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BlogOffice Hours: The media and digital event communityFriday, December 3 2021

Office Hours is a daily conversation on streaming events, technology and the future of media. It is currently streamed on YouTube, but you’ll have a better experience on Zoom. Sign up to get the Zoom link.

Office Hours was started by Alex Lindsay in March 2020. He currently takes part nearly every day.

Every day between 15:00 and 16:00 UTC/GMT (7am PT, 10am ET, 16:00 CET) you can ask your questions about building online events of any size – from your community group to keynotes for millions of people to experience at the same time.

Questions range from technology to design to planning the flow of events. Including

  • Audio and video hardware – microphones, cameras, switchers, playout devices etc.
  • Software and services – such as OBS, Dante, AWS, MixEffect Pro, Unreal, Apple Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro
  • Structuring events
  • Onboarding interviewees, hosts and panellists to live events and to video productions
  • Working with clients

…most topics relevant to anyone making digital media of all kinds.

Instead of using YouTube or Zoom for chat and asking questions, Office Hours uses Mukana – a custom web application. If you register, you’ll be sent your link to Mukana, where you can catch up on the current conversation or vote on other people’s questions.

Once you’ve got used to asking questions, if you have good sound and video, you are welcome to join the panel and answer other people’s questions. The daily Zoom meeting starts one hour before the Q&A hour with general conversation.

If you want to join the panel to answer questions, put up your digital hand in Zoom before 14:40 UTC/GMT (6:40am PT, 9:40am ET, 15:40 CET). If you do, you’ll be able to access a Mukana view designed for panelists and be part of the Office Hours microphone check – to make sure that all the panellist audio quality and levels are good enough to stream and record.

Note that you might hear those who are attending who aren’t on the panel as being referred to as producers. This is because their questions drive Office Hours. So, if you are in the panel in the hour before the questions and answers begin and you don’t want to answer questions, moving out of the panel is referred to as “being promoted to being a producer.”

As a panellist you can also volunteer to read out audience questions or switch the show for YouTube using a web interface.

Second hours

On weekdays, the Q&A hour is followed by second hour when a specific topic is gone into in more detail. Starting at 16:00 UTC/GMT (8am PT, 11am ET, 17:00 CET).

Usually ‘second hours’ include guests who are able to kick off the conversation. Recent topics:

Both the Q&A hours and second hours on Office Hours are live streamed on YouTube.


Office Hours happens every day, but the weekend experience is different.

On Saturdays the Q&A hour is followed by an education two hours where people working in education at all levels can have a conversation about how technology can support the current practice and future of learning. So that conversation can flow more freely, these two hours are not streamed on YouTube or recorded.

On Saturdays and Sundays there are also a variety of Office Hour events – currently Saturday includes ‘The Belfast Method’ at 20:00 UTC/GMT (Noon PT, 3pm ET, 19:00 CET) – where OH attendees have the opportunity to control and run a live event from anywhere in the world.

On Sundays the Q&A hour is followed by a general discussion hour – for more informal conversation, so these two hours are not streamed on YouTube or recorded.

Beyond the Office Hours streamed conversation

To get the full experience…

Join the Office Hours Discord – the link is posted in Mukana (the OH chat and questions system) at 14:40 UTC/GMT (6:40am PT, 9:40am ET, 15:40 CET) – it will work for 30 minutes after it is posted.

Spend time in After Hours – a Zoom meeting that lasts for the other 21 hours of every day when Office Hours isn’t on. Here is where registered Office Hours users can ask questions of who happens to be around and other can share their screen or cameras as they work on solving problems. You’ll be sent joining instructions for After Hours when you register for Office Hours.


Find out more about Office Hours at




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Apple Motion 5Apple Motion 5: November 2021 tutorial roundupWednesday, December 1 2021

Here’s a roundup of what happened in the world of Motion 5 – Apple’s $50 real-time motion graphics application – during November 2021:

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BlogFinal Cut Pro updates since October 2016Tuesday, October 19 2021

Here is a rundown of the new features added to Final Cut Pro since 2016.

For details on stability improvements and issue fixes, visit Apple’s Final Cut Pro release notes.

