Archive for March 26, 2019

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Goodbye, QuickTime 7 and JPEG 2000

Apple:

As part of the upcoming transition to 64-bit technology in macOS, you may see an alert in iMovie about media files that won’t be compatible with future versions of macOS, released after macOS Mojave.

These incompatible media files were typically created using formats or codecs that rely on QuickTime 7—an older version of QuickTime that is included in macOS Mojave for compatibility purposes. However, because versions of macOS after macOS Mojave will no longer include the QuickTime 7 framework, you’ll first need to detect and convert incompatible media files to continue to use those files in iMovie.

It’s a pity that Apple never brought the new QuickTime Player app up to the level of QuickTime 7.

Howard Oakley:

Among those which won’t be supported under macOS 10.15 are several Avid formats, Cinepak, DivX, Flash Video, FlashPix, GlueTools codecs, JPEG 2000, Motion JPEG A and B, Perian codecs (MPEG-4, DivX, and more), RealVideo, several Sorensons, and Windows Media Video (WMV) 7, 8, 9. It’s possible that some vendors may port codecs or other tools to 10.15 to support some of them in the future, although this looks unlikely at present.

Unfortunately, there’s no system-level means of checking which video, audio and still image formats remain reliant on 32-bit components such as codecs. They aren’t included in Mojave’s System Information under its Legacy Software section, which only seems to cover apps and similar bundles. Most, perhaps all, of those listed in the Components section are provided in 32-bit form and will be unavailable in macOS 10.15, but there doesn’t appear to be any listing of formats which are supported in QuickTime X.

Howard Oakley:

Most of the codecs which are becoming unsupported are those for video, but Apple’s list includes one still image format which could affect you, JPEG 2000. Although never popular, at some time in the past you may have saved photos or other images in this format, which is quite different from plain old JPEG (which won’t be affected by the loss of these codecs).

I wonder what this means for Apple Icon Image files, which can contain embedded JPEG 2000 images. Not to mention PDF files and NSBitmapImageFileTypeJPEG2000.

Previously:

Update (2019-03-26): Simone Manganelli:

It’s weird... why wouldn’t Apple just update their JPEG 2000 codec to 64-bit?

I understand why the multitudes of video codecs would probably not be worth converting (and many of them used third-party plugins), but one measly image format natively supported in QT?

John Daniel:

Because it isn’t Apple’s to update. And it is also already 64-bit. Apple is using Kakadu for JPEG2000. Kakadu is known for being expensive. Apparently Apple doesn't want to pay for it anymore. I guess Apple also doesn’t want to bother integrating with OpenJPEG either.

Joe Rosensteel:

I have school projects in Sorenson, and Motion JPEG A, among other things. I understand dropping support in the system, but I think Apple aught to offer an automated route to detect and create compatible versions of those media files.

Update (2019-03-29): Howard Oakley:

If you’ve only got a handful of movies which need conversion to cope with the forthcoming loss of QuickTime 7 codecs in macOS 10.15, you’re probably happy using QuickTime Player to handle that. But if you want control over the codecs and settings to be used, or have a large batch to transcode, then you’re much better off using a dedicated app like Apple’s Compressor.

Update (2019-05-14): Josh Centers:

Those are just a few of the things I appreciate about IINA.

In any case, I recommend keeping both VLC and IINA on your Mac for when you encounter videos in obscure formats, especially now that Apple will be dropping support for many of them.

Previously: IINA 1.0.

Apple TV+

Mitchel Broussard:

Apple says that Apple TV+ will be the home for “the world’s most creative storytellers,” and it will feature original TV shows, movies, and documentaries. As we’ve learned over the past few months, original content partners include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, and more.

[…]

Apple says that the service will launch in fall 2019, and that pricing for the subscription service will be announced at that time.

Mitchel Broussard:

Apple today revealed an all-new and redesigned Apple TV app and a new “Apple TV Channels” feature. The new app is an updated version of the existing TV app, which brings together shows, movies, sports, news, and more in one hub, available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and later this year on Mac and smart TVs.

[…]

Users will be able to subscribe to Apple TV channels à la carte within the TV app and then watch them there, without having to jump between apps, sign into a new account, or enter another password.

Benjamin Mayo:

Following the event today, Apple has not released any new hardware but it has rebranded the 2015 fourth-generation Apple TV as the Apple TV HD. The set-top box, formerly known as simply ‘Apple TV’, now has a better name that it distinguishes it from the newer Apple TV 4K.

With the introduction of the Apple TV+ original content offering, Apple now has four products that start with the name ‘Apple TV’. Apple TV app, Apple TV+, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

Damien Petrilli:

So AppleTVs are still overpriced and no cheap AppleTV stick. They could have least lower the price of the +2y old AppleTVs.

Josh Centers:

I don’t want to be overly cynical today, but of all the things I want from Apple, a video streaming service is dead last on the list.

Ryan Jones:

Woah Woah you can’t do that, must show price in the button and 5,000 fine print words about recurring costs!

John Gruber:

The whole TV Plus segment felt like a presentation from another company, like Google or Amazon, not Apple. Apple does a good job keeping events moving along, and they tend not to parade a long series of people on stage. This was a parade of a bunch of A-list celebrities — Spielberg! Oprah! — but it just went on and on. It should have been as tight as the Apple Arcade segment. It feels like Apple was starstruck. And why weren’t there trailers for these TV shows? Why don’t we know what this is going to cost yet? We started the day with a lot of unanswered questions about Apple’s original content strategy and we’re ending the day with most of those questions still unanswered.

