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Shane Ross
Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 1:33:44 am

So, Apple in it's infinite and ever-forward thinking wisdom, dropped support for many many legacy codecs. The excuse was that they weren't 64 bit compatible and they are moving to all 64-bit processing, and don't want to include 32-bit emulation in current and future updates...or something highly technical like that. (feel free to correct me on my details of this).

BECAUSE OF THIS...all this archival footage that people have won't be compatible with newer OS versions, on any platform. For example...the Animation codec...a staple for many many years of lossless archival or graphics delivery...is no longer supported. And now we have people on current OS versions, Mac and Windows, that can no longer access this footage. NOW they have to maintain an older system, and use that to access and convert as needed. Or, maintain that older system and then convert ALL of the footage (in many cases, hundreds if now thousands of hours of footage) to a new codec, taking tons of man hours and drive space.

Why can't Apple just keep supporting older codecs? Why the push for "always look forward, never look back?" As a historical documentary editor and online guy this is stupid. I'm sure the many many video archivists across the globe feel the same way. Why can't accommodations be made for older video...preserving history? Instead of making us spend multiple hundreds of hours converting the footage. And then converting again 10 or so years later when Apple decides to kill off more codecs. Soon, the constant recompression of video will degrade the image too much, and the original quality will be gone.

This came up recently on another forum, a Windows user, after an update, suddenly not able to access video files they had been before, and faced with what to do with the hundreds of hours of footage they have in this codec. Avid didn't link to it, QT didn't see it. VLC did...Resolve did. So did they then need to convert this footage before bringing it into Avid (that was the eventual solution)?

Sorry...this mentality bothers me. As a documentary maker.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Erik Lindahl
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:22:38 am

These changes are or can be painful. Affected codecs include:

3ivx MPEG-4
AV1 / VP9
AVC0 Media AVA0 Media
Avid DNxHD / DNxHR
Avid DV / DV100 / JFIF / Motion JPEG
Avid Meridien / 1:1x / Packed / RGBPacked
BitJazz SheerVideo
CineForm
Cinepak
DivX
Flash Video
FlashPix
FLC
GlueTools codecs for Cineon/DPX, Phantom Cine, ARRIRAW, Uncompressed RGB
H.261
Implode
Indeo video 5.1
Intel Video 4:3
JPEG 2000
Microsoft Video 1
Motion JPEG A
Motion JPEG B
On2 VP3, VP5, VP6, VP6-E, VP6-S, VP7, VP8, VP9
Perian collection of codecs (such as Microsoft MPEG-4, DivX, 3ivx, VP6, and VP3)
Pixlet
Planar RGB
RealVideo
REDCODE QuickTime Decoder (.mov)
SGI
Sony HDCAM-SR (SStP)
Sorenson 3
Sorenson Spark
Sorenson Video / Video 3 / YUV9
Streambox ACT-L2
Windows Media Video 7, 8, 9
Xiph.org’s Theora Video
ZyGoVideo

Oddly Animation is not in the list. But neither in the list of supported codecs going forward. From a production point of view I’d say that’s one of the major blows.

It sort of surprises me Apple doesn’t keep a fully uncompressed RGBA codec. I’d rather see them keep an extended array of these (I.e scale all the way to 32-bpp RGBA). But this isn’t Apples gem. I sort of get “we have to move forward” but uncompressed RGB seems fairly basic to keep around.

On the delivery side the killed support of Sorrenson could kill some legacy archives. That being said, those should have moved to h264 long, long ago.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:48:02 am

JPEG2000 is the basis of DCP. It is absolutely a current codec. I can see some codes on that list that might be fair enough to depreciate but some that are still required for video professionals.


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 5:09:18 pm

But, Shane, this is NOT an Apple thing and it's not even an actual codec issue, per se.

It's a OS issue.

If you need to access EVERYTHING you've ever shot, you have two utterly simple options.

First, stick with your current working OS and your existing software, just like generations of editors working in AVID (and other NLEs!) have.

Or (my preferred solution) keep an old laptop or desktop computer around that has a 32-bit compliant OS installed, That way if anyone EVER asks you to pull up old 32-bit content, just open it on that machine and transcode it into a 64-bit file - which will then work with ALL the modern NLEs.

This is simply NO different than when VHS tape, Betacam, DC-2000 backup cartridges, Syquist data disks or ANY other legacy technology fell out of favor. You move your stuff along, or you keep a machine capable of loading the old media around so you can keep moving forward.

This is NOT difficult. It's simply the next in a LONG LINE of tech moves that enable progress.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 5:23:26 pm

[Bill Davis] "If you need to access EVERYTHING you've ever shot, you have two utterly simple options.

First, stick with your current working OS and your existing software, just like generations of editors working in AVID (and other NLEs!) have."


I mentioned that in my original post. The need to keep an older computer that can read these files. But then, if I want to work with these older files in a NEW project with the NEW OS and NEW editing software, as us archival documentary filmmakers often do, I'll need to convert those to a codec the NEW system likes. But...can I? Can the older computer have access and actually encode to this new codec? Hmmm...maybe not, but then the new computer can't read the old file in order to convert.

Now...this is a relatively NEW problem. Not a "generations of editors" problem. Because before, oh, say, 12-15 years ago, TAPE was the dominate recording medium, as was FILM. Then P2 came along as did other formats and revolutionized filming. SO, we didn't have a codec issue. What we had was a DECK issue, needing to keep older decks around to play this footage. And then make sure you had a capture card with the proper connections to connect to that deck, or have a converter.

SO, I guess that's the situation here. Have an older computer, with an older capture card, and then play out from that to the new computer, with new capture card, and transfer that way. Making sure to get adapters along the way so that you can connect to the new capture cards.

[Bill Davis] "Or (my preferred solution) keep an old laptop or desktop computer around that has a 32-bit compliant OS installed, That way if anyone EVER asks you to pull up old 32-bit content, just open it on that machine and transcode it into a 64-bit file - which will then work with ALL the modern NLEs."

Ah, but CAN you? What if the codec you need to encode to can't be encoded on the computer you have...I recall that the MacPro G5 couldn't encode ProRes...it didn't have the powerful enough processor. So what if this nice desktop you keep can't do that to this new fangled codec? Then see above...signal from computer to computer via capture card.

[Bill Davis] "This is simply NO different than when VHS tape, Betacam, DC-2000 backup cartridges, Syquist data disks or ANY other legacy technology fell out of favor. You move your stuff along, or you keep a machine capable of loading the old media around so you can keep moving forward."

Yeah, but then dubbing to another media and then another media and then another media...moving forward...gets you very very muddy media. Speaking from experience as people transferred film to BetaSP, then captured that as "high quality AVI files" at 640x480, interlaced...then tossing the betacam masters, and the film is gone too... Archivists nightmare.

[Bill Davis] "This is NOT difficult. It's simply the next in a LONG LINE of tech moves that enable progress."

Yeah, I guess it's nothing new. This is why the Smithsonian keeps not only the film/tapes/media stored, but multiple decks and projectors and devices that can play that media. Looks like I have to do the same. Glad I have a Umatic Deck, a MacPro 2008 with older OS, and capture card, and VHS and DVD decks.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Eric Santiago
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 5:26:11 pm

Sadly a practise we have here as well.
Hanging on to old decks and computers due to expired software/tech.
Heck, I remember PowerPC and what didn't transfer at the time.
On the corporate side here they are moving to Windows 10 and a ton of software is not being supported as well.
Just how it is.
I do get the blame on Apple, they could have helped us with a path or fix.
We have so many QT errors in After Effects due to all this and yep I have to find the out of date files and reformat.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:29:50 pm

[Bill Davis] "This is simply NO different than when VHS tape, Betacam, DC-2000 backup cartridges, Syquist data disks or ANY other legacy technology fell out of favor. "

It's kinda different in that we are talking about data, not physical media. A VHS tape is physically incompatible with a DVD player or a DigiBeta deck. There is no physical incompatibility with codecs. It's just whether or not the software maker wants to support it. For example, there is an entire cottage industry 'saving' old video games via emulation even though the physical consoles and/or old computers that the games were originally designed for have largely gone the way of the Dodo.

