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One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out

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Tim Wilson
One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 6:03:31 am

David Roth Weiss asked me to explain my frequently stated belief that Apple's roll-out of FCPX was perfect, and the immediate EOL of FCP 7 was essential. Good question. Simply stated:

  • There is nothing Apple could have done to create more demand for FCPX than they did.
  • The EOL of FCP 7 was part of the point, which we see from Apple killing it before FCPX could replace all its features.

Shall we begin?

***

Roll-out = the progress of a product from behind a company’s closed doors into a customer’s hands.

Step 1. Build interest. What was the big story going into NAB 2011? Apple/Supermeet/Weds. What was the big story that Monday? Apple/Supermeet/Weds.

Tuesday? Apple/Supermeet/Weds. We know what the big story was Wednesday. What about Thursday? Apple/Supermeet/Weds. Friday? Lather rinse repeat until June.


Step 2. Set the agenda. Well, there you go. Everybody else, outta the pool. No matter what else you were planning to talk about for the next couple of months, this is what you DID talk about.

Hey, and credit where credit is due. Had Apple ever showed anything this far in advance before? Maybe a little at WWDC, but certainly not to civilians. And for all that Apple is a consumer company (I think that that’s reductive, but whatevs), it’s not like they’re trying to woo the crowd at CES.

That’s why it never bothered me that Apple got out of the booth business. Why bother? They had new product every two years, and folks like you carrying the flag every day. Apple’s last big investment in advertising FCP was…what? 2003? Do you think that Apple gave up on FCP back in 2003? Of course not. So let’s let the whole “no booth=no love” discussion die an overdue death.

That said, what do you want from an Apple roll-out? For Apple to pack up their Fuller Brush suitcase and give you the full patter in person. They did. Reading the COW’s Final Cut Pro X forum that very night as posts were going up in real time, it’s clear that easily a third of you were horrified on the spot….but Apple was still rolling out their plan to perfection.


Step 3. Stoke demand. How long did you wait to download FCPX? C’mon, what could Apple possibly have done to make you more anxious/angry/excited/nervous/giddy, just plain READY to download FCPX a single second sooner? Not a dang thing.

***

Multiple choice question. Apple earned back their entire development cost for FCPX in
a) The next three years.
b) The first three months.
c) The first three days.
d) The first three hours.
e) Probably not the first three seconds….but really, wouldn’t you love to know?

Roll-out perfection achieved.

***

As for the EOL of FCP 7 and the Final Cut Suite, I don’t have to try reading Apple’s mind when they’re telling me exactly where I should look: very simply, maybe over-simply, look at who lived and who died.

First, let’s be honest. Final Cut Pro pre-X is among the least Apple-like products ever shipped. (Color may be a close second. Shake? Let’s pretend that never happened. Apple has.)

It’s almost like Steve bought all those products from companies who built not very Apple-looking stuff (if also powerful, productive, etc.), and said to those teams, “You’re allowed to use those three colored dots in the upper left of a window. You can have the Genie effect, rounded corners, and system fonts. And I don’t care what you were doing with it before we bought you, but all your Command-H are belong to us. THAT’S IT. NO MORE MAC SOUP FOR YOU.”

So FCPX stands as a home-grown professional product built around the one thing that the Final Cut Studio absolutely lacked from its first day to its last:

Focus. FCPX's goals (achieved or not as you see fit to declare) represent Apple at their best: laser-like focus on simplicity, intuition, elegance, and Apple’s longest of many long suits: DESIGN. FCPX LOOKS and ACTS like it was made by Apple.


***

Here’s what Steve said about Mac in 1985: The past was "too limiting. [W]e needed a technology that would make the thing radically easier to use and more powerful at the same time, so we had to make a break. We just had to do it." (I wrote about that here.)

With Final Cut Studio, Apple had become the Borg, with other people’s technology grafted on and hanging off at odd angles. Capable, adaptable, relentless, yes – but conceived with a single central vision? Please. With FCPX, Apple got its single, central vision AND a clean break.

