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The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?

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Christian Schumacher
The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 2:38:19 am

As I understand it, Apple was a premium workstation maker
witch had its design tied together to its software development.
Well, we all know some bad stories to tell, but the point is
we did see they overcoming those problems and moving forward.

That was the time when the tech giant was know as a "computer company" and
nowadays that above strategy have its own meaning, accordingly to a new reality.

While it became increasingly popular among creative people and newbies in general,
the Macintosh started to be utilized in a ecosystem of Apple gadgets.

What I guess Apple is quietly doing since then is to try to set
those new customers' messes straight into a meaningful way for them to carry on.

Unfortunately - as some have pointed out before - at the expense of the hard users
that had experience in dealing with boring complex work flows.

After all, the ecosystem gadget paradise brings a lot more revenue to them,
as anyone can attest today, and for an example support will shrink dramatically.

Take the OS Finder Desktop as an example of how its features
have evolved since the maturing of the X iteration of MAC OS.


What was added since Leo? -Coverflow - Quicklook -Exposé/Spaces
- Time Machine - All very, very iOSish features. Coincidently?

Not sure when Dashboard and Spotlight came in, don't feel like googling now,
but it was just before that and only adds up to the story.

Meanwhile core functions like Menu Commands, windows lay-outs and
file management are the same-old-never-updated since when? The XX century?

Since Tiger the Finder isn't trustworthy as it was then-six years ago at 10.4.
It became very quirky in later editions. Even unreliable
.

The point I want to make is that Apple has been planning this switch
to iOS for a long time now and chose not to further develop the Finder.
I think we can see what is coming out of this.

The beloved iPad was created to lead the way and to subsidize the
complete switch at the computer line of the ecosystem.

The recent Mobile Me cut-offs were just another writings on the wall
at Cupertino Temple. God forbids creative users taxing their busy gadget servers.

At the end, those customers should only have the need
to sync their paraphernalia and that's about it. And upgrade of course.
Can you spell "App Store"?

Oh, and there's is this handicapped Quicktime too. RIP QT Pro.

I'll be willing to bet that at some point in the future a new Cat will enter the scene
with a whole new awesome version of the Finder we know today.


It is going to restraint the user by preventing those new customers
from the mess they make with their own computers.

Hiding the OS from its user is a long known goal for the bitten fruit,
as anyone can attest - and this FCPx looks like a tiny part of the plan.

The hope for Apple in the near future is that the market ultimately
delays this process, easing the transition to its demise as a computer maker.
I'm not sure though, they have been disruptive lately.

Do you agree with that?


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Andrew Richards
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 4:07:51 am

While I don't completely disagree with your overall point that Apple sees iOS as its mainstream future, there are a number of your supporting points I do not agree with in terms of your conclusion. I'll address them in the order they appeared in your post.

[Christian Schumacher] "What was added since Leo? -Coverflow - Quicklook -Exposé/Spaces
- Time Machine - All very, very iOSish features. Coincidently?"


I don't follow the parallel you are drawing. Coverflow is useless eye candy, IMHO, but the other features all either predate iOS or were added to OS X the same year the iPhone debuted. Exposé dates back to Panther (10.3), and Spaces was borrowed from X Window desktop environments like GNOME and KDE in Leopard. Time Machine and Quick Look also debuted in Leopard. How is one-button previewing of a file in the Finder and in open/save dialogs in any way an iOS-like feature? iOS doesn't even expose the user to a filesystem, let alone given them tools for navigating it. Lion may have added some iOS-esque veneer, but the features you listed, save for Coverflow, are hardly iOS window dressing.

[Christian Schumacher] "Meanwhile core functions like Menu Commands, windows lay-outs and file management are the same-old-never-updated since when? The XX century?"

The last major overhaul to the way the Finder operates conceptually was during the transition from OS 9 to OS X. It caused a stir not unlike FCPX is causing now. So if we're keeping score, the original Finder bowed in 1984, and the modern Finder in 2001. If you were to use the Finder in Jaguar or earlier versions of OS X today, I think you'd appreciate very quickly how far it has come since then, due in no small part to the features you bemoaned above.

The Finder was completely rewritten in 64-bit Cocoa for Snow Leopard, so it isn't as if it is being neglected.

[Christian Schumacher] "The beloved iPad was created to lead the way and to subsidize the
complete switch at the computer line of the ecosystem. "


The iPad probably is Apple's vision for the future of general purpose computing. Steve Jobs described traditional personal computers as being like heavy trucks where the iPad is more like a passenger car. Both are needed in the world, but most folks don't need a CDL to get around.

[Christian Schumacher] "The recent Mobile Me cut-offs were just another writings on the wall
at Cupertino Temple. God forbids creative users taxing their busy gadget servers."


MobileMe was killed because it was a dismal failure. They didn't kill it because some editors used it to share videos.

[Christian Schumacher] "Oh, and there's is this handicapped Quicktime too. RIP QT Pro."

QuickTime (the API) is dead, and its true replacement only just appeared in Lion. The QTPX that shipped in Snow Leopard was built on a false start of an API called QTKit. Apple did stumble on the transition away from 32-bit QuickTime, and I too am puzzled as to why they didn't roll out a fuller-featured QuickTime Player X for Lion (since they now have the underpinnings to support it). I'm more puzzled no one has seen this gaping hole in the market and attempted to fill it with a modern spiritual successor to QTPro 7.

[Christian Schumacher] "It is going to restraint the user by preventing those new customers
from the mess they make with their own computers. "


They are already starting to obscure more of the filesystem from casual observers. Seen your Library folder in Lion lately? The day they take my Terminal away is the day I walk. Everything else is protecting users from breaking their Macs out of ignorance. And yes, the vast majority of them need to be protected from themselves.

[Christian Schumacher] "The hope for Apple in the near future is that the market ultimately
delays this process, easing the transition to its demise as a computer maker. I'm not sure though, they have been disruptive lately."


I dunno, Apple seems to be outpacing the industry on both the iDevice and Mac fronts. The market must like what it is seeing.

As I stated, I agree there is an overtone of shifting general purpose computing to the iPad user interaction model. iPads are driving low-margin commodity PC makers out of the consumer space. Look at HP! They sell more PCs that anyone and they want to quiet the business because they can't profit from it. Look at Windows 8, Microsoft clearly sees that the iPad computing model is the future of general purpose computing.

I think it will be quite a while before there isn't a place for the Mac at Apple. And if that day ever does come, enough else will have changed that it won't be nearly as bleak as you imagine it.

Best,
Andy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 3, 2011 at 4:21:53 pm

"MobileMe was killed because it was a dismal failure.
They didn't kill it because some editors used it to share videos."


Andrew, It wasn't editors sharing movs only - a known small niche.
I know a lot of different content producers that used iDisk as well
This is the x-FCP forum, but I wasn't thinking of editors exclusively.

Think here of all the photographers burned at their now-former-galleries.
Plus other creatives EOL'ed by the termination of iWeb hosting.

Adding those up you might want to rethink that.
Anyway, thank you for your response.

Cheers,


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Andrew Richards
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 3, 2011 at 9:24:06 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "Think here of all the photographers burned at their now-former-galleries.
Plus other creatives EOL'ed by the termination of iWeb hosting."


Yes, dropping iDisk does suck for a a lot of people. I don't mean to trivialize the inconvenience it causes people who depended on it. That there are alternatives out there doesn't eliminate the hassle of having a service killed.