With that being said though, archiving for data doesn't really exist like it does for physical media. Archiving for data is really a perpetual migration of data to contemporary codecs/formats and storage mediums so that it remains accessible. This is why when one does their initial ingest one shouldn't use a heavily compressed codec like low bit rate H.264 because eventually that crap H.264 file will have to be transcoded into another codec for compatibility. And then another, and then another, and then another for decades or even centuries (assuming humanity makes it that long).


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:33:53 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "This is why when one does their initial ingest one shouldn't use a heavily compressed codec like low bit rate H.264"

YES! Nail on head.

This is also why one must always RETAIN THE FULL CARD STRUCTURE of tapeless cameras. I know of many people who shot P2 , captured that into FCP Legacy...threw out the card backups, thinking their captured footage was all they needed. Issue...that codec was extremely proprietary, it ONLY was viewable on computers with FCP installed. Hand that off to someone without FCP...white screen. Found that out when giving dailies to a producer.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 7:09:25 pm

Shane, the issue is that Apple opted not to support these codecs in AVF and by extension the QT Player app. They did for DV, but not the others. So it really has nothing to do with the fact that these are 32-bit. Merely that Apple opted to limit the amount of work required on their part. While inconvenient, and in some cases hard to justify, you have to draw the line somewhere, I suppose.

This mainly affects these codecs if they are wrapped in an .mov wrapper. Apple left it up to others to write the necessary modules. This is what Avid, BMD, and Adobe have done for DNx wrapped as .mxf. Depending on the codec in macOS, QT will ignore some and convert (transcode) others. Get a professional player tool if needed, like Switch. Don't rely on QT.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:51:35 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Get a professional player tool if needed, like Switch. Don't rely on QT."

It's not a player that's needed. The Animation codec and others that had support dropped will play in VLC player. It's being able to WORK with these formats. So either some way to re-wrap them in a supported container, or a converter that can read them and convert them.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 11:46:37 pm

[Shane Ross] "It's being able to WORK with these formats. "

I presume these were wrapped as .mov and not .avi (since it was a Windows user). I'd bet .mov. Have you or this person tried to bringing the files into Media Composer or any Adobe application? Going forward, that's where the support will come from.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 11:52:26 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I presume these were wrapped as .mov and not .avi (since it was a Windows user). I'd bet .mov."

Yes, MOV files in the ANIMATION codec. But when he got info for it, it said QUICKTIME RLE format...which googling got me to ANIMATION.

[Oliver Peters] "Have you or this person tried to bringing the files into Media Composer or any Adobe application?"

That's why he posted (on a facebook group). He couldn't import the files into Avid...nor open them in QT. VLC played them, but Avid wouldn't import...nor link. And it happened after an update on the WIndows 10 system. It worked before, then didn't.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 13, 2019 at 12:04:12 am

[Shane Ross] "it said QUICKTIME RLE format...which googling got me to ANIMATION."

AFAIK, that's not Animation codec. It's a much older format. So it's doesn't surprise me that it isn't supported. I believe Animation .mov is still supported in Windows, since that's an old version of QT anyway on PCs. Is he sure that the Windows update didn't actually wipe out QT or the older libraries?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 13, 2019 at 12:57:47 am

[Oliver Peters] "AFAIK, that's not Animation codec"

Sorry. I was wrong. Yes, it is Animation. The Adobe issue gets back to Adobe dropping support for QT7. So it was probably a CC update and not a Win10 update that did it. I've found a few forums that suggest rolling back to a slightly earlier version of the CC app to get through this.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Brett Sherman
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 16, 2019 at 12:36:57 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "
With that being said though, archiving for data doesn't really exist like it does for physical media. Archiving for data is really a perpetual migration of data to contemporary codecs/formats and storage mediums so that it remains accessible. This is why when one does their initial ingest one shouldn't use a heavily compressed codec like low bit rate H.264 because eventually that crap H.264 file will have to be transcoded into another codec for compatibility. And then another, and then another, and then another for decades or even centuries (assuming humanity makes it that long)."


