Avid Compatibility with Mac OS X Lion (10.7), Info for ProTools and MediaComposer

July 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Product Compatibility: New Mac OS X Lion (v10.7) Under Evaluation with Media Composer and Symphony
The new Mac OS X Lion (v10.7) was released by Apple on July 20th as a download from the Mac App Store.  This new OS X Lion (10.7) is currently under evaluation with both Media Composer and Symphony.  Qualification for this operating system is a top priority and supported configurations will be announced at a future date.

Product Compatibility: Mac OS X Lion (10.7) Under Evaluation for Use with Pro Tools Avid is excited to see that Apple’s new Mac OS X Lion (10.7) operating system is now available for download from the Mac App Store. However, please note that at this time, Pro Tools 9—including Pro Tools HD 9 and Pro Tools MP 9—and all earlier versions of the software are not compatible with Mac OS X Lion. Our top priority is to provide you with a fully compatible version as soon as possible. We’re currently working with Apple and will notify you as soon as we have something ready. That said, Pro Tools SE software, which is bundled with select M-Audio products, is fully qualified for Mac OS X Lion once you download and install a patch. To do this, open Pro Tools SE on any Mac running Mac OS X Lion and run the auto-updater, which will locate the update for download and installation (it’s less than a megabyte). The patch is also available on the M-Audio site at: http://www.m-audio.com/ptseFAQ.

Apple Final Cut Pro X and the ensuing land grab of Avid and Adobe

June 30, 2011 1 comment

Word….The Apple professional editorial universe has gone bonkers.  The best explanation I’ve heard from a friend/client is the Final Cut Pro change is like Microsoft changing Word and all old files are not compatible or integrate with any of the other Microsoft applications you use with Word.  As an Apple and Avid and Adobe partner, this is as disruptive as it gets.  Editors don’t like radical changes and FinalCut X’s innovations has freaked a lot of people out.

The editorial camps have been carved into three camps: Apple FinalCut (comprised of either younger editors or people who got totally fed up with Avid over the years), Avid users and a much smaller contingent (of people cutting beyond web and weddings) of Adobe CS5+ users.  Overall, Avid and Apple battled.  Apple, in my opinion, won the second tier markets and the tier one markets with the younger editorial crowd.  Heck, even Angus Wall won an emmy for The Social Network cutting on Final Cut.  Yes, Angus made his initial mark cutting music videos on the Avid MediaComposer, back in the day.  FinalCut became the cool product to cut on and for most people contracting editorial services, a lower priced rate.  My opinion is that the younger editors charged less per hour and that was the larger contributor to a lower rate.  Anyway, Apple announced the new X and discontinued FinalCut 7.

X is the future and 7 is yesterday, so move on, upgrade off the app store and move on.  What….you say you need to make EDLs.  They are yesterday or even the last millennium, so what if the studio where you cut trailers requires an EDL to create the matchback.  Studios are yesterday, it’s all about electronic distribution vehicles like Amazon and Itunes, they don’t require EDLs.  Where am I going here…well, a large contingent of FinalCut editorial houses are totally pissed.

My short term opinion is simple, don’t jump off any bridges, this as every change will work itself out.   Apple will either recognize that they should have named FCP X “ImoviePro” or rethink the disruptive product introduction and re-tool their strategy.  I’ve known the key product developers at Apple (even before they were at Apple), they are smart people and understand post production intimately.  If they want to make changes, they already know what needs to be done.  If Apple has defined the next growth market to be Imovie upgrades, well the professional FCP 7 users are SOL.  Round one of FCPX does not look good for legacy workflows, but there are cool new innovations, just not multi user workflows…yet.  That being said, I’m still unclear as to whether MediaComposer 5.5 will work on Lion, but hope to know by end of next week.

Editorial software is now cheaper than plug ins (or close) and having access to more than one workflow and software can help maximize the quality of projects and the productivity of editors.  Download free copies of Avid MediaComposer http://www.avid.com/mctrial  and try out Adobe CS5.5 (couldn’t find if their is a trial).  Minimize your risk and stay educated on options.  With new management, Avid has radically changed their approach towards users and the economics while Adobe will continue to innovate their editorial tools and in my opinion have the best video web solutions on the planet.

Editorial is being driven to commodity status, editors are creative people and creating differentiation is tough while maintaining rates in a tough economy.  The broader the set of deliverables you can provide, the greater your value.  Key Code Media will be having a major event and streaming it to get together top level editors to help sort out all the craziness.  Stay tuned, the trailer is in development and will be the most intense invite we’ve ever put together.  Mark late July for the event of X. Simultaneously in Seattle, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Burbank tied together by LifeSize HD teleconferencing and Newtek’s Tricaster 850 Extreme streaming the event.

