Video Monkey and 64 Bit

64bit_highway_3All Macs sold today support 64 bit instructions. There are lots of advantages to 64 bit. For instance, it can handle more data at one time which makes many operations run much faster. This is especially true of video encoding. You can essentially decode twice as many pixels at a time, potentially getting double the performance. Of course you never really realize all that speed. But in tests, ffmpeg running in 64 bit can process a video about 50% faster. That means a video that took 30 minutes to convert will now take only 20 minutes. I’ve recently moved to a machine with 8 virtual cores (from 4) and with the extra cores, coupled with 64 bits, I can now process a 23 minute TV show (in SD) in about 6 minutes! It used to take well over 15.

But nothing is free of course, and the downside is that you need to run the Video Monkey application and ffmpeg both in 64 bit. And you of course need a 64 bit capable machine. Fortunately, Snow Leopard only runs on 64 bit machines. So if you are running that OS, you know you have a 64 bit capable machine. That all leads to the announcement that the next version of Video Monkey will be 64 bit only and will therefore require Snow Leopard to run. Hopefully that won’t be much of a burden on most of our users. Now that Mountain Lion is out, SL is now 2 revisions old and the last machine Apple made that could not run 64 bit programs is 6 years old.

Video Monkey 0.12 will still be available if you really need it. But the future is here and it’s 64 bits wide Happy

Look for an announcement soon about the latest version. 🙂