October 27, 2016:

Final Cut Pro 10.3

  • New interface
  • Save window layouts
  • Fill a second display with the Timeline or hide the Timeline completely
  • Magnetic Timeline 2 – roles, color coding, audio lanes
  • Automatic asignment of iXML data
  • Wide color for working with log footage
  • MXF support
  • Flow transition
  • Remove effects/attributes
  • SMB-based libraries
  • Consolidate custom Motion projects into individual Final Cut Pro libraries
  • Option for continuous playback of clips in the Browser
  • Search custom metadata in the Browser and Timeline
  • Search Timeline Index for Auditions, compound clips, multicam clips, and synchronized clips
  • Ability to roll trim on adjacent connected clips
  • Ability to drag and drop clips, projects, and events as XML with supported applications
  • Ability to export a library an XML file from Final Cut Pro via drag and drop
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts for adding audio fades
  • Align Audio to Video function quickly resets J or L cuts in the Timeline to straight cuts
  • New Broadcast Safe Effect allows you to limit video levels to a specific color space including Rec. 601 PAL and NTSC, Rec. 709, and Rec. 2020
  • Users can now create and save a custom default Generator, Title, and Lower Third Title which can then be added to a Timeline with keyboard shortcuts

December 14, 2017:

Final Cut Pro 10.4

  • 360° VR editing, effects, transitions, overlays, preview in VR headset
  • Advanced color – color wheels, color curves, balance color, custom LUTs, keyframeable corrections
  • High Dynamic Range
  • iMovie for iOS import
  • Canon RAW Light support
  • HEVC and HEIF support
  • NFS-based libraries and media support

April 15, 2018:

Final Cut Pro 10.4.1

  • Closed captions
  • ProRes RAW
  • Video Roles share options

November 15, 2018:

Final Cut Pro 10.4.4

  • Workflow extensions
  • Batch share
  • Video noise reduction
  • Timecode window
  • Comparison Viewer
  • Tiny Planet effect to show 360° footage in a non-360° project
  • SRT captions
  • Burn in captions
  • Comic effect
  • New 360° transitions

March 21, 2019:

Final Cut Pro 10.4.6

  • Detects media files that may be incompatible with future versions of macOS after Mojave and converts them to a compatible format

October 7, 2019:

Final Cut Pro 10.4.7

  • New Metal-based processing engine
  • Multiple GPU support
  • Afterburner support
  • HDR on Pro Display XDR
  • Enhanced color mask and range isolation tools
  • View HDR video tone-mapped to compatible SDR displays
  • Select which internal or external GPU is used

August 25, 2020:

Final Cut Pro 10.4.9

  • Improved proxy workflow – Different resolutions, formats, proxy libraries
  • Social media tools – Smart conform to change aspect ratio, custom overlays
  • Adjust ProRes RAW camera settings
  • Crossfade audio on adjacent clips in one step
  • Sort clips and projects by last modified date in list view
  • Preview 360-degree stereoscopic 3D video in simultaneous left and right eye views
  • 360-degree video stabilization

November 12, 2020:

Final Cut Pro 10.5

  • Improved performance and efficiency on Mac computers with Apple silicon
  • Accelerated machine learning analysis for Smart Conform
  • Option to create a copy of your library and automatically transcode media to ProRes Proxy or H.264 at various resolutions

March 4, 2021:

Final Cut Pro 10.5.2

  • Universal RED plug-in support enabling native RED RAW decoding and playback

June 17, 2021:

Final Cut Pro 10.5.3

  • Create and edit custom column views with the new column editor.
  • Search for media in the browser using expanded criteria including clip names, markers and notes.
  • Sort clips in the browser according to type, including proxy, optimised and missing media.

October 18, 2021:

Final Cut Pro 10.6

  • Object Tracker
  • Cinematic Mode
  • Neon effect

April 12, 2022:

Final Cut Pro 10.6.2

  • Duplicate Ranges
  • Voice Isolation
  • Import of Magic Movie and Storyboard projects created with iMovie for iOS version 3.0
  • Object Tracker improvements
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BlogTo the Apple Silicon Mac Pro and BeyondMonday, February 22 2021

In case you missed it, I wrote about how Apple might transition the Mac to Apple Silicon over the next 18 months over on As well as replacing or discontinuing all current Intel-based Macs, Apple have the opportunity to make new Macs for new price points and new markets.