That being said, Gary Greenfield and Kirk Arnold are coming to the epicenter of editorial world, Los Angeles,on July 13 to have some type of event and want to spread the word.  Me being the tool that I am, will help communicate this.

http://community.avid.com/blogs/avid/archive/2011/06/30/making-great-products-to-serve-professionals-is-our-lifeblood.aspx

Creative Storage Conference and StorageDNA

June 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The Creative Storage Conference and Exhibition will be on June 29th, is a one day seminar in Culver City hosted by the Entertainment Storage Alliance.
Suman Grandhi, StorageDNA’s Director of Technical Enginerring will be speaking at the 3:45pm presentation with the topic- Content Archiving and Asset Management.

Patrick Howley, Vice President of Sales at Key Code Media, will be attending the day long conference.

Cost to attend the exhibition is free, the conference cost at the door is $450.

http://www.creativestorage.org/
http://www.creativestorage.org/2011Agenda.htmPat Howley will be attending the conference and networking with the paid attendees.

StorageDNA will be exhibiting in Space 10.
Location
6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, California, United States 90230-6306

3:45 PM Session D: Lest we forget what is important: Content Archiving and Asset Management:
(Sponsored by Atempo)

Will our valuable content libraries survive with the every changing formats and storage devices? Will we be able to find our content when and where we need it? How do content owners decide what will live and what will die? How will this change in the future? Find out about valuable developments in content archiving and automated metadata generation and asset management that will make sure that our content libraries are resilient, strong and useful. This session will help you to map out a strategy for long term retention of precious professional content.

Moderator: Mary Yurkovic, Createasphere

Speakers:
• Janet Lefleur, Atempo
• Rusty Rosenberger, Imation
• Jeff Spalla, Reeldata (Amplidata)
• Tom Goldberg, Cache-A
• Hossein ZiaShakeri, Spectra Logic

Categories: News

Apple Final Cut ProX Released- first commentary

June 21, 2011 1 comment

Key Code Media’s Michael Kammes Application Editor gave a first pass of the highlights of Apple’s just released FinalCut X.  We will be downloading FinalCut X at Key Code Media today to start a deeper dive into understanding the new application and determine where this complete re-write falls into the professional’s editorial spectrum.

Presently, the software is only available on the App Store.  Key Code presently has no word on how Apple will sell physical copies or VAR programs. Present pricing is broken out with the main$299.99 for FCP X application, plus the options of $49.99 for Motion 5 and $49.99 for Compressor 4.

Overall, the new FinalCut X has a lot of cool features and Apple is definitely a trendsetter.  Interestedly enough, the landing page at Apple.com highlights iCloud.  Auto-Analysis seems like a very interesting .  Here’s the direct quote from the Apple site

“Final Cut Pro dramatically speeds up preparing your media by analyzing your source material in the background while you edit. Content Auto-Analysis scans your footage and creates metadata based on the way editors like to work — with range-based tags for media attributes, camera data, shot type, and whether the shot contains one person, two people, or a group. Use these tags to sort, filter, and search your clips.

Set up Auto-Analysis to occur during import, or analyze clips later if you prefer. Content Auto-Analysis also performs processor-intensive analysis ahead of time for features such as image stabilization, corrections for rolling shutter distortion, color balance, and repairs for typical audio problems. Then you can use these features in real time as you edit.”

Aside from all of the cool kid stuff, here are the things you NEED TO KNOW: DVD Studio Pro is gone and some features of Color and Soundtrack Pro are rolled into FCP-X, but are not standalone apps. There is no capture from tape ability (AKA Log & Capture).  Instead, an editor would use the capture tools provided by AJA and Blackmagic. Capture from a  USB drive or Firewire camera or still camera is supported.  Here’s how to find out whether your camera work with FCP -X? http://help.apple.com/finalcutpro/cameras/en/index.html This also means that output (PLAYBACK) to an external monitor is at the mercy of AJA / Blackmagic, Matrox and other IO board companies.   I anticipate Thunderbolt to be the Holy Grail for this, or for AJA and BM to update some drivers for the Kona and Decklink series.

FCP X and FCP 7 can be on the same machine, same partition. FCP X will move some FCP file around, however. There is no multicam (currently) There is currently no way to import OLD FCP (pre FCP X) projects into FCP. The is no OMF ability. This means (currently) sending to Pro Tools or Soundtrack Pro is not available.

