Anybody notice that the metadata setup in FCPX looks suspiciously like Final Cut Server metadata setup? I don't think that is by accident.
When Philip Hodgetts started his series of articles on the next FCP long before it was released he talked about metadata. Gotcha, I thought, the next FCP would be multiseat. But right now the same Philip Hodgetts says all this metadata is stored in such a way it is impossible to publish.
What I heard Philip say IIRC was that until the CoreData>XML roadmap of Lion's development was revealed this would be an unknown.
As I grind my gears more and more I've come to the conclusion...FCPX is an incomplete thought.
Here's what I think. With the elimination of Final Cut Server, they ported in that database technology for metadata usage. That was the major flaw between Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Server was that the metadata was non transferrable because they were two separate data architectures. You'd have your Final Cut Server Metadata but it wasn't useful in Final Cut Pro. However, I don't think they've designed the "Front End" for a multi seat architecture yet. In short, there is no "ingest" engine yet that a group of people can insert and select the same metadata/clips pool. Everyone is standalone but they know this has to change for broadcast media and industrial use. Hell, this standalone methodology files in the face of Apple's thought process of Airplay, iCloud and collaborative lifestyle.
I will credit, I was up in arms earlier and have been following these boards. I do believe Apple reads these boards and has been following the negative feedback. I think they're biggest issue is they launched with the wrong feature set and the training has been spotty for a complete redesign for a product that has a reported 2 million FCP users. The Beta group was too small and poor Larry Jordan was the only one who knew what was going on but couldn't comment and get everyone to thinking about the future. It looks like all background for Color & Soundtrack Pro is there but the tools are incomplete. The scopes look and act better but we only have Exposure, Saturation and Color as Color Correction Options. The audio looks sharp and accurate but we have limited filters but no OMF or 5.1 mixing capabilities. The update to Compressor is also a clue of architecture. We can joke about Final Cut Pro current export to Facebook, Vimeo, etc. However, they're intent is that the professionals Compressor or a 3rd Party Solution like Episode Engine Pro to do you final transcoding instead of tying up Final Cut Pro. Instead of building 20 different codec into Final Cut, put it off to the side and let another "application handle it." Same logic with Motion. Also, what would the standard consumer do with 4K DPX output?
The previous FCP, AVID, Premiere and countless are others are based on the traditional film editing style. It's just digital. But Bins, SubClips, Sequences are the same technology that is 80+ years old. And there is a very good argument that they shouldn't have changed that methodology. FCPX is something different but I haven't been able to equate it yet because it is new. Mainly because they slapped iMovie technology with all the consumer presets on it. I think it's iMovie on Steroids in it's current state but I think there is a monster of an engine underneath. And Apple has said publicly that Lion, Thunderbolt are parts to the puzzle.
Another problem is convincing the 2 million FCP not to throw themselves off the cliff until the thought process is complete. And let's be honest, FCP didn't become stable until FCP 3 and didn't hit it's stride until FCP 5. They burned Rome to the ground on this one but in the end the architecture could be more powerful than the Adobe suite combined but they need to replace all the major features very quickly because by an ineffective launch and competition that has traditional editing ready to go they don't have time to wait. And my guess is that they know that and I believe they can because the code is now written in a modern language for Apple.
I know people are concerned about the support of FCP 7 but is a stable software and Lion probably isn't too big of an OS leap that it will fall crashing from the sky. It's not like Power PC vs. Intel. It's the end of the "Big Cats." So realistically, we probably have another 3 year lifespan on this technology. Though most of us will need to make business decisions within the immediate to 18 months on our futures of editing. Personally I figure I have 3 months before I can determine if it's implemented in 2012 year in my department due to retraining and I've given myself 15 months to determine if I have my team move on to Adobe. Some people don't have the luxury but others have been running on FCP 4 without issues for years as long as the hardware held up.
Apple won't explain their roadmap but in this case, they might need to if they want remain competitive in the Pro Apps arena. They burned a lot of goodwill in the past year between the iPhone 4, the lackluster impression of iCloud and now this. I have a feeling they will be around NAB a little more this year as well in one fashion or another.
It's easy to slap the iMovie on Steriods on it right now but I think it's a little more complex than that.