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Working Over the weekend...

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Greg Burke
Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 9:56:53 pm

Hey all I just picked up a gig that has me booked all weekend, I just got a email explaining the work were doing.


Were packing and shipping all Macpros out of the Facility. (are are 30 towers)

We'll be receiving shipment of New PC towers and must set up install cards,ram and Software etc.

All edit suites ( I was told 5 suites) will be installed with Avid 6.0 and Adobe Creative suite 5.5 and must be hooked up to the machine room.

the beginning of a new generation of post houses and Professionals...

bye apple...

I wear many hats.
http://www.gregburkepost.com


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tonybadea
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:06:09 pm

Bye Greg!



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Greg Burke
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:08:53 pm

Just thought it was an interesting job that had to do with Apple's business choices the last few months.

thought I'd Share.

I wear many hats.
http://www.gregburkepost.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:18:08 pm

Personally, I am interested in the fact that they are also changing hardware, not just software, something that has been on my mind.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 10:27:32 pm

I have no idea why Greg's post got a -1. He is adding to the conversation here, not detracting from it.

Greg stated that he was hired to help a facility remove 30 Mac Pros and replace them with PCs -- in order to run software that would have worked just fine on the Macs they already had.

I'd think that news of a big facility making a big bet against the Mac platform is just as valuable on this debate forum as news of a big studio making a big bet on FCPX.

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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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:05:24 pm

It does indicate Apple's problematic situation.
Purchase decisions are often made near the end of the year due to taxes and budget allocations.

FCPX, which I believe is supposed to encourage Mac system purchases, doesn't.

I suspect we'll see a MacPro replacement around the time of the major FCPX update.

For a facility, that would mean waiting until some point in Q1 next year and they may end up making the same decision, losing the immediate tax advantage of making large purchases now.

That FCPX, in its current form, does not compel Mac system upgrades and that one doesn't even know what the next Mac systems will be are two blows to Apple. Even if one assumes the low MacPro sales relative to other Mac computers, there will be a "reverse halo" effect as mobile editors will be choosing Windows laptops to run their Windows NLEs on.

Although I certainly do like FCPX, it certainly is not yet facility worthy and, if one doesn't like the paradigm, there's no current compelling reason to stay with Apple when one can replace all the systems and write it off end of year taxes or budget allocations.

I do think Apple will weather the short term loss of sales though.

My own guess is that mass decisions will accelerate one way or another after the next FCPX and MacPro replacement release in Q1 2012.



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Shane Ross
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:11:45 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I suspect we'll see a MacPro replacement around the time of the major FCPX update."

I'm not so sure. FCX isn't designed for owners of MacPros. It's target is iMac, and laptop editors. People who don't need expansion slots for large RAIDS, IO devices or fibrechannel networking cards.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:52:35 pm

[Shane Ross] "I'm not so sure. FCX isn't designed for owners of MacPros"

I don't think what will replace the MacPro will be like the MacPro as we know it. It'll be a step up from the iMac but stripped of much internal expandability but sans built in iMac monitor. Just my guess of course but I do think Apple has "something" in mind that wont be a tower though.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:13:17 am

[Shane Ross] "I'm not so sure. FCX isn't designed for owners of MacPros. It's target is iMac, and laptop editors. People who don't need expansion slots for large RAIDS, IO devices or fibrechannel networking cards.
"


The line isn't that clearly drawn. FCP 10.0.0 had no support, but 10.0.1 brought support to our fibre raid and is clearly defined as needing a fibre channel protocol (although it works on LAN clients, too).

It's certainly not there yet, but there's evidence.

I will walk away in shame as everyone disagrees.

Here's something to do for those of you not on an iOS device: http://www.trevorvanmeter.com/flyguy/


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Michael Gissing
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 12:19:05 am

Pretty white for a fly guy...

Thanks Jeremy for that distraction


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Greg Burke
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:42:20 am

[Craig Seeman] "I suspect we'll see a MacPro replacement around the time of the major FCPX update"

Do you really think there will be another Tower they make? (Im not being sarcastic Im really asking) Only casue all signs point to them leaving the Tower market in favor of the iDevices

I wear many hats.
http://www.gregburkepost.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:24:47 am

[Greg Burke] "Do you really think there will be another Tower they make?"

I do not think it will be a tower. I've posted in detail what I guess in various threads.
2 PCIe slots (one for included GPU possibly both 16x. No additional slots
One SSD boot and one HD. No internal HD expansion.
3 or 4 TB ports
rack mountable shape.
i7 6 core, Xenon 8, 12, 16 core (or some variations of that)
no optical drive.
2 USB2 ports
1 Firewire 800 port.
2 Ethernet ports
I don't know if it'll be an exact match but I expect it'll be some variation.

The form factor may allow it to lie flat or on its side or rack mounted.

Interesting I've overheard others I have not spoken to describing that systems that sound somewhat similar to what I expect.

My guess such system would start at a price a little lower than a top iMac and end a little lower then the current top tower price. I think Apple's goal will be to do some form of commoditized machine and that one might be motivated it update it more frequently than the 3 to 5 year range some are keeping MacPros in service as a prime machine.

In short, I think Apple's goal will be to make a less expensive, more frequently turned over, power box. Obviously some will be unhappy but the lower point price point of entry will make it attract to cost conscious power users resulting in greater sales and a shorter usable life span. I think what they've learned from iPhone and iPad is not so much that they're a consumer company but that they make more money with a lower entry point and users who update every year or two. This can even increase market share as older machines stay in service by those with even lower budgets.

Think about how Apple has handled their product line in which batteries are no longer user serviceable. It may allow for very powerful BTO options but may well be very "locked down" at that point except for RAM, external expansion and one of the two PCIe slots.

Again what I think is happening at Apple is not so much a move to a consumer company but a commodification company. That might be equally undesirable to some though. I think their goal will bring that commodification to the "Pro" market. It won't be lacking power in most respects. It will have limited internal expansion once you buy it though.

To put it another way, the box will cost less to buy but you might end up spending more by having to replace it every two years instead of four years.

I actually look at my own buying patterns as an example.
I bought iPhone 3GS in 2009, 4 in 2010 and 4S recently. Each year I sold my previous phone covering most if not all the cost of the new phone.
My CPU purchase patterns are different. I bought PowerMac tower in 2005, Mac Pro in 2008 and haven't replaced it MacBookPro with Express port in 2008 and haven't replaced it. MacMini in 2008 and another in 2010. When FCPX came out I simply upgraded my GPU of my MacPro 2008.

Very different buying patterns. Apple would probably like me to buy CPUs like I upgrade my iPhone.
I know folks who are stretching out the live of 2006 and 2007 MacPros. When you consider the dollars spend on Apple CPUs there's many reasons such as that, that the MacPros are not profitable. A lower price point locked down system benefits Apple with more frequent upgrades and yet the older systems manage to stay in circulation.

In order for this to work something must drive CPU turnover upgrades and I think that's what Apple hopes to get out of FCPX. Of course that only happens if FCPX is good enough to motivate the purchases of new MBPs and whatever replaces the MacPro. A tower with lots of internal upgrades is not to their benefit.

I think the design will change a 3 to 5 year purchase cycle for some into a 2 year purchase cycle.
So what will make you purchase a new system in 2 years? Optical Thunderbolt as you need to move 4K files around maybe? I'm not sure but I can't help but think this is their direction.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:32:01 am

[Greg Burke] "all signs"

Like the intel roadmap?


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Greg Burke
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:42:39 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Like the intel roadmap?"

OS lion and the merger of iOS coming together (slowly)
Taking MacPros out of the Apple store
No big updates for the MacPro in awhile
The Death of there own professional Software FCP, COLOR, Shake. Is Logic next?
If FCPX can run on the ipad whats the market for consumer Desktop towers(excluding iMacs)?

just a few signs I've noticed, They might make a new "MacPro" (I doubt it) but its always a guessing game with apple..

I wear many hats.
http://www.gregburkepost.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:05:47 am

[Greg Burke] "OS lion and the merger of iOS coming together (slowly)"

You mean by looks? Certainly not by function or power (there are functional parities). How are you going to compile an application on iOS?

[Greg Burke] "Taking MacPros out of the Apple store"

This is a practical decision. Why have a MacPro in an Apple Store? "I'll take the iPhone 4s, a travel charger, some Bose noise machines, and oh yeah, a MacPro!" Did the place you are gutting this weekend walk in and buy 30 MacPros from the Apple Store when they purchased them? Where are they getting the PCs from? CompUSA?

[Greg Burke] "No big updates for the MacPro in awhile"

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2011/10/14/delay-for-the-xeon-sandy-bridge-conf...

[Greg Burke] "The Death of there own professional Software FCP, COLOR, Shake. Is Logic next?"

I know the video industry houses some huge egos, but MacPros aren't sold only to video professionals.

[Greg Burke] "If FCPX can run on the ipad whats the market for consumer Desktop towers(excluding iMacs)?"

fcpx can run on the iPad?

[Greg Burke] "They might make a new "MacPro" (I doubt it) but its always a guessing game with apple.."

I'll give you that. They don't talk, so we never know, but they are still a hardware company. You rarely/never read the reports about how many copies of iWork they sold, although you do hear about the entertainment sales, but that's content. iTunes is free.

No offense, just pointing some things out. In my opinion, the intel roadmap has the most legible signs, at least some of the most tangible.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:44:23 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Like the intel roadmap?"

Apple can't leapfrog Intel's major architecture roadmap, but they don't keep pace with other workstation manufacturers, either.

For example, other manufacturers refresh their lines in between major architecture changes as new speed-bumped processors are released; Apple is still selling the 2010 Mac Pro with the same processors available -- and at the same prices it sold for -- at its launch 493 days ago.

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: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:19:02 am

[Walter Soyka] "For example, other manufacturers refresh their lines in between major architecture changes as new speed-bumped processors are released; Apple is still selling the 2010 Mac Pro with the same processors available -- and at the same prices it sold for -- at its launch 493 days ago."

Absolutely true. But Apple never has released every processor available even when times were less unclear (do those two words go together?). We've talked about this before, but their hardware has been pretty limited when compared to the other 85% of the desktop computer market share, or whatever the exact percentage of the market share might be.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:12:23 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Absolutely true. But Apple never has released every processor available even when times were less unclear (do those two words go together?)."

True -- but Apple did used to speed-bump in the PowerPC days.

The time between Mac Pro refreshes has jumped. From the Mac Rumor's buyers guide, refresh dates are as follows:

8/2006 292 days
4/2007 240 days
1/2008 279 days
3/2009 420 days
7/2010 511 days

If nothing else, this leads to a very big perception problem for Apple.

Even if they aren't going to update the processors (which wouldn't require much re-engineering at all), they limit GPU options and have strangely ignored technologies like Blu-ray, USB 3.0, SATA 6 Gb/s, and Thunderbolt (so far) on their top-of-the-line machines.

I don't know what they're going to do with the next Mac Pro, but the natives have good reason to be restless. There are plenty of things Apple could have improved in a 2011 Mac Pro besides Sandy Bridge, so I don't think that Intel's road map should bear all the blame for stasis on the platform.

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: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:45:27 am

[Walter Soyka] "Even if they aren't going to update the processors (which wouldn't require much re-engineering at all), they limit GPU options and have strangely ignored technologies like Blu-ray, USB 3.0, SATA 6 Gb/s, and Thunderbolt (so far) on their top-of-the-line machines."

Yep.

Apple has never favored the most blazing performance or hottest connection (unless they have helped design it). Usb2 took a good while to standardize on macs if I remember correctly, and that was probably from all the windows iPod users not having FireWire, especially 6pin FireWire.

[Walter Soyka] "There are plenty of things Apple could have improved in a 2011 Mac Pro besides Sandy Bridge, so I don't think that Intel's road map should bear all the blame for stasis on the platform."

But it's not really Apple's style to do a refresh, then six months later the next generation comes out. If Sandy Bridge was supposed come out in 2011, knowing Apple's history, they would have waited. It's taking a bit longer than expected, and yeah, restless is right.

Usb3 and 6gb Sata would require new chips/motherboards. BluRay is most famously "a bag of hurt" and is supported by third party these days anyway, and thunderbolt is stuck with the rest of it, but has made it across the other lines who have functioning processor lines. Let's not forget Apple's supply chain is rather solid. They have relatively limited product fragmentation.

