Friday, April 11, 2008

Phantom Cine QuickTime Toolkit 1.0.5 Update

If you're doing any high-speed video shooting/editing then you'll be happy to hear there is an update to the Phantom Cine toolkit.

Denser, faster, cheaper hard drives.

I'm not one to post youtube videos really but IBM's new technology dubbed "Racetrack Memory" could lead to more storage, fewer failures and faster access to data. Hopefully this will lead to smaller storage devices with less heat, less power consumption and faster access times for video editing.

Sleep your display with Keyboard Command

Try this:

Shift+Control+Eject. If it works your display will go to sleep as if you had turned it off while the Mac runs happily in the dark. Of course, just tap a key (I like Shift) to wake up the display.

Firmware update helps Firewire Problems?

Not only did Apple release another pro-app update today updating FCP to 6.0.3 but some sites are reporting that the recent iMac EFI Firmware update helps with Firewire volumes refusing to mount on some iMacs.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Keep an "AirDisk" spinning

If you use an "AirDisk" to keep shared data on but find it's spinning down annoying here's a really cool way to keep it spinning all the time.

I haven't tried it yet with other hard drives or shared volumes but this may be a solution for pesky external firewire hard drives with firmware which refuses to obey your energy saver settings and spin down no matter what.

Fastest Firewire Yet

Symwave which deals with firewire technology (among other things) announced today the fastest firewire yet.

It's called FirePHY-1600, and increases the speed of regular FireWire to about 1.6 gigabits per second (Gbps) in theory-ish which is twice as fast as FireWire 800.

The cool thing is that it's all backwards compatible with FireWire 800 and 400. And expect people to call it FireWire 1600 any second now. (don't get too comfy as FW3200 is on it's way already)

The true name of this technology is "IEEE 1394b S1600 Physical Layer (PHY)"

They're sending out samples to companies as I type this :)

FCPRescue vs FCP Attic

We all know (hopefully) the freeware app FCPRescue which will backup your FCP prefs and restore them from your backup if they ever get corrupted. The bottom line is that trashing your FCP prefs or restoring a known good set can solve all sorts of strange behaviors and problems.

But, there's a new bit of kit on the block called FCP Attic which is shareware at $15.00 from Chesapeake Systems. I couldn't find it listed at macupdate for some reason. They say it's worth the $15 (up from free I suppose) because of:

Trash, Backup and Refresh your Final Cut Pro preferences with the click of a button. Can be used with all Mac OS X compatible versions of Final Cut Pro (version 3.x thru 6.0.x). Unlike other preference utilities, FCP Attic allows you to choose your backup folder location so you can move your preferences from machine-to-machine with external media.

It's not hard to know where FCPRescue stores it's backup and truth be told, it's not hard to whip up an applescript to perform all of this yourself which sounds like something I'll give a go later on tonight if I have time. I'll post the script here.

Chesapeake Systems also makes something called Multiuser Pro for Final Cut which:

Multiuser Pro brings an Avid-like project window to Final Cut Pro. Create multiple Final Cut Pro users within a single Mac OS X user login. Migrate your preferences easily from machine-to-machine in a SAN environment. Create preferences based on a user or project name... do what they said couldn't be done!

Now I haven't tried out any of their tools but frankly, if you know your way around Final Cut it's not hard to do all of this yourself. In fact, you should know where all the bits and pieces of Final Cut are spread around on your hard drives so you can troubleshoot things manually. But that's me :)

Final Cut Server Ships

After much hullaballoo Apple has finally shipped Final Cut Server. Press Release here.

$999 (US) for one server and 10 concurrent client licenses and $1,999 (US) for one server and unlimited client licenses. The requirements can be found here.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Multiple P2 Cards Mounted Simultaneously

I love P2 cards and cameras like the HVX-200. But here's a tip from Apple that has bitten me a few times and I never put the two together. Apparently when you have multiple P2 cards mounted at once the likelihood of Final Cut crashing is increased. Go figure. I wonder why Apple has chosen to just post a note about it rather than issue a patch for it.

On computers with Mac OS X 10.4, Final Cut Pro 6 may quit unexpectedly while you're using the Log and Transfer window to transfer media from Panasonic P2 cards. If you have multiple P2 volumes mounted simultaneously, the likelihood of this happening may increase.

So do this...

To work around this issue, have fewer P2 volumes mounted at a given time.

All the more reason to buy a few of these, I guess.

HDV Capturing Hassles

I've never liked HDV for many reason so here's one more straight from Apple:

When you capture footage from an HDV camera using Final Cut Pro, the image displayed in the capture window may lag slightly behind the image displayed on the camera. This is normal and does not indicate any issue with Final Cut Pro or your camera.

What do you do to solve this hassle? Nothing really...other than stop using HDV...

This inconsistency is related to HDV's Long-GOP (Group of Pictures) MPEG-2 format. With the data structure for this format, Final Cut Pro must assess information about several frames in a row before it can accurately display them all.

When you need to make decisions about where to place in and out points for clips you wish to capture, the time reference point on your camera is more accurate. However, with HDV it's a good idea to give yourself an extra second or so on each side of the clip when marking in and out points for Log and Capture or when using Capture Now.