Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

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agent314
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Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by agent314 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:43 am

Not trying to start a flamewar/fanboy brawl at all - making this thread for my own edification in considering my next laptop purchase.
If you're going to be lame about shit and/or take potshots at those on the other side of the computer hardware aisle, please don't even start.

For people who currently use a Mac/MacBook/Pro with OSX:
Why did you choose the machine you did?
Did you come from a Windows background?
If so, why did you switch? Did you prefer the Apple OS experience, or did you change for the hardware, or both?
If not, have you ever used Windows in a serious capacity, or have you always been an Apple user?
Do you find yourself limited by your choice of platform (i.e. there are things you'd like to use but that are only developed for PCs)?

For people who use/have used both:
Do you find you have more options/limitations with one over the other?
I see a fair amount of software (mostly free, independently-developed stuff) that's Mac-only or PC-only - have you found one platform to have better free choices than the other?
Have you found one platform to be more stable/reliable than the other?
Have you found one platform to have better performance than the other when comparing the same/similar hardware?

For people who use Windows:
Did you come from an Apple background?
Do you prefer Windows to OSX? Does not wanting to/being able to pay the premium for Apple gear figure into why you use Windows?
Do you find yourself not being able to use tools/software because they are OSX-only?

I personally am a longtime Windows user, and with the release of Windows 7, I find myself actively enjoying the OS experience rather than simply putting up with it for lack of better options.

I am considering making a switch over to the world of OSX, mostly for the assumed stability/hardware-software integration that the Apple process affords as well as the quality of design/form factor.
I am hoping to start playing out live, and the perceived stability of the platform is a real draw for me.

But after recently using Snow Leopard quite a bit at work, I've realized I just don't really like the user experience that much.
No doubt it's partly a matter of what I'm used to, but there are lots of little things about it that are kind of irksome to me, that are making me reconsider the idea of switching.

Not to mention I have a hard time paying 2-3x the price for a MacBookPro that I would for an equivalent-spec'd PC. The only real hardware perks that appeal to me are being able to get a 1680x1050 screen on a laptop (as well as the battery life, but that's sort of a moot point as I'm plugged in 95% of the time).

I like being able to tweak/figure out the nuances of my system, and just feel like I've got more control/granularity in terms of what I'm doing when I'm on Windows 7. And while that sometimes comes at the price of a clunky user experience, overall I think I've just grown to like doing things the Windows way vs. the OSX way.

What are your thoughts on the issue?

mihai
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by mihai » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:00 am

i used to use windows when i got into production, win xp sp2. after constantly reading that macs are more stable and all those nice perks i decided to risk and get a mac. i have to say i was hooked very quick on it and got into unix quite a bit. i don't see myself ever going back to windows. the one thing that i can say against windows [xp] is that after a year of heavily using mac os i haven't had it get any slower while my windows box would become slower after a few months even with regular maintenance. i say a year because i upgraded systems every year so far.

in your case i wouldn't switch if what you have works fine. if you want to satisfy your curiosity then go for it.

best of luck.

Tarekith
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by Tarekith » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:09 am

Why did you choose the machine you did?

>>> My first Mac was a 2006 MBP, I got it right when Apple went to the c2d chips as I knew that was going to be the main CPU for some time to come. <<<

Did you come from a Windows background?

>>> Yes, Started with Win 95, and used everything up to XP SP2. Only messed around briefly in Vista, never tried or seen Windows 7. <<<

If so, why did you switch? Did you prefer the Apple OS experience, or did you change for the hardware, or both?

>>> I switched mainly out of curiousity. I have a few friends and mentors whose opinion I respect greatly, and they all kept telling me how much easier I woudl find using OSX. So when it got to the point that I needed a new laptop, I decide to get a MBP and give it a go. They were completely right too, I like it a LOT more. <<<

If not, have you ever used Windows in a serious capacity, or have you always been an Apple user?

>>> Not sure what you mean by serious, but all of my computers were things I had built. Did a lot for friends too, so I was pretty used to dealing with Windows and configuring a desktop for Windows and audio. <<<

Do you find yourself limited by your choice of platform (i.e. there are things you'd like to use but that are only developed for PCs)?

>>> Not really. A lot of people say there's more free stuff for Windows, but I find that I can still find equivalents for OSX. In general there may be less choices, but the quality seems to be higher too. The only initial disappointment for me was lack of a really good wave editor. I was using Wavelab on PC and was amazed that nothing out there on the OSX side even came close. So I ran Wavelab in Parallels for awhile, though now I'm using Wave Editor 100%. Got sick of using Parallels :) <<<

Do you find you have more options/limitations with one over the other?

>>> See above. <<<

I see a fair amount of software (mostly free, independently-developed stuff) that's Mac-only or PC-only - have you found one platform to have better free choices than the other?

>>> See above. <<<

Have you found one platform to be more stable/reliable than the other?

>>> OSX definitely. I'm not saying it's perfect, I've had issues and crashes with my two MBP's. But much less than the XP based systems I was using before. The thing I like the most is that there's a much more limited hardware platform involved. So if I do run into an issue, it's usually really easy to find someone with the EXACT same set up to test or who has already found a solution to the issue. Troubleshooting Windows issues (especially with hardware involved) was definitely a longer process, usually involving a lot more trial and error. <<<

Have you found one platform to have better performance than the other when comparing the same/similar hardware?

