17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2013 5:17 PM by Krowie

    Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.

    cscooper2013 Level 2

      It was recently brought to my attention (yes, I'm late to the party) that any file that requires the Apple Quicktime process for playback (decoding) is severely limiting my otherwise powerful system.  The Quicktime process is a 32-bit process, which limits your editing functionality to 4GB of RAM—even if you have 32GB or more installed!

       

      I'm starting this new thread because the thread on which this was brought to my attention wasn't directly related to these issues.

       

      A few of my questions:  Why do so many cameras create .MOV or .MP4 files that require QuickTime components?  64-bit QuickTime X has aparently been available on the Mac for quite a while, yet I presume they won't allow anyone else to develop a 64-bit codec for Windows, so why hasn't someone sued Apple for monopoly, anti-trust, conflict-of-interest, etc?  And most importantly, in a world where DSLRs and off-board ProRes recorders abound, are Windows users really stuck with no option but to transcode the footage before heavy use in Premiere?  The Atomos recorders provide the option of using DNxHD, however, if I understand correctly, that codec still requires Quicktime (I've not tested this bit).  Is there a matrix available that shows camera / recorded format / requires quicktime / 8- or 10-bit / 4:2:0 or 4:2:2, etc? 

       

      To my fellow Windows 64-bit editors, how do you keep your sanity when editing "natively" in Premiere .MOV, .MP4, ProRes or DNxHD with the 4GB RAM limitation?  And what camera / off-board recorder do you prefer to avoid both a long transcoding session AND get right to work with native 64-bit codecs?

       

      Thanks in advance!

       

      === Systems === 

      Desktop              |   Laptop

      i7-2600K             |   i7-3630qm

      GTX460 (1GB)   |   GTX670mx (3GB)

               Windows 7 64-bit

               16GB RAM

        • 1. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Not "all" MOV files require Quicktime... I am on Windows, with PProCS5 and I do NOT have QT installed

           

          While investigating buying a dual purpose still/video camera, I have downloaded sample video files for the Canon SX40 and SX150 and SX500 cameras

           

          These are all MOV files... and they all work perfectly in PProCS5 without having QT installed

           

          That is NOT to say that any other MOV files would work on Windows without QT

          • 2. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
            cc_merchant Level 4

            The fundamental issue is not whether QuickTime needs to be installed, it is whether the QuickTime32Server.exe extension is required. There are some .MOV formats that - alledgedly - can be handled natively by PR, but not many.

             

            To test whether the QuickTime32Server.exe is used or not is quite simple. Just kill the process from TaskManager or ProcessExplorer and if PR continues to work, it is not needed and you are safe from the crippling 4 GB limitation. If PR does not work anymore, you have a .MOV format that really cripples the system.

            • 3. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
              Level 4

              interesting subject.. and confusing a little bit.

              some people here have methodically beat up quicktime ( using mov wrapper at all ) due to gamma shift and 32bit limit. Gotta make up your own mind what to use and how to use it ( native or transcode etc ).. and take all info into consideration.

               

              the canon cameras 5d,7d and my newish nikon d800 use SD cards and save video as mov h264. That way it can cram a LOT of video onto the SD cards. My camera is 4:2:0 no matter HOW the video is saved...and it is 8 bit if saved to the SD card.

               

              I got the ninja 2 last week and it takes the uncompressed video from HDMI and saves it as either pro res or avid ( in mov wrapper ) to the SSD drive on the ninja.  That is now a 10bit space ( 4:2:2 ) but it still only gets the 4:2:0 COLOR from the camera...it is not increasing what the video stream from hdmi can put out... it is just saving it into a ( In my opinion ) better video file...namely mov avid 10bit and higher bit rate save.

               

              My computer is also pretty new ( named THE PIG ). The pig is win7 pro 64bit OS, 32gig ram, 4 gig on graphics card, SSD root drive and fast cpu I7 stuff...

