Does NeoFinder work in macOS High Sierra?

That is a very good question, and there are three anwers to it.

The PR answer

Of course it works! 🙂

The honest answer

Fire up your DeLorean, fill up the flux capacitor to make sure it can generate the 1.2 Gigawatts of power, speeed the car up to 88 mph, and time travel to October 2017. There, check this page here again for the definitive answer. 🙂

The full answer

We cannot know yet, as Apple so far has only released two beta versions, and they are still developing, improving and changing macOS High Sierra until it is released in September 2017.

What we know so far

We have tested the new NeoFinder 7.1 in macOS High Sierra beta 1 and beta 2, and pretty much everything works.

We found two issues in macOS High Sierra that affect NeoFinder.

Cataloging thumbnails and metadata of old PICT graphic files does not work anymore. While we can understand that Apple thinks this very old format is pretty much dead, we still hope for a clarification if that is a bug or a deliberate move. So far, there has been no answer. So it may just be a bug that Apple will fix until High Sierra is released.

The second issue is the user interface of Apples Finder. The Get Info windows have massive visual redraw problems when adding Tags and comments there. The good news is that NeoFinder can do that for you, and it works just fine.

When to update

As always, a major new operating system version brings a lot of changes under the hood and will break a lot of things. If you use your Mac to get actual work done, you will, as always, wait until at least 10.13.3 or 10.13.4 has been released. Even though the High Sierra betas worked surprisingly stable already, we very highly recommend to wait as well.

We will officially test Apples final release version of macOS High Sierra as soon as it becomes available, and tell you more about how that turns out.

NeoFinder and ffmpeg

NeoFinder for Mac is able to generate video thumbnails from a variety of formats, many more than are supported by Apples ageing QuickTime technology.

It uses a very cool and powerful tool named ffmpeg. That is a command line tool that must be properly installed so that NeoFinder can find and use it.

If using the Terminal is complex for you, here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to get and install ffmpeg to be used with NeoFinder.

But first, why is ffmpeg not simply part of NeoFinder? That would be much easier, right?

Yes, it would be. But ffmpeg uses a license type called GPL, and that does not allow this software to be bundled by apps like NeoFinder. Sorry. We would love to directly include it, but we cannot legally do so.

So get your own ffmpeg!

Just visit http://www.ffmpegmac.net/

They offer a nice “Download Now!” button for you, marked in red here:

ffmpeg-download

You will get a file named

SnowLeopard_Lion_Mountain_Lion_Mavericks_Yosemite_El-Captain_02.05.2016.zip

or similar in your Downloads folder.

Please double click that ZIP file to uncompress it, if your browser didn’t already do it.

Now you have a folder named:

SnowLeopard_Lion_Mountain_Lion_Mavericks_Yosemite_El-Captain_02.05.2016

or similar, with three items in it:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 15.02.02

You only need one of them, and that is – you have guessed it – called ffmpeg.

This file must be placed in /usr/local/bin/ for NeoFinder to find and use it.

How do we get it there?

First, launch Apples Terminal.app, to be found in your Utilities folder.

There, paste the entire following line, and hit return:

mkdir -p /usr/local/bin/

This will create the folder we need to place your ffmpeg into.

Permission denied?

If you get a message saying “Permission denied.”, you don’t have full administrator privileges. But those are needed to write to /usr/local/bin/.

You can get these special access privileges by using the su command in front of each regular Terminal command.

So the above command to create the folders would now be:

su mkdir -p /usr/local/bin/

When you enter that command, Terminal will ask you for your normal user password, and then proceed.

Copy ffmpeg

Next step is to actually copy the downloaded ffmpeg file into that location.

Again in Terminal.app, please use something similar like the following line:

cp /Users/yourname/Downloads/SnowLeopard_Lion_Mountain_Lion_Mavericks_Yosemite_El-Captain_02.05.2016/ffmpeg /usr/local/bin/

This is a bit tricky, as this cp (or “copy”) command requires you to give it the entire path of the downloaded ffmpeg file on your system, as well as the target folder path. The good news here is that there is a shortcut for this!

Just type the cp command first, followed by a blank. Then simply drag the ffmpeg file directly into your Terminal window! It will properly add the path to that file for you, no typing needed!

Then type another blank, and paste the destination path    /usr/local/bin/   there, and make sure to include the trailing / in this path.

When you hit return now in Terminal, it will bravely copy the ffmpeg file into the folder we have created.

If you again get the Permission denied message, use the su command, as outlined abive.

Test it!

To make sure that it works fine, just paste this line into Terminal now:

/usr/local/bin/ffmpeg

This should launch ffmpeg from the command line, and give you some diagnostic output about the ffmpeg version:

ffmpeg version 3.0.2 Copyright (c) 2000-2016 the FFmpeg developers
  built with llvm-gcc 4.2.1 (LLVM build 2336.11.00)

Now you can launch NeoFinder again, and it will happily find and use ffmepg, to catalog file formats like MPG, MXF (used by Sony XDCAM), M2V, M2TS, MPV, MTS, TS, and even VOB.

Enjoy!