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Cupertino, we've got a problem!

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Mark Raudonis
Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 22, 2020 at 12:10:54 am
Last Edited By Mark Raudonis on Mar 22, 2020 at 12:15:45 am

Much like Apollo 13 faced a serious threat to their mission, we in the post production community are facing an existential threat to our industry with the need to isolate and work remotely. And much like those astronauts in peril, the solutions for remote editing so far seem like a combination of gaffer's tape, paper clips, and cardboard. Sure, we'll try anything we can to land safely, but in the long term, we really have to have a better plan.

I single out Cupertino for two reasons. One, like many people working in post, I'm a die hard Mac fan boy. I like working on Macs, our entire post production fleet is all Macs. (My first Mac was a "MacIIvx" which cost as much as a Toyota, and had about as much power as your iPhone today!). The real reason I'm calling out Cupertino during this crisis, is as I'm scrambling to find solutions for remote editing, I'm finding that the PC world if MUCH FARTHER AHEAD in this area. My Mac "myopia" has blinded me to developments like these from HP:

https://www8.hp.com/us/en/workstations/zcentral-remote-boost.html

So if anybody from Cupertino is listening, what are you doing to match this kind of feature from HP?

Asking for a friend who was thinking about upgrading to those new Cheese-graters, but in the new normal of remote editing... not so sure.



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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 22, 2020 at 3:05:32 pm

Right now, I think macOS is the roadblock. For example, you cannot virtualize the OS. And yes, we are hostages to our own preferences for Apple.

OTOH, an Apple solution might easily take a completely different form than you expect in order for Apple to maximize its product line. Imagine the ability to use iPadOS (like on the new iPad Pro) to drilling into your new Mac Pro back at home base, in order to run a virtual copy of FCPX. I could easily see this being applied to something like a Mac Mini, as well.

For all intents and purposes - a step back in time. When corporate computing installations were "thin" clients on your desk connected to the mainframe system in the bowels of the building. Welcome your IT overlords again. ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 22, 2020 at 4:53:18 pm

It’s says this on the tin:

“ Our software is compatible with most desktop operating systems including Windows, MacOS and Linux®. No need to install any extra drivers or app updates for supported operating systems.”

Doesn’t that mean this works with macOS even if the central server is HP?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 22, 2020 at 8:19:31 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Mar 22, 2020 at 8:20:18 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Doesn’t that mean this works with macOS even if the central server is HP?"

I think what Mark is saying is that Apple doesn't offer a machine that can provide the services of the HP server. There is no equivalent end-to-end Apple solution. Therefore, why should he buy new Mac Pros.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Morten Carlsen
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 22, 2020 at 4:59:49 pm

Should have post this here instead of old thread

Cupertino has a LOT of problems in the Pro Sector - Speed would be one where Windows blow macOS out the water. Since Apple began doing their iOS must be included in macOS-Thing... Things started to go bad for Pro Users on Mac.

With Catalina and its obvious slowness compared with even macOS Sierra I am looking more and more to the windows side of things. And I have been using Macs since 1994. I would hate to switch but if Apple doesn't do something I will !

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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 22, 2020 at 8:23:28 pm

[Morten Carlsen] " Speed would be one where Windows blow macOS out the water."

Would you elaborate? Specifically, what sort of speed are you referring to?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Eric Santiago
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 4:43:16 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Would you elaborate? Specifically, what sort of speed are you referring to?"

I can only say that in Maya as far as blazing speed.
My experiences with 2013 Mac Pros vs HPZ840 using Premiere, After Effects and Resolve...meh :P
However, between my D700 vs 2019....wowza!!


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Tim Wilson
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 5:22:55 pm

[Eric Santiago] "However, between my D700 vs 2019....wowza!!"

Can you elucidate on that? Assuming that they're similarly spec'd of course....and of course, which is the wowza, and is this good or bad? 🤣


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Eric Santiago
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 9:56:24 pm

[Tim Wilson] " Assuming that they're similarly spec'd of course....and of course, which is the wowza, and is this good or bad? 🤣"

To be honest not even close as far as specs.
The D700 has 64GB on Mojave and the new Mac Pro is a 16Core with a Vega II (currently 32GB RAM).
Wowza is the speed difference in both Premiere and After Effects with a basic project.
Proxy conversion and H264 export in Premiere, Stardust plugin in After Effects.
I may be just excited to be working with it.
I'm sure the feeling will wear off...


