Final Cut Pro 8 Announced Today? Things to Look For
The rumors have been flying about Final Cut Pro 8 being announced today at the FCP user group Supermeet in Las Vegas. Â It seems that a "special presenter" has bumped Adobe and Avid off the presenter podium, and it's a known secret it is Apple. Â Reports I've read have been ranging from excited for the new program to offended by those who are big Adobe and Avid fans, which means it puts Apple in a very tight spot. Â They have to deliver, and they have to deliver big.
But, personally, I don't care a whole lot about the software, as I'm not a video editor. Â But I do set up a lab with Final Cut Studio installed, and our lab is started to show it's age. Â So what really matters to me are the requirements for Final Cut Studio. Â What are the hardware requirements? Â What kind of a footprint will it represent? Â And, most important, how easy will it be to deploy in a lab environment? Â Historically Final Cut Pro has not been the best software for a Lab deployment. Â I'm hoping that will change here in the near future.
I've also been told that the old Final Cut Pro has had a very dated core to it, coming from the old Mac OS 9 world (not sure how true that is), and making it very inefficient compared to what it could do. Â That has caused part of the problems with deployment, but it also means you need more beefy hardware to run the thing (though rendering in general requires a lot of processing time). Â So, based on what my Final Cut Pro instructors have wanted, here is what I would like to see (for their sakes):
- More Efficient Use: Â Video editing shouldn't be too difficult, or take a lot of memory/CPU/GPU processing to work. Â Instead it should dedicate as many resources as possible to rendering. Â While I know most video professionals have Mac Pros, Xserves, or MacBook Pros, I would like to see software that could be installed and run easily on smaller iMacs, Mac Minis (which the current FCP can technically do), Macbooks, and even Macbook Airs. Â It will give us more flexibility on hardware, which means the software can be more available. Â It also makes planning for a new lab easier, and less expensive. Â I'm just saying.
- Better Integration: Â Apparently there are problems moving files from Final Cut Pro to, say, Motion or Color, and back again. Â That kind of segmented view to video editing is not popular, because it means more work for the editor when it should be focused on less.
- Smaller Hard Drive Footprint: Currently, a base install of Mac OS X 10.6 and Final Cut Studio (with all the bells and whistles) is almost 60 GB of hard drive space. Â That's huge, even on a computer with 250 GB of hard drive space. Â While all the libraries are not technically necessary, it would be nice to have a full Final Cut Studio install that weighs in at about 30 GB. Â It may not be possible, but that would be nice.
- Less Memory Usage: Â While most modern computers come with 4 GB of memory, older computers are struggling to use Final Cut Pro with 2 GB of memory (like my current lab). Â While more memory means faster rendering, that I understand, it shouldn't require a huge amount of memory to do the initial editing. Â Of course, I could be wrong, but I would like to see a smaller memory footprint with the new Final Cut Pro.
- iPad Integration: Â This is purely on the wish list, and as I said I don't use Final Cut Pro, so I don't know how useful it would be, but I think it would be awesome to see Final Cut Pro have some sort of integration with the iPad, or even the iPhone. Â It would make a great toolkit that could be integrated with little effort, but make editing more efficient. Â That, and it would be very impressive for those running a demonstration.
Those are the things I would like to see. Â I fully admit much of it is geared to making life easier for me to deploy the software in the Lab, and to cut costs in lab maintenance. Â I trust to those who use Final Cut Studio to worry about the actual functional bits. Â After all, someone has to worry about how they are going get on the computer initially, and what computers are going to be needed to get the work done.