This is true. But to an OS, high bandwidth H.264 is identical to low bandwidth H.264. Smart money is on using a non-propietary high bandwidth format. Many cameras these days shoot on a high bandwidth variation of H.264. H.265 is coming soon.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 17, 2019 at 3:48:39 am

[Brett Sherman] "Many cameras these days shoot on a high bandwidth variation of H.264. H.265 is coming soon."

I was thinking more along the lines of ingesting tape-based media or film.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 7:01:18 pm

[Bill Davis] "But, Shane, this is NOT an Apple thing and it's not even an actual codec issue, per se.
It's a OS issue. "


Incorrect. This is a choice issue. Apple could have added the ability to interpret these codecs into AV Foundations, as the did for the DV codecs. They chose not to.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:50:57 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:53:18 pm

At least some small part of this is not a 64 bit issue but a business issue, in that Apple is cutting some codecs they had to pay licensing fees to use, as I understand it.

Keeping some older OS systems and it's host hardware around is an option, but not as "simple" as it may seem, since, you're now counting on that machine never breaking down. (And eventually, they will...) ...and on there being a replacement for it if it does.

I have a gorgeous $3k iMac in my garden toolshed, stuck on a shelf since the graphics card melted down one day, well after Apple stopped replacing the bad units. I *could* spend as much as the computer was worth to get an OEM replacement, and find someone to put it in... or try to do it myself... but it's not financially prudent. And that's going to happen to everybody who keeps an older model in a "Bell Jar" for handling these deprecated codecs. I had one of those here at the office until last month or so, humming happily along, when the IT dept. suddenly and unilaterally ordered them all sent to the boneyard, no reprieves, no exceptions. I lost m FCP-7 and DVDStudio Pro workstation on that day. (sniff) You'll have the ability to still work with them, until suddenly - you won't. And I guaran-damn-tee you, it won't happen at a convenient time.

The opportunist will see in this a chance to make some money; helping people evacuate/transcode their files. Bob Z, if you're listening, this could be a great side business, setting up a transfer workstation hooked to big storage. Maybe make it a rentable fly-away package you plug into the local system, vacuum everything up and transcode it thru an automated script... move on to the next shop.

I think it might also be a small profit center for some developers writing transcoding tools, but then again, if they have to pay a lot in licensing, they might not be able to break-even.

As I understand it, currently Apple has a transcoding scheme set up in Compressor to help you move your stuff when FCPX or Motion detect a codec on the "endangered list".


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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 14, 2019 at 1:30:16 pm

First, Apple is removing the codec software from the OS itself. That doesn't mean the codecs don't still exist, nor that they cannot exist on modern Macs. The codecs still exist as math. If you have the math, you have the codec, and you can write an application to apply the codec. Apple has simply decided they don't want to do this work anymore, but they are not stopping others from doing it. Avid, Adobe, Blackmagic, Sorenson, VLC, FFMPEG can all continue to support any codec worth their time, assuming the codec math is available.

Shane is right that a codec is not like a physical tape format, but the analogy works. Apple has stopped building the machines, but they are not stopping anyone else from building codec machines, and codec machines are relatively easy to build. Lot's of people build codec machines. As software machines go, codec translators are fairly easy once the codec has been defined.

Remember that codecs were not historically part of any OS. Apple was the pioneer in including video codecs and a codec infrastructure (Quicktime) directly in the OS itself. Even then, there are many codecs Apple has never supported (WMV anyone?) or dropped long ago. Writing codec software represented a significant effort on Apple's part and it is the central reason Macs became the system of choice for video professionals. Windows has never incorporated broad codec support in the OS. They rely on third parties, one of whom was Apple.

