I’ve been quiet about my take on Final Cut Pro X, mainly because I really don’t know what to say. I’m speechless. How could that happen? I mean how could Apple not have seen this? You really start wondering how could Apple balls1 this up? Maybe I should start by arguing what the problem is with Final Cut Pro X.
The problem with Final Cut Pro X
The problem with Final Cut Pro X is not the application itself. I share a lot of thoughts with Don McAllister about this. The application is fine.
As far as I can see, I can’t actually buy and use it, editing is really great. Apple has shown a lot of innovation in terms of editing, rendering, and workflows.
The problem is that existing Final Cut Pro 7 users have no way of directly upgrading to Final Cut Pro X. That is the number one reason I won’t be upgrading to Final Cut Pro X any time soon.
When a client calls and says “Do you remember the screencasts you made half a year ago? We need you to make a minor change. Could you do that, please?” I would have to produce that screencast again, hoping it’ll look the same as it did before, rather than just opening the old project, making that change, export, render, upload, done (…, send an invoice).
That’s really just a minor problem with Final Cut Pro X. They announced yesterday that there’s going to be a possibility for third-parties to use an API that, e.g. converts older projects to the new format. With Automatic Duck being Apple’s “official” partner. (They offer a cheap $500 exporter app that is not available on the Mac App Store.)
The real problem is that a lot of professionals needs aren’t met. Like the inability to have a control monitor attached where you can preview your work. (The FAQ actually says vendors are currently working on drivers for those systems. So you can say, it’s not possible yet, but it also means that studios can’t use the new toy right now.) There are a lot of other problems that I don’t want to go into detail here, but Jeffery Harrell has made an execellent statement on why broadcast professionals literally can’t use Final Cut Pro X. Some things he mentions and I think are important:
Multi-cam editing: Not yet, but will be implemented.
EDL, OMF, XML: Let me briefly explain why those professionals need these things. And it’s not a “need” like “it would be great if you could implement this”. It is more like “I need this or I can’t finish a project”. Open Music Format is a format that professional audio applications (Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools) can open so that a audio production studio can compose film music, add foley sounds, etc. Not being able to export an edit decision list is catastrophic. Any studio working with tapes can literally not use Final Cut if it doesn’t have it.
No tracks: Professional studios basically settled one day that specific sound elements need to be on a specific track, e.g. music on tracks one and two. Not being able to exactly tell where Final Cut should put audio makes this standard become uncontrollable.
The studios out there aren’t new in the industry. 5, maybe 10, maybe 20 years ago a studio deliberately decided to go with a certain configuration of cameras, software and computer systems. In Germany “government” broadcasting studios like ARD, ZDF, WDR still use hardware from 1950’s. I Am Not Joking. Because these studios are paid by our government, or our taxes rather, these studios have to use all that old hardware, because there’s no money for all the newest and greatest (and they started their business in the 1920s). A lot of theses people work with Final Cut. And now Apple tells these broadcasting studios that they need to upgrade all of their hardware. And that is why Final Cut users complain. Apple forces updating their hardware systems down their throat. That is the terrible thing.
Apple also makes professional workflows obsolete. Like omitting OMF export. If you work with other studios … you can’t actually do that anymore. Wait for Automatic Duck to come up with a solution and hope for it to better be good.
Is Final Cut Pro X a pro-sumer application?
No, absolutely not. I don’t think Final Cut Pro X is an “improved” version of iMovie. Someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time editing video will still be overwhelmed with Final Cut Pro X. It is still a professional application. It’s just lacking features professionals need in order to work in their studio. Basically hardware, software, and other studios. Those features will eventually come, but at the moment studios have to wait. Just sit tight as I do. It is way too early to give an estimation how this is going to work out at the end. Maybe Apple decides to put a lot of work again into Final Cut and then say “Ok, scratch the third-party thing. We implemented those things by ourselves. Are you happy now?” That would be an Apple-esque thing to do, wouldn’t it?
Apple has changed a lot in Final Cut Pro X. They say they changed so much they weren’t able to make it “easy” to import Final Cut 7 projects. There are also a lot of influences from iMovie. I totally agree on that point, but that doesn’t mean Final Cut is a non-professional app. Just having learnt something from iMovie, like making editing easier and faster, doesn’t mean an application that offers these kind of functions to professionals makes it less professional. Nor makes the lack of missing features and app less professional. Software changes. Remember? This is a 1.0 of a new era of Final Cut. Apple invests a lot of thought and effort making the best experience for their customers. That’s why we all settled with Apple products in the first place. When we complain, they listen. And we have complained a lot, and loudly, these days. They heard us and for the time being they made the decision to put up an FAQ. A third-party will allow me to upgrade my projects to Pro X later. That’s fine. I’m not happy about it, but it’s something I can live with. It’s an option. An option that makes me less worried about whether I need to change to a different system entirely.
We just connected this new device to the network and now nothing is working.
So then disconnect it again.
But we want to use it.
Well, if you want to use your network, you need to disconnect the offending device.
So you have disconnected the device, so I can login remotely to diagnose what is happening?
(Trying to SSH into the server) The server isn't responding. Did you really disconnect that device?
Then why did you say yes you did when I asked you the moment before?
Shall I disconnect it?
Yes, please disconnect it now.
(SSHs into the server) Ah, now it's working.
No it's not working. The network is down again.
(the network stalls) Did you just reconnect the device?
Yes, you said it was working now, but it's not.
