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Dear Avid...

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David Roche
Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 5:58:00 pm

Dear Avid,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Former and probable future Avid user, DR

PS - I put my money where my mouth is and ordered MC today (6/16/11).


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Ben Holmes
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 6:15:31 pm

[David Roche] "It appears that Apple has decided to abandon professional users of Final Cut Pro"

Chill out. Honestly - this is getting silly.

Whilst I appreciate an attractive offer was made on MC, which may make sense to a lot of people as a client/hire option, abandoning FCP as a product a week before you actually get to see the new version is ludicrous.

All your other comments about AVID are pretty valid. Your only mistake is in assuming, like an abused wife, that your errant former partner has finally changed. Only cold, hard economics will ever turn AVID's head. I suspect that if FCP does fail (as you already assume it will), AVID will redouble it's attempts to milk its users for another few years - so either way, you lose.

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/community/communitydetails/?UserStoryId=87...


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David Roche
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 8:28:59 pm

I bought MC but I haven't abandoned FCP yet. I think it's smart to have an escape plan for when Apple bails on us.

I'm under no illusion that Avid has changed one bit - hence the post.

Cold, hard, economics works on both sides of the fence. Professional video people are not "where it's at" for Apple. The big money is in iOS and related hardware. That's where Apple is headed. That's why I'm ready to entertain the thought of going back to Avid. Since they rely on professionals for their core business, I at least have a reasonable expectation that they aren't going to walk away from their products.

I went to Vegas, saw the FCPX demo and talked to execs at organizations that have large installed bases of FCP. When they're telling you that it's over, it's probably over.

Good luck pinching and swiping your way to a good edit on your iPad.


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Sohrab Sandhu
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 6:23:34 pm

Your post in Final cut X forum does not make any sense. It would be much better served in Avid Forum.

Sohrab

2.66 GHz 8-core, ATI Radeon HD 4870,
FCS 3, AJA Kona Lhi



"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." -- Carl Ally


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Michael Hancock
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 6:33:04 pm

It's already in the Avid forum and has been for a few days.

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/45/880530

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


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David Roche
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 8:13:35 pm

Oh but it does - don't you know the Avid execs are reading this forum with great delight?


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Sohrab Sandhu
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 12:00:56 am

[David Roche] "Oh but it does - don't you know the Avid execs are reading this forum with great delight?"

You just wanna send your message across to AVID, dont you?

Then why this cross posting?



Sohrab

2.66 GHz 8-core, ATI Radeon HD 4870,
FCS 3, AJA Kona Lhi



"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." -- Carl Ally


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Rob Grauert
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 1:52:09 am

David Roche,

It's a shame you have to hear it from a 'punk kid' like myself, but NLEs are just tools. They're not religions. Try not to be so sour :)

Rob Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
command-r.tumblr.com


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John Davidson
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 7:29:06 pm

In Cupertino they have a saying, "Don't let the screen door hit you".


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David Roche
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 8:15:42 pm

John, when you realize that Apple probably makes more on iPhones in a few days than they do on FCP in a year, then you'll realize that they're telling you and me the same thing.


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John Davidson
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 8:28:35 pm

I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna make you feel better about buying Avid and upending your whole production workflow a week before X is out, based off nothing but a 2 month old 45 minute presentation. Avid people may get a temporary little pleasure reading posts like yours, but I can't imagine they feel much other than a complete sense of impending doom from the lack of information regarding X.

As users the lack of information is frustrating, but as a competitor it's like waiting to be attacked by a much larger army with all kinds of weapons you've never even seen before. Something akin to aliens attacking cave men.


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David Battistella
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 8:45:43 pm

@ David Roche.



Have a nice day.

