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

CAT | Apple

Last week Larry Jordan invited me on the Digital Production BuZZ to discuss two apparently conflicting articles:

Max Wessel on The Inevitable Disruption of Television and

Andrew Wallenstein on TV Studios too strong for Apple disruption(Sorry about the Variety paywall.)

How to reconcile these seemingly contradictory reports? (more…)

As expected my Monday morning on-the-record briefing with Apple’s Pro Apps team was very similar to Larry Jordan’s the day before. Larry covered the bulk of the content well on his blog post about it, so I don’t feel the need to go over the same data again.

I note Larry’s request for the retention of In and Out points, and that’s certainly desirable. I “banged the drum” (strongly) for selective copy/paste of attributes and was also told the same “the announced features aren’t the only ones we’ll release” response. FWIW, I think FCP X will use a selective copy approach, since you can already select (highlight) just one group of attributes. My interest in the Solar Odyssey project also had me putting in a pitch for sharing an Event to multiple editors working on their own Projects. All we can do is suggest priorities.

But what really stuck out were two data points mentioned in the briefing that Larry didn’t comment on.

There are now more Final Cut Pro X installs than Final Cut Pro 7 installs.

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I was watching the highly recommended Editor’s Lounge series of videos from the Why we make the Edit night and naturally the discussion turned to the increasing pressure to get work done faster. Derek McCants noted that where once he would have three weeks to cut an allocated segment, the expectation was it would now be done in one week. (more…)

iTunes 10.4 is now AV Foundation based, not QT http://tinyurl.com/3b2auaj

As I’ve written before, AV Foundation is the modern media playback framework for OS X. Originally developed for iOS and OS X it came to OS X with Lion, but Final Cut Pro X uses it, even on Snow Leopard (where AV Foundation is installed as a private framework in 10.6.7 and 10.6.8).

I think Apple are sending a strong message that QuickTime – as a framework for applications to use to play media – is not the way of the future.  Particularly if you want a 64 bit application. While many parts of QT have been rewritten with a 64 bit wrapper as QTkit, the future is clearly away from QuickTime on OS X.

In fact, the use of QuickTime has been fading over the last decade as Apple moved to H.264/AAC in an MP4 wrapper for distribution purposes early last decade.

And now another of Apple’s media-rich applications appears to be built on AV Foundation now, instead of QuickTime, only falling back to use old QT codecs not supported under AV Foundation.

Over the last year I’ve managed to have some valuable insight on the direction Apple has been, and is, going with what became Final Cut Pro X, but of late the timing – June 21 – has got me thinking. One of the things that has bugged me is that Final Cut Pro X seems like it’s only most of a story. That there are still “other shoes to drop”. Since I don’t know how to quit when I’m “ahead” on the forward looking insight, here’s some more.

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The anticipation might soon be over. At next Tuesday night’s Supermeet in Las Vegas we may get a sneak peek at what Apple has been working on. For those who aren’t regular readers of my blog, here’s links to my evolving thoughts on why Apple needs to rewrite both Final Cut Pro and QuickTime into a modern codebase, and why they may take this opportunity to not just rewrite, but to rethink how modern NLE software works.

The posts in bold are the key ones.

No doubt there’s some things I’ve written that are just plain wrong. But I’m expecting that on Tuesday night we’ll see the 64 bit Cocoa Final Cut Pro (using AV Foundation) that I wasn’t initially expecting until 2012, with a complete rethink of the NLE interface for the future.

This paragraph from John Gruber’s reflections on Apple’s iPad 2 event really stood out for me:

iMovie for iPad seems like the realization of Randy Ubillos’s vision for movie editing software. Seldom does an app as popular and useful as iMovie get a genuine “let’s just start over from scratch” redesign like iMovie did on the Mac several years ago. And the current Mac version is, without question, a major improvement over the initial redesigned version. This iPad version, though, feels like the real deal, and makes the Mac version seem like the imitator. The concept, visual layout, and intended workflow are naturally suited to touch. This is what the new iMovie is supposed to be.

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As expected, AV Foundation from iOS 4 will be added to Lion. My take is that signals the end of QuickTime as we’ve known it. But it’s not only that there’s a new Framework for working with time-based audiovisual media – there’s a lot more to QuickTime than that, and it’s all the interactive and additional technologies in QuickTime that don’t appear to have a future. Features that were important when QuickTime MOVs were the preferred (at Apple) distribution format.

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Feb/11

21

Attack of the Minis

Attack of the Minis http://tinyurl.com/46an3wm

Light Peak is an interesting technology and one I want to see sooner rather than later. Essentially it’s one connector for all purposes: peripherals (storage, i/o), networking (short distances in first release, longer later) and a replacement for the connectors we use now (which will largely work with adapters. The only protocol that may not run over Light Peak is USB 3, but USB 1 & 2; FireWire 400/800, eSATA, SAS ethernet and Fibre Channel could all be replaced with a single Light Peak connection at 10 Gbits/sec.

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Light Peak “ready to go” says Intel http://tinyurl.com/2vdqoyu

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