How to Get Pro Quicktime Codecs without Final Cut

Posted by on Nov 3, 2012 in Editing, Journal | 62 Comments

Like a ton of pro editors out there, I’ve pretty much given up on Final Cut for editing. I still use it occasionally when I cut in a post house that still uses it, or if I have to dig out an old project to make updates. I’ve made the switch to Adobe Premiere Pro, and use AVID when I can on longer projects. My muscle memory is still geared to Final Cut, and I’ll admit I’m still way faster at organizing and cutting on Final Cut 7 than I have been yet on Adobe. Rather than learning the new keystrokes I’ve just mapped keys to be as close to my Final Cut editing strokes as I can.

I have a MacPro tower and keep Final Cut 7 on that for when I need it, but I’m setting up a new MacBook Pro for my mobile editing work, and I’ve decided just to install the Adobe Suite on it and skip Final Cut altogether. But what about ProRes and all the other great codecs (HDV, FCP Uncompressed, XDCAM, DVCPro) you get when Final Cut is installed on your system? Half of the work I do is ProRes, and it’s still a great workflow codec from proxies to full resolution 4:4:4 final delivery.

How do you skip the FCP install but get the codecs?

Simple!

  • Go to the Apple site, and download the ProApps QT component update here http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1396
  • You can’t just install the .pkg without an installed version of FCP. The installer won’t let you. You get the error like in the above image
  • Easy workaround: Go snag this handy little app, unPKG by timdoug: http://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/
  • Download it, and install it somewhere handy.
  • Open the QuickTime ProApps .DMG you downloaded, and drag that install .pkg file it includes onto the unPKG app icon. It’ll create a folder and some subfolders on your desktop that contain all the Pro QT codecs you want.
  • Copy all those .component codec files into the Library>Quicktime folder of your boot drive, fire up your favorite NLE, MPEG Streamclip, or other transcoding app, and all those codecs–including all the ProRes flavors–are yours!

62 Comments

  1. Marshall
    March 20, 2013

    Thank you! Great work around.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      April 10, 2013

      Sorry, I didn’t see your comment until now. Been a hectic month. Thanks for your kind words! Love the stuff you guys do at Studio Say So, too!

      Reply
  2. Romeu
    April 6, 2013

    Worked just fine!
    Thanks a million ;)

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      April 10, 2013

      Glad it worked for you! Glad to help!

      Reply
  3. Johnnie G.
    April 11, 2013

    Thanks much! This tip saved my day.

    Reply
  4. Michael
    May 2, 2013

    Thanks so much man! Worked like a charm and saved my project! :)

    Reply
  5. Luciano
    May 7, 2013

    muitooo obrigadoooooo, perfeito….

    Reply
    • Soley
      June 10, 2013

      Oi Luciano, vc sabe onde posso salvar estes codecs no Premiere cs6?

      Reply
    • Soley
      June 10, 2013

      Oi Luciano, vc sabe onde posso salvar estes codecs no Premiere cs6?

      Reply
  6. bluereiter
    May 21, 2013

    Awesome thank you

    Reply
  7. aaronbannasch
    June 3, 2013

    Fantastic! This is extremely helpful for exporting to ProRes4444 with Adobe Media Encoder. Getting AVCHD to my friend who grades in DaVinci Resolve was going to be very difficult otherwise. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. SavedbytheBell
    June 19, 2013

    Thank you for sharing this info, it worked like a charm for me and really helped with a deadline!! If only FCP and QT could just play nice…

    Reply
  9. Baird
    June 20, 2013

    Where exactly is the boot drive? When I completed the steps above it appears to have created the Library file in a quicktime folder. I’m still unable to import a .mov file in ppCS6.

    Reply
  10. Baird
    June 20, 2013

    Disregard my post. I was able to export the .mov file from Quicktime 7 @1080p and then import to premiere pro CS6 no problems.

    Reply
  11. Hanna
    July 2, 2013

    I’m having the same problem as Baird above. Where is the boot drive? I’m not clear on how he exported the file from Quicktime 7 either.

    Thank you! I haven’t had any problems with the previous steps.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      July 2, 2013

      Basically, when I say boot drive, I just mean the top level of your system hard drive. There should be a folder there Called ‘Library’ and a subfolder named ‘Quicktime.’ This is where your system stores all your QuickTime Codecs.

      As far as exporting from Quicktime 7 goes…not sure if this works on Mountain Lion or Higher as I have Lion, but QuickTime 7 had a pro option that allowed you amazing versatility on exporting files. Way better than the simple ‘share’ and ‘save for web’ functions in the new Quicktime X.

      But to use it you have to have a QuickTime Pro Registration Code.

      http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3678

      http://support.apple.com/kb/DL923

      Reply
  12. Rodrigo
    August 12, 2013

    Thanks a lot! it worked great, this just saved me. :)

    Reply
  13. this girl is grateful
    August 27, 2013

    THIS SAVED MY LIFE. THANK YOU :)

    Reply
  14. Barry
    September 4, 2013

    Thanks!!! Worked like a charm!!!

