Apple’s October 2013 announcements: What’s in them for editors?

Last week I appeared as the support act on the Go Ceative Show podcast. I covered the recent Apple announcements from an editor’s point of view:

The notes I used while host Ben Consoli was interviewing me:

OS X Mavericks

The canonical review:
– Mutiple monitor mode – each screen has an app’s menu bar, dock appears on screen where mouse last used
– Energy management – longer battery time on much older machines
– Tags equivalent of Final Cut Pro X Keywords – Display files based on tags. Files can have more than one tag – e.g. Client Name, Production Name – view all files tagged with a specific Client Name or Production Name. Maybe one day parts of documents will be taggable.

Let other people test Mavericks. What can be so urgent that you need to upgrade now? If you must – do a clean install.

Final Cut Pro X – Info – “Prevent App Nap” checkbox

Final Cut Pro 7 / DVD Studio Pro
Seem OK

Premiere Pro CC
some startup problems related to international language settings on machines that were upgraded to OS X 10.9 in place – less problems where 10.9 was a clean install
Use Creative Cloud updater to get 7.1 update. Visit Adobe to find out more.

After Effects CC
12.0 used the Optix 2.0 library from Nvidia for the ray-traced 3D renderer
Optix 2.0 is incompatible with 10.9
Download 12.1 update from Adobe using Creative Cloud updater. Visit Adobe to find out more.

Updated drivers for DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity

Avid will approve Mavericks when they are good and ready
Much safer way of working.

Thunderbolt 2

New interface chip is a $13 part from Intel (Falcon Ridge) – as opposed to $10 for Thunderbolt ‘1’ (Cactus Ridge).

Channel Bonding – 2 10 gigabit per second channels bonded to form a 20 gigabit per second channel – in each direction.

“A standard Thunderbolt port or cable provides connections for four lanes in the form of two channels: two Tx/Rx pairs. So Thunderbolt 2 simply allows the bonding of the two channels from a single port / cable, effectively creating a single 20 Gbit/s, full-duplex link”

Thunderbolt 2 can include full DisplayPort 1.2 connection speeds – up to 17.28 gigabits per second (useful for daisy chaining signals/higher refresh rates 3840×2160 60Hz 30 bits per pixel)

External hardware yet ?

New from Promise:
Pegasus2 8-32TB
SanLink2 Two 8 gigabit Fibre Channel ports (+ 2 thunderbolt 2 ports – one in and one out – which can have a display attached – includes Thunderbolt cable!)
8 gigabits per second is 1600 Mega Bytes per second

[Since the podcast: news from Blackmagic Design: An extension to their Ultrastudio range: the Ultrastudio 4K now has Thunderbolt 2]

Mac Pro

Coming in December

Two configuration prices announced $3,000 and $4,000 – don’t know price of BTO top option

Memory and flash storage user upgradable.

Flash memory connected by PCIe ‘over 10 times faster’ than 7200 SATA drives

Has HDMI 1.4 – 1920 x 1200 60p 24 bits

HDMI is electrically the same, Sony annonced their new Z100 4K camera will be updated to HDMI 2.0 using firmware upgrade.

HDMI 2.0 – 4096 x 2160 – 60p – 48bits per pixel (can represent colour spaces 65,000 times more detailed than 24 bit)
– 4K is about latitude and overscan more than resolution
– Uses 18 Gigabits per second – (4K is around 15 gigabits per second depending on refresh rate)

HDMI allows Macs to control other devices using CEC – Consumer Electronics Control
– Tell the TV to switch to the Mac signal
– Switch the TV to standby mode
– Get Set-top boxes to record TV based on EPG information
– Control players (DVD/Blu Ray) – play pause wind rewind
– Control amp volume

New MacBook Pro

Early 2013 15″ – 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7. Spec sheet:
Late 2013 15″ – 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7. Spec sheet:
both turbo boost up to 3.8 GHz

Lower clock speed Intel Core i7 chips 10% faster than previous version’s CPUs with higher clock speeds.

Graphics on 15″ slower than earlier models no extra GPU – editors must spend extra for extra discrete GPU.

15″ discrete GPU available – the Nvidia GT 750M with 2GB (double last year’s GT650M 1GB).

[Since the podcast: Bare Feats real-world comparisons of recent MacBook Pros and iMacs]

Gsync from Nvidia to prevent trearing and stuttering – refresh screen based on frame rate of content


1TB SSD (only user upgrade possible: from 512GB to 1TB, you’ll have to wait a few months until upgrades are available).

SSD storage connection not SATA any more – now PCIe – 60% faster from 408 Mega bytes per second write to over 725 Megabytes write speed.


Two Thunderbolt 2 ports

Better wifi – Now file transfers at 66 megabytes per second (gigabit ethernet – 100 megabytes per second – via Thunderbolt adapter).

13″ and 15″ HDMI can run 4K displays at low refresh rates
– 3840×2160 at 30Hz
– 4096×2160 at 24Hz
– (1920 x 1080 at 60Hz)

Will HDMI firmware upgrade may this.


iWork 2013

Redesigned to be Apple’s version of ‘cross platform’ – so people on Windows can edit Keynote, Numbers and Pages in web browsers.

Lost some features – Keynote users are complaining – problems with slide masters (e.g. no animation defined in masters).

When upgrading leaves previous version for compatibility (also can save as older version of Keynote if needed).

Get for free (despite not having bought previous version on Mac App Store) if installed from DVD, updates will be available in Mac App Store.

Keynote transitions implemented using OpenGL shading language – the most complex one is 3 kilobytes

The price of software and tools now that MacOS and software is free.

Other software

Garageband has various AI drummers – what if iMovie had various AI editors?

Logic Pro X and Aperture also updated: Bug fixes and compatibility with new versions of iLife apps.

No Final Cut Pro X, it is due in December for when the new Mac Pro is launched.

31st October 2013

Editing 4K on the new 15″ MacBook Pro

4th November 2013

Mark Harrison, BBC: “We are taking 4K very seriously”