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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #1
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It's Official, Quicktime Support Coming

We just got word that our Quicktime license has been approved by Apple! So we can now write .mov files directly to the Compact Flash cards. You will be able to pop the cards out of XDR / nano, insert them into a FW-800 reader and play/edit directly from the card without transcode, re-wrap, or file copy. The CF cards/readers have sufficient bandwidth for four streams of 50 Mbps 4:2:2.

We have actually been working on QT support for a number of months, but could not announce support without official approval from Apple.

Note that QT/FCP does support the 50 Mbps 4:2:2 format today; hopefully we can get 100 Mbps in the near future. You will be able to set up an MPEG2 timeline and drop in the native footage for playback without render. (You'll use ProRes to render only the effects). This should eliminate most of the Long-GOP render issues.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 08:44 PM   #2
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Awesome news. Looking forward to 100 Mbps support and never using a P2 card again.

Will your QT support allow MPEG Streamclip to transcode to ProRes?
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Old June 28th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #3
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Hi EJ-

I don't have enough knowledge of MPEG Streamclip to answer your question. I do know that you will be able to drop the MPEG2 clip in FCP timeline and transcode to ProRes (and other CODECs).
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Old June 28th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #4
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That means it will work fine. MPEG Streamclip is great for overnight batch transcoding.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 11:37 AM   #5
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Fantastic news. I'll take a look at MPEG Streamclip this week and study it's capabilities.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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I have to say I am a bit surprised by this. I was expecting and hoping for an announcement that FCP would fully support the .mxf file format. Sadly this is not the case.

So the new question has to be, if I record in QT using the Flash XDR, will any PC based editor be able to read the files?

Am I in the minority of thinking here when I say that in a file based work flow cross platform compatibility is not just a desire but requirement.

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Old June 29th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #7
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Hi David-

I don't think you are in the minority wanting file based editing. We plan to support MXF and QT direct to the card.

Which PC based NLE program do you use? I understand that Vegas and Avid both support MXF, not sure about other platforms.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 08:01 PM   #8
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Time to Stop

When I say, "in a file based work flow cross platform compatibility is not just a desire but a requirement." I mean just what I say. To translate this into I want file based editing, I simply do not understand.

Quite frankly I still prefer tape and tape based systems both for acquisition and for extended archive as file based systems simply have not yet matched cost effectiveness for blank media, ease of work flow, and long term storage solutions . However, even I can see the writing on the wall and file based is the future.

In answer to your question, we here do not edit with a PC based editor. We use Final Cut. The issue is still, how do I send my QT work to someone on a different platform?

If .mxf was fully supported in Final Cut, then everything could stay in native .mxf format and Mac or PC based editor ceases to be an issue.

Lastly, not sure if you had to pay anything for your QuickTime license. If you did, I hope it was cheap unless full .mxf support for Final Cut is a far enough off to allow you to recoup this cost from your customers. If .mxf files achieve true cross platform compatibility with the implementation of FCP support, why record to the XDR unit in QuickTime?

So for the moment, I can take a wait and see attitude. It may, at least for us, pay to let this great advance in technology pass us by for the time being and see what Scarlet brings to the table.

Just my humble thoughts

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Old June 29th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schmerin View Post
In answer to your question, we here do not edit with a PC based editor. We use Final Cut. The issue is still, how do I send my QT work to someone on a different platform?
Avid, Vegas and Premiere all import QuickTime. Where are you planning on sending stuff?


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schmerin View Post
Lastly, not sure if you had to pay anything for your QuickTime license. If you did, I hope it was cheap unless full .mxf support for Final Cut is a far enough off to allow you to recoup this cost from your customers. If .mxf files achieve true cross platform compatibility with the implementation of FCP support, why record to the XDR unit in QuickTime?
As an all Mac shop that never hands-off projects, why would we ever use mxf?



Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schmerin View Post
So for the moment, I can take a wait and see attitude. It may, at least for us, pay to let this great advance in technology pass us by for the time being and see what Scarlet brings to the table.
Red's pretty heavily invested in Apple/FCP/QuickTime, so I wouldn't hold your breath.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #10
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Hi David-

OK, I think I now understand your requests. Quite frankly most of these issues are out of our control (we just make the recorder, we don't define the file format standards). We will give you the option of writing either QuickTime or MXF files to the Compact Flash cards. We feel that these two formats should cover 90-95% of most users requirements. Almost all the NLE programs support QuickTime, although some better than others, so you should be able to export these files almost everywhere.

There is a company in Germany working on MXF support for the MAC (www.mxf4mac.com), they may now have support for the MPEG2 file format.

Maybe tape-based acquisition/archival would be a better choice for you. But I assume you recognize all the advantages you will give up, including:

1) No digitization, just edit directly from the Compact Flash cards
2) No tape decks, just need a low-cost Fire-Wire-800 reader
3) No drop-outs or time-code breaks
4) Instant replay capability w/o rewinding the tape
5) Redundant recording capability
6) Hot-swappable media
7) Selectable quality / record-time (Flash XDR can record at bit-rates from 18 Mbps to 1Gbps)
8) MetaData support
9) Much lower power, size, weight, cost, and noise, while providing better video / audio quality (compared to DVCProHD, DVCAM tape-decks)
10) The ability to archive to optical storage, such as Blu-ray.