I have no idea what's up on the GPU situation, though. I have thoughts on it, but it's even more conjecture than what I just spewed above.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:26:13 am

I don't disagree with you, Jeremy. Maybe I'm just more impatient. I needed to see some signs from Apple that they were still really committed to this market.

I think we're dancing around an important point here on high-end Apple hardware: the sales are apparently too weak to justify the costs of keeping the systems current. Apple's Mac Pro customers either aren't important enough or demanding enough to compel Apple to remain competitive on performance in between Intel's major microarchitecture releases. Apple releases a pretty competitive system every 1.5 years, and then they totally ignore it.

I guess that brings us to the hardware version of one of the original FCPX questions: who are these systems built for, anyway?


[Jeremy Garchow] "Apple has never favored the most blazing performance or hottest connection"

Ironic that a company known for innovation sells old technology in its high-performance system, no?


[Jeremy Garchow] "But it's not really Apple's style to do a refresh, then six months later the next generation comes out."

Likewise, it's not a performance-oriented customer's style to buy a year-and-a-half old system.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Usb3 and 6gb Sata would require new chips/motherboards. BluRay is most famously "a bag of hurt" and is supported by third party these days anyway"

I couldn't get away with telling my clients that they couldn't have something they wanted because it would be inconvenient for me to produce. Rather than taking our money for added value, Apple just tells us we don't really want these things -- and we seem to accept it.


[Jeremy Garchow] "thunderbolt is stuck with the rest of it, but has made it across the other lines who have functioning processor lines. Let's not forget Apple's supply chain is rather solid. They have relatively limited product fragmentation."

Thunderbolt launched sometime in February. That's between 9 and 10 months on the calendar, so that's five and a half years in computer industry time, right?

The saving grace for the TB-less Mac Pros has been the glacial launches of Thunderbolt peripherals. If Thunderbolt peripherals were more ubiquitous today, it would hurt a lot more to not have Thunderbolt available on the Mac Pro.

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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Frank Gothmann
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 9:01:38 am

Blu-ray may be a "bag of hurt" with regards to licensing and implementing technology for playback of encrypted movie discs; it would be no problem whatsoever to offer burners as a bto option.
Apple just doesn't like the technology, also because it is in competition with their itunes store, so they choose to ignore it. Again, they are making the decisions for their customers and what they have to like and want.

And isn't that also a bit the whole strategy behind the whole Mac Pro delays? "We don't really want to drop them right here and now because people will complain, especially after the "Pro debate" (people have written about the outdated tower architecture more than one year ago, way before FCPX came out) but we really don't like them anymore, they don't fit our image and the markets we want to cater to so if we just wait long enough, let them sit there without updates, new technology, with performance falling behind... less and less people are going to buy a tower, some may go for an iMac or a Macbook Pro and then, when there's really nobody buying them anymore, it makes perfect sense the drop them, announce lackluster sales, the majority will understand the reasoning and few will shed a tear".
It's pretty much the same thing we've seen in the past with the Xserve Raid, Xserves Shake etc.
When the Xserve was dropped they said "nobody's buying them". Does that mean nobody was/is buying server hardware anymore? Of course not. They just didn't buy Apple's servers. If they had been interested in those markets they would have asked why and improved their offerings.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:01:08 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Blu-ray may be a "bag of hurt" with regards to licensing and implementing technology for playback of encrypted movie discs; it would be no problem whatsoever to offer burners as a bto option."

We have to be honest with ourselves here, Frank. This is Apple. They aren't going to offer an unsupported piece of custom hardware and say, "you figure it out". BluRay is available on a Mac all through third party. Apple does have limited support burning in some of the pro video software, though.

[Frank Gothmann] "Apple just doesn't like the technology, also because it is in competition with their itunes store, so they choose to ignore it. Again, they are making the decisions for their customers and what they have to like and want. "

Yeah, could be. iTunes will make them exponentially more money than a BluRay burner. Yeah, they made a decision, and it was probably a good business decision. I don't know.

[Frank Gothmann] "And isn't that also a bit the whole strategy behind the whole Mac Pro delays? "We don't really want to drop them right here and now because people will complain, especially after the "Pro debate" (people have written about the outdated tower architecture more than one year ago, way before FCPX came out) but we really don't like them anymore, they don't fit our image and the markets we want to cater to so if we just wait long enough, let them sit there without updates, new technology, with performance falling behind... less and less people are going to buy a tower, some may go for an iMac or a Macbook Pro and then, when there's really nobody buying them anymore, it makes perfect sense the drop them, announce lackluster sales, the majority will understand the reasoning and few will shed a tear". "

Again, let's be honest. If the MacPro truly brings no money, why sell it? Do you put a bunch of time, effort and resources in to your work and don't get paid for it? Apple's towers going back to the PowerPC era were never the fastest, most flexible machines. People would always complain that they couldn't shove more than two PATA drives on the meager ata ribbon that shipped with Macs, but they could put a whopping four drives in their PC with two cd drives. This is still Apple. It has always been this way. I don't know why it is so surprising.

[Frank Gothmann] "Does that mean nobody was/is buying server hardware anymore? Of course not. They just didn't buy Apple's servers. If they had been interested in those markets they would have asked why and improved their offerings."

They just didn't buy Apple servers. It's really that easy. That was a market they decided not to compete in. The personal computing sector is a different story.


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:04:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "We have to be honest with ourselves here, Frank. This is Apple. They aren't going to offer an unsupported piece of custom hardware and say, "you figure it out". BluRay is available on a Mac all through third party. Apple does have limited support burning in some of the pro video software, though. "

Not true, you can read or burn bd-r right from the finder, the same way you'd burn a data dvd or cd. They just don't support encrypted playback of movie discs but that is unrelated to the physical media as such. But Apple doesn't like any optical media per se anymore. And if they consider it legacy it has to go. Again, I prefer to make my own decissions.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Yeah, could be. iTunes will make them exponentially more money than a BluRay burner. Yeah, they made a decision, and it was probably a good business decision. I don't know. "

BD playback or burning data on bd-r is obviously not meant to be the exclusive alternative to the itunes store. I think you know where I am coming from. Choice, give people the freedom of choice to watch and listen to stuff they way they want to and how they want to, not exclusively the way Apple wants them to.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Again, let's be honest. If the MacPro truly brings no money, why sell it?"

Again, brings me right back to my point regarding server hardware. More people would buy it if it wasn't outdated and neglected. We would have bought two last month; we went with HP instead. And more of our machines will follow in the future.
The viral marketing that made Apple can also backfire. Not enough right now because our community is way to small but I am waiting to see their first big consumer product tank. One the brand isn't cool anymore and hip crowd moves on... we'll see.

[Jeremy Garchow] "This is still Apple. It has always been this way. I don't know why it is so surprising."

But I am not saying it is surprising. In fact, quite the oposite. It's Apple doing what they have always done, just in a much more severe way because they can now afford to simply piss off a group of people which, 10 years ago, made up a good portion of their customer base. The creative crow used to benefit from their ways, not they are on the dry end and it's consumer stuff all the way. It's been pretty clear to me since the iphone and ipad. I am just surprised people still wonder wether Apple is still interested in pro users and creating specific hard- and software for their needs.
If they (ie. us) can make it work for them, either via 3rd party or workarounds, fine, let them swim along. But it's not conceived, designed and built for their needs.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:24:15 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Not true, you can read or burn bd-r right from the finder, the same way you'd burn a data dvd or cd. They just don't support encrypted playback of movie discs but that is unrelated to the physical media as such. But Apple doesn't like any optical media per se anymore. And if they consider it legacy it has to go. Again, I prefer to make my own decissions."

And you can. Buy this and this:

http://www.macblurayplayer.com/
http://fastmac.com/slim_bluray.php

I didn't know about BluRay from the Finder. I guess you learn something new everyday. I think I have been asked to make a BluRay once and I certainly wouldn't use it for archiving, but maybe that's just me. if it keeps the overall cost of the system down and I don't need it, then I guess it's a win? If I had to, I know where to get it.

[Frank Gothmann] "Choice, give people the freedom of choice to watch and listen to stuff they way they want to and how they want to, not exclusively the way Apple wants them to."

And you do have the choice, you just can't buy that privilege directly from Apple for whatever reason. I can't buy my Aja cards from the (virtual/brick&mortar) Apple Stores, either. I don't mind.

[Frank Gothmann] "Again, brings me right back to my point regarding server hardware. More people would buy it if it wasn't outdated and neglected. We would have bought two last month; we went with HP instead. And more of our machines will follow in the future."

And Apple themselves did the same in their monster server rooms as they wanted out of that sector of that business. They made that decision. The MacPro and the XServe are different, with some overlap of course. And didn't you hear? You can use a MacMini to run a server room!! Just kidding, really (kinda).

[Frank Gothmann] "I am just surprised people still wonder wether Apple is still interested in pro users and creating specific hard- and software for their needs."

Yeah, but don't you think they'd be interested in people using Mac's but not necessarily their software? Like people in Medical/Aerospace/Programming? Video peoples aren't the only ones who use MacPros even though we like to think we are. And what about the people that don't use FCP? Don't you think Apple would like a room full of MacPros to run the nightly news on Avid or Premiere or whatever?

[Frank Gothmann] "If they (ie. us) can make it work for them, either via 3rd party or workarounds, fine, let them swim along. But it's not conceived, designed and built for their needs."

And my point is, was it ever really built for their needs exclusively? In my opinion no, the MacPro was always a bit of a compromise when compared to similar PC based hardware. You could always add more and faster to a PC than you could with a Mac without buying a whole new box. This is not new, and not much has changed, but perhaps our perspectives in the game have changed.


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Mark Bein
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 4, 2011 at 4:52:07 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "When the Xserve was dropped they said "nobody's buying them". Does that mean nobody was/is buying server hardware anymore? Of course not. They just didn't buy Apple's servers. If they had been interested in those markets they would have asked why and improved their offerings."

Easy -they just have to put linux or windows server on it.
They probably realized that most people don't care about
what brand their server is.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:42:49 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Thunderbolt launched sometime in February. That's between 9 and 10 months on the calendar, so that's five and a half years in computer industry time, right?

The saving grace for the TB-less Mac Pros has been the glacial launches of Thunderbolt peripherals. If Thunderbolt peripherals were more ubiquitous today, it would hurt a lot more to not have Thunderbolt available on the Mac Pro."


I completely agree the lack of 6G SATA and up-to-date GPUs should not be tied to Intel's roadmap, but Thunderbolt absolutely is. Thunderbolt is Intel tech and requires Sandy Bridge, and unless Apple were to drop the Xeon for a Mac Pro refresh, we have to wait for Sandy Bridge Xeons to get Thunderbolt on a Mac Pro.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:36:07 pm

[Andrew Richards] "I completely agree the lack of 6G SATA and up-to-date GPUs should not be tied to Intel's roadmap, but Thunderbolt absolutely is."

I didn't mean to imply this was tied to intel's roadmap, but rather it's being held back as a result of intel's delay. They can still be mutually exclusive, but not the way Apple works.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:21:49 pm

I wonder if the issue for Apple is the cost of implementation vs increase in sales.
Perhaps their business model is to only make changes when they believe it will drive sales relative to cost of implementation.

One thing to keep in mind that given the low volume sales of MacPros vs their other computers, their parts orders are smaller and maybe not be as heavily discounted. It may not be worth them making a parts order, making changes, when the next MacPro or replacement may involve a significant case redesign.



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Andrew Richards
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:37:51 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I didn't mean to imply this was tied to intel's roadmap, but rather it's being held back as a result of intel's delay. They can still be mutually exclusive, but not the way Apple works."

It does reveal something about how important the Mac Pro is to Apple bottom line compared to other Macs. There are relatively frequent minor revs to iMacs and MacBooks (roughly twice a year), but on the Mac Pro, lately it seems like nothing gets refreshed until everything gets refreshed.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:41:02 pm

[Andrew Richards] "There are relatively frequent minor revs to iMacs and MacBooks (roughly twice a year)"

You mean like little processor speed bumps?


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Andrew Richards
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:43:07 pm

Touché.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:54:38 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Touché."