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Shawn Miller
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 9:44:18 pm

[Eric Santiago] "I can only say that in Maya as far as blazing speed."

So... is that render speed (which renderer)... view port performance... loading and manipulating large amounts of polygons... using large textures... using a lot of lights... what's faster on which machine? ☺

Shawn



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Eric Santiago
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 9:50:03 pm

[Shawn Miller] "So... is that render speed (which renderer)... view port performance... loading and manipulating large amounts of polygons... using large textures... using a lot of lights... what's faster on which machine? ☺
"


Yikes, I'm notorious for replying without reading first :P
The HP has a K5000 in it and yes it's much faster in viewport which is where I live most.
As far as Arnold rendering, I will use any platform to get things done.
But I'm pretty sure it's much faster on the HP than the D700.


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Shawn Miller
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 9:53:54 pm

[Eric Santiago] "[Shawn Miller] "So... is that render speed (which renderer)... view port performance... loading and manipulating large amounts of polygons... using large textures... using a lot of lights... what's faster on which machine? ☺
"

Yikes, I'm notorious for replying without reading first :P
The HP has a K5000 in it and yes it's much faster in viewport which is where I live most.
As far as Arnold rendering, I will use any platform to get things done.
But I'm pretty sure it's much faster on the HP than the D700."


Ah, thank you I was wondering! ☺ It sounds like you're using Arnold in GPU mode, I didn't know it supported AMD cards now, that's good news!

Shawn



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Morten Carlsen
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 5:48:43 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Would you elaborate? Specifically, what sort of speed are you referring to?"

Hi Oliver,

Premiere Pro on an iMac Pro is X fast. Premiere Pro on a Fast PC is X*3

Metal is still wearing child-shoes and graphic wise Apple can nothing (Cant say about new MacPro) against a PC with a fast NVIDIA card..

In Fact macOS has become SO SLOW that when you try to move a color corrector control while playback is running, playback stops and THAT per design.

The plug-in I am writing for FCPx (used to be OpenCL) was so fast that I could enter fullscreen on 4K material and adjust controls while playing back at full quality. Since the latests releases playback stops per design. Reason being that Apple doesn't want to show stuttering Video Performance during control movement and playback.

One can move controls till one gets dizzy in PPRO without a hiccup as long as the plug is Mercury Capable.

Catalina Finder is so slow that it literally at times takes seconds to even move a file to the trash bin. This is due to Apple's not-so-great-and-full-of-bugs-file-system APFS.

Apple in general and macOS is IMO much greater than Windows but the machines are yet to catch up speed wise and the software schedule that Apple follows makes sure that NO BUGs get fixed and are just carried from macOS to the next macOS. Catalina is IMO (And Timely Spoken)the worst OS Apple has ever released.

If I released an App to the Appstore as buggy as Catalina Apple Staff would reject it and ask me to fix the bugs before presenting it to their users.

Go Figure :-)

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Tim Wilson
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:25:00 pm

The VES Tech Committee has released a Working From Home Best Practices document, along with invitations to comment. There's a bunch of great stuff for both editing and VFX, pertaining to remote creation, collaboration, review, rendering, and much more.

I mean, it gets into "Wacom tablet pressure sensitivity is only supported on Linux" levels of detail, but the broad strokes are informative, and even just plain interesting if you're generally curious about the state of things at the highest reaches of our market. Check it out!

Here's how they summarize their top-ranked solution, Teradici PCoIP:
  • Server / Workstation: hardware solution (Remote Workstation Card) on Linux or Windows, can be used on Mac with external PCIe cardcage (see solution from Amulet Hotkey). Software solution for Windows and Linux: Cloud Access Software Graphics Edition (needed for GPU support), bundled as Teradici All Access Cloud Access + subscription.
  • Client: ZeroClient hardware solution (multiple vendors), connect monitors and peripherals directly to ZeroClient hardware. Software Client (no charge) for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • Teradici's data stream is encrypted (if enabled). Check with the clients if they would authorize its use without having to have a VPN connection on top (which hinders performance). Depending on your network topology this may be secure enough for them.