I'm still not convinced that Apple's reboot of their web services product is a leading indicator that the Mac's days are numbered. At least I hope it isn't.

Best,
Andy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 12:10:19 am

My opinion is that Apple has been ejecting a lot of creatives by their latest decisions.
Mobile Me's trimming did more than "sucking for a lot of people".

I brought that up because I see it as one dot of a bigger picture.
Those "people" were loyal power users not regular folks with their iThings.

These folks are covered, indeed. And that's my point.
The Mac should fit them accordingly in the near future.

Cheers,


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Andrew Richards
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 1:12:17 am

I never really saw a lot of value in MobileMe, but it isn't fair for me to project my opinion onto others. My characterization of MobileMe as a failure was with respect to how it did in the market it was aiming at (which I would argue was predominantly iLife users, not professional creatives).

Best,
Andy


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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 1:26:21 am

[Andrew Richards] "I never really saw a lot of value in MobileMe, but it isn't fair for me to project my opinion onto others. My characterization of MobileMe as a failure was with respect to how it did in the market it was aiming at (which I would argue was predominantly iLife users, not professional creatives).
"


After uploading clips, works in progress, or even finished projects to my iDisk, I can share links to those files from an iPhone app to anyone in the world from anywhere in the world I happen to be at the moment. It's incredibly handy and it's been a lifesaver innumerable times.

In addition, I have custom keyboard layouts, screen layouts, and all kinds of other helpful FCP things waiting for me on my iDisk, so if I ever find myself freelancing at client's facility without the thumbdrive I normally carry, I can access whatever I need from any Mac with ease.

There are loads of other uses I could point out, but the two above make MobileMe a killer app for me.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 3:04:43 am

Any user iDisk can mount at anybody's desktop.
A public folder accessible to all in any browser too.

iPhoto/iWeb together with Galleries/Webhosting are making money, yes.
Slow servers, oh yeah. But workflow implementation itself is flawless.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 3:27:51 am

[Christian Schumacher] "Slow servers, oh yeah."

Yes!!! Their servers were the slowest in history. They are now about twenty times faster, but still slow.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Paul Dickin
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 7:25:06 am

[Christian Schumacher] " ...they have been disruptive lately."
Hi
I guess the writing on the wall - that Steve Jobs would have to retire from active management sooner than he would want - has meant an increasingly accelerated advance to what Jobs sees as the future. Faster than might have happened without the ticking clock of his health problems.

I think one his better insights was that further development of OS X should be held back until the overall strategy for taking iOS forward had been determined - that commonality in the structural-code base is good, but iOS should be the leader in this as it will be the eventual successor to OS X.

Nothing in all this has to be feared - though the fast-track disruption is an unfortunate spin-off of the accelerated pace of the changes.

[Andrew Richards] "Apple did stumble on the transition away from 32-bit QuickTime...they now have the underpinnings ... I'm more puzzled no one has seen this gaping hole in the market and attempted to fill it with a modern spiritual successor to QTPro 7."

Hasn't Adobe attempted a parallel path option with their Mercury Engine development. Not knowing where Apple would be going with AVFoundation, haven't they came up with an alternative?

FCP X has to be a part of the solution to plug the 'gaping hole', but I was expecting the pace of progress to be faster in this. Why doesn't FCP X (= newQT) handle ALL media types natively...



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Gerald Baria
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:15:17 am

The future of Apple is modal computing, nad absolutely no filesystem. It will be metadata based (just as FCPX is). THis has been Steve Jobs ultimate dream since he first designed the very first Apple computer, to create a compuetr for "the rest of us". A powerful devioce with zero learning curve required. He has achieved it partially already with iOS, all you get is a sea of icons, which anyone from a 1 year old baby to a 99 year old granny can pick up and start using. Apps will fill the entire screen, pretty much turning your computer into whatever the function of the moment you intend to use it-a book, a piano, a gps, a notebook. Full screen. No windows. The device disappears, and the content (app) takes full center stage. And its just continuously getting more and more powerful. File system are a mess, its the worst result of Apple's invented desk - metaphored GUI, (which MS eventually copied), and he's been trying to remove for so long. Finally with iOS its closer than ever. With iCloud and metadata based access and manipulation by app integration, say goodbye to finder.

But this does not mean its any less powerful, in fact just the opposite. Apps will be much easier to use, and you can concentrate more on doing stuff that you need to do other than figuring out how to do it.

And that my friends is Apple's future. Power to the people mofo!

Quobetah
New=Better


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Andrew Richards
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 12:42:12 pm

[Paul Dickin] "FCP X has to be a part of the solution to plug the 'gaping hole', but I was expecting the pace of progress to be faster in this. Why doesn't FCP X (= newQT) handle ALL media types natively..."

The gaping hole I was thinking of is the one left by good ol' QuickTime Player Pro, and its swiss army knife MOV manipulation capabilities. AVFoundation and CoreMedia are now firmly in place as the replacement for the old QuickTime APIs, but we're missing the application layer at the <$30 utility level. I'm surprised a little indie developer out there, sensing the angst about the decline of QTP7 and having access to the Lion beta most of this year, hasn't whipped up a spiritual successor to QTP7 to capitalize on the demand until Apple adds the features back to QTPX (if ever).

Best,
Andy


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Chris Kenny
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 3:43:38 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "It is going to restraint the user by preventing those new customers
from the mess they make with their own computers.

Hiding the OS from its user is a long known goal for the bitten fruit,
as anyone can attest - and this FCPx looks like a tiny part of the plan."


I agree with this. But this direction isn't just the future of the Mac, it's the future of personal computing in general. Look at Windows 8: it boots by default into a radical new UI, and apps for that new UI are written using significantly updated system technologies, and distributed only though Microsoft's app store. The whole industry is following iOS, not just the Mac.

FCP X, looking at both its price and its user interface, looks very much like the first NLE designed to fit into the "post-PC" era. But while Apple is moving first (they understand this change better than anyone, because the iPad was its catalyst), competing NLEs will also have to make this transition eventually. This is simply a straightforward consequence of NLEs being applications that run on mass-market platforms. Five years from now, Windows and OS X will both have been "touch-first" for a while, many consumer users won't have had occasion to interact with the file system for a couple of years, most third-party application revenue (with the possible exception of enterprise volume licensing) will come from selling apps through platform vendor app stores, and more than 50% of the personal computing market could be tablets. You think Avid Media Composer could survive in that market with its current UI? Or selling at its current price point? Hard core fans might keep using it in their operating systems' legacy environments. But new editors wouldn't go near it.

People switching to non-Apple products because of concerns over how radical Apple's FCP and OS X decisions are becoming need to understand that this radical change is sweeping the entire industry. Apple is simply reacting before most people (including most of their competitors) have figured this out. But Adobe and Avid must also eventually adapt or die.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Martti Ekstrand
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 4:11:04 pm

So basically what you are saying is that 'non consumer' users should switch to Linux asap.

check out my shorts: http://vimeo.com/marttiekstrand


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Chris Kenny
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 4:33:08 pm

I doubt it.

People never seem to think about the extent to which our existing professional tools were shoehorned into an environment designed for the broader market. I mean, what's the hot new thing in post these days? File-based workflow. Err... files? Stored in folders? And our edit decisions are stored in documents? These are metaphors that were created based on the dominant use case for early personal computers: working with office documents.

