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

CAT | Apple

A wide ranging episode that starts with a discussion of Avid’s financials, and goes all over the place from there. This episode was recorded before the release of Adobe Creative Cloud and the preview of the new MacPro. And a discussion of beer and wine seemed to be an appropriate analogy along the way. Sometimes a little heated.

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The preview of the new MacPro has, not surprisingly, polarized “the Internet”. It is however exactly the computer I thought Apple would produce for a new MacPro. Well, the tubular design was a surprise, but the lack of internal drive space, expansion slots were no surprise. But the lack of NVIDA “cards” and therefore CUDA support, has alarmed many, quite needlessly.

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I recently posted that 90% of what is written about Apple is Crap! but it seems it’s worse than that. Two recent articles make the point about just how bad reporting about Apple really is.

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Over at The Mac Observer, John Martellaro writes what I’ve been wanting to say for a long time: almost everything written about Apple by “analysts” is either completely worthless because they know nothing; or is being written to manipulate the stock price.

Apple is not like other companies, which is why analysts et al get it wrong 90% of the time when they’re writing about Apple.

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 is probably the most feature-rich release since the original one. As well as the features Apple discussed at NAB  2011:

  • Multichannel Audio Editing Tools
  • Dual Viewers
  • MXF Plug-in Support, and
  • RED camera support

there’s more. Much more. Including a feature I wish they hadn’t put in and one I’m extremely pleased they did. I’m ecstatic that selective pasting of attributes is now an Final Cut Pro X feature, but I’m really annoyed that persistent In/Out points made it to this release. More on these later. (more…)

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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