>>> I've only updated my computers when there's at least a 2X performance gain to be had, so I've never had a direct comparison. <<<

But after recently using Snow Leopard quite a bit at work, I've realized I just don't really like the user experience that much.
No doubt it's partly a matter of what I'm used to, but there are lots of little things about it that are kind of irksome to me, that are making me reconsider the idea of switching.

I like being able to tweak/figure out the nuances of my system, and just feel like I've got more control/granularity in terms of what I'm doing when I'm on Windows 7. And while that sometimes comes at the price of a clunky user experience, overall I think I've just grown to like doing things the Windows way vs. the OSX way.

What are your thoughts on the issue?

>>> Using OSX if you're really familiar with Windows is sort of hard to get used to at first. I was used to having a lot more control as you say, and OSX definitely works best when you stick to working with it the way it wants to. What I mean is, with OSX you just trust the app to files where they are supposed to go, and you don't dive into the innards of the OS that much. Note that you CAN still tweaka way if that's your thing, and there's a lot of info about how to do so if you want. But to really "get" the OSX experience you just need to get used to not worrying about that kind of stuff.

Some things are annoying at first, no doubt. I was a little shocked by how basic it felt at first, but after 3-4 weeks I began to appreciate that that was just the surface of the program, that a lot I really didn't need to see was being hidden from me for a reason. I spend a lot more time just using my apps, than doing anything with the OS. Also, I got some books on OSX Tiger and Leopard when they came out, and learned a lot of handy shortcuts and things that really speed up my workflow. <<<

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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by leedsquietman » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:29 am

Better on Mac -
* less tweaking
* typically better low latency drivers (with some exceptions).
* better MIDI protocol with less jitter
* because of hardware restrictions, reasonable stability (but when they do crash, they often crash spectacularly)
* Mac only soft/hard - Logic, Digital Performer, Apogee, Metric Halo, Sonic Solutions Soundblade, Bias Peak Pro. Harrison Mixbuss

Better on PC -
* cost / bang for buck
* more customization if you are a bit of a techie, less hardware restrictions
* more free plugins (although consequently, more crappy ones which can destabilize your system also falls into this)
* PC only soft/hard - Sonar, Samplitude/Sequoia, Synapse Orion, FL Studio, Wavelab*, Soundforge, Vegas, Acid Pro

BTW - * Wavelab 7 is coming to Mac very soon according to Steinberg. This should be huge, as many studios and people who run macs still keep a PC around just to run programs like Wavelab or SOundforge. And the features look amazing, Sonnox restoration suite plugins and tons of great features.

At home I run PC because I'm a broke ass. At work, I used Macs for almost 9 years. Both have their pros and cons.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

agent314
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by agent314 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:37 am

Thanks for the replies. This is exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.

It's funny - it seems like Windows 7 really splits the difference between an OSX-style experience and traditional Windows. A lot of the stuff you don't really need is mostly hidden away, but still easily accessible if you want to find it.

The file management thing is a big sticking point for me, simply because I have spent so much time in the past frustrated that what I saved isn't where I thought I had saved it, because the 'easy, convenient default location' was the last place I would ever intuitively think to put a file, and I'd end up digging through 3 or 4 different directory trees to find what I was looking for.

That seems to be exactly what the OSX way of doing things tries to avoid, but it still doesn't sit right with me. I think on some OCD level I really need to know exactly where my stuff is, for fear of being at the mercy of the machine should I need to find something and not be able to.

There are also a lot of little things - UI features, ways of dealing with the desktop, ways of dealing with devices, etc. - that just don't play nice with my sensibilities. For example, I like being able to see at a glance what programs I have open. As nice as it is not to "have to" deal with seeing what's open, I really prefer being able to see it down in the task bar.

I'm just torn because I'd really love to try the OSX experience, but if I'm going to do it, I want to do it right - and the 15" Mac Book Pro I've spec'd out comes to almost 2500USD, 2300 with a university discount. That's not a small chunk of change, given the kind of cash flow I have at the moment, and given that I can almost get 3 PCs with better specs for the same price.

The pondering continues...

Tarekith
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by Tarekith » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:36 am

agent314 wrote: For example, I like being able to see at a glance what programs I have open. As nice as it is not to "have to" deal with seeing what's open, I really prefer being able to see it down in the task bar.
OSX has the same thing, it's called the dashboard.

Rabalder
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by Rabalder » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:20 am

Once you go Mac you never go back :!:

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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by esky » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:33 am

Rabalder wrote:Once you go Mac you never go back :!:
Nonsense, i went from OSX to WinXP 3 years ago and never ever looked back for a second. For me hat whole OSX praising is rediculous. I had much more stability issues with my old mac than i have now...

0fps
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by 0fps » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:35 am

Actually I used to have a pc with Windows xp back in 2004 till 2007. I wasn't satisfied at all. Too much tweaking, with most of the times without a major effect in performance and stability. I was using Pro Tools, Live and Reason, but when I wasn't doing something simple such as a 16 audio track mix, the performance gone bad. So I was borred with XP tweaking and compatibility issues so I wanted a machine which would be very powerfull and with a stable and audio friendly OS. That's why I choose a MacPro (one of the 1st models) and has never been too much hard to its limits (I always work at high S/Rs: 88.2 or 96 kHz). I choose this model cause I wanted a powerfull machine for music production, multitrack mixdowns, and audio/video post production. I.M.O. OSX is way much more stable and audio optimized thatn Windows XP or 7. U also get the advantage to use Logic or Digital Performer and top edge interfaces as Apogee, Motu (it has also XP drivers) and Metric Halo. I also haven't been limited in terms of software and u can have programs such as i-Work or Open Office for compatibility with Microsoft Office.
Live 8 Suite, MacPro@2.66 Quad/4G RAM,MacBook@2.00 DualCore/2G RAM, Motu Traveler, TC Powercore, Korg MS200R, Waldorf Blofeld, Akai APC 40, M-Audio Axiom25, Motu Digital Performer

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Rabalder
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by Rabalder » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:39 am

esky wrote:
Rabalder wrote:Once you go Mac you never go back :!:
Nonsense, i went from OSX to WinXP 3 years ago and never ever looked back for a second. For me hat whole OSX praising is rediculous. I had much more stability issues with my old mac than i have now...
Good for you.
I wouldent go back if a super-incredable-hightech-moster-PC was thrown after me..

snakedogman
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by snakedogman » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:49 am

I've built and used Windows pc's at home since windows 95 and currently using Windows 7.
For the past 5 years I've been using Macs and OSX exclusively at work so now i'm pretty familiar with both systems. I must say though that even though I've worked with Macs and OSX for a couple of years now it has never for a moment made me consider switching to OSX for personal use. I never saw how it was "so much easier" or "so much more stable". I'd consider both systems to be pretty equal now in terms of performance, capabilities and stability but I'd still choose the configurability and cost/performance ratio of a Windows pc over a Mac.

esky
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by esky » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:53 am

OSX is way much more stable and audio optimized thatn Windows XP or 7. U also get the advantage to use Logic or Digital Performer and top edge interfaces as Apogee, Motu (it has also XP drivers) and Metric Halo. I also haven't been limited in terms of software and u can have programs such as i-Work or Open Office for compatibility with Microsoft Office.
Just 2 cents:
- Maybe OSX allows lower latencies, i use 128 samples when i compose and more when i mix. Totally ok.
- You see which interface i use ? No problems at all.

Wait until your 2007 MacPro runs into a reparation. Than Apple will f*** you and your moneybag. Pray for not getting in touch with Apple Service Centers...

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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by 3phase » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:01 am

esky wrote:
Rabalder wrote:Once you go Mac you never go back :!:
Nonsense, i went from OSX to WinXP 3 years ago and never ever looked back for a second. For me hat whole OSX praising is rediculous. I had much more stability issues with my old mac than i have now...
but that must be your fault..with osx you can write emails on stage > R.Hawtin...
while Live itself cant deal with its own screen inputs...

except with shitty software the midi timing on is much better than on windows pc..

main advantage of windows pc´s? you can work with the good sounding cubase and other nice steinberg software...
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

leedsquietman
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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by leedsquietman » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:06 am

You can also have stable running windows systems if you make sure you use good components and research your audio and MIDI purchases to ensure they have solid drivers. I was able to run Reason and Cubase SX3 at 32 samples latency in win XP with the Echo Indigo IO PCMCIA card (using a Mackie 1402 VLZ as a front end/preamp) and 128 samples (96 was the minimum) on my firewire Alesis IO14 when I was running it on my older laptop with TI firewire chipset.

You could say having Logic is an advantage, some PC users will claim that having Samplitude/Sequoia or Sonar is an advantage. Most linear DAWS pretty much provide you with the same functionality and performance, give or take a couple of features and some different keyboard shortcuts and 'look'. Certainly if you go onto Gearslutz and look at the amount of moaning about Logic 9's stability, you can see that even though this runs on the 'king of stability' o/s OSX, that's not enough to prevent a slew of bugs and issues. And Macs while generally stable, can crash freaking hard when they do go down, and are not totally foolproof and crash free, as someone who used them at work for 8 1/2 years, I saw them go down plenty. A kernel panic is just as bad and sometimes worse than a Blue Screen Of Death on windows. There are still plenty of high end interfaces available for PC, such as RME or Prism Orpheus etc.

At the end of the day, both have their merits, choose the one which fits you best and enjoy making music, rather than getting into flamefests about which is best.

Cubase works fine on PC and Mac since Cubase 4.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

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Re: Why did you choose a Mac/OSX?

Post by twisted-space » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:24 am

agent314 wrote:The only real hardware perks that appeal to me are being able to get a 1680x1050 screen on a laptop
I've not read the whole thread so excuse me if it's already been mentioned, but you can get pc laptops with high res screens. My current and previous Dell notebooks have had 1680x1050 screens. I had the option of going to 1900X1080, but I think that's a bit much on a 15.4" screen.

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