April 4, 2006
Rock and roll
Quite why I bought a Griffin PowerMate has always been something of a mystery. It's a lovely piece of milled aluminium with a glowing blue LED in the base, that plugs into a spare USB port and is used as a rotary controller. It's been jacked into my desktop for a couple of years, but while I've admired it, I've never really used it. It's quite pleasant for scrolling web pages, but that's about it.
On the face of it, it'd be a fine controller for Final Cut, allowing one to zip through clips at a rate of knots. However, I never found it terribly satisfactory for this, as a result of a driver quirk. Having it emulate the left and right arrow keys worked fine, and allowed frame-accurate control -- but when you stopped winding through the frames the software overshot massively, playing back all the queued-up keystrokes. Useless.
Today I finally noticed something that's (most likely) been in the software since day one, which is having the thing emulate a mouse scroll wheel instead. Setting it to scroll left/right has two wonderful effects. Firstly, it no longer overshoots. But secondly, it winds through the media when the mouse pointer is over the viewer or canvas windows... and it winds through the timeline when the pointer is there.
Oh happy, happy day. I have an analogue controller with focus-follows-mouse, in Final Cut.
Lesson to self: RTFM.