David

______________________________
Believe me. Everything is a lie.



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Gregory Butner
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 9:24:31 pm

yes apple makes more money doing other things. Does that mean it makes economic sense to stop doing the things that make less money? No. Apple is not a company of 5 people who can only do one thing at a time. There are thousands of people doing different things. There are people that work on pro video applications and there are people that work on IOS products. The people making the video applications are still making a profit for apple, and therefore are still part of their business. For the same reason that Chevrolet still makes the Corvette, Apple will continue to make products for the higher end video professional.



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Victor Perez
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 16, 2011 at 10:50:56 pm

At NAB Avid got me excited about editing.
At the Supermeet Apple got me excited about FCPX.
There is a difference. I think Avid is really thinking about creatives these days. They have always had a great product. Apple has too.

Victor
http://www.editvictor.com
http://www.hbhm.tv
http://www.itvisus.com


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Ben Holmes
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 12:15:02 pm

[Gregory Butner] "For the same reason that Chevrolet still makes the Corvette, Apple will continue to make products for the higher end video professional."

Good analogy. Apple loves the 'halo' of pro users. Didn't Jobs comment that Apple sat at the intersection of 'liberal arts' and 'technology'. For years, designers and film-makers have provided Apple with added kudos.

Now, they plan to release another product that everyone can buy, whilst saying to themselves "Wow, this is the same software they cut movies on. Cool."

And that, aside from the small numbers of Mac Pros they sell, is all the value Apple needs in Pro Apps. The fact that the division makes hundred of millions of dollars profit? Nice bonus.

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/community/communitydetails/?UserStoryId=87...


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Michael Aranyshev
Random thought
on Jun 16, 2011 at 11:23:59 pm

[David Roche] "t appears that Apple has decided to abandon professional users"

You know what? The first time I heard it was when they released Bondi Blue iMac. I believe it's not how Apple works. They're just so good at making something cool the stuff they make come out useful for us. They don't drop products because they aren't interest in the market. They drop the product when the product itself doesn't excite them.


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Martin Curtis
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 3:20:27 am

[David Roche] "Dear Avid,

It appears that Apple has decided to abandon professional users of Final Cut Pro. "

If Apple really decided to abandon professional video editors, they'd just abandon FCP, not bring out a new version.


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Ben Holmes
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 7:59:17 am

You've totally missed the point with Apple. Apple wants to make software EVERYONE will buy. Pro, prosumer, enthusiasts. Why? Because it sells computers. It sells big ones, little ones, millions of them.

As for the iPhone argument, that Apple's focus has shifted, again - wrong. It's widened. That's all. Ask pro audio people about Logic. It's now cheaper and more widely used. It works on iMacs and Mac Pros and everything else. Good for business, still good for pros.

Avid has a single product, Apple has many. So ask yourself, why aren't AVID the ones innovating in NLE software? AVID are so afraid of alienating users, because they know how fragile their userbase is. Apple doesn't care - they know innovation is the key to growth - and they can ride out the gripes.

I don't know if FCPX will be everything I want it to be. I don't know if it's in my future. But I'll find out very soon. Isn't it possible you might regret waiting just a little bit longer?

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/community/communitydetails/?UserStoryId=87...


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andy lewis
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 9:51:40 am

If Boris Title 3D doesn't open quicker in FCPX, I'll be taking my business elsewhere.


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Neil Hurwitz
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 12:33:51 pm

I have been following along here and I'd like to put in my 2 cents
I Know of NOBODY, Not one single person or company that bought
Final Cut Pro when it first came out because it was better than Avid.
It was bought because it was Way Way Cheaper. Not even in the same ballpark.
Where FCP got it's big boost was when Avid came out with
it's Adrenaline System and there were Thousands of Meridian system owners out there that Said
"What the F-ck I just lost 85% of my investment
I'm NOT doing that again"
Simultaneously with that was that the first
generation of Avid Editors
felt well trained & savy enough to Jump Ship and start their
own little companies. FCP was cheap enough for them to do this.
The skills of a capitalist ( The ability to raise the funds to start)
were simply not needed. It opened the flood gates and the rest is history. Avid now has a good opportunity to recapture some market
share if they behave nicely ( Ha Ha ) but then again anyone who has
attended NAB for the last few years has to ask themselves, Is
AVID really in the business of NLE'S anymore? Or are they keeping it alive to feed there Station Automation and News products?
So what I predict as happening here is, that most will continue using
whatever version of FCP they have and are happy with for quite some time and then switch to FCPX because it's still gonna be the CHEAPEST
Product and most will have somewhat compatible hardware.
AT the speed at which things are changing One would have to be crazy not to look for the least expensive solution. This is kind of a radical change for myself because I have always looked for the Best Solution. But I am tired of tossing hundreds of thousands of worthless equipment in the dumpster.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 2:09:39 pm

