Forums > Jitter

Play movie HD quality

November 28, 2013 | 4:47 am


I would like to play a movie in fulscreen HD quality and control play/pause function with MaxMSP.

What is the best way to do that? Play the movie IN Max? Or is there another possibility to control a player (Quicktime, VLC, etc.) with Max?

I would appreciate any hints and share of experience! Thanks!

November 28, 2013 | 6:58 am

Max with [] external is, IMHO, very good option ;-)

November 28, 2013 | 10:27 am

though the plain n simple (perhaps in combo with could already fulfill your needs

November 28, 2013 | 12:30 pm

Thanks a lot for your answers! is great! Since I would like to control my installation from a Mac Mini from 2006 (1.66GHz Intel Core Duo 2GB 667 MHz), I am not sure if I will be able to use Hap decompression though – I am even not sure if I can run Max6 on it! CPU on my 2years old MacBook Pro is already about 120%.

With, I can’t find a fullscreen mode (?!). And in combination with jit.window I am not able to get HD quality – on the contrary: pixeling!! – Am I doing something wrong?

November 29, 2013 | 1:42 am

You’re making the mistake that a zillion have made before you and is asked as often in this forum. You didn’t set the size attribute on so it defaults to 320×240 resolution. (C74 are you reading? Perhaps make this more obvious to beginners. All those years and people keep doing it…)

Fullscreen is set on jit.window, not

Read up on Jitter/HD video optimization in the forum while you’re at it!

November 29, 2013 | 7:51 am

I once ran an installation (just straightforward playback triggered by a PIR-sensor entering through an arduino and then being triggered through Max) on an old MacMini, which I found could play the video (which I think was something like 120 Mb/s on a three screen display) in Quicktime X, but not in Max. I used the shell object outputting commands into applescript to control the Quicktime player. It worked very well for my purposes, but if you need manipulation of the film (as opposed to triggering/pause/play etc.) then it won’t work.

November 29, 2013 | 8:44 am

Thanks loadmess!

Ironside: Yes, I will approximately do the same as you. Only I will probably have 3 sensors, each triggering a different movie. So I should be able to play three movies at the same time and start/pause them independently. If I do that with 3 applescripts it works fine.
I have never used the shell object though. Is there a tutorial somewhere? What is the message to communicate with applescript?

Thanks a lot!!

December 2, 2013 | 10:36 am

Ironside, I would be very grateful if you could tell me the commands / messages you sent to the shell object to send to applescript to control Quicktime. It seems the best solution for me at the moment. I have written an applescript to start/pause a movie but I can’t access it with Max.
Can you help me?

December 2, 2013 | 4:48 pm


December 3, 2013 | 12:29 am

Yes, I know it has to be osascript. But I can’t get it to work. What is the exact command to activate a applescript?

December 3, 2013 | 12:21 pm

there is no exact command. it all depends on what you’re trying to do.
here’s an example of playing and pausing a movie with quicktime.

if you want more help, show us what you’ve tried, and describe what’s not working.


– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –


December 3, 2013 | 12:43 pm

"Since I would like to control my installation from a Mac Mini from 2006 (1.66GHz Intel Core Duo 2GB 667 MHz)":

I’m running Max (runtime) 6.1.5 on my old, core-duo driven mac (and it’s really core-duo, not core2duo) wit MountainLion and it’s working great.

I’m using this setup as an engine for work with dancer – my computer is collecting data from sensors attached to performer’s body, dealing with video (even realtime conversion between pixel-data into 3D mesh), generating sounds and MIDI/DMX messages…

Maybe you should just try make all the work indie Max…

December 3, 2013 | 1:29 pm

Thanks Rob, it works great! It’s my first shell-time and I was trying to go over applescript first … which is unnecessary.

The hassle with Quicktime is that there’s a dimensional limitation when displaying a movie: I can’t make it smaller than a certain size. So, when playing several movies at the same time the projection screen gets too little.

So you might be right, Yaniki, I probably should try running it in Max itself, because there the movie windows are flexible. Do you play several videos at the same time? What format / codec are you using?

Thanks all!

December 3, 2013 | 1:34 pm

.. and what is the CPU of Max in your task manager?

December 4, 2013 | 6:18 am


Best solution for video playing should be – In my opinion – external (by Rob Ramirez) – in most cases is much better than But remember: encode your movies using HAP codec for best performance with

I didn’t try several instances of on the old laptop yet (but yes, I’m working with patches containing a few instances of on mac mini and mac book pro – it’s always very stable solution, anyway), but I can imagine, CPU utilisation is not main problem, rather GPU and hard drive are the "strategic" elements…

Best path in this case is just to test any simple patch containing 2 or 3 externals on your computer – something what shouldn’t took you more time than 1 hour… Of course, I can check it on my old laptop too.

December 7, 2013 | 12:11 pm


Thanks! You are right, I guess. I just tested a patch with 4 on my old 2008 MacBook and it is actually running fine! (Had to update to Snow Leopard first because of Hap Codec.) I will try to trigger the movies with push buttons through a Phidgets interface and if that works – everything is fine! ;-) Happy. And relieved.

December 8, 2013 | 9:27 am


Sorry for my late reply – I was away from internet access. Glad you got it working. Osascript was what I used, but it was back in 2010, before HAP had come out. I’ve also in the past had success using multiple standalone applications, after reading on here that this had an optimising effect (due, I think, to 32-bit architecture of Jitter).

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