My friend Terry Curren and I get together for lunch periodically. Last time he was trying to convince me, among other things, that Apple will drop Log and Capture from the next version of Final Cut Pro. I resisted the idea until I realized that not only was he right, but that Apple should drop Log and Capture. Here’s why.
Tape is deadish now, will be more so in 2012.
After revising the HD Survival Handbook last year I realized that HDV and tape in general was dead. HDV was the last tape format for acquisition and that too is now (according to me) officially “dead”. (Not that it’s out of use, but that it’s unwise to invest further in that format.)
So, given that I have considered tape to be “dead” for a year, how dead will it be in another 18-24 months? Very dead.
Sure, there will be people who need to capture from tape and output to tape. Output is already handled by Blackmagic Design and AJA with utilities that ship with their hardware. Blackmagic Design’s version includes capture.
Rewriting Log and Capture will waste engineering resources that should go into an improved Log and Transfer.
If tape capture and output is a third party opportunity (and both Blackmagic Design and AJA utilities are better at accurate insert editing than FCP is itself) then the engineering resources could go into improving Log and Transfer: speed and metadata support could be beefed up.
Dropping old technology and moving to new is in Apple’s DNA
We’ve dropped the floppy disk, ADB, and a host of other technologies. In the iDevices, Apple have frequently used the latest and greatest technology, so it’s much less likely they’d invest the resources that would be necessary to rebuild Log and capture.
So, I’m convinced: Log and Capture must go. Even though they have Cocoa code in the HDV version of Log and Capture I can’t see the benefit when the vast majority of FCP users in 2012 so it has to go. Leave an opportunity for third parties and move FCP into a newer, modern future.
Updated: Matt has a point in the comments that I should have addressed: tape will be with us for quite a while and I made almost all the same arguments to Terry before becoming convinced I was wrong.
Beside, tape is dead according to this image from Chris Roberts of a Copenhagen shop window: