The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for June 1st, 2010

Seven hours from feature request to updated application released: Sync-N-Link now uses log notes from video *or* audio.

I love being a small independent software developer: it’s great to be able to respond to customer requests promptly – and it makes the software better. Incidents like this one today make me also appreciative of the communication tools we now have

Some time, overnight our time, we had a new customer buy a copy of Sync-N-Link to sync rushes for 8 episodes of a new drama series: in Belgium! A few hours later he emailed to say that it was doing everything he expected, but their sound guy entered metadata (log notes) into the sound clips and Sync-N-Link (like Final Cut Pro itself) discards audio metadata in favor of the video metadata. (In a merged clip there is only room for one of each type of log note/metadata). The feature request was that the metadata from the audio could be preserved instead of from that from the video.

A good request. The ever efficient Greg Clarke, after morning coffee, got to work. At around 1:30 pm (Pacific) an update was published, ready for download, with the feature added. Not quite seven hours from feature request to released software.

I love that we can do that.

If you use any of our software let us know what more you want it to do. We can be very responsive!



Is Flash dead?

Is Flash dead? The future of Adobe’s plug-in Flash v the “open web” – from Tech Radar.

For many reasons, Flash IS on the decline: from about 3 million Apple devices a month that don’t support it; fewer microsites being built for economic reasons and the rise of open standards.

On each side, people bitterly oppose the ‘rival’ technology. Standards proponents claim Flash is resource-hungry, proprietary and buggy, and say standards should rule. Flash proponents argue Adobe’s plug-in remains the only delivery option that offers cross platform consistency and that it provides scope for projects you can’t create with open standards.

There are some things that Flash is still the right solution for – but for standard video players and basic interaction, open standards should prevail. Over time, there will be less, and less need for Flash. Adobe itself shows that it can build tools for the iPad (Magazine readers) that don’t rely on Flash or AIR (a related technology).

Adobe Unveils Apple-Compliant ‘Digital Publishing Platform’ For iPad Media Apps Much better than complaining Adobe.

A few days ago I posted a link under the title “Kudos to Adobe” noting that they created an Apple-compliant reader for Wired Magazine’s iPad edition. They’ve now announced an addition to CS5 for creating these magazines:

Adobe announced Tuesday that a new component to its Creative Suite 5 software — used widely in the publishing industry to, among other things, create glossy magazines — was used to create the Apple-compliant digital version of Wired Magazine. The development puts Adobe squarely back in the high-stakes tablet game with a “legal” way for publishers who already use their popular layout and production suite to create dead-tree output to efficiently create derivative digital versions for the iPad.

This is the Adobe I love – creating great publishing technologys – rather than the whiny “why won’t Apple support our business” mode.


Blu-ray misses int’l target – Prices too high, demand too low Variety reports (sorry about the “paywall” at Variety, which limits free views).

Screen Digest’s head of video Helen Davis Jayalath said, “The failure of the Blu-ray format to capture enough of the market in 2009 means this downward trend is now set to continue, with the short-term uplift in video spending that we had previously expected to see in 2010-2011 unlikely to materialize.”

Seems like Apple/Steve Jobs and (well) me, were right about Blu-ray never quite reaching the level of DVD penetration.



Steve Ballmer is not a ‘product guy’

One Big Problem With Steve Ballmer Running Microsoft: He’s Not A Product Guy

One thing that we’ve learnt since getting into the software business is that a product has to be made “for someone”. For First Cuts, the client was me. For Sequence Clip Reporter it started with the requirements of a close friend and grew in capability as the people who bought it made suggestions for improving it. Without a demanding client, the software will usually not hit the mark.

And that’s why Steve Balmer not being ‘a product guy’ (in contrast to Bill Gates or Steve Jobs) is a problem.

June 2010
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