In which I suggest a very small user interface change to add a feature to Final Cut that editors have been requesting for many years.
I know… an idea that has been around for at least 10 years. However there are two parts to any feature request: the idea and how integrate it into the application. Many Apple and Avid competitors can add better features to their software. The trick is to come up with the user interface.
Final Cut has had markers on the timeline since the beginning (markers are the equivalent of Avid Locators). Clips can also have markers. I assume the request to make single and multiple markers movable using the mouse or keyboard has been around since before Final Cut Pro 1.0 came out.
The secret aspect of software development is that Apple and Avid know perfectly well the features than the majority of users would like. They need to weigh up which it is worth spending the money on implementing. We can only assume that when Final Cut was being designed in 1996 and 1997, a software implementation decision for the Timeline window was made that meant that it would be expensive to add a ‘move markers’ feature.
This means that adding an “option-click a marker and shift-clicking another marker before dragging” user interface is probably too hard to implement without causing too many other problems.
Most people guess that Final Cut 7 will probably be a completely re-written version (to get rid of all the bugfix and implementation workarounds of the last decade and for OS X Snow Leopard compatibility). However, how could you add moveable markers to Final Cut without having to change too much in the user interface?
If we go back to why we’d want to move markers, we usually need to move them to reflect edits. If a scene is shorter or longer, we want the markers further along the timeline to change too.
We can do this my having the option to make clip markers also act as sequence markers.
You do this by adding a check box in a dialog box…
and a different graphic to show in the ruler:
The advantage of this method is that the sequence markers will then be updated to reflect any changes to the clips in the timeline.