Final Cut Pro X: Back Away from the Ledge

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I must admit I am amused by the hyperbolic reaction to Apple’s release last week of Final Cut Pro X. It is apparent that either a large percentage or a very vocal minority had determined before even using the software that Apple had destroyed their popular NLE application. Maybe they did just that. Or maybe this is the first step in revolutionizing the way we all edit. Nobody knows right now.

It is obvious to me that Apple really mishandled the rollout of this new product and misjudged the way the professional editing community would react. I think that Apple has become used to just rolling out new products and having the world genuflect at their altar of genius. Unfortunately for Apple, the editing community is a bit different than the consumers of iPods, iPads and iPhones. Professional editors like to feel special and a bit above the crowd when it comes to technology, and I often notice a bit of annoyance at Apple for being so focused on consumer products while treating their suite of editing products as less important. But it doesn’t take a genius to realize that Apple makes a hell of a lot more money from the consumer market than it does from its various niche products.

But just because Final Cut Pro is not Apple’s flagship product doesn’t mean they don’t care about it. In fact, I think this complete redesign shows their long-term commitment to the professional editing market. The question is not if FCP X is ready for prime time now, but if it is the dominant NLE in a few years.

There are plenty of blog posts out there about how Apple screwed up, with lists of “what’s missing” from the software. I think most of these writers are making uninformed assertions. While I agree that there are some troubling signs from this latest release, it seems that almost all (but not all) of the criticisms have been answered by the FCP development team.

As for myself, I am going to hold off on judging FCP X as a success or a failure until I have an opportunity to download and learn it…and that probably won’t happen until they have released updates with some of those “missing” features. For now, I will continue working in FCP 6 & 7 for some clients and Avid for others.

Here are a couple of very informative articles about FCP X that clarify what is fact and what is fiction. Read the comments below each article for more insights into the issues and for a taste of the passion.

from Studio Daily…

Should You Upgrade to Final Cut Pro X?

From New York Times…

Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X

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BBC to File Reports with iPhone & iPad

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Sometime this Summer, BBC reporters will file reports from the field with just an iPhone or iPad. They will have the capability of incorporating video, audio and stills. They will be using an app developed by the BBC specifically for this purpose. Apparently, they will also be using third party apps for live reporting.

The amazing thing about this story for me…is that it is not really that amazing. Technology over the last ten years has really transformed the way we create, distribute and consume media and it just keeps accelerating. Our ability to take existing platforms and applications and create a workflow that caters to our individual needs has become expected. The term gamechanger gets thrown around so often now that it hardly means anything anymore.

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Cisco Report: Video Will Break the Internet

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Sounds crazy, right?

Well, you should read Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index which forecasts trends in internet traffic between 2010 -2015. It is mind-blowing.

Now, clearly Cisco has a vested interest in companies investing lots of money to upgrade their IT infrastructures, but if they’re only half right, the world will still need serious upgrades to handle the kind of data movement they are predicting.

Among the highlights…

“In 2015, the gigabyte equivalent of all movies ever made will cross global IP networks every 5 minutes. Global IP networks will deliver 7.3 petabytes every 5 minutes in 2015.”

“It would take over 5 years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks every second in 2015. Every second, 1 million minutes of video content will cross the network in 2015.”

That’s just scratching the surface of the report. They also go in to great detail about the rise of mobile computing as well as business demands. All of this leads Cisco to believe that if there isn’t serious consideration given to completely rethinking the entire infrastructure of the internet, we will be in for a rude awakening.

Oh joy…something else to be worried about. Thanks, Cisco!

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