The overall idea of this post is to gather and propose a series of feature requests around PPro's use of metadata, not a single feature but a concert of improvements with an eye toward improving the overall editing workflow.
The idea behind this the notion that organizing a project via metadata is potentially a much more efficient and powerful a means of project organization than bins. Where bin hierarchies are by and large static structures dependent on a fixed notion of priorities, metadata allows much more fluent and powerful means of accessing media.
For instance, a typical bin structure:
Top level bin: Episode
Sub bins: Shoot Date
Sub2 bins: Cam A, Cam B, Sound
Sub3 bins: Characters, etc.
If you want to find a particular shot, featuring a particular character, you have to drill down through the above hierarchy. If you don't find it, navigate back up to the top and drill down again, like a oil baron hunting for rich deposit. The reality of the editing environment is that you are constantly, multiple times per day, multiple times per minute, changing the priorities by which you are searching your footage. The standard bin hierarchy represents only one of the many terms ways of thinking about and prioritizing your footage.
For instance say right now I want all the reaction shots of Character X when they are wearing Outfit Y, in Location Z, on Shoot Dates 5, 6 and 10.
A few minutes later I want to look at everything I've got regarding Theme R, Featuring Characters A, B, C, plus b-roll from country N.
And later in the day I want to look at everything shot on Cameras 1 and 2 to see if that smudge is on the lens, the sensor, or caused by ingest.
Bin hierarchies do not accommodate the constantly-evolving priorities that editing requires. Metadata can.
Immediately metadata columns can replace the functionality of bins even as they are completely compatible with the existence of bins. In other words they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, if you create a custom column "Bin" and fill it with the bin name or hierarchy in which you've put your clip, you'll find you can already find those clips faster with a Search Bin than you can by drilling down the bin hierarchy to achieve the same. The moment an editor experiences this, bins can be relegated to the dustbin of editing history. In the transition from Bins to Metadata, you lose nothing, and win big.
PPro is closer than any other editing software out there to unleashing the power of metadata in post. But there are a number of oversights that are limiting that potential.
1 - "Search Bins" limitations (#1)
Can only search a limited number of metadata categories (23 + "All Metadata")
Feature Request: Search Bins able to specify any and all metadata categories, including custom-created categories.
2 - "Search Bins" limitations (#2)
Accommodates a maximum of two search terms
Feature Request: Unlimited search terms. If my search terms are Cameras A & C -and- Characters X & Y -and- (Dates 1-5 -or- 9-15), Themes O, P & Q, I'd like a way to do that.
3 - "Search Bins" limitations (#3)
No accommodation for wild cards.
Feature Request: Option to use wild cards / regexp in footage searches
4 - Bin Panel List View limitations (#1)
Lack of sub-sorting. Bins can be sorted by one Metadata Column at a time. No ability to sort by one column, sub-sort by another, etc. etc. Avid makes this possible in two ways, either by selecting multiple columns and then sorting, or by sorting columns consecutively one after another, the prior sort acting as a sub-sort. Awkward, but at least it's there.
Feature Request: Option to include sub-sorting of Metadata Columns in Bin Panel List View.
5 - Bin Panel List View limitations (#2)
Lack of fluency when changing Metadata Display. It takes 5 clicks and 3 contexts to change a Metadata Display -- every time you want to change. On Avid I change Bin Views frequently. I'd like to be be able to change the Metadata Display with as much (or greater) ease.
Feature Request: Ability to change Metadata Display directly from the Bin Panel in 2 click maximum.
6 - Markers Panel limitations (#1)
The current Markers Panel features a limited array of data fields,.
Feature Request: Markers Panel supports the same Metadata Columns available to Bin Panels, including custom-created categories.
7 - Markers Panel limitations (#2)
The Markers Panel has no equivalent of Metadata Display (admittedly because there are currently so few categories available to Markers)
Feature Request: Give the same Metadata Display options to Markers as there are for Bin Panels. Markers and Clips should all have access to the same Metadata categories.
8 - Markers Panel limitations (#3)
Markers Panel cannot be sorted.
Feature Request: As Makers Panel begins to function more like a Bin Panel -- same Metadata Column headers, same Metadata Display -- allow them to be sortable in the manner as a Bin Panel.
9 - Markers Panels limitations (#4)
Markers Panel filtering is very limited and fragile. Activating the Source or Program Panel after filtering evaporates the prior filter. The real value in Markers: By integrating their feature set with that of Bin Panels, they become increasingly valuable in a more forward-thinking Metadata-based workflow.
Feature Request: Add an option to integrate Markers into Search Bin results. In other words Search Bin is capable of including both Project Items and Markers in its results. The Markers that appear in the Search Bin (unlike those represented in the Markers Panel), can be from multiple clips across the entire project. Double-clicking a Marker in a Search Bin loads the associated clip into the Source Panel, and cues it to Marker within that clip.
Submitting the above notes to http://www.adobe.com/products/wishform.html
Looking forward to comments and additions.