6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2009 9:04 AM by Jay Friesen

    Intermediate codec for Premiere on MAC

    Marcello Mazzilli

      What if you want to edit different sources and still have realtime playback and no loss of quality... On PC you use Cineform but on Mac ? Pro-Res works realtime only on Final Cut.. So what do you suggest for workin in Premiere on a Mac (possibly free) and keep realtime playback and all the quality? We are talking of HD footage (XDCAM)  and HDv footage. XDCAM plays realtime (though only in MP4 wrapper and not MOV wrapper) while HDV doesn't. I could obviously convert HDV to MP4 XDCAM or both to P2 (this also is read realtime).. but XDCAM will not keep all the quality. Can somebody suggest something?

        • 1. Re: Intermediate codec for Premiere on MAC
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          On PC you use Cineform


          Actually, most users just edit the straight media.  If your system can't handle it realtime, get a better system.

          • 2. Softwaresn
            Marcello Mazzilli Level 1

            Sorry but I have got a Mac Pro 2x2,66 Ghz Dual Core with 9Gbytes of Ram. I don't think is a low system.


            In Final Cut I can work realtime with Pro-Res or XDCAM (Mov wrapper) with HD footage

            In Premiere I can work realtime with XDCAM (MP4 wrapper) and P2 with HD footage

            I can't work in realtime  (but can open and view)  with HDV or XDCAM in MOV wrapper or Pro-Res.



            Softwares need to be optimized for sources. Apple world is for Pro-Res.. unfortunately Premiere is not so I am asking for a suggesiton.

            HDV is not an editing format (both for speed and quality). XDCAM MOVwrapper could be but being developed for Final Cut is not used by Premiere.

            Premiere, as I said, works perfectly with other HD formats.


            Still... Pro-Res is free while Cineform is 500$.. I'm looking for a free intermediate codec that will work in Premiere

            • 3. Re: Softwaresn
              Jim_Simon Level 8
              Apple world is for Pro-Res.. unfortunately Premiere is not


              Again, that's because Premiere generally works with the native files, not intermediates.


              Your system does seem good enough to handle HDV.  I'd look to resolving that.  You may not need a DI codec.  Personally, I just don't know of any for Macs.

              • 4. Re: Softwaresn
                Marcello Mazzilli Level 1

                Workflow on Cineform is known to be used in Hollywood studios!

                This is done not only for speed reasons (MPEG2 is much slower than only interframe codecs) for quality reasons.. With Cineform is possible to work at a real 24bit resolution, with a 4:4:4 colour space, etc...

                • 5. Re: Softwaresn
                  Jim_Simon Level 8



                  But none of that contradicts anything I've said so far.  Most Premiere users edit the straight media.  On the surface, your system does seem adequate to do so.  If it's not, there may be something wrong.  Look to fixing that.

                  • 6. Re: Intermediate codec for Premiere on MAC
                    Jay Friesen

                    This is a few weeks old so I hope you've found a good answer, but for the benefit of others you have a couple options. First you can actually get a copy of the Cineform codec for Mac buy purchasing a copy of Neoscene for $99 (from Cineform). This would be my recommendation. You other option is to download Blackmagic's codecs for Avid's DNxHD codec packs (both are free on their websites). You can use MPEG Streamclip to transcode your files after you capture, or if you're tapeless, after you copy your files over. But a couple QT updates ago, I lost any DNxHD 36 playback...don't know why, don't care to test it.


                    Your system's more than fine to editt HDV natively (not sure who'd want to though)...my suspicion is that unlike FCP, Adobe uses their Media Player instead of Quicktime as the native video player for the NLE and since Mac's core is Quicktime that results in some sort of performance issue. I'm only speculation but stuff plays back fine in QT outside of Adobe.


                    I've never gotten anything thing one way or the other from Adobe about it (no surprise there). I get the same crap performance on my dual-core MacBook Pro as I do on my new 3+Ghz Octomac. And I won't even get started on how completely worthless HDV is. I haven't edited an HDV file for over two years, I just got too many damn MPEG stream errors and didn't want to deal with it.


                    I'm hoping a future update will allow me to use QT as the native media player instead of Adobe. So in the end, I convert all my source video (no matter where it came from or in what format) to Cineform and leave my headaches at the door.