If you work with video then you’re probably on the lookout for new innovations and tools to help you manage your media better, software that helps you preserve and access your projects with ease and solutions that automate those repetitive tasks that otherwise fill up your day. I am. A lot of the people I’ve worked with over the course of my career are too. Which is why, in 2007, when Apple announced a new application called, Final Cut Server my attention was piqued. It piqued the attention of a lot of other folks too. But, in a remarkable turn of events for the company that never pre-announces products, we had to wait close to a year for Apple to release the shipping version.
When that day came it was very exciting. Here was an inexpensive tool that enabled highly-customised labelling of media and comprehensive search tools; low resolution proxy file creation for both browsing and offline editing; automated job creation and reporting; and a check-in/check-out feature for sharing projects and new collaboration opportunities. All of this was tightly integrated with Final Cut Pro and took advantage of both Apple ProRes and H.264. Final Cut Server represented a new dawn, particularly for editors and organisations that relied on Final Cut Pro. I was convinced. I embraced the solution and became a committed evangelist. If you worked with me during this time or met me through the Final Cut Server community, you know this. If you attended one of the classes I taught or presentations I delivered, you know this.
For a little more than three years this strategy worked really well. Then the times changed. There’s no easy way to say it, the plug was pulled. Now, I still know operations who are working with Final Cut Server and remain content for now, but as the ecosystem and supporting solutions evolve, the time will come when a new solution will be necessary. Final Cut Server is the past and we must all look to the future. But where to next?
One compelling answer is Cantemo Portal™. It’s a media asset management solution that offers so much more than Final Cut Server ever could. A number of my colleagues agree with me and we’ve been working on ways to migrate and replace services currently provided by Final Cut Server. None more so than moosystems who recently released CP Migration Tool and Meta Media™ Creative Technologies who have developed the popular MetaMAM™ theme and ScriptRunner™, a Final Cut Server script emulator.
The interest in Portal has been rather overwhelming and I was asked to write an article for fcp.co about my experiences. I’ve also been working with Cantemo on a series of videos to demonstrate specific functionality and workflows. The first focuses on the extensive integration with Final Cut Pro X:
I’m certain I’ll have a lot more to say about Portal, especially as we release more videos and I’m able to start speaking about some of the projects I’ve been involved with.