I remember buying my first and last Power Mac Pro many years ago. It looked gorgeous, it was blazingly fast and I used it for about eight years. Keep in mind that last figure as I take you on a city trip to the price level of the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
Fancy creating a screencast or a presentation involving demos of iPad apps, or a PiP (picture in Picture) video presentation of new software? Then ScreenFlow has been your best option for some years now. Telestream recently released version 7 of the application. It comes with new options, such as text animations, a global media library, multi-pass x264 encoding and more.
When Magix Audio took over Sound Forge Pro Mac from Sony, the application was in need of an update at the very least. With macOS Sierra, Sound Forge Pro didn’t work all that well anymore. In addition, it became clear the app was in desperate need of some new features. Magix Audio’s first upgrade of the sound editor meets the most urgent needs and then some.
Colour depth or bit depth is either the number of bits used to define the colour of a single pixel in a bitmapped image or video frame buffer, or the number of bits used for each colour component of a single pixel. Chroma subsampling is the practice of encoding images by delivering a lower resolution for chroma (colour) information than for luma (lightness). The two combine into what your footage looks like when it has been freshly recorded.
Shooting in ProRes or DNxHD has several benefits if you’re working with Final Cut Pro X or Avid Media Composer. Of course you can always encode or transcode from a different codec to either of these in post-production, but that costs time — which may be valuable. There may be other reasons why you don’t want to wait until post, as I found out. I spent three days experimenting with a GoPro HERO4, four encoding apps for the Mac, the Final Cut Pro X timeline and an Atomos Ninja Assassin. Thanks to the newest version of Telestream’s Switch QC app, I came across some strange results that I didn’t know about before, and which changed my views on post-production video encoding versus shooting straight to ProRes with a Ninja monitor/recorder.
The new version of Sorenson Media’s Squeeze has new features and improved codecs. It also allows you to output footage at higher frame rates than the source clips you’re importing. However, and just like any other transcoding app currently available, there’s no support for creating footage from DNG files such as the ones your Blackmagic Design camera will output. The best news of the day is that Squeeze Desktop 11 does create movies from still images and is again a bit faster than its predecessor.
ScopeBox displays video scopes, regardless of whether your clip is processed with EditReady — before you transcode them — or Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro and other apps. It does so via ScopeLink, a clever system that allows ScopeBox to integrate with a slew of supported applications, including SpeedGrade, various versions of After Effects, Prelude and Pomfort Silverstack. In addition, ScopeBox provides scopes for live sources such as BlackMagic Design and Aja input equipment, and for movie clips stored on your disk(s).
It’s been a while since EditReady was first released. Since then I’ve only used Squeeze and Episode. I have them on my machine and they’re industrial workhorses so why would I choose something else? Speed could be a significant factor and quality of output of course. I decided to try them all with a GoPro HERO4 UHD clip and the results sort of surprised me.
Transcoding app Episode 7 has been released a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been testing it with a large number of various clips and it’s faster, can now handle 4K footage and supports a larger number of formats, including DNxHD, DNxHR, DVCPro HD and JPEG2000. Naming a storage device was previously only possible via the Command Line Interface. In Episode 7 you can do this through the GUI as well. Finally, you can now map audio channels in one area of the UI.
Telestream has upgraded Episode, their transcoding application, to version 6.5. The upgrade includes support for formats such as HEVC, XAVC, VP9 and MXF AS-11, caption insertion with encoding and pass-through of formats such as MCC, SCC and CEA-608/708, multi-bitrate streaming support, support for multi-track audio, and image sequence support directly from the GUI. Some jobs using the new codecs turned out to be too memory intensive and crashed.