By the way, if VLC can play a codec, it can transcode it. Playing IS transcoding.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Shawn Miller
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 14, 2019 at 3:42:52 pm

[Tod Hopkins] " Windows has never incorporated broad codec support in the OS. They rely on third parties, one of whom was Apple."

What do you mean? Are you saying that MS doesn't develop it's own codecs, or that they don't include third party codecs with Windows?

Shawn



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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:07:57 pm

[Shawn Miller] "What do you mean? Are you saying that MS doesn't develop it's own codecs, or that they don't include third party codecs with Windows?"

Neither, really. I'm saying that Microsoft has not considered extensive video codec support a significant feature of Windows until very recently. Microsoft does write some codecs and does support some in the base OS, but this support has never been extensive. If you want broad codec support in Windows you add third party codecs, often bundled into collections. Also true of Linux distros for what it's worth.

The point I was trying to make is simply that we Mac users have come to expect "broad" video codec support built into the OS, but Apple OS is the exception, not the rule. I'm not apologizing for Apple's choice. I don't like it. I'm merely making the case that it is not a crises. Third party codecs are routine everywhere else.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Shawn Miller
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:49:47 pm

[Tod Hopkins] "[Shawn Miller] "What do you mean? Are you saying that MS doesn't develop it's own codecs, or that they don't include third party codecs with Windows?"

Neither, really. I'm saying that Microsoft has not considered extensive video codec support a significant feature of Windows until very recently. Microsoft does write some codecs and does support some in the base OS, but this support has never been extensive."


You don't think of VC1 or DirectX as extensive video CODEC support? How could the most popular gaming and multimedia platform not have video and audio support as an integral part of the OS? They even helped develop the H.26x standard...

Shawn



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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 17, 2019 at 12:52:32 pm

[Shawn Miller] "You don't think of VC1 or DirectX as extensive video CODEC support? How could the most popular gaming and multimedia platform not have video and audio support as an integral part of the OS? They even helped develop the H.26x standard..."

Extensive? Not at all. And certainly not historically. First, DirectX was built for gaming because MS is a gaming platform and it is neither a video codec nor a file standard. It provides api support for third parties, not direct user support. VC1 and h.264 are standards that Microsoft championed but did not create, and only after WMV failed to get widespread acceptance.

I'm not trying to argue that Windows can't do video or that the Mac OS is inherently better. I'm simply arguing that the Mac OS has historically provided more direct support for video professionals and video codecs than Windows. This is still true today, and even after the "conversion", I suspect it will continue to be true because video professionals matter to Apple.

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Shawn Miller
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 17, 2019 at 5:19:17 pm

[Tod Hopkins] "Extensive? Not at all. And certainly not historically. First, DirectX was built for gaming because MS is a gaming platform and it is neither a video codec nor a file standard. It provides api support for third parties, not direct user support"

DirectX provides extensive support for a wide variety of multimedia applications on the Windows platform... not just for third parties and not just for games. I have no idea what you mean by "direct user support".

[Tod Hopkins] " VC1 and h.264 are standards that Microsoft championed but did not create, and only after WMV failed to get widespread acceptance. "

Microsoft created VC1 (which is a CODEC) and helped to develop h.26x... which I believe I said...

Shawn



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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 17, 2019 at 9:33:05 pm

I'm not slamming Microsoft or DirectX. I like both. I'm simply making the case (maybe poorly) that Apple has historically provided more comprehensive support for video professionals than Microsoft. I'm kind of surprised I would have to provide evidence as it seems self-evident to me. For the first decade of my career, one bought PCs to do the office work and Macs to do video. Avid did not run on Windows.

Quicktime and DirectX are two different technologies with different intent. DirectX is a great technology which made modern video games possible but it's very different from Quicktime.