Teradici have a dedicated page for Media & Entertainment, featuring this quote:

Because the Teradici innovations focus on pixel-level transmissions, our artists can achieve 100-percent color matching and take advantage of full-HD, lossless imaging over affordable IP networks.

Kevin Clark
Director of Engineering at Industrial Light & Magic – a division of Lucasfilm Ltd.


Dude. If that's the quote, I'm looking at the word "affordable" as referring to the IP infrastructure, and NOT as referring to this service. I can't imagine that "affordable" is in the mix for most of us for this....but I honestly don't know. Do any of you?

But you can see that, like HP's Remote Graphics Server, clients can be Macs, but not the server.

The issue for Apple is that something like this is the definition of "edge case", and they're really not in that business. Apple will likely say, "Okay Mark, buy one HP, and use it with a hundred or a thousand Cheese Grater Macs. Problem solved." Heck, if you go with Teradici and Unix, your Mac IT whizzes can probably set up the Linux server themselves.

HP workstations otoh, edge case are the ONLY business they're in, and they have an insanely deep commitment to M&E. (Their messaging to science, architecture, and other fields is very different, because they're in the business of THOSE edge cases too.)

It shows in bunches of aspects of their development, including RGS. Whereas it's the M&E community that's insanely deeply committed to Macs, with insanity amplified by Apple's LACK of commitment to M&E needs, apart from a small dev team that may or may not be working on new releases of FCPX.

This new Mac is a course correction, to be sure, because of how many former Mac-lifers Apple knows they lost with the Trash Can, and for whom the iMac Pro wasn't getting it done for some folks. You can see in the COW that some people who left Apple altogether, or who haven't given a new Mac the time of day for nearly a decade are excited again....

....but the OS limitations remain, starting with lack of support for virtualization. Oliver's right that Apple CAN solve this problem without emulating HP's solution or anyone else's. There's no shortage of brains or imagination there.

But I'm not convinced that OUR problem is ever going to seem like THEIR problem to Apple, if the problem can be solved with one PC server and all the Mac clients you care to attach.

You're the one who's been testing it, Mark. Do you have a sense yet if Mac clients are somehow lesser-abled on the network?

And goodness knows that I'd love to be wrong about Apple dismissing this out of hand. I WANT them to apply their brains to this, and come up with a solution that really shows how committed they are to the needs of M&E customers to adapt to how the world is changing, because I really do think that's what this is. Not an event to be passed through and forgotten, but a potentially epochal change agent for most areas of our lives and work.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:32:37 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Dude. If that's the quote, I'm looking at the word "affordable" as referring to the IP infrastructure, and NOT as referring to this service. I can't imagine that "affordable" is in the mix for most of us for this....but I honestly don't know. Do any of you?"

These solutions all seem like "heavy iron" approaches. I'd be willing to bet most potential customers want a "no iron" solution. So maybe Frame's proof-of-concept film at HPA might be closer to the mark.

https://blog.frame.io/2020/03/09/hpa-cloud-workflows/

- oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 8:08:22 pm

[Oliver Peters] "These solutions all seem like "heavy iron" approaches. I'd be willing to bet most potential customers want a "no iron" solution."

To me, that's like saying that most people would rather plug in a USB 3 drive and edit 8K. On the one hand, of course, why not. On the other hand, nobody who's serious about 8K....or 6K or even 2K...or who needs to work in a shared environment, or a remote one, considers a no iron experience especially desirable except in a purely theoretical sense.

There's a reason why a company as innovative as frame.io is showing this as a proof of concept. Even after they keep hoovering up all the VC money and can iterate through a whole bunch of half-steps on the way there, no real-world production is ever going to have the human and corporate resources that the HPA was able to assemble there for that fun little experiment. Not Cameron, Spielberg, Jackson, or some combination of them. I mean it's cool, and every innovation has to start on one side of the quantum leap before it gets to the other side, but this was anything BUT a no iron solution. On the way to a commoditized one some day perhaps, but even the "cheap IP pipeline" that they had available to them is beyond the reach of an awful lot of people.

I do think you're right that there need to be solutions at a multiplicity of scales and price points, but even here in the COW, there are plenty of folks who need solutions that can apply to hundreds or even thousands of clients (schools, corporate, military, enterprise-scale post, etc.), and if no iron means anything resembling computers connected to the regular-old internet, we're a couple of generations of tech away before anything like this.

My point being that I wouldn't presuppose that "most" people expect commoditized collaboration from a distance, any more than they expect commoditized collaboration on the same SAN. Sharing is nice, but costs money.

People using handycams, pocket drives, and laptops need solutions too, for sure, but anybody who can get by with a handycam, pocket drives, and laptops can get their hands on solutions that work out of the box, certainly for Adobe andAvid, maybe for Apple and others. A no iron solution that works for them may never scale up beyond a tiny workgroup at best. That's important, and if that's all we ever get it'll be great, but I still don't think that it covers "most" of us.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:27:11 pm

[Morten Carlsen] "Premiere Pro on an iMac Pro is X fast. Premiere Pro on a Fast PC is X*3
Metal is still wearing child-shoes and graphic wise Apple can nothing (Cant say about new MacPro) against a PC with a fast NVIDIA card..
In Fact macOS has become SO SLOW that when you try to move a color corrector control while playback is running, playback stops and THAT per design."


Hmmm... Your explanation doesn't really quantify how Catalina is slower that Sierra high Sierra, or Mojave, which is what you started out saying. Adobe has been shifting to Metal. Yes, A PC with a CUDA-enabled card will offer faster renders/encodes. But that's a Mac to PC comparison, not a comparison of successive macOS versions.

I have not seen your color corrector example as something that's changed for the worse. It's the same as it has been. Premiere Pro performance in my experience is actual quite good on Macs, as long as you are dealing with media that is optimized for macOS, such as ProRes. FCPX and even Resolve are a bit better in overall media handling, but again, nothing that seems to have changes because of Catalina. And APFS came in quite a while ago.

Am I missing something?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Morten Carlsen
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:59:06 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I have not seen your color corrector example as something that's changed for the worse. It's the same as it has been"

No, one used to be able to move controls during playback without it stopping. This is NOT possible anymore.

[Oliver Peters] "Your explanation doesn't really quantify how Catalina is slower that Sierra high Sierra, or Mojave, which is what you started out saying"

You're welcome to test yourself. I cannot "quantify" with scientific tests. Don't have the time. Sorry.
But ask about, I am sure you'll find a lot echoing my experience.

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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 7:13:59 pm

[Morten Carlsen] "No, one used to be able to move controls during playback without it stopping. This is NOT possible anymore."

OK, so yes, you are correct, that does work in Mojave. I just double-checked on my machine. However, I'm still not sure how that's a Catalina speed issue. It's an issue of compatibility between Premiere and Catalina.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Morten Carlsen
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 7:15:57 pm

Sorry - I was referring to FCPx regarding the controls. Not PPRO.

Trust me, if it were possible to move those controls in real-time Apple would over-advertise it the second coming just as they normally do. It is a USP to be able to do such.

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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 7:21:20 pm

[Morten Carlsen] "Sorry - I was referring to FCPx regarding the controls. Not PPRO."

OK, in that case, playback is stopped in FCPX in Mojave when you move a color wheel. I'm not sure that's different. Maybe someone on an earlier OS can chime in and verify.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 7:29:39 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Your explanation doesn't really quantify how Catalina is slower that Sierra high Sierra, or Mojave, which is what you started out saying."

Hi Oliver,

This probably goes more on the Catalina thread, and I'll add a longer discussion there, but there's a LOT of talk about Catalina being slower out there. A quick Google search will turns up tons of results.

Our friend Larry Jordan did some tests with Compressor and Adobe Media Encoder in Catalina and Mojave. In this particular article, he hadn't completed his AME tests, except to get a general result that AME is about twice as fast as Compressor overall, but his Compressor numbers show that Catalina is 8% slower for HEVC 10-bit, and 31% slower for H.264. Same computer, same files, same project settings.

Your mileage will vary depending on whether this is the kind of rendering you do and how you feel about five minutes on a 55 minute render of course, but certainly as we get up into the 30% range, I think you'll agree that this lies outside the margin of error.

There are bunches of other articles that I'll link to back on the "Catalina issues" thread, but I really am seeing a ton of articles talk about issues with slowness in Catalina, and not much o' nuthin' squawking about how much faster it is.

