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COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

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Robert Brown
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 11, 2011 at 6:24:16 pm

"So if you’re really a professional you shouldn’t want to be reliant on software from a company like Apple. Because your heart will be broken. Because they’re not reliant on you. Use Apple’s tools to take you as far as they can – they’re an incredible bargain in terms of price-performance. But once you’re ready to move up to the next level, find yourself a software provider whose life-blood flows only as long as they keep their professional customers happy. It only makes sense."

Ron Brinkman

My impression of FCP has long been that it's a product of a software company and not a product of a company that knows anything about video. Apple really is all about the stock price so this day really had to come but I think it's a good thing. Apple doesn't need to make professional editors happy but Avid and Adobe do so the pressure is on them right now, but it's also a huge opportunity. Don't F it up!



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Bret Williams
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 11, 2011 at 6:53:34 pm

Go try Premiere for a week. You'll find it isn't anything to get excited about. It's trying to be FCP, but it's not. I'm bewildered that the company that brings us photoshop and AE can't make a better editor.

Try Avid, it's software from a company that knows a lot about Video. But not quite so much about software useability and interface design unfortunately. But it adds to the mystique because it's so ridiculous to learn. It too has been trying to become an FCP esque interface in 5 and 5.5 iterations. But now they just have more buttons and keystrokes to accomplish a task than ever.

That said, I'm leaning toward Avid. I'll always have Premiere on my system, but it just doesn't feel solid to me.


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Robert Brown
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 11, 2011 at 7:00:18 pm

Yes I've been playing around with Premiere for the last week and a half. Many positives, but some negatives as well. I too am surprised Adobe can't do better but it does offer promise and is much better with basic video stuff than FCP. Avid still bores the hell out of me but they seem to get it. My eyelids just start to get heavy every time I open that up.



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Chris Conlee
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 5:33:52 am

I don't really get the "Avid bores the hell out of me" mantra. A screwdriver isn't that exciting either, but it's built to do a job and it does it well. So it goes with Avid. I can cut with my eyes closed on Avid, it's become so familiar.

Chris


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Robert Brown
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 5:41:28 am

Kind of a subjective comment and not really a mantra. Sorry if you don't get it. But for me I open it up and it feels like 1996 all over again.



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olof ekbergh
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 11, 2011 at 7:02:18 pm

Check out M100.

It is fast and elegant, almost never needs rendering, and it has a really cool multi-cam. It works with AJA Matrox and BM.

And now it is part of Boris so the tech support is very good and personal.

The price just dropped to $595.00. There is a fully functioning 14 day trial as well.

This is and has been my favorite NLE for 15 years.

http://www.media100.com/

Olof Ekbergh


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Bret Williams
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 11, 2011 at 7:47:06 pm

How many freelance Media 100 or Premiere editors out there? Even better, how many FCP X freelancers out there?

I was a Media100 editor by trade for 2 years. In those two years I watched Avid destroy Media100 because Media100 never got their act together. One video track and one graphics track. I thank Media 100 though, for forcing me to be an After Effects artist.

Glad they've gotten their act together, but their name has been blemished a long time ago. Lots of people will come back to Avid because it's now the leader (in systems still available for purchase) and there are tons of FCP/Avid freelancers. Lots of people will switch to Premiere because they already have it. And I'm sure some will try Media 100.


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Gary Huff
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 11, 2011 at 9:02:38 pm

[Bret Williams]Go try Premiere for a week. You'll find it isn't anything to get excited about. It's trying to be FCP, but it's not. I'm bewildered that the company that brings us photoshop and AE can't make a better editor.

What are you referring to exactly?


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Chris Kenny
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 3:55:11 pm

[Bret Williams] "Try Avid, it's software from a company that knows a lot about Video. But not quite so much about software useability and interface design unfortunately. But it adds to the mystique because it's so ridiculous to learn. It too has been trying to become an FCP esque interface in 5 and 5.5 iterations. But now they just have more buttons and keystrokes to accomplish a task than ever. "

Software development is really hard. It requires a lot of resources.

Now, think about the pro film/TV segment of the video editing market. This market requires quite complicated products... but it's tiny. This makes it very difficult to develop high-quality software if it's too focused on this market segment, unless you want to want to charge $50,000 a seat. You simply can't raise enough money from such a small market to make the R&D investments you need to make to produce such a complex product at a high quality level.

This is basically Avid's problem. This is why it has the oldest architecture and some of the most dated UI, out of the three major NLEs. People keep complaining that Apple isn't focused enough on high-end users. But Avid is too focused on them, and there just aren't enough of them.

The best outcome -- and anyone who picked FCP over Avid Media Composer during the last round of the NLE wars implicitly agrees with this -- is provided by an app that targets a significantly wider market, but also provides features for film/TV editors. Such an app can have a much larger and more vital ecosystem around it, and its developer can afford to invest much more in it.

Yes, FCP X presently lack key features for film/TV editors that basically take it off the table at the moment. But this will not be true forever. And once it's no longer true, Avid's decade-long hemorrhaging of market share will likely resume. I'm really not trying to spread FUD here, but people should be considering these market dynamics when making long-term decisions about what platforms to buy into.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Chris Conlee
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 4:05:13 pm

Chris,

I think you're correct about Avid's predicament regarding high-end/size of market. That's why they're diversifying into consumer (Pinnacle) and audio (ProTools) and control surfaces, along with their own overpriced hardware. The studios will continue to purchase their hardware for the sake of robust reliability. But I think Avid is seeing the writing on the wall and are opening up to 3rd party I/O to move more licenses to folks like FCP fans.

