August 14, 2014

EditReady is the World's Fastest Transcoding App: Here's Our Review & Interview with the CEO

Earlier in the summer, Divergent Media, a software company whose tools need no introduction in the video production world, released EditReady, a Mac transcoding app with a tremendous claim, that it was supposedly the world's fastest transcoder for Quicktime conversion. In a market that is fairly saturated with transcoding solutions for filmmakers, that is definitely a bold claim, to say the least. However, after reading about what sets EditReady apart from its competitors, then testing the app for myself, I'm ready to say that the claim is indeed a valid one. I also talked briefly with Mike Woodworth, the CEO of Divergent Media, who's also the lead developer of EditReady, and learned more about how the software was designed, what it can and cannot do, and where it is headed in the future.

Before we get to my thoughts about EditReady and the interview with Mike, here's a brief video introduction to the software.

Based on the time that I have spent using EditReady over the past month, there are a few things that I really love about the software, and a few things that could be better.

REVIEW

What I like About EditReady

The interface, which is incredibly easy on the eyes, takes functional minimalism to a new level entirely. It's broken down into two distinct sections: one for adding and previewing media, and the other for manipulating the conversion settings. With the exception of another basic window that lets you add and edit metadata that can be accessed through the menu or a keyboard shortcut, that's all there is to the EditReady interface, and quite frankly that's a great thing. My guess is that literally anybody could figure out how to use it simply by looking at the interface. It's just that clean and intuitive.

Now let's talk about performance. But, before we do, a primer on the computer that I used to test the software. I own two computers, a mid 2010 Macbook Pro with a dual core 2.66GHz i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, and a custom-built editing PC that is insanely beefy in terms of specs and raw power. Back in the day, the Macbook was no slouch in terms of performance, but time has not been kind to it, and the performance these days is pretty underwhelming. Suffice it to say, I would NEVER choose to do transcoding work on the Macbook unless it was absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, EditReady is a Mac-only app, so in order to test its speed and overall performance, I had to use the Macbook.

Coming into the conversion process, I had been expecting all of my tests to be painfully slow because, frankly, the Macbook is on its last leg. However, once I started using EditReady (and comparing it to Adobe Media Encoder, which is what I normally use for all of my encoding), what I found was pretty impressive. I used a single 57 second h.264 clip shot on my Canon 60D to conduct my test. The original clip was full HD, and the original file size was 274MB. Here are my results as I encoded the clip into 3 different flavors of ProRes in both EditReady and Media Encoder:

Media Encoder CC (2014)

  • 50 Seconds for ProRes 422 LT - Clip Size: 432MB
  • 58 Seconds for ProRes 422 - Clip Size 784MB
  • 1 Minute, 7 Seconds for ProRes 422 HQ - Clip Size: 1.11GB

EditReady

  • 27 Seconds for ProRes 422 LT - Clip Size: 499MB
  • 36 Seconds for ProRes 422 - Clip Size: 799MB
  • 54 Seconds for ProRes 422 HQ - Clip Size: 1.28GB

EditReady Icon Transparent 256x256Obviously, this is an incredibly simple test, and it has its limitations in terms of really putting the performance of both softwares to the test. However, I ran the clip through this test twice to make sure that the results were accurate, and sure enough, they were exactly the same the second time around. Other than EditReady being faster than Media Encoder (and way more intuitive to use), it seemed to strain my computer less during the encoding process than did Media Encoder. Of course, that's just subjective observation as I wasn't measuring CPU or RAM usage during the encoding. With that said, I felt like I could multitask with other programs while EditReady was encoding. The same cannot be said of Media Encoder, which seemingly turns the computer into a giant paperweight while the program is encoding.

Other than the speed and ease of use of EditReady, there are a few other things that set the program apart. First of all, for how simple the program is, EditReady handles metadata extremely well, and offers enough flexibility to do just about anything that you might want to do with metadata from Quicktime files. If you want to view or edit the metadata of a clip, you can simply select the clip, go to the "Clip" menu, and select "Edit Metadata." Alternately, you can hit Command+2 to bring up the metadata screen. In that window, you can see and edit all of the metadata that already exists with the clip, and if you want, you can also add custom fields like camera angle, shot size, take number, or tons of other presets. While we're on the subject of metadata, there's one other thing that EditReady excels at, and that's adding new metadata fields to every clip you've brought into the current batch. This feature is especially helpful for labeling which cameras individual clips came from (i.e. A-Cam, B-Cam, Crash-Cam, etc.).