It was obviously more important for Apple to de-Borg itself of FCP 7 and the Final Cut Studio than it was to wait for X to replace every Borg-y feature – because bullet-pointed features are NOT THE POINT of X. If features were solely, or even primarily the point, Apple could have waited. WOULD have waited.

The point is that FCPX represents Apple's idea of a professional video application free of the Borg that Apple had become.

Why not release X and keep FCP 7 around a little longer? Keeping FCP 7 alive for a single second longer than it took to launch X wouldn’t have been partial freedom for Apple. It would have been NO freedom at all. Apple would still have been the Borg for that much longer, with one more piece of grafted-on tech to juggle and eventually jettison. Waiting made no sense. It was the opposite of everything Apple was trying to become: itself again.

I can’t imagine that it took longer than two Keynote slides in the boardroom to dispense with the idea that prolonging lack of focus was a good idea. Probably only one Keynote slide to make the case. Maybe not even a slide. Maybe just a picture of Jean-Luc Picard as Locutus. Apple had become no longer willing to be the Borg. FCPX was the clean break Steve had been wanting since 1985.

I think that the common roots of iMovie and FCPX hammer this home. That is, I don’t think that FCPX exactly evolved from iMovie as much as they both evolved from the same ideal: to simplify a complex task, unencumbered by expectations, compatibility or a Borged-up pile of whatever.


***

I used to work for Boris, the actual guy behind Boris FX. He told me, “I didn’t get into this business to make software for HUNDREDs of people.” He was gently chiding me for thinking too small. I was a power user before joining the company, certainly squarely in the middle of his mainstream market. But as a product manager, I was only thinking about features that me and my friends wanted, maybe a little more broadly to the pro market as I understood it, and Boris was right: that made me think too small.

I don’t think Steve Jobs ever intended to sell just two or three million of ANYTHING. The Borg known as Final Cut Studio had fallen well short of the goal to sell MANY millions, and was never going to reach it. What did Steve say he wanted in 1985? Radically easier to use. More powerful. A clean break.

We can argue all year (hey! And we have!) over whether the first two points were accomplished. But here’s what WAS accomplished. A clean break. Freedom from the Borg that Apple had turned itself into.

***

Last bit of honesty: FCP had been zombieware for a while. The last major change was in 2005 (yay multicam!), with the dandy ProRes feature added in 2007 -- but otherwise, nothing much to say anytime since then. That's a long stretch where FCP was still moving enough that it kinda looked alive, but dang! What’s that smell?

And enough with the eating brains already! That’s not how you build editing software that will sell MANY millions of copies. We’re APPLE dammit. No zombies, no more Borg. Let’s do what we do better than anyone: FOCUS. Refine. Design something that nobody expected, because we’re thinking bigger than they are.

***

I have no idea if anybody at Apple exactly anticipated the outcomes of this that would so dramatically boost the fortunes of Adobe, Avid, Autodesk, HP, and hey, maybe even Blackmagic’s new NLE (KIDDING), but I doubt that the principle took long to articulate. Something along the lines of, let the other guys duke it out to prove who’s best suited for doing things the old way. We’re playing a different game now.

Which I think they established no later than the second paragraph in the roll-out at NAB 2011. Hence, perfect.

***

This is probably the last time anybody needs to hear from me on this, so I’ll give everybody else the last word. (Haha! Last word!)

Note that I'm not recommending or not recommending FCPX for anyone. After 20+ years as a hardcore Mac guy, I'm all Windows all the time now and loving it, and can't imagine booting a Mac, much less running FCPX. I think Smoke puts Autodesk in the game in ways that nobody expected, and I love the offerings from Adobe and Avid -- but FCPX as an exercise in business, sociology, and Star Trek metaphors? I'm all in.

Usual disclosure: I'm speaking for myself, not the COW or anyone else. Everyone I know is likely a little appalled by this for one reason or another, assuming they’ve read this far.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Chris Harlan
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 7:57:17 am

That was fun! That's also my assessment about Apple and workstations. Of course, in that case you might need to ask who is becoming the Borg, what with thin client-en masse. In half a century the brain of the world living in their data centers. We are just its tendrils.


