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  • Paul Cuciti Level 2 Level 2

    Fair enough. I'm happy.

  • furrytoes Level 2 Level 2

    I think we've hijacked this poor thread, but I just wanted to say that the last time someone asked for "who are the pros here?" - everyone said "what's a pro?".

    And that is a good question.

    Video editing is not my job, technically, but my company is forging ahead with a social media campaign and had me buy lighting & equipment to create videos for announcements & interview presentations. It's now an adjunct to my day job and I have some training - though mainly in sound - so am I a pro or not?

    As far as equipment is concerned, I need as close to professional quality as I can get. I think everyone here is probably in that boat.

    Anyway, I'm happy to ask stupid questions and look like an amateur ;-)

  • Studio X Level 7 Level 7

    Just to put this test in perspective, DV/NTSC runs at 3.6 MB/s. This is ~ 1/3 the data rate of one stream of AIC/ProResLT. So if the drive chokes on 4 streams of DV, it will likely choke on 2-3 streams of AIC.



  • furrytoes Level 2 Level 2

    Just to make sure I don't put the wrong words in someone's mouth, what Tom has actually said (a few times) was:

    Apple does not support the use of USB drives for use with video applications

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    That's true and I also have said the same thing frequently over the last 6 years on these forums, but "does not support"  is not synonymous with "does not work".

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    Just done a test based on your last post X.


    Used AVCHD footage (1920x1080) converted to ProRes 422.


    2 multiclip angles work perfectly but 3 cause dropped frames, roughly in line with what you predicted.


    I haven't had the opportunity to test it with my FW800 drive yet so I don't know how much of an improvement there would be, as my iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz 4GB RAM is very underpowered by modern standards and may be contributing to some of the dropped frames.

  • furrytoes Level 2 Level 2

    Ian R. Brown wrote:


    but "does not support"  is not synonymous with "does not work".

    Of course. But no one here said it doesn't work, so I don't know why it needs to be said.

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    The implication to a newcomer is that it won't, which is what a number of people have told me.

  • furrytoes Level 2 Level 2

    Ian R. Brown wrote:


    Using the logic that says USB 2.0 is unsuitable for video editing I suppose we should now say that FireWire too is unsuitable and only Thunderbolt should be used. 

    Sorry, that's not the logic. And this is an important point you've missed.


    In terms of being "suitable" for video editing, the point is that USB is unsuitable for video editing because of the technology behind it (USB's packet delivery mechanism is fundamentally inappropriate for video streaming). The result of this is that USB is ultimately slower.


    The point is not simply that "USB is too slow, therefore you should prefer FW" as you've suggested. As you know, USB2 is, in theory, as fast as FW400.


    On that logic, we would not say "FireWire too is unsuitable, only Thunderbolt should be used"

    We would simply say something like Thunderbolt is always faster & should be preferred.

  • fox_m Level 5 Level 5

    The history of USB on Macs, I guess, is becoming a little cloudy. USB made its first appearance on Windows machines... that should tell you a lot right there. Macs were SCSI devices (for HDs and other "high speed" peripherals, like scanners.) Apple went out if its way to accomodate would-be converts from Windows by adding USB, and the "it just works" era was begun. For the most part, that's still true, and, USB drives will work with any software you can run on a Mac. That being said, USB is like a CB radio: a one-way-at-a-time stop-gap communicaitons protocol. It's never going to change from that... too much legacy windows crap around that requires it. Every USB drive is an *end node* - doesn't matter how many there are or how many are attached to hubs, how much storage expansion you've accumulated, they are not lined up on a bus. USB 2, USB 3,  and beyond, it doesn't matter how fast it gets, it's still going to tie up the system and the software while the commucation is negotiated, and that is just not conducive to the way video editing software has been written.


    Firewire on the other hand is a peer-to-peer communcation protocol. The system can throw off a lot of the responsibility of reading and writing data to the external machine and that external machine can "talk to" other external machines on the bus without having to interact with the system to manage the data flow. Firewire is the child of SCSI and it was designed *specifically* for audio/video applications. USB was not; it is more a general purpose protocol. It will work in a pinch.


    You own a Mac because it is the best (consumer) video production machine, but you're using Windows technology on the back end. It's kinda like putting a Ferrari body on a Volkswagen.  It will serve your purpose, for now. Eventually, you're going to want the performance, not just the ride.


    For the last few days, I've been kicking myself. I *have* a FW 800 drive and did NOT realize until about 5 days ago, that yes, you can actually MIX 800 and 400 drives on the same chain. I had been under the impression for the last 2 years (since I purchased my iMac with FW800) that any FW400 drive on the chain would slow the entire chain down to the slowest drive.  ** I was wrong.**  If you have a mix of FW 400 and 800 drives, connect all your 800 drives first in the chain and start them in order of connection.  Place all the FW 400 drives at the end of the chain and start them up "last". All the drives will be accessible and the 800s will work as 800s along with the 400s. I can expand my storage and not lose my legacy drives! That, in itself, will save me a ton of money.


    Thanks to this discussion for lighting the fire(wire) under me! The extra research paid off.

  • Lmengoli Level 1 Level 1

    In a different thread I related some problems with FCPX and was advised to load my media onto an external drive. I did this, loading my 1080p 60fps video onto a La Cie 500 GB HD using the USB port. Playback of the video was OK but the audio seemed to skip many frames making it unusable. Checking over the HD I found that it had a FW 800 port that I had not been using. I purchased a FW 800 cable (for far too much money) and now the same media plays flawlessly.

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