Most people who sit in front of a computer, by either need or nerd, often enjoy their sessions at the keyboard. The problem with watching pixels dance across a screen is that you tend to miss the beauty of the world around you, you know, the outside world. If you are unlucky enough to be a system administrator, you may never find time for a real vacation (especially if youire a Windows administrator).
Outside - For the truly nerdy; we refer to outside as being the space you traverse to go from the computers you use at work to the computers you use at home. For those who work from home; outside is the place where the pizza delivery guy exists.
If you are having trouble with the concept of outside take heart; it is possible view outside in breathtaking clarity on your Mac: Kayak in Monterey Bay, snowboard in fresh powder, or negotiate hairpins in a formula one, all from the comfort of your office chair. Endorphin.com is now offering extremely high quality videos, many in the siteis new Mega Movie format, in a new subscription Web site.
A Site For Sore Eyes
Why subscribe to a site that features videos? "The videos on Endorphin.com are not repackaged television shows," Endorphin Productions CEO, Bob Franco told us. The movies are an eclectic collection of scenic beauty, fascinating people, interesting subjects; from a four-part documentary on the last of the Navyis giant airships to jazz jam sessions with notable artists like Jeff Beck.
Movies featuring B-24is...
...the California Coast...
...and fast cars!
Mr. Franco invited TMO to have a look around and review the site. Our first impression was that of jaw-dropping amazement. The first thing youill notice is the lack of advertisements of any kind. Your subscription offsets the cost of publishing the movies. Of course, if you choose not to pay there are still movies on Endorphin.com for you to enjoy, but they have a commercial preamble and you wonit have access to the wealth of large format movies Endorphin Productions call iMega Movies, which are something to see. As you watch, you donit just view; due to the large size and enhanced resolution, the videos pull you in. You feel like you are sitting in the front row of a Jeff Beck concert, or viewing a rare collection of paintings first hand, or even that you are feeling the wind of speeding racers as the roar by. The content is unique and entertaining.
Other videos include interviews with celebrities, famous chefs giving detailed instructions on making culinary masterpieces, vintage cars shows, and much more. We thoroughly enjoyed the documentaries on the World War II bombers, and chilled to the beats of Dave Holland at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Thereis something for everyone, and more videos are on the way. "We continually post new content," says Mr. Franco, "and we try to offer things you just canit find anywhere else."
All videos require Apple QuickTime 5 or better.
You canit offer high quality video and low quality sound; thereis ear candy to accompany the eye candy at Endorphin.com. The audio of each movie is rendered in high fidelity stereo. The sound of the Pacific crashing against the rocks on Californiais Big Sur is so realistic you can almost feel the spray. The thrum of B-29s and the scream of race car engines are all delivered in CD-quality.
Getting Into It
The Endorphin.com site could just as well have been designed by one of Appleis famed engineers because of its simplicity; the site actually gets out of your way and allows you to get at what you are paying for, the movies. Once youive logged in the very first time, logging in again is a simple matter of clicking on the iLogini icon. Once you are in, you are in until your next session at the site; thereis no logging in again even if you go back to the siteis main page.
Endorphin.comis main page is easy on the eyes
Movies are organized by genre -- People, Places, Events, and so on -- and the latest movies are listed in a separate section on the same page for your convenience. As you mouse over the categories, a large, wide photo offers a view of the genreis contents. It is impressive to see, easy to use, and again, no advertisements!
Is there a downside to all of this video goodness? There is, but they are to be expected considering whatis involved.
You need to have a fast connection such as DSL or cable modem. While the content on Endorphin.com is well worth waiting for, no one wants to try to pull 60 MB through a 56k modem on a regular basis. You should also have a Mac that has at least a 450MHZ processor (G3 or G4), or an equally powerful PC, and lots of memory; the more memory the smoother your playback will be. We found that playback of the Mega Movies can tax an under-powered computer, yielding well rendered but jerky video. To reduced the jerkiness we had to shutdown other apps. Oddly enough, the sound continued to play flawlessly and, though it jerked, the movie kept pace with the sound.
Beyond that there is nothing to complain about; Endorphin Productions is offering a great product at a great price. The ease of use of the site, the quality of the sound, and the eye-popping videos are well worth the chump change Endorphin.com asks for its subscription. It is a site youill go back to again and again, especially if you just need to get away.