Just as clever developers found a way to build professional video editing tools in an environment designed for routine office work, they'll find a way to build such tools in the emerging post-PC world. FCP X already points the way forward, in many respects. For instance, you can import footage directly from a camera, and manage both your footage library and your projects (even doing things like copying footage to other volumes), without ever using the Finder. The UI no longer really relies on windows, and takes significant steps that would make it feel more natural with touch interaction. The price is in line with the expectation of lower price points due to app store distribution efficiency, and the app is neatly self-contained as required for app store installations. Add some APIs for direct exchange of data with other apps (so the user doesn't have to explicitly mess with XML files, etc.) and you're basically there.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Martti Ekstrand
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 2, 2011 at 6:19:36 pm

I'm even more convinced to move to Linux via Win7 now.

check out my shorts: http://vimeo.com/marttiekstrand


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John Joyce
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 3, 2011 at 5:49:50 am

Apple of course does not own the mortgage on disruption.

If Apple does not have a very big rabbit still in the hat, we could be at one of Andy Grove's strategic inflection points. Consider, for example, the impact of a decision by Avid to cease Mac development. Remember, they tried it before; and reversed the decision only after an outcry of protest, led by movers and shakers in Hollywood.

Do you think the same would happen now, if Avid dropped the Mac?

A sweaty decision for Avid, and it may be tantamount to betting the company. But if they got away with it, their development costs would diminish significantly. Adobe (and everyone else) would watch the unfolding events excitedly.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 3, 2011 at 3:52:13 pm

Thank you for the precious perspectives. They were all very meaningful in this thread.

Let me wrap this up with these two quotes - but adding a silver lining to them at the end.

"And that my friends is Apple's future. Power to the people mofo!"

"The whole industry is following iOS, not just the Mac"


Bring it on!







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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 5:02:33 am

Look, Adobe's doing it. Are they the devil now, too?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204612504576609671964511508.h...

Jeremy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 1:38:31 pm

The apps address multiple areas of the creative process -- image editing, ideation, sketching, mood boards, website and mobile app prototyping and presentation of finished work -- Adobe said in a statement.
(...)
The Creative Cloud will be a hub for access to desktop and tablet applications, finding essential creative services and sharing work with others.


It just looks like others are picking up where Apple already left off...

Does that sound familiar?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 2:35:01 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "It just looks like others are picking up where Apple already left off...

Does that sound familiar?
"


left off or is going?

I don't know if you've been part of the discussions on having editing in the cloud, or FCPX on an iPad, but when those discussions come up, Apple gets lambasted.

When Adobe announces it, it's all of a sudden logical.

Apple have really done themselves a PR disservice. No matter what happens, they will be vilified.

It was theirs to lose, I guess.


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Walter Soyka
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 2:50:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't know if you've been part of the discussions on having editing in the cloud, or FCPX on an iPad, but when those discussions come up, Apple gets lambasted. When Adobe announces it, it's all of a sudden logical."

Although both Adobe and Apple have cloud/tablet/mobile strategies, they may not be the same.

Adobe seems to be using roughly the same approach that Autodesk is: mobile apps, built for mobility, that can collaborate with or support (but not necessarily replace) the big desktop apps.

Apple's strategy sometimes feels like they expect mobility to completely replace the traditional desktop.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Apple have really done themselves a PR disservice. No matter what happens, they will be vilified. It was theirs to lose, I guess."

Dramatic releases are two-edged swords. If Apple announced their roadmap, we'd know what to expect, but they'd lose their wow factor.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 3:08:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Adobe seems to be using roughly the same approach that Autodesk is: mobile apps, built for mobility, that can collaborate with or support (but not necessarily replace) the big desktop apps.

Apple's strategy sometimes feels like they expect mobility to completely replace the traditional desktop."


Sure. It's also the difference in designing and selling hardware vs software only development to work on a variety of platforms.

Apple tools their machine around hardware. Adobe tools around supporting as many platforms that make sense to develop.

They both want to take your money.

Apple has never released a road map, although partnering with intel who does release a road map has given us a bit of a peek behind the curtain.

Has Adobe release a CS roadmap?

I know Avid informally did, but roadmaps change with software development.

Look at Red. They were furiously gung ho about being open about their development. Now, they only talk when something's ready. It is an excellent case study for why some companies don't talk till the product is ready.


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Walter Soyka
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 4:04:54 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Sure. It's also the difference in designing and selling hardware vs software only development to work on a variety of platforms. Apple tools their machine around hardware. Adobe tools around supporting as many platforms that make sense to develop. They both want to take your money."

Totally true, but I'd ask what they want to take my money for. Adobe seems to be pushing into more professional-oriented solutions, broadly supporting different workflows and taking user feedback to improve the products. Apple seems to be pushing into more consumer-oriented solutions, leaving questions about their interest in professional- and enterprise-level solutions.

I can't get a solid read on Apple. On the whole, I'd argue they're trending consumer. FCPX has some decidedly non-consumer architecture elements and features, but that's counterbalanced by apparent low prioritization of the requirements to support complex workflows.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Has Adobe release a CS roadmap?"

Not a roadmap, per se, but Jim Guerard (VP and GM of Professional Video) has shared Adobe's vision for professional video [link]. In it, he first discusses some industry trends and recent Adobe release history, then he runs through Adobe's so-called pillars of focus:
  • Making Premiere Pro the industry workhorse
  • Focus on professional markets
  • Integration and extensibility
  • Metadata and multiscreen
  • Collaboration and the cloud


More specifically, Adobe runs Adobe Labs [link], which gives users preview access to new Adobe products. They also showcase some of their cutting-edge research at the Advanced Technology Labs [link].

Adobe employees are active participants on their own Adobe-branded forums as well as external sites such as this one. High-visibility employees blog. Product teams tweet. Adobe values communication, and they are highly involved with their user base.

I totally understand why developers don't want to release strict roadmaps, but Apple just blew up a decade-old platform that an entire industry had come to rely on -- out of the blue. I suspect that they will be held to a higher standard while they rebuild the trust they burned.

I think the FAQ and the 2012 feature list are evidence that Apple has understood that their total secrecy policy has hurt them with the FCPX release, and that their users require more than the slick "one more thing" finished product reveal. I hope that continue along this trend.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 4:39:02 pm

All great points, Walter. We will see if that strategy works for them during the long haul. I hope it does, they have done a great job of marketing, and being in a communications business I can certainly appreciate clear communication.

The strategy didn't for Red, although, you can participate in discussions with their top management and staff through their forums as well.

This has never been possible with Apple.

I honestly don't know which one works better. People seemed to be OK with it before Apple screwed up the FCPX launch.

Jeremy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 3:30:50 pm

"People seemed to be OK with it before Apple screwed up the FCPX launch"

With Apple you can only rely on their acts - or perhaps rumors about them.

Regarding FCP(and Studio) what were them? A consistent improvement overtime.
Why wouldn't they be OK with that? And why wouldn't they be pissed at them for this X?
Surely cutting them out translates as "screwing up" in my book.

You see, it isn't only editors that are worried about Apple's business commitment.
The drifting to the "iThing ecosystem" orientation is noted by others as well.

Check this recent article on "7 Ways Apple Can Serve Small Business Better"
It addresses an urge for "refocus" of the gadget maker's new CEO.

If it is wishful thinking or not, only their future acts will tell.

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/238927/7_ways_tim_cooks_apple...

Cheers,


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 3:40:26 pm

[Christian Schumacher] ""Regarding FCP(and Studio) what were them? A consistent improvement overtime.
Why wouldn't they be OK with that? And why wouldn't they be pissed at them for this X?
Surely cutting them out translates as "screwing" in my book."