              The pig is pretty fast, and I built it that way cause I read that using mov h264 would put a HUGE amount of strain on the system if I edit that natively. The cpu has to be used for some things that the cuda does NOT do ...and everything to increase speed and power is really necessary to edit mov h264 native...

               

              That said, using the ninja files instead of the SD files is actually NICER and EASIER on the computer than the h264 stuff...less strain on the computer to use the ninja stuff... cause it's not dealing with the heavy compression of the h264.

               

              I installed QT ( not pro version ) on PIG.. mostly to get the 'animation' codec and some other stuff that gets installed with QT. So now I can export mov with animation, avid ( that was loaded separately ), and a bunch of other codec options.

               

              QTServerprocess or whatever its called does NOT run on the PIG even when QT is opened as a stand alone program to view files. I am not limited to 4 gig ram because QT is installed... but QT is in fact a 32bit program on PIG.

               

              hope some of this info helps, but keep in mind I am no genius...and the posts up above are very valid and I'm just saying whats up with my own computer...

               

              I"m using latest version of CS6 creative suite...

               

              good luck !

               

              ps. the ninja video 'looks' better in my program manager than the mov h264 stuff from the SD card ( probably due to 10 bit and higher bit rate )... just looks better...but not an earth shattering thing... just better.

              • 4. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                cc_merchant Level 4

                able123,

                 

                You raise a number of interesting things in your post. Up to a certain extent they are related to the OP's question.

                 

                • Why do people with a PC often scorn QuickTime? It is for three reasons:
                  • It's 32 bit nature with the 4 GB memory limitation,
                  • It's lousy threading capability, and
                  • It's notorious gamma shifts.
                • When does HDMI output to a Ninja or other device deliver true 4:2:2 material or only fake 4:2:2 padded material?
                  • It simply depends on the physical placement of the DSP (digital signal processor) in relation to the HDMI chip.
                    • If the DSP is placed in front of the HDMI chip ( a hardware design) it outputs 4:2:0 material with padded zeroes to behave like fake 4:2:2 material.
                    • If the DSP is placed after the HDMI chip, it outputs true 4:2:2 material.
                    • Most HD-SDI connections on pro cameras output true 4:2:2 material.
                • Why does (even fake) 4:2:2 HDMI material edit easier than 4:2:0 from the SD card?
                  • It simply is less compressed, so the CPU does not need to work so hard to decompress it for editing. Just like the difference between AVCHD @ 28+ Mb/s, which is easier to edit than AVCHD @ 17 Mb/s.
                • What is the advantage of less compressed HDMI output, even if it is fake 4:2:2?
                  • Less compression, but most importantly, it holds up better in post when doing CC or keying work.

                 

                Thanks for your enlightening post.

                • 6. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                  Level 4

                  thanks cc.. good stuff covered here...

                   

                  strypes... nice article

                   

                   

                   

                  in re: to the pro stuff ( hd sdi out ) and so on... there's the heat factor too.. like, basically you got canon and nikon still cameras trying to output video..and keep down the overhead ...the red heats up quite a bit... just normal operation. the alexa has a cooling ( and in winter turns into heating ) system...for the chips..little DSLR's cant deal with that and keep costs where they are..

                   

                  so far I haven't even SHOT serious stuff with the nikon I got.. just testing and building up stuff ( sound, ninja, etc )... and the edit part is just in the workflow ( another tool ).. so I have a lot to learn but hope its worth the $$ I just spent this past year ...to enjoy it.

