Macs and PCs, Avid and FCP

Computer software tends to create partisans. You have your Mac people and your PC people. Internet Explorer people and Firefox people. Avid people and Final Cut people. Well I think they’re all crazy. As for the Mac and PC camps, I use them both every day. I have to use Macs because the creative world is swamped with them. I use a PC I built at home because a comparable Mac would be double the price. And now, thanks to Apple’s switch to Intel and some very clever people, my PC is also a Mac. I like them both. They both work just fine for me and I never have trouble doing the things I want to do in either system. The exception that led me to install OS X on my PC is Final Cut Studio, because Apple doesn’t make a Windows version.

FCP and Cinema Tools are two really fantastic programs. Xpress Pro is also great, but these days a freelance editor needs a Final Cut Pro system. And there is a certain flexibility and openness that Avid’s media management doesn’t allow. Obviously that can be a curse if you’re not careful. Avid keeps track of your media for you, which is great but it means everything you do with your media has to be done through Avid. With FCP you can fiddle around with your media in other programs and FCP will re-connect with a minimum of fuss. But really, it’s 6 of one half a dozen of the other. In the end I see no reason to edit in one system over the other. I lean towards Xpress Pro these days because it’s still annoying to have to reboot into OS X just for FCP.

But Cinema Tools and Compressor bring me over to the OS X part of my computer sometimes because they’re by far the best software I’ve seen for QuickTime encoding. Compressor’s batch features are great and really simple to use. And I haven’t found any software aside from Cinema Tools that can change a QuickTime file’s frame rate with one click and no waiting.

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