Yes, today Compact Flash cards are more expensive than tape-based media, but give it another year or two. CF card prices continue to fall, tape prices have long ago flattened out.


Good luck-
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Old June 30th, 2008, 06:12 PM   #11
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Depends on what kind of person you are I suppose

Quote:
Originally Posted by E.J. Sadler View Post
Avid, Vegas and Premiere all import QuickTime. Where are you planning on sending stuff?

As an all Mac shop that never hands-off projects, why would we ever use mxf?

Red's pretty heavily invested in Apple/FCP/QuickTime, so I wouldn't hold your breath.

1) If you know of a way to import a QuickTime file that was captured to Final Cut using the HDV native codec into a PC based editor, I would be very interested in learning how you do this. Another QuickTime codec that can not be edited on the PC would be Apple ProRes. If you shoot with an EX1, try bringing into a PC based editor the 1920*1080/30p 35Mbs .mov file you captured in to Final Cut. I am also going to go out on a limb here and predict no PC based editor will read the QuickTime file recorded to the FlashXDR (guessing this will be ProRes) with their newly approved license. So here are (3) examples of different QuickTime files that can not be imported into any PC based editor and (1) Seriously probable but does not count if this does turn out to be ProRes.

2) Choosing to use .mxf over QuickTime depends purely on what kind of company you run. When you are hired to shoot a wedding, who owns what you shoot? Many smaller houses hide in their contracts the only thing the client actually owns is the finished delivered product and none of the raw source. The result is if in 5 years the client wants to remix their video, they are forced to A) Hire you again, and B) Hope you still have the raw footage accessible.

If you operate a "Work for Hire" house and the client owns the source materials then the client might appreciate not being forced to use a Mac for their future editing when had you recorded in .mxf format, both your and your client could work on the platform of their choice.

As for the Scarlet reference, the Scarlet is currently a metaphor for Moore's Law and how quickly things now become obsolete. If Scarlet comes in a year, I get the Flash XDR and the uncompressed upgrade with a 3/4" chip based camera on the front of it and all for an MSRP of what appears to be less then a Flash XDR sans it's future "Uncompressed" upgrade.

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Old July 1st, 2008, 12:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schmerin View Post
1) If you know of a way to import a QuickTime file that was captured to Final Cut using the HDV native codec into a PC based editor, I would be very interested in learning how you do this. Another QuickTime codec that can not be edited on the PC would be Apple ProRes. If you shoot with an EX1, try bringing into a PC based editor the 1920*1080/30p 35Mbs .mov file you captured in to Final Cut.
I've never had to do either, but we've handed over plenty of quicktime files and never had a problem, so we assumed they imported without issue. We do however always keep the native transport stream, or media file, so if push comes to shove we can just deliver the source and have them capture it however they would like.

As a native Apple intermediate codec, I never would assume ProRes as a format to hand to someone not running FCP. I know Media100 now supports ProRes, but that's still a Mac solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schmerin View Post
I am also going to go out on a limb here and predict no PC based editor will read the QuickTime file recorded to the FlashXDR (guessing this will be ProRes) with their newly approved license. So here are (3) examples of different QuickTime files that can not be imported into any PC based editor and (1) Seriously probable but does not count if this does turn out to be ProRes.
The XDR runs Sony codecs, so ProRes is not an option. You could always just stick with having the XDR write MXF files, and then let FCP rewrap them into QT for you. That way you could just hand-off the MXFs if you had to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schmerin View Post
2) Choosing to use .mxf over QuickTime depends purely on what kind of company you run. When you are hired to shoot a wedding, who owns what you shoot? Many smaller houses hide in their contracts the only thing the client actually owns is the finished delivered product and none of the raw source. The result is if in 5 years the client wants to remix their video, they are forced to A) Hire you again, and B) Hope you still have the raw footage accessible.

If you operate a "Work for Hire" house and the client owns the source materials then the client might appreciate not being forced to use a Mac for their future editing when had you recorded in .mxf format, both your and your client could work on the platform of their choice.
We've just never had a problem handing over QT files, but if we did, keeping and archiving the native file or transport stream allows anyone to capture it however they'd like.



Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schmerin View Post
As for the Scarlet reference, the Scarlet is currently a metaphor for Moore's Law and how quickly things now become obsolete. If Scarlet comes in a year, I get the Flash XDR and the uncompressed upgrade with a 3/4" chip based camera on the front of it and all for an MSRP of what appears to be less then a Flash XDR sans it's future "Uncompressed" upgrade.
Very true, but during that year, the XDR will allow you to upgrade your codec, use cheap media, and capture from any camera with SDI. One year of not having to rent P2 cards and field data wrangle will pay for the XDR alone.

Besides, when you get your Scarlet, you might grow weary of swapping cards every 12 minutes, so you throw your XDR on and 'settle' for 100Mbps 4:2:2 for awhile.
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