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  • OSX 10.9 and codecs

     Chris Murphy updated 8 years, 6 months ago 5 Members · 8 Posts
  • Erik Lindahl

    November 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Apple is finally “pulling the plug” and starting to seriously move away from QuickTime to AV Foundation in 10.9. For the end user a huge boon is the loss of certain codecs, amongst others are RGB NONE and RGB ANIMATION. Is there any solution to still run these natively?

    I understand Apple “kills” things like QTVR, image and Flash-track support in QuickTime but the above codecs seem very important for a lot of people still, no?

    I’ve also read worries about AV Foundation NOT supporting third-party codecs. Is this really the case? That again would be a huge issue for many professionals – AVID and a few VJ solutions come to mind as side from third party codecs like AJA / BM 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB codecs. Also adding codecs likes WMV to the native playback system seems given but maybe those days are gone?

  • Andrew Richards

    November 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Apple deprecated all of the legacy QuickTime API in Mavericks, and that unfortunately includes support for a long list of legacy codecs including Animation. Here is a complete list of what legacy QuickTime-friendly codecs are not supported in AVFoundation (taken from this WWDC13 slide deck):

    Cinepak (“Compact Video”)
    Animation (“RLE” )
    Video (“Road Pizza”)
    Graphics (“SMC”)
    Sorenson Video
    Sorenson Video 3
    Motion JPEG A
    Motion JPEG B
    Windows RAW
    Microsoft Video 1
    MACE 3:1
    MACE 6:1
    QDesign Audio
    QDesign Audio 2
    1-bit Indexed-Color RGB
    2-bit Indexed-Color RGB
    4-bit Indexed-Color RGB
    8-bit Indexed-Color RGB
    16-bit Direct-Color RGB
    1-bit Grayscale
    2-bit Grayscale
    4-bit Grayscale
    JPEG 2000
    Photo CD
    Blit Codec

    From what I can tell, there is still a way to do third party codecs, but it is handled differently. Flip4Mac at least supports Mavericks.


  • John Davidson

    November 14, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    This week we started converting a ton of our old graphic quick times that are png, animation, etc., to Prores (hi-res) or H264 (web-res). It’s a pretty painless process using Compressor to batch convert. On the bright side, OS X really loves ProRes, so you’ll probably have a subtle performance increase by not using those older codecs anyways.

    John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.

  • Erik Lindahl

    November 15, 2013 at 7:05 am

    A painless process prehaps but a process never the less.

    A QuickTime “None” and “Animation” codec (basically uncompressed or lossless compressed RGB) is really good to have in the system.

    We shall see where this ends… ProRes support is good on OSX, poor in Windows and doesn’t even exist on Linux-systems I don’t think.

  • Andrew Richards

    November 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    [John Davidson] “On the bright side, OS X really loves ProRes, so you’ll probably have a subtle performance increase by not using those older codecs anyways.”

    Indeed you will. ProRes is a multi-threaded codec, so it will be processed by multiple cores. Using ProRes as your source will yield appreciably faster renders and transcodes if you have a system with a lot of cores at its disposal.


  • Oliver Peters

    November 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Third party companies (such as Avid and DNxHD within an MOV wrapper) do this by having you install QT7. This still works for now, but I wouldn’t bet on it working in another 1 or 2 OS revs. It’s interesting to see JPEG2000 on the list, since that’s the only universally-accepted open standard for long term storage. Additional codecs work in QT if you have FCP X installed, as this adds extra “pro” codecs, like AVC-Intra, XDCAM, etc.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL

  • Erik Lindahl

    November 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    This is true, now, but I would presume AVF has support for third party codecs or Apple really has to go back to the drawing board. I understand the old QuickTime API is being fazed out, that’s fine, but we then need a solid foundation to move forward with. For one I think more codec support is high on the list.

    – DNxHD
    – PhotoJPEG
    – JPEG2000
    – RAW RGB (None or Animation)

    Above are a few examples of codecs a lot of professionals require. It’s to a degree fine Apple doesn’t support the above out the box, but there has to be a third party solution for it or we’re heading into quite a dark future in some areas. Seing FCPX adds support for codecs like Uncompressed, MPEG2, AVC-Intra, AVC-X (or what ever the 4K standard is called) it seems the hooks are there for third party codecs.

    It’s also interesting to know what the grander plan is for QuickTime as a whole. The QuickTime .mov format is still the preferred container according to Apple. However, what’s the future for cross plattform media production? Delivery isn’t really a problem but for produktion it’s vital to have a unified format to go to.

  • Chris Murphy

    December 5, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Yes, from an archiving standpoint, any data that uses proprietary encoding means you have to put effort into aging the content to guard against it becoming stuck in time. So long as those encodings are constantly being migrated to new versions of the same encoding (which should be as simple as opening and resaving in the current version of FCP), you’re OK. But at the point when you consider migrating out of the Apple universe is when you’ll need to figure out how to reencode all of that content. You might look at, and keep track of libavcodec and FFmpeg projects to see if it meets your requirements.

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