I must say that giving Microsoft credit for h.264 just makes me ill. VC-1 exists because Microsoft wanted the future of video to be based on their proprietary WMV foundation and not MPEG. They fought that battle hard. They forced VC-1 into the Blu-ray spec. In the end, they reluctantly supported h.264 because they really had no choice.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Shawn Miller
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 18, 2019 at 1:46:48 am

[Tod Hopkins] " I'm simply making the case (maybe poorly) that Apple has historically provided more comprehensive support for video professionals than Microsoft. "

If you're talking about video editors and others who we typically think of as "video professionals", then you're probably right - but for multimedia, web, streaming and others who work with audio and video for a living but aren't traditional post professionals, then no. My perspective comes from having worked in a few of these areas. When I needed solid screen capture CODECS, video tools that allowed me to write script commands into video files, access video/audio file headers etc, all I needed were Microsoft's video tools. Their focus (in the 90's and 2000's) was on compression, compression tools and everything you could do with compressed media. Now, they're much more into providing tools for developers (AR, VR, etc.), and not people on the post side, who I think you're talking about.

[Tod Hopkins] "Quicktime and DirectX are two different technologies with different intent. DirectX is a great technology which made modern video games possible but it's very different from Quicktime. "

Right... and I never compared the two. They're different things for different kinds of people who create media...

[Tod Hopkins] "I must say that giving Microsoft credit for h.264 just makes me ill. VC-1 exists because Microsoft wanted the future of video to be based on their proprietary WMV foundation and not MPEG. "

Again, I'm not giving Microsoft full credit for creating h.26x - but I know they contributed engineering resources to the effort, as did Apple and a few notable others. And you're actually pretty off base about Microsoft's desire to supplant MPEG-X with .wmv. They fought hard in areas where MPEG competed with VC1 (HDDVD vs Blu-Ray), but they are also pretty strong advocates for cross platform video standards (licensing tech to the FFMPEG project). BTW, have you ever heard of Gary J. Sullivan? Might make for an interesting read. ☺

Shawn



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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 18, 2019 at 1:11:54 pm

[Shawn Miller] "If you're talking about video editors and others who we typically think of as "video professionals", then you're probably right - but for multimedia, web, streaming and others who work with audio and video for a living but aren't traditional post professionals, then no."

It's great to get outside one's box every now and then! That's exactly right. I am definitely speaking from the point of view of a post-production professional. From a general multi-media point-of-view, I agree that the balance has shifted fairly dramatically towards Windows in the past decade as traditional video post and computer applications merged and Apple's model shifted more towards consumers and away from professionals.

And now Linux. My current production is video delivered via a Unity application running on Linux.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Shawn Miller
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 18, 2019 at 2:58:28 pm

[Tod Hopkins] "And now Linux. My current production is video delivered via a Unity application running on Linux."

That sounds interesting, what are you doing?

Shawn



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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 18, 2019 at 4:26:10 pm

These are oral history exhibits for the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The clips are running in a simple interactive interface built in Unity and running on Ubuntu Linux. Historically such an exhibit would run on Windows, but Windows has always been hard to keep stable in fixed exhibits and Windows 10 introduced new problems for which no one had solutions, so we decided to work with Linux.

The scales may have tipped in favor of Linux for long-term fixed installations like this, but the jury is still out. I am not entirely happy with the performance of the h.264 video in the application (Unity Media Player). Playing in VLC or Ubuntu looks fine. Within the app we are dropping some frames. It's a bit of a puzzle why UMP is not working as well as VLC or Ubuntu since all the apps leverage FFMPEG.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Shawn Miller
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 18, 2019 at 7:18:51 pm

[Tod Hopkins] "These are oral history exhibits for the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The clips are running in a simple interactive interface built in Unity and running on Ubuntu Linux."

That sounds like interesting work. I imagine you get to hear a lot of important stories.

[Tod Hopkins] " Historically such an exhibit would run on Windows, but Windows has always been hard to keep stable in fixed exhibits and Windows 10 introduced new problems for which no one had solutions, so we decided to work with Linux.

The scales may have tipped in favor of Linux for long-term fixed installations like this, but the jury is still out. I am not entirely happy with the performance of the h.264 video in the application (Unity Media Player). Playing in VLC or Ubuntu looks fine. Within the app we are dropping some frames. It's a bit of a puzzle why UMP is not working as well as VLC or Ubuntu since all the apps leverage FFMPEG. "


What a pain. Getting players and supposedly standard video formats to behave across different platforms is one of the reasons I don't miss multimedia work so much. ☺

Shawn



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Dom Silverio
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 14, 2019 at 9:32:17 pm

[Tod Hopkins] " Apple has simply decided they don't want to do this work anymore, but they are not stopping others from doing it."

