Monthly Archives: November 2011

What if your container allowed layers?

I just heard the best thing ever on MacVideo. Philippe Baudet: “What if your video file had layers, like photoshop”. He has a great talk on Black Magic Design products, but he simply forgot to mention Black Magic’s products, which is great. In all honesty, the man seems very inspired and his eyes are wide open, as he states in the video. He has a very grounded vision of the A/V future to say the least. I recommend the talk to anybody interseted in where the NLE, Broadcast or video industry is going. Great stuff.

P.S. I now believe layered video containers are the future of electronic distribution. Want that ad in mandarin? Choose video track 6, VO track 6 + M&E tracks 11-12! Wow 🙂

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My take on a Mac Pro gaming machine…

After a couple of delicious beers with a good friend, we concluded the Mac: Pro Gaming redesign might resemble something like:
  • Black brushed aluminum, or a complete new look.
  • Windows pre-installed! In a dual-boot fashion of course.
  • Dual-link, good graphics card (ex: GTX 580 SLI, or maybe the 570s)
  • Quad Core
  • 8 Gigs of ram
  • 256 GB SSD for OS X and Windows + 750 GB, 7200 RPM for data.

Boom! you got a winner here if not too pricey. A machine you can buy that has been designed from the get-go to run games at impressive frame-rates. A hassle free dream machine, with a power supply that can actually spit out enough power to feed your graphics cards.

Plus, audio/video guys can still add more CPUs and ram if needed, and remove a graphics card if not necessary. But keeping them would actually improve video editing/compressing performance since Apple is integrating OpenCL in most of their software products. I would even tend to predict Logic X will use OpenCL in some way…

All this being wishful thinking of course.

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A place left for the Mac Pro at Apple?

While working at my last job, using Final Cut 99.9% of the time, I witnessed the announcement, the release and the temporary demise of Final Cut Pro X.

The software which should be referred to as: “piss everybody off with a high-end workflow PRO X”… Now that’s mean, isn’t it. “Piss everybody off” should suffice. Amongst all the flurry of information focused on FCP X, we silently lost Color (I have my thoughts on that… DaVinci coming to mac, anyone?), we lost DVD Studio Pro and finally lost our nice presets in Compressor (which didn’t get a decent update in itself, but requires a new graphics card though). Very strange.

My technical director almost bought the new Final Cut the very same day it was released! I remember pressuring him to let a good night’s sleep calm his anxiousness down. Even with such a low price, I had a bad feeling when I read on Apple’s website… nothing new from the features I had seen in the demo (at NAB). “Bad, very bad…” I thought to myself, while rubbing my chin in a very detective-like way. The next day, I get up late and arrive late to work as usual. What’s the first thing I can say, with a huge vile smile, to the tech director : “iMovie HD”. That’s what I said, and that’s pretty much what there was to say. I had been surfing the inter-webs all night long, and oh, was I sad.

The story goes on, Apple realizes they made a mistake when they stopped selling FCP 7, so they put it back on sale. The FCP evangelist try to shove an infant piece of software down our throats saying “it’s so new” and “the meta-data is so shiny” and whatever else you’ll hear from Larry Jordan… but YOU CAN’T EFFING MARK IN/OUT AND EXPORT A CLIP !!! I’m sorry, WTF IN THE WORLD! THAT WAS DESIGNED BY BABIES !? I’m sorry again. That is a feeling shared amongst users who actually need to export video clips, you know, that thing you export when using a non linear video editor?

OK. my rant is over. All this because, at the time, I predicted Apple might stop selling Mac Pros. The developer doesn’t seem to care about professionals anymore and bla bla bla iPad bla bla iPhone etc. We’ve all heard it.

And today, I read on macrumors, a rumor states Apple might drop the Mac Pro line. Well we’ve been waiting for upgrades, we’ve been waiting for thunderbolt, we’ve spent thousands of dollars on those machines in the past and boom, they would be gone? I have no idea if this rumor holds a bit of truth, but if it does hear me out Apple! heh heh, I’d dream.

Even though the video industry has gone sour after the release of Final Cut Amateur X. And even though the audio industry will turn sour after your release of Logic Amateur X. There is an industry (well, more like a public) that hasn’t turned sour yet, that hasn’t even turned. My god, that doesn’t even care! You guessed? The video game industry, which the Mac division has never even attempted to conquer, even less approach. This industry is actually taking notice of the mac platform. The best example being Steam and it’s few games. But since Apple rages in the laptop world, and those PC gamers need good laptops to play on, well there is a good chance many hardcore gamers have ended up with a Mac. If not, they have taken notice.

Razer will be releasing a wicked 17inch gaming laptop soon. I quote the CEO of Razer, Min-Liang Tan, “There is actually another laptop out there, it’s not PC though, that has discreet graphics, that is 17 inches in terms of the screen size, supposed to be one of the most powerful laptops in the world. [Our laptop] is thinner than the Mac Book Pro. So [it] out performs the Mac Book Pro in gaming, there’s only one thing it doesn’t do though. But we PC gamers don’t care, why? It doesn’t run Mac OS X, that’s all.”

Apple could revamp, re-market, and re-idealize their Mac Pro line to fit this eager audience. Which is in need of more power than it ever has before! The Mac Pro can deliver, but can Apple? Oh wow, what a nice ending phrase that was… before I interrupted 🙂

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