Bender

Apple is a pain in the ass

We had a company training day a few weeks ago, and contracted the hotel to provide video of some of the sessions.

After 2 weeks they finally delivered a small hard drive to us. It came up as a block device but no valid partition.

I took it home and looked at it with GPartEd and confirmed it was an Apple HPS+ partition.

So I took it back to work and found the one Apple machine out of hundreds sitting around. The person with the machine really didn't know much about it, she just got it because it was a hand-me-down from someone else who chucked it for a Microsoft Surface Book. We plugged the drive in, found the files there, then I plugged in another hard drive to copy the files to. No luck, it was NTFS format and it could read but not write it (seems pretty weak, probably a money issue, certainly there are plenty of implementations of NTFS they could use).

Googling suggested exFAT, so I reformatted my drive. Tried again, after 2 seconds it violently disconnected the drive and popped up a message saying "You should properly unmount the drive before disconnecting." Screw you, I didn't disconnect it. Tried 3 more times, same thing every time.

So I plugged in an exFAT formatted thumb drive instead. Same thing, multiple times. So apparently Apple can't write to anything that Windows can read (apart from maybe FAT which is a no-go since these are all 30GB files).

So I took it home and copied it using a Linux Live CD.

Then Apple strikes again - the files are all MOV quicktime movies. None of my editing suites will read it without Quicktime installed. Fine, I installed Quicktime. Still doesn't work.

So now I'm using VLC to convert the video. No idea if it'll work or not. I bet I have trouble with the audio track, since there are two and only the 2nd one works right.

Next time we'll know enough to specify that the video must be provided in a STANDARD format, on a Windows readable volume. MP4+MP3 would be fantastic.

While researching reading HPS+ I came across an amusing rant by Linus. He thinks that it's possible HPS+ is the worst filesystem ever, and says the people involved with creating it should be put in the corner and given some lovely paste for them to eat.
Turns out Handbrake does an excellent job of converting Quicktime video into something usable by the rest of us.

And in the process, with no noticeable loss that I could see, reduced the file size from 30GB to 450 megs. I can only assume that the original was uncompressed.