AFAIK, a lot of the codecs they are "retiring" were never written by Apple, thus that work was never on Apple. What they are actually doing is not allowing THIRD party codecs to be installed via AVFramework without their approval (no approval has been given to anyone AFAIK). Writing the code for your codec only satisfies specific applications you have control over. The previous QT platform allowed you to write a codec for the QT engine itself allowing any software to access the same codec.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 17, 2019 at 1:08:18 pm

[Dom Silverio] "What they are actually doing is not allowing THIRD party codecs to be installed via AVFramework without their approval (no approval has been given to anyone AFAIK)."

Apple is a closed environment, and they are trending towards being more closed. I don't love it and I think Cook is heading in the wrong direction, but it isn't a change. AVFramework exists to support media. If it doesn't support media better than DirectX, I will be shocked. AVFramework exists for media professionals. DirectX is for games.

Did you see the list of Mac Pro software "partners" at WWDC? It was a who's who of top end video software companies. How many of those companies will stay friendly if Apple denies them access to AVFramework?

We are in a transition. Apple will try to exercise control. They always do. But they introduced the Mac Pro because their "media" image has slipped badly. The Mac Pro is 100% for the high-end media market. It is useless without deep support for media in the Mac OS.

I won't be buying a Mac Pro any time soon, but it cheered me up more than anything Apple has done in several years because it means Apple wants us back.

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Lee Doucet
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 14, 2019 at 4:08:44 pm

Interesting you say it's an OS thing, but seem to completely ignore the fact that Apple develops and maintains the OS. They make the decisions that the OS pushes on its users.

Windows has a legacy DirectShow framework for CODECs, but since they didn't let it languish as a 32-Bit component, they won't have to worry about breaking every DirectShow Encoder/Decoder - or software program that depends on them to access certain formats - should they decide to drop support for 32-Bit applications in Windows.

This is just poor product planning on Apple's part, IMO.

But people should be used to them not caring about what they don't own, at this point.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:17:37 pm

[Lee Doucet] "Windows has a legacy DirectShow framework for CODECs, but since they didn't let it languish as a 32-Bit component, they won't have to worry about breaking every DirectShow Encoder/Decoder"

A couple of points. Microsoft's entire business model is different. MS can't take features away. They are all about conservative stability. The two models are antithetical. MS will always chose the conservative path and Apple will always choose to be more progressive.

DirectShow is significantly newer than Quicktime.

Windows (as you pointed out) will not stop running 32-bit code any time soon.

Apple OS still has a powerful video framework. They replaced the framework. They didn't remove it.

DirectShow relies heavily on third-party codecs.

Cheers,
tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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Gary Huff
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 18, 2019 at 1:41:15 pm

Seriously guys, codec is a portmanteau, not a damn acronym.


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richard mazikowski
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 19, 2019 at 4:07:20 pm

I have to admit that one of the aspect of Windows updates through the years was the need to make it backwards compatible. It meant that their operating system was alway weakened by their desire to never alienate older hardware systems. Apple has always excelled at this even though it meant leaving some out in the cold. Since they were primarily a hardware company it made since.

But, this is really a bit too far especially when you are considering a codec like Animation which it not only widespread but the default codec in many apple programs. They should at least have a way to rewrap it in the background to make it compatible.


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Tod Hopkins
Re: Apple dropping codec support...repercussions
on Jun 19, 2019 at 6:43:19 pm

Jon Chappel of Digital Rebellion wrote one of the simplest and clearest posts on this subject that I've read.

https://www.digitalrebellion.com/blog/posts/thoughts_on_32_bit_codecs_being...

Cheers,
Tod

Tod Hopkins
Hillmann & Carr Inc.
Washington, DC


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