I meant that my connection was working. Please disconnect the device again, so I can prepare some tests to see why your device affects your network.
Can't you just do that now? You don't need the network to setup something on the server!
How do you expect me to remotely connect to the server from <number> kilometers away without a network?
Well, use the internet!
We currently have a raffle (which means you can get stuff for free!) going on at Mac OS X Screencasts. Seems like a lot of people didn’t get what “raffle” means. I switched from “free serials” to “raffle” to clarify that we’re transitioning to “the Mac App Store”, where no licenses and serials exist.
Ever wondered which Open Source license is used for a project? Most of them look very similar, but it might make a big difference to know the license’s origin. Just paste the license and see what our tool is guessing.
Just paste the license text and the website will figure out the license type.
We bought all of your games. Including the new release Monster Soup. We curse you for making such addictive games. I got a receipt dating back to 2009 when Orba was free for a short while. I sneaked it, but never actually played it. Then 2010, when I got my first iPhone, I looked over my old purchases and found Orba. Hooked. Totally hooked. I told Paula about the game and she still has it installed on her iPhone. (over 1 year after installation!)
But the game that really got us hooked was Aqueduct. I bought that game last year and it’s sooo great. We loved it. In fact it’s the only game that she played through, but I didn’t. She’s not a gamer, nor am I, but this game though, she played through.
Git-Achievements records all of the achievements you acquire while using Git.
There are over 40 achievement, most with different levels to be achieved.
After a git command is executed if a new achievement is unlocked git-achievements will display a message on the console for your enjoyment.
One of my most favorite audio software apps has been released as 2.0, and I’ve got to say (I’ve been in the beta), the changes are quite dramatic. Amadeus Pro has gained so many new features that you could call it a 3.0 release.
In a nutshell, Amadeus can:
Convert audio files (as batch; with on-the-fly actions)
Edit audiofiles (Pro version can also edit multiple tracks)
Manipulate audio files using AudioUnits and VST plugins
Learning to play 3D games using Minecraft Teacher's tutorial map
My girlfriend and I played Minecraft yesterday.1 We played a tutorial map created by the Minecraft Teacher. I was quite impressed by how well this map is laid out and by how much (and fast) Paula learned about Minecraft and 3D games in general. She never played any 3D games before. Frankly she doesn’t play many games at all, but after her first two attempts playing a 3D game (Minecraft), she didn’t get very far. She said it was “exhausting moving the eyes around”.
Using this tutorial world however made her actually understand what’s going on. How to move and all these kinds of things. Impressive, really.
I’m using Dropbox to make recorded material available for my editing account on my machine. Due to the size of those recording it’s necessary to keep Dropbox running, while recording.
Here’s the trick:
Working on making Mac OS X Screencasts even better
You know that I constantly try to make the experience of Mac OS X Screencasts even better. There are a couple of projects running in the background. One are premium screencasts (I call them “In-Depth Tutorials”) another one are the videos themselves.
Currently older screencasts won’t play on an iPad due to the encoding settings I was using at that time. (Remember, there was no iPad when I started. ;) )
A while ago a friend has offered to use his computing powers to reencode all ofthose screencasts. This project just got serious1 and I hope it will be done in about 1 or 2 months from now on.
This also means that I’m going to replace the video player (once again) on Mac OS X Screencasts.com, which means it’ll be an HTML5 (Yay!) player that falls back to a Flash player rather than a Flash player that has an HTML5 fallback.
In case you want to thank my friend. I think he would be quite happy if you would use his software. mlbackup - rsync based backup solution for server administrators.
Also don’t forget to follow on Twitter.
I got SSH secured VNC access to an encoding slave machine. ↩
Alfred doesn’t allow to toggle repeat in iTunes at the moment.
I’ve taken the toggle iTunes script from my (very old) Quicksilver Actions: Spotlight Port package and reduced it to one line.1
osascript -e "tell application \"iTunes\"" -e "tell current playlist" -e "if song repeat is off then" -e "set song repeat to all" -e "else if song repeat is all then" -e "set song repeat to one" -e "else" -e "set song repeat to off" -e "end if" -e "end tell" -e "end tell"
Just add as a new Terminal/Shell script. Add more as needed. As I said on Twitter: Alfred is hopefully the mighty return of all the lovely one-liners.
I am totally aware that this script breaks the design. I’m already investigating how to integrate GitHub Gists here. Would make a lot things easier. Post any suggestions as comments, please. ↩
Paul is an old man playing Minecraft with his kids. I think that’s the right thing to do to make your kids become media aware and prepare them for their future. (Plus they are learning some things like being creative or to take care of each other.)
In case you don’t know what to watch from his channel. I would recommend watching Minecraft Mom. (She’s not as bad as Minecraft Chick.)
He’s playing Minecraft at school with his kids. They seem to have a lot of fun while learning things. He also built an (awesome) tutorial world that you can download.
But he also recorded this birthday serenade2:
Syncany is an open-source cloud storage and filesharing application. It allows users to backup and share certain folders of their workstations using any kind of storage, e.g. FTP, Amazon S3 or Google Storage. While the basic idea is similar to Dropbox and JungleDisk, Syncany is open-source and additionally provides data encryption and more flexibility in terms of storage type and provider.
Encryption happens locally, so you can store your stuff pretty much anywhere.
I can see this being really useful for a group of friends collaborating on a project or a small business that would like Dropbox-ish convenience without relying on a third party.
That said, it’s very new, unstable and currently available for Linux only—one to keep an eye on, though.