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Neil Parfitt – Someone who is actually using a Mac Pro correctly

There has been a lot of talk about the Mac Pro since it came out. Most of it drivel. There's been admonishment that it's too expensive, it's too powerful, no one has a need for a machine like that. Meanwhile, people like Linus and Jay, build $20k computers, who's sole purpose is to play games, with (multiple) $3000+ video cards and declare what they've done is awesome.

Despite this, the Mac Pro is an amazing machine, and several companies have already rushed to make Windows based systems that compete. Linus is practically screaming with joy as he snaps 2TB of ram into a machine so he can open tabs in Google Chrome. A stupid experiment, but the hardware shows other companies are taking the technology of the Mac Pro very seriously.

Ironically, it was Linus that pointed me to Neil Parfitt, who actually uses a Mac Pro for work. Real work. Not just someone on YouTube who happened to get one so they could unbox it on camera and swoon over the black keyboard.

Neil is an audio professional, who works on Hollywood movies and television (not YouTube videos), and the Mac Pro isn't the most expensive piece of gear in his audio setup.

It starts with the unboxing of the rack mount edition, and why he chose that config. He then goes into the multiple pieces of hardware that need to fit inside the Mac Pro. His goal is to replace two Mac Pro 2013s with 12 cores and 128GB ram, with a Mac Pro of 28 cores and 384GB ram.

This isn't about playing games. It has nothing to do with frame rate. There are no Cinebench scores.

What he documents is a fascinating journey of putting the machine together, installing a massive amount of hardware, getting the Mac Pro into the rack cabinet, and hooking it into the system with all the other audio hardware. He comments on both the good and bad things of the process.

Neil uses a Mac for sure, but he's not being a fan boy. He points out several places where Apple's setup for audio professionals is not set up for audio professionals. There are obstacles to be overcome and this machine needs to be set up and working for his real business and putting together a score for a real television show, not some 10 minute video on YouTube.

Honestly, this is some of the best tech documentary I have seen in a long time. He's not running around with a Red camera, or using a robotic arm, or waxing poetic about how shiny something is. Although he does make a few comments about the case clicking into place. I can't fault him though, it does sound cool.

When you see the rest of his studio gear, you will quickly realize, this Mac isn't about vanity, but performance. And it's merely one tool, in a very expensive collection of tools, that make up his workflow.

If you want to see a Mac Pro used correctly, by someone who knows what they're doing, and see a high powered machine used for something other than games and frame rate, check out what Neil Parfitt has going on.

I can't wait to see the full workflow in action.

Neil Parfitt – Unbox and commenting on the Mac Pro rack mount edition

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Downloading Channels and Playlists with 4K Video Downloader

Downloading videos off YouTube is no major undertaking. There are more apps and plugins to grab videos than you can shake a stick at. However, things get a little more tricky when you want to download all the videos from a channel or in a playlist.

My favorite tool for downloading videos is Freemake Video Downloader, but over the past few months and releases some of the features have fallen to the wayside, specifically it’s ability to download playlists. It used to have this feature, but it either no longer works or has been completely removed. Either way, feeding it a playlist URL won’t give you what you want.

Strangely, getting an app to pull in a playlist is turning out to be more challenging that I thought. Most apps in fact can’t do it. They either see the URL as bad or will only grab the first item on the list and stop. Even the download managers don’t know what to do with it and see it as an HTML file. That’s no good. How am I to download the 180+ items in the 80s Playlist?

All is not lost. I began to experiment with 4K Video Downloader and it really shines when it comes to playlists. In fact, if you’re not downloading lists or channels, it’s probably not an app you need. You can use Freemake Video Downloader, which still grabs videos with ease and can convert them to MP3 if needed.

But, the goal was to grab several large playlists. One was for music videos which I wanted to convert to MP3 files and the other was a list of car videos from Jay Leno’s Garage. And since we are getting to that season, there were some Vincent Price videos I wanted as well. Yes, clearly I could copy and paste each link and get everything I wanted, and that works fine for about 10 items or so, but for big lists or big channels, that’s just not going to work for me. Call me lazy if you like, but I prefer the word efficient.

Enter 4K Video Downloader which accepts the playlist URL and parses out all the pieces to give you a complete list of items it will download. You can choose to grab everything or remove particular items. Once you get started it will go down the list and save every file for you.

If it’s a music list you’re going after, change the option to Extract rather than Download and choose the audio quality. The files are then saved in MP3 format so they can be played as music.

Now, depending on your Internet speed and speed of your processor, this may take some time. But, on my home machine with a 10MB connection and 8-cores, it grabbed so much data out of that 180+ item list that the app actually appeared locked for a minute. However, under the hood all was well and it was processing like a fiend! It was grabbing as many files as it could get it’s digital hands on and new filenames blasted onto the drive. After that initial burst, things leveled out and I got a steady stream of downloads and files being written. The whole process only took a couple of minutes and when all was said and done I had 1.5GB of new files. Wow, that was pretty awesome.

The process was basically the same for video files. The playlist was parsed and presented and when I released the hounds, 4K Downloader grabbed as much data as it could manage. It then settled into using 3 threads (user configured) and in short order had all the movies downloaded. Again, I had a dozens of files in just a few minutes. For comparison, I tried it on my laptop and while the process was noticeably slower, it still worked just fine. Give it a few minutes and you’ll get there.

In the free version you can download single files as often as you like and you can download up to 25 files in a playlist, which is pretty reasonable actually. But if you really want to saturate your network and spew files all over your drive, not to mention support the development of 4K Downloader, it’ll cost you $9.95 to upgrade to the full Lifetime License which can be used on 3 separate machines. And that’s the way it should be – low price and a multi-system license.

If you look around you can find a couple of coupon codes that will drop the price to $7.96. That is a pretty reasonable price for downloading huge amounts of files from YouTube. I didn’t try it out, but it also works with Vimeo, DailyMotion, Metacafe and a couple of others.

I’ve already found 4K Downloader to be pretty darn useful. I’m not sure how many more actual playlists are out there waiting for me, but I think I’m pretty prepared.

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A list of videos available to download. Some of the videos were no longer available which is why you see 162 of 193. But multiple video formats are available and 4K Downloader can grab 1080p videos as a single file rather than a separate video and audio track.

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The Extract Audio option. Keep in mind, if the audio source was crap to begin with, a 320k version will just be a higher quality version of crap.

4K Video Downloader

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