Mac and 3-D video and “st3d” metadata and YouTube

I started experimenting with 3-D video around 2003 using a camcorder add-on called the NuView. I have hours of 3-D footage from back then, but beyond converting it to red/blue anaglyph, there was no easy way to share it.

At some point, YouTube added support for 3-D video. It allowed you to easily upload video in several formats and it would play it back in several formats (including red/blue anaglyph, doing the conversion on the YouTube server side).

Unfortunately, this feature is no longer easy to use. They now require you to embed special metadata in the movie file before it is uploaded. They give instructions on their site:


Unfortunately, the ffmpeg command line they show does not work. I errors out on one of the options. I could not find a solution, but was able to find others posting about the same issue.

So, it’s time to post something here on this site so the search engines will find it. I am trying to find a way to embed the “st3d” metadata in a QuickTime .mov file so I can upload it to YouTube as a 3-D video.

Anyone have any tips? Thanks!

See also:

Converting AIPTEK 3D HD Camcorder i2 photos for 3DTV

Years ago, I posted some articles on the AIPTEK 3D i2 camera.

I *finally* got to hook this camera up to a 3D TV and see the videos and images in full color 3-D (instead of the red/blue anaglyph conversions I’ve been doing). It works amazingly well!

I will soon post some tips on converting these images to play off of a USB stick (they do not, directly)…

Stay tuned.

Apple TV multiplayer and 3-D games list

Since I have had no luck finding such a list online, I plan to start a new Apple TV page that will cover the various multiplayer and 3-D games.

Multiplayer implies more than one player at the same time. There is no category for this in the app store, so unless the developer puts that word in the description, you won’t find these games with a search.

I was very surprised to find that the new 4th generation Apple TV supports 3-D content. The Pangea Software games (some of which I’d played on the Mac years ago) are the only ones I’ve found so far that work in 3-D. Really neat.

Check out the page.

Drobo (3rd gen) to Drobo 5C, part 3

This is part of a multi-part review of the Data Robotics Drobo 5C.

See also: Introductionpart 1 and part 2.

After having a Drobo 5C for a week, I’ve decided there are a few changes that I do not like, and one that I do like…

Don’t Like

Enclosure. As previously mentioned, the enclosure is now more of an outside shell that is no longer flush against the front of the device (when the removable face plate is on). Now, when the face plate is installed, there is a small gap running all around it. It just doesn’t seem as polished of a design. Also, when my laptop is set in front of the Drobo, if I open the lid too far, it now makes contact with the metal strip at the top rather than more gently rubbing against the plastic cover as it did with the previous 2nd and 3rd generation modules.

Power Supply. For some reason, the round power connector that goes in to the Drobo 5C now has a right-angle connector at the end. This causes extra tension on the cable (and probably power connector) as the chord is pulled at an angle a bit before running straight out the back and down behind my computer desk. I really don’t care for this, but if you put your Drobo at the far back of a desk (where the power cable would then point directly down), you may prefer this.

Drobo 5C right-angle power connector.

LED Status Lights. Since the front panel no longer covers the bottom row of status lights, the lights are brighter than the rest of the LEDs behind the panel. If I set the Drobo 5C brightness to 5, and have it next to a 3rd generation Drobo also set to 5, the blue LEDs on the 5C are much brighter because they are no longer being filtered out through the clear plastic of the face plate. It also means the 5C lights behind the faceplate are dimmer than the ones below it.

Drobo 5C (left) with brighter blue lights versus 3rd gen (right) with lights behind the face plate.

Can’t See LEDs. And, if your Drobo 5C sits a bit lower, the bottom row of blue LEDs can be hidden below/behind the face place. As I look down at the 5C and 3rd gen models, I can clearly see the front panel blue status LEDs on the 3rd gen, but cannot see the bottom row on the 5C. When sitting at a lower level, I can see them both. Not a big deal, but a change. I first noticed this when I walked in to where my computer is, and thought the 5C had locked up since all the blue capacity lights were off (or so I thought).

Drobo 5C (left) has recessed bottom lights, versus 3rd gen (right) that showed them through the face plate.

If they used the same power connector as they did on previous power supplies, and had kept the enclosure design the same, I would not have anything to gripe about.


Face plate. There was one thing I did like, which I had not noticed before. In the previous photo, notice how the green drive lights on the 3rd generation (right) can be seen through the face plate. The black face plate is a bit transparent, and I had never noticed this until taking these photos. The 5C face place is opaque.

Drobo (3rd gen) transparent drive indicator lights.

Drobo 5C opaque drive indicator lights.