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Jules bowman
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:22:03 am

Yes, interesting read. But have apple found the freedom they were wanting by doing it their way? If FC10 was/is the clean break then why, now, are they starting to do things such as giving partial roadmaps, going out their way to ensure we know that features will be put back in? Trying to leverage support from industry users to show they just aren't about doing it their way - 'simplifying' things - but in fact can also be full featured - perhaps proving that you really do need more than one mouse button after all. And maybe a save as. And maybe an off button. And maybe a physical disc. And maybe thinking differently doesn't always make sense because not all old thought is redundant. Sometimes the circle is, and always will be, the perfect shape no matter how much Bill will suggest that maybe some people squint and so a circle, to them, isn't actually a circle at all but rather a circolucle and he, personally, has done almost 30 jobs now using the circolucle so physicists the world over are simple intimidated about the fact the circle is no long the perfect shape for its task and should either embrace the circolucle (squint) or be contemptuously dismissed.


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Steve Connor
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:48:22 am

Nicely written Tim, great post

Steve Connor
"FCPX Professional"
Adrenalin Television


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Michael Phillips
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 3:02:25 pm

Tim - I agree totally, and sometimes sum it up as; "Apple can afford to do exactly what they're doing."

And continues to do so.


Michael

Michael Phillips


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Richard Herd
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 25, 2012 at 9:03:22 pm

[Jules bowman] "And maybe a save as. "

Just to be Mr. Obvious, you can duplicate a project, which is the same thing as "Save as..."


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tony west
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 3:37:22 pm

It's a nice post Tim.

I have thought from the beginning that Apple did exactly what they were trying to do.

Which was to simplify Pro editing.


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Bret Williams
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 3:39:31 pm

Well, I'm not appalled since a good bit of it is how I felt in my one an only blog post last week. My post was just rambling and not as focused and well written of course. But my revelation was that the launch wasn't a screwup. It was planned to throw Adobe and others off the course. Apple dropped out of the Pro race and created a new race of their own, where they were the only entrant.

I'm still not sure how much was planned and anticipated, and how much was a legit screwup, and how much was accepted fallout. But it sure wasn't the bumbling launch of iMovie pro to replace FCP that it first appeared to be. But it sure started a firestorm of people talking about how they hate it or love it for a year now. And most probably bought a copy.

Apple is primarily a hardware company after all.. If FCP was stalled and not selling Macs, I'm sure it was easy for them to cut the cord. Especially if this is the logical step for those cutting iMovie on IPad. Might even get a PC user to get an iMac to run iMovie, then later FCP X. It's all integrated and works together to get you to buy more hardware. They say theyre not a software company and they sure don't act like one. People don't really treat them like one either. If Adobe or Avid had pulled this I'm not sure they'd be given so much slack.


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tony west
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:05:03 pm

I meant to comment on your post also Bret, that you had some good points, just got too busy.

For people who what to say, edit with tracks, Avid and Prp have to share those people.

If you want that apple way, only they have have it and you have to buy their computer to do it.


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Bret Williams
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 5:05:56 pm

That's true. But I do think they're building it back up again. After all, got to have a reason for upgrading or buying the next version, right? For example, if it didn't have multi cam, the basic users that start with iMovie, then move to X, would eventually outgrow it and see the multi cam of other apps. Got to keep them on board to buy upgrades, which need a better OS, which needs a new computer, etc. It's the established cycle of computing, good or bad. Eventually I figure there will be a button or setting turning off magnetic timeline/audio tracks. The thing I find with track is that audio tracks actually do exist in real life. Video tracks do not. IOW, surround sound has many tracks. Makes sense to edit with audio tracks. Video has 1 track (unless 3D I guess). So the tracks in a video edit are for organizational purposes. I have no problem with the way X slides video tracks around VERTICALLY to keep them tidy. But audio is a mess.

My blog post was really just musing around. It was in fact an off topic reply to something, so I decided to try out that blog thing.

