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Thursday, February 5: Play Video Formats on Your Mac

Roman Loyola

The Internet is littered with thousands (probably millions) of videos that you can download and view on your computer. The problem is that, for every video, there seems to be a different video format. It's disappointing to wait for a video to download on your Mac, only to have it not work.

Video Formats

  • QuickTime (http://www.apple.com/quicktime). This is the de facto standard on the Mac. QuickTime 6 plays QuickTime files, of course, but it can also handle MPEG-4, MPEG-2, DVC Pro PAL, and a lot more. You should be able to play most videos using the QuickTime 6 player. You can find a list of video codecs supported by QuickTime at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/products/qt/specifications.html. Third-party components also are available from companies such as Pulse (http://www.pulse3d.com) and iPix (http://www.ipix.com).

  • DivX for Mac OS X (http://www.divx.com). The DivX codec is a proprietary technology based on the MPEG-4 compression standard. To play DivX files on your Mac through QuickTime, you need the DivX QuickTime component, which includes a DivX Validator that fixes AVI-based DivX files so they will play in QuickTime.

  • RealMedia (http://www.real.com). To play RealMedia files, you need RealPlayer 8 Basic for Mac OS 8.1 or higher or RealOne Player for Mac OS X.

  • Windows Media. There are two different players for Windows Media. The one you need depends on your OS (see http://www.microsoft.com/mac/download/ and scroll to the bottom of the page).

Download of the Day: Blobby Volley

Megan Morrone

Daniel Skoraszewsky and Silvio Mummert's 3D German gem consists of two colorful blobs (also known as extraterrestrial jelly babies) playing beach volleyball (see http://home.t-online.de/home/mummertathome/blobby.htm). Use your mouse to control your blob. Right-click to jump.

If you're really adventurous, you can play others online or host your own blobby tourney.

Most of the instructions on the game's splash page are in German, but you can select English Please to switch.

Laporte Support: Wi-Fi for Gaming

Is Wi-Fi fast enough to play games between two computers, and is it fast enough to play games online?

You betcha. It is a bit slower than Ethernet, but I doubt you'll notice. On The Screen Savers, we often play Quake online through a Wi-Fi network.

Some of the most addicted gamers at TechTV claim they don't get the best performance out of their gaming systems over Wi-Fi. You'll have problems if you invite 50 of your buddies over to play on your Wi-Fi setup. It can be a problem for Ethernet, too; that's why offices and huge LAN parties segment their networks with routers.

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