I was commenting on Walter's comment:

"Apple seems to be pushing into more consumer-oriented solutions, leaving questions about their interest in professional- and enterprise-level solutions.

I can't get a solid read on Apple. On the whole, I'd argue they're trending consumer. FCPX has some decidedly non-consumer architecture elements and features, but that's counterbalanced by apparent low prioritization of the requirements to support complex workflows."

This isn't new. This has been happening for a while at Apple. Yes FCP7 was an effort of consistent improvement over time, but there was never any news, there was never any hints, just rumors. It didn't seem to keep FCP7 from becoming a very popular editing method, which is why I said people must have been OK with it, right?

Do you think development of FCPX has stopped? Despite it being a new application, what has changed in regards to Apple's message? I would say that we know more about future updates to FCPX then we had ever known about future updates of FCP Legacy.

Jeremy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:06:20 pm

OK, I gotcha. Now moving on to your question.
I think the talk from Cupertino is damage control.

Extensively, I think that FCPX's development is the same in that regard.
It's just all damage control to blend in the transition to a future closed ecosystem.

Ultimately, those closed restraints are going to piss even more people(*) off.
Maybe even you, Jeremy. Why not? Wasn't Color dead at 1.5?
What we have now instead? -the board? Pfft! Here's a good link on this:

http://www.taoofcolor.com/510/final-cut-pro-x-merged-with-apple-color/

(*) useless power users


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:36:32 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "OK, I gotcha. Now moving on to your question.
I think the talk from Cupertino is damage control."


Yes, there is probably some of that, for sure.

[Christian Schumacher] "It's just all damage control to blend in the transition to a future closed ecosystem."

Explain, please. What is closed about FCPX? Yes, it requires a new XML language to control the different structure of FCPX. Ultimately, is this a bad thing? More control? Doesn't almost every media tool have it's own language at it's core? The example I would show you is Foolcut which allowed FCPX to AE transfer (and R3D conform), with no API and no official XML language. Does that represent a closed ecosystem? CatDV can already go from FCP7 to FCPX. Does this really mean that I can't work with FCPx because it's closed?

[Christian Schumacher] "Ultimately, those closed restraints are going to piss even more people(*) off.
Maybe even you, Jeremy. Why not? Wasn't Color dead at 1.5?
What we have now instead? -the board? Pfft! Here's a good link on this:"


I have read that link, and we have had discussions about the Color board. Perhaps it isn't for everyone, and it's not the best or most logical of interfaces when comparing it to color theory, but it does give many options and the quality is pretty damn good; much better than anything that resided inside of FCP Legacy. Also, there are a few attainable options out there if a dedicated grading system is necessary, wasn't it announced that Resolve will support fcpxml in a future update (v8.1)? I will miss Color that is certain, but if I don't have to do another XML jockey and rerender when late changes come and I can get a quality output, doesn't that allow me to still do my job at the level my clients expect?

Jeremy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 5:44:56 pm

I created this thread to point out how Apple's big plans don't
include hardcore platform users in the future - cos' they are shifting focus.
Most of the responses goes along those lines too, so is a good read.

Any chance of a MacPro-as -it-is? I don't think so.
Still, Apple will have its own kind of hardcore platform for a while.
They'll come up with something to alleviate the pressure from the platform transition.
Expect them to keep the name MacPro as they did with Final Cut Pro.

For me, FCPX is a transitional product in itself. The same goes for the new MacPro(X?)

I see the "way-outs" from FCPX as damage control to ease the transition.
(Strangely enough, they all have appeared after the roll-out)

The technique forum is going to stem with workarounds for a while.
And this one is for debating ideas and opinions, isn't it?
There's a profusion of opinions nowadays, I understand.

But I appreciate very much the insight of some fellow adult users in here.
Anyway that is what it is. My opinion. You are welcome to have yours too, Jeremy.

Cheers,


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 7:22:20 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "I created this thread to point out how Apple's big plans don't
include hardcore platform users in the future"


What does the hardcore platform user of the future look like? What will the requirements be?

Thunderbolt (as one example) changes this definition. What regular iPhone user needs Thunderbolt? The AJa ioXT can probably do 3G HDSDI on a MacBook Air. That's pretty hard core and there's no "pro" name in there any where.

[Christian Schumacher] "Any chance of a MacPro-as -it-is? I don't think so. "

You are right. I think it's safe to say we can pretty much guarantee that the MacPro won't be around forever.

[Christian Schumacher] "For me, FCPX is a transitional product in itself. "

Again, you are absolutely right.

[Christian Schumacher] "I see the "way-outs" from FCPX as damage control to ease the transition.
(Strangely enough, they all have appeared after the roll-out)"


Yes, they did. They definitely botched the release and pre-release, no question. But they talked, it's a step in some sort of direction.

[Christian Schumacher] "But I appreciate very much the insight of some fellow adult users in here.
Anyway that is what it is. My opinion. You are welcome to have yours too, Jeremy."


And there it is. This keeps happening. I ask you to explain what you mean, you don't, and I am the bad guy. It must be in my delivery.

You said FCPX is a closed ecosystem. I ask you to explain what you mean for further clarification (and show a few examples of how it might not be), You respond and tell me I get to sit at the kids table. That's cool, we will color outside the lines and tell fart jokes.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 8:24:27 pm

"You said FCPX is a closed ecosystem. I ask you to explain what you mean for further clarification"

OK I'll try it.

- FCPX is sold only at the Apple's App Store

- FCPX alienates former FCP users by not opening legacy projects

- FCPX has a unique trackless timeline that forbids OMF audio workflows

- FCPX denies existence of professional tape input/output

- FCPX denies existence of film based editing

- FCPX is based on RGB color space only

- FCPX has only a couple of developers allowed by Apple to make plugins

- FCPX has primarily a single window interface prioritizing single screens

- FCPX won't allow you to use layered PSDs as layered timelines

- FCPX restrains the user that wants to set up custom size/FPS projects


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:14:10 pm

Much better. Thank you.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX is sold only at the Apple's App Store"

Yep, could be a problem where bandwidth is limited.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX alienates former FCP users by not opening legacy projects"

It does not alienate "former FCP users" from X. It does not allow them to take a current FCP7 project and bring it in to FCPX. I can't bring my Color session in to DaVinci with just my Color project either. I already know what your answer is going to be to this, so yes, FCPX is that much different from FCP7.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX has a unique trackless timeline that forbids OMF audio workflows "

False.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX denies existence of professional tape input/output"

Tape capture will come to FCPX via your capture card company. Instead of Apple working behind the scenes with 3rd party capture card companies, you will be able to interact directly with capture card companies to help further develop your ultimate tape capture interface. How is this a closed system? You can also capture from tape if you use firewire based cameras.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX denies existence of film based editing"

You cannot edit film in a computer. Correct. In all seriousness, FCP7 "denied" film based editing, too. I guess you are probably referring to a database system such as Cinema Tools?

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX is based on RGB color space only "

Explain what you mean here as about 10 things come to mind. Or I can go back to coloring.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX has only a couple of developers allowed by Apple to make plugins"

Not quite sure what you mean by that. Also, anyone can create plugins due to the tight integration of Motion. Again, I don't know how this is a closed ecosystem.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX has primarily a single window interface prioritizing single screens"

It's true the interface is not very customizable, but there's menu options for dual screen capability right in the app.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX won't allow you to use layered PSDs as layered timelines"

True. I guess it's over.

