When was the paper written?
In a year or so Apple will be dropping support for FW in favour of USB and Thunderbolt.
Whether anything is anecdotal or not is completely irrelevant.
If it works, it works.
In many cases "anecdotal" simply means it has not been tested seriously because the powers that be, at that time, in their infinite wisdom, do not deem it to be worthwhile.
The number of mistakes, delays and deaths incurred following this credo is almost endless, but then who am I, a nobody. So anything I say or think bears no weight against qualified persons.
Ian & I participate on these boards for quiet a while, and for sure have highest respect concerning Tom Wolsky's expertise.
USB is not even supported by Apple in relation to streaming/editing video. ...
this is just nonsense - aside soon obsolote dv, all consumer video (AVCHD, m-jpg, div. 'avi') is ONLY delivered by usb.-
when we talk about pro-codecs, 4:2:2, 2k video, etc, I wouldn't rely on usb either, but the 'tiny' streams consumer codecs produce, are handled easy.
and the numbers I posted above are not anecdotal evidence, just the standards ...
These tiny codecs are not what you edit with. 1929x1080 29.97 AIC runs at over 14 MB/s. ProRes LT about the same.
In the FCP forum, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that USB drives do not work reliably.
If you are mostly lining up a string of clips, USB can work. But as has been noted, USB operates on a collision/shared bus model and while it has a theoretical bandwidth near FW400, it was designed for short burst demand - keyboards, mice, etc. That is has been expanded to support microphones, hard drives and so on is a credit to the flexibility of the design. However, it is this very flexibility/ interruptibility is what makes it a poor choice for continuous data applications. FCP/FCE interprets interruptions in the data flow as dropped frames. And FCP/E does not like dropped frames.
Firewire, on the other hand, is an isochronous protocol. This means the protocol is designed from the beginning to deliver data in a time sensitive and uninterrupted manner.
Running USB drives as primary data delivery devices is like people running FCE3.5 in Lion. That it can work doesn't mean it is a good idea and it is certainly not supported by Apple.
Strongly recommend you not go with USB. Most of my issues with hanging, beach ball, etc. we're resolved by switching to FW800 (pure, not 400 adapter). Confirmed USB problem by watching Activity Moniter and noting disk data rate flat-lining well before processors were being heavily worked. Have since gone to LaCie T-Bolt which works great.
I did a simple test using a FW400 g-tech drive. The drive supports both FW400 and USB2 connections.
I created 9 copies of one 600 MB DV/NTSC file and imported them into a FCP 7 DV/NTSC project.
First, I created a 4 file multiclip. The drive would play it without dropping frames using either FW or USB connections
Second, I created a 5 file multiclip. It would play fine in FW400 but dropped frames in USB
Next, I created a 6 file multiclip and it would play fine in FW400 but dropped frames in USB - to the point of not being editable.
I kept adding files to the multiclip - the firewire connection would play a 7 file multiclip ok but 8 streams choked it.
What does this mean? Firewire supports a 50% higher effective bandwidth than USB2.
In the "for what it's worth" category, I could run 16 streams of DV off of an internal 3 drive RAID 0 array on an MacPro without a problem.
Thanks for taking the time to test the 2 types X.
I think it demonstrates that for most amateur users USB 2.0 is an effective alternative to FW/Thunderbolt because even if dropped frames are encountered during playback it is unlikely to have any effect on the final output.
As you noted, there as a limit to FW's ability to playback without dropping frames. Using the logic that says USB 2.0 is unsuitable for video editing I suppose we should now say that FireWire too is unsuitable and only Thunderbolt should be used.
Studio X wrote:
I did a simple test ...
thanks for sharing this 'real world' numbers!
ok, there are all kind of parameters which could have additional effect (+ or -) ... but as Ian said:
FCPX allure us amateurs to play with Big Boy's Toys, such as FCPX and M5.
and for 'us', dropped frames WHILE editing are no drama - and the rendering isn't done in 'real time' (and handled differently in FC/p vs FCPX).
fw is superior.
but on a tight budget, for 'simple' projects, usb is optional
Another thing I find amusing are some of the pros' answers which I am sure are frequently tongue in cheek.
Although FCS and FCP X are designated as pro-apps, I suspect that over 90% of people asking questions on these forums are amateurs and very often complete beginners.
Regularly I see a request from someone (who is obviously a complete novice and just wants something that will give reasonable results cheaply) for suggestions for a suitable camera or editing system.
The mischievous pro will then provide a formidable list possibly including one or more RED cameras, an array of Sennheiser mics, multiple maxed-out MacPros together with broadcast monitors etc.etc. when what the hapless enquirer is really looking for is a £500 camera and an iMac!
All very amusing and I must confess to occasionally answering in that vein.
However, whilst some people are prepared to pay whatever it takes, many are just hobbyists on a very tight budget and it is doing them no favours to suggest that they can only get good results by remortgaging their homes.
At the risk of adding to the snobbery, look at the top of this page (and all the other pages in this forum) and you will see:
Note the words "Professional Applications".
I see, for the most part, all comers are welcome. Occasionally someone posts a question so fundamental to that I cringe (and I assume other pros do too).
But since nobody is obligated to posting their status - pro or amateur - how is one to assume their question is aimed at a pro-level use of the application? You would be as guilty assuming that you are answering an amateur as I would be assuming the OP was a pro.
And besides, many amateurs demand a high level from their gear.
Simples! (That's not a typo but reference to a UK TV ad)
Sometimes you cannot tell a person's capabilities, I don't differentiate between pro or amateur because many amateurs, as you say, demand the very highest quality.
Often from the way the question is constructed it can reasonably be inferred that the questioner is of limited experience or even a complete novice and I am sure you are being disingenuous if you claim that you can't.
There are plenty of people who will provide details of the expensive route . . . . I readjust the balance slightly by pointing out there are cheaper alternatives should the person wish to take them.