                  • 7. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                    Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                  • When does HDMI output to a Ninja or other device deliver true 4:2:2 material or only fake 4:2:2 padded material?
                    • It simply depends on the physical placement of the DSP (digital signal processor) in relation to the HDMI chip.
                      • If the DSP is placed in front of the HDMI chip ( a hardware design) it outputs 4:2:0 material with padded zeroes to behave like fake 4:2:2 material.
                      • If the DSP is placed after the HDMI chip, it outputs true 4:2:2 material.
                      • Most HD-SDI connections on pro cameras output true 4:2:2 material.
                  • cc_merchant, could you clarify a bit on how DSP can be placed in front of HDMI and therefore output 4:2:0 signal if HDMI specification defines that (quote) 'video pixels carried across the link shall be in one of three different pixel encodings: RGB 4:4:4, YCBCR 4:4:4 or YCBCR 4:2:2'? Shouldn't HDMI input/output comply with the specification irrespective of a design?

                    • 8. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                      Level 4

                      fuzzy.. thats gonna confuse the original poster a bit.. and get into a tangent..which I feel CC didnt intend to misdirect anyone...

                       

                      so youre right fuzzy but its kinda a fine point maybe at this stage ? after all, the hd sdi output was really the gist of the mssg in that sense. Poster is gonna read his manual for camera and see what he can do with it...and deal with the basics for editing native or getting some recording device ( ninja , or something )...

                       

                      in other words, lets kinda take it a step at a time and allow that I am a total idiot sometimes which doesnt mean I tried to mislead anyone

                       

                      ??

                       

                       

                       

                      edit..

                       

                      in my case with nikon d800... the uncompressed hdmi output is coming out before the compression using mov h264.. and it is simply what this camera make and model can output with that hdmi...soooo, it is what it is in my case....everyone has to look at the camera manual etc that they have for this output spec ...and then deal with how best to record it if they wanna go off the cards etc...

                       

                      like, 2 hd sdi outputs ( alexa ? ) will give 4:4:4 ... but one gives 4:2:2....and this is getting kinda technical...the poster is asking about a more simple general thing re: editing with his platforms and 'why' the mov h264 is popular with some DSLR's....know what I mean ??

                       

                       

                      • 9. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                        Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        strypesinpost wrote:

                         

                        Hi cscooper2013,

                         

                        Have you read this yet?

                         

                        http://blogs.adobe.com/VideoRoad/2012/12/premiere-pro-and-quicktime-an d-nikon-oh-my.html

                        That is what I have been doing ever since I got my Nikon D7100, although I did not have playback issues.

                        http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/kb/nikon-d7000-footage-stutters-playback.html

                        • 10. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                          Level 4

                          dlsr nikon d800 , haven't had to rename mov files.. with latest ver cs6.. works fine... but pig is kinda HUGE.. so it probably has to do with that too. one would think it wouldnt matter.. it either works or it doesnt... but theres so many variables it is beyond me to know it.

                          thanks ann, that was helpful to know.

                          I bet your camera is cool , you wanna join the project collaborating with adobe stuff as per lounge thing? I think you would shoot some really good stuff IMO.

                           

                           

                           

                          I remember some fish market thing you did that was outstanding...

                          • 11. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                            cscooper2013 Level 2

                            strypesinpost wrote:

                             

                            ...Have you read this yet?

                             

                            http://blogs.adobe.com/VideoRoad/2012/12/premiere-pro-and-quicktime-an d-nikon-oh-my.html

                             

                            Just now.  Yet, it seems to contradict my own findings.  The article says:  "In the case of Canon DSLR files, there’s something in the file header. Premiere Pro can recognize that the clips came from a Canon camera, and bypass QuickTime. This enables Premiere Pro to have smooth playback of DSLR files..."

                             

                            The test I conducted was between files from a Canon 7D in their original format vs. an AVI file I transcoded from those originals using GoPro Studio (formerly Cineform).  I load up a project and timeline with the original 7D files and then scrub the heck out of the timeline, back and forth.  I have Task Manager open in order to monitor my RAM usage.  I simply could not get past roughly 4GB.  Once I deleted all the original .MOV files from the project, retaining only the transcoded .AVIs, the project cut like butter.  The harder I scrubbed the timeline, the higher my RAM usage soared until it gradually, and gracefully came close to maxing out.  Lol.  Is there a better test I should run?