I must admit I find the software and the topic fascinating, good or bad. I'm digging in on a first real project that is simple enough to tackle. My wife is producing it and I believe she said, as I cursed at the trim tools and having to create story lines so things didn't go all out of whack, "Why don't you just do it in 7 where you know what you're doing?" I think my answer was "I dunno."


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:58:41 pm

An absolutely brilliant analysis!

[Bret Williams] "But it sure started a firestorm of people talking about how they hate it or love it for a year now."

It's an interesting variant of Caligula's famous dictum - oderint dum metuant (let them hate me as long as they fear me).

Apple's version would seem to be: Let them hate us as long as they keep talking about us.

Did they really figure the hate into the equation?

If they genuinely did, it's a massively bold move - and makes them almost as terrifying as Caligula himself.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Bret Williams
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 5:09:31 pm

I could Steve Jobs saying that. I'm not so sure about Tim Cook. Could be that FCP is changing direction with Tim at the helm? Or could be he hasn't even spoken to the FCP group in 6 months. And that was probably to tell them they're getting matching 401k benefits and that he's donating $1000 in each of their names to the human fund. Who knows?


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Michael Aranyshev
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:06:28 pm

[Tim Wilson] " FCPX LOOKS and ACTS like it was made by Apple."

I was taken aback by the statement first. Then I thought it over and realized that Apple abandoned its own HIG years ago so in that light a mess of rejected ideas from the failed NLE's graveyard can fit "made by Apple" fine. Still I bet no demo of FCPX work in progress to The Steve ever included secondary storylines. No way. Heads would roll.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 6:38:22 pm

Tim might be right, but only time will really tell. What Apple has ultimately wrought for themselves and for the others in the NLE space will probably not be fully understood or quantifiable for several years to come.

I can't help but think that a company with Apple's resources could have had it all. One need only look at a company like Hundai to see what's really possible when a company truly aspires to turn things around completely, and does the job properly, taking the best of the best from just about every other manufacturer on the planet, and then delivering its products to buyers at every level. There is no BMW or Mercedes or Porche owner I know who's not seriously considering replacing their German car with one now made in Korea. Who'd have ever imagined that?

If Biscardi is right, and basic editing in Smoke 2013 takes only 10-mins. to learn, then Autodesk may well be the big winner in the professional market space when the dust settles. Ease of use for basic editing, but with much of the power of Flame lurking under the hood, shows what a big rebuild could and should look like. If Autodesk can port Smoke to Windows in the near term, it could be the real game-changer they're touting now. And, if that happens, the debate here will no longer include dissenfranchised professional users, because we'll all have moved on, and it won't be to AVID or Adobe.

Then, should Autodesk become the next real powerhouse, the big question will be, will schools across the country want to teach X to aspring legions of future editors? And, will Apple's pro feature set, added to what may become just a pure Youtube NLE, ultimately become the Classic Coke or Edsel as some have prognosticated?

Who really knows? Tim? Me? I maintain that only time will tell...

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Tim Wilson
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 7:38:02 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I can't help but think that a company with Apple's resources could have had it all. "

As long as we assume that their actions reflections reflect their priorities, the rest is easy.

"Having it all" for Apple means, at the very least, BEING APPLE. What is most Apple-like about Apple? A meticulously crafted user experience.

What was FC Studio LEAST like? A meticulously crafted Apple UX.

So what do we see with X? Apple's idea of what it means to be Apple for video. Features will show up or they won't, because features aren't the point.

This was Apple's strategy with iPod and iPhone too, btw. Show up late and underfeatured, and just keep banging on the meticulously-crafted Apple UX until the features mostly show up. But never ALL the features found elsewhere. Never. Just the ones that can be reasonably subsumed into Apple's UX goals.

That was never going to happen with any combination of stuff bought from other people, none of which looked like it was designed by Apple. Solution: start with Apple's idea of something approaching ideally Apple, add features later.

Another way of looking at it. When Apple got in the game, these editing software conventions had been fixed for well over a decade, now, well over 20 yrs. Some conventions came from linear video editing -- fixed for the better part of 30 years when Apple got in. Even more so, the roots of non-linear editing are in film -- well over 100 years.