[Christian Schumacher] "- FCPX restrains the user that wants to set up custom size/FPS projects"

Yes, a true holdover from FCP Legacy. I guess they want to stick with SMPTE standards (speaking of closed ecosystems)?

Most of these things that you mention are interface problems, not "closed ecosystem" problems. There is no question that FCPX needs a lot of work. They have a feedback page right here so you too can help make it better: http://www.apple.com/feedback/finalcutpro.html


Jeremy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 9:32:10 pm

Maybe they will fix those "interface problems" as you put it.
But I tend to think most of them just won't make it though.

My overall thinking of a closed ecosystem is still yet to come.
Even if some current omissions may be added in a very near future.

Yes, I think Apple might EOL FCPX as well in the future - 3yrs max.
Then you'll have iMovie Pro FOR REAL. How about that for a bomb?

Cheers,


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 11:41:04 am

[Christian Schumacher] "Maybe they will fix those "interface problems" as you put it.
But I tend to think most of them just won't make it though."


If you personally don't think it will make it through, or have a bad feeling about it, fair enough. I don't think anyone is betting the farm on FCPX quite yet.

[Christian Schumacher] "Yes, I think Apple might EOL FCPX as well in the future - 3yrs max.
Then you'll have iMovie Pro FOR REAL. How about that for a bomb?"


Well, it will be the first consumer editing device to support 4k editing, multicam, 4444 and capture cards. Hope the soccer moms and dads are ready to spend a whole lot of money on a new camera and lens package. Little Tiger's soccer games will look amazing.

And seriously, if it goes away, it goes away. We will make it. $397 won't put us out of business quite yet.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 1:51:28 pm

Well, it will be the first consumer editing device to support 4k editing, multicam, 4444 and capture cards. Hope the soccer moms and dads are ready to spend a whole lot of money on a new camera and lens package. Little Tiger's soccer games will look amazing.


Well, for all I know this is the first software updgrade in history that
in order to restore its former functionality (except 4K)its users will have to wait
an entire year for a patch? WOW! that's something to brag about...Not!

Those patches are damage control and it will end up
in a buggy piece of software at the end, we all know that.

I keep hearing your incidental jokes about soccer moms
but hey, iphone 5 is around the corner, isn't it?
And gawd knows what's the next gadget they will come up with...

Judging for their recent history of releases it will be closer
to that proud mom you speak of than any creative hardcore user around here.
So, be careful what you wish for, Jeremy.

Do you honestly think they are prioritizing a ecosystem
of power users over a ecosystem of gadgets users? How come?

Firing an entire pro team of workers?
Disrupting visual content packages?
Introducing consumer aspects in its editor?
(And waiting a year to get functionality back?)
Care to elaborate on that?

Cheers,


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 2:09:18 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "Care to elaborate on that?"

Yeah, I have some thoughts on everything you said, but let me ask you differently what I alluded to earlier. What is your definition of a "hard core" or "power user"? I'm curious what you think that is.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 7:58:54 pm

My definition of a power hardcore user? My pleasure, Jeremy.
From an Apple standpoint, it is the user that fits into the below:

- Utilizes -one or more- Apple computers to run production software of any kind.
- Have to share multiple instances of work within a range of production needs.
- Relies on an ecosystem of production devices that are made of several vendors.
- Needs to tag along with complimentary activities of different workers involved.

Now that you have my definition, could you please elaborate on how Apple
will improve that power user environment? I think It will better if we narrow down
to just sound and moving picture production for the sake of relevance here.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 8:48:27 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "Now that you have my definition, could you please elaborate on how Apple will improve that power user environment?"

You are starting to lose me a bit here as these are really vague, but I'll take guesses. I asked this to gauge how it relates to FCPX being the "Closed Ecosystem" you have mentioned. You still haven't really answered that, but that's OK.

[Christian Schumacher] " Utilizes -one or more- Apple computers to run production software of any kind."

-How does FCPX prevent you from buying another computer?

[Christian Schumacher] "- Have to share multiple instances of work within a range of production needs."

-By multiple instances of work, do you mean multiple copies of the raw materials? I think a hard drive will solve that for you, or better yet a SAN. FCPX also has very easy ways to make proxy files and to move/copy those files to wherever you need if you don't have shared storage. Speaking of shared storage, XSan is built in to Lion, which will probably lead to easier project sharing, but that's just a guess. Can't imagine what soccer dad would do with XSan.

[Christian Schumacher] "- Relies on an ecosystem of production devices that are made of several vendors."

You mean capture cards? Coming in 2012 and has been announced by Apple and all capture card company makers.

[Christian Schumacher] "- Needs to tag along with complimentary activities of different workers involved."

I guess you and your co workers can get up and go get a juice from the fridge together, instead of taking turns?

Can you please be more specific? Are you taking about interchange? FCPXML is new and released. It will take some time for everyone to ramp up, but it's already happening.

OK, now that you answered back to your other post:


[Christian Schumacher] "Well, for all I know this is the first software updgrade in history that
in order to restore its former functionality (except 4K)its users will have to wait
an entire year for a patch? WOW! that's something to brag about...Not!"


What patch is coming in a year? I'd love to know. A new XML came in 3 months, and multicam and capture card support will be coming within the next 6 if not before.

[Christian Schumacher] "Those patches are damage control and it will end up
in a buggy piece of software at the end, we all know that."


How do you know these things? They aren't patches, they are features. It was a decision to release FCPX in it's current state. Do you really think they were done?

[Christian Schumacher] "I keep hearing your incidental jokes about soccer moms
but hey, iphone 5 is around the corner, isn't it?
And gawd knows what's the next gadget they will come up with..."


I don't know what the iPhone 4S has to do with our discussion. (I don't know when the iPhone 5 is coming out).

[Christian Schumacher] "Judging for their recent history of releases it will be closer
to that proud mom you speak of than any creative hardcore user around here.
So, be careful what you wish for, Jeremy."


What, that iPhone video works in FCPX? It already does. So does Alexa footage.


[Christian Schumacher] "Do you honestly think they are prioritizing a ecosystem
of power users over a ecosystem of gadgets users? How come?
"


Now that I know what some of the terms of a power user come from, I am not sure how FCPX or Apple is preventing anything that you term as a power user. I do think that thunderbolt is a pretty powerful connection protocol and it will change what we need as Pro users. It might make our computer smaller, but it won't make them any less powerful. From the invention of the first "computer" that was bigger than a bus, the trend has been miniaturization. An 8 core laptop with a thunderbolt port might be very good for the bulk of users. I don't doubt Apple will have one of those in the near future.

[Christian Schumacher] "Firing an entire pro team of workers?"

Do you know who was fired and why?

[Christian Schumacher] "Disrupting visual content packages?"

You mean killing Shake? Yep. That did happen. And Autodesk/Discreet killed Edit. The Foundry killed Storm, Avid and Ppro stopped supporting the Mac for a while, M100 killed 844/X and on and on and on. Some software dies. FC Studio was probably killed due to a really really old code base that Apple decided not to rewrite. They had other ideas and time will tell if it was a smart move or not.

[Christian Schumacher] "Introducing consumer aspects in its editor?"

I've said it before. I think iTunes is pretty decent software. What would be wrong with aspects of iTunes going in to FCPX if it makes my job easier? Is that what you mean by a "consumer aspect"?

[Christian Schumacher] "(And waiting a year to get functionality back?)
Care to elaborate on that?"