Needless to say, if anybody has render reports to illustrate how much faster Catalina is in specific conditions, I'd love to see those on the other thread!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 8:30:52 pm

[Tim Wilson] "This probably goes more on the Catalina thread, and I'll add a longer discussion there, but there's a LOT of talk about Catalina being slower out there. A quick Google search will turns up tons of results."

Look, I personally dislike Catalina and will hold off as long as possible. Larry's article is good, but it's extremely narrow, because it's based on comparison of one small overall group of codecs. It's quite likely that Apple may be better optimized for one codec or another and that could vary as codecs change, especially in light if the complete deprecation of 32-bit libraries and apps with Catalina.

While my use of Catalina is admittedly limited, I have run it and done testing. See here:

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/apple-2019-16-macbook-pro/

This is a review for the 16" MBP, but performance tests compare an iMP with Mojave against the 16" MBP running Catalina.

In nearly all of the "Catalina issues" we are talking about machines where the user upgraded from a previous OS or tried to migrate from a previous back-up. By default this carries all of the old accumulated crud from codecs, installers, uninstallers, apps, library components, plug-ins etc. Or the issues are things like sleep mode and so on.

I'm not disregarding that there aren't really issues. It's just that "evidence" presented always seems tainted in some manner. It could well be that the OS is perfectly fine, but not fully optimized for their own gear. Or maybe how you've got your security settings set.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 8:42:58 pm
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Mar 23, 2020 at 8:51:52 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I'm not disregarding that there aren't really issues. It's just that "evidence" presented always seems tainted in some manner. It could well be that the OS is perfectly fine, but not fully optimized for their own gear. Or maybe how you've got your security settings set."

My assumption is the same as yours. Any test run on a machine that can support both an old OS and a new one is going to favor the old OS, because the older machine was tuned to the older OS. That means that new OSes will almost always be slower on old machines.

At the same time, the only test that CAN be run is the only that needs running. LOL If the question is, "Should I install Catalina on my old machine?" the answer is almost certainly no, for the same reason that you shouldn't try to shoehorn Mojave onto a new machine, where it will surely gum up the works.

At the same time as THAT, "maybe how you've got your security settings set" sounds an awful lot like "you're holding it wrong." LOL "You're holding it wrong" turned out to be a bald-faced lie, of course. Apple knew that the antenna was busted, and papered over it with free bumpers and hype. Do you think that they don't know that the reports are at best mixed? The conclusion you reached in your article, "Mac owners who bought a recent 15″ MacBook Pro will see a definite boost, but probably not enough to refresh their systems yet" is hardly a ringing endorsement. :-)

And yes, I'm teasing you a little by focusing on just one sentence, and I understand that you were talking about the laptop rather than Catalina. Some very compelling stuff in there, especially when comparing to desktop performance. My larger point is echoing the question you previously raised, filling in the answer as shaded a bit toward "not so much" than "hooray."

We're not talking about a brand new OS. That other thread you started was specifically to evaluate where we are at THIS point in Catalina's development. And we're still not at the point where very many people are universally recommending it. That wasn't the case with Mojave, or really any recent release I can recall. Some OS updates are better than others, and as you observed earlier, this isn't an issue unique to Macs. But when Apple releases a dud, it's not unreasonable to ask them to do better.

Bringing this back on topic to THIS thread rather than THAT thread, I'd like to ask the class, what would you like to see Apple do to better enable remote workflows? Does it begin and end with creating robust servers again? Does it include virtualization? What else?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 8:58:46 pm

[Tim Wilson] "And we're still not at the point where very many people are universally recommending it. That wasn't the case with Mojave, or really any recent release I can recall."

I completely agree there. My only quibble was with an OS's speed, independent of how one app interacts better or worse with it. I'm just not sure how one defines that.

[Tim Wilson] "I'd like to ask the class, what would you like to see Apple do to better enable remote workflows?"

Right now, the simplest answer is multi-editor/multi-seat collaboration within FCPX. Even Pages has a silly little "Collaborate" tab at the top. ☺ But not via iCloud for goodness sake!