Frankly, I'm surprised Apple stuck with FCP Legacy as long as they did. Whatever else Apple is, they're not a company whose design priorities are driven by 20, 40 or 100 year old approaches.

If they're not Apple being Apple, they can never have it all. They could never be Apple in this market until they put a shovel in the head of the Borg-zombie that FCP had become. Take care of features later.

Again, I don't think I'm making any great leaps of imagination or analysis here. I'm just looking at what they did, and assume that it reflects their priorities.

Dammit! I was supposed to let everybody else have the last word. NOW I'll shut up for a while.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:17:49 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Then, should Autodesk become the next real powerhouse, the big question will be, will schools across the country want to teach X to aspring legions of future editors? And, will Apple's pro feature set, added to what may become just a pure Youtube NLE, ultimately become the Classic Coke or Edsel as some have prognosticated?"

Has everyone forgotten history so quickly? The original Final Cut Pro initially found its way into the market because it was one of the first NLE products to seriously embrace DV/FireWire -- consumer video technologies that pros initially didn't take seriously (one recalls extensive arguments over the definition of 'broadcast quality').

There is a long-term trend away from high-priced specialty products. Look at the long-term erosion of Avid's market share -- none of the fundamental factors that were responsible for that trend have changed. The idea that a high-end-only product will win the next round of the NLE wars runs contrary to all of this. It's highly unlikely.

Over the next decade, I like FCP X's prospects. FCP X is available for one-click App Store installation at a dramatically lower cost than competing applications. It's easier for new editors to learn. It's built around file-based acquisition and focuses heavily on Internet deliverable formats (causing you to pejoratively imply it might be a "YouTube NLE"). Its UI is based around Internet-age taxonomy -- relationships and tagging. It's designed for a world of speedy laptops that can connect to Thunderbolt storage fast enough to handle even uncompressed HD.

In a way its detractors are right -- FCP X is from a different world than competing NLEs. But that world isn't the consumer market. It's the future. And it's arriving fast.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:25:48 pm

It will surprise nobody that I agree with Chris's assessment.

Not just what he said, but the reasons he put forth for every opinion he offered.

Well done sir.

"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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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:33:06 pm

[Bill Davis] "It will surprise nobody that I agree with Chris's assessment."

Nope, no surprises there. But the brevity was admirable.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:31:51 pm

[Chris Kenny] "FCP X is available for one-click App Store installation at a dramatically lower cost than competing applications. It's easier for new editors to learn. "

So is Imovie. I didn't see it eating up market share. If "one-click" installation is such a big deal, other vendors will follow suit. Costs are going down across all NLE applications. If cost is really the major factor than Lightworks will be the market champ, it's free. And don't forget that PPro with an educational discount is under $500.

As for ease of use, we shall see.

[Chris Kenny] "It's built around file-based acquisition and focuses heavily on Internet deliverable formats "

So is PPro. If "one click" Youtube is a big hit, every NLE on the market will adapt it, it's not like it's difficult technology.

[Chris Kenny] " Its UI is based around Internet-age taxonomy -- relationships and tagging."

Since I don't what this means, but it's got big words like taxonomy in it, I'll just have to agree with you here.

[Chris Kenny] "It's designed for a world of speedy laptops that can connect to Thunderbolt storage fast enough to handle even uncompressed HD."

In what way is it optimized for laptops more than any other NLE? Do you mean PPro on a MBpro can't use a TBolt raid?

[Chris Kenny] " FCP X is from a different world than competing NLEs. But that world isn't the consumer market. It's the future. And it's arriving fast."

Oh please, spare me.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:43:36 pm

[Herb Sevush] "If cost is really the major factor than Lightworks will be the market champ, it's free."

That certainly worked for song sharing, and it's really a shame the iTunes store couldn't compete on price...oh wait, was "value" ever a factor here? I wonder...


[Herb Sevush] "[Chris Kenny] " FCP X is from a different world than competing NLEs. But that world isn't the consumer market. It's the future. And it's arriving fast."

Oh please, spare me."


