Introducing Lapis (A Work In Progress)

If you're taking the time to read this, it's possible you may have used Streamers in the past. If you haven't, Streamers is a Mac application that plays back video in sync with timecode, and overlays visual cues of the sorts that are useful in post-production for film and television, as well as some forms of live performance.

After 14 years of developing and expanding on Streamers, I've reluctantly concluded that it's time to bid it a bittersweet farewell. Starting with macOS 10.15 "Catalina", Apple is removing support for 32-bit processes, meaning apps like Streamers won't launch. Streamers was too deeply entrenched in the 32-bit world (as well as deprecated technologies such as QuickTime and OpenGL) to make updating it feasible. On the other hand, I still rely on Streamers as a regular part of my workflow.

So although Streamers has reached the end of the road, I've embarked on an effort to build something better from the ground up: Lapis.

What Lapis will be

Like Streamers, Lapis will be a standalone application that runs video in sync with timecode, and generates visual cues and click/beep tracks. Also like Streamers, it will be a Mac-only native app.

Unlike Streamers, Lapis will include QuickTime export as a first-class option, rather than a tacked-on experiment as it is in Streamers. My hope in particular is to make Lapis more useful for use in live score performance, where the need to make changes on the fly doesn't exist. I also hope to be able to take a more robust approach to ADR and Foley timelines under the hood.

Also unlike Streamers, Lapis will not be free. The exact pricing structure is still to be determined, but I'll be building Lapis as an independent project, and I want to be able to prioritize ongoing development of Lapis and make it useful to more folks than just myself.

About this blog

In these posts, I plan to share progress on Lapis as it goes. As of this writing, I am still early in the process, although I have a number of isolated bits and pieces ready to assemble. It is a daunting project to replace in one fell swoop what had originally grown organically over 14 years, and my hope is that sharing developments in the open will make it easier to maintain momentum.

Some posts here may delve into technical details of scoring or post-production; others may be technical essays on Cocoa development. For the most part, though, this will be a place to announce progress along the road map. And of course screenshots, when it reaches the point where I have enough to share.

If you're interested in keeping up with the latest developments, please get in touch! To start with, the best way is to follow @lapis_app on Twitter.

Thank you for reading!