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We bought a Mac Pro thinking that it would increase the speed of rendering than on an unoptimized PC. But we ran into codec issues with MPEG and WMV.

Our Tricaster PC outputs to MPEG, while it the PC reads and plays it almost natively, on the Mac it has issues such as missing sound. WMV naturally needs a codec but it crashes during rendering.

So we thought to convert everything into MOV or MP4, but that would defeat the original purpose of buying the Mac, which is speed.

Question: Is there something I could do to have Final Cut Pro or any editing software on the Mac natively read and render without conversion?

I would very much like some direction into rendering on a Mac without so much extra steps.

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2 Answers

If the MPEG plays but it is missing audio when you play it back on your Mac, then it sounds like the audio codec is what you need for those. When you export from PC, what audio codec do you use for the MPEGs? If you don't know, you can examine the MPEGs with MediaInfo to find out.

As for WMVs, imo they're always going to be a little wonky on a Mac. However, I'll say that we've used Flip4Mac in our shop with fairly good results over the years.

You should never (or rarely, at least) have to encode multiple times to reach your destination format. Every time you go to an intermediary format you're going to lose quality from the multiple compressions.

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Our Tricaster PC outputs to MPEG

MPEG is no codec. There are tons of standards and specifications by the Motion Picture Experts Group.

So we thought to convert everything into MOV or MP4, but that would defeat the original purpose of buying the Mac, which is speed.

Working with compressed material is not the best idea, but if you use good quality settings, you're probably going to get quite good results here. Speed should not be the biggest issue.


Is there something I could do to have Final Cut Pro or any editing software on the Mac natively read and render without conversion?

The best idea would be to have your video stored in an intermediate codec:

Both are specifically designed for broadcasting and video editing. They are visually lossless, which means they do a good compression job, but still retain quality. If you're doing a lot of editing, try these.

You should also install Perian and Flip4Mac on your Mac in order to make sure that it plays all possible codecs.

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