Switching Between MC and iTunes

Why does it take so long to switch between MC and other programs? I’m cutting temp music and using iTunes as the music browser. This is because it’s next to impossible to quickly position and audition music against picture in the MC. That, in itself, is a fundamental problem, but with iTunes, I have an adequate workaround. The problem is that I have to repeatedly switch back and forth from MC to iTunes and unfortunately, every time I do, MC goes through some kind of update. The result is a roughly four-second wait while the system seems frozen. Repeated all day long, that turns out to be maddening, especially when you’re trying to hit play in iTunes and then go to MC and hit play there so that music and picture will be in rough sync. Really hard to do it with that long wait.

You can see the same problem when bins are opened — or closed. There’s a several second wait after the bin appears or disappears, while all clipframes in all other open bins are laboriously reacquired from disk — and the system is frozen. Why? This wasn’t true in Meridien or ABVB.

I just tested this at home and discovered to my surprise that it doesn’t happen on a software-only system with local storage. I can switch between iTunes and MC in a quick keystroke — no waiting. And I can open a bin or close it without seeing any other clipframes update.

What gives? Is this a function of Unity? Or of sharing a project? And if so, is it really necessary, or is it an artifact, a programming mistake that added some kind of “refresh all” command where it isn’t necessary?

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5 Comments on “Switching Between MC and iTunes”

  1. Erik Says:

    Maybe a feature in Media Composer that allowed the source and record monitors to be played simultaneously would make it easier to sample music and other sound sources against picture.

  2. Steve Says:

    Yup, if you could play, stop and jog the source and record monitors independently, it would be a whole lot easier to audition music against picture. It would also be helpful if you could adjust audio levels between source and record independently. And finally, when you found a synch position you liked, if you could easily cut that together, at the rehearsed level, you’d have a really useful tool.

  3. Mark Burton Says:

    I agree that testing temp music against a cut is counter intuitive at the moment. A few additions to the gang tool and it could already be much better.

    When you say “It would also be helpful if you could adjust audio levels between source and record independently” I’m guessing you already know that you can set source clip audio levels using the mixer. Any clip loaded in the source side can have it’s master level set and saved.

  4. Steve Says:

    Yes, of course. I meant live, while the clip is playing, so you can audition material and find appropriate levels interactively.

  5. Erik Says:

    “I meant live, while the clip is playing, so you can audition material and find appropriate levels interactively.”

    This feature was actually added in MC 2.5/AXP 5.5.

    Search “using live mix mode” in the help file.


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