No, I was really asking. :) I promise. I was wondering if I was missing something. It's pretty much just speed bumps, and maybe a GPU update? I can't remember. There's also some more movement in that sector. The jump from Core Duo, to Core 2 Duo, to quad core. But maybe I am missing something crucial!

Jeremy


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Andrew Richards
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:10:15 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I was wondering if I was missing something. It's pretty much just speed bumps, and maybe a GPU update? I can't remember. There's also some more movement in that sector. The jump from Core Duo, to Core 2 Duo, to quad core. But maybe I am missing something crucial!"

You're not. Your comment prompted me to look back at the minor bumps, and they do tend to be CPU bumps. Maybe during the Core2Duo era there was a GPU bump or two since it went on so long. But as far as I can tell, architectural leaps in recent Macs like 6G SATA or higher bandwidth RAM is almost always tied to major CPU generational shifts. This is no doubt a byproduct of Intel revving the rest of its components which Apple also makes extensive use of.

The one exception with the Mac Pro is GPUs. No other Mac has a GPU as a user-replacable card, and I have no idea what it is that keeps AMD and NVIDIA from shipping drivers for OS X on more of their products. The work isn't worth the tiny market share? Do they only do it when Apple subsidizes it? Whatever it is, the GPU gap on Mac Pros vs generic PC towers really sucks. Lots of other card OEMs don't bother writing OS X drivers either, despite maintaining various Linux and Unix drivers.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:24:57 pm

[Andrew Richards] "The one exception with the Mac Pro is GPUs. No other Mac has a GPU as a user-replacable card, and I have no idea what it is that keeps AMD and NVIDIA from shipping drivers for OS X on more of their products."

No kidding. I don't know if it's the chicken or the egg. There has to be a good reason somewhere.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:02:19 pm

I don't think it's about "importance" per se. It's the economy of scale. High volume sales mean high volume parts orders generally means lower price per component costs. Apple's component costs on MacPro may not warrant the cost of new parts orders. Just a guess but I think it's more about business supply pipeline costs than "importance." Maybe a better way of putting it as that such changes are not "cost effective."



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Andrew Richards
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:15:15 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I don't think it's about "importance" per se. It's the economy of scale. High volume sales mean high volume parts orders generally means lower price per component costs. Apple's component costs on MacPro may not warrant the cost of new parts orders. Just a guess but I think it's more about business supply pipeline costs than "importance." Maybe a better way of putting it as that such changes are not "cost effective.""

The two are intertwined- the Mac Pro isn't as important to Apple because it sells in low volumes, therefore Apple has no incentive to engineer minor revs like an updated SATA bus or higher speed PCIe lanes for slots 3 and 4.

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:01:13 pm

I just want to make clear that it's driven by economics and not an "emotional" level of importance.

Basically profit margin is important (stating the obvious).

It's why I think the MacPro will be redesigned for a business model that will yield higher margins based on increased turnover.

The cost of the minor revs eat a greater portion of the margin, I suspect, on a MacPro than the cost of changes they'd make on a MacBook Pro (usually only processor speed bumps).

It's just me but words like "importance" imply an emotional decision or strategy rather than economic.

i think one of the problems, as I see it, in the language used in the forum, is whether "Pros" are "important" but I think the better question is whether "Pros" (broadcast and feature film) represent a profitable margin and what Apple might do, in anything, to make it profitable (increase margins).

Semantics maybe but I think that's become very important in the forum discussions, to me at least.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:34:10 pm

[Craig Seeman] "i think one of the problems, as I see it, in the language used in the forum, is whether "Pros" are "important" but I think the better question is whether "Pros" (broadcast and feature film) represent a profitable margin and what Apple might do, in anything, to make it profitable (increase margins)."

From Apple's POV, that should certainly be the position; but why should it be so from my POV? I wasn't under the impression that this forum existed primarily to feed the needs of Apple.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:37:46 pm

[Chris Harlan] "From Apple's POV, that should certainly be the position; but why should it be so from my POV? I wasn't under the impression that this forum existed primarily to feed the needs of Apple."

What I or any of us want can't viable exist outside of the business market in which companies, whether Apple, Avid, Adobe exist and make business decisions in.

None of us get what we want unless it's profitable to some other entity. I think the two are inseparable. There has to be an economically sustainable balance.

If selling to "Pros" (broadcast/feature film) isn't profitable then something will change. Importance to the developers is guided by their profit margins. Our product choices are guided by their response to those margins and the surrounding market conditions.

Our own business decision on hardware and software purchases are tied to those decisions and conditions. Basically "importance" even if we don't like it, is determined by the market.

I can certainly have an emotional decision regarding what's importance but that may not be the best business decision.

I'm just trying to define importance as a business, rather than emotional term.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 9:16:23 pm

[Craig Seeman] "What I or any of us want can't viable exist outside of the business market in which companies, whether Apple, Avid, Adobe exist and make business decisions in.
"


Of course, but comparing Apple and Avid is like comparing Watermelons and Cranberries. The economic dynamics that effect them are very different.

[Craig Seeman] "None of us get what we want unless it's profitable to some other entity. I think the two are inseparable. There has to be an economically sustainable balance.
"


That doesn't mean that the only route to profitability is through commoditization of product. It might be for a large company, but it doesn't mean that small, niche companies can't continue to exist and make money. Commoditization as it happened in computer industry is a relatively rare phenomenon--based on the fact that it was a new product that no one had--and much of that territory has been burned through.


[Craig Seeman] "If selling to "Pros" (broadcast/feature film) isn't profitable then something will change. Importance to the developers is guided by their profit margins. Our product choices are guided by their response to those margins and the surrounding market conditions."

Thirty years ago, broadcast was a niche market, and the prices reflected that. Commoditization of computers, commoditization of Internet access, and proliferation of cheep video cameras has created markets well beyond that niche. Those markets will clearly follow the grassfire of mobilization. That doesn't mean that the niche businesses aren't still there, and can't be supplied by the smaller businesses that serve them. Yes, prices will go up.

[Craig Seeman] "I'm just trying to define importance as a business, rather than emotional term."

I get that you are trying to do that, but you seem to have it solidly in your mind that their is only one her of business and that riding commoditization grassfire is the only rational approach a business could take. Of course, if you get it to pay off like Apple did with the iPhone, it is unbelievably rewarding. But there are other ways.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 7:11:33 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Of course, but comparing Apple and Avid is like comparing Watermelons and Cranberries. The economic dynamics that effect them are very different. "

And Avid is failing for 5 consecutive years now.
Failure is not a viable business model.
Yes I can compare. I'm not comparing revenue or market share or features. I'm comparing successful vs unsuccessful business models.

[Chris Harlan] "Thirty years ago, broadcast was a niche market, and the prices reflected that. Commoditization of computers, commoditization of Internet access, and proliferation of cheep video cameras has created markets well beyond that niche."

That avoids the issue. Much of the Broadcast and Feature Film market expect to pay the commoditized price. Media Composer at $2500 is proving not to be viable for Avid unless they sell Unity and Isis as well. That niche market is too small to sustain Avid on Media Composer sales. They haven't been able to expand Unity and Isis sales.
Avid has only a couple of choices either come up with a desirable high priced item for the niche or expand beyond the niche with something commoditized.

[Chris Harlan] "Yes, prices will go up. "

Avid may have to do that at the risk that the niche won't look elsewhere. I'm not sure a $60,000 and up NLE would sell to the niche though. That's what Avid used to do and they haven't come up with a viable business alternative.

[Chris Harlan] "I get that you are trying to do that, but you seem to have it solidly in your mind that their is only one her of business and that riding commoditization grassfire"

I don't claim that that's the only way. It's just the Apple is doing it I believe.
Avid hasn't presented the alternative. There are certainly other companies that survive in niche markets selling high priced items. Avid isn't one of them.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 7:21:14 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I don't claim that that's the only way. It's just the Apple is doing it I believe.
Avid hasn't presented the alternative. There are certainly other companies that survive in niche markets selling high priced items. Avid isn't one of them."


Dude you are taking this in circles, and I'm not even sure what you are arguing anymore. Here's where I cam into the conversation:

"[Craig Seeman] "i think one of the problems, as I see it, in the language used in the forum, is whether "Pros" are "important" but I think the better question is whether "Pros" (broadcast and feature film) represent a profitable margin and what Apple might do, in anything, to make it profitable (increase margins)."

From Apple's POV, that should certainly be the position; but why should it be so from my POV? I wasn't under the impression that this forum existed primarily to feed the needs of Apple."


I stand by that. I care about what I need, not what Apple needs.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 7:49:36 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I stand by that. I care about what I need, not what Apple needs."

Can Avid meet your needs if they fold?
Adobe and Apple though are both healthy. They both have ecosystem approaches although Adobe is software based and Apple is tied into hardware.
What is offered to meet your needs is very much dependent on the company business models.
Discreet(Autodesk) Edit met needs. Many like it. They left the market.
Does Quantel meet your needs?

The business model is inescapable and inextricably tied to meeting needs. Any separation is an artifice of language in my opinion.

Companies offer what meets THEIR needs as well and if it doesn't meet their needs they won't offer something that meets yours.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 10:36:56 pm

Craig, you really weirdly focused. If I were buying stock, this is the conversation we should be having. Also, I wasn't pushing Avid, though you seem to think so. I don't know how we got here, but lets go point by point and put this to rest.

[Craig Seeman] "Can Avid meet your needs if they fold?"

Yes. Im my ecosystem, which is Hollywood and environs, Avid is so entrenched--and is, by far, the most use NLE--that if the company folded tomorrow, it would still be a useful system for the next five years. It is built into the infrastructure of Hollywood, far more deeply than FCP7, its closest rival. But why assume that Avid id going to fold? Could it? Certainly. These are tough times for many companies. But they are hardly out. And, there chief competitor has shot their chief competition in the head. So who knows. But, yeah, I'm fine with Avid (and FCP7) for the next five years. And, even if I'm not there are a number of other edit systems out there that do what I need better than FCP X currently does.

[Craig Seeman] "Adobe and Apple though are both healthy. They both have ecosystem approaches although Adobe is software based and Apple is tied into hardware."

Great. No one uses FCP X or Premiere in the world I work in, so however healthy they happen to be in their ecosystems, they are dead in mine. But, I'm grateful to have Premiere there, since it offers a viable alternative to FCP7 and Media Composer. If Avid ever does upend, Premiere will be there to give us what we need. And, because Adobe isn't tied to an island platform, I know I'll be able to find a workstation I can use, long after OS X has become iOS XI. I know that you think that FCP X may someday be up to snuff--and it might--but a multitude of signs aren't pointing in that direction.


[Craig Seeman] "What is offered to meet your needs is very much dependent on the company business models.
Discreet(Autodesk) Edit met needs. Many like it. They left the market."


Yeah, and it was a bad move. But WHAT is your point? Companies do things for all kinds of motives. I get that understanding what their motives are is important for investment. I mean, duh. Even this forum seems to be chiefly about coming to terms with what Apple's intentions are. So, it is not like we are not aware of that.

[Craig Seeman] "The business model is inescapable and inextricably tied to meeting needs. Any separation is an artifice of language in my opinion."

Right. Which is why a lot of people sincerely doubt that professional high-end NLE is any kind of certain future with Apple, with either their NLE or their hardware.

[Craig Seeman] "Companies offer what meets THEIR needs as well and if it doesn't meet their needs they won't offer something that meets yours."

Certainly. But what is important for ME at the end of the day, is if FCP X meets my needs.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 7:29:32 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Much of the Broadcast and Feature Film market expect to pay the commoditized price. "

I don't believe that's true. Not in the sense that the tools are cheaper so the budgets are as well. Rather that there are so many more media outlets available that any given destination will yield fewer eyeballs. The total pie has about the same amount of money. We are simply being offered smaller slices as a trickle-down of what producers can expect. The biggest component in most budgets is labor and not gear.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 8:03:46 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Not in the sense that the tools are cheaper so the budgets are as well. Rather that there are so many more media outlets available that any given destination will yield fewer eyeballs. The total pie has about the same amount of money. We are simply being offered smaller slices as a trickle-down of what producers can expect. The biggest component in most budgets is labor and not gear."


