As Final Cut Pro X – and other modern video apps – are built on Frameworks from the core OS, those Frameworks sometimes provide clues to Apple’s thinking. One that we care a lot about is AVFoundation, which is the modern replacement for QuickTime at the application and OS level. We’ve seen this in the transition from QuickTime Player 7, which is built on QuickTime (both QTKit and the older C API). Unfortunately AVFoundation has lacked many features that are essential for video workflows, so I watch the features added to AVFoundation as a way of understanding where video apps might go.
Firstly, there has been a massive update to AVFoundation in Yosemite, and it appears we get reference movies back.
At each Operating System release, Apple provides documentation that highlights the differences in the new Frameworks, compared to the Framework in Mavericks. The AVFoundation “diff” is an interesting read. It’s a lot to go through and it was only released yesterday with the release of Yosemite, so I’ll limit myself to two observations.
There is a lot of new audio functions. A lot, as in heaps. What is particularly interesting are:
AVAudioMix, which already existed; and
Just a wild guess here, but if there were plans for a more comprehensive audio mixer in Final Cut Pro X, they might have been waiting for the foundations from the OS Frameworks. I am still hoping for a roles-based audio mixer panel in Final Cut Pro X.
The other interesting observation is the addition of:
AVMovie with support for AVFragmentedMovie!
We’ve had AVAssets and AVCompositions in AVFoundation up until now, which do not support reference movies. It seems a reasonable inference that an AVFragmentedMovie is what we’d have called a QT Reference movie in the past. Unfortunately there’s no documentation for this new addition to the Framework.
If you read through the additions and changes to AVFoundation document, you can’t help but notice that AVFoundation Metadata also got a fair bit of attention.