Jan 2008

Useful Mods for Mac Leopard Users

Like many out there... I find some of the cosmetic changes in Leopard are bothersome. Fortunately, a donationware application named
Xspinner does the trick.

  • Customize the Dock
  • Change the look of the menu bar
  • Use Widgets outside of the Dashboard
  • Customize the default Save and Print dialogs in all applications
  • Tweak Finder settings
  • Run system maintenance scripts
  • and access system utilities and system logs
The biggest changes I like are making the menu bar opaque again, showing file paths in windows, and tweaking the Dock. The application is highly recommended as it is very stable and does not have to keep running after the changes are made.


Great Field Monitor for HD and SD

We recently "bit the bullet" and bought a "real" HD monitor for our field productions, the Panasonic BT-LH80W . This one is pricey (street price is $2200) but its a great monitor. We can mount it on the HD camera for field work, hang it in a carrier for the director (think a Flava Flav clock) and even run it off batteries.

  • Designed for studio and field applications
  • 7.9-inch low-power, lightweight monitor
  • Built-in waveform monitor
  • Compatible with 1080/24 psf, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i

For more information


An International Survey on Podcasting

This international survey has a lot of information on podcasting. The survey size is a little small, so the numbers are skewed a bit... but it is still a good read. You can download some of the statistics at: http://podcastersurvey.com/ipcs07.pdf. Some of the interesting findings include:
  • Podfading seems to be a minor problem at the moment
  • The European podosphere is commercially less ambitious
  • Podcasting is not only attracting "techies"
  • Podcasting is about identity and relationship management
  • Most are interested in sharing information and expressing of opinions


Useful New Book on Final Cut Pro Workflow

I just picked up a new book that I highly recommend on maximizing your efficiency and workflow with Final Cut Pro. Be sure to check out Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook by Jason Osder and Robbie Carman. The book has a lot of coverage on integrating graphics with Final Cut Pro and is truly useful.

“Today's digital production tools empower the small team to produce multimedia projects that formerly required large teams. Orchestrating a production requires more than proficiency with the postproduction tools. Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook offers a cookbook of postproduction workflows that teams can follow to deliver an array of products to their clients. It describes appropriate postproduction workflows, team roles and responsibilities, and required equipment for some of the most common media productions.”

With an easy style and great depth,
Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook is an enjoyable and important read. Osder and Carman offer a diverse background and extensive experience with Final Cut Pro.