movie load-times – solid state drive?

Jun 4, 2008 at 12:44pm

movie load-times – solid state drive?

Over the course of a performance I tend to need to load a bunch of movies. I’ve consistently had an (unsurprising) problem that things freeze for a second or so when a new one loads. I’ve tried various software-based solutions (using poly~ and pre-loading them into individual jit.qt.movies, for example), but never really had much joy, and I suspect that the sheer number of movies I need to access will always make this difficult. I’m wondering if investing in a solid-state drive will provide a solution. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts?

#38235
Jun 4, 2008 at 9:25pm

How many movies are you loading. I had a great time with poly~ and
preload. what exactly is not working?

John

Joseph Hyde schrieb:
> Over the course of a performance I tend to need to load a bunch of movies. I’ve consistently had an (unsurprising) problem that things freeze for a second or so when a new one loads. I’ve tried various software-based solutions (using poly~ and pre-loading them into individual jit.qt.movies, for example), but never really had much joy, and I suspect that the sheer number of movies I need to access will always make this difficult. I’m wondering if investing in a solid-state drive will provide a solution. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts?
>

#133005
Jun 10, 2008 at 11:28am

Sorry for a slow reply – been away for a few days. Probably shouldn’t have posted a question just before going away!

I think my problem is both one of quantity (I’ll often end up using hundreds of clips in the course of a performance) but perhaps more important, method – I often don’t know what I’m going to be using in advance, so preloading everything doesn’t necessarily make sense. I don’t know, maybe I just need to re-think the way I’m doing things, but I did wonder if a super-fast SSD might give me a way out.

I’m looking at things like these Memoright drives:

http://www.memoright.com/en/showpro.asp?id=236&lb=5

They’re super fast, at least on paper – 120 MB/sec read/write and a seek time of less than 0.1 ms. Also super-expensive, which is why I’m wondering if anyone’s actually tried one..

#133006
Jun 10, 2008 at 7:58pm

One of the telltale signs that a visual artist is performing with Max is the freeze as a file loads.
There isn’t really a solution to allow you to parse through lots of files and load them spontaneously during a performance. Jitter will seize up every time you load a file. The amount it “catches” can be alleviated in various ways. Some of this may have changed with the new release, but some things to take into account:
-If you use ubu/umenu try to avoid long lists. Try and organize your content in such a manner that the menu only contains about 10 items or so.
-Reduce your GUI overhead. Preview windows need to be limited to refresh less often, etc. Setting your performance options for a very responsive UI will cause the hanging to be worse.
-Keep your patch small. A big patch with lots going on will hang much worse than a small, refined one. Creating modules that can be loaded and destroyed when not in use is a way to avoid having everything open all of the time.

One possible solution might be to run one instance of Max just for file loading and do all your other work on a second instance. With the way 5.0 deals with Max as individual windows, this might work better. Though, on Windows you’ll be screwed because you’d have to be selecting one window or the other, and that causes a pause. I keep putting off this project, but I’ve thought about seperating my performance patch into one for control, effects and composition, then another that serves as just a file loading engine, source stream.

For theater performances with finite content, I’ve always dealt with preloading. For improv performance I just have to try and hide my file loading as much as possible.

This can be an especially embarrassing problem to explain to someone that doesn’t understand why Jitter can’t perform a simple slide show with fades (while playing a movie as well) without pre-loading all the content.

#133007
Jun 10, 2008 at 8:14pm

> One of the telltale signs that a visual artist is performing with Max is
> the freeze as a file loads.
> There isn’t really a solution to allow you to parse through lots of files
> and load them spontaneously during a performance. Jitter will seize up
> every time you load a file. The amount it “catches” can be alleviated in
> various ways. Some of this may have changed with the new release, but
> some things to take into account:

What about asyncread and preroll options for the jit.qt.movie? I thought
this was what that was for. Then again, I have not tested it thoroughly to
know for sure…

Best wishes,

ico

#133008
Jun 11, 2008 at 9:00am

On 10-jun-2008, at 13:28, Joseph Hyde wrote:

> I think my problem is both one of quantity (I’ll often end up
> using hundreds of clips in the course of a performance) but
> perhaps more important, method – I often don’t know what I’m going
> to be using in advance, so preloading everything doesn’t
> necessarily make sense. I don’t know, maybe I just need to re-
> think the way I’m doing things, but I did wonder if a super-fast
> SSD might give me a way out.
>
> They’re super fast, at least on paper – 120 MB/sec read/write and a
> seek time of less than 0.1 ms. Also super-expensive, which is why
> I’m wondering if anyone’s actually tried one..

why don’t you try a RAM disk first before spending all that money, to
verify if having a super fast disk solves the problems you are having.
Depending on the amount of RAM you have, a RAM disk can be many Gb
and may be a solution too.
-jennek

#133009
Jun 11, 2008 at 10:33am

Quote: KillingFrenzy wrote on Tue, 10 June 2008 13:58
—————————————————-
>
> One of the telltale signs that a visual artist is performing with Max is the freeze as a file loads.

