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I have some fairly serious Mac/Windows concerns to address before I throw all of my money at a computor

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Josh WilliamsI have some fairly serious Mac/Windows concerns to address before I throw all of my money at a computor
by on Jan 27, 2016 at 12:30:24 pm

Ok, this one is full of opinions I know and (from my end at least it gets a little complicated).

I now have the money to invest in a decent computor (finally) so I want something with decent specs for AE, Premiere ect as it is really holding me back at the moment.

I work in a smaller company that have grown up on Mac and think I am being stupid by not getting one but I feel like I can get so much more for my money with windows as well as being able to upgrade easily and getting things fixed ect.

The problem is working with them and the rest of the industry that work with Mac. I have encountered a few problems working between the two that I am concerned about:

-Transferring files between the two, this is the first problem I came across with card and hard drive formats not liking each other. this normally means just reformatting and doing it again but this could end up being a bigger problem with tighter deadlines ect..

-ProRes, there is no way of me exporting Prores easily that I know of with windows (I did try to download a complicated programme to do this to no avail..)

-SRGB, I have been told that windows works in RGB and Mac SRGB which means that windows will always be limited as far as colour depth and accuracy is concerned. I don't exactly know how deep down the rabbit hole of grading I need to go although obviously I want to plan to have options for the future.

I think these are all of the problems I can think of for now but if anyone can pick any more holes in going windows then please do, but if you could be specific that would be great rather then talking about generally liking the way it works ect.

So... Solutions,

I have been considering running a Mac emulator on a windows setup and having that as a backup for when things go wrong but I do not know much about this and to what level it can solve my problems with compatability ect...

I have also just thought about trying to solve each problem individually with programmes ect although so far this has been a tiresome process..

Getting a cheap mac as a go between... seems kind of silly although I can kind of see how it would solve my problems..?

Giving in and getting a mac, this is my last resort. Not because I am stubborn (although I am), but I will have to learn a new OS properly and get a much less powerful machine for my money.

Okay, Essay nearly over..

If this would be better in a different forum please let me know! but if anyone can shine some light that would be great as this will be the biggest single purchase of my life and a very important one at that..

So far I have had such great info back from you guys so thank you for your continued help!!


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Tero AhlforsRe: I have some fairly serious Mac/Windows concerns to address before I throw all of my money at a computor
by on Jan 27, 2016 at 1:02:31 pm

[Josh Williams] "-Transferring files between the two, this is the first problem I came across with card and hard drive formats not liking each other. this normally means just reformatting and doing it again but this could end up being a bigger problem with tighter deadlines ect.."

If your network is set up properly this shouldnt be a problem. Also there's MacDrive for Windows or you could use EXFat formatted drives that work on both. If you're opening Mac projects you might have to relink the files if/when the directories are different.

[Josh Williams] "-SRGB, I have been told that windows works in RGB and Mac SRGB which means that windows will always be limited as far as colour depth and accuracy is concerned. "

This is complete BS.

[Josh Williams] "-ProRes, there is no way of me exporting Prores easily that I know of with windows (I did try to download a complicated programme to do this to no avail..)"

Some people use FFMBC. Personally I don't trust it.

[Josh Williams] "Getting a cheap mac as a go between.."

You could set up a Adobe Media Encoder watch folder to automatically transcode files to Prores or whatever Mac specific QT flavor.


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Eric SantiagoRe: I have some fairly serious Mac/Windows concerns to address before I throw all of my money at a computor
by on Jan 27, 2016 at 1:17:47 pm

Im too old to get into this but Ill add my 4 cents (Canadian).
Unless you have a ton of time in your hands and very tech savy, I would stick with a Mac.
That dont mean Mac folks are lazy/un-edu, too me I spend way too much time fixing issues with the PCs at work and home compared to my Macs.
I am not sure what formats your having issues with but if you really need a cross platform one just download the Avid codecs and render to DNxHD/HR or the PC.
Its free and works the same as ProRes.
I wear many hats and they all need Macs/PCs.