  • Apple likes to keep Macs at the same price points over the years. This means the extra power the M-series SoCs will provide more Mac at the same price. Not new Macs with the same power at lower price points.
  • I suggest that a new industrial design for iMacs could include a transparent bezel – like the outer edge of the screen used in the 2004 iMac. Wide enough for users to be able to grip the edge to turn the screen vertical:
  • The limits to how fast the transition will take place. Not all Macs will transition this Summer – which Macs will be last.
  • A new opportunity for Apple in education:

Hundreds of dollars below that $899 education price, Chromebook tablets and laptops prices start at $269. I expect that schools will hope to allocate $300-$350 to buying each tablet plus keyboard or laptop. At this level, computers for education have 4GB of slow RAM and 32GB of slow SSD storage.

  • If Apple wants to seriously compete in education market, what would a new M1E-based Mac be like?
  • 4 CPU cores (including at least two high-performance cores)
  • 4 GPU cores
  • 4GB of fast RAM
  • 64GB of fast SSD storage
  • No screen
  • No keyboard
  • Single USB port for keyboard/mouse
  • HDMI port for display
  • Separate power port
  • $250
  • New Mac price points and form factors:

As Apple are likely to using a small variety of M-series SoCs at any one time, in a larger range of enclosures (13-inch, 14-inch, 16-inch, mini, iMac and Mac Pro), eventually Macs might also be available in additional enclosures:

  • 11-inch MacBook Air/Pro
  • 18-inch MacBook Pro
  • 16-inch iMac
  • 40-inch iMac
  • Mac Pro mini – a smaller version of the Mac Pro
  • Mac nano – the smallest ‘hockey puck’ Mac that can contain an M-series SoC, for those who think a Mac mini is much too big
  • Mac Pi – a tiny circuit board-only Mac version of the Raspberry Pi computer that is used in education and embedded systems

Read the article over at, the home for Final Cut Pro on the internet.



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BlogHow to add a ‘Search in iMDB’ command to your MacWednesday, January 13 2021

When reading a web page or a document on my Mac, I often want to search for a film name, cast member or crew member I see in the Internet Movie Database. I’ve added a Global Quick Action that sends the selected text to the search system of IMDb.

Here’s how to add a ‘Search in IMDb’ command to the context or Services menu in Mac applications.

1. Open Automator from the Applications folder.

2. In the first dialog box, click the New Document button.

3. Choose Quick Action

4. Click the Library button in the toolbar.

5. Type shell in the search field.

6. Drag the Run Shell Script action to the grey area labelled Drag actions or files here to build your workflow

7. Paste in this shell script:

open "$(ruby -rcgi -e 'print CGI.escape $<.read.chomp')&s=all"

8. Save the quick action as Search in IMDb

9. Quit Automator

To use the global ‘Search in IMDb’ quick action, in applications where text can be selected control-click (or right-click) the text you want to search for on IMDb.

Alternatively, once you have selected your text, go to the application menu and choose ‘Search in IMDb’ from the Services submenu.




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BlogBenchmarking Final Cut Pro on Macs from the 2010 Mac Pro to the 2020 M1 MacBook ProThursday, November 19 2020

In October 2013 I published a new benchmark for video editing on the Mac: BruceX. It tests the graphics and compositing power of a specific combination of Mac and version of Final Cut Pro. It is a two second 5K (5120×2700) timeline with various Final Cut graphics generators laid one on top of the other. Exporting this timeline tests the graphics power of the Mac. This is relevant because much of the time Final Cut uses the GPU to render and composite multiple video and graphics clips together.

It is still being used today. Including for testing how fast the new M1-based Macs are.

Here is a graph that combines the results of testing Macs since 2013 by various testers over the years, mostly Rob-ART Morgan of Bare Feats  

BruceX measures how long in seconds it takes to export a complex 5K timeline to ProRes.

Edited to add… A 2019 Mac Pro 12 Core with AMD Pro Vega II 32GB took 4.6 seconds, George Manzanilla reported in the ‘Final Cut Pro X Editors’ Facebook group.

To test your system, follow the instructions on my original blog post from 2013.

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