Yes. Writing software, and software that works, takes tremendous effort and time. What we are seeing now is the beginning of the public version of Apple's effort. It will only get better and if it doesn't, we will move on and survive.

I can only go on what Apple has shown and what is currently available. Only Apple knows what they will do in the future. They have not announced that they are killing FCPX, they have made good on what they said was coming for FCPX, so I can only believe what they are telling me. If it turns out to not work or not be true, then so be it.

I have no problem with my job getting easier. If the tools get a little smaller, get a little faster and aren't as hard to use, that means I get to go home earlier. I've spent more than enough time in the edit suite. If the it's the right tool for the right job, then it's the right tool, right?


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 6, 2011 at 9:05:59 pm

Geez,

If you wasn't so committed in backing them up maybe, just maybe...
You could have noticed that there are many creative content production areas.

All of them have been loosing ground on the Mac, lately.
Audio and moving picture production are just next ones in line.

I'm sorry if I can't be specific when talking about a general idea.
Go figure.

I did outline earlier why FCPX is closed...
(and also how it will be even more)
And you have promptly responded to that earlier.
A lot of postings lately, eh?

Cheers,


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 7, 2011 at 1:36:34 am

[Christian Schumacher] "If you wasn't so committed in backing them up maybe, just maybe...
You could have noticed that there are many creative content production areas."


There's no question I want to watch where FCPX goes. I have had a lot of success with FCP and Apple hardware, I would like that to continue. Maybe I'm too loyal, a "flaw" for sure. I see some great things in FCPX that no other NLE that I know of is attempting, so maybe I'm "backing them" or maybe I want "them" to succeed, I don't feel bad about that. I can use PPro, the shop is not interested in Avid, and Lightworks is still vaporware on the Mac. There's no way we can leave OSX. We have a windows SAN controller, and that's about all I want to deal with on Windows. Probably stupid, but that's the way it is. Our shop is sticking with Macs until we can't.

[Christian Schumacher] "All of them have been loosing ground on the Mac, lately.
Audio and moving picture production are just next ones in line."


FCP was certainly the most popular, but it was probably not the best/most modern tool. It had a lot of weird things about it, but it was stable, effective and cost efficient. I don't know what evidence there is about video applications losing or gaining ground on a Mac, but I'd be happy to read what you've found.

[Christian Schumacher] "I'm sorry if I can't be specific when talking about a general idea.
Go figure. "


Yeah, this is kind of my point. Specifics matter.

[Christian Schumacher] "A lot of postings lately, eh?"

Yeah. I am trying to figure this out as well. We are all on the same team, we make a living with these tools. This is a "debate" forum. I enjoy the intelligent conversations that happen here, a lot of them are based in fact and informed opinions. All I am asking you to do is inform us. I enjoy opinions, but when stated as a fact they lose meaning until the proof shows up. It's ok for you to feel however you want, and it's ok for me to ask where your info comes from or to clarify your meaning.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 8:01:01 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "the Color board. Perhaps it isn't for everyone, and it's not the best or most logical of interfaces when comparing it to color theory, but it does give many options and the quality is pretty damn good; much better than anything that resided inside of FCP Legacy."

OK so the quality is better than than the FCP legacy 3-way, thanks to floating point implementation, but really in every other respect it is surely inferior. Above all the granularity of the interface is really unbelievably coarse, to the point that I can't believe that anyone is taking it seriously as a grading tool, except for rough and ready client approvals. There is no way to make adjustments with any degree of finesse.

It's one the of the areas that needs a lot of work, and that means a pretty basic rethink in my view rather than a update tweak. I think the Color Board has had a really easy ride in this whole discussion ...

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 8:25:11 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "OK so the quality is better than than the FCP legacy 3-way, thanks to floating point implementation, but really in every other respect it is surely inferior."

Inferior to what? The 3way cc? If the 3way interface is better due to 3 color wheels and luma control together, but the quality is worse, that automatically makes the color board inferior? You would rather have a worse output because it made more sense to use?

Secondaries, user masks and control inside and outside of said masks?

A keyer that actually works?

I don't know. I'd prefer color wheels in the app, but I would take the board over the 3 way as an "in app" tool due to the quality it produces. I understand if perhaps not everyone sees it as such.

By "a lot of work", you mean it needs three color wheels? Or a color wheel with three pucks (which won't work). And perhaps "exposure" control on the same interface?

And if you are comparing inferior to a dedicated color app, then yes. It is.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 8:36:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "A keyer that actually works?"

You're kidding, right? A keyer that you have absolutely no serious control over???? The old 3-way was waaaaaaay more sophisticated than that - OK, so it didn't have user masks ...

But my point was actually about how coarse the controls are - not up to the job of refined colour correction, OK for a quick fix type job. In short, it's not good enough ...

... yet.

Actually I'd also like to some some quantified comparison of the picture quality as I think there is a general idea that it's better without any actual data to back it up ... How much of this is subjective at this point?


Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:01:30 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "You're kidding, right? A keyer that you have absolutely no serious control over???? The old 3-way was waaaaaaay more sophisticated than that - OK, so it didn't have user masks ...

But my point was actually about how coarse the controls are - not up to the job of refined colour correction, OK for a quick fix type job. In short, it's not good enough ..."


I wanted to revisit this. What control don't you have?

Jeremy


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:22:59 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "
I wanted to revisit this. What control don't you have?"


I'm glad you asked ...

It's not so much the lack of control as the fact that the level of control is so coarse. The interface is absolutely microscopic which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, except that it means that very small movements translate into pretty big changes.

I really, really hate having to make very small mouse movements to adjust anything but with colour grading it's especially undesirable. (Note that you can't use the Cmd key to gear down even.)

Worse still is that although you can use the cursor to move the sliders, the increments are massive.

This is not the level of control I expect from a pro grading interface.

(I admit that I'm still working on a laptop which exacerbates the problem, but I think my point still holds.)

Then we come to the keyer, which is frankly a joke when compared to the FCP 3-way keyer which had a very decent level of control.

Here you have effectively none - you can add or subtract from your selection but that's as far as it goes. You can't see the key (major, major drawback), and you can't adjust the softness. Not good - not good at all.

I won't say anything about the lack of color wheels - maybe this is a better way, I can't say. But the way it stacks up at the moment with the limitations above, it's not the business as far as I am concerned.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:34:17 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "(I admit that I'm still working on a laptop which exacerbates the problem, but I think my point still holds.)"

Yeah, I can see that. You can also use the keyboard arrow keys to move the pucks around.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Here you have effectively none - you can add or subtract from your selection but that's as far as it goes. You can't see the key (major, major drawback), and you can't adjust the softness. Not good - not good at all."

I agree that it's not perfect here, but I find the keyer to be pretty sweet. You can key multiple colors and have them stick, and then add and subtract. To see the matte, you go in to the saturation pane and slide the saturation down outside the mask and you can see what's left behind. You can then add and subtract the mask from there, even on the desat image. And the slider next to "Color Mask" adjusts softness, but it'd be nice if there was a little more softness. Then combine that with the shape mask (which has a long feather) and you have a pretty decent little setup. And the quality I find to be much better than 3way. So yeah, it's not perfect, but overall it's a more powerful tool, but that's an opinion. As with everything in FCPX, it could certainly use a bit more control. A matte check would be great, no question.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I won't say anything about the lack of color wheels - maybe this is a better way, I can't say. But the way it stacks up at the moment with the limitations above, it's not the business as far as I am concerned."

I hear that too. I do find the color board very intuitive to get rid of color casts, though.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:45:06 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " You can also use the keyboard arrow keys to move the pucks around."

