David Pogue is bummed that Apple is no longer worrying about owners of tape camcorders.
In the days of olde iMovie, you could export the results back to your tape camcorder. You’d preserve 100 percent quality, you’d free up the space on your hard drive, ready for the next editing project, and you’d have a simple way to play the movies on your HDTV.
Apple, however, is convinced that tape camcorders are dead, and it seems determined to pound nails into that coffin. The company expects you to store all of your video, now and forever, on hard drives.
It’s easy to see why Pogue is upset. Soon, his tapes will be stranded and uneditable. He even vented his unhappiness to Steve Jobs himself a while back.
I must admit, [Jobs] gave me quite a wakeup call. He pointed out that in 10 years, there won’t be any machines left that can play them.
(He also mentioned that, realistically, the only time people really edit their movies is just after they’ve shot them. And sure enough: I’ve been intending to edit my tapes for 15 years now; what makes me think I’ll have time to do it in the next 15?)
Mac and video fans may not like it—especially the part about having to buy a new, tapeless camcorder—but the writing is on the wall. Tape is dead; camcorder manufacturers have been saying as much for years now. And Apple is not about to preserve some legacy jack just for the sake of the dwindling MiniDV cult.
It’s interesting to see this sort of public tug of war over a feature. Pogue knows what he wants and he’s upset Apple is taking it away from him. But Jobs has a point too: Tape is dying. As a company, Apple has to move toward things that show signs of life. That may upset some customers, but it’s still the right move for Apple.
Reminds me of way back when Apple stopped including floppy drives on Macs. People were upset then too. But does anyone look back now and think Apple messed up there?