Another fantastic feature of EditReady is that is supports the application of LUTs directly in the export dialogue. Although I didn't get a chance to play around with this feature because I don't have any LUT files on my machine, this feature would be fantastic for delivering properly colored images to editorial when the source content is shot with a logarithmic profile of some kind.

Last but not least is how EditReady makes it incredibly simple to create custom file-naming schemes for your exported media. By default, EditReady will leave your file names exactly as they are by using the "Source File Name" attribute. However, you can also set it to automatically change the file names with the "Auto-Increment" or "Creation Date" commands. Beyond that, you can enter custom text both before and after those commands in order to create a fully customized naming system for your media.

What I Don't Like 

Honestly, there's not much that I don't like about EditReady, all things considered. After all, it did breathe new life into my 4-year-old Macbook Pro. With that said, I do 99% of my transcoding, editing, and post production work on a powerful Windows workstation. EditReady is not, and will never be, available for Windows because Divergent Media is a Mac software company by definition. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but quite a few editors and post houses use PC workstations as their primary computers. Sadly, those Windows people (myself included) will never get the fantastic EditReady transcoding experience on their primary machines, and they won't be able to reap the benefits of this software.

EditReady Icon Black 256x256Secondly, while EditReady does Quicktime conversion better than anything else out there, that's all it does currently. If you happen to be shooting with AVCHD (.mts or .m2ts files), then you would have to use another Divergent Media product called ClipWrap in order get those files into a more proper container for editing. If you're shooting XAVC on either the Sony F5 or F55 (.mxf files) then EditReady won't do you much good until it is updated with new container and codec options (which they say it will be). Additionally, if you're looking for something that can handle various flavors of RAW, then EditReady is not the transcoder for you.

[UPDATE: Today Divergent Media released v.1.0.3 of EditReady, which added support for XDCam EX and AVC Intra files. You can read about what else is new here.]

The only other beef that I have with how the program functions currently is that in order to create a new batch for transcoding, you have to do it through the menu or the keyboard. Oftentimes, I found myself bringing new media into EditReady while a transcode was in progress thinking that the act of bringing in that media would automatically create a new batch for transcoding. Alas, it does not, and I was forced to hit Command+N in order to manually create a new batch. Clearly this woefully inconvenient experience has left me emotionally scarred for life. Except not really.

Conclusion

Other than those relatively minor complaints, EditReady delivers in full on its promise to be the fastest transcoding app around, and it does so with a sense of simplicity and ease of use that is unlike any other transcoding app that I've ever used. It's just a tad pricey at $50, but it does its job extremely well, and it does so more quickly and efficiently than anything else on the market. For me, at least, it's definitely a worthwhile investment for anybody who regularly deals with the transcoding of Quicktime files on the Mac.

INTERVIEW WITH MIKE WOODWORTH

Mike Woodworth is the CEO of Divergent Media and the lead developer of EditReady. We talked recently by email about what sets EditReady apart from the pack and where the software is headed in the future. Check out the full interview below.

NFS: What is EditReady, and who is it designed for? What subset of creative professionals are best suited to take advantage of this software? Are there situations where other transcoding apps might be a better option for certain individuals with varying workflow needs?

MW: We think of EditReady as a tool to bridge the divide between Production and Post Production. So many cameras shoot QuickTime movies -- MP4, MOV, etc -- direct to tapeless media, and EditReady was designed from the ground up to help prep this footage as quickly and easily as possible for the rest of the editing process. We tried to streamline the app for this use case - in the process removing anything that added complexity, and performance tuning the app until it was the fastest transcoder available.

DITs and camera assistants can use EditReady in the field to quickly screen shots, double-check metadata, watch log footage with a LUT applied, or easily generate dailies. Editors and assistant editors can add metadata, check for conflicts, and batch transcode media into mezzanine codecs such as ProRes or DNxHD.

And during the editing and review stages, nothing is faster at quickly encoding a screener h264 from your original media for upload or approval.

NFS: Speed and ease of use seem to be the primary selling points of EditReady? Is there anything else that sets it apart from the competing transcoding apps?

MW: Speed is the most important feature for a transcoder. Time is money, and the faster you can turn around footage, the faster you can start the edit, send out dailies, or get notes. The faster your tools work, the more time you have to be creative, to iterate, and to do the fun stuff we all want to do. Speed means not spending a lot of time mucking with the app either. We want our users to spend as little time in EditReady as possible -- and get back to telling stories.

