have the video on your Mac and you want to compress it before you send it using WhatsApp Desktop (for macOS), do this :

  • make sure you trim down the length of the video to a clip that only includes the most relevant part of the video
    • you can do this in QuickTime Player (included in macOS for FREE)
  • use Smart Converter (FREE from Mac AppStore) and choose ‘for iPhone or iPod’, then click ‘Convert’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 10MB per 10 seconds)
  • use Handbrake (FREE from handbrake.fr) and choose ‘Presets’ > ‘Gmail Large 3 minutes 720p30’, then click ‘Start’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 2MB per 10 seconds)

Note : even though the frame rate and screen size are the same, the ‘Gmail’-ready file will be much smaller than the ‘iPhone’-ready file, even though (or rather ‘because’) this comes with the downside that quick-moving objects will blur in the ‘Gmail’-ready video (compared to the ‘iPhone’-ready video that hardly has any blur and is similar in size and quality to the ‘Fast 720p30’ preset in Handbrake) 

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : quickly rotate a movie file in macOS 10.15 Catalina

Question :

I have a movie-file that was shot on an iPhone in portrait-mode, but I think it will look better  when viewed in landscape-mode. It’s a video of you cat playing on the carpet, shot from above, so both portrait-mode and landscape-mode are okay for viewing, but as we prefer to view video’s on out TV it would make more sense to have it in landscape-mode.

How do I do that ?

 

Answer :

In MacOSX and OSX rotating photos was easily done in iPhoto or Photos.app, but rotating video couldn’t be done in iPhoto or Photos.app – that had to be done in video editing software like iMovie, or a dedicated video-rotation-app.

In macOS 10.15 Catalina, rotating video 90 degrees can be done extremely simple in the Finder :

  • open the Finder (click out of all apps until you have only the Desktop to look at)
  • open a New Finder Window by typing CMD and N keys on your keyboard simultaneously (or goto Finder > File > New Finder Window)
  • locate the video-file (if you know it’s name, typ it in the Search-bar, else browse to the file if you know where it’s located)
  • then click on the file name to select it
  • the video preview will now come up on the right side, with various info and some buttons below it
  • to rotate your video 90 degrees counter-clockwise, click on Rotate Left
  • to rotate your video 90 degrees clockwise, press the ALT key on your keybord and click on Rotate Right (in the same spot where the Rotate Left button used to be)
  • then wait for the processing to end…

…and you’re done 😉

That’s it – enjoy !

fixed : get very old iPhoto Library to open in macOS Mojave Photos.app

Question :

On my old PowerPC G4 (or G5) Mac I found some old photos in iPhoto.

Is it possible to copy the database and open it in the Photos.app on my new Mac that runs macOS 10.14 Mojave ?

Or do I have to import the photos as just photos and lose all additional info and edit that was done in iPhoto long ago ?

 

Answer :

Of course, the easiest and quickest way to get the original photos into your new Photos.app would be to just import all the old photos into Photo.app. But… as you already mentioned, you will loose all additional info and edits that you added in iPhoto back in the days.

The best way to get as much info and edits into Photos.app as possible is to do the following :

  • connect an external HD, external SSD or USB-stick with plenty of GBs to your old PowerPC G4 or G5 Mac
  • go to Users –> [your account name] –> Pictures –> iPhoto Library
  • copy the iPhoto Library (or even the entire Pictures folder) onto your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • when done, eject the external HD/SSD or USB-stick (by dragging it’s icon to the trash or clicking the eject-icon besides it’s name in the Finder) and disconnect it from your old Mac
  • then connect the external HD/SSD or USB-stick to your new Mac
  • download the iPhoto Library Upgrader software from Apple :