But don't you wind up in a similar place though?
If you're correct (and you may be) than Avid should focus on a $100,000 NLE to serve the niche and they'd do well. There certainly are products that serve that niche but certain tool such as NLEs and even Workstations have become commoditized.

I keep bringing up Avid since they seem like the most obvious example since they've cut their NLE prices and have moved away from proprietary cards. I don't think they'd have done it if the Broadcast/Feature Film niche were enough for them to survive . . . or do you believe that was a mistake. Should they have just ceded the "mid tier" to FCP and held prices and find other ways to expand sales (more expensive hardware and software items)?



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Oliver Peters
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 8:32:13 pm

[Craig Seeman] "But don't you wind up in a similar place though?"

Probably so.

[Craig Seeman] "If you're correct (and you may be) than Avid should focus on a $100,000 NLE to serve the niche and they'd do well."

I don't believe that's what I'm arguing, but so far it does seem to have worked for Quantel and Autodesk. At least partially. Quantel survived due to a leveraged buy-out by employees and venture capital coupled with their unexpected success in the DI space. Autodesk Media & Ent is really backstopped by income from AutoCAD, 3D animation and video gaming.

[Craig Seeman] "I keep bringing up Avid since they seem like the most obvious example since they've cut their NLE prices and have moved away from proprietary cards."

Avid has actually been progressively cutting prices for 10 years. The third-party hardware has been a two-year evolution at this point.

[Craig Seeman] " I don't think they'd have done it if the Broadcast/Feature Film niche were enough for them to survive . . . "

Yes, they would have because of the competitive pressures in those spaces as well.

[Craig Seeman] "Should they have just ceded the "mid tier" to FCP and held prices and find other ways to expand sales (more expensive hardware and software items)?"

That would have been difficult for them to do because of the size and make-up of the company. Likewise, Apple would have never have sold FCP at the prices they did, were that a primary and majority stream of income for Apple.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 9:06:07 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Autodesk Media & Ent is really backstopped by income from AutoCAD, 3D animation and video gaming."

That certainly speaks to the importance of diversified "risk."
Adobe and Apple each have diversity although for very different reasons and business models.
Avid doesn't because nearly all their revenue is a couple of hardware products for the niche. It's too early to tell whether the Pro Tools HD complaints impact their bottom line but it certainly can open doors to the competitors.

[Oliver Peters] "Avid has actually been progressively cutting prices for 10 years. The third-party hardware has been a two-year evolution at this point."

But is this a business model that will turn them around? I doubt it.

[Oliver Peters] "Yes, they would have because of the competitive pressures in those spaces as well."

But that's my point. No one can sell to a niche at near commodity prices as a successful business model. Either one focuses on the "Pro" niche with high prices or one comes up with a different business model. Avid doesn't even seem close to doing that. 5 losing years is not a good sign. The loss is smaller this year, they layoffs are fewer, but that may just be that the bloodletting doesn't have much more blood left to lose.


[Oliver Peters] "That would have been difficult for them to do because of the size and make-up of the company. Likewise, Apple would have never have sold FCP at the prices they did, were that a primary and majority stream of income for Apple."

The end result is Avid had to do what they did . . . but came up with no alternative business model. With all the "excitement" I see on this and other lists about MC6 I think there's a bit of "ostriching" going on regarding the financial shape of the company. Throw in the complaints about Pro Tools hardware upgrade pricing and their future keeps getting bleaker (IMHO).

All this, to me, has to do with how valuable that "Pro" niche really is or isn't. It's very tough for a company to target that space primarily and survive. It can and is being done, just not by Avid.

Maybe a more diverse company will buy or bail Avid out. Maybe they'll make a radical change but that might impact Media Composer. Push everyone into a very expensive DS upgrade? So much for the $995/$1495 switchers in that case. There's going to be hurt somewhere.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:53:35 pm

[Craig Seeman] "i think one of the problems, as I see it, in the language used in the forum, is whether "Pros" are "important" but I think the better question is whether "Pros" (broadcast and feature film) represent a profitable margin and what Apple might do, in anything, to make it profitable (increase margins)."

Although I have generally used "important" to mean "financially meaningful" in this context, Apple thinks different.

Are they interested in traditional marketing concepts like "target markets?"

Does business unit profitability matter if the unit doesn't fit in the long-term strategy? Conversely, wouldn't an unprofitable business unit be sustained if it were of high strategic value?

Would Apple rather have high profits or high margins?

I think we've all been using a nebulous term because more specific ones may not always fit.

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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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 7:23:53 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Are they interested in traditional marketing concepts like "target markets?""

Sure but what they target may be very broad.
Even iPhones are targeted differently than Androids.
One might say iPhones focus on those who want Ease of Use. Android phones focuses on Freedom, big screens, features such as 4G. They target differently even if to an otherwise similar demographic. Apple's added some price targeting with free 3GS and $99 4 phones.
Certainly if one watches the TV commercials, the targeting seems pretty clear as well.


[Walter Soyka] "Does business unit profitability matter if the unit doesn't fit in the long-term strategy? Conversely, wouldn't an unprofitable business unit be sustained if it were of high strategic value?"

The short answer is "it depends" and there's a lot to "depends." A good example of that is what HP just went through with the back and forth on Computers (including workstations).

Basically that's why I've been bringing up Business Model as a term lately.
That's also why I'm trying to differentiate between people who claim Apple has become a "consumer" company whereas I believe they are becoming a "commodity" company. Some may see that as one and the same but I don't. I think Apple doesn't either. I think they're moving towards high volume sales and I think they believe they can even hit the "Pro" market with that (not that I know that will succeed). I think that's what they will TRY to do with FCPX and whatever replaces the MacPro. Again I don't mean to conflate Attempt with Succeed. I do think that's what they're targeting.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:02:28 pm

[Craig Seeman] "
i think one of the problems, as I see it, in the language used in the forum, is whether "Pros" are "important" but I think the better question is whether "Pros" (broadcast and feature film) represent a profitable margin and what Apple might do, in anything, to make it profitable (increase margins).
"


lets posit another definition of professional and apply it to FCPX.

Say I am a professional editor (very much maybe), which is simply to say that it is the declared manner in which I earn my living, it doesn't mean I'm cutting Jim Cameron, it simply means I put food on the table by providing editing services. - I may meet multiple unknown scenarios, involving online, broadcast, corporate, or otherwise.

I may be required to operate solely, or in conjunction with others, the software may be in my hands or provided to me freelance by the production company.

The software needs to be, as professional software, applicable to these multiple scenarios right? It needs to be a shared container for their needs and mine. It needs to encompass multiple use scenarios. This engenders complexity, because it has to be open. As in a blanket which, when you throw it down, covers an acceptable portion of the total editing market - otherwise why term it an editing solution?

With regard to Apple's actions and motivations here in developing FCPX - as they looked at that whole existing universe of editing in practise, and potential client demand, is there any serious argument that they chose instead to construct an approachable enhancement to iMovie? They share methodology, concepts, events, the playdo draggable selections, the near identical basic GUI - the lot.

Apple's goal with this software - which I've already said oodles of times before - was specifically, and with direct intent - to monetise the iMovie user market. They had no broad complex ten year intentions with this software. I find that stuff really funny. they had a very simple motivation: to monetise iMovie users. They produced software directly born out of, and adhering strictly to, iMovie conventions and logic. Gone is the source window, gone is three way colour correction, hello to iMovie and iPhoto events, goodbye to all industry standard norms such as tracks and selectable edit targets.

these were not actions taken to boldly drive editing forward, these were actions taken to produce a piece of software attractive and recognisable to the casual iMovie user.

now you can argue that Apple is somehow fostering the middle future or whatever, but in simple terms, they are monetising the imovie market. they are (if at all) seeing future editors in terms of their own casual current imovie users. And, frankly, they may not really care, as long as they get three hundred dollars out of them right now. that's an ipod every time. with no parts or shipping. Let them learn Avid later.

Apple consciously used the defunct and recognisable FCP marque as a come hither to provide a monetisable software draw to the imovie customer base within their consumer ecosystem. That is why the software was created. To be sold in the appstore, to enthusiast consumers.

So then say that is how Apple view the professional editing market - if its not growing slowly out of iMovie, they could not care less about it. the market will not re-configure to this software, indeed it is being rejected en masse, and apple has no intention of re-configuring a product specifically designed for imovie graduates into the kind of software required for broad professional market use. Some of us may delve in - fine they're fine with that - we are not their bread. their bread is the monetisable consumer. They see editing as something else in their terms - and the complexity required of a professional product does not match their market.

there will be sops - sure - they'll code in bits and pieces to allow for a plausible paradigm, god knows what multi-cam will look like (an audition carousel?) but - this will never be other than what it is: a strong revenue generator in the appstore. Nice, direct download, import your imovie projects. Just as it was intended.

If they care about professionals it is only to the extent that they might foster them directly from their direct to consumer enthusiast software.

FCPX is (come on please) never going anywhere in the editing market as we understand it and apple is completely fine with that. They'll be vaguely nice about it, drop the odd sop to the pro every half year or so, but this software is an explicit monetisation of the imovie user market - that is a large succulent market. that is the market for this software.

Apple could care less about the current requirements of editing, and that is not changing anytime soon.

that half a million on the appstore is... 85% imovie graduates?

ok, sure lets argue about the 85% figure then - but do you think Apple had any other number in mind?

do you think Apple feel desperate now? as they read this forum?

do they now feel market driven to provide multi-cam (they'll throw out something), licensed OMF or designatable tracks?

what would be their impetus?




http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:15:48 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't disagree with you, Jeremy. Maybe I'm just more impatient. I needed to see some signs from Apple that they were still really committed to this market."

Like what? Release a MacPro with a 6Gb/sec Sata/USB3 connected mac that is going to have even further outdated processors in 6 months? Not Apple's style, and in my opinion, a smart supply chain move. If you are going to refresh an already limited hardware machine (which I still contend Apple has done this for good reasons, system stability/ease of use being right up there, not to mention spare part inventory) then let's really refresh it. Yes, they refresh their machines slower, but people tend to use those machines for a very long time. If they were cheaper, perhaps they would upgrade more frequently. Craig Seeman has great points on all of that.



[Walter Soyka] "Ironic that a company known for innovation sells old technology in its high-performance system, no?

--

Likewise, it's not a performance-oriented customer's style to buy a year-and-a-half old system."


This goes back to my points about macs not being the most blazing fast machines out there. They have never been. Even if they are at the day of release, they aren't in 4 months as the motherboards of MacPros aren't upgradable, or you will soon run out of PCIe slots to add the latest/great port and keep the older ports. To me, this is not a new philosophy from Apple, it has been their philosophy/M.O. all along, and look at the profits.

[Walter Soyka] "I couldn't get away with telling my clients that they couldn't have something they wanted because it would be inconvenient for me to produce. Rather than taking our money for added value, Apple just tells us we don't really want these things -- and we seem to accept it."

Yes. Perhaps our perspectives in the game are changing and what I have ineloquently saying all along. From what we have talking about around here, Windows 7 sounds like it's a true competitor. Who is going to ultimately benefit from this competition?

[Walter Soyka] "Thunderbolt launched sometime in February. That's between 9 and 10 months on the calendar, so that's five and a half years in computer industry time, right?"

9-10 months sounds just like a product testing phase, and that's if everything goes perfectly. What is perfect? Who knows how accessible the parts are to get intel Thunderbolt controllers? What's the application process? Thunderbolt cables are only available from Apple at this time (to consumers). There's still a lot to be worked out even though Thunderbolt is officially on the market. It follows what is becoming conventional wisdom with electronics these days. Get the box out to market, and firmware update the changes or in the case of Apple computers, let the supply chain catch up gradually. Red is the ultimate example of this, but it is apparent in other aspects of the business as well. I don't see 9-10 months being a big issue or indicator of anything, except things take time even in today's fast moving world. Delays still happen in real time. The desktop Sandy Bridge delay is the biggest tangible asset in my little mind. Apple had first dibs and brought the first Thunderbolt computers to market, it doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the market was quite ready for Thunderbolt.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:12:32 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Like what? Release a MacPro with a 6Gb/sec Sata/USB3 connected mac that is going to have even further outdated processors in 6 months?"

I'm arguing for a shorter release cycle precisely to avoid having "further outdated" machines.

