The biggest FCPX story for us of the show so far is the slightly unexpected but very welcome news that EVS will support growing files by the end of the year.
If you wanted to have a growing file in FCPX, there were up to now only a couple of solutions, one of them the excellent MovieRecorder from Softron. (Which was a rock on the Tour de France.)
We got news early today that EVS were announcing the support of growing files with FCPX, so we set off to the stand the minute the show opened. We were very pleased with what we found out as it will have a huge knock-on effect in the broadcast industry and thus raise the profile of FCPX.
When we got there, rather like an excited child on Christmas morning, our eyes opened as there (as promised) was a growing file in FCPX and more importantly it had the correct timecode. Three years of waiting!
We spent over an hour talking to the EVS guys and we dug deep into how EVS will tailor their products for FCPX.
A new software update for Xsquare will allow EVS files to be streamed to shared storage and then imported into FCPX. (Whilst still recording!) This matches the very familiar tried and trusted workflow that EVS had with FCP7.
The choice of codecs are ProRes 422, DVCProHD, AVC Intra 100 and, should they get enough requests for it, XDCAM HD. The later needs some more work as although the file will get imported, some artefacts are present.
Whilst we were there, a clip was sent from IP Director and loaded up into FCPX. The timecode matched perfectly (big cheer from everybody in broadcast) but the clip showed some latency in updating. As the desired move from QuickTime to AVFoundation has already been stressed by Apple, EVS are trying to move away from reference files and this was a bug that will be fixed.
Markers from IP Director come in via XML with the clip as markers containing keywords which can then be searched. They are very keen to make a elegant 'marriage' between keywords in IP Director translating to keywords and ranges in FCPX. They stressed that FCPX had a lot of potential in this area.
Exporting back to EVS for transmission is exactly the same, a completed movie gets placed in a watch folder and this gets moved to the play out machine.
There was a lot of enthusiasm on getting EVS and FCPX working well together and they are very open about the development. Another thing they would like to implement is the transfer of metadata from FCPX on export.
We can see broadcasters in news, sports and live events taking this up quickly. Those organisations who haven't moved off FCP7 and those who have temporarily hopped over to Premiere will now be able edit on FCPX whilst recording WITH timecode from EVS.
If you use FCPX and need growing files, we urge you to go over to the EVS stand and talk to them, the more feedback they get, the more features they will add. It could all get very, very clever and both become the sports & live event editing tools of choice.