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202358

  • install the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • go to Applications –> Utilities –> iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • run the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • in the window that opens, click on the Choose Library button
  • then select the iPhoto Library that is now on your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • then click Continue
  • when done, exit the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • then go to Apple-menu (Apple-icon top-left in the Finder) –> System Preferences –> iCloud
  • make sure you are Signed In into iCloud
  • then, in the list on the right at “Photos” click on the Options button
  • then make sure that there is a check mark at “iCloud Photos”
  • then exit System Preferences
  • now, double-click the Photos.app while holding down the [ALT]-key on your keyboard
  • now, while starting up Photos.app will ask you which Photos/ iPhoto Library to open
  • then choose the iPhoto Library that’s on your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • now, Photos.app will start converting the iPhoto Library to an up-to-date Photos Library
  • when done, Photos.app will display your old iPhoto photos
  • then, in Photos.app, goto Preferences, then General-tab and at Library Location click the ‘Use as System Photo Library’-button, to (temporarily) make the old iPhoto/Photos Library the one that syncs with iCloud
  • then Photo.app will start uploading the old photos to iCloud
  • now, in iCloud, these photos will be merged with the ones that were already in iCloud and they will be sent out to your iCloud (or rather iCloud Photos) connected devices
  • when the uploading is complete, you can quit Photos.app
  • now, double-click the Photos.app while holding down the [ALT]-key on your keyboard
  • now, while starting up Photos.app will ask you which Photos/ iPhoto Library to open
  • then choose the iPhoto Library that used to be your main Photos Library previously (usually the one that is in your current user’s Pictures folder)
  • then, in Photos.app, goto Preferences, then General-tab and at Library Location click the ‘Use as System Photo Library’-button, to make make your main Photos Library the one that syncs with iCloud again and be the one that opens when you startup Photos.app
  • then wait for the ‘new’ (additional old) photos to sync from iCloud and you will have an integrated Photos Library of old and new Photos and iPhoto’s databases

that’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : quickly create a printable grayscale picture from a color photo using Preview.app

Question :

I often have color pictures (like photos) that I would like to print in grayscale, but I don’t have a grayscale printer.

What is the simplest way to do so ?

 

Answer :

Having a color printer is great, and the easiest way to print grayscale pictures is to just select the grayscale-option before printing :

  • open the picture (ussually a .jpg) in Preview.app
  • in the top-bar, go to File and select Print from the pulldown list ; or press the [CMD]+[P] key-combo on your keyboard
  • in the pulldown window that opens, click on Preview and select Graphics from the pulldown menu
  • then, at Color Mode, select “Grayscale” (instead of “Color”)
  • then click the Print-button and see what comes out of your printer
  • Note that if you would make a PDF now, that it’s not going to be a grayscale picture…

Sometimes this will do just fine, but often that isn’t enough, and you will need to do a few extra steps to get an acceptable result out of your printer :

  • open the picture (usually a .jpg) in Preview.app
  • click on the “Show Markup toolbar”-button (the circle with the pen-point in it, just left of the Search-bar top-right)
  • first, crop the image if needed :
    • then, click on the DashedSquare-icon (top-left) and select the “Rectangular Selection” option
    • on the picture, select the area you want to use (click the top-left of the envisioned area, than botom-right) and the selection area will be displayed
    • if you need to, adjust the selection area by dragging it’s edges
    • then, in the top-bar, go to Tools and select Crop from the pulldown list ; or type the [CMD]+[K] key-combo on your keyboard
    • now the picture will be croped to the smaller ‘selection only’ size
  • then, in the top-bar, go to Tools and select Adjust Color from the pulldown list ; or type the [CMD]+[ALT]+[C] key combo on your keyboard
  • in the AdjusColor-window that opens there is a ‘histogram’ (a picture with red/green/blue (a.k.a. RGB) graphs) with an AutoLevels-button, a list of 9 sliders and a ResetAll-button below it
  • attached to the base of the histogram, there are 3 slider-pointers (a.k.a. histogram-sliders)
  • set the middle histogram-slider lower (a little to the left)
  • then set the right histogram-slider lower (a little to the left)
  • then set the Exposure-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • set the Contrast-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • set the Sepia-slider in the middle
  • set the Sharpness-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • see if the (color) picture’s look is now clearer …if not go back and adjust the sliders until it is a brighter picture with more detail
  • then, in the top-bar, go to File and select Print from the pulldown list ; or press the [CMD]+[P] key-combo on your keyboard
  • in the pulldown window that opens, click on Preview and select Graphics from the pulldown menu
  • then, at Color Mode, select “Grayscale” (instead of “Color”)
  • then click the Print-button

that’s it !

Note : if you would make a PDF now, that it’s going to be a color-picture, not a grayscale picture… if you need a grayscale picture digitally, you will need to use Photoshop  or something similar…

Important extra note : once the picture is a PDF, you can no longer adjust the colors

enjoy 😉