Apple chooses to allow the processors to become outdated. Other World Computing will pop the latest Xeons [link] in your Mac Pro processor tray for you -- and they apparently just work!

I know you keep saying that Mac Pros aren't built for speed, but at launch, they really are. They are fast, and they are cheap compared to the competition. The value for a Mac Pro starts out high, then drops off until Intel's next microarchitecture. Other vendors update more frequently to keep the value curve flatter.

We agree on this: Apple chooses to let the Mac Pros languish after release.

The workstation market isn't actually dying [link]. Apple could update the Mac Pros more frequently if they wanted to -- or if they thought it would be more profitable to. They could raise prices as bit and still be competitive [link].

Apple is a sporadic competitor in this space. It's weird. They're only showing half a commitment. If Mac Pros are not built for performance, what are they built for?

Who actually buys Mac Pros? It used to be largely creative pros, researchers, education, and enterprise, right? Apple has explicitly exited the enterprise market, shifted their focus away from education sales, and dramatically slowed if not stopped their advanced computing research. Are we the last market left for Macintosh workstations?

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: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:37:27 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I know you keep saying that Mac Pros aren't built for speed, but at launch, they really are. They are fast, and they are cheap compared to the competition. The value for a Mac Pro starts out high, then drops off until Intel's next microarchitecture. Other vendors update more frequently to keep the value curve flatter."

And what does that PC upgrade require? I'm not quite sure, I'm sure you know better, but with a MacPro, it's buying a whole new box. With a PC it might be a proc change or a motherboard change, or both, but you don't have to buy a whole new box.

[Walter Soyka] "Apple is a sporadic competitor in this space. It's weird. They're only showing half a commitment. If Mac Pros are not built for performance, what are they built for?"

"External connection" OSX users. I'm not saying MacPros don't perform, they do. They perform for quite a while, but (again) Apple is not concerned about being the fastest computer on the market all the time. This would mean they would have to keep a growing and regular inventory of a bunch of spare parts that keep changing. That's not how they got all the profit. They limit their hardware offerings, and have little refreshes here and there that are mostly proc updates, and some case designs in the case of MBPs to get some more battery life. If there was no Desktop Sandy Bridge delay, we wouldn't even be talking about this because it would be obvious Apple was waiting to refresh the MacPros for Thunderbolt to being parity across the entire line, which they are pretty good at doing. Since it's taking longer, it feels longer, and delays still happen in real time. How many more times can I say this? I think I should start saying it differently. :)

[Walter Soyka] "Apple has explicitly exited the enterprise market,"

You mean for servers? They can still use MacPros if they want. An Xserve is not a MacPro. As a matter of fact an Xserve was kind of like what Craig Seeman proposes the next macpro is going to be. I think Apple will just release another MacPro, but that's just me. I think there's also programming and AeroSpace/3D modeling that prefer OSX to Windows and it's NOT about the speed of the CPU, but rather the Terminal. You know that whole thing I say that Mac's aren't always about the speed, but system stability (ease of use)?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:00:38 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "And what does that PC upgrade require? I'm not quite sure, I'm sure you know better, but with a MacPro, it's buying a whole new box. With a PC it might be a proc change or a motherboard change, or both, but you don't have to buy a whole new box."

I'm not talking about PC upgrades. I'm geeky, but I never got my soldering merit badge. I wouldn't even consider upgrading a processor myself. I'd buy a new box irrespective of platform.

I'm talking about PC manufacturers continually making small refreshes. Speed bump? Make the new processors an option. USB3? Update the motherboard if necessary, or use one of those extra PCIe slots to provide the connectivity.

If I buy a PC today, in 6 months, it will be 6 months out-of-date. If I buy a Mac today, in 6 months, it will be 2 years out-of-date.

Maybe it's immaterial. They'll both be made obsolete by Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, just to varying degrees. In between the big lurching industry-wide advances, though, falling a year behind is a big deal when a machine has a three-year duty cycle.


[Jeremy Garchow] "You mean for servers? They can still use MacPros if they want. An Xserve is not a MacPro. As a matter of fact an Xserve was kind of like what Craig Seeman proposes the next macpro is going to be."

Mac Pros aren't as server-friendly as you might think. They're way too big, they don't offer server-specific features like redundant power supplies and lights-out management.

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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David Roth Weiss
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:54:13 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't disagree with you, Jeremy. Maybe I'm just more impatient. I needed to see some signs from Apple that they were still really committed to this market."

But Walter, if you'd been paying more attention to Bill D., you'd know that X is the new SeaBiscuit of NLEs.

Randy Ubillos and his cohorts have intentionally held X back in the pack so it can stumble along, but then make a dramatic comeback down the stretch, just in the nick of time, right as the last of our clients is heading toward the door.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

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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Bill Davis
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:10:28 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "But Walter, if you'd been paying more attention to Bill D., you'd know that X is the new SeaBiscuit of NLEs. "

Jesus, I feel like I've been caught in a "singularity" and transported to either Fox News or MSNBC!

If you read my post carefully, David, you would note that the metaphor was something to spark thought - it was not a position.

I know that's a difficult distinction, but at least in thoughtful discussions (which are common here) I'd appreciate the freedom to put forth ideas that aren't easily distilled down to inaccurate sound bites.

Lets leave that for the talk shows. OK?

Thanks.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:36:30 pm

[Bill Davis] "If you read my post carefully, David, you would note that the metaphor was something to spark thought - it was not a position.

I know that's a difficult distinction, but at least in thoughtful discussions (which are common here) I'd appreciate the freedom to put forth ideas that aren't easily distilled down to inaccurate sound bites. "


Bill, would it help if I put a load of smiley faces next to my jokes? If so, I will do that in the future (though I'm loath to do so) if it helps you to distinguish my (obviously feeble) attempts at comedy from my more serious dialog.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

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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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:42:53 pm

ah bill now... don't pay attention - don't you mind those nasty.. what did you call them again.. oh yes; "editing country club set" talking down to you.. you keep feeding seabiscuit that hay there...

tee hee hee.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Bill Davis
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:22:56 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] ""editing country club set""

When one writes to tweak and get a reaction, it's gratifying to see exactly that...

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 9:07:12 pm

oh I'm one of the "editing country club set" too Bill alright - our nose is easily tweaked!

we're out there Bill, drinking Daiquiris... and guiding our "privileged sons and daughters" into those plum editing positions...

Keep feeding dat hay Bill!

tee hee.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Bill Davis
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 10:13:58 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "guiding our "privileged sons and daughters" into those plum editing positions..."

Perhaps it never works that way on your side of the pond... but if I had a dollar for every production pro I've ever talked to who lost a position to someone "better connected" by birth or marriage to a working pro in the industry, I'd be able to... well, to buy a lot more nice toys.

I don't even begrudge it. Heck, I'd hire my own kid over a stranger unless there was a clear expertise gap - and even then I'd probably find a way to keep him on the payroll just like you would. That's the whole point of family.

So dismiss that all you like. Just let us know how holding onto the fantasy that it's a "level playing field" out there for everyone works out in the real world.

At least FCP-X for $299 helps a little bit since those who don't have a full $1000 in disposable income can get their feet wet in building real-world editing skills.

Doesn't really matter much, I saw a statistic once that indicated that significant wealth, unless it's really massive, seldom lasts past 3 generations.

The grit to amass it takes a particular orientation, the next generation has it so much easier, that they typically pass on little of that grit to their kids, and eventually the even more "entitled" grandkids just spend it down to nothing.

And so it goes.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:29:22 pm

ah would you come on please.

Ok - so the "editing country club set" "privileged sons and daughters" was meant in some earnestness then?

I'll tell you what I know - editing is not versailles Bill, it is not the n'obless oblige sons of privilege wafting into positions of editing power -

editing is one of the most blanket competitive things I know. When I walk into a new shop I am extremely nervy and minded to perform well, because Bill, editing is, in essence, in its performance, not who you know, or a glad handshake, or drinks at the bar - it can be all those things, but what it is Bill is a raw expression of skill, performance under pressure and communication skills. You could be the son of the king of france, but if you cannot perform on the day - you are toast.

Was Thelma Schoonmaker the daughter of editing royalty? or anyone? She couldn't get union accreditation for years. A mate of mine assisted her in Dublin prepping for a talk she was giving - she was lovely Bill. She was just devoted to her craft. This notion that professionally functional software and the people using it to the best of their extent being a cabal is .. laughable.

its just laughable, and insulting to the basic notion of advancement in what is an utterly meritocratic craft. If you edit like no one else on earth, you will bloody well advance.

this stuff is no good Bill, particularly when allied to a false argument that a buggy expansion of iMovie is an answer to all the world's ills.

Because it is a few hundred dollars cheaper than FCP studio - that with half the software to answer professional scenarios gone?

Apart from anything else, besides the above - this is not particularly good software full stop, its undercooked, buggy, and frankly, to my eye, it is directly designed out of a consumer product with deliberation for the monetisation of that market.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 3:40:18 am

All true what you are saying here, yet I cannot help but feel that the son of the King of France--pre-revolution--might get to keep his chair just a tad longer, skills or no.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 7:58:10 am

[Bill Davis] "Perhaps it never works that way on your side of the pond... but if I had a dollar for every production pro I've ever talked to who lost a position to someone "better connected" by birth or marriage to a working pro in the industry, I'd be able to... well, to buy a lot more nice toys."

I've certainly seen my share of that, Bill, but usually not in editorial, where people generally have to be skilled and responsible. Also, the long solitary hours don't really act as an incentive. I'm not sure I'd call it a dream job, unless it is the kind of thing you are driven to.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 7:25:37 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I've certainly seen my share of that, Bill, but usually not in editorial, where people generally have to be skilled and responsible. Also, the long solitary hours don't really act as an incentive. I'm not sure I'd call it a dream job, unless it is the kind of thing you are driven to."

That's right, and unlike executives who can often survive on nepotism alone, those in the key technical and creative crafts (editing for example) can get a foot through the door because of their connections, but they can only sustain a career if they can carry their weight and create the goods.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

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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Herb Sevush
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 6:22:36 pm

[Bill Davis] "Perhaps it never works that way on your side of the pond... but if I had a dollar for every production pro I've ever talked to who lost a position to someone "better connected" by birth or marriage to a working pro in the industry, I'd be able to... well, to buy a lot more nice toys."

Bill, I live on your side of the Pond and while there is plenty of nepotism in the film industry three is very little in the editing side of it. Unlike production, editing is very meritocratic. What family relationships often give you is opportunity and exposure, sometimes at a very young age, which is an advantage in building a career, but that said, if you can't cut you won't last and if you are talented and determined you will.

My being neither connected nor talented, I got by on pure luck, which to paraphrase the great sage, is better than either.

I will add that your constant references to the "high priests" of editing does make you sound rather envious and petty. Personally, I like to think of us as the "whiners."

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 3, 2011 at 6:51:58 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I will add that your constant references to the "high priests" of editing does make you sound rather envious and petty. Personally, I like to think of us as the "whiners."
"


Yeah. I get a giggle. As a class, we're basically down here in the boiler room, stoking the furnace and keeping the pipes from exploding. All of this "high priest" and "country club set" is pretty fantastic. Beggar Kings, I guess.


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Bill Davis
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 4, 2011 at 5:29:04 am

Sorry, I got distracted.

I stumbled across a Katie Couric Special interview on ABC with Beyonce Knowles.

What stopped me was hearing Beyonce say: "I've learned to use Final Cut Pro so I can edit my own projects."

Yeah, nothing's changing out there.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 4, 2011 at 8:13:31 am

My dental hygienist was asking me about all the final cut pro "controversy". She had heard about it and has no interest in editing.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 4, 2011 at 8:15:23 am

[Bill Davis] "Sorry, I got distracted.

I stumbled across a Katie Couric Special interview on ABC with Beyonce Knowles.

What stopped me was hearing Beyonce say: "I've learned to use Final Cut Pro so I can edit my own projects."

Yeah, nothing's changing out there."


Bill, you are such a card!

A) There is nothing new about a performer/celebrity using Final Cut or Avid to work on their projects. Actually, that's been going on since well before NLEs, back with Convergence systems. Of course, usually it is offline. Many actors do go on to be fine directors and sometimes editors, as well. Nothing new there.