Machine requirements: Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better 2GB of RAM (4GB of RAM recommended) OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later 256MB of VRAM Display with 1280-by-768 resolution or higher Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later 2.4GB of disk space Format support (notice no RED). Many of these files listed below are TRANSCODED IN THE BACKGROUND for an optimal editing experience and playback (ProRes), so, pseudo-real time support. H.264 from GoPro and iFrame cameras H.264 from DSLR cameras Broadcast Wave Format DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO HD HDV Panasonic AVC-Intra, including AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50 Sony IMX, XDCAM HD, XDCAM HD422, and XDCAM EX JVC-created XDCAM EX Canon XF MPEG-2; ingest supported with additional software AVCHD, including Panasonic AVCCAM and Sony NXCAM Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit SD and HD Apple Intermediate Codec Still images including PSD, BMP, GIF, RAW, JPEG, PNG, TGA, and TIFF Compressed audio including AAC, AIFF, BWF, CAF, MP3, MP4, and WAV

Here are some useful links to access to learn more: Apple Landing Page: http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro   http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/all-features/      http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/specs/       More links: http://www.larryjordan.biz/goodies/blog.html

Overall, we’d like to hold back on any commentary about the in depth workable differences between FCP 7 and FCP X until we have some legitimate drive time.  This update was condensed from the presentation today.

.: michael kammes mpse .: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant .: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr

StorageDNA introduces 8 new products for LTO-5 with LTFS archiving

May 21, 2011 Leave a comment

StorageDNA introduces eight new LTO-5 LTFS archiving solutions….complete turnkey solutions starting at $7,995

StorageDNA has introduced eight turnkey bundles with the StorageDNA Evolution technology with LTO-5/LTFS archive and synchronization for rich media workflows.  Tridib Chakravarty, C.E.O. of StorageDNA announces “With the introduction of open source LTFS, StorageDNA has created a usable archive and automated back up allowing editorial, graphics, audio the seamless ability to develop simple archive and retrieval workflows.  By introducing the D-100, X and N Series, our clients can now get a StorageDNA Evolution with LTO-5 turnkey solution with the entry pricing under $8,000.  We found that our resellers and clients were looking to have one company bundle and support cost competitive turnkey work flow solutions.  DNA Evolution has made efficient archiving cost effective.”

Mike Cavanagh, President of Key Code Media (a west coast video integrator and reseller) states “DNASync allowed clients to nearline their Avid and Apple Final Cut projects on lower cost disks.  DNA Evolution utilizing LTFS now allows for an exponentially scalable archive solution on a secure and robust medium.  Our clients are constantly running out of storage limiting their capacity to run multiple projects while awaiting approvals on other jobs.  DNA Evolution now allows archiving up to 1.5 terabytes which equals 15 hours of HDCam footage.  The cool aspect is the automation and process rules for ease of use and integrity of the back up where any creative editorial suite can easily deploy within their business.”

StorageDNA Evolution provides real time archive, snap shot, DNA Evolution can retrieve entire projects from Nearline to online storage. Alternatively, DNA Evolution enables editors to retrieve specific sequences. DNA Evolution supports both AAF (Avid) and XML (Final Cut) based retrievals allowing maximization of storage for your online SAN, while easily allowing retrieval of projects or clips.   DNA Evolution archive clients can upload extracted metadata, generated previews (*) to the controller. Once uploaded, the content can be browsed, played, downloaded and searched for via the DNA Evolution web interface.  DNA Evolution utilizes checksum and delete algorithms. These algorithms are built for LTO-5 tape and the newer LTFS file system. Delete algorithms ensure media is truly on tape before being deleted from primary disk or removable media.  DNA Evolution runs in three modes enabling archiving, snapshots and migration. Archive is useful for protecting raw footage and exported sequences. Snapshots offer instant recovery during a project, while migration offers the ability to migrate media based on activity.