                             

                            The other test I ran was a project where I took a single talking head clip of approximately 5 minutes in length.  Nothing too taxing for the hard drive, and something that *should* be easy enough to play completely from RAM, once it played through once or twice.  I cut this clip and staggered a few tracks on top of eachother.  No effects, no transparency.  The cumulative effect was a cuts-only edit, but on the timeline my tracks looked like stairs, etc (perhaps the stairs weren't necessary).  The primary goal here was to watch how the system performed with a simple cuts-only project where Peremiere was repeatedly asked to access the same file from random locations in the file.   The .AVI version of this project, again, played flawlessly.  The .MOV version played even worse than I was expecting, since cuts-only 7D footage is usually not SO hard on the system (even if it is limited to 4GB RAM).  The .MOV project couldn't keep up.  Period.  As soon as the file needed to "jump back" on itself, the refresh rate became intolerable.

                             

                            So is the 7D an exception to the rule stated in that article?  It definitely seems to be limited to 4GB of RAM!  If it isn't, why am I seeing this?

                             

                            Also, is it possible that the footage from the 7D may not *REQUIRE* Quicktime to decode, but since Quicktime is found on my system, the 7D files default to using it anyway?

                             

                            I've not tested my GoPro footage so thoroughly, but I believe it's limited in the same way.  After a transcode to AVI in GoPro Studio, even 2.7K footage plays slick as a whistle.  Not so when I don't transcode.

                             

                            Further thoughts?

                            • 12. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                              Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                              Further thoughts?

                              Since it is not quite clear what are you looking for, it is hard to guess what to propose.

                               

                              If you want to find a workaround, it has already been clearly stated twice in both The Video Road blogpost pointed by strypesinpost and help section pointed by Ann: batch rename MOV file extention to MPG - that will force PrPro to bypass QT32 Server. No transcoding required.

                               

                              If you want to know which metadata should be written down into MOV header so as to force PrPro to bypass QT32 Server by default, underline that in your question.

                              • 13. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                                Jim_Simon Level 8

                                are Windows users really stuck with no option but to transcode the footage before heavy use in Premiere?

                                 

                                Or just not using those devices until the manufacturers offer a non-Maccentric work flow - no QuickTime, no ProRes, no HFS+.  This is easily done with DNxHD in the superior MXF wrapper on an exFAT formatted card - which works for everyone.

                                 

                                Please let manufacturers know you want this on their products.

                                • 14. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                                  cscooper2013 Level 2

                                  Does DNxHD recorded from the Ninja deliver 4GB-limited .MOV files, or do these files work via the fix-by-renaming-extension?  Jim, yes, ideally cameras would ship with Windows-friendly codecs.

                                  • 15. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                                    cscooper2013 Level 2

                                    So to wrap up this discussion (or perhaps open another can of worms), is it safe to say I can uninstall QuickTime?  If I do will I be removing the nasty QT32server?  And if I then encounter any QuickTime files that require QT32, will I be able to play them just fine by renaming them to .MPG?  Does that go for ProRes and DNxHD.mov from Ninja-2 or Pix recorders?

                                    • 16. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                                      strypesinpost Level 2

                                      I'm very sure that for ProRes, you will need the blessing of Apple Quicktime.

                                      • 17. Re: Limitations of Quicktime files (.mov and h.264) in Windows 64-bit.
                                        Krowie

                                        What about the process Adobe QT32 Server.exe *32 .. ??

                                         

                                        I have h.264 files from a Canon in .MOV containers, evern though the aforementioned Quicktime32Server.exe is NOT running when my Premiere CS6 is open, The Adobe QT32 Server.exe *32 starts with my premiere upon each opening ..

                                         

                                        wouldn't the *32 would mean it is running in 32 bt mode? and hence have the same restricitons as the original Quicktime32server.exe process?