B) Beyonce claims to have been using FCP for at least 9 months, so if you do the math, you'll know which version of FCP she is talking about. It ain't X. She also says that she likes someone else to do the physical editing, but she can if she has to.

C) I say claims because there seems to be some serious allegations flying around about her credibility on the matter. You might enjoy this:

http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/54237356.html

I have no idea who is right or wrong here, other than you being right, of course, that "nothing's changing out there."


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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 4, 2011 at 10:54:13 am

[Chris Harlan] "
C) I say claims because there seems to be some serious allegations flying around about her credibility on the matter."


I watched a little of that Beyonce interview, and now feel guilty about abetting the above allegations, because she graciously acknowledged that she has good editors.

PS. I do believe that it was FCP7 on the background monitors.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Working Over the weekend... NOW: Back to Mac Pro speculation
on Dec 4, 2011 at 2:13:49 pm

[Bill Davis] "Yeah, nothing's changing out there."

No one has ever questioned that things are changing out there. Things always have and always will change. What is at question is whether this moment in time is one of radical, revolutionary change.

Beyonce working on FCP7 is not evidence of that.

If my friends very talented 12 year old daughter has one of her Youtube videos turn into a hit cable show that she directs - now that would be change.

If Avid and PPro come out with versions of the magnetic timeline by next year, that would be radical change.

If Apple dumps it's entire market position in the NLE market ...

Well, I guess you are right there Bill, something most definitely has changed; but Apple wasn't responding to change, it actually created it by committing seppuku on the largest NLE ecosystem out there.

Apple committing NLE suicide is definitely a radical change.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Kevin Patrick
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:05:11 pm

[Walter Soyka] "There are plenty of things Apple could have improved in a 2011 Mac Pro besides Sandy Bridge"

You're correct.

If they are going to kill the Mac Pro, why haven't they done so already?

It's been a long time since any significant upgrade.
(My own early 2008 3.2 GHz 8 core, 24 GB RAM, 5770 and Quadro 4000 works pretty good)

Sales of Mac Pros are (without any real data) far below that of the rest of their line.

Not only can you not buy a Mac Pro in their hugely successful stores (and yes, I've bought a Mac Pro in one) but you can't even buy small cheap graphics cards in their stores. (I tried)

FCS has been replaced by FCP X. Leaving user without necessary features to get their job done (which their competitors have) and looking elsewhere for what they didn't replace.

They plan on supporting Video monitoring with FCP X in early 2012, which can be done with Thunderbolt. Already in all but a Mac Pro.

Their fastest iMac runs FCP X as fast as their fastest Mac Pro.
Mac Pro 3.33 GHZ, 24 GB RAM, 5870 GPU
iMac 3.4 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 6970 GPU
http://barefeats.com/fcpx01.html

Reading through all these discussions it appears there are some in this industry that could get by without a Mac Pro and some who cannot. So I think it's fair to say not all users in this industry would leave Apple behind if they dropped a Mac Pro.

Apple's not squeamish about dropping stuff. Dropping stuff without waring. Replacing stuff while leading users to believe the new version will be much better, when it's not.

Apple knows people want a new Mac Pro. Of course they have people read forums where this is debated, especially their own Mac Pro forum. They read it, they just choose not to respond. They read all the rumors and speculation as well. Every company does. People have provided Apple feedback and even emails directly to senior management requesting a new Mac Pro.

They could drop the Mac Pro right now. I don't think anyone would be surprised. I think those who have considered moving away from Macs (for a variety of reasons leading up to this point) have either decided that's what they will do, or they are doing it. As this OP is doing this very weekend.

So, why haven't they killed the Mac Pro?

My guess is (and has been for a while) that they plan on either bringing out a new Mac Pro, or something they feel will be a good enough replacement for one. Most likely they've been waiting on Intel. Now it appears they should be ready.

I see no other reason for them to keep the Mac Pro around, if they have no intention of every upgrading it again. Selling more computers that are planned for end of life means more consumers they'll have to support for a longer period of time.

Then again, I could be wrong.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:09:47 pm

Kevin, that post was so serious it wasn't even funny. Step it up a bit next time, eh? ;)

As far as the barefeats test, while valid, it shows results from a 6 core MacPro. Still, the results are interesting.


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Kevin Patrick
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:48:52 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "results from a 6 core MacPro"

I saw that. It can skew the results for certain apps. Depending on how good the multi-processor implementation is. I would like to see how FCP X and Motion would compare if they used a 12 core version. I did send them an email asking if they could locate a 12 core and retest. No response.

In this next benchmark, they included After Effects. Here you can see the 6 core Mac Pro is noticeably faster than the iMac. Although I'm not sure if it's the cores or more memory. The iMac had 16 GB while the Mac Pro had 24 GB. They should have bumped the iMac to 24 GB for an apples to apples comparison. (oh wait, did I just make a pun?) I would assume the delta would be even greater with 12 cores. I also asked Barefeats if they'd send me their test suite so I could run it on my 2008 3.2 GHz Mac Pro. I'd be interested to see how different it would be. Again, no response.

http://barefeats.com/macs11_01.html

Here's another benchmark with After Effects comparing a 12 core to 8 and 6 core models. It is supposed to be the same Barefeats test suite. However, note that the 12 core is running at 3.33 GHz. They had a processor upgrade done by OWC. (they supply a link with info) An interesting option. I guess the idea is you buy the cheapest 2010 Mac Pro, used or even refurbished would be even better. Then send your CPU/Memory board to OWC and they swap out the CPU for you and add lots of cheap memory. Not an incredibly cheap CPU upgrade, but you can get pretty fast Mac Pro. It's probably a much better option than heading down a Hackintosh path.

http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-AfterEffects.html


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Kevin Patrick
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:03:08 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Kevin, that post was so serious it wasn't even funny. Step it up a bit next time, eh?"

First off, for those of you who are thinking about complaining about what I'm posting here I'd like to make two points.

1. My post is not off topic, as I am discussing FCP X.

2. Jeremy requested I step it up on the humor.

Here we go ...

I was at Home Depot the other day and I parked over by the building's Exit. Normally, I would just park by the building's Entrance. I noticed they had reserved parking for FCS users. When I asked someone who worked there why they didn't offer reserved parking for FCP X users he said, "Oh, they park over by the consumer Entrance. That way, when the shop here they feel like their a Pro. But we both know better, don't we?"

It's true. Check it out for yourself and post back here.

Kevin



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:28:16 pm

[Kevin Patrick] "It's true. Check it out for yourself and post back here. "

Home Depot is an Apple reseller? Wow, I know things are changing, but this is bonkers.

That is an interesting analogy, though.


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Ray Wang
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 3, 2011 at 10:54:19 am

[Kevin Patrick] "Their fastest iMac runs FCP X as fast as their fastest Mac Pro.
Mac Pro 3.33 GHZ, 24 GB RAM, 5870 GPU
iMac 3.4 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 6970 GPU
http://barefeats.com/fcpx01.html "


A dual 3.33 GHz would probably top iMac 3.4. This would still make MBP the fastest in the entire line up but not by much. Terrible price/performance though.


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Shane Ross
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:07:58 pm

Any word on what they are going to do with the MacPros? Depending on how new they are, they might fetch a good price...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:22:50 pm

yeah, I mean, as much as I'd hate to have to disturb the feng shui of my suite, I'm sure I could find room for a tower or 3....

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
Quantel-Avid-FCP-3D-AFX-Crayola
Panasonic HPX500/AF100


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tony west
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 1:46:00 pm

That sounds like a decent size house with enough cash to be able to toss out all those machines and get new ones. I'm glad they are doing well.

Unfortunately many big houses in my town have closed their doors over the years. Unable to make it.

When fcp came out freelance produces who needed the big house for everything started ruff cutting their own stuff. They would just come in for finishing work. (remember when we made window burns for producers? How old does that sound?)

As the price of cameras dropped they could nickel and dime the big house on that also.
I saw the writing on the wall for this years ago.

I can see X really appealing to small budget folks. The kind that couldn't afford to come into that type of house or just didn't want to.

Personal choices aside, I can't really ignore the economic realities on the ground.

X has some work to do but I can't see it going away for that price point and what it offers in these economic times.

Time will tell.


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Shawn Birmingham
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 3:29:59 pm

the beginning of a new generation of post houses and Professionals...


Indeed, but maybe not the way you think. Walter Biscardi has a new blog entitled, "For now, editing is now a commodity and less a craft." The gist of the blog is that there is a new wave coming... where large investments in hardware is going to be the doom of many post-production houses. There will be a culling of "professional" video editors and companies that spend a lot of money on editing and what will be left will be "storytellers" who do not necessarily work on high end systems.

So you have a company that just spent a great sum of money on hardware that runs the exact same software, at a time when its a very poor choice to invest in hardware at all.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:02:47 pm

Hmmm... A shop with 30 Macs but only 4 edit suites is hardly a large post house. Granted that may be the case today, but if you come from the days of large linear bays and machine room infrastructure, it's hardly the same thing.

Unfortunately today's reality dictates frugality and yesterday's edit boutique is today's large post house. If you expect to survive these days, you really need to develop a business model that allows for a complete refresh every 3 years (or less) and to have most of that paid for by active projects and not by loans. Smart companies have alays done that. It's called having an annual Cap Ex budget and sticking to it.

Like it or not, the direction Apple is taking is supportive of that environment. I see plenty of places that are still running FCP 6 on G5s or early Mac Pros. They followed the philosophy of not replacing it because it worked. Now the stuff is so long in the tooth that it's not a simple matter of upgrading but rather a complete, expensive overhaul of the facility. Having smaller, cheaper gear with comparable (or more) power makes it easier to pursue a plan of more frequent refreshes without breaking the bank.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 4:28:07 pm

Oliver, your comment is key to my speculations regarding Apple's direction.

I think there are people here who aren't taking into account the economic climate in business as well as production/post production.

Regardless of whether my specifics as to what replaces the MacPro are, as a business model for a hardware manufacturer, lower cost/priced and more frequently upgraded machines are a reasonable target. Making towers that people upgrade once every 3-5 years is a recipe for declining sales.

I think people have to take a serious look at Avid's situation and Adobe and Apple (which have very different business models) and see why some companies do well and others are in trouble.

There was a time when the "Pro" market spend "Pro" dollars for equipment and $60,000 dollars and up for an NLE and $20,000 for an upgrade were profitable to serve that market. Look at the response to the cost of the Pro Tools HD upgrade and see why Avid is in a financial bind . . . and has been for years.

"Pros" want what they want and they claim they'll pay a bit more, but it's not enough more for financial viability for the developers and the facilities that pay the bills and are struggling to lower overhead to compete against very talented "laptop editors" are looking to cut costs.

I think Apple has the right idea. As to whether the idea is well executed might be a different story, but I think they understand what they need to grow. Avid is still trying to figure it out.

Adobe is trying to expand in the NLE market. After Effects success is, in part, it does a lot for a low cost tool compared the more expensive competitors. I'm not sure what the real value Premiere is to their overall product line but one thing they do have in common with Apple, is that Adobe is about developing an ecosystem.

Apple though is a company that makes software and provides services with the goal to sell hardware. The hardware market has changed significantly due to economic changes in production and post.



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Scott Cumbo
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:17:57 pm

you can't compare apple and avid. 2 totally different types of companies. Avid has always and continues to serve the pro/semi pro video and audio market. Apple is a computer/gadget giant that also had some pro apps and high end computers. Apple can never sell another pro app or computer again and make millions off of phones and i things. Avid will always fight for survival based on the very small nature of their clients.

Scott Cumbo
Editor
Broadway Video, NYC


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 5:56:40 pm

[Scott Cumbo] "you can't compare apple and avid. 2 totally different types of companies. Avid has always and continues to serve the pro/semi pro video and audio market."

Have you been following Avid financials? They been in the red for at least 5 years. After the "big" switch from FCP to Avid deals, they laid off around 200 more people and continue to lose money. Avid makes most of its money selling hardware and apparently the "Pro" market isn't buying enough to keep them profitable and this has been for 5 years.

Yes it's VERY EASY to compare a company in which a "good" financial years means they don't lose as much money as they previously have vs another company that sells hardware and is growing.