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Walter SoykaRe: I have some fairly serious Mac/Windows concerns to address before I throw all of my money at a computor
by on Jan 28, 2016 at 2:12:43 pm

[Eric Santiago] "I spend way too much time fixing issues with the PCs at work and home compared to my Macs."

My experience has been the opposite. Our PCs just keep on trucking, but our Macs need really careful attention: keeping track of which version each piece of software is compatible with which version of the OS, and trying to keep all those dependencies in sync is a real challenge.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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walter biscardiRe: I have some fairly serious Mac/Windows concerns to address before I throw all of my money at a computor
by on Jan 27, 2016 at 1:54:28 pm

[Josh Williams] "-Transferring files between the two, this is the first problem I came across with card and hard drive formats not liking each other. this normally means just reformatting and doing it again but this could end up being a bigger problem with tighter deadlines ect.."

If you have a properly configured network this is a non-issue. I had to switch storage providers because my original SAN could not deal with the cross platform workflow. Since switching to Studio Network Solutions we go back and forth across our Dell and Mac machines with zero issues. The only thing that has to happen is that the media has to reload because the drive names are different due to the Windows insistence that everything has to have a letter and the Mac they can just be names. On the PC side we can see the names after the letters so it's easy to know which drive the files came from.


[Josh Williams] "-ProRes, there is no way of me exporting Prores easily that I know of with windows (I did try to download a complicated programme to do this to no avail..)"

No, there is not. The Cineform codec on the PC is what we output to there and you can also output to DNxHD from Avid. If you MUST output to ProRes, then get a Mac Mini or cheap iMac. I plan to keep one Mac in the shop for that very reason.

PC can read ProRes all day long.


[Josh Williams] "-SRGB, I have been told that windows works in RGB and Mac SRGB which means that windows will always be limited as far as colour depth and accuracy is concerned. I don't exactly know how deep down the rabbit hole of grading I need to go although obviously I want to plan to have options for the future."

Somebody doesn't know what they're talking about. Your video is processed and output via the video card such as Blackmagic Design and AJA Video Systems. People have been color grading with Davinci Resolve for years on PCs so if that was really a problem, you would have seen it across your movie and television screens for years.

I've been Mac since 1996 and now I have one Dell and am spec'ing out a Main Gear system. Windows gives much more flexibility so long as your media storage is properly set up for the cross platform workflow. If it is not, then you have a lot of pain.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Walter SoykaRe: I have some fairly serious Mac/Windows concerns to address before I throw all of my money at a computor
by on Jan 28, 2016 at 2:05:40 pm

I used Macs as my primary platform for years, but starting in 2011, I began working on PCs. Today we are a cross-platform shop, with several of us on PCs and several on Macs, largely according to preference.


[Josh Williams] "-Transferring files between the two, this is the first problem I came across with card and hard drive formats not liking each other. this normally means just reformatting and doing it again but this could end up being a bigger problem with tighter deadlines ect.."

As Tero mentions, exFAT can be read on both systems. All our Macs get Tuxera NTFS, and all our PCs get MacDrive -- then we can plug any drive into any system without worrying about what format it is.


[Josh Williams] "-ProRes, there is no way of me exporting Prores easily that I know of with windows (I did try to download a complicated programme to do this to no avail..)"

I have tried the two unofficial solutions: the now-defunct Miraizon codec, and ffmpeg/ffmbc.

Now I'm using an Apple-approved, official solution for my ProRes transcodes: Assimilate SCRATCH [link]. It's pretty idiosyncratic, but it's very powerful and has been a good addition to our toolset.

We've been using CineForm internally in Adobe workflows as an intermediate codec across Macs and PCs with good results.


[Josh Williams] "-SRGB, I have been told that windows works in RGB and Mac SRGB which means that windows will always be limited as far as colour depth and accuracy is concerned. I don't exactly know how deep down the rabbit hole of grading I need to go although obviously I want to plan to have options for the future."

Everyone already mentioned this is completely nonsensical, but ironically, the sentiment is actually backwards. Windows has been capable of 10-bit display on your GUI monitor since 2009, and Apple just finally added it when they released El Capitan.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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