This is actually the point that drives me the most crazy as I thought I'd mentioned - the increments when nudging with the keyboard are insanely huge, I mean just grotesquely huge! Can't work with this.

[Jeremy Garchow] " And the slider next to "Color Mask" adjusts softness, but it'd be nice if there was a little more softness."

OK, so I missed the softness slider but then I was so disgusted by there not being a view matte option that I wasn't really interested in exploring it too much. As always I admire the ingenuity of your workaround but it's a pretty crazy sort of kludge, isn't it?

I do dispute that this keyer is better than the old 3-way version - I really do. At least in its current state.

I think what offended me the most was the notion more or less explicitly put around by Apple that this way in some way a replacement for Color. Color was (and still is while it lasts) a really great grading app. The Color Board is a handy-ish tool for temporarily fixing up the odd shot for client approvals.

As for finding the quality significantly better than the old 3-way I'd love for someone to run some actual tests to verify the truth or otherwise of this widely held but unquantified view. Not saying it's not true but would love some hard evidence.

Thanks for continuing the conversation, though!

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:00:42 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "As always I admire the ingenuity of your workaround but it's a pretty crazy sort of kludge, isn't it?"

Far from perfect, for sure.

[Simon Ubsdell] "I do dispute that this keyer is better than the old 3-way version - I really do. At least in its current state."

Eh, we will agree to disagree. Again! :-D

[Simon Ubsdell] "I think what offended me the most was the notion more or less explicitly put around by Apple that this way in some way a replacement for Color. Color was (and still is while it lasts) a really great grading app. The Color Board is a handy-ish tool for temporarily fixing up the odd shot for client approvals. "

I think it took the best and most powerful aspects of Color, and then turned it on it's side. It's not a replacement for a dedicated app, that's for sure. Funny I see 3way as the quick fix, and the Color Board as a deeper tool. Why am I so weird?

[Simon Ubsdell] "As for finding the quality significantly better than the old 3-way I'd love for someone to run some actual tests to verify the truth or otherwise of this widely held but unquantified view. Not saying it's not true but would love some hard evidence."

The only thing I can judge is with my eyes, so of course it's subjective. The 3way is a noisy render, FCPX seems to give a cleaner render. I can only really tell after exporting out of FCPX and watching with AJA TV on monitor as I'm naked without it.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:07:53 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I think it took the best and most powerful aspects of Color, and then turned it on it's side."

Can't agree with you there - one of the best and most powerful things about Color (in addition to the overall depth of control throughout the interface) were the Hue, Saturation and Luma Curves which I absolutely rely on and provide control actually not available elsewhere within Color, and certainly not matched by anything in the Color Board.

The other obvious major, major difference is the Color FX Room which was massively powerful - and had some great plug-ins from Graeme Nattress that took the whole thing to a completely different level.

I don't see that anything of Color has been incorporated into the Color Board though the under-the-hood processing might owe something to it.

On the rest, I guess we're not going to agree ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:09:39 pm

I totally agree about curves and fx room. Those are the hallmark of a dedicated app. They weren't present in the 3way, either.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 14, 2011 at 9:21:06 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Simon Ubsdell] "I do dispute that this keyer is better than the old 3-way version - I really do. At least in its current state."

Eh, we will agree to disagree. Again! :-D"


On second thoughts, I wanted to come back at you on this.

We are comparing this:



... with this:



... and you're saying that the 3-way doesn't give you a better keyer. Is that really a sustainable point of view?

On extra point I wanted to bring up about this which is very salient and that's that the FCPX keyer is a chroma-key only, whereas in most grading situations a luma-key is just as important if not more so.

Which is why I made a Motion 5 Effect specifically to take care of this (among quite a few other things):

3072_tkypowergradev3.zip

I stand by my position that the FCPX Keyer needs a whole lot more work to even begin to be convincing. Sorry ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 14, 2011 at 6:33:01 pm

You forgot the picture of the color board, the shape masks and keyframe ability of them, the exposure and saturation. So really we are comparing this:











To three way. The only thing it has going for it, in my opinion, is a matte check. Also, look what I just found, I was going to try and do a video of this but this guy nails it:


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 14, 2011 at 9:44:56 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You forgot the picture of the color board, the shape masks and keyframe ability of them, the exposure and saturation. So really we are comparing this:"

No, I'm talking about the keyer not the shape mask - these are two completely unrelated things (and before you point it out I do understand that you can qualify a key with a mask, but the point stands nonetheless).

The FCPX Color Board keyer isn't up to scratch and despite all your excellent forensic skills you can't persuade me that it is!

OK, so the 3-way didn't have shape masks, but in every other respect (except, I'm prepared to admit, if anyone will prove it to me quantitatively, image quality) the Color Board is functionally inferior. Are we really having this argument ... ?

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:34:02 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " And the slider next to "Color Mask" adjusts softness, but it'd be nice if there was a little more softness."

Actually, I don't think this is quite right now I've had a closer look at it - the slider doesn't actually introduce softness, it just "crunches" the levels on the key which is not the same thing at all.

I'd say that in most cases the key is going to be unacceptably noisy as a result of missing this feature.

Honestly, the keyer in the 3-way is vastly superior to this ... you can actually get some very decent results with it.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:35:04 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Honestly, the keyer in the 3-way is vastly superior to this ... you can actually get some very decent results with"

And Color is superior to them all, and around and around we go.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:39:55 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "and around we go."

OK, I'll stop arguing now ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 5:09:03 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "This isn't new. This has been happening for a while at Apple. Yes FCP7 was an effort of consistent improvement over time, but there was never any news, there was never any hints, just rumors. It didn't seem to keep FCP7 from becoming a very popular editing method, which is why I said people must have been OK with it, right?"

Check out the timeline in my article [link]. I argue that from roughly 1998-2008, there was a steady string of video-oriented development across Apple's entire product line. From roughly 2008 on, the focus seems to shift away from that, with video-oriented development efforts ending and consumer development efforts ramping up.

FCP7 was popular because it built on the foundation that Apple established with FCP v1-6 and the rest of the Final Cut Suite (including Cinema Tools, Color, DVD Studio Pro, and Soundtrack Pro), plus ancillary video-oriented products like Shake, Xserve, XSAN, and FCSvr. Apple had invested significant resources in video, and their consistent efforts over time created a high degree of confidence.

That changed as Apple began their move away from these products, but it really hit hard with the EOL of Final Cut Suite and release of FCPX.

Remember that when FCP7 was released, it felt like a relatively minor update. It wasn't multithreaded or 64-bit. It didn't feature GPU acceleration. It didn't have any better support for tapeless workflows than its predecessors. People continued using because they liked the interface, or because they had built a workflow around it, and because they expected the awesome FCP8 rewrite to address their concerns.

It would have been myopic to think that FCP7, with its weak media management, poor performance, and all-transcode workflow had its competitors beat on feature set.

In short, I don't think FCP7 was popular entirely on its merits; it was a bridge from previous versions of FCP (which were much more competitive, prior to things like Avid's AMA or Premiere Pro's MPE) to the future release of what everyone assumed FCP8 would be.

FCP8 was supposed to leapfrog the competition; FCPX takes both forward and backward steps. If Apple had pre-announced in 2009 that FCP8 wouldn't ship with the ability to read FCP7 projects, interchange with other apps, or handle video I/O, I'd guess a lot of people would have jumped ship then.