Basically the niche market Avid serves using their current business model is NOT VIABLE. They are a company struggling to come up with a new business model. They have a customer base that complains about expensive hardware upgrades.

[Scott Cumbo] "Avid will always fight for survival based on the very small nature of their clients."

CMX anybody? Avid hasn't seen black in years. They're either going to make some significant changes that's going to hurt part of its customer base or they'll eventually fold or be sold.

Have you seen any Avid business reports?
Just a few weeks ago. Lays of 10% of its workforce. Restructuring. The Pro Tools upgrade pricing complaints from customers.
http://www.sonicscoop.com/2011/10/27/avid-announces-restructuring-lays-off-...

Please explain how this is a viable business. Please explain the successful business model they've implemented. Please explain how the increased sales in Media Composer will turn around a hardware company that attempts to make its money from selling Unity and Isis.

Maybe they're hoping that MC sales will lead to an increase in Unity and Isis sales in the facility market that continues to cut overhead to survive this economy.

One might even say that the customer reaction to ProTools upgrade costs are the very same thing Avid was doing at the turn of the century that drove people to Final Cut Pro despite its inadequacies.

Avid were financially successful serving their market that would be a different (very different) story but that's not the business reality.

Survival. Please show me how . . . actually show Avid how because what they're doing seems to be slowing their demise at best. They've executed no turnaround formula. We'll have to see how the "restructuring" goes.

I'm not saying that Avid will fold but if (big if) they emerge with a turnaround it's probably going to hurt some customers in some fashion.



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Scott Cumbo
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:30:14 pm

easy there tiger, when did i say avid's business model is great or they will survive?

I'm saying the 2 companies don't compare to each other. If HP came along and bought Avid then you can compare them side by side. but right now they are in 2 different levels of business. Apple can afford to forget about FCP and never notice the chump change they lost, where Avid has no hope if MC6 tanks and will gladly gather up all the loose change apple dropped.

and as a side note, neither of these companies send me a paycheck so i could care less if they both vanish. I'll find some other software to use.

Scott Cumbo
Editor
Broadway Video, NYC


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:38:32 pm

[Scott Cumbo] "and as a side note, neither of these companies send me a paycheck so i could care less if they both vanish. I'll find some other software to use."

Hmm. Must be a sign of the times.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:33:53 pm

[Scott Cumbo] "I'm saying the 2 companies don't compare to each other."

They do if you're an investor. They also do if you're a customer and you're thinking long term, and it's the long term that "Pro" are having doubts about Apple. I'd present doubts about Avid as well.

As far as we editors/post houses are concerned you can compare long term viability.

Today's Media Composer might be tomorrow's Discreet Edit if Avid decides to make a major change to survive. Today's Media Composer might be tomorrow's CMX if they fold.

My guess, only a guess obviously, is that Avid can't continue on as they have been doing and we don't know which segment of the customer base will feel the hurt. Media Composer is not a profit generator, it's their hardware.

They're going to have to make a change, That's a given. Maybe you think their changes will happen in other ways to turn them around. I'd love to hear the speculation behind that.

Another way to look at a common element. Neither FCP or Media Composer are the prime profit generators for either of their respective companies.

Both companies make their money from selling hardware although it's very different hardware serving different markets.

FCP is supposed to sell hardware. It may be failing at that.
I'm not sure if Media Composer is supposed to sell hardware or if it's supposed to generate a profit margin relative to R&D costs.

[Scott Cumbo] "Apple can afford to forget about FCP and never notice the chump change they lost,"

They'd never notice the loss but they'd lose the vehicle for expanding hardware revenue. They misfired in the use of FCPX to generate hardware sales but they can afford to misfire and correct (or yes drop) the tool. Apple is using FCPX as a hardware growth opportunity at the moment.


[Scott Cumbo] "Avid has no hope if MC6 tanks and will gladly gather up all the loose change apple dropped."

But that's not true. Avid makes money selling hardware. I'm not sure if MC6 does that. I'm not sure if that's Avid's business model for it. MC used to sell $60,000 NLEs with proprietary boards. What does it do now for them? I don't know. I'm not even sure if Avid knows. Pro Tools was supposed to drive an expensive hardware upgrade and they're getting backlash on that.

Maybe MC6 at $2500 or $1500 crossgrade sells in such big numbers that it lifts them out of millions of dollars of loses year after year. I just don't see that. MC6 is really just a small part of a very big problem Avid faces. They may well be able to lose MC as Discreet lost Edit (and Cleaner, Combustion).

i think up until very recently Avid hoped MC would drive the sales of some proprietary hardware but they've obviously rethought that. So is their goal to grow MC market share? Can that be a major component to lift them up? Honestly, I'm not sure of that. Honestly, I don't see how that business model works for them. Please explain.

[Scott Cumbo] "and as a side note, neither of these companies send me a paycheck so i could care less if they both vanish. I'll find some other software to use."

But as people involved in our own business we look for cost effective solutions that help our own margins. I've been through enough linear and non linear systems to know that I'll adapt without much issue . . . as long as the capital investment gives me a good margin.

Let's forget about company names for a second (although they'll be obvious).

I like Brand X and I think they'll improve NLE X because they want to sell more of hardware X.
I can easily use Brand Y (and did) but I don't know what Brand Y's motive is to improve NLE Y and I'm not likely to buy Brand Y's hardware.

Brand X could certainly decide that NLE X is a failure at selling hardware and kill it.
Brand Y could certainly decide that NLE Y isn't worth sustaining since it doesn't have a viable business objective for them any longer.

My personal opinion but I think X has a goal I can understand and is motivated. Y doesn't show a clear motive for me and I am unsure about it.

Additionally X presents a lows cost option with better margins for my business than Y. If lots of others feel the same, that doesn't make things look good for Y.



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Richard Cardonna
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 3, 2011 at 1:02:13 pm

Well maybe they will all follow Edit shares business model, give out Lightworks for free with a yearly fee of $60.00 to cover for future development and license fees and sell tons of storage.

Adobe is maybe the only one that does not offer any hw but they are expanding into other areas in internet business.

RC


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 3, 2011 at 2:04:09 pm

[Richard Cardonna] "Adobe is maybe the only one that does not offer any hw but they are expanding into other areas in internet business."

Adobe is a committed, cross-platform, software only solution. It provides some distinct advantages, but there have been times when I wish we could purchase a hardware company. Long term, I like being a software-only company.

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:38:08 pm

Craig, just because commoditization made things artificially cheap for awhile, doesn't mean they will stay that way. Commoditization burned through the PC market over the last two decades. We went from few people in the world having computers to everyone in the industrial world having computers. The emphasis changed then from having a computer to having a portable computer. Apple has actually been a relative bit player in this commoditization frenzy, and only came into its own with the success of the iPhone. "Mobile device" is now at the center, but how long it will remain there before saturation, I don't know.

Now, when the focus of computer commoditization was on the desktop, market forces drove chip and video card development to a point where ordinary desktops competed with and even out shown workstations. But, that is not the norm. Its a false condition. The market is now saturated, and the focus has moved to mobile devices. And, Apple has moved with it. They are surfing the commodity wave. BUT, workstations are still needed. Specialized computing is still needed by the scientists, doctors, designers, and other heavy lifters. For that matter, heavy lifting editorial software is still needed. It will be provided by smaller companies, as it has been traditionally, with niche foci. Quantity will go down, prices will go up. We may even end up partially back in the world of custom software. If it is not Avid, it will be somebody else.


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Bill Davis
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:18:11 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Hmmm... A shop with 30 Macs but only 4 edit suites is hardly a large post house. Granted that may be the case today, but if you come from the days of large linear bays and machine room infrastructure, it's hardly the same thing.

Unfortunately today's reality dictates frugality and yesterday's edit boutique is today's large post house. If you expect to survive these days, you really need to develop a business model that allows for a complete refresh every 3 years (or less) and to have most of that paid for by active projects and not by loans. Smart companies have alays done that. It's called having an annual Cap Ex budget and sticking to it.

Like it or not, the direction Apple is taking is supportive of that environment. I see plenty of places that are still running FCP 6 on G5s or early Mac Pros. They followed the philosophy of not replacing it because it worked. Now the stuff is so long in the tooth that it's not a simple matter of upgrading but rather a complete, expensive overhaul of the facility. Having smaller, cheaper gear with comparable (or more) power makes it easier to pursue a plan of more frequent refreshes without breaking the bank.

Oliver
"


Most accurate and insightful post of the week, IMO.
Nice one, Oliver.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 6:47:58 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I see plenty of places that are still running FCP 6 on G5s or early Mac Pros. They followed the philosophy of not replacing it because it worked. Now the stuff is so long in the tooth that it's not a simple matter of upgrading but rather a complete, expensive overhaul of the facility. Having smaller, cheaper gear with comparable (or more) power makes it easier to pursue a plan of more frequent refreshes without breaking the bank."

It's very new that there is smaller, cheaper gear with comparable power. You could run Smoke on a iMac today if you wanted to, but it wasn't practical to use iMacs instead of G5s for editorial in 2005.

The cash flow advantages of buying a $2500 iMac every two years instead of a $5000 Mac Pro every four are real, but that's only a viable option if the iMac suits your needs.

You don't need a workstation for editorial anymore, but there is still a workstation market for creative professionals around editorial. I'd argue that by handicapping the Mac Pro, especially in conjunction with the other ripples they've made in the professional space, Apple is inviting studios to consider PCs.

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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David Roth Weiss
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:04:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "in conjunction with the other ripples they've made in the professional space, Apple is inviting studios to consider PCs."

I agree with you Walter, however "inviting" may be an understatement - I'd suggest that "pushing" studios toward PCs is hardly overstating the case.

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

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

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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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:17:17 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I'd argue that by handicapping the Mac Pro, especially in conjunction with the other ripples they've made in the professional space, Apple is inviting studios to consider PCs."

Which is a very polite way of saying "Don't let the door hit you in the aspect ratio on the way out."


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Shawn Miller
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:42:17 pm

"Apple is inviting studios to consider APCs"

Too true... anecdotally, I've just learned that two of the biggest post houses and one of the larger PR agencies in my town (Seattle) are swithing back to Avid because of FCPX. I don't know if they're also switching to Windows 7... but I imagine the door is open in all three cases.

Shawn



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Kevin Patrick
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:50:35 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I don't know if they're also switching to Windows 7"

There's actually someone in Seattle not using Windows?


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Shawn Miller
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 4, 2011 at 9:42:42 am

"There's actually someone in Seattle not using Windows?"

Yup, the bigger post houses here are (were) as Mac centric as anywhere else... I know of a few smaller operations that fought to get Macs in their environments... now I wonder what moving away from FCPX will mean for them.

Shawn



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Bill Davis
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:48:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Apple is inviting studios to consider PCs."

Since when did this market segment require an "invitation?"

Isn't this precisely the market segment where budget considerations play under different rules than the "rest of us?"

The couple of movie sets I've been invited to were places where if you had to pay 50% of the purchase cost of something in order to bring it on set as a prop - and then subsequently drop it back off with the original owner - that was a smart deal. The requirement to look at overall "costs" against the total scale of the operation made an otherwise foolish economic deal very, very smart in it's particular context.

I just read Rami Katrib's article up top here - and in his business model I think he's making eminently sensible decisions. With his clients he could care less about squeezing out nickels and dimes, they just want the work down properly and as bullet-proof as possible.

I actually remember sitting down talking to Rami back at a conference when he was just starting out to help Walter Murch build the "home studio" workflow that he used for Cold Mountain, and I remember his enthusiasm for the brand new possibilities of digital editing via the early FCP.

I suspect he would agree that his choice of FCP way back then was a huge driver in his subsequent success.

But it's also sensible that he's sustained that success over these years by understanding that people succeed not by defending the way things have "always" been done, but by seeing how they're changing and trying to get ahead of the curve as it applies to ones' particular circumstances.

For shops like his, at the nexus of Hollywood episodic TV work, broadening the toolset from all Mac to Mac, HP and whatever has been very smart. With those budgets you do whatever it takes.

But I suspect that having been at the table, listening to him talk as a brash young 20 something year old, I suspect that there's a new kid out there just like young Rami, who sees precisely the same potential in FCP-X.

