Everyone Wants a MAC M1 - Can We Afford it?

Jason Weiland


Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

The first time I read about it, I knew it was what I needed.

An M1 Mac that could handle heavy video editing for $699? Sign me up!

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to develop an idea for a profitable YouTube channel. But, I didn’t want a vlog where I would have to put my face out there and act like I had a personality.

I don’t, and I accept that.

All the solitude in 2020 gave me a lot of time to brainstorm and plan, and I did come up with two great ideas. So in December, I started making videos.

One of the main reasons I didn’t start making videos before was that my laptop didn’t have the graphics processing power to render video.

I let that stop me for a long time. I didn’t have the right equipment, and I couldn’t afford to buy anything better. Even the cheapest PCs that could run a good editing program like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro were entirely out of my limited price range.

The only thing I could do was start to save and put my YouTubing dreams on hold for a while.

At least until I could afford a new computer.

The end of December 2020 came around, and I had still not saved any money, and like everything else I start, I was ready to give up. I didn’t know if I would even be able to afford the tools I needed to do my work.

It’s Time To Get Started

One night, I was at my laptop writing, and the thought occurred to me that I had never even tried to edit and render this new kind of video I wanted to do. My logic in waiting until I could get something better was because I listened to the naysayers on the internet, and I had only ever tried one or two editing suites before.

I knew that I used Windows Movie Maker successfully, but it was not available anymore. Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and Divinci Resolve were way more program than my little Dell laptop could handle.

But, I’d heard good things about a little open-source program called OpenShot, and decided to try it.

The first video I made was 15 minutes long and consisted of music, still images, and video. I didn’t dare try 4K, but HD was good enough (1920x1080).

The 15-minute video took 30 mins to render, but it worked, and the program only became unresponsive twice. It fixed itself by just waiting a few minutes until it resolved.

It was a success and a great effort for my first video. I had proven that my laptop could do it, so I committed to making a new video every night.

By closing everything I could in Windows before rendering, I made awesome videos through trial and error. I was even able to make one that was 10 hours of relaxing ocean sounds, even though I crashed my system twice, and it heated up so much I worried it might explode.

Forget about any video playback; I had to make sure my timelines were perfect before I rendered them because if there were mistakes, I would waste a lot of time.

But, I knew if I wanted to make better videos, I would need a new computer, and that is when I started noticing all the hubbub about the new Apple M1’s. I realized that if I bought the $699 Mac Mini, it would set me back about $1K with the accessories I needed.

That was so much less than an entry-level PC that could handle the video I wanted.

The M1 Mac is a miracle of technology. I knew this was what I needed from the hundreds of YouTube creators making videos about the M1 Mac handling 8K Raw footage in Final Cut Pro easily and outperforming computers far more expensive.

The Problem

The problem was I was still even too broke to afford that price, but if I saved my juicy News Break earnings and somehow made it through Christmas, I might be able to swing it in January.

Each day, I am creating lower res videos with my old laptop until I can get the Mac Mini and start using 4K video without having to wait all night for it to render.

In the meantime, I get getting better at editing and video production. I’m learning what works and what doesn’t on YouTube, and I’m doing the work and putting in the time it takes to succeed.

The new computer will be the icing on the cake.

Next year, when I finally have the right equipment, I’ll start my other channel. For thw new one, instead of waiting until I can afford expensive cameras and equipment, I will use what I have on hand and learn the ropes of vlogging with my smartphone.

And I know my Mac Mini will be able to handle everything I throw at it, whether it’s 4K video or not.

If you have always wanted a Mac but felt they were too expensive, it might be time to try out one of the new M1’s. It is a fantastic product that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Lesson Learned: Just Get Started

Until next month when I can afford the Mini and a monitor, I will continue to use and abuse my poor Dell laptop, making it do more than I ever should expect it to.

But there are videos to make and footage to render, and I can’t wait around until the “right” or “perfect” time. Sometimes you just have to get started with what you have and make the best of it.

Using this Dell laptop made me a better editor because I’m learning shortcuts and tricks that I may not have known if there smooth sailing. My videos are getting more polished and professional, and I can only imagine how they will look when I have the right tools.

So if you take anything away from my story, let it be that sometimes, you have to get started. Even if you don’t have the right laptop, or camera, or software, use what is available and do the best you can do under the circumstances.

You’ll be farther ahead than the people who waited for the right time.

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Writer and advocate interested in mental health, health, family, culture, creativity, and success.

Los Angeles, CA

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