More random, mindless speculation about the new Final Cut Pro

The Editblog on PVC by Scott Simmons

Even I admit, this is way too many words written about something we know virtually nothing about (though I hope there’s some food for thought here).

Here we are a couple of weeks past what is just slightly more than a rumor about the next version of Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Let’s call it FCPx as someone on Twitter stated and not FCP Awesome as was tweeted by another. I like FCPx for the mindless speculation. There has been more digital ink spilled over so little information concerning FCPx than pretty much anything besides the next great Canon DSLR or Obamacare. I’m about to add a bit more.

Some of that rumor/speculation has hinted that FCPx might indeed be more iMovie like, doing away with things like the Viewer/Canvas 2-screen view and replacing the long standing NLE tradition of 3-point editing. As a matter of sacrifice for the readers of the world, I spent the weekend editing home movies in iMovie ‘09 just in case FCPx takes a rather iMovie like turn.

This wasn’t my first time in iMovie. When the greatly revamped iMovie ‘09 hit the market I tried it out on several home movie edits and cast it aside in frustration. Of course professional editors who value their keyboard-centric speed aren’t the iMovie target as its mouse-centric way of working and imprecise editing tools make it very frustrating. But it was sold as a fast and easy editing tool so I thought it was worth a try. Two years later I revisited. In light of all the FCPx non-news that’s made the web recently, this exercise made me look at iMovie in a different way.

If FCPx is built off a modern architecture then it stands to reason that Apple is looking toward their other more modern video editing applications for either influence or technology. Philip Hodgetts has speculated in quite a bit of detail about how FCPx can’t be built off Quicktime as we know it so I won’t repeat details about the innards of Quicktime and video processing on a Mac as he does a splendid job. This is partly because I don’t really understand all the techno-mumo-jumbo about this architecture, partly because I don’t care. If my iPhone can rock a native H.264 edit without breaking a sweat, why can’t FCP? (Whether you should edit native H.264 or not is another debate entirely) If iMovie can be rendering something in the background why can’t FCP? And why do both of Apple’s photo applications (not to mention FCP’s blood rival Adobe Premiere Pro) have face recognition / detection but not FCP? The answer is that FCP 7 is old. It just hasn’t been updated to do all this cool stuff and probably can’t since it lives in a 32-bit world on very old source code. read more...

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