We shall see.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 9:17:08 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Apple is inviting studios to consider PCs."

[Bill Davis] "Since when did this market segment require an "invitation?""

Did I really need to be clearer?

Apple is giving their entire professional customer base good reason to examine other options. They are creating FUD about themselves!


[Bill Davis] "For shops like his, at the nexus of Hollywood episodic TV work, broadening the toolset from all Mac to Mac, HP and whatever has been very smart. With those budgets you do whatever it takes. "

Why wouldn't a cross-platform workflow be smart in any market?

I'm finding that running both platforms exposes you to the unique advantages of each and lets you use the right tool for the job at hand.


[Bill Davis] "I actually remember sitting down talking to Rami back at a conference when he was just starting out to help Walter Murch build the "home studio" workflow that he used for Cold Mountain, and I remember his enthusiasm for the brand new possibilities of digital editing via the early FCP.... But I suspect that having been at the table, listening to him talk as a brash young 20 something year old, I suspect that there's a new kid out there just like young Rami, who sees precisely the same potential in FCP-X."

Because... it's $700 cheaper? Or because it has a DAM built in, instead of available separately?

This is the exceptionalism argument that Aindreas was getting at. FCPX is new, but it isn't magic. The revolution has been under way for over a decade. What's the big differentiator for FCPX? What's its unique disruption? Couldn't it just be another evolutionary step in the industry looking back over the last 15 or 20 years?

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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Bill Davis
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 10:42:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "They are creating FUD about themselves!
"


But is that a strategy, or merely an artifact of the fact that they're keeping their eye on the game of development, rather than wasting too time explaining themselves. I remember back at FCPv1 when a bunch of us "discovered" 2-pop.com and a guy named Ralph Fairweather who could actually answer questions and help us understand how the then new software operated. It was many, many months before we discovered that Ralph was actually part of the FCP development team.
My point is that they didn't do this publicly, they did it quietly and the few of us who stumbled into the right place at the right time benefitted. You could claim that not having "official spokespeople" even back then was also driving FUD - but the difference is that back then, nobody much cared about FCP. All I see is Apple doing precisely what's worked well in the past (keeping things close to the vest and letting the work speak for itself) and that the only thing that's changed is the massive perceived "need" in the minds of thousands of us on boards like this that being privy to their plans is the only possible key to our happiness.



[Walter Soyka] "Why wouldn't a cross-platform workflow be smart in any market?
"


I actually don't think so in a lot of cases. In some ways I think it's like an individual trying to be both a guitar and a banjo player. You can become "competent" at both. But to really excel, I think most musicians typically concentrate on one instrument. There are exceptions, and I suppose it's a bit based on whether you want to see the editor as a "technician" (operating a variety of tools) or an "artist" (attempting to achieve absolute mastery of one). Both views are rational. Pick one, I guess.

[Walter Soyka] "What's the big differentiator for FCPX? What's its unique disruption? "

Good question.

I think the answers is that it presents TWO compelling "market differentiators" to editors at a time when increasing numbers of people are interested in exploring the skills for their personal purposes.

Price is clearly one. Its a two thirds cut in the cost of entry. (Actually more if you compare X+Motion5 to Studio Plus Motion in the past) So the barrier to adoption and use are significantly lower.

And the second "differentiator" is its new editing paradigm - which I view as a good match for the kinds of practical projects that will be increasingly common in the future. To expand on that, I used to make lots and lots and lots of 30 to 60 minute duration corporate training videos. I haven't had a job like that in years. Today, the market wants significantly shorter, web deployable "modular" training. Not monolithic "sit in a room for a day and get trained" content. And I think that's a clear "sweet spot" for X.

It's the kind of content in the "Videos" section right here on the Cow.

That kind of common "web site" embedded content didn't exist until VERY recently in your timescope of "the past fifteen to twenty years"
And now it's increasingly the NORM in audience expectations.

So I think that's where the "content" market is increasingly headed.

Whether we like it or not.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:19:22 pm

[Bill Davis] "But is that a strategy, or merely an artifact of the fact that they're keeping their eye on the game of development, rather than wasting too time explaining themselves. "

Well, again, to each his own opinion. I think it is just bad, bad software and an arrogant attitude by the company behind it.

[Bill Davis] "I actually don't think so in a lot of cases. In some ways I think it's like an individual trying to be both a guitar and a banjo player. You can become "competent" at both. But to really excel, I think most musicians typically concentrate on one instrument. There are exceptions, and I suppose it's a bit based on whether you want to see the editor as a "technician" (operating a variety of tools) or an "artist" (attempting to achieve absolute mastery of one). Both views are rational. Pick one, I guess."

Sorry, but this is getting a bit out of hand. We are talking about a piece of software, nothing magical here, compiled by nordic, blonde virgins in the first full-moon night after an eclipse to turn it into anything other than a plain and simple software tool to get work done.
I am not aware of a single, serious posts house that doesn't run cross platform in one way or the other.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:24:59 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "We are talking about a piece of software, nothing magical here, compiled by nordic, blonde virgins in the first full-moon night after an eclipse to turn it into anything other than a plain and simple software tool to get work done."

LOL. Wasn't your software handed to you from the heavens on stone tablets like everyone else's?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 3, 2011 at 3:28:54 am

[Oliver Peters] "[Frank Gothmann] "We are talking about a piece of software, nothing magical here, compiled by nordic, blonde virgins in the first full-moon night after an eclipse to turn it into anything other than a plain and simple software tool to get work done."

LOL. Wasn't your software handed to you from the heavens on stone tablets like everyone else's?

- Oliver
"


Mine actually rose--in the hands of a maiden--from the center of glassy alpine lake. As she burst from the water, the ripple she caused was so pristine that I fully believe it to be the very model for the very first ripple effect.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 11:30:14 pm

[Bill Davis] "Good question."


Bill,


You haven't answered the question.

Even taking "the kind of content in the "Videos" section right here on the Cow" as a model of the future (which I'll just pass by for the sake of argument), I don't see why FCPX is unique in it's ability to handle those edits. How is it differentiated even against FCExpress (to say nothing of Premiere Elements, iMovie, and other contenders)?


Franz.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 4, 2011 at 2:35:28 am

[Walter Soyka] "They are creating FUD about themselves!"

[Bill Davis] "But is that a strategy, or merely an artifact of the fact that they're keeping their eye on the game of development, rather than wasting too time explaining themselves."


I don't believe that communicating with your customers is ever a waste of time -- especially loyal customers who built their businesses around your products, who are now looking at your most recent decisions and are wondering it you're still committed to them and their needs.




[Bill Davis] "You could claim that not having "official spokespeople" even back then was also driving FUD - but the difference is that back then, nobody much cared about FCP. All I see is Apple doing precisely what's worked well in the past (keeping things close to the vest and letting the work speak for itself) and that the only thing that's changed is the massive perceived "need" in the minds of thousands of us on boards like this that being privy to their plans is the only possible key to our happiness."


The critical difference between the launch of FCP v1 and the launch of FCPX is the two million seats of FCP Apple claimed at the Supermeet. FCP had no user base at the launch of v1, but today, it's the key tool for who knows how many thousands of businesses and careers.

The problem with letting the work speak for itself -- at least for now -- is that the work is saying "I am not ready for high-end use today, but maybe I will be someday."




[Walter Soyka] "Why wouldn't a cross-platform workflow be smart in any market?"

[Bill Davis] "I actually don't think so in a lot of cases. In some ways I think it's like an individual trying to be both a guitar and a banjo player. You can become "competent" at both. But to really excel, I think most musicians typically concentrate on one instrument. There are exceptions, and I suppose it's a bit based on whether you want to see the editor as a "technician" (operating a variety of tools) or an "artist" (attempting to achieve absolute mastery of one). Both views are rational. Pick one, I guess."


There are a few things I see wrong with this analogy. The first is your premise that an artist is one who masters a single tool. I can't buy into your distinction between "technician" and "artist" based on number of and proficiency with tools.

The second is the notion that mastering a single tool is a good thing for our jobs. Go back 2 to 5 years and think about how people stopped billing themselves as "Avid editors" and instead referred to themselves as "editors" to avoid artificially limiting their prospects. Knowing an NLE inside and out is only valuable if you're also actually a good editor.

The third is the notion that the work products of musicians and editors are comparable. For musicians, the performance is the product. I assume you'd agree that the vast majority of FCP edit sessions are unsupervised -- and are therefore the edited piece itself, not the process that made it, is the product.

The fourth is that is "artist" is even the right word to use to describe most of our jobs.

We usually compare editors with craftspeople. We use analogies that compare editorial with people who make furniture, or people working in the trades. People who must possess both a degree of artistry and technical skill. People who are able to use whatever tools are most appropriate to create a new, finished work from raw, unfinished materials.

We would never argue that a master carpenter or cabinet maker would be better for choosing only to master the use of a hammer at the exclusion of all other woodworking tools.

So it is with knowing multiple NLE applications or working on multiple platforms. We add no value as tool-users or button-pushers; we add value by knowing how to get the finished product from the raw materials, through the use of whatever tools are best suited to any particular job.

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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Chris Harlan
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 4, 2011 at 3:39:31 am

[Walter Soyka] "We would never argue that a master carpenter or cabinet maker would be better for choosing only to master the use of a hammer at the exclusion of all other woodworking tools.
"


You know, I'm worried about those master carpenters and cabinet makers because just about anybody in the world can now buy a cheep hammer, and that is going to put them all out of work. But, they are the country-club set and high priests of the craftsman world, so they probably deserve it.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 2, 2011 at 10:07:31 pm

[Bill Davis] "I suspect he would agree that his choice of FCP way back then was a huge driver in his subsequent success.

Bill,

Did we read the same article?

What I read was a survey of many solutions over years - all of which add up to a strategy that seems hardware and software agnostic whenever possible. You need to expand on why you would pick out one of those decisions (though your subsequent statements seem to backpedal a bit).


[Bill Davis] ... I suspect that there's a new kid out there just like young Rami, who sees precisely the same potential in FCP-X."

There's all kinds of kids with all kinds of ideas; I suspect that those that get caught up with one brand won't get far. I haven't seen or heard anything persuasive about FCPX as a superior or even particularly special tool - Apple is claiming a "revolution" but so far all I see is an interface change and some undercooked software. Frankly, the idea that the revolution will come from something like Lightworks or some other underestimated corner is more compelling.


Franz.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 3, 2011 at 5:30:09 am

[Bill Davis] "I actually don't think so in a lot of cases. In some ways I think it's like an individual trying to be both a guitar and a banjo player. You can become "competent" at both. But to really excel, I think most musicians typically concentrate on one instrument. There are exceptions, and I suppose it's a bit based on whether you want to see the editor as a "technician" (operating a variety of tools) or an "artist" (attempting to achieve absolute mastery of one). Both views are rational. Pick one, I guess."
Bill,
For what I see on your web site, you write, shoot, edit and I guess you may also light, color grade and make graphics.
So, how you do it?
What do you consider your self, a writer, a cameraman, an editor, colorist..?
Do you consider your self an artist or a technician?
Do you try to be competent in all those areas or do you try to master one of them?
Or master all of them?
I also write, shoot, edit and the rest. I have even to design the covers and boxes when I deliver DVDs and even to put them in the boxes by mi self.
I have no time to try be an artists. Im too busy to try to make my best to spend time to excel on nothing.
I don't know in your market, but in mine what counts is the final product not the guys that has made it possible.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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kim krause
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 3, 2011 at 9:01:46 am

so you threw out stuff that works perfectly well for most jobs....doesnt make sense to me. after all avid works on a mac premiere works on macs davinci works on a mac as does color as does pro tools as does photoshop.....get where i'm going? what are you really gaining and what is the cost for all this cross platform exercise?


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Herb Sevush
Re: Working Over the weekend...
on Dec 3, 2011 at 6:40:23 pm

[kim krause] "after all avid works on a mac premiere works on macs davinci works on a mac as does color as does pro tools as does photoshop....."

Most of those programs work faster on a PC because of the availability better graphics cards. You also have options for more expansion slots, capable of supporting multiple graphics cards among other things, the lack of which I find very frustrating on a Mac. Plus there's the very real possibility of Apple getting out of the workstation business, making an investment in PC infrastructure more compelling.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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