Ruffin Bailey:

Say it with me Apple: “It’s ready when it’s ready.” These aspirational presentations are really getting on my nerves. Wait until it’s ready.

Dan Masters:

Apple TV Channels makes sense, and is what the TV App should’ve been from the start, like I wrote 2 years ago.

But nobody – not Apple pundits, nor Apple critics – has managed to explain why Apple is distracting themselves with original content.

Oluseyi Sonaiya:

Continuing with our theme of, “God, the Tech Press is Bad,” this evening:

TV+ is an indication of how weak Apple’s leverage over TV and film companies is. When I saw them talking about channels, it was a wrap. Netflix unbundled shows from channels; Apple capitulates to them.

It’s interesting to note that the TV app is coming to smart tv sets from Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio… but not the web, and therefore not Windows (AFAIK). It’s like Apple is trying to eat its walled garden cake and have its universally available cake, too.

Ken Kocienda:

I’m ambivalent about the Apple announcements today. Maybe some of these new services will be nice. I’m just disappointed because I want Apple to make wonderful new technology appear, not arrange to make Spielberg and Oprah appear.

I can see moguls, movie stars, and talk show hosts elsewhere. I don’t see what Apple see as its unique value in offering celebrities to us.

At its best, Apple makes things possible that weren’t possible before. Not sure that any of today’s annoucements even aimed for that goal.

Farhad Manjoo:

Why is Apple making TV shows? I watched today’s presentation and still don’t understand.

I don’t mean the business reason. I mean the product reason.

Apple is the company that makes computing better/easier by integrating hardware and software. How’s that apply to TV shows?

Dan Masters:

“When Apple looks at what categories to enter, we ask these kinds of questions: What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this?” — @tim_cook

Bob Burrough:

It’s wild. Disney wanted a streaming service and Apple wanted exclusive movies/shows, yet they couldn’t come together on it.

Previously:

Update (2019-03-27): Mike Murphy:

did.. they completely forget about four years ago ?

Update (2019-03-28): Joe Rosensteel:

Hilariously, this decision has actually hurt them in a few ways because they’ve been trying to course-correct for a couple years and get third parties to integrate with a TV app to discover, browse, and launch content. To replace the app-centric experience that originally shipped. They can’t do that though because there are some big holdouts, and even the companies that did participate participated to varying degrees. Now that there’s a new program for mixed support, Apple Channels, the permutations increase again. Apple Channels are just like Amazon Channels, where content the end-user sees is piped through Apple’s service and appears as if it was something the user had through Apple. They’re not kicked out to CBS All Access’ dreadful app, or anything else. No, this doesn’t mean that Amazon Channels you’ve subscribed to will show up as if they were Apple Channels, you’ll still see those in Amazon’s Prime Video app. In fact, depending on how thorough Apple is, you might see sales pitches for Amazon Channels you subscribe to littered in your TV app as possible Apple Channels you should get a free trial for. Rates for this are unannounced but I would be surprised it if was priced differently from Amazon Channels. Amazon Channels is a huge source of revenue for Amazon too, so this makes sense if you’re hungry for sweet, sweet revenue growth.

The jury is out on the specifics because if the app presents it like it was an iTunes purchase, and you have to use the navigation and browsing features available to you from that, you might not see much of an improvement in your experience, general wellbeing, or temper.

[…]

The big omission continues to be the Netflix juggernaut. Netflix has no interest in being a pool of content for Apple, they want to be the place where people go so Netflix can control the experience and to shape what Netflix as a brand is worth to a consumer.

Update (2019-04-09): Benjamin Mayo:

The latest iOS and tvOS betas include the new TV app and demonstrate exactly this. Scroll around and you quickly run into banners for Showtime with one-click buttons to sign up and subscribe. It is contradictory to me that Apple designed the TV app in this way, a pseudo-advertising platform, at a time when many people are switching to streaming services because they want to get away from ads and commercial breaks. This factor alone will limit the enjoyment of the Apple TV+ service and impair its adoption.

I believe Apple TV+ will foster talent and debut many incredible shows, but I don’t like the idea of navigating past buy buttons when I just want to watch TV. As it stands, Apple will not provide that experience. I would like to be able to tell the TV app to only show me stuff I am subscribed to, but I am not convinced that Apple will ever include an option like that as it would hurt the sales of Apple TV Channels.

Apps That Benefit and Threaten Apple

Tripp Mickle (via MacRumors):

For Mr. Cook’s monthly services meetings, the company has intensified monitoring of apps that benefit and threaten Apple. The team has created a release radar for the CEO to track apps that are expected to sell well and other metrics for the apps that have challenged Apple’s business, including iTunes sales decreases compared with Apple Music subscription growth, said the person involved with the meetings.

Nilay Patel:

This is exactly the sort of data tracking that Amazon does and which @ewarren wants to break tech companies up over

Apple the services company that tracks what apps are successful in the App Store so it can build competing products does not look so different than Facebook selling a VPN to track competing social networks or Amazon doing AmazonBasics

Michael Love:

Re this... the bit about “monitoring of apps that benefit and threaten Apple” is just really, really bad; I expect Cook will be confronted about it at an extremely hostile Congressional hearing within the year.

I don’t know what idiot at Apple thought they could exploit their ownership of the App Store in this way and not get in trouble for it, but it’s absolutely planing into the hands of all of those of us who would benefit from their iOS app monopoly getting dismantled.

Hwee-Boon Yar:

Sounds like what Facebook did and ended up buying apps like WhatsApp and Instagram?

Previously: