Why is a Mac better for video-editing? (pls well-founded explanations)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by xpla, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. xpla macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008

    i have a discussion going on don't have well-founded explanations or technical details why a Mac is much more fluent when editing a video as a Windows machine.

    Somehow a Mac is faster and more fluent and editing a video was always a pain for me on a Windows machine. But why, really why is it much better on an Apple?

    Thank you for your explanations!
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    That is subjective, especially with the editing software involved.

    I have experiences on Avid Xpress and Media Composer on Windows 200 and XP and Mac OS X 10.2.8 and 10.4.11 and 10.5.8 and the additional hardware that goes with it (Unity, EditShare, Mojo Box, Nitris, Meridien, ...).

    Although it seems that editing is a bit faster on Mac OS X due to less complications with the OS, Avid can still have many quirks on both platforms - the dreaded "segmentation thread/fault" error for example.

    Video editing is better on the Mac? Really?
    via MRoogle "editing video mac better"
  3. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    The first thing that comes to mind is:

    - Apple makes the software and the hardware. This one supposing you use Final Cut. There needs to be some advantage from this.

    Apart from that, maybe the fact that Macs tend to be more speedy in general (no viruses, etc.).

    But... I guess PCs are just as good when you know what you are doing.
  4. PenguinMac macrumors member

    May 21, 2010
    Editing a video with Adobe Premier Elements 8 on my Win 7 machine (see my sig) is smooth, crash-free and VERY fast. I want a Mac Pro to duplicate that experience but with better, more standard output options. For example, Premier Elements 8 will transcode my AVCHD 1080i clips only to another AVCHD format, i.e. H.264 in an MPEG2 transport stream container. Nothing on the Mac will play it, including VLC. While I could use another video editing program, I'm still concerned that my editted videos at least outlast me (they're home movies that my kids can keep when they're older) so should be in a standard MPEG4 format. And who better than one of the pioneers of MPEG4, Apple, to do it with?
  5. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    being on a mac isn't fundamentally better than a PC for editing... you have to set up the computer properly in either case. It comes down to what type of software you want to run and getting the correct hardware to enable the software to do what you want it to (and at the speed you want it to).
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    In a sentence, Macs aren't necessarily better for editing than PCs are. It really comes down to what software packages you ultimately want to use and which OS you find yourself more comfortable using from a day to day basis.

    Final Cut Pro is Mac-only.

    Adobe Premiere Pro is developed for both Mac and Windows and are functionally identical.

    Avid is available on both PC and Mac. Their software-only Media Composer app is identical in virtually every way on both platforms. But some of the hardware-based Avid systems only run on Windows.

    Sony Vegas Pro is Windows-only.

    I for example, run a Mac for two major reasons: Mac OS X and Final Cut Pro. Plus, my overall satisfaction with Apple's service and support has been very positive for almost a decade - and that counts for something, too.
  7. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    I have very little experience with video editing, but I think the belief that macs are better for media is because the GUI for applications tend to be much more user friendly.

    First example that comes to mind is photoshop. Open the mac version, then open the windows version. Same application, but on the windows version you're restricted by the frame, on the mac version you're free to move the toolbars around however you'd like.
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    This is true, but it is a minor reason for the Mac's superiority. The Mac is superior because Mac OS X provides a rich infrastructure to support media applications. This allows most of your applications to work together. You are not required to rely on a single application for your entire functionality.

    In Windows, the application developer must create much of this infrastructure at the application level. The result is that applications don't work together as well. Therefore, the end-user is likely to use a single application for the entire job.
  9. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    With the exception of Final Cut Studio, most applications are developed for Windows. For years and years, Windows has been the platform of choice for media production. But the main reason to consider a PC for video over a Mac is cost. A Mac Pro is going to cost more than a custom built PC and you are going to have more options like Blueray that's not supported by Apple.

    Final Cut Studio is long over due for an update (if one is coming at all), but on the Windows side of things, everything is pretty current and there are more software options than what is available for the Mac. Having said that, Adobe CS5 is pretty tight on the Mac, but you are going to pay premium compared to Windows.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Nope. Most production studios use Mac for video.

    Here's one, BBC
  11. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    In my experience it is half and half. As Avid Media Composer and Premiere Pro are also available on Mac OS X, many production houses use Mac OS X as their platform.

    I worked for four production houses in the past, two of them used Windows, two of them used Mac OS X. None of them used Final Cut Pro, only Media Composer from Avid.

    As I already wrote in some similar thread, a friend of mine wrote her diploma about changing the editing infrastructure of an international broadcasting network. They used Avid Media Composer at that time, on Windows workstations and with Avid Unity servers and all the hardware that comes with Avid and which is needed for proper signals.
    She calculated, that changing to Mac OS X, Mac Pros and to FCP and all the server structure and additional hardware for those pesky signals and even the re-education of the editors would be cheaper than staying with Avid. Cheaper by two thirds.
    In the end the network stayed with Avid, as they have more lobbyists than Apple has.
  12. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    's been stealing a lot of Avid's lunch money for years as people have transitioned to far cheaper editing rigs that use Final Cut.

    Macs have traditionally had staying power with digital media and use by artists, so there's a legacy of their use in this industry. For a long time, Quicktime was the superior digital video framework, but changes in software and codecs have obviated this advantage.

    Part of it could be superior GUIs on Mac applications, in part because Mac users have historically demanded better-written software. This isn't universally true, but the majority of Mac software has a better UI or is less buggy than Windows software. I wouldn't necessarily apply that to cross-platform software, which tends to suffer for being cross-platform.

    Mac freeware and shareware is leaps and bounds ahead of what you'll find on Windows.

    Some newer applications who don't have a legacy beyond OS X have some fantastic interfaces, as well. Final Cut is long due for a complete overhaul, and I'm interested to see if the UI gets improved.
  13. Magaman macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2009
    While not directly about editing. For me the encoding experience and quality of Compressor is far better then what others give you. Though as stated FCS really needs an overhaul, even just 64-bit support would be greatly welcomed. I'm surprised we didn't get a FCS announcement today with the Mac Pro announcement.
  14. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hmmm...well FCS 2 enjoyed a 2 year product life, whereas FCS 3 is barely over a year old. The trend has been every two years between FCS versions.

    But as such, I think the next step for Apple is complete overhaul and I'd even be willing to wait a little longer for it. While FCS 2 brought great things to the table (like a brand new set of codecs and a $25k grading app) over the original FCS, FCS 3 was more like a service pack Apple wanted $300 to upgrade to. I obliged with the update (mostly to be compatible with all the other editors who insisted on upgrading), but the next time, I really do expect something revolutionary from Apple.
  15. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    In my experience Macs excel at handling heavy workloads. I don't even use the $6500 HP workstation sitting under my desk at work anymore I just bring the MBP in my signature to work and use that.

    That being said I don't do video editing, but I do A LOT of Maya, ZBrush, Corel Painter, Photoshop, Unity3D, Logic, Aperture, etc.

    A lot of it is personal preference too. Its one of those things that is hard to describe until you actually work with it. For me, things like spaces and quicklook that are built in to the OS are HUGE time savers.

Share This Page