I expect I will have a few more things to say about this new Drobo (file copy speed, for example) so…

More to come…

Drobo 5C for $279 on Amazon

The Drobo 5C was introduced in October 2016 for $349. There has already been a $50 discount code ($299) and a one-day sale (also $299). Yesterday, the price tracking site, Camel Camel Camel, alerted me of a $279 price on Amazon:

By the time you see this posting, the price may no longer be valid, but you might consider activating a Camel Camel Camel account to do your own tracking. You will receive an e-mail alert when the desired item (anything on Amazon) reaches the price you want. It also shows a historic graph of the price the item has been since tracking began.

Merry Christmas.

Drobo volumes lose their names in Drobo Dashboard

Hey, other Drobo owners… Have you ever seen this happen?

Where, oh where have my Drobo volume names gone?

My volumes all have custom names, but occasionally I see Drobo Dashboard only show them as “Drobo”. I believe they always still show up as their proper names to Mac OS X, but Drobo Dashboard seems to have a problem reading them.

I have seen this on a 2nd generation Drobo, a 3rd generation Drobo, and on my brand new Drobo 5C (the second day I had it hooked up). I have seen it hooked to three different computers (all Macs) via FireWire, USB 2.0 and now USB 3.0.

I contacted Drobo support about this, and they asked me the typical list of support questions, which makes me wonder if I’m the only one this happens to.

Anyone else seen this happen?

Drobo (3rd gen) to Drobo 5C, part 2

This is part of a multi-part review of the Data Robotics Drobo 5C.

See also: Introduction and part 1.

Previously, I discussed the unboxing and setup of the new Drobo 5C. Today, I will walk through the migration process from an older 3rd generation 4-bay Drobo to this new 5-bay model.

Setting up Drobo 5C is no different than the previous models… Plug in the power cable, plug in the USB cable, insert drives, then turn it on.

Since the topic of this article is migrating from a 3rd gen model to the 5C, here are some important additional comments:

  1. APPLY FIRMWARE UPDATES FIRST. The code that came on my 5C was already out of date. The first thing you should do it hook up new new Drobo (with no drives inserted!) and power it on. Run the Drobo Dashboard software and it should recognize the new Drobo, and offer to update the firmware (if an update is available). Allow this to happen, and for the unit to reboot and be seen by Drobo Dashboard.
  2. Next, you want to power down the new Drobo, and move the “drive pack” (all the drives used together) from the previous Drobo to this one. DO NOT HAVE THE UNIT POWERED ON WHEN YOU INSERT THE HARD DRIVES! If you do this, the Drobo will see the drive inserted, and format it. You must have the new Drobo powered off, and then insert all the drives at the same time, then power it up. The Drobo should boot, then recognize the drives and have the same name and volume(s) you saw on the old Drobo.
  3. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN ON THE DROBO WEBSITE! Don’t trust some random stranger’s website… The information I gave you may be incorrect and cause the total end of life as we know it.

Mine seemed to have some problem and it was not recognized by the computer after I did this. I had to power it down, and start it up again. It mounted just fine after that, and it showed up with the same device name and volume names since all of the information is contained on the drive pack itself.

At this point, the new 5-bay Drobo should act exactly the same as the former 4-bay model.

My next goal was to enable dual disk redundancy. When I looked at the Drobo Dashboard, the option to enable this was grayed out. I suppose that makes sense. My unit was quite full and there probably wouldn’t have been enough free space to make a third copy of all my data. However, my understanding is that as long as there is enough space available, you could switch over to dual disk redundancy. (But I may be misunderstanding.)

To get the needed space, I acquired a brand new 3TB Western Digital Red hard drive.

NOTE: When I get a new hard drive, I like to first zero-byte format the entire drive. By writing to every sector of the new drive, any severe problems can be located. I would rather spend the hours it takes to do this, than blindly put in a new drive only to find out it had some severe issue far at the end of the drive which doesn’t show up until months (or years) later when the drive finally fills up to the bad spot. (Yes, I have found bad drives this way, but only two so far.)

After I plugged in the new device, as expected, the option for dual disk redundancy was available:

Drobo 5C dual disk redundancy option.

I checked it, and the drive began the long process of migrating data so every bit existed on three different drives (thus, two could fail, and data would still be protected):

Drobo 5C rebuilding for dual disk redundancy.

It initially stay it would take over 40 hours to do this, but it was actually completed in about 24 hours. The newer Drobos certainly handle rebuilding much faster than the early models which could take all week even with much smaller hard drives.

The end result was a new Drobo with a few more volumes available and some extra peace-of-mind.

To be continued…