But there are a ton of features hidden in plain sight too. You can use EditReady to screen footage. To apply LUTs. To review and edit the original camera metadata, change timecode or reel names. And with parallel batches, you can do your dailies and your mezzanine format at the same time.

NFS: Talk to us a little bit about the technology behind why EditReady is so fast? How is it able to leverage Mac hardware in order to speed up the transcoding process in ways that other programs can't?

MW: EditReady was built from scratch for modern codecs and designed to run on the latest Macs. By doing this we were able to really focus on optimizing our application to use multiple cores, fast GPUs, and hardware accelerated encoders. This tuning makes EditReady fast, light and battery efficient.

By far the biggest win is that many cameras shoot to h.264, and modern Intel hardware supports hardware accelerated h.264 decode and encode. We are able to leverage that technology to move nearly all of the decode part of the transcode off your CPU, which leaves all that processing power available for other portions of our pipeline. We do something similar by moving all the color management work to the computer's GPU via OpenCL.

We wrote up a blog post with a bit more detail if you are interested.

NFS: How does EditReady handle metadata? Are there limitations to what the program can and cannot do with it?

MW: We support the majority of metadata sources common within QuickTime files. We provide users the ability to view and edit that data as well as add additional data from scratch. Users can clean their data before they get into their edit or asset management. You can also use any of this metadata to construct destination file names. One of the cool things we do is translate between metadata formats. For example, if your file has embedded Adobe XMP metadata, we’ll translate that into the QuickTime metadata format that the Apple apps prefer, and vice versa.

NFS: Does EditReady have any functionality in regards to RAW formats like CinemaDNG, or is it strictly for encoding from Quicktime formats? Are there any plans to incorporate RAW transcoding in the future?

MW: We currently are supporting QuickTime formats but are working to add more formats in the very near future. Our long-term goal is to be the swiss army knife to get any kind of camera footage into edit. We’re also eager to talk to users about the other formats that cause them headaches on a routine basis.

NFS: A good many editors still choose to work on Windows machines. Does Divergent Media have any plans to develop version of EditReady and its other software for Windows or Linux, or is it strictly a Mac company?

MW: We pride ourselves on making quality apps that feel at home on the Mac, with the attention to detail that comes from being lifelong Mac users. Since we aren’t Windows or Linux users, we could never make tools that meet our standards on those platforms.

NFS: On the EditReady page on the DM website, it's mentioned that there's a roadmap for future development of EditReady. Can you talk a little bit about what the future holds for this program and what kind of features we can expect from future releases?

MW: We have been working hard to get version 1.0 in the hands of our customers and are really excited with the reaction so far. Since launch we have pushed some smaller updates with quick fixes and some new features but are working on adding to the existing camera and format support as quickly as possible. Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page, as we sometimes look for folks to help us beta test new features and formats.

NFS: Is there anything else that you want to tell the NFS audience about EditReady?

MW: We’re proud of the app, but we would love for people to try it for themselves. We offer a free trial from our site. Beyond that, look out for some great new updates coming in the next couple months.

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If you're interested in learning more about EditReady, head on over to Divergent Media's website.

Links:

Your Comment

41 Comments

How does it compare to compressor?

August 14, 2014 at 10:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nathanael

are you sure you red the whole story and the videos? :D
other than that your comment is hilarious

August 14, 2014 at 12:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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yeahplease

Hi Nathaniel,

I work with Divergent Media and wanted to answer your question.

We made a speed comparison with Compressor, Adobe Encoder and Episode.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OD5E34rbBM&list=PLrKaiebyP5QtcWpl0eRmo1...

Thanks,
Mark

August 14, 2014 at 12:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Media Encoder can render an After Effects composition.. can Edit Ready do that? Would be great if it could render our comps that fast

August 14, 2014 at 10:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Paulo

There doesn't seem to be that much time difference on the high quality files vs. Adobe. What is it like for the 4K files?

August 14, 2014 at 10:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Hi,

There has been really great performance on 4K files. Not as fast as HD files but still quick. If you want, we offer a free 2 week trial so you can test out your hardware etc.

August 14, 2014 at 12:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Is there a two week trial that has complete functionality? The only trial I can find on the website is limited to converting the first minute of any clip.

August 16, 2014 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Todd

How does it compare to 5DtoRGB ?

August 14, 2014 at 11:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Work with RAW files?