- yeah, you got that right!

> There isn’t really a solution to allow you to parse through lots of files and load them spontaneously during a performance. Jitter will seize up every time you load a file. The amount it “catches” can be alleviated in various ways. Some of this may have changed with the new release, but some things to take into account:
> -If you use ubu/umenu try to avoid long lists. Try and organize your content in such a manner that the menu only contains about 10 items or so.
> -Reduce your GUI overhead. Preview windows need to be limited to refresh less often, etc. Setting your performance options for a very responsive UI will cause the hanging to be worse.
> -Keep your patch small. A big patch with lots going on will hang much worse than a small, refined one. Creating modules that can be loaded and destroyed when not in use is a way to avoid having everything open all of the time.
>
> One possible solution might be to run one instance of Max just for file loading and do all your other work on a second instance.

- I think over the years I’ve tried most of that, and I’ve got those pesky freezes down to be pretty short, but I can’t get them to go away completely. Haven’t tried the two-instance thing tho – might look into that thanks..

#133010
Jun 11, 2008 at 10:36am

Quote: Jennek Geels wrote on Wed, 11 June 2008 03:00
—————————————————-
>
> On 10-jun-2008, at 13:28, Joseph Hyde wrote:
>
> > I think my problem is both one of quantity (I’ll often end up
> > using hundreds of clips in the course of a performance) but
> > perhaps more important, method – I often don’t know what I’m going
> > to be using in advance, so preloading everything doesn’t
> > necessarily make sense. I don’t know, maybe I just need to re-
> > think the way I’m doing things, but I did wonder if a super-fast
> > SSD might give me a way out.
> >
> > They’re super fast, at least on paper – 120 MB/sec read/write and a
> > seek time of less than 0.1 ms. Also super-expensive, which is why
> > I’m wondering if anyone’s actually tried one..
>
> why don’t you try a RAM disk first before spending all that money, to
> verify if having a super fast disk solves the problems you are having.
> Depending on the amount of RAM you have, a RAM disk can be many Gb
> and may be a solution too.
> -jennek
>
—————————————————-

Hmmm… that’s a splending idea, thanks. Feel a bit dozy for not thinking of it myself. I haven’t really thought about RAM disks since the OS9 days – a bit of googling shows that it’s not ‘obvious’, but it doesn’t look particularly difficult to set up either. I’ve only got 2GB RAM, but still enough to do a tiny test I think. I’ll give it a go!

#133011
Jun 11, 2008 at 1:12pm

based on the Poly~ForMovies.pat (in the Max 4.6 examples) I was able to
build a system without those loading glitches. I did not see a case
where this technique was limited (too many movies or so).

-set the number of voices to the number of movies you want to load
(@autostart 0)
-eventually preroll the movies some frames
-when you start a movie make sure to stop the previous one

John

Joseph Hyde schrieb:
> Quote: KillingFrenzy wrote on Tue, 10 June 2008 13:58
> —————————————————-
>> One of the telltale signs that a visual artist is performing with Max is the freeze as a file loads.
>
> – yeah, you got that right!
>
>> There isn’t really a solution to allow you to parse through lots of files and load them spontaneously during a performance. Jitter will seize up every time you load a file. The amount it “catches” can be alleviated in various ways. Some of this may have changed with the new release, but some things to take into account:
>> -If you use ubu/umenu try to avoid long lists. Try and organize your content in such a manner that the menu only contains about 10 items or so.
>> -Reduce your GUI overhead. Preview windows need to be limited to refresh less often, etc. Setting your performance options for a very responsive UI will cause the hanging to be worse.
>> -Keep your patch small. A big patch with lots going on will hang much worse than a small, refined one. Creating modules that can be loaded and destroyed when not in use is a way to avoid having everything open all of the time.
>>
>> One possible solution might be to run one instance of Max just for file loading and do all your other work on a second instance.
>
> – I think over the years I’ve tried most of that, and I’ve got those pesky freezes down to be pretty short, but I can’t get them to go away completely. Haven’t tried the two-instance thing tho – might look into that thanks..
>
>
>

#133012
Jun 11, 2008 at 5:44pm

Hmmm… splending – I invented a new word!

#133013
Jun 11, 2008 at 7:16pm

i’m skeptical that a ramdisk is worth the trouble, but i’ve never tried.

i second the polyformovies approach.
in addition, check out this great patch:

http://tinyurl.com/25dtm4

#133014
Jun 14, 2008 at 11:46am

Hi all

I am also working on a project using multiple videos and found the patch by Michelle Verita FANTASTIC http://tinyurl.com/25dtm4.

Still I don’t fully understand how it works, but I modified the patch: the bpatchers have been duplicated to have 2 movies (2 polymovies) playing at the same time. I want to be able to mix both movies in GPU (use a hslider).
The problem is that Max (v4.5.7 and 5) crashes!!

I use both max 4.5.7/Jitter 1.5 and Max 5,in a MacBook 2Ghz 1GB RAM and graphic card GMA950.

Where can be the problem?

Beatriz

#133015

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