It is my hope you do not get the wrong idea from the title of this entry. I think Parallels Desktop for Mac is great. Certainly businesses that are Windows based might prefer VMware’s Fusion. And I suspect that someone working in a small office or home office using Macintosh would prefer Parallels. I am not a big fan of Coherence mode. Your preferences may vary.
It was tempting to label this piece of advice: Parallels: Excellence Versus Perfection. Because Parallels truly is excellent. Eliminates the need to have a second computer for doing what I need to do in a Windows environment. And the sharing of drives between the two operating systems is just a joy.
Now for the minor annoyances. In my work I do a fair amount of audio and visual production. I’m not knocking Apple’s Final Cut Pro and at least from my work, TechSmiths Camtasia for Windows leaves Final Cut Pro more than somewhat wanting. Please do not point out to me there is a Camtasia for Mac. Version 1 was a cruel joke while the latest version 2 is a huge improvement, still does not have anywhere near the features of Camtasia for Windows.
Part of making a promotional or industrial video is audio. I have a very nice, quite comfortable Samson wireless headset that is as important to me as the keyboard. Regardless of your platform you will get better audio if you convert your analog audio to a digital format outside the computer case. Using the line in jack I guarantee is going to lower your audio quality. This is because there is an RF shit storm happening inside your computer case. Given this I use a USB ‘sound pod’. This lets me do the analog-to-digital sound conversion outside the RF challenged area.
And this is where Parallels fails me. In the Parallels menu I say Devices and then in the USB submenu I check AK 5370. This passes might USB sound pod over to Windows where I can use it in Camtasia for audio narration and other purposes.
For some inexplicable reason Parallels stubbornly will not remember this choice. I have been beat about the head an enough times now it is becoming almost automatic for me to go and manually check it on. To say is annoying to go to Camtasia and be given the “you dumb idiot you don’t have a microphone attached” message because Parallels will not remember this choice is annoying.
Yes in the grand scheme of things this annoyance is minor. At least from a technical’s perspective. Psychologically it is quite counterproductive. As I have to get my mindset preparing for my narration simply put, my brain is in a different place. Having to go back to a technical issue as stupid as this then reset my brain back to narration mode is quite counterproductive.
Parallels seems to average an update every couple weeks. The program is very stable and certainly orders of magnitude more performance efficient in version 7 then version 5 was. Let’s hope they discover why it cannot remember my USB choice.