This is the third entry in the “Mac OS X Diaries,” some daily notes on my experiments with Apple’s new operating system. There are two things to keep in mind. One: I’m running Mac OS X on a Power Mac G4 dual processor (450 MHz) system that’s a standard configuration except for an extra 128 MB of RAM (for a total of 256). Two: I’m not using OS X as my main operating system yet.
Speaking of main operating systems, it will probably be summer before I make X my main operating system. It’s not because of problems with the operating system. It’s been extremely stable and the performance has been more than acceptable, even the Classic environment.
It’s simply that there are some features I want to see implemented before I go whole hog with X. CD burning and DVD playback support, of course, are two missing features, although hopefully they’ll arrive before Macworld New York in July. But there are other applications and features whose timetables I’m less certain about. Only Apple knows the answer.
Apple’s new iDVD program for burning DVD discs — and its big brother, DVD Studio Pro — don’t work in OS X. Apple’s FileMaker subsidiary doesn’t yet have a native version of its FileMaker Pro database, though officials said that one will be ready soon.
Also, Apple recently announced Final Cut Pro 2.0. But it doesn’t support OS X and isn’t even certified to run even in Classic mode. Between this and Adobe’s failure to support the next generation operating system with After Effects 5, well, it’s sort of a bummer for Mac videographers. And it’s a bit confusing since Apple has insisted that Carbonizing an application to make it work with OS X is relatively easy.
Apple told MacCentral that they are currently working on a version of Final Cut Pro for Mac OS X. However, no ship date has been announced. So what’s going on?
“It seems that the rush to get Final Cut Pro out before X ships has caused some internal strife, not to mention that FCP2 requires QuickTime 5, which hasn’t been released yet due to some serious rendering issues,” a source told MacCentral.
The source also said that there are some bugs in Final Cut Pro 2.0. Using the sound module on the Control Strip can cause it to crash, he said. There may also be a loss of some USB device controls after a render, he added. In which case, you’ve got to plug and unplug the third device, such as the Contour Designs ShuttlePro and /or third party mice, to get them to work after an effects laden render takes place.
“Apple had to release Final Cut Pro 2.0 before X ships because it’s not Carbonized, so they have rushed through the beta process to get it out,” the source said. “I would imagine that a patch will ship about NAB [the National Association of Broadcasters convention, held next month], and the first of the Carbon versions will arrive in July. I don’t know if the Cocoa version will make it before Macworld San Francisco 2002.”
Third-party utilities such as Dantz’s Retrospect backup package, Roxio’s Toast CD-creation software and SoftRAID, a popular high-performance disk driver, aren’t yet available for OS X. And I recently ordered a SoundBlaster Live! card for my Mac and some FPS2000 digital speakers for my G4.
The SoundBlaster card won’t work with OS X right away, and, in all likelihood won’t work with Mac OS X for months. I’m told that the folks at Creative Labs haven’t gotten the development tools they need to write sound code for it. It’s the same situation that is keeping Dantz and Roxio from supporting OS X right away as well. The developers say they can’t move forward because Apple hasn’t completed some low-level system features they depend on.
By the way, did I miss something or, despite all the hoopla over the March 24 rollout of Mac OS X, were things very quiet at CompUSA stores?