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Re: FCPX metadata--how significant is it? And why?

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Walter SoykaRe: FCPX metadata--how significant is it? And why?
by on Nov 16, 2011 at 5:26:17 pm

[Bill Davis] "why build it as a "resolution agnostic" tool otherwise?"

I have seen this argument many times in support of FCPX as a "pro" tool, but it doesn't persuade me.

In the 1990s, resolution independence was still a fantasy. There were no systems capable of high resolutions, and the computers of the time struggled enough with fixed, low resolution frame rates. The benefits of optimizing for specific, current usage outweighed the benefits of building a generalized system which the current hardware wouldn't support.

But for any company designing a new NLE product in the twenty-first century, an age where standards are changing faster than ever and computers are incomprehensibly powerful in comparison to the systems of a decade and a half ago, why would you not build in resolution independence? Why would you not allow floating point computation for renders? Why would you not leverage other modern and well-designed technologies that you've built into your operating system, like AVFoundation, ColorSync, and CoreData?

A lot of the things we're pointing to as proof that FCPX was designed for pros may really just solid software engineering that will allow FCPX to grow over time and accommodate change better than FCP Classic's infrastructure allowed. Good systems architecture is helpful for development, but it's not a feature unique to professional applications.

In other words, given the absence of significant "pro" features like *insert-the-pro-feature-that-FCPX-lacks-that-breaks-your-workflow-here*, I think it's hard to argue that presence of some "pro" features like resolution independence conclusively indicates that FCPX was designed for pros. Building an app with features pros would use and building an app that pros can use are two different things.

Can pros use FCPX? Some yes, some no. It totally depends on your workflow needs. Smart features like resolution independence are certainly useful for pros, but they are also just plain good design, are very useful to Apple developers, and will ultimately lower Apple's cost of FCPX future development.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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