Apple is killing QuickTime for Windows, how will this impact your workflow

Apr 17, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Apple is killing QuickTime for Windows, how will this impact your workflow

Apr 17, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Apple is now doing to Quicktime what Adobe did to Flash a few years ago. Not for the same reasons, but the impact is similar.

Apple has stopped updating its Quicktime software for Windows and now the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an Alert (TA16105-A), which recommends Windows users uninstall Apple QuickTime from their computers. While I’d guess Quicktime was not the favorite player for many, there are several dependencies within Premiere that will make this move very unpopular with video editors.

So, what’s the deal?

The alert states that “According to Trend Micro, Apple will no longer be providing security updates for QuickTime for Windows, leaving this software vulnerable to exploitation“. And this is unfortunate, especially since there are at least two known vulnerabilities that Apple are aware of and will not be fixing.

So what, you ask. Just remove Quicktime from your windows box, right? Apple even provides an easy link explaining how to do that, and it should not take more than 2 minutes.

But….

But Adobe released this statement, which notes that ProRes and DNxHD/HR are still dependent on Quicktime to work. Now, by a show of hands, who is using ProRes or DNxHD/HR. Everyone!

In Adobe’s words:

Unfortunately, there are some codecs which remain dependent on QuickTime being installed on Windows, most notably Apple ProRes. We know how common this format is in many worfklows, and we continue to work hard to improve this situation, but have no estimated timeframe for native decode currently.
Other commonly used QuickTime formats which would be affected by the uninstallation of QuickTime include Animation (import and export), DNxHD/HR (export) as would workflows where growing QuickTime files are being used (although we strongly advise using MXF for this wherever possible).

And this is bad. I mean, it is not necessarily the best codec around, but it’s the codec that everybody’s transcoded their footage to ever since we started shooting HD. ProRes is basically the gold standard editing codec. It has (almost) no quality loss, it supports alpha  channel,  and well… it is like .doc is for documents :) or at least how it was in the 90’s.

If you are a video editor, you know what I am talking about.

So, if you take out Quicktime, you are basically left without the ability to use two of the world most common editing codecs: ProRes or DNxHD/HR.

What can you do?

Well, if your editing computer is solely used for editing, you can cut it off the web until Adobe finds a fix for that. Not fun, but not that bad.

If you are using your computer for editing, as well as everything else, you won’t like it. It’s either or, either you keep access to all your ProRes and DNxHD/HR footage and put your computer at risk, OR you fortify your computer by uninstalling Quicktime and lose access. Not the best of options.

If you own an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja or BlackMagic Video Assist I am not even sure what the right recommendation for you be, this thing records in ProRes or DNxHD, and even if you want to switch codecs, you would need something to read off from the Ninja to transcode.

Did we mention the heaps of files that are ProRes / DNxHD/HR encoded and need to be transcoded now? Here, we are mentioning it now.

Or, you could, you know, get a mac, but I am not sure you would want to limit yourself to a single machine to read your files. Remember Betamax, that did not go well, did it.

What’s next?

I guess we will see a huge shift to CinemaDNG made by Adobe. The other two popular options have just been made Apple only (at least for a while), but CinemaDNG is an open file format. This means more security in its continuation and availability.

I am also guessing that Adobe’s software engineers will spend the weekend at the lab trying to crack this down. Adobe can not allow themselves to leave its users with the be-vulnerable or lose-access-to-your-files dilemma. Even if it is not their fault.

Lastly, I would be very curious to see what will happen to Atomos Ninja, (and others). My guess is that we are either going to see a huge price drop or (preferably) a firmware upgrade. If you are in the market for a recorder, you may want to wait a bit for the fog to clear. (we asked Atomos, lets see what they answer).

What about you? what are you going to do?

 

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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27 responses to “Apple is killing QuickTime for Windows, how will this impact your workflow”

  1. Kaouthia Avatar
    Kaouthia

    *raises hand*

  2. Andreas Rüther Avatar
    Andreas Rüther

    what about cineform, it’s around for a while now and is equal in terms of quality and usability. Though not as widespread.

  3. Michele M. Ferrario Avatar
    Michele M. Ferrario

    QuickTime? It’s 1990 again?

  4. Ilja van Bommel Avatar
    Ilja van Bommel

    Pfff too many alternatives out there anyway

  5. Jeff Grundman Avatar
    Jeff Grundman

    Cool, I can stop uninstalling the damned thing everytime I touch an Apple product.

  6. Shai Schcolnik Avatar
    Shai Schcolnik

    Not as heavily depended upon by pro users, but if I’m not mistaken video in Lightroom also needs QuickTime. Wonder what will happen with this. Although not as big of a problem as with premiere.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Define “pro users”? Because ProRes is accepted the world over for broadcast purposes.

  7. Jack Richard Wood Avatar
    Jack Richard Wood

    Doesn’t my gopro require QuickTime? Crap.

  8. James Lawson-Smith Avatar
    James Lawson-Smith

    Any other format do RGB+Alpha?

  9. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
    Вергунов Сергей

    Windows? Dropped before XP arrived.

  10. Jim McPherson Avatar
    Jim McPherson

    You can install a VM with access to the main file system but no network connection. Run your QuickTime related stuff in the VM. Make a copy of the clean VM install, so if it does get infected, delete and start over.

  11. Honey Boom Boom Avatar
    Honey Boom Boom

    haven’t used that bogus app since early 00s

  12. Oleg Antoshkiv Avatar
    Oleg Antoshkiv

    nobody cares

  13. Danny Max Avatar
    Danny Max

    Someone will take over the format for windows so who gives a crap what Crapple does !

  14. a_eh Avatar
    a_eh

    Guess this just means a change of workflow for us editors as well as broadcasters in the long run. The issue is just right now when there’s no clear solution.

  15. Alex Hackney Avatar
    Alex Hackney

    The comments are funny. However for me this is a real problem. I just invested a lot of money in gear what uses DNxHD/HR for my business. I also run windows. Not to mention the TBs of video I have in that format or other related ones. The only reason I installed quicktime is for those formats. Hoping adobe comes to the rescue.

    1. TheInconvenientRuth Avatar
      TheInconvenientRuth

      It appears you can install/use the codecs without having QT player installed. If so, ti shouldn’t be a major issue. Waiting for independent confirmation. I wish websites like these would actually do some THOROUGH RESEARCH before fearmongering us all into mild panic..

      1. a_eh Avatar
        a_eh

        Interesting. Premiere Pro does nag on open though if QT isn’t installed. Wonder what would be missing if QT wasn’t installed…

  16. Andrew Baker Avatar
    Andrew Baker

    It appears it is only the QuickTime player that is the security problem, not the codecs themselves if you read the advisories.

    You can install QuickTime codecs without the QuickTime player. See: https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/1072246

    You can play QuickTime files with many other players out there. VLC & Daum PotPlayer are two Windows options.

    1. TheInconvenientRuth Avatar
      TheInconvenientRuth

      That’s what I understand from talking to the VideoHeads in our press pool. Keep the codecs, dump QT Player, no drama, unless you insist on using the Player..

    2. a_eh Avatar
      a_eh

      Thanks for that! Worked perfectly just installing the “quicktime essentials” without the player and extras. Also can uninstall “Apple Software Update” after (but not “Apple Application Support”).

  17. TerraPhoto Avatar
    TerraPhoto

    I’m not sure about this, but I believe that apps like Premiere only need the codecs and not the QT player, which is where the security flaw is. It would seem easy enough for Adobe or any other developer to just create a way to install the codecs either independently or as part of the app.

  18. Alexandre Pontes Avatar
    Alexandre Pontes

    thank god

  19. Dean Avatar
    Dean

    The alternative has been here for ages and it is called MXF. It is an open SMPTE container standard. Even Adobe recommend it over QuickTime and it works great with DNxHR/DNxHD.

    CinemaDNG is a format for raw video, it has nothing to do with QuickTime or other video containers.

  20. Patrick Mc Donnell Avatar
    Patrick Mc Donnell

    It won’t effect me…no apple software shall ever be installed on my homebuilt pc

  21. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    Post Jobs, Apple continues its downward spiral.

  22. Jurgen Lobert Avatar
    Jurgen Lobert

    Quicktime is Apple and Apple has about 10% market share, so just stop supporting all Apple OSs. Done? I believe they will jsut shoot themselves in the foot with this, I doubt that a majority will migrate to a Mac.