May 27, 2019

Whoa! So much to cover this week. First, Apple updated all its MacBook Pro laptops with faster processors. But, these new units still lack ports, overheat and need a good keyboard. My lead story this week is: " Dear Apple: Thin is Not Pro." Read it and let me know your thoughts. Also, feel free to share this link!

With the MacBook Pro update, Apple focused on providing faster CPUs. Last week, I wrote about the challenges in moving electrons at nano-second speeds. But, this week, I learned an interesting lesson about just how fast any current CPU actually is. For the summer, I decided to learn Python, which is a very popular programming language. Why? Um, well, I had some extra time and why not?

One of the exercises was writing a short program that opens a text file, counts the number of lines in it, averages a number stored in a specific position in each line, closes the file, then prints out the total number of lines and the cumulative average. Six to eight lines of code. Once I had it written, I pressed "Run." And waited. There were exactly a million text lines in the file (24.5 MB). The answer appeared 1/10 of a second later! I removed calculating the average and ran it again. The program counted the one million text lines so quickly that I was unable to time the difference between starting the program and when the answer was displayed.  I was stunned at how fast this ran!

What was even more stunning was that this was running on a 2013 MacBook Pro laptop! Now, I grant that video editing is not the same thing as counting the lines in a text file. But, I think we have become blinded by equating system performance to CPU speed. Performance is much more than CPU clock cycles. And even when you have a purely CPU task - like counting lines in a file - computers today are far, FAR faster than you might expect.

Antonio Marogna dropped me a note: "Today, I released EVR X for Atomos Ninja V and Shogun Inferno. This is a plug in for ExifTool that allows you to add EXIF data such as ISO, Aperture, Shutter, Lens Type, Gamma, Color Space, Focal Point, etc., as Finder Tags for Apple Final Cut Pro X, giving you the ability to import Finder Tags as Keywords and to search and organize your media by Keyword Collection or Smart Collection. Learn more here.

If you are a Premiere user, Antonio has also created a version for Premiere. Learn more here. (And, he has a Windows version for Premiere as well.)

Steffen Skopp, head of marketing for Boinx, gave me a heads up that starting tomorrow (Tuesday) they will release a major update to mimoLive 5, "Apple Design Award winning live video mixing, switching and streaming software for Mac. [A key] new feature, called "Layer Set," allows multiple changes of a live video stream within one click. The director gets more freedom and flexibility to create a live video show. Along with a whole set of new usability, stability and technical improvements, it makes a fairly great major update for mimoLive." (Boinx press release) Learn more here.

Webinars restart Thursday, June 6, at 9:30 AM, with a session on Visual Literacy. I've posted the agenda, which covers looking at visual literacy for controlling where the eye looks, cameras, acting, lighting, editing, text, and color. I'm continuing to research and write this and will have more next week. Registration is always free. Sign up here.

I have five new articles for you this week, covering Final Cut Pro X, Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, along with my concerns that Apple has allowed it's design coolness to lose sight of what the pro market needs in laptop computers.

Finally, I decided to write-up a story that I tell my classes, but haven't published, that explains how and why interlacing, drop-frame timecode, 29.97 frame rates and other strange video oddities were invented. Smile... this is a story, not a research paper. You don't need to be an engineer to enjoy this. And, as always,  your comments are always welcome.

Thinking of stories, we had a great show on the Digital Production Buzz last week. During May, we are looking at the state of our industry, from production to post. If there is one common theme, it's that change is universal and accelerating. But, as Dave Walton, with JVC/Kenwood, said last week, "When HASN'T our industry been dealing with change." You'll enjoy these discussions on the impact of cell phone cameras on professional cameras, why lenses today are better than old lenses, a new perspective on VR that re-energized my thinking on VR, and thoughts on the business end of the business from curmudgeon-at-large, Steve Weiss. Here's the link - this was a great show!

Finally, thinking of The Buzz, I realize that our industry is changing. While I deeply believe that independent voices are essential, it's also important for them to be effective. To that end, I want to re-focus my energy into creating more articles, webinars and training which can enable all of us to succeed. So, I've decided it's time to take a break from the Digital Production Buzz.

After our May 30th program, we'll be putting the podcast on hiatus. You will still be able to find all of our Buzz shows on iTunes,, and the website.

At the same time, we will incorporate doddleNEWS into the library of free resources. These two strategic moves give us time to plan new ways to effectively cover the news in our industry. I will miss hosting The Buzz, but I look forward to creating new training.

Be sure to sign up for our free webinar - and, as always, I'm interested in your comments. Chat with you next week. In the meantime, edit well.

Last Week on The Buzz
On last week's episode of The Buzz, we talked with experts about the current state of production - cameras, lenses, VR, and the business of staying in business. We looked at the challenges ahead, where the industry is going and what you need to know to succeed.
* Dave Walton, JVC/Kenwood
* Piet Thiele, Schneider-Kreuznach
* Marcelo Lewin,
* Steve Weiss, Zacuto 
* James DeRuvo, 
Join us LIVE every Thursday here.

New shows air live every Thursday evening at 6:00 PM Los Angeles time.

Read the transcript here.
    Transcripts created by

Listen to our NAB 2019 shows here.

to the latest Buzz here.
Ask Larry Anything!
These are my favorite webinars because I get to discover the issues and questions you have and, ideally, answer them.  

This free-form session covers Apple and Adobe media software.  
This session is an EXCLUSIVE offering for Video Training Library members.
Webinars Return June 6!
Exploring Visual Literacy

Our world is driven by images & video.
But what do all these images mean?

In this webinar, discover the world of visual literacy - the tricks and techni-ques behind creating compelling images. This focuses on images, not tools. (Agenda now posted!)

Register Here. It's FREE!
» Dear Apple: Thin is Not Pro! ( Commentary)
   » Apple thinks Pro laptops are thin and hot, with limited ports. Pros disagree.

» FCP X: Import Options that Analyze and Fix Audio and Video ( Tutorial)
   » An illustrated tutorial on key options in the Media Import window.

» Premiere Pro CC: Create ProRes Sequences ( Tutorial)
   » Premiere doesn't include any ProRes settings. Here's how to create them.

» Adobe Media Encoder: Create ProRes Compression Settings ( Tutorial)
   » How to create ProRes compression settings in old and new versions.

» So It Was Told To Me... (Behind-the-Facts)
   » A story covering interlacing, 29.97 timecode, color and, um, credit cards.
» EQ: Warm a Voice
   and Improve Clarity

» Configure a Mac mini
   for Video Editing

» Create a Dual-Boot
   macOS System Disk

» FCP X: Can You
   Render Faster?

» View tutorials here

» Apple Final Cut Pro X:
» 205: 3rd-Party Tools
   for Final Cut Pro X 
» 250: Basics of Editing
   in Final Cut Pro X 
» Photoshop for Editors:
» View all webinars here
» Aaron Semmel: Chaos
    in Distribution   
» Marcelo Lewin: VR is
   About to Roar Back!
» James DeRuvo: Weekly
   doddleNEWS Update 
» Tom Jennings: Small
    Screen Challenge

» View all interviews here
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