The following link is a sample workflow leveraging the LAN/WAN connectivity enabled by StorageDNA.  http://www.keycodemedia.com/StorageDNA/storagedna.html

For a full explanation of the eight new StorageDNA Evolution solutions, please visit.  http://storagedna.com/product-dnaevo.html

D100(Desktop Host, 1 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, Software)

Hardware: HP 4000 Desktop Hardware, SAS Interconnect, 1 x LTO-5 Tape Drive
Software: Evolution Controller, Evolution Archive Server

X-Series (Rackmount Series, 1 Gb/s – 2 Gb/s)

X100 (Server Host, 1 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, Software)
Hardware: HP DL120 Hardware, SAS Interconnect, 1 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x Rackmount Kit
Software: Evolution Controller, Evolution Archive Server
X100-8 (Server Host, 1 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x 8 slot Automation, Software)
Hardware: HP DL120 Hardware, SAS Interconnect, 2 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x Rackmount Kit
Software: Evolution Controller, Evolution Archive Server
X100-24 (Server Host, 1 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x 24 slot Automation, Software)
Hardware: HP DL120 Hardware, SAS Interconnect, 2 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x Rackmount Kit
Software: Evolution Controller, Evolution Archive Server
X200-24 (Server Host, 2 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x 24 slot Automation, Software)
Hardware: HP DL120 Hardware, SAS Interconnect, 2 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x Rackmount Kit
Software: Evolution Controller, Evolution Archive Server
X200-48 (Server Host, 2 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x 48 slot Automation, Software)
Hardware: HP DL120 Hardware, SAS Interconnect, 2 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x Rackmount Kit
Software: Evolution Controller, Evolution Archive Server
X400-48 (Server Host, 4 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x 48 slot Automation, Software)
Hardware: HP DL120 Hardware, SAS Interconnect, 4 x LTO-5 Tape Drive, 1 x Rackmount Kit
Software: Evolution Controller, Evolution Archive Server

N-Series (Rackmount Series, 2 Gb/s – 10 Gb/s)
N-Series are configurable for end user needs and designed to connect with end user tape hardwareFor further information or a demonstration, please contact Key Code Media at 818-303-3900, 206-728-4000, 310-401-6700, 415-221-0300 or 949-757-0303. (www.keycodemedia.com)

Sony HDCam tape shortages: Is it time to now truly go tapeless? Or sort of tapeless with LTO-5/LTFS

April 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Sony Corporation’s Sendai factory which produced HDCam SR tapes has ceased operations on March 11th due to earthquake damage and no date is set to restart production. The entertainment and broadcasts industries are now faced with extreme shortages of a primary camera acquisition, production and show mastering consumable. With limited news about when new tape stock will be manufactured, what are the options? De-gauze, revert to SD 16:9, or go tapeless? Tapeless workflows have been a buzzword for many years, and due to this unfortunate tragedy, we may be at the tipping point where a fully tapeless workflow becomes necessity for production and post. As more productions transition to tapeless workflows it is now critical to identify cost effective production pipelines and determine best practices to minimize the risk of losing digital media. Tape has long been the gold standard for productions and the safest choice. That being said, tape does have limitations. Tape is a real-time process; one hour of video takes one hour to digitize and one hour to master back to tape. Video tape is also rather inefficient by the modern measure of how many hours of content fit within one cassette.

So you want to take a walk on the tapeless side?

Here are some options: Capture & Acquisition: First, determine what camera and format will shoot on, and will going to a tape format benefit you down the long winding post-road. Since you will most likely be editing digitally, and outputting digitally, does going to tape really the most efficient way to go? Solutions like the portable and camera mountable Cinedeck allow direct to disk capture from virtually any camera – with a codec of your choosing in pre-compression. This allows choosing a format like Avid’s DNxHD and Apple’s ProRes both are robust and stable in post and easily played by any NLE system. Cinedeck also allows for Cineform encoding; one of the most respected codecs available today, routinely used in DI suites – rivaling and exceeding HDCAM SR quality. Here is a great comparison between Cineform and HDCAM SR: http://www.wafian.com/QualityComparison_CineForm444_vs_HDCamSR.pdf .