    Reply
  15. Aya
    September 24, 2013

    Thank you so much for this.

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      September 25, 2013

      NO problem. Glad I could help!

      Reply
  16. Yannick
    October 12, 2013

    Hey man,

    thank you very much! I had some problems finding my “Quicktime” Map in the Libary folder. So I just created a new one and that seemed to work :)

    Ty!

    Reply
    • Danielle
      July 29, 2014

      How did you create a new one? I’m having trouble finding my quicktime map too

      Reply
  17. Harris
    October 17, 2013

    Hey this saved a ton of transcoding and workarounds that I really could not afford on this project.

    Thank you for this!

    Reply
  18. ChrisDel
    October 21, 2013

    Great workaround, thanks a lot.

    Reply
  19. Lucy
    November 1, 2013

    THANK YOU! I have been having a total nightmare for the last two days trying to juggle super high res files DSLR and old editing equipment that couldn’t handle them. This fix is brilliant.

    Reply
  20. silverdr
    November 17, 2013

    Nice tip – thank you. Do you or anyone know how to get Quicktime 7 PRO features without installing Final Cut (7|Studio)? I have the whole Final Cut Studio 3 but want only the QT Pro features activated. Any help appreciated.

    P. S. No – copying Final Cut Studio ID file to Library/Application Support/ProApps doesn’t work (at least on 10.9)..

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      November 28, 2013

      Not sure. I bought QuickTime Pro 7 years ago so I’ve just kept it all these years.

      Reply
  21. VidalC
    November 26, 2013

    I’ve not the same comment when I try ti install proapps. They say “unable to load because there is already a file more recent” Does it makes a difference ?

    Other question :
    When I go to http://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/#sthash.zWsITjqU.dpuf
    I’ve 5 files. Which one do I’ve to click ?

    As my English is rather poor, need some help …

    Tks in advance

    Reply
  22. Lenny
    December 2, 2013

    This sounds great . I have a client who wants to edit files shot on my EX-1 (XDCAM EX codec) in iMovie. Will this allow her to import XDCAM EX .mov files into iMovie for editing.
    She only wants to do rough assemblies and choosing materials that I will fine cut later in FCP.
    Problem now is she doesn’t have FCP on her system so she can’t use XDCAM or Pro Res at all.

    Will this also allow XDCAM transfer or XDCAM Browser to convert SxS cards to .MOV on her computer?

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      December 3, 2013

      Honestly, I haven’t messed with iMovie in years, so the workflow is long forgotten. This will allow her to play ProRes movies on her computer, but as far as getting XDCAM into iMovie, you might look into the Clip Browser stuff from Sony, here:

      http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/contentbrowser

      or here:

      http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcam/resource.downloads.bbsccms-assets-micro-xdcam-downloads-XDCAMSoftwareDownload.shtml#apps

      A lot of this stuff allows you to browse XDCAM clip folders (assuming the folder structure is the same as the camera original) and export the XDCAM clips as .MOV files.

      There’s probably a option for ProRes once you have the codec installed, but from what I remember iMovie only deals with the Apple Intermediate Codec…which you could always transcode to, but that’s another step of transcoding if YOU want to fine cut with ProRes files.

      It’s not a huge deal because iMovie can export the project for FCP, but then you’d have to offline and re-encode everything to ProRes.

      Reply
  23. josh
    December 11, 2013

    hey thanks so much for the info! but i’ve a problem.

    When i drag and drop the ProApps Codecs dmg file onto unpkg it says ‘Not a package’ and does not extract. help!

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      December 11, 2013

      Try opening the unpkg program first, and then dropping the .DMG onto the little window that opens up. If that doesn’t work, I’d try re-downloading the ProApps codecs. You might have a damaged or incomplete download. That’s where I’d start. If that doesn’t work, I’m not sure what else it might be…

      Reply
  24. Brady Holden
    January 13, 2014

    Hey Jonathon,
    When I try to drag the this I get a message on my mac saying ” ‘unpkg’ can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.” Any suggestions?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      January 14, 2014

      Hey man, the new OSX versions block “unknown developer” apps from auto-launching. There is a simple workaround. Just right-click the app, click ‘Open’ from the pop-up and a different box will open asking your confirmation. You should then just be able to click ‘Open’ and it’ll launch.

      Then you can just drop the .pkg file onto the unPKG window that opens.

      Hope that makes sense!

      Reply
  25. Matt
    January 16, 2014

    Hello sir,

    This seems like a really cool workaround, and yet, I still can’t get it to work for some reason. I followed the steps exactly as they said, but I’m still getting an error message in AME saying “Preset cannot be imported. No exporter found for this present.”

    Any tips?

    I’m currently on a newer iMac running 10.8.5.

    Reply
  26. Matt
    January 16, 2014

    Alright, I managed to fix it. I’m going to post how so that I may help any other wayward souls.