Can't fault that reasoning, Herb. I suppose because you forgot to include any. Chris pretty clearly outlined his foundation for thinking that X is a play for where the market is going. What's your reasoning for defending that the market should keep pushing where it was going in the prior era?

As Tim compellingly outlined, that was an era of constantly bolting new features into old code to protect the functions that were useful to a minority of users - and that historical approach was prioritized ahead of providing better performance for more users, on more classes of machines, at a lower cost.

What's the case for returning to the "10-20 year old NLE software development path" that he outlined?

I'd love to have somebody defend that so I can understand it.

"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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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:20:05 pm

[Bill Davis] "That certainly worked for song sharing, and it's really a shame the iTunes store couldn't compete on price...oh wait, was "value" ever a factor here? I wonder..."

Apparently value isn't a factor or FCPX wouldn't be in the running. See how easy it is to play that game. Bill I'll bet dollars to donuts you've never tried Lightworks, I doubt you know anything about it, but in your Apple blindness you think you can make a case for X having more value than Lightworks. I suggest you do some do some research.

[Bill Davis] " "[Chris Kenny] " FCP X is from a different world than competing NLEs. But that world isn't the consumer market. It's the future. And it's arriving fast."

Oh please, spare me."

Can't fault that reasoning, Herb. I suppose because you forgot to include any. "


I was referring to the cliched nonsense of the trope "It's the future. And it's arriving fast." That's as meaningless a statement as you can find. You know what's in the future and coming fast? Increasing entropy. Death. Another Yankee World Series victory. Tomorrow.

[Bill Davis] " Chris pretty clearly outlined his foundation for thinking that X is a play for where the market is going. What's your reasoning for defending that the market should keep pushing where it was going in the prior era?"

And other than the "taxonomy" of tagging, I found fault with each of his arguments. As for why I think the market should honor previous workflow considerations - for the same reasons I thought the DVORAK keyboard a dumb idea, and that keyboard makes a lot more sense than X. I also never thought Esperanto had much of a shot. In both cases the prize wasn't worth the price.

[Bill Davis] "As Tim compellingly outlined, that was an era of constantly bolting new features into old code to protect the functions that were useful to a minority of users - and that historical approach was prioritized ahead of providing better performance for more users, on more classes of machines, at a lower cost."

And I am patiently explaining that the upgrade could have preserved what was valuable in the old without tossing the baby out. Adobe and Avid among many others have managed to upgrade their basic software without destroying the workflow of their users. Apple chose not to, basically because Steve Jobs found it hard to edit his family's home movies. Now there's a great reason for change.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 4:14:44 am

[Herb Sevush] "Adobe and Avid among many others have managed to upgrade their basic software without destroying the workflow of their users. Apple chose not to, basically because Steve Jobs found it hard to edit his family's home movies. Now there's a great reason for change."

Upgrade yes. Transform no. Different approaches.

And I've never read a single thing about Steve Jobs ever editing a home movie.

Randy Ubillos noted that he was frustrated that iMovie was overly complex for a simple home vacation video edit - so he based part of the big re-write that became iMovie 08 on that premis.

But I don't recall SJ ever mentioning video editing in any quote I ever read.

SJ pretty much created Apple's unique 20th century business success by making it easier for people to get better results from their digital tools.

So actually, smart simplification has proved to be an extremely excellent reason for change - and one that vast numbers of people have rewarded with continued patronage.

What's proving problematic is designing software for a small elite cadre of users who's economic impact pales in relation to the development resources required to serve their niche requirements. For good or ill, fulfilling the software needs of the top 10% of working editors may not be a sustainable model for software development.

If I'm wrong, then Smoke and Premier should have a chance to inherit a nice chunk of 2 million Legacy users over the next couple of years. But evidence of that is extremely scant.

A drop from 54% o 52% as discussed in Phil Hodgetts recent quoted post here just isn't going to budge a needle enough to notice.

This is totally anecdotal but it came from a different but similarly well-connected friend at NAB. He asked me to guess how many seats of AVID they sold when they were offering their recent cross-grade deal to individual new retail customers.

