ProRes on Windows

OK, I’m guessing that you don’t come here for tips on cross-platform editing between Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro Windows, but here’s a piece of news you may find useful.

By way of background, one frustration I’ve always had with the Final Cut Pro/Premiere Pro workflow is that I couldn’t load any files encoded in ProRes on my Windows computers. They loaded fine in Premiere Pro on the Mac, which was a great AVCHD workaround before CS4, but not in Windows. In a recent conversation with a colleague, however, he pointed out that Apple had released the QuickTime decoder for Windows in August, 2008.

Here’s the text from the Apple release:

About Apple ProRes QuickTime Decoder 1.0 for Windows

The Apple ProRes QuickTime Decoder software allows both Mac and Windows users to play Apple ProRes files through QuickTime. Apple ProRes is a visually lossless format that provides uncompressed HD quality at SD data rates.

It is an excellent choice for mastering and can easily be transcoded to distribution formats like H.264. With new support for playback on both Mac and Windows computers, Apple ProRes can also be used for review and approval of Final Cut Studio sequences.

My colleague informed me that in Windows you can read, but not write, to ProRes files. In most instances, this should suffice, since ProRes isn’t a distribution format anyway. However, this does mean that there’s no round trip workflow between Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro in Windows.

You can download a copy of the decoder, here.

About Jan Ozer

I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks, and evaluate new encoders and codecs.

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