    Quicktime wasn’t even showing up in AME no matter what I did – that was actually why ProRes wouldn’t import. So, I found this:

    Find the file named AddExporterList.txt located at

    (Windows) C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Media Encoder CS6\txt

    (Mac) file is inside the “Adobe Media Encoder CS6″ application (right click the app icon and choose Show Package Contents to see inside it), here’s the path:

    /Applications/Adobe Media Encoder CS6/Adobe Media Encoder CS6.app/Contents/Resources/txt/AddExporterList.txt

    Save an original copy somewhere else. Copy/Paste or delete as necessary to make the new file look like this:

    # MediaCore Plugins

    # AME Plugins

    AudioWriter
    WinMediaWriter

    # AME Plugin Formats

    MPEG4
    H.264 Blu-ray

    Source:
    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1013006

    Hope this helps.

    Reply
  27. Luke
    January 17, 2014

    Thank You!

    Reply
  28. MrReel
    January 24, 2014

    You sir are a genius and lifesaver! Thank you so much, the world is a much easier and better place to live in because of you.

    Reply
  29. Andy
    January 30, 2014

    Hi, I’m on a mac OSx 10.7 and the version of quicktime does not allow me to modify it by putting stuff in the library folder.

    Any ideas how to get around this?

    Thanks

    Andy

    Reply
    • Andy
      January 30, 2014

      Sorted myself.

      I just changed the permissions on the quicktime folder to Read and Write for everyone.

      Simple just use Getinfo on the right click and its down at the bottom.

      Thanks

      Reply
      • Jonathan
        Jonathan
        February 25, 2014

        Sorry I missed this comment, been traveling for a bit and haven’t kept up with the site. Glad you figured it out!

        Reply
  30. kwabena danso
    January 30, 2014

    Hi Jonathan,
    I am in a bit of a fix.
    I was working with cs6 on pc and the computer just crashed.
    All my files were on an external drive so they are safe.
    I just borrowed a friends Macbook pro with cs6 on it but it refuses to open the project file. I believe its cos there is an avi in the project. I have a deadline to meet tomorrow Please Help!

    Reply
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan
      February 25, 2014

      I’m SO sorry I just saw this comment. I’ve been traveling on business and haven’t been able to keep up with the site. Hope you were able to figure it out.

      First, try installing Perian: http://perian.cachefly.net/Perian_0.5.dmg

      It’ll install .avi compatibility with QuickTime. It isn’t being updated, and might not work with Mavericks, but I’m using it on OSX Mountain Lion with no problems.

      One thing to remember is that a Premiere project file is basically an XML document with tags for each of the media items. I’ve never tried this, so I have NO idea if it would work, but…you could copy it, for backup’s sake, and then open the Project in a Text editor and search and remove the offending references to the .avi file. You might have to pull out everything surrounding the clip between the <masterclip></masterclip> tags.

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  31. Bronwen
    March 2, 2014

    This is just what I needed, thank you so much!

    Like Yannick, I didn’t have a “QuickTime” folder in my Library folder either, so I copied over the whole QuickTime folder from the ProAppsQTCodecs folder on my desktop and that worked.

    Reply
  32. Terry
    March 22, 2014

    I did not realize that one could come to appreciate and truly love a person they’ve never met before.. but I love you. I really do.

    May all your fondest wishes come true. lol. Laughing.. but not joking. I’m going to go do a happy dance now.

    Reply
  33. Ross Finnie
    March 31, 2014

    Just another one saying thanks a million for posting this, saved me hours of general toil and heartache trying to get ProRes into premiere.

    Reply
  34. K
    April 23, 2014

    THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE A SAINT. I WOULD HAVE FAILED A MAJOR COMPONENT OF MY COURSE IF IT WASNT FOR THIS !!! BLESS YOU

    Reply
  35. k
    April 23, 2014

    THANK YOU SO MUCH LITERALLY A LIFE SAVER

    Reply
  36. s5hwan
    April 23, 2014

    Thx a lot!

    I solved it by your instruction. I appreciated it.

    Reply
  37. JFN
    May 25, 2014

    I love you.

    Reply
  38. R D
    June 12, 2014

    amazing! Thanks

    Reply
  39. R D
    June 12, 2014

    Amazing! Thanks so much

    Reply
  40. Santini
    July 9, 2014

    Hi Jonathan, I might do something wrong here, but when I follow your clear and detailed instructions, I encounter and error within the upkg.app saying “ImportError: Bad magic number in /Applications/Dropbox.app/Contents/Resources/site.pyc”. The app gets stuccoed with this and no codecs are unpacked. I really don’t know what is wrong here not even understanding, what that app needs dropbox for. But I get the feeling I am kinda beta tester and encounter problems like this quite often. :-) Thanks for any suggestion. (running MAC OS 10.8.5)
    And thank you for such a helpful entry. :)

    Santini

    Reply
  41. Kathy
    July 21, 2014

    So helpful! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. It is much appreciated.

    Reply

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