A thread on the Creative Cow popped up recently revolving around the idea that Adobe could add some sort of trackless functionality to the Premier timeline. The thought being that FCP X “magnetism” was the big difference between the two NLE’s. I posted a response that I thought I’d toss up here because, uh… I need to have stuff on my blog. No tips or tricks, just random babbling:
To me, the lack of tracks is hardly the most unique feature of the FCP X timeline/media representation. People who think that’s the big difference between X and MC/Pr etc aren’t using their imagination.
Look, I’m sure Adobe or Avid could rewrite their NLE’s to function in a trackless manner. They obviously have very talented people working on these apps. But they won’t. Look what happened when Apple did it. It took 3 or 4 years to get to a point where their new NLE was seen as actually useable for “pro’s”. Some of that was perception but honestly, for the first year or so it really wasn’t useable at the “high end”.
For Apple, no biggie, eat the losses and press on. Kill the old version (though it still works) and force users to make a choice, even if that choice is another NLE. For other companies? I don’t see how they could do that and stay viable. Especially Avid. And I don’t think they really feel a need. Some people like their tracks and patching and mixers and panels and bins.
And finally, a lot of FCP X functionality is due to frameworks etc in the OS. Like, a huge chunk of it. How’s that gonna work for a cross-platform application? It won’t.
So I’m sure we’ll see all vendors “borrow” ideas from each other. BMD has “borrowed” more from X than anyone else, but it’s still essentially the same as any tracked NLE. Just prettier. 🙂
FCP X is 4 years into an admitted 10 year dev plan. I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet.