Opening My Mind Has Opened Doors

Creative COW by Richard Harrington

To say the least, I'm a Mac guy. I learned on an Apple II in grade school. Got my first Mac at Drake University, which required each student to have one. I ran a publishing company, a web company, worked for other companies, and then myself, all using Macintosh workstations and Apple-centered workflows.

Along the way, I was certified as one of the First Final Cut Pro instructors. I've written more than 10 books specifically about the Mac OS and Mac-only applications. I've spoken at Macworld, Mac Live, and numerous other conferences about the Mac. In fact I'm writing this story on a MacBook Pro using Apple Pages, which is by far my favorite word processor.

So what happened? I guess you could say "I lost my religion." I have not abandoned the Mac platform -- it's still the majority in our shop -- but I have become much more open-minded about where Windows fits in and how PC manufacturers offer a wider range of machines with a lot more potential processing power.

I was pulling together footage and selects to show a client. I had about 45 minutes of interviews that I needed posted to the web for their review that night. Everything was complete in Final Cut, and I chose to export, first, directly to Compressor, then with reference movies. In both cases the compression time was well over 2 hours for simple iPod-formatted movies. Two hours of my life about to be wasted, and one more meal I missed with the wife and kids.

Then the lightbulb went off. Because I had the Adobe Creative Suite installed for Photoshop and After Effects as much as anything else, I already had the Adobe Media Encoder installed too. It is wicked fast, 64-bit and uses every core to its fullest. read more...

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