Our office consists of 3 Final Cut guys and 2 PC Premiere CS4 guys. The owner of our company is considering buying Macs and using Final Cut for a huge broadcast project we are in the process of negotiating. This decision is based upon Premiere CS4's handling of MXF files. You can see thumbnails in Media Browser, but you can't rename these fragmented files easily or see thumbnails in Windows Explorer. Bridge does not show thumbnails and you can't write Metadata directly to these files.You can rename the files in the Premiere CS4 Bin, but if the media becomes offline due to a renamed drive, I am not sure how one would know how to correctly re-link the files. That is unless Premiere CS4 retains the original cryptic MXF file name along with the alias bin name.
On the other hand, Final Cut has a "Log and Transfer" feature that creates a QuickTime file out of the fragmented MXF's which one can name anything they want.
What I don't like about Macs and Final Cut are the 1 button mouse, things like the zoom the timeline shortcuts being an unintuitive 1 for zoom and 2 for wide. For example the keyboard shortcut for zoom the timeline in Premiere is the plus key and wide the timeline is the minus key. I realize that this can most likely be changed in Final Cut as it can in Premiere, but the whole Apple computer experience to me seems less intuitive than Windows. The Apple product, iTunes for instance, drives me nuts related to creating a "playlist" in order to burn a CD and having windows disappear under others or disappear without any sensible way of getting them back. Or when you download a video, unless you look at a buried window, you don't know that anything is actually downloading until you find the little spinning icon. You have to double-click the spinning icon in order to find the progress bar. It shouldn't be a 3 step process. It should all happen on the original window. If this is indicative of what I can expect on a Mac using Final Cut, I prefer to try to solve the MXF challenge.
Save me from the Mac. Anyone have any suggestions regarding efficient handling of Panasonic P2 files that end up being a convoluted MXF archiving nightmare on our hard drives?
The wierd thing is, on the PC, if you capture directly from the Panasonic P2 camera to a PC using Adobe OnLocation, you get a single hi-def *.avi file! This file can be archived, renamed and organized just like standard definition media.
Complain to Panasonic for mucking up their implementation of the MXF file format, which is fully capable of holding video, audio, timecode and other medatda in a single file.
It may seem fruitless, but the more who do, the more likely they are to listen.