This post is not meant to rip on FCPX (parts of which are really starting to grow on me), just to point out that Apple used to be on a consistent trajectory with FCP prior to FCPX, showing a clear interest across many post-production needs, and with each release of the software building on what had come before. Now that trajectory strikes me as far less clear.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 6:32:08 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Now that trajectory strikes me as far less clear."

As always, those are all fair points, Walter. Thank you.

I would ask, since we can only see what Apple has released, you don't think FCPX represents a delve in to spending money on video oriented developments? Perhaps FCPX is the result of all the investments you mention, albeit in a very incomplete stage? Do people realize how hard developing software is?

The strength of a timeline is that you have history on your side, the future is not yet written, and the immediate present does not offer perspective. Emotion often "fuzzes" the present.

Again, I am not apologizing for the way Apple has done business. As users, all of us would benefit from a more open development dialogue and more gradual transition periods to other options/workflows. From Apple's perspective, I am not sure what advantage it would give them, or more accurately, the negatives would probably outweigh the positives from more open dialogue and long transitions. Again, I will mention Red and what they have decided to do as they grow and their technology becomes ever more accessible to users:

http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?62908-Philosophy-change...&p=813888...

XSAN is now built in to Lion. Yes, the XServe is gone, but perhaps it's not going to be needed? As a technology company and from a business standpoint, why develop something that you know is going to be obsolete?

What was an XServe? In a server environment, it is a metadata controller that had access to high speed connection protocols (PCI/PCIe) that was rack mountable and had some server like redundancies (power supply et al). Have a look here, (Click on the expansion tab once you get to this link):

http://sonnettech.com/product/thunderbolt/index.html

Minus some crucial redundancies (raid 1 boot drives, and power supplies) couldn't this represent the future of an XServe? Since XSAN is built in to Lion, what more do you need? You have data control, you have access to high speed storage and networking, you have a fast enough CPU to manage the relatively low level tasks of passing data around.

[Walter Soyka] "Remember that when FCP7 was released, it felt like a relatively minor update. It wasn't multithreaded or 64-bit. It didn't feature GPU acceleration. It didn't have any better support for tapeless workflows than its predecessors. People continued using because they liked the interface, or because they had built a workflow around it, and because they expected the awesome FCP8 rewrite to address their concerns."

Yes, but a few high level additions were added in the form of more ProRes variants for high end (4x4) and broadcast (LT) should not be taken lightly when thinking in the grand scheme since ProRes is now the backbone of Apple editing products.

And as far as the tapeless support that isn't in FCPX right now, I think the Camera SDK is a very smart decision. Really. Camera formats are all over the map, and even the tried and true formats change a little bit (and some go obsolete or turn legacy). The camera SDK puts the onus on camera developers to support their ever changing requirements. If they want to sell their extremely complex tapeless variants and have those variants adopted across all platforms, then have at it. Support your own format. It had already started in FCP7 with Log and Transfer plug ins for every camera, let's hope this new SDK will allow even greater and more direct access to the tapeless media essences.

As far as development, I am sure FCPX was already in the works when FCS3 was released, so again, why spend a bunch of time, money and effort on something that you know is going to drastically change in a relatively short time period? Why keep speaking Latin when you know you are going to speak Spanish tomorrow?

[Walter Soyka] "In short, I don't think FCP7 was popular entirely on its merits; it was a bridge from previous versions of FCP (which were much more competitive, prior to things like Avid's AMA or Premiere Pro's MPE) to the future release of what everyone assumed FCP8 would be."

And I think FCPX is the answer to the development of other NLE companies, it was just a really shoddy release and marketing strategy. They have definitely burned many bridges as people some can't wait for what is to come, they need it now. That is completely understandable.

[Walter Soyka] "FCP8 was supposed to leapfrog the competition; FCPX takes both forward and backward steps. If Apple had pre-announced in 2009 that FCP8 wouldn't ship with the ability to read FCP7 projects, interchange with other apps, or handle video I/O, I'd guess a lot of people would have jumped ship then."

I do think that the anticipation was certainly there.

The loss of FCSvr I think is the under rated blow to the entire Suite. I do think that eventually, FCPX will include FCSvr capabilities, or perhaps Apple just decided why develop something like this when there's specialized companies that can do it better/cheaper/faster (such as SquareBox). They stopped developing the XRaid for similar reasons, I bet. I don't know now, I don't know what we will know in the future in regards to reasons why the decisions were made this way, but I am sure history will give us the perspective when we add a few more things to your timeline. Which brings us back to:

[Walter Soyka] "Now that trajectory strikes me as far less clear."

Yeah. It isn't clear, and in my opinion it really has never been quite clear. OS Lion is very unclear to me at this point, it feels like it's not done. It has been mentioned on a panel discussion that Apple is a technology company and that's how they think. That part, is crystal clear.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 3:40:31 pm

You're right, Walter. And there's a big difference in how Apple and Adobe work with their users. Apple keeps all their cards close to their vest, and apparently doesn't listen much to their user base.

Adobe puts it all out there for people to see (check out Labs.Adobe.com and you'll see what I'm talking about) with their Labs website. If you're looking for the roadmap, Adobe lets you look over their shoulder. If you want an Apple roadmap, you have to have the keys to the corner office.

I'd much rather have a good idea of where the technology behind my livelihood is, than to have to play twenty questions, and never get an answer.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 2:55:19 pm

Jeremy, if you had followed our discussion here regarding Mobile Me
and what apple did with it, then you could've seen what I mean.

They will disrupt features used by creatives that now (as you posted)
are going to be offered by Adobe - plus other features that
Apple apparently refused to implement themselves in the first place.

I think this is relevant in the context of Final Cut Studio's end,
along with what it's been worked out by Adobe for the future.

This is NOT about bashing Apple - it is about discerning what's to come.

Cheers,


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Gary Huff
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 3:40:55 pm

[Christian Schumacher] This is NOT about bashing Apple - it is about discerning what's to come.

But, Christian, you don't understand. You are either for Apple or against it. And if you don't stay true with a 100% Apple software+hardware workflow, then you will be out of a job soon.


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:17:42 pm

yeah...no one can tolerate the loss of the mac start up chime.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 3:57:46 pm

[Christian Schumacher] "This is NOT about bashing Apple - it is about discerning what's to come."

Got ya. I guess the subject line that has "time bomb" in it seemed like sort of a bash, but perhaps it's not.

Bashing is cool by me, and it is sometimes deserved, I just like to keep things in perspective.

MobileMe was never MobileMe Pro. People used it as it was there, and it didn't work very well. There are much better/cheaper/faster solutions than MobileMe.

Jeremy


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 4, 2011 at 4:24:25 pm

From my point of view, there's no meaning regarding "pro" anymore...
Heck, what is all of the people doing at their computers (but working?)

Everyone, from a student to his teacher, from a vlooger to an academy director,
from an event cameraman to a panavison photographer,
from a webseries dialogue writer to a an oscar nominee script writer, and so on...

...all of them have to learn and to practice what they have learned eventually.
That knowledge has got to somewhere - or anywhere - including Apple.

Cheers,


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Christian Schumacher
Re: The Macintosh - Is it a Time Bomb for the Hard User?
on Oct 5, 2011 at 4:30:11 pm

My argument goes down to this; being a platform developer
why Apple should care about the hardcore users?
IF THE CHOSEN PLATFORM DOES NOT FIT THEM?

For a while they will keep luring some into their cage by offering a PRO bait.
Eventually the trap will set them up for good.


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