[Neil Hurwitz] "Where FCP got it's big boost was when Avid came out with
it's Adrenaline System and there were Thousands of Meridian system owners out there that Said
"What the F-ck I just lost 85% of my investment
I'm NOT doing that again""



Even more important than the financial impact was the fact that the first Adrenalines off the assembly line simply DIDN'T WORK (as promised). I can fill up a book with details if anyone is interested. Up until this point AVID had a reputation for bulletproof reliability. Adrenaline sank that reputation like a boat anchor.

So... many people concluded, there was NOTHING to lose by switching to FCP. It was cheaper, and performance wise, NO WORSE than Adrenaline. Shortly thereafter, FCP updates leveled the playing field as far as features. Some would say FCP "exceeded" the feature set of AVID, but that's just my opinion.

mark



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Bret Williams
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 19, 2011 at 5:09:49 am

I remember once telling an Avid group when it was prudent to use AE in a project vs creating effects in Avid. My short list was true nesting (for sake of advanced animations), animated text (like animated tracking), resolution independence (for ken burns stuff), and compositing modes (like overlay, add, etc to get cool blended looks vs basic opacity). Shortly after I realized my 1.x copy of final cut did all that already. Avid didn't.

So 1.x may have been missing some pro stuff Avid had, but FCP WAS definitely more advanced in many ways and in the huge corporate world where we weren't doing multicam, broadcast, or film lists, it was a perfect fit. Let's also not forget how long it was til Avid had FireWire. DVCam was quickly replacing betacam, and my FCP 1.x loaded an exact digital copy onto an internal ATA. Avid loaded DVCam into the system via analog or SDI and recompressed it to 2:1, or uncompressed, creating a lesser quality file at 5 times the file size.

Cost was a great reason to go FCP, but there were a lot of other good reasons too.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 1:10:38 pm

The only bonus about upgrading from FCS to Avid MC today is that you get to keep your FCS license.
We pay enough into a single user support to Avid, Im not about to throw away another 1k for another seat.
Ill just move our dongle around :)

Bring on FCPX, were ready for it here ;)


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Craig Seeman
Re: Dear Avid...
on Jun 17, 2011 at 2:42:44 pm

Reading all the posts in this thread, I'd have to say I'd generally agree with them.

I don't think Avid is reading this thread with glee. You did a good job shooting them down. In fact the lesson learned is business model and maybe you're not aware if either Avid's or Apple's.

Apple is about building ecosystems so their consumer sales (many of which seem to move in to Professional support areas whether business or technical) is not a deterrent for professional product development. Even if the gross dollar sales of FCPX and MacPros are small compared to iPhones and iPads, there is an internal relationship. Apple wants both vertical and horizontal markets. Having control over the content creation tools ensures control over the consumer consumption tools.

Avid, as Neil points out, may well be looking at a different ecosystem in which the NLE is also a small component but in a very different direction (automation).

While both companies make NLEs, their business models are radically different so their objectives are different.

The ecosystem YOUR BUSINESS thrives in should guide your purchase decision. My own very personal hunch is that more of us thrive in Apple's ecosystem. It connects with more pieces for both me and my clients . . . even when my clients are Windows based.



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