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One Reason Why OS X Lion Might Be for the Pro Video Crowd


When Lion roared to the top of the App Store on Wednesday July 20, my skepticism instantly skyrocketed… I had to think about why… Why would a video professional be weary of Apple… what was it again? Wasn’t there something about….Oh right, FCPX.

I’ve adopted deep doubts about Apple’s future with creative video pros. I’ve started considering switching to PC (ugh!), where I know the other big A will continue to support and enhance their production software.

FCPX missed the mark and Apple has made it clear where they will stand.  But will Lion force the paid creative crowd to relive the FCPX launch again?!!? Will Walter Murch start editing feature films on the iPad??!?!?!?

It’s no secret by now that Lion is Mac’s intentional design to merge iOS features into a desktop software. As a creative professional, that makes me uneasy…

Assumptions aside, Lion looks ok. Features here and there making it “easier”. Or something. Not worth $30 out of my pocket.


xsan lion

One feature that makes Lion worth a potential upgrade is the integration of Xsan. Back in the day (a whole 2 days ago), Xsan was a $1000 on top of OS X. Now… it’s integrated.

The downside is you’ll need to invest in a lot of other network components if you don’t already have them.


-Fiber/Gigabit Switches

-Servers (I believe you need 2, if not 3)


Ok, so $1000 is pretty small in comparison…unless you start adding up the licenses. Previously you needed 1 Xsan license per computer. 20 computers was $20k! Also,  there are reports and hardware that suggest you may be able to hook up computers via thunderbolt connections… I’m sure that’s Apple’s direction, and it would give you a multi-terabyte network with simultaneous user read/write. And it’s fast. REALLY fast. Edit 2k/4k over the network speeds!

While you will have to make a fairly sizable investment in a network, it’s becoming cheaper and cheaper. Suddenly a pipeline of 20 graphic artists working on an independent film seems more reasonable… Soon we’ll see these type of systems setup in people’s garages!

Maybe Apple does care somewhere deep down for video pros! Or maybe the large networks are intended to allow families to download HD movies. All of them.

Regardless, integrated Xsan. One viable reason to upgrade.

6 Responses to "One Reason Why OS X Lion Might Be for the Pro Video Crowd"

  1. Ted Langley:

    Considering a major band has produced an entire album on an iPad, what’s to stop a feature film from being edited on one? Obviously there are some physical upgrades to overcome, but here in the next few years, we can only assume that an iPad will be of equal power to lets say a low end macbook pro. You’re ignorant if you think computing won’t be going completely touch screen in the next half decade. 

    Xsan is great for video production! So that part about this blog I agree with, but there are other advantages to upgrading your OS. How about 64bit? How about compatibility with new software? You’re a moron if you think it’s wise to not have the newest operating system on your machine regardless of it’s pertinence to a TINY SEGMENT of mac users (video prod). If you stay on old software because “it does what i need” you’re going to run into compatibility issues. I find your blahg condescending and you come off as not knowing anything about macs. Or computers in general. But what do I know, I’ve just been fixing them for people like you for a decade. 

    • Jake:

      You don’t know james at all if you think he does not know anything about macs.

      There are advantages to having touch screens and disadvantages. I rather think that they will be integrated but are not more useful then a keyboard and mouse with currant software/program design. It would probably be over 10 years until there was a program that used the touch interface exclusively in a way that actually made more sense for video production. Until then a keyboard and mouse will probably stay.

      As far as having the newest operating system I have never really met anyone who regretted not upgrading Windows XP to Vista… this is about video production so the pertinence to that is important. I feel you missed the point of this blog which is not about “not” upgrading but rather what upgrading would mean for video production. 

      • Ted Langley:

        I guess I wasn’t talking about upgrading from Windows XP to Vista when I said upgrading was a good idea. Honestly, I’m never talking about Windows when I talk about computers. Didn’t mean to offend, and wished honestly I could edit previous statements. Don’t want to call James a moron, but I do feel like he’s being a little ignorant if he isn’t embracing touch technology. Your timeline of 10 years seems a tad steep. Think back 10 years ago from today. iPod 1. We are in a considerably different age technologically than in 2001. Agreed? You have to be quick to adopt and learn new technology, because you’ll find yourself 10 years from now saying something like, “I just prefer a mouse and keyboard, so I’m using 5 year old software to meet my needs”

        • Jake:

          I wasn’t offended no worries. Your comment about windows is awesome and makes me laugh. 🙂 

          Yeah, I know what you mean on the changes in tech. The timeline that I set was thinking about the first and second(maybe even third) generations of a touch-specific editing software. I don’t feel a lot of first generation software programs hit everything perfectly. Everything tends to smooth out in the updated versions. Including FCPX which will hopefully improve and not alienate low budget professional film makers. (Only time will tell on that.)

          I am thinking about shortcuts on Final Cut and Adobe Premiere/Photoshop currently it would be very inconvenient and take longer to edit with the touch only screen. In certain areas it could be better although, not in every situation. It would take several breakthroughs before it can happen. At any rate I could be wrong and it could happen next year. I would be happier that way but I don’t expect it for quite a while.

  2. AKent:

    The real question is who is going to be making an OS for professionals, not consumers.  I have been an apple guy since elementary school and having just built my first PC I couldn’t be happier.  Apple has long forgotten the artists and professionals that floated the company when everyone else turned up their nose.  If FCPX isn’t proof of that Lion seals the deal.  When you use your computer as a tool not a toy you don’t want fluff and “apps” taking up valuable resources.  As far as Microsoft goes Vista did leave a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths but W7 has been rock solid for me.

    • I agree with you there… I have to wonder what kind of internals the new Mac Pros will have. Will NVIDIA have to fight to keep their cards in Mac Pros? If Adobe’s Mercury Playback and Render engine doesn’t begin support ATI cards in some manner, running Adobe on OS X will lose a lot of momentum!

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