Another extremely robust solution comes from Telestream, an industry leader in encoding. Using their Pipeline appliance allows for Real Time DNxHD and ProRes encoding, in addition to a myriad of other frequently codecs. Pipeline, in conjunction with their Episode encoding software, allows for the ability to create virtually any file format that is needed – for post, deliverable, and distribution. AJA has made quite a splash with the Ki Pro family, which also allows for a direct to disk acquisition, focusing on utilizing Apple’s Pro Res codec. Once the files have been delivered into post, and the project has been completed, we now need to contend with deliverables and archival. I contend that new LTFS – that is, the ability to use LTO-5 tapes as you would a removable Hard Drive – is a rock solid way of bridging and unifying these necessities. LTFS allows for faster than real time restoring and play out of the broadcast quality files. In addition, it’s in a native format that any computer can recognize – a stark contrast to the antiquated TAR format, which has been the standard, albeit proprietary, data tape backup format. These same data files can also be pushed via WAN to the intended facility. With WAN acceleration products like StorageDNA, Aspera, or Signiant, the wait time for a physical tape delivery is negated and the workflow has now become completely tapeless. All 3 of these solutions will be at NAB this year and all 3 have comparable speeds – but vary in pricing on the available feature sets. Archive and Restore: At the end of the process, what is going to serve you as not only the most reliable backup methodology, but the most cost effective as well? One LTO5 tape costs well below $100, and prices have been dropping. Each tape holds 1.5 TB – equivalent to 15 Broadcast quality HDCAM SR tapes. Compare this to protected RAID solutions and the savings are instantaneous. With the reliability not found in spinning disks yield a win-win proposition. Coupled with the price and performance gains, when LTO5 is tied in with LTFS, you gain something even more important: compatibility. Current LTO-5 cassettes are smaller than an HDCAM tape and can store as much as 15 hours of content mastered in Apple ProRes or DNxHD. These limitations have continued to be accepted in favor of the perceived ‘safe’ factor of traditional video tape. But is video tape really safer than data tape; is it more secure on a shelf than an LTO tape in a robotic library? Does video tape fail less often than data tape? Perhaps now is the time to acknowledge the limitations of traditional tape workflows and begin to examine the potential for safe and efficient file based solutions. LTFS is universally compatible – remember, it appears just like any removeable drive. This means 5, 10, 20 years down the road, the information is viewable and retrievable – not in a proprietary format that needs a piece of software that no longer exists.

Over the next week of NAB2011, I’m sure we’ll see more tapeless solutions and would love feedback from the community.

IBM, HP, Quantum,StorageDNA and Cache-A have all announced support for this emerging technology. Go see these booths at NAB to learn more about alternatives to a tape workflow: StorageDNA (SL10310), Cinedeck (SL12116), AJA (SL4420) , Cache-A(SL8209), Aspera (SL9620), Signiant (SL5229), Isilon (SL11614), Ultrium LTO N6619.

Below are some recent links outlining the issues of HDCAM. http://www.sony.com/SCA/press/110314.shtml http://www.10pdm.com/sony-hdcam-sr-shortage http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/03/sony-media-products-experience-shortage-as-prices-soar/ http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/115606

Mike Cavanagh, President of Key Code Media, is recognized as leader in blending video technology advances with fundamental business issues. He can be reached at mcavanagh@keycodemedia.com or (818) 303-3900.

Key Code Media Hires Terry Marshall and Trish Silverman To Join Sales Team

April 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Key Code Media announces the hiring of Trish Silverman and Terry Marshall to the Key Code Media Sales Team.  They will be joining Key Code Media at NAB 2011 and will going through training and attending booth presentations from our vendors.

Terry Marshall for the last eight years was Vice President of Global Sales – Professional Technology Division for Sonic Solutions.  Terry was a key influence for the world wide adoption of Sonic Scenarist to become the Blu Ray authoring standard.  In fact, Kris Koch, our San Francisco Account Manager, while at Sonic reported to Terry.  Terry felt strongly that the future of sales in the video space would be led by integrators such as Key Code Media.  I am extremely excited about Terry joining Key Code Media.  Terry will be managing the advertising, FX, commercial editorial, and commercial production territory at Key Code Media and primarily working from our Santa Monica office.  Terry is originally from Australia.

Trish Silverman comes from a background of selling into Universities, as well selling into the post production world.  Her past positions include Director of Sales at AlterMedia, Inc. and Director, Sales & Marketing, USA at The Electronic Farm. Trish was a four year scholarship tennis athlete at Oklahoma, although she is a California native, grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA.  Trish is excited about the opportunity to represent best of breed solutions to educational institutions, government and houses of worship.  Trish will be based in our Burbank office.

Tim Cannella has been promoted to manage the Studio position at Key Code Media and is set to expand the video solutions driving initiatives around tapeless workflows for enterprise clients.  I’ve worked with Tim since the early 1990s and feel he has the industry experience and knowledge of Key Code Media to make significant inroads helping  clients leverage best of breed digital video workflows.

Key Code Media is the West Coast Leader selling digital video and audio workflow solutions.  Leading vendors include Avid Technology, Apple, Sony, Panasonic, Harris, -JVC, Grass Valley, Newtek, Facilis, AJA, Adobe, Sierra Video, Kramer, Leader and HP.  Offices are located in Burbank, Santa Monica, Irvine, San Francisco and Seattle.

-Mike Cavanagh

For details, please contact Matthew McClain at Key Code Media.  (818-303-3900)