Apple has just not announced that future versions of MacOS would not support different video formats. Let's see how it can affect filmmakers.
In a recent support affiliation, Apple announced that future versions of MacOS would not support "older formats" anymore. What are older formats?
According to Apple,
Sony HDCAM-SR cameras, recording from GoPro cameras recorded in CineForm format, video files in the Avid DNxHD / DNxHR format created with software, recording with many other older cameras or files modified with older software.
At the moment it is not accurate. We can only assume that they will move to a 64-bit workflow, which only supports 64-bit codecs in the future. But 64-bit versions of many of these codecs are not available yet, and some of them can never be upgraded. It will cause millions of existing projects around the world to be stranded and people can not continue working with them.
Future Unsupported Formats
Let's break down the simple Apple support note:
- Sony HDCAM-SR cameras ] ok, many people do not use them anymore or they already cross footages to any taste of ProRes.
- Movies from GoPro cameras registered in CineForm format . It's getting complicated, but you can capture other video formats on these cameras. Nonetheless, disturbing because you will not be able to open the existing recording on a Mac anymore.
- Video files in Avid DNxHD / DNxHR format created with software. The critical part of this sentence here is "created with software." This means that if you are recording directly in DNxHD / DNxHR, let's say an Arri Alexa; you should be fine Unfortunately, if someone on a PC sent you any Avid DNx recordings or a project from Media Composer, you are asking for something else. It does not seem to make sense.
- Footage shot with many other older cameras, or files modified with older software. Like you, we have no more information about it. It sounds extremely clear and can contain many older formats.
What It Means for Filmmakers
If these "older formats" are not supported in future versions of MacOS, they will not be supported in Final Cut Pro X. But they will still be supported by Premiere. Pro, Solve and some other NLE, as long as they continue to develop their own parsers for these formats.
If you edit on a Mac, and especially on FCPX, Apple gives you some basic advice in the support note. To summarize, back up all your libraries and export all to ProRes. A note that reads, "To back up the exported file copy it to an external drive" can be read as a provocation by a professional filmmaker or editor. Suddenly, all of the "commitment" claims that Apple claims it still has for pro customers after turning the old Final Cut Pro, releasing the old and the new Mac Pro, dyseports and upgrades of the computers left and right – seems in vain than ever before.
At the moment, their announcement is not immediately dramatic. It's getting complicated when these "older formats" are not supported in MacOS. Good luck if someone sends you a DNxHD file to work with. A single document like this that deals with "Legacy Media" is a reason for TV channels, manufacturing companies and large mail production houses to never consider moving to Mac or Final Cut Pro X.
Too many would be a reason to leave the platform too good. Not just Final Cut Pro X.
Mac completely, for professional work.
Why does Apple do it? Rumors are floating everywhere on the Internet about "why." At cinema5D we do not wonder.
As usual, if you work For long term projects or a significant project, do not update your operating system immediately. Perhaps we'll find out more in Apple's next product announcements.
What do you think of Apple's moves? Do you often use Cineform or Avid DNxHD? Let us know in the comments below!