Love working with Chuck Joiner. It’s great to record these podcasts, and always have a blast hanging out with Chuck. This episode is covering my latest book on OS X Server. Stoked to get the chance to do this again! To check out the book, click here!
When I was speaking at MacADUK, I asked Tom Bridge about starting a podcast. He’s got a great voice, and I thought he’d be a great co-host. Before we were able to get to that when we got home, Adam Codega, independently of the conversation I’d had with Tom, dropped a note on Twitter to see who else might be interested in doing a Podcast. A few people responded that they’d be interested in also jumping in on a new Podcast. Over the next few weeks, decisions were made that the podcast would be hosted as a part of MacAdmins.org, the format, the hosting location, and lots of other really cool stuff. And some of us got together and recorded the first episode. And then, last night, we recorded the second episode just in time to get that into editorial before Episode 1 is released.
And soooooo, episode 1 is out! It includes Tom Bridge, Emil Kausalik, Adam Codega, and myself. We also have an interview with some of the organizers from the Penn State Mac Admins conference, which I wasn’t able to sit in on, but find just fantastic. And Tom did some of the editing. Aaron Lippincott (@dials-Mavis) did a lot of work on the mastering and deserves lots of credit there (he made everyone sound way betterer). And John Kitzmiller did a lot of work on the domain and website and DNS type of stuff, as well as helping with hosting of the podcast assets as well. And Adam’s done a lot of work on the back end linking things together, so a great team effort.
The next episode also features Pepijn Bruienne and Marcus Ransom (who I lovingly decided we should call the He-Man of the Mac Universe) and covers the latest iOS 9.3 release, as well as some information about the Classroom app. So stay tuned for that, but click below to give the episode a listen, or find on iTunes once it appears (and I’ll post a link to that once we can).
Overall, I’m really stoked to get this thing going, and that the group has built a great system for future episodes, that should be sustainable for many, many episodes. I’m also really stoked to be able to get to work with this specific group – I’m a big fan of everyone, and I look forward to many episodes to come! So follow on Twitter at @MacAdmPodcast and feel free to let us know if you’ve done something awesome and we should mention it or interview you!
The avconvert command is a new addition in OS X Lion that allows administrators to quickly and easily convert video from one format to another using presets for video conversion. The presets are mostly common Apple formats tuned to specific devices.
In its simplest form, avconvert uses a preset, a source and then an output to convert the source to the output using the preset to define the format to use for conversion. A useful preset is the 640×480 one. To convert this using this idea:
/usr/bin/avconvert --preset Preset640x480 --source /Convert/test.mov --output Converted/test.mov
While some of the presets are pretty self explanatory, I haven’t gone through them all to see their specific outputs. Simply regressioning through each and then doing a get-info on the resultant QuickTime should net such a result.
You can also use avconvert to extract audio or video only, to change data rates, track height and width, convert codecs, change frame rates and event o frame reordering. You can also specify a closed caption track, thumbnail tracks and all kinds of other cool stuff. While avconvert is the latest addition to video augmentation commands, the pcastaction command has also received some new features. I had previously written up a list of verbs for pcastaction at http://krypted.com/mac-os-x-server/pcastaction-verbs. This list is further enhanced in Lion. New verbs include:
addchapter – adds a chapter at a specified time
addtracks – add tracks using an optional offset and layers
deletetracks – deletes audio, video or audio_and_video tracks
extracttracks – outputs audio, video or audio_and_video tracks
flatten – flattens .mov, .m4v, .m4a and .m4b movies
join – joins two input files into an output file with an optional gap
qtimport – prepares QuickTime files with optional chapterizing
qtinfo – obtains keys from QuickTime files
sharewithpodcastlibrary – option for submitting a file to another Podcast Producer library
split – splits a QuickTime movie and outputs two files that are split at the time specified in the –time option
trim – specify start and end and remove the rest of the file
The podcast command, used to run Podcast Producer workflows is also still around and can be very useful. While there isn’t new stuff, it is worth mentioning that –addacl becomes –addaccess, –make explicit becomes –makefeedexplicit and –makenonexplicit becomes –makefeednonexplicit. There’s also the long, long awaited option for –removeepisode. This last option allows administrators to remove episodes from the Podcast Producer library based on the UUID of the episode. In my testing, you still need to remove the entry from the blog if you are also exporting episodes to the a blog, but this is basically what we were doing in the Deleting a Podcast post I did some time ago at http://krypted.com/mac-os-x-server/deleting-a-podcast-in-podcast-producer, just they wrap the three commands into one option of the podcast command. Still look to the asset removal article I did for actually scrubbing files (http://krypted.com/mac-os-x-server/scrubbing-assets-from-podcast-producer) . Feed removal is also still manual: http://krypted.com/mac-os-x-server/removing-feeds-from-podcast-producer.
ACL management remains about the same (http://krypted.com/mac-os-x-server/podcast-producer-workflow-acls). While I never got around to writing up how to programatically manage ACLs in Podcast Producer, it is worth mentioning that podcast’s –addacl option and –enableacl will allow you to do so. They, along with other options in podcast and pcastaction are much better documented in the man pages in lion, so the things I couldn’t get to work in 10.6 should be sorted out somewhere in 10.7.
Finally, while nothing new, the work I did on image file automation ( http://krypted.com/mac-os-x/automating-image-file-changes) with sips I now have hooking into podcast workflows. I hope to publish an article on this at some point in the future, but the idea is a workflow where you drop an image and a video into a folder (or use an upload dialog) and it watermarks the video with a compressed-down version of the image… Also, avconvert offers a perfect compliment to podcast workflows. I’ve had a number of instances where people were trying to feed pcastaction formats that were unsupported, video that was too large or other problematic inputs and so avconvert allows us to sanitize the inputs for pcastaction or podcast prior to managing our workflows. With launchdaemons watching directories this provides some of what Final Cut Server was able to provide, only without the database of assets, easy way to tag them, etc, etc, etc, etc. Overall, a very nice incremental update to Podcast Producer and en masse video management in Lion. Nothing jaw dropping or massive, but some nice new features, better documentation and in my testing so far, more overall stability.