However, in the context of this specific conversation, the current need, and the comparison to HP... It would be great if within the OS - without any special app - I could directly operate a remote Mac as if I would running a machine right next to me. And with little or no latency. In an ideal world, I *should* be able to run a full-blown Mac Pro across the country, simply by using an iPad Pro.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Neil Goodman
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 10:16:00 pm

what about all these companies rushing out to buy new laptops only to have them installed with Catalina and the workflow isnt tested or supported with Catalina?

welocme to my world.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 11:35:29 pm

[Oliver Peters] "It would be great if within the OS - without any special app - I could directly operate a remote Mac as if I would running a machine right next to me. And with little or no latency. In an ideal world, I *should* be able to run a full-blown Mac Pro across the country, simply by using an iPad Pro."

Ah, the return of the skinny client! I dig it!

In the context of Cupertino having a problem, and whether or not Cupertino agrees, it's interesting to look at the big picture of market share. Worldwide, it looks like this (with Linux and "other" under these):



Android WAY in front of Windows and iOS, and certainly MacOS. In the US, it looks MUCH different, though, with iOS over 30%, Windows ahead of Android, but with Mac coming in really not all that much better at only 11%.



(btw, these are from StatCounter.com, where numbers nerds can have a LOT of fun slicing this in all kinds of different directions.)

The problem Apple has always had is that they can't oversell the value of an inter-connected Apple ecosystem, because most people who buy iDevices are NOT running them with Macs. They're connecting their iDevices to Windows machines more often, or using them strictly standalone. Any "Everything Apple" messaging that stretches much beyond iCloud or Apple email threatens to kill the Golden Goose, which is definitely iOS and its apps, rather than the desktop OS and its apps.

This isn't a revenue graph of course, and I don't mean to disregard the value of the laptop, iMac, and Mac Pro + monitors AND STANDS money to Apple. But it's really, truly to Apple's advantage to say, "Use as much or as little of our stuff as you want, and we'll make it worth your while," and pretty much leave it at that.

That said, I was using things like PC Anywhere in the very early 90s (the app actually dates back to 1986), doing pretty extensive remote operations over dialup. It seems crazy to me that Apple hasn't addressed this in the broadband age. Why would they not?

There's the heart of Mark's original problem right there. He's got a gazillion editors working on scazillions of shows (using round numbers here), and Apple doesn't want to hear about it? Doesn't want to help? I don't get it.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 23, 2020 at 11:49:14 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Android WAY in front of Windows and iOS, and certainly MacOS."

The impact of the Asian market and Huawei.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 24, 2020 at 1:18:41 am

[Oliver Peters] "The impact of the Asian market and Huawei."

Also Samsung in Korea. I was interested that Parasite was edited with FCP 7, and I suspect that there are a ton of reasons for that, none of which I've seen anybody really talk about, because ultimately who cares. LOL But maybe because they don't care about the newest Apple much of anything: iOS at under 11% and Mac under 5%:


OS market share in Korea


Not to paint Asia with too broad a brush, though, because Japan is almost as hot as the US for iOS, and HOTTER for Mac:


OS market share in Japan


Japan, the US, and the UK really are exceptions. Check out India: 2%!!!


OS market share in India

Germany is better than that, but a lot closer to Korea: iOS under 15% and Mac under 10.


OS market share in Germany

Still doing better than South America, where I took a regional slice. Interestingly, the only region I came across where Mac is doing better than iOS, but still under 9% for Mac, under 4% for iOS:


OS market share in South America


Again, all from https://gs.statcounter.com/, all February 2020 numbers.

I'm still comfortable generalizing that Apple has a lot to lose by overselling Mac to iOS customers....while still also agreeing with you that selling iPads to Mac customers as remote terminals makes a ton of sense.

Haven't we seen individual apps demoing this? Am I wrong about that?


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Terry Barnum
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 24, 2020 at 1:18:23 am

[Oliver Peters] "It would be great if within the OS - without any special app - I could directly operate a remote Mac as if I would running a machine right next to me. And with little or no latency. In an ideal world, I *should* be able to run a full-blown Mac Pro across the country, simply by using an iPad Pro."

The built-in Screen Sharing sorta works, but as with other solutions, the remote and destination bandwidth affect latency. I have it working from home to an FCPX 5K iMac in the office and installed Soundflower to hear the FCPX audio. The mouse lag is not too bad but video playback seems to be about 15fps.

