Other than my video editing program, I mostly use free apps on my Mac to play, transcode and transfer footage. Below are my go-to applications, as well as a few that I use from time to time.
MPEG Streamclip (free)
This is a must-have application that lets you take a video or footage and transcode it to a huge range of other file types. I use it everytime I shoot something to change my Canon 7D footage to ProRes. (Download MPEG Streamclip)
Coming soon - A separate post on which ProRes version to use. Stay tuned.
HandBrake allows you to transcode video files to a range of presets - as well as your own custom ones. I’ve been using this app for years and I find its most valuable feature is the ability to use the pre-installed apple device presets. Very quickly, you can choose iPod, iPhone or AppleTV as well as PSP, PS3 and Xbox 360. These are useful if you want to pop your showreel onto your iPhone with little hassle. (Download HandBrake)
VLC media player (Free)
Clients will send you all sorts of file types, but VLC will most likely open each and every one of them. It’s a popular app so I wouldn’t be surprised if you already have it installed. If not - get it. (Download VLC media player)
QuickTime 7 (free)
I like to re-install the older and outdated version of QuickTime onto any Mac I use as it has support for some older file types. This way, if I have something that won’t open in QuickTime X, I try it in 7 just to troubleshoot the issue. Usually it opens. (Download QuickTime 7)
‘The swiss-army knife of QuickTime components’ - That’s how they pitch it. And it’s not far from the truth. Basically, it allows most other applications on your Mac to handle QuickTime file types. I think that the best thing about this app is that it works in the background, and once you have it installed, it will help you out in more places than you give it credit for.
The good news is that it is free, but the bad news is that they will soon be updating it with the third and final version of the software. That’s nothing to worry about as it will work just fine for the future. (Download Perian)
ScreenFlow ($99 - Approx £65)
Not everything is free unfortunately. Especially if you want a great way to make screen recordings. Firstly, it is easy to capture and secondly, it has wonderful editing tools.
However, QuickTime X has built in screen recording tools, so if you are on a budget, it will work perfectly. (Download ScreenFlow)
There are many more great apps out there that I have yet to discover, so please tell me your thoughts? What do you use? What couldn’t you live without during your workflow?