Apple updates iMovie for Mac with HEVC support

Posted:
in Mac Software
Following the release of maOS 10.13 High Sierra on Monday, Apple has updated its consumer level video editing tool, iMovie, with support for High Efficiency Video Encoding, a tentpole video feature introduced alongside the company's latest hardware and software releases.




The latest iMovie for Mac brings the editing app up to speed with macOS High Sierra and iOS 11, both of which rely on HEVC to compress ultra high-resolution video into manageable chunks.

Also referred to as the H.265 codec, HEVC is an improvement over the current H.264 standard that has long been Apple's go-to for efficient video encoding on both iOS and macOS. The new version includes better motion compensation for fast-moving scenes, larger computational errors for difference-coding, and other improvements that allow HEVC to compress video down to nearly half the size of an H.264 clip.

With today's update, users can import HEVC files like 4K content captured on iPhone 8 directly into iMovie for cutting. Prior to the app update, such files were available for viewing in on Macs running sixth-generation Intel Core processor or newer, but editing tools were unavailable.

Still missing, however, is HEVC support in Apple's professional-level apps, including Final Cut Pro, Motion and Compressor. For now, pro film makers have to import and convert HEVC H.265 video into the Apple ProRes format.

iMovie for Mac is available as a free download from the Mac App Store.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    I wonder if/When PLEX will support the format?!?! If file sizes are HALF for the same quality, that's a ton of space I could gain.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,389member
    Maybe they could update Keynote now to not crash on save.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    As glad as I am that Apple is embracing H.265, it sure took them long enough. I've been encoding all my videos with that codec for about three years now.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    As glad as I am that Apple is embracing H.265, it sure took them long enough. I've been encoding all my videos with that codec for about three years now.
    Odd thing is I exported a few videos out of interest and they were all H264 when I checked and nowhere was I able to find any option to select HVEC.  As a FCPX user maybe I'm doing something wrong as I've not used iMovie in over a decade.  I also tried importing an HVEC movie made with HandBrake and it said it was an unsupported file format.  This on a Mac Pro 6 core running High Sierra.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 5 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    As glad as I am that Apple is embracing H.265, it sure took them long enough. I've been encoding all my videos with that codec for about three years now.
    There were improvements made to the standard over the years, the latest (version 4) was approved in December last year:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding#Versions

    One of the additions was Screen Content Coding:

    http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/Screen-Content-Coding-(SCC)-Offers-Improved-Quality-and-Efficiency-for-HEVC-Screen-Captured-Content-111356.aspx

    "For the type of content that SCC targets, it achieves roughly an additional 50% of rate reduction at the same quality compared to earlier versions of HEVC, and roughly 80% of rate reduction at the same quality compared to the widely used H.264/AVC standard. In other words, you only need to stream one-fifth of the data using SCC that you would otherwise be streaming using H.264/AVC to achieve the same quality."

    This is for screen capture videos including recording gameplay and app usage (tutorials, marketing etc).

    There were also licensing issues with the codec so that will have contributed some delay too.
    edited September 2017
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