August 14, 2014 at 11:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kel Rose

read the F***** text dude ... seriously

August 14, 2014 at 12:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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yeahplease

I gave it a shot when they first announced it and had nearly the opposite results. In every test I ran, Media Encoder finished a few seconds faster than EditReady. So, in my opinion, this is heavily based on what your machine's exact specs are and how Media Encoder or EditReady can take advantage of all that's there. Certainly nothing here to justify me purchasing it.

August 14, 2014 at 11:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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David,

Sorry you had bad results. If you would like, you can email support@divergentmedia.com with your feedback so we can look at what can be done to either optimize or fix any issues.

We really appreciate any feedback, even the disappointed kind.

August 14, 2014 at 1:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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How does it compare quality-wise with MPEG Streamclip which is free, and can transcode damn near everything into damn near everything else?

The speed is great, but if I'm just transcoding a couple of dozen files (or even a hundred or so), I can multitask just fine with MPEG. I can also let the program run overnight for bigger transcode jobs (It's never choked on me so far).

$50 is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but it still seems a needless expense when there are so many other apps out there that do the same job for less or free (Adobe CC, Compressor, etc.).

August 14, 2014 at 12:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Robert

Mpegstreamclip is useless for editors as it doesn't preserve metadata- not even TC. So a fuck of a lot better would be the simple answer.

August 14, 2014 at 12:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Keith

@Robert : MPEG Streamclip's conversion is worse than 5DtoRGB.
Check this : https://vimeo.com/14546682
There's a free version of 5DtoRGB (but it will only convert 1 file at a time, no batches).

August 14, 2014 at 12:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Thanks, Seenematic. That was an eye opener. (I wish his blog post was still up so I could read about it further.) I'm downloading the free version now so I can run my own tests. If it works as I hope, it'll save me a nice chunk of work.

A nice example of how 'tried and true" workflows should still be given the once over every now and then.

So I guess the big question is 5DtoRGB vs. EditReady vs ???.
Speed vs. Overall quality vs.... Color-correctability? Meta-data wizardy? (I rarely ever work on projects so large that meta data is much help, but I can see how it would be a deal breaker for some.)

August 14, 2014 at 1:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Robert

What is the equivalent to this for windows? I really like to simplicity and the small program size.

August 14, 2014 at 1:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mike

Robert! Here's a solution for using EditReady on your PC: http://nofilmschool.com/build-a-hackintosh/

August 14, 2014 at 2:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gason

hahahaha

August 18, 2014 at 2:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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In Robert's test, why are the ProRes output files coming from AME a different size to those from EditReady?

August 14, 2014 at 2:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pippy

That's what I was thinking. Shouldn't they be the exact same bitrate.

August 15, 2014 at 5:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Beavis

That's a damn good question. Here' s a little tidbit from the EditReady site that may or may not provide an answer.

"Most other transcoding apps on the market use a reverse engineered implementation of Apple ProRes. By leveraging the official Apple version, EditReady avoids compatibility issues."

August 15, 2014 at 12:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4503

If you have Compressor or Quicktime 7 Pro it'd be interesting to see if the output from those matched the AME or EditReady files...

August 15, 2014 at 8:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pippy

ProRes is VBR, not CBR. So there's nothing unusual about the fact that they are different sizes. It's obviously just calculated a little differently. Would be interesting to know more about what's going on behind the scenes, but I'm sure that's proprietary information.

August 16, 2014 at 10:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Brian

Does it use the GPU at all? It's 2014, guys

August 14, 2014 at 2:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

We sure do.

Our blog post on EditReady speed covers how we handle GPU acceleration in detail.
https://www.divergentmedia.com/blog/fullpost/editreadyperformance

August 14, 2014 at 2:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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ah so its OpenCL. that'll be nice on the nMP

August 14, 2014 at 6:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

I want to say that Clipwrap has been an indispensable tool.

My only thought is that we are almost living the reality of no longer having to transcode footage so having another 'prep for edit' transcoding solution doesn't make sense to invest in. FCP X and CC 2014 PP handle most camera formats superbly well even on a two year old Retina Macbook Pro.

Resolve 11 Lite is free and is really fast for transcoding with baked in looks, why not use that?

August 14, 2014 at 2:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Clipwrap is a great tool, been using it for a long time. Take AVCHD files right out of a DSLR (usually in a single package) and rewrap/converted clips in seconds on the desktop.

August 14, 2014 at 8:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jack H

Seems like it's missing the crucial ability to change the frame size of the file you're converting. Or is it there and am I just not seeing it?

August 14, 2014 at 4:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Herb Sullivan

I would like the ability to upscale while converting. I sometimes shoot 720p at 60fps which I would up convert while transcoding to prores. Also if I purchase I'm assuming I can only use the key on one machine? Or would I be able to use on a couple? I have a macbook pro and 2 hackintoshs (1 at work and 1 at home)

August 14, 2014 at 11:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nate

We're working on scaling conversion for a future release. Note that you can already do framerate adjustment, for playing your 60p footage back in slow motion.

Our license is generally for two machines (a laptop and a desktop).

August 15, 2014 at 10:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Colin McFadden

Herb,

Changing frame size is something we are working on but didn't make it in the 1.0 release. Look for more info on that coming in the next month.

August 15, 2014 at 10:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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It would be great if there was an option to burn in timecode, filenames, or any text that might be needed such as "Property of Bigstuff Studios." If I were greedy, a feet and frame counter would be nice too.

August 15, 2014 at 11:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Wade McArthur

The day it offers a super convenient way to transcode C300 .MXF files into something you're not afraid of touching, they will have my money. What a stupid codec and workflow constraint to apply to such a great camera.

August 16, 2014 at 1:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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dave

Does EditReady support .R3D files?

August 17, 2014 at 10:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom

Looks nice for the consumer FCP/Adobe market. But without being able to output into mxf's it's fairly useless for a professional Avid workflow. Even as dailies without being able to burn in TC, Filename, Text or watermark logos it's pretty useless. Davinci Resolve lite is infinitely better - and free.

August 19, 2014 at 7:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kevin

I've been shooting 4k on My GH4 but my 4.5 year old iMac cannot play it smoothly nor can FCPX deal with it in the timeline. So I have been converting the clips to ProRes 422 HQ, 1080p, with FIrecoresoft Video Converter and then importing the clips into FCPX on a 1080p timeline. This is my workaround until I can afford a new updated computer. So my question is: can EditRead convert my 4K clips to 1080p ProRes or will they still remain 4K? I did not see an option for downscaling 4K to HD 1080p unless I have missed something? And if this can be done, how would the quality compare to Firecoresoft? Anybody have an opinion of Firecoresoft? It seems to be doing a fine job for me....here are several examples: https://vimeo.com/101605343 https://vimeo.com/99505277

August 25, 2014 at 4:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I know this is an older thread, but I found it searching for the same answer... This is my only qualm with EditReady. I shoot on a Blackmagic 4K and I bought this program specifically to use in that workflow... what i've found is. It's an amazingly fast converter with a beautiful interface and utterly useless to me at the same time.

I've got a completely maxed out 5K retina iMac with a 4GB Radeon, 32GB ram, and a 4TB Samsung 850 EVO PRO SSD array in Raid-0... so EVERYTHING is fast, even the shitty converters... Edit ready is faster. However, If I'm shooting 4K i'm shooting ProRes 422HQ or 422... So i'm already "EditReady" for myself... I bought the program thinking I would use it on almost every project as a way to quickly output the captured files to ProRes422 1080p for my editors and/or collaborators that can't handle 4k on their machines. Also intended to use it as a fast way of making proxies for the same reason.

The problem is... EditReady does not do this and I made the mistake of assuming. They managed to make an incredible product that can transcode multiple formats at blazing speeds... but has no ability to downscale whatsoever. I really hope i'm wrong, and someone says "hey idiot, the option is right there under _______". Unfortunately it looks like the people of Divergent media commented on this thread to "look out for this feature in next months update" back in August of 2014, and here we are almost a full year later and no downscaling in sight.

Can someone please recommend to me their favorite way to downscale footage on a mac and maintain integrity?? I have zero interest in MPEG Streamclip since it hasn't been updated in years and destroys the metadata and a big NO to Brorsoft video converter as well.

May 30, 2015 at 7:23PM

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J.M. Anderson
Director of Photography
355

I higly recommend Avdshare Video Converter to Convert AVCHD to MP4, prores, WMV, FLV, AVI, WEBM, etc for playing AVCHD on iPhone, iPad, Samsung, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, etc.

March 23, 2016 at 12:36AM, Edited March 23, 12:36AM

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If you want to convert MP4 Files to Apple ProRes on Mac,iDealshare VideoGo is the best MP4 to Apple ProRes converter.

November 2, 2016 at 11:38PM

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