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Avid - "Fool me once..."

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David RocheAvid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 12:57:46 am

Dear Avid,

It appears that Apple has decided to abandon professional users of Final Cut Pro. Good for you. You have been given a reprieve. Don’t screw it up.

I hope you have a long memory, because your former users do. Do you remember when users of Media Composer left en masse for Final Cut Pro and your company nearly died as a result? I’m sure that there were as many reasons for switching as there were users.

My reason? I got sick of your attitude. Yes, you basically invented non-linear editing and we all owe you a debt of gratitude. You never let us forget it. You became unapproachable and arrogant – ironically, very much like Steve Jobs. After we spent over $100,000 on two of your editing systems, you never really knew us and didn’t care to.

For your second life, why don’t you try to do things a little differently? Instead of adversarial relationships with your customers, why don’t you try acting like we’re valuable to you?

For instance, I found it offensive that after spending $50,000 for an editing system, you required me to cough up an exorbitant annual service contract fee or $200 per incident to talk to a support person. How about a year of free support? You won't lose money. Most of your users are fairly smart people and The Cow is here for us too.

A credit card number as collateral for a defective board exchange? That really made me feel special. How about trusting the customers who have placed their trust in your products?

An ’80s era dongle? Yeah, I guess we’re all thieves lying in wait. Again, a little trust?

And two months after the last $50,000 editor we bought from you, you obsoleted all the Meridien hardware we had just bought and laughed when we asked for a way to upgrade. Boy did I feel like a chump.

Why don’t you take a few lessons from companies that do things right - like AJA. There is no charge for support calls – no service contract required. They are happy to talk to you about any problems you might have when using their products. They’ll even help you troubleshoot the products of others. They don’t mind sending replacement parts for troubleshooting and they won’t ask for a credit card before they do.

The way I figure it, Apple has given you a gift. You’ll likely have one more chance with many of us. But as the old saying goes, “fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me”. I'm probably gonna give you another chance and it’ll be the last one. Don’t blow it.

Sincerely,
Former and probable future Avid user, DR


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Hector berrebiRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 5:48:22 am

[David Roche] "Sincerely,
Former and probable future Avid user, DR"


i'm not Avid... but I'll try to answer some of your points... at least to my knowledge

CMX600, lucasfilm's EditDroid, quantel's Harry and... the EMC2 editor

all these came before Avid...and had NLE capabilities (you gotta love wiki...)
so Avid didn't invent NLE... they rather packaged it nicely and sold it better than other's did.

avid or apple and probably Adobe too can't really afford to give free phone tech support. if you think people are smart and won't abuse it, you are just wrong, and you probably never gave phone support to groups before. i can tell you from experience that even when its paid support it gets annoying, and the client becomes addicted very fast... and that was one TV channel.

oh... and the dongle went the way of the Mohicans about a year+ ago

had some more points, but no more time.. :)

good luck with your choices


hector

Hector Berrebi
prePost Consulting


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David RocheRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:12:22 pm

Hector, you can certainly take issue with any of my recollections of history - I won't argue that.

The reason I wrote the post was to point out that Avid has a second chance to treat their customers fairly and respectfully. My experience, which no one can debate, was terrible. That's why I went to Final Cut even though I would rather edit on an Avid any day.


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John WattsRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 11:07:56 pm

I remember using the EMC NLE. They were on 486's. We had their roll out off line model and used it for many years to cut lists. But they came out after Avids I believe.

John Watts


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John WattsRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 5:39:39 pm

What makes you think Apple has abandoned professional users?
Right now I think the competition between Avid and Apple is healthy. I use both systems on a regular basis and each have their own pluses and minuses.

John Watts


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David RocheRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:14:01 pm

John, I saw the demo in Vegas and I talked with lots of users from facilities much larger than ours. All I can say is watch how many of them DON'T "upgrade" to FCPX.


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Terence CurrenRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:30:39 pm

FCPX, at least in this initial release, will not work in the traditional facility model.

This is a gift for Avid and Adobe.

As for NLE, Avid put it on hard drives. The others were using multiple copies of the same material on either, beta, VHS or laserdisks to achieve non linear access. Their was a CMX project using hard drives, but it was extremely expensive and very limited. I don't know if they ever shipped one.

Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Neil HurwitzRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 16, 2011 at 1:05:45 am

As for NLE, Avid put it on hard drives

Please don't forget the ABEKAS A62
This device was basically two hard drives with a
Digital keyer in the middle
You went from one drive to another adding a key between them
The machine would automatically swap play and record.
We did stuff like 16 sided ice cream cones with moving images
on each facet. The thing sounded like a jet turbine spinning up.
I also owned the first Avid 8000 in NYC, Bob Z installed it
and did plenty of bleeding on the Quadra 950. This was Spring of 1992.


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Scott ColeRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 16, 2011 at 2:27:13 am

The A62 was not an editing machine at all, it was a graphic layering device. Many people used it in an online linear edit suite, especially before the advent of digital VTRs and switcher combos made it obsolete. It was one of the first devices that allowed you to remain in an all digital environment (albeit very small) adding layers upon layers without any analog generational loss.

M. Scott Cole
Senior Post Production Editor
60 MINUTES
CBS News, NYC
sc6@cbsnews.com
mscottc@comcast.net


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Steve PankowRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 16, 2011 at 8:21:44 pm

The mention of A62 makes me think of Charlex and The Cars "You Might Think" music video.



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Bob ZelinRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 16, 2011 at 10:10:35 pm

Hello -
I don't often participate on the AVID forum these days.

About 30 minutes ago, I attempted to contact AVID for my customer that has upgraded to Media Composer 5.5.1, and will use the AJA I/O Express. I wanted to just ask some stupid "what if" questions. But the System ID number is not "valid" (expired) even though she recently just bought the upgrade.

SO I called AJA (my buddies) and asked about AVID/AJA support. They told me that officially, they can support the I/O Express all day long, as long as I am discussing AJA VTR XChange or AJA Control Panel, but if there are AVID error codes that may come up, they can't discuss those, and I have to speak to AVID.

But I can't speak to AVID unless my client RENEWS her support contract, even though she just paid for her 5.5.1.

This is why people hate AVID. Media Composer is a great product. ISIS 5000 is a miracle product. AVID as a corporation sucks.

I had an OS-X Server problem the other day. I called Apple, and had enterprise support on the phone in less than 30 seconds, because my new server's serial # was in the warantee period. This was not some low life support person reading from a database - it was a hi end tech that was able to help me. I have done the same with HP (Professional Workstation division). And of course, AJA, Blackmagic, etc, etc, etc. But not AVID !

Bob Zelin



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David RocheRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 22, 2011 at 3:00:42 pm

Bob, I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. I was hoping that maybe Avid had learned something from their near-death experience - apparently not.

Well, with this week's disastrous (predicted) release of FCPX, Avid will surely get some new customers. Let's hope they read our complaints and respond. Not holding my breath...


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Scott ThomasRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 25, 2011 at 7:58:28 am

[Steve Pankow] "The mention of A62 makes me think of Charlex and The Cars "You Might Think" music video."

I believe "You Might Think" predates the A62.

What I remember hearing was that they had a huge amount of 1" recorders, playing back both key and fill elements.

I remember reading that their compositing device back then was a custom built CDL switcher.

I think the later Pringles and "wine cooler" spots benefited from the A62.


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Steve PankowRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 25, 2011 at 8:59:34 pm

Shoot, you're right. I thought it was A62 work.



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Douglas RyanRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 25, 2011 at 12:54:12 am

God, how Ioved my A-62. We created magic with that thing. I miss it still, the feel of the trackball in my hand. Thanks for the flashback.
Doug


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Scott ColeRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jun 26, 2011 at 12:57:00 am

I believe charlex's claim to fame was their use of IVC 9000 HELICAL 2" VTRS. The machines were probably the best analog tape machines ever, or at least their time. Their S/N ratio was incredible which made for great layering. They also had no banding issues.

M. Scott Cole
Senior Post Production Editor
60 MINUTES
CBS News, NYC
sc6@cbsnews.com
mscottc@comcast.net


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Justin GrayRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jul 5, 2011 at 11:28:08 pm

I completely agree with you David.

Thanks Fellow Bovines,

Justin Gray
Senior Editor/Motion Graphics Artist
Encore Multimedia
web.me.com/grayplanet


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David RocheRe: Avid - "Fool me once..."
by on Jul 8, 2011 at 2:18:36 am

Thanks Justin - and thanks for getting this discussion back on topic.


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Justin GrayRe: Avid -
by on Jul 8, 2011 at 4:27:42 am

I have used avid systems since before the Meridian days. Mostly though Media Composer running on adrenaline and Nitris DX boxes. I guess this makes me something of a new by but with around 10 years of daily avid usage I consider myself relatively seasoned. 

I was one of those who became increasingly frustrated with Avid, as was the trend, at the turn of the century. I looked to systems like discreet's (now autodesk,) media 100,  and even the evil adobe premiere 6.5. 

My reasons were the same as everyone else's. Avid had become arrogant and untouchable. Support was horrible... and horribly expensive and the media composer updates continually failed to impress. 

Along come final cut pro with all the "coolness" of apple behind it. It turned out to be great... editors liked and could afford it... an the rest is history. 

Avid, The tides have shifted and the ball is now in your court. So many great things can be said of your company and new attitude... especially since around the release of MC 3.5. You have been responsive and proactive in turning your company around and I thank you for that. But just remember that you can be the king for a day but a whore for a week. 

I know many shops that are looking to turn off the FCP switch. And if you play the cards right your won't lose to adobe.

Man, Avid I'm rooting for you... but  neither mine, nor most professional editors, allegiance lies with anyone. I sure as hell would love to be a fly on the wall during the avid marketing meetings. 

Thanks Fellow Bovines,

Justin Gray
Senior Editor/Motion Graphics Artist
Encore Multimedia
web.me.com/grayplanet


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