February 8, 2017 at 12:32PM, Edited February 8, 12:33PM


Editing on a PC when everyone else you work with has MAC

I've been going back and forth on what new computer I should get for my video editing. I currently have an 2010 iMac that has finally reached it's end. Before that I owned a Mac Pro G5 tower but I grew up on PC's. I've read through the numerous debates in these forums and know that it basically comes down to preference. Currently I'm leaning towards going back to PC but one area that concerns me is that everyone that I currently work with, including my day job, works on Mac.

I'm curious as to how people deal with going back and forth between the mac and PC world. I know it's better then the old days but I imagine a scenario where I'm editing on a PC and I receive a drive of footage that's formatted for Mac only (if that's still a thing). Also could a file like a .psd be worked on a Mac, saved, then opened up to edit on a PC? Can Mac Premiere CC projects open on PC?


Adobe files are universal. They open on any platform. If your coleagues work with FCPX, and you need the project file, just tell them to export an XML. The same goes from you to them.
Before receiving a footage drive ask if they can reformat it to exFAT (or fat32 if the files don't go over 4Gb) and it can go back and forward. In case it is too late take a look at this arcticle http://www.howtogeek.com/252111/how-to-read-a-mac-formatted-drive-on-a-w....

Hope I could help since its ween a while since I had to work between the two systems. :)

February 9, 2017 at 2:17AM

Herman Delgado
Filmmaker, Editor

Adding Apple file system support to Windows is easily done w/ third party utilities.

exFAT is not reliable; I've lost shots because of exFAT file system corruption.
It was intended as a stop-gap and designed for short term flash usb drives:

FCPx is a niche market product especially since Apple no longer makes workstations.
Better to stick w/ MCP and universal DNxHR to collaborate with Hollywood pros,
or go w/ Premiere for work with Indie teams.

Daniel Reed

February 11, 2017 at 4:54PM

Most of the time, somebody is going to do a complete edit on their computer and export a single video file any way. It's really inefficient moving source files back & forth between users. Most editors support EDLs any way, so as long as people are adding video effects as they go, it's no biggie. At my day job, we recently switched from Mac to Windows and the one issue we encountered was Apple refusing to let Windows machines export ProRes. We were already using exFAT, so we just switched to DNxHD, no problem.

February 9, 2017 at 4:18AM


With MacDrive you can use any Mac-formatted harddisk.
Then there is no need to ask for a certain way of formatting.

February 10, 2017 at 6:15PM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

Well if you look at world wide use, PC has aprox a 94% market share world wide, Mac has 3% these can change a little, but has been this way for years. Mac software doesn't even have a 1% penetration world wide more like 1 in a thousand. The world has spoken. So, it is possible that in your workplace that they use Macs, but it is rare.

February 11, 2017 at 7:51PM, Edited February 11, 7:52PM


I think Apple PC share is around 7% globally, double that for US. But regardless I think this question is totally subjective, since everyone he works with is on a Mac, it may be useful for him to get a Mac.

Sure worldwide PCs are more frequent, but in this industry and his specific instance, it may be worthwhile to stick with Apple.

Mike Seabrooke

February 15, 2017 at 11:39AM

Im the only one working on the windows platform at our company, where all the others are working on macs, as well as most external animators etc. As long as its clear that external HDDs etc. should be formatted to exfat, files should be made in adobe and filenames shouldnt have special characters (?!&etc) in their name there is really no problem. Some fonts may need replacement, and when someone on a mac delivers a font sometimes its in Dfont instead of an open type. Other than that, no real issues.

FCP files can be exported to XML, but you will loose a lot of effects etc. so we only do that when there is no alternative. If someone starts in FCP (which we tell our externals not to do) they're gonna have to finish it in FCP or create a workable file in AE or PP before handing it over.

February 13, 2017 at 6:02AM

Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking

You can build a very powerful PC for way less than a comparable Mac. I'm a freelance VFX artist and I often receive files from others that originated on a Mac - either from a color house or VFX studio. I've had issues reading exFAT drives that were formatted on a Mac instead of a PC, but there is 3rd party software that will allow you to read any Mac formatted drive (no matter how it's formatted). The other issue I've had is not being able to output ProRes from a PC. As Stephen said, you can get around that issue if you can get everyone on board with switching to the Avid DNxHR codec which is comparable to ProRes.

February 13, 2017 at 2:35PM

David Summers
VFX Supervisor/Artist and Filmmaker

Apple is beginning to suffer from their own succes... transfering the terrible "we update every year" mentality of iPhone to their computer market. Just like the phones, the macs are becoming way too expensive compared to what you get.

I've been a mac user for 10 years up till 2015 when I bought a custom made pc again. I'm not going back to mac any time soon. Doesn't make ANY sense at all......

Having said that, while my private work computer is a pc, my office work computer is still a mac. But exFat makes life easy going back and forth. There are zero issues.

February 17, 2017 at 10:41PM, Edited February 17, 10:41PM

Torben Greve

Three things to consider:
- Macs don't crash. Or at least they only crash very rarely. Can't say the same about Windows (see below).
- Windows machines frequently suffer from auto-updates ("service pack" installs) that cause problems, which they have because the OS has so many holes in it you could drive a truck full of viruses through them.
- If you are dealing with titling, the fonts don't always translate very well from Mac to Windows (and vice-versa), so going back and forth between platforms isn't as seamless as you would hope.

February 18, 2017 at 12:57PM

Bruce Hyer

Saying the Mac has 1% share is a little misleading. While it may be quite true, you could also say 1% of all computer software is creative so there's a huge potential for overlap.

In my experience video editing, graphics and design have traditionally been mostly Mac. I've visited countless agencies and edit bays that have iMacs as far as the eye can see.

If you work in video editing especially the Mac / PC thing is something you're going to run into. Though as mentioned above. You can get Mac software to read PC drives and PC software to read Mac drives - or just simply use ExFat for externals in which case you can read and write to the drive natively on modern systems.

February 21, 2017 at 6:15PM, Edited February 21, 6:16PM

Cole Black

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