Nature abhors a vacuum, so when Apple announced it was abandoning support for the QuickTime format in Windows, post-production companies began to scramble to develop alternatives to keep their workflows running without it. Adobe has taken a huge step in this direction with an upcoming update which will bring native support for Apple ProRes, along with Avid DNxHD and DNxHR file formats without having to re-encode in Premiere Pro.
“It’s always been Adobe’s opinion that we want to provide high performance native support for as many formats as possible. This means that our software is able to access the media essence in a wrapper without relying on third party technology, such as QuickTime.
“Today we’re pleased to announce that Adobe has been able to accelerate work that was already in progress to support native reading of ProRes. This new capability is fully licensed and certified by Apple, and barring any unforeseen issues during pre-release, these fixes will be included into an update to the relevant products in Creative Cloud shortly.” – David McGavran, Adobe Blog
Adobe’s new update will support Apple ProRes, as well as the AAC audio codec, while a future update will bring along support for native versions of Avid’s DNxHD and DNxHR file codecs, which happen to be wrapped up in the .mov file extension. This will remove any need to re-encode either platform, but also support for export in .mxf. Adobe also plans to support PNG Compressed for reading and writing of animation frames.
“Recent security issues related to Apple’s QuickTime 7 on Windows have been of concern to users of Adobe’s products on that platform. Two security issues have emerged related to QuickTime on Windows, as a result Apple is recommending removal of QuickTime 7 for Windows.” – McGavran
This is certainly good news since Apple’s sudden killing of QuickTime for Windows left many scrambling for an alternative. But while it was a sudden decision, it is by no means surprising. Apple really hasn’t been updating QuickTime regularly, and have been pointing to a lack of need, since most current Windows web browsers support video playback without the use of a browser plugin for QuickTime.
Couple that with the widespread move to HTML 5 as a main streaming format, and the judgment of Apple was that people should simply stop using their famed video codec. Naturally, Apple knows best, right?
Failing to heed Apple’s warning will open up a major security issue for those looking to exploit such things, so it’s very responsible on the part of Adobe to give us a native import for ProRes and Avid codecs. And moving forward, it future-proofs the road towards higher resolutions. We’ll be more secure and save time and money not having to re-encode.
Once these features are updated, editors will be able to completely remove QuickTime from the equation. Adobe warns, however, that some older legacy formats that rely on QuickTime, like MPEG 2, DV, and others, may not be supported after the update. So users who rely on these older codecs will need to transcode them to incorporate them into the workflow.