You might call Avid's UI dated, but I still call it the most functional and quickest of the bunch. Moving to another app to cut is like eating razor blades for me after using Avid for nearly a decade. It just works.

Chris


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Chris Kenny
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 4:19:43 pm

[Chris Conlee] "I think you're correct about Avid's predicament regarding high-end/size of market. That's why they're diversifying into consumer (Pinnacle) and audio (ProTools) and control surfaces, along with their own overpriced hardware. The studios will continue to purchase their hardware for the sake of robust reliability. But I think Avid is seeing the writing on the wall and are opening up to 3rd party I/O to move more licenses to folks like FCP fans."

Diversification into other product lines might well save the company long-term, but it won't necessarily save the product.

[Chris Conlee] "You might call Avid's UI dated, but I still call it the most functional and quickest of the bunch. Moving to another app to cut is like eating razor blades for me after using Avid for nearly a decade. It just works."

Sure, I hear this all the time... including the "after using Avid for nearly a decade" part. I can't recall ever hearing a new user say "I've just started learning Avid, and wow, it's got this really great UI!" This is a huge problem for the platform's long-term prospects. And Avid is really between a rock and a hard place here. If they change the UI too much, their existing users will freak out. If they don't change it, their market share will slowly (continue to) shrink through attrition as new editors choose alternative products. Even introducing a more modern product alongside Media Composer would run the risk of alienating Media Composer users who would (rightly) perceive that the new product, not their product, was Avid's future. Indeed, we've heard from a former Avid employee that Avid actually started down this road, and then chickened out:

http://techvessel.tv/?p=940

When I was at Avid, I worked on a few internal projects trying to solve this exact problem – we saw Apple coming after us from the low end and knew it was only a matter of time before they reached Avid’s capabilities.

We worked on building “next generation” editor software. New UI, new technical foundation that would take advantage of multiple CPUs and GPUs. Unfortunately these efforts ultimately went nowhere, since the company as a whole was too timid and worried about disenfranchising the existing customer base – exactly the problem Apple is facing now.


--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Michael Hancock
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 5:44:52 pm

I've never understood the "UI looks dated" argument. What is it about the UI that prevents you from working? Is it because Avid's UI is kind of ugly? Because there aren't bevels and gradients and animating playheads? Does there need to be? What do they add to the functionality of the software?

When I'm on FCP or Premiere I see a lot of worthless buttons taking up valuable space. My favorite example is the jog wheel. I'm not going to try to grab a little jog wheel to skim through my footage - I have a mouse and a keyboard that are faster and far more precise. Remove the jog wheels please.

Avid's UI isn't pretty, but it's highly customizable (less than than in past versions, unfortunately). I think that's where its strength lies. There is certainly room for improvement - I'd like docking windows for one. I'd like the ability to fully customize the colors/buttons/track colors/bin colors, etc back. I think that will come in a future release though.

If the UI isn't impressive to a new user, is that Avid's fault of the user's? Sure it's part of the first impression, but I don't believe the UI is the reason people aren't jumping on Avid. Avid's branding is terrible compared to what FCP's was. Their marketing simply can't compete with Apple's, and that's hurt them a lot.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Robert Brown
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 7:24:29 pm

Maybe this will help

dated
adjective: old-fashioned, outdated, outmoded, passé, behind the times, archaic, obsolete, antiquated; unfashionable, unstylish, untrendy; crusty, old world, prehistoric, antediluvian; informal old hat, out, uncool. ANTONYMS modern.

It's the same UI since the 90's. I open it up and get flashbacks of 4 GB external drives in SCSI chains, massive 24 inch tube monitors, and video that looked like crap. It doesn't need lots of animated thingies flying around but freshen it up a bit.



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Robert Brown
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 12, 2011 at 7:11:50 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Software development is really hard. It requires a lot of resources.

Now, think about the pro film/TV segment of the video editing market. This market requires quite complicated products... but it's tiny. This makes it very difficult to develop high-quality software if it's too focused on this market segment, unless you want to want to charge $50,000 a seat. You simply can't raise enough money from such a small market to make the R&D investments you need to make to produce such a complex product at a high quality level."


I think FCP could have hired a handful of people to do the things like I'm talking about: 3:2 pulldown removal like AE, field based slo mos on interlaced material like Avid, a proper DVE like AE and Avid have had forever, EDL export that worked right like many have had for years and yes offline to online is still very much alive. Of course there are some plugins for some of this stuff but that's more money and never as good as if it were built in to the system.

These are technologies that have existed for quite some time. Apple just doesn't have the intention of fixing this stuff, it wouldn't take much if they did.



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Chris Kenny
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 13, 2011 at 1:47:54 am

[Robert Brown] "These are technologies that have existed for quite some time. Apple just doesn't have the intention of fixing this stuff, it wouldn't take much if they did."

These things always seem easy in isolation, but you have to take into account the dependancies they have on other code, and the overhead of coordination with other team members. Attempting more ambitious or faster releases by adding more developers is a very dicy business. Especially for a first release, where the major priority has to be on implementing the fundamentals as cleanly as possible, because you're going to be stuck with whatever architecture you create for a decade or more.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Robert Brown
Re: final-cut-pro-launches-a-x-the-chasm
on Jul 13, 2011 at 1:55:33 am

That's BS dude. It's all simple stuff to do if they had just decided to do it. Between 2001 and 2011 I think they could have figured it out. It just wasn't a concern for them, pure and simple.



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