-Terry


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Joe Marler
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 26, 2020 at 12:43:49 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Premiere Pro performance in my experience is actual quite good on Macs, as long as you are dealing with media that is optimized for macOS, such as ProRes. FCPX and even Resolve are a bit better in overall media handling, but again, nothing that seems to have changes because of Catalina."

Likewise I haven't seen any major perf. problems on Catalina. For certain tasks there was a significant performance improvement with FCPX 10.4.7 (the Metal-optimized version) on both Mojave and Catalina.

In my experience on an iMac Pro, Premiere performance is highly uneven. It's OK on optimized media but playback can be incredibly laggy and slow on most 4k H264 codecs and some 4k All-Intra codecs. I tested the viewer (aka program monitor) update rate of FCPX 10.4.7, Resolve Studio 16.1.0.055 and Premiere Pro 13.1.5 on a 10-core Vega 64 iMac Pro running macOS Mojave 10.14.6. Premiere was set to 1/4 resolution. Codec was Panasonic GH5 4k H.264 All-Intra 23.98 fps, 10- bit 4:2:2, 400 mbps:

Resolve: 28 frames/sec
FCPX 10.4.7: 20 frames/sec
Premiere: 2 frames/sec

That said, both FCPX and Resolve are extremely slow at 10-bit HEVC output. Premiere is much faster for that one task.

[Oliver Peters] "It would be great if within the OS - without any special app - I could directly operate a remote Mac as if I would running a machine right next to me. And with little or no latency."

All Macs have built-in remote control and screen sharing using Messages. It works well and I've done limited remote editing, but it's laggy. You wouldn't want to do lots of work that way: https://support.apple.com/guide/messages/screen-sharing-icht11883/mac

I'm not sure how you could run lag-free remote work on a 4k or 5k screen. Using an iPad to control a remote Mac desktop is another issue. Besides the inherent performance problems it also involves remapping mouse/keyboard events to touch events. I've used Parallels Desktop for this and it's OK in a pinch but I wouldn't want to edit with it.

Yet a separate issue is remote collaboration which FCPX is just not currently optimized for. This is especially difficult since in the FCPX model much of the work takes place in the Event Browser, not the timeline. The natural workflow is the Assistant Editor preps and organizes the material in the browser, and the lead editor works on the timeline.

Since each event is a separate database, you can have separate assistants working independently on each event but there is no built-in support for this, not even rudimentary event locking. If something like an advanced version of MergeX was built in, that could be one developmental direction: http://www.merge.software

Much of the discussion on collaboration centers on the timeline, or on co-located LAN-type collaboration. With FCPX a solution is needed for (1) The Event Browser, and (2) Distributed non-connected collaboration.

There are check-in/check-out approaches to lock an entire library but ideally some kind of finer-grained concurrency is needed, combined with sync and conflict resolution. Those are not easy, even for companies oriented to group workflow vs single-user workflow.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 25, 2020 at 5:26:36 pm
Last Edited By Bob Zelin on Mar 25, 2020 at 5:26:59 pm

remember when FCP X first came out, and you could not save to a shared network volume, but you could "Share to iCloud". You see - there was a solution a long time ago. Just shoot with your iPhone, or any h.264 format, edit, and "share to iCloud". Who needs all these messy MXF and ProRes formats. Who needs AVID Nexis. Who needs Media Composer, Resolve and Premiere. Just do what Cupertino was saying back when FCP X first came out, and "Share to iCloud". Then you would not have any problems !

ok - WHO is funny ?
Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Dom Silverio
Re: Cupertino, we've got a problem!
on Mar 26, 2020 at 4:24:18 pm

I feel you, Mark.

A lot of our Mac clients have resorted to LogMeIn, Splashtop, etc. type solutions.
HP RGS is really a godsend especially.

You can try OSX remote screen sharing but will need to coordinate with your IT in setting up external access (VPN might be the easiest).


[Jeremy Garchow] "Doesn’t that mean this works with macOS even if the central server is HP?"

The receiver portion (external computer) works with Windows, OSX, and Linux. The sender portion (the local computer you want to access remotely) only supports Windows and Linux. And it is free if the local computer is an HP Z workstation.


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