9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2017 5:14 PM by Keith Moreau

    Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro

    Keith Moreau Level 1

      I'm hoping I'm posting in the correct forum, it was either here or in the hardware forum.

       

      I'm going to be taking the plunge and getting a fairly high end PC to augment my aging Mac Pro for Premiere Pro CS 5.5 (and probably CS 6 as soon as the kinks are worked out). Right now my online media resides on several fast eSATA RAID 5 drives, plugged into my Mac Pro through some eSATA PCI cards. It works well and I have pretty good bandwidth, from 200MBS to 250MBS using this method, I think enough speed for the type of media I use in my edits, a combination of XDCAM EX, AVCHD, Canon H.264 with perhaps 4-5 streams at once in Multicam edits.

       

      Adding my PC to the mix will complicate things. I want to be able to access the media on my eSATA drives, which are currently formatted for Mac, using the HFS+ file system. I have heard the Mac Drive can make Windows read this filesystem well.

       

      The issue is sharing this media on the drives fast enough for both systems to be able to edit / access them simultaneously. I do have Gigabit ethernet, but I don't think that would be fast enough, I think practically it tops out around 70MB /second. I probably need more speed.

       

      Also the Mac can share as SMB, but the current Mac OS 10.7 doesn't seem to share SMB all that well but I have to test it with Windows. I know for my various media player boxes it doesn't work very well or at all at this point accessing my Mac 10.7 system via SMB. In addition, SMB seems to be a really slow networking protocol. I can share via AFP or NFS, and I think NFS has the speed necesary, not sure if Windows out of the box can deal with that protocol.

       

      I know there is such a thing as 'fiber channel' and other tech to essentially create a fast network, the Mac can also network over Firewire, but I don't think that will be fast enough either. I suppose I could see if there is a faster than Gigabit ethernet protocol using Cat 6 or whatever is the latest type of ethernet cable. I'm trying to do a shortcut here and see if the vast number of people out there have done this and what they think works best.

       

      Thanks for any and all advice here.

       

      Regards,

       

      -Keith

        • 1. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
          jstrawn Adobe Employee

          What was your actual question? Please distill.

           

          It sounded like you were asking if your hardware was going to be sufficient to stream your media smoothly on mac and win?

           

          I don't have all that hardware available so I can't test it and tell you. You'll have to try it out and tell us. But I can tell you this:

           

          I use mirrored TB lacie rugged drives to share media and projects between my mac/win systems via fireire 800 connection and have had few streaming problems which seemed to be due to nto streaming from a build in HD. Even with 4k footage, I haven't noticed that much of a difference. But that's just me and by setup sounds a lot different from the ethernet fed serial attachment you were talking about.

          • 2. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
            Keith Moreau Level 1

            No, I know my drives and Mac have the power and speed stream the data, my eSata drives and PCI cards are fast enough, I was talking about a way to network and share this from my Mac to the PC, I'm assuming 10 gigabit ethernet or fiber channel or something like this would work. I really only need to network these 2 computers, a Mac and PC, preferable shares from the Mac, with the eSata still connected, to the PC. I assume this is done all the time in larger editing environments with more than 2 computers, but right now just 2 need to access the same set of drives.

             

            I do something on a smaller scale now between my Mac Pro and my Macbook Pro, when I need to offload a render and still work on my Mac Pro, but I do this with Gigabit ethernet, which maxes out at about 70MB / second. I think I need more, maybe twice that, to get the performance I need, but I'm just guessing.

             

            Are you saying you are able to share the same media via firewire, can you tell me the details of how you connect from your Mac to PC please? Thanks much!

            • 3. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
              jstrawn Adobe Employee

              I just plug my external drive into whichever computer I need and import it from there (I have my drive formatted as FAT so it will be recognized on either OS). Usually I'll copy the media over to the new system so that it can live there and I don't have to tie up the external drive whenever I want to use it. But if you're using network drives, you won't have that issue.

               

              Perhaps we are on different pages here... I don't see what the problem is. As long as you can access the network drive from either system and can play the media on either OS (you may need to install quicktime on win if you haven't already), then there should be no issues sharing projects and/or media between mac and win

               

              Or are you just asking a networking question, which is not video-specifc and beyond my own area of expertise?

              • 4. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
                Keith Moreau Level 1

                It is basically a networking question. Thanks for your input though. I don't want to unplug a set of drives from my Mac and plug them into a PC if possible, I use my Mac for a lot of things, and want to continue to. Thanks again.

                • 5. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
                  jstrawn Adobe Employee

                  I don't want to unplug a set of drives from my Mac and plug them into a PC if possible, I use my Mac for a lot of things, and want to continue to. Thanks again.

                   

                  I don't blame you. That's probably the best way to go for your sort of workflow. If no one answers your networking quesiton soon, perhaps try the video lounge. Or a networking forum.

                  • 6. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
                    SimonHy Level 2

                    I guess there's a lot of variables, but we edit over a network using SMB and Gigabit Ethernet, and work with pretty similar media (XDCAM HD 422, XDCAM EX, AVCHD, H264) and it works fine. We have two servers sharing to 3 to 4 edit suites. I think if you're just sharing between two machines it should be sufficient.

                    • 7. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
                      Keith Moreau Level 1

                      thanks for the helpful reply Simon. I did set up my system and was able to get pretty usable performance just using gigabit ethernet and sharing SMB from my Mac to the PC. I also plan to implement an 'aggregate' gigabit ethernet setup, which is pretty inexpensive but basically doubles the network speed. However, here's a big problem, the linking between Mac and PC of the media files. Because they are network drives on the PC, Windows Premiere Pro cannot find the media files. Even if I point to a directory, the files are from various sources and some are AVCHD which have a lot of similar names, such as 00000.MTS, 00001.MTS, etc. If I work on the PC, then go to the Mac, the same problem occurs on the Mac and I have to relink again and PPro's linking intelligence is not that helpful. It's pretty much a manual process every time going back and forth.

                       

                      Is there some utility on the PC/Windows land that can intelligently map letter drive to some type of Mac volume so Premiere Pro doesn't get confused? I anticipate sharing projects between the platforms for the foreseable future and I can't take this manual linking of hundreds of files. I hear there is something called MacDrive on the PC that allows you to read Mac formatted drives, does it also help with network mounted drives, or is there some other utility?

                       

                      Thanks everybody for any advice.

                       

                      -Keith

                      • 8. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
                        EMCShintaro Level 1

                        Sorry to bump this post but I'm doing literally the same thing right now. We have two MONSTER PCs set up for our GFX dept. The entire company is MAC based, however, and our security standards from the studio we work for require the PCs to have so much antivirus software on them and I don't want to taint their abilities so I am keeping them completely off our networks and the internet - it's just easier than getting new security clearance for our two new systems.

                         

                        So I got a 24TB Oyen RAID 5 box and hooked it up to a GFX MAC so all the AVID systems in the office and all the MAC GFX systems can see the 24TB RAID, and then I did the SMB file share to a GIG-E switch that's then sharing out to the only two PCs in the office. They work PRETTY rock solidly well - but I think I am going to need to get them onto a bonded connection like you suggested.

                         

                        The Mac that's serving the 24TB RAID to the PCs is already using one of the built in ethernet slots for our "production network" where most all assets for the post facility are stored and the AVIDs need access to that 24TB RAID to give GFX assets, etc. I am thinking of getting another ethernet card and dedicating that card to sharing a bonded connection out to the switch and then to the PCs

                         

                        I wanted to see what your workflow ended up being and even now nearly 5 years later how that's going/went for you. Thanks so much!

                        • 9. Re: Strategy for Sharing Media Between Mac and Windows Premiere Pro
                          Keith Moreau Level 1

                          Hello EMCShintaro!

                           

                          I meant to answer this earlier this week and show it's hard got believe it's been 4.5 years since I last posted this. In July 2012 I made an effort to try to switch from Mac to PC only for Premiere Pro. In every other way I was very satisfied and familiar with the Mac OS. I had a feeling that with a Windows PC I'd get better performance and more reliable operation. I actually describe my quest in a lot of detail on my podcast "TechMove" which is still going strong at www.techmovepodcast.com. It's episodes 6 and 7. Anyway, I'm really glad that it's kind of working for you but I never did get the 'bonded' connection to work. Not that it can't work, I'm actually pretty sure that with a little effort and the correct switch that supports it you can get the Mac and PC's ethernet hardware/software to do it.

                           

                          I actually just gave up on using the PC for a variety of reasons and instead got a super high end Mac Pro 2012 which were a good deal because it was right before the "Trash Can" mac Pro's came out. It was pretty fast and fairly reliable with Premiere pro (well, until cc2015-2017 which seems to be getting less and less stable - at least with my Mac). In fact I'm still using it although I've 'suped' it up as far as it can go with PCI SSDs, top end XEON processors, high-end GTX980ti and a lot of RAM. It was just too painful to do the file sharing between the PCs and Macs for native files at that time because of the differences in the paths between the PCs and Macs. Seems like you've solved that problem with the paths and I had an idea about how to solve it but I never had to implement it though I have kind of tested that solution, but it would be great if you can share that here for others to pursue.

                           

                          I assume it's a "Mac Pro" tower which has 2 ethernet ports and I think there is a way to make that 'bonded' with some software configuration, perhaps at the Unix level. Then on the PC's I'd recommend researching your PC board if the ethernet is built-in and find a matching PCI card, or just get 2 more identical PCI cards for the 'bonded' connection. I'd Google what Windows / PC cards and configurations work. The PCI cards should be very cheap. Then an ethernet switch that supports bonding 2 connections, I actually purchased one of those but I'm actually not using it for that purpose, just as a regular ethernet switch.

                           

                          So, I guess I've not been of much help, but please keep us posted on how this all has worked out for you! Good luck!

                           

                          -Keith