Well the keynote presentation at Apple World Wide Developer Conference has ended and it’s pretty safe to say that Pro App users have left empty handed and probably with a little bit of frustration. Despite the near 100% predictions that some blogs had boasted that WWDC 09 would see an update to the Pro Apps the Monday keynote has come and gone with no update to Final Cut Pro, Logic or any of the Final Cut Studio applications. Some conventional wisdom floating around amongst the conversations on Twitter and Internet forums had thought that there would be, at the very least, some discussion on how the Pro Apps would take advantage of the new features of the upcoming update to OS X, Snow Leopard. There was much talk of modern computing power, leveraging OpenCL in Snow Leopard, 64bit architecture … many advanced computing tasks that professional applications would seem best positioned to take advantage of. But still there was no introduction of Final Cut Pro 7 or Final Cut Studio 3. Of course Apple is so very secretive about all future products and announcements but wouldn’t it have made perfect sense to at least mention the company’s own highest-end applications when talking about this advanced new operating system? Even if it wasn’t a demo or a “technology preview” just a sentence like “and our professional video and audio applications will take advantage of all of these new technologies in future releases.” Something … anything for the Pro App users who were watching the reports from the keynote hoping that they would have something exciting to look forward to. It’s not that Apple has forgotten that Final Cut Pro exists as the application’s icon was on a banner at the event!
But the professional users might have also balked at the new Macbook Pros that were introduced since the 15-inch models have eliminated the ExpressCard slot in favor of an SD card slot. That’s a number of pro hardware cards that won’t work on the new 15-inch unit. Yes the ExpressCard is retained on the 17-inch and yes the new 13-inch has added FireWire 800 but that’s only one step up, two steps back for video pros. The other big question in the keynote for me is exactly how the new QuickTime X will affect those us who so deeply rely on the QuickTime architecture, namely video pros. The demo of QuickTime X looked like it has been re-engineered to be much more consumer friendly … something that often strikes fear into the hearts of professional users. QuickTime X will allow you to trim and share video with YouTube or MobileMe right from the QuickTime player with the help of a little timeline. It is supposedly also more focused on the video itself so there are no more on-screen controls, instead those controls fade on and off as you mouse over the window. That’s fine for presentation but as a pro video user I often want the visual feedback that the onscreen controls provide. Not to mention the timecode display in the bottom left corner of the QT player window. I use that all the time. There was also the mention of the “modern foundation” that QuickTime X is built upon. While that sounds good in presentation the truth is that us end users really won’t know how this will effect the Pro Apps until it ships.
Truth is that this WWDC keynote was totally geared for the average Apple consumer and not the Pro App power user. Some will say that this was not the place to introduce new Pro Apps since that is such a limited market but as I said above even a casual mention of how this new technology will benefit Pro App customers seems like an appropriate thing to at least mention! There was even the ultimate consumer Apple device introduced, a new iPhone. We Pro Apps users can only hope that there is a special event planned for somewhere in the future where we will get the fabulous new Final Cut Pro 7. Snow Leopard is scheduled to ship in September so I guess our focus will now shift to a few months into the future and we will keep our fingers crossed that Apple may throw us a bone then. Until that time … I’m going to use Avid Media Composer even more!
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