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Background Rendering Not Working with Premiere or FCPX in OS X Mavericks? Here's Your Solution

11.7.13 @ 10:58PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

Preventing App Nap OS X MavericksApple has been moving more and more mobile over the last half decade or so, but they threw a bone to those of us still using Mac desktops or laptops by giving away their new operating system, OS X Mavericks, completely free. While Mavericks includes a couple of key changes from the previous version, one in particular might be giving you some serious trouble, even if it was designed as a feature, not a bug. That feature is something called App Nap, and it may be causing your background renderings to fail with programs like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, and DaVinci Resolve if you’ve upgraded your OS to 10.9 Mavericks.

Here is MacWorld with a thorough explanation of App Nap:

Essentially, App Nap senses when an app isn’t doing anything and puts that app into a low-power state. This state involves timer throttling, which reduces an app’s need to use the CPU; I/O throttling, which gives the app low priority for accessing storage or a network connection; and priority reduction, which assigns an app a smaller portion of a CPU’s processing time. Apple says App Nap can reduce the amount of power that apps are using by as much as 23 percent.

How does App Nap work? It looks for apps that fit a specific set of criteria. The app’s windows have to be hidden, either in the Dock or behind other windows, and it can’t be playing music or other audio. App Nap also checks to see if the app has specifically disabled App Nap and makes sure it doesn’t implement any power-management features of its own. If an app meets all of these requirements, App Nap goes to work. When you need to use one of these background apps, App Nap deactivates, and the app switches to full speed.

If an app is playing audio, downloading a file from a server or the Internet, or doing something else in the background that requires the full attention of your Mac’s resources, App Nap will not activate. Also, software developers can write their apps so as to disable App Nap.

Thanks to planet5D for the heads-up on this, here is CameraGuides showing how you can keep specific programs operating in the background:

For the even quicker version, by hitting get info on an application, you’ll get this dialogue box, and you’ll want to click Prevent App Nap:

Preventing App Nap OS X Mavericks

I have no idea how much 23% actually means in practice, but for most filmmakers and other creatives, we normally need a few things running in the background, especially if we’re rendering video. If you’ve updated your OS to Mavericks, it’s probably a good idea to go right now and change the settings for any programs you think you’ll need running in the background. I think it would be good to see updates to some of these programs to automatically disable App Nap by default, especially if it’s a video editor where you’re doing lots of background rendering.

Head on over to MacWorld to read about some of the other changes in Mavericks.


[via planet5DSimon Öhman Jönsson on Twitter]


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Description image 20 COMMENTS

  • Richard Green on 11.7.13 @ 11:14PM


  • I think Adobe Premiere has yet to add the feature to render in the background. Please correct me if I’m wrong and show me how to make this happen.

    • Nope, that feature’s not available in Premiere yet, but if we send Adobe enough feature requests I’m sure they’ll make it happen soon.

    • Joe Marine on 11.8.13 @ 2:06AM

      If you minimize it to the dock, and are having it rendering, it can go into App Nap, that’s what it’s referring to. Not necessarily background rendering, but rendering in the background.

    • And there is the Dynamic Link to Media Encoder, which is essentially background rendering, exactly like in FCP X… it will render stuff in ME in the background. If you playback or render in Premiere, it pauses the ME encode, then resumes when you stop in Premiere Pro. I would guess App Nap would have a very negative impact on that, so I’m changing the setting for AE and Media Encoder as well.

  • a new applie os not ready for prime time ? shocking …

    • I was out of commission for a couple days with editing due to upgrading to Mavericks too early. AE CS6 wouldn’t even open prior to the update. Due to internal issues as well it took me too long to acquire the update sine manual updating was turned off. I have also experienced more serious problems occurring and unexpectedly quitting of most CS6 Apps AFTER the updated. Not worth it…

  • Joe, thanks for posting this. I had no clue about this new setting.

  • Brilliant. My renders in FCPx kept failing, but I had no idea why. And I hadn’t made the correlation in my mind that it started once switched in Mavericks.
    Thx for this.

  • I also noticed that Davinci Resolve was dropping frames when the app was minimized last night. With the application open it was able to render again without an issue. Glad I read this article and found the checkbox to disable App Nap.

  • Thanks for the heads up.

  • Toast is another. my blu-ray’s where taking hours when then only used to take 15 minutes or so. toast was taking a nap.

  • Im gonna have to downgrade to Lion bc I have problem using AE with this new system any help?

  • Apple has developed a lemon. While Maverick is being touted as a great OS, unless you know all the workarounds, it won’t go on my Mac. As a one-man shop, I don’t have the time to figure out all the quirks of the software to keep my Mac running and productive. In trying to be ahead of the curve, Apple out smarted themselves.

    • As a one-man shop, the last thing you should be doing is experimenting with ANY new OS on your work computer.

      Seriously, people, if all you have is one car and you gotta use it every day to deliver pizza to pay the bills, you don’t go out in the garage between shifts and bolt-on a turbo-charger because the manufacturer said it worked great on a brand new model that ships with a different engine.

      Or maybe you do… I don’t.

  • AppNap is a great feature. It extends the battery life on my MacBook Pro significantly. There is no doubt in my mind that Apple scored big here. Between AppNap and memory paging, the performance improvements over previous OS versions is significantly higher than any prior version brought over previous ones.

    The problem here is the sheer ignorance of users who upgrade. I am simply amazed at the number of people who download and upgrade without even reading the “What’s New?” page about the new OS. This isn’t a 50kb security fix for Flash; this is an ENTIRE operating system, yet people click “Upgrade” without even thinking. Then they complain how something doesn’t work as expected!! Anyone who took the time to read about the new features would have discovered what AppNap does and how it does it.

    The first thing I did after upgrading to Mavericks was to disable AppNap on FCP, Compressor, Motion, Toast and few other similar applications. To me, this was a no-brainer. Apparently, not to everyone out there.

    • @Predrag you’re comments are not helpful or based on any facts. This is a serious issue that is not resolved by ticking the box, nor was it explained by Apple to the POST production sector.