His answer honestly shocked me. It was in the SINGLE digits. Like less than 10.

That's pretty scary if it's true.

And unless Premier is doing many many orders of magnitude better than that (and I honestly hope they are) how long can they support the constant and on-going development required of any software company faced with the pace of hardware revision we see today?

We'll know the truth as the years unfold I guess.

"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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Paul Dickin
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 7:45:50 am

[Bill Davis] "I've never read a single thing about Steve Jobs ever editing a home movie.
...he was frustrated that iMovie was overly complex for a simple home vacation video edit...
But I don't recall SJ ever mentioning video editing in any quote I ever read."

Hi
Mention it? Maybe not.
But the likelihood is that it was at least in passing a part of his life:
http://www.tofslie.com/hey/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/jobsoffice-960x639.jp...

Thats a DSR-170 DVCam camera (or the DV equivalent) alongside the ali case for a DCR-VX9000 earlier DV camera, another handycam on the shelf,and a tripod, all in his study at home.



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Richard Herd
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 25, 2012 at 10:23:57 pm

What is that small mac tower thing behind his screen?


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Paul Dickin
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 25, 2012 at 10:44:11 pm

[Richard Herd] "What is that small mac tower..."
A model of the then new Power Mac G5 - Isaacson's book tells of innumerable models and prototypes.



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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:46:32 pm

[Bill Davis] "So actually, smart simplification has proved to be an extremely excellent reason for change - and one that vast numbers of people have rewarded with continued patronage."

Absolutely, in the mass consumer market.

[Bill Davis] "What's proving problematic is designing software for a small elite cadre of users who's economic impact pales in relation to the development resources required to serve their niche requirements. For good or ill, fulfilling the software needs of the top 10% of working editors may not be a sustainable model for software development."

This may be true, but I believe that professional video editing is inherently complex, and that most Legacy users will prefer thoroughness to simplicity. Not that FCPX won't find a large market, but I don't know that it will pick up as many new users as it will loose old ones. I don't see Avid and PPro and Edius users leaving their Aps for FCPX so all of their gains will have to come from new users.

[Bill Davis] "A drop from 54% o 52% as discussed in Phil Hodgetts recent quoted post here just isn't going to budge a needle enough to notice."

I posted this as a counter to Tim Wilson's argument that the FCPX rollout was so successful. Success does not equal loss of market share, unless accompanied by a rise in unit profits, no matter how small the loss. A release of the imaginary FCP8 would have either gained or held market share, not lost it. As many have pointed out the major Legacy migration is just beginning.

[Bill Davis] "And unless Premier is doing many many orders of magnitude better than that"

They are, they've posted their increase in seats and it's up over 20% last year, and that's before PPro6.

[Bill Davis] "how long can they support the constant and on-going development required of any software company faced with the pace of hardware revision we see today?"

The same way every other software company manages. I don't see many NLE's going out of business these days, in fact more are joining the fray, especially with the opening Apple created.

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


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Dennis Radeke
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:31:05 pm

[Herb Sevush] "They are, they've posted their increase in seats and it's up over 20% last year, and that's before PPro6."

...and much much more so on the Mac platform specifically.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:54:37 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "...and much much more so on the Mac platform specifically.
"


Hey Dennis! Thanks for your help at the show, and great to meet you finally.

For those less prone to understanding the meaning of such statistics unless they are pro Apple, would you please explain what the significance of the "more so on the Mac platform." I think that may not be 100% clear to some here. :)


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Jules bowman
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:23:16 am

Because the circle is the perfect shape.

Illuminated now?


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:54:38 pm

[Herb Sevush] "If "one-click" installation is such a big deal, other vendors will follow suit. "

Adobe and Avid NLE products are presently packaged, priced and implemented in a way that makes them impossible to sell either though the Mac App Store or Microsoft's forthcoming Metro app store.

[Herb Sevush] "If "one click" Youtube is a big hit, every NLE on the market will adapt it, it's not like it's difficult technology."

[Herb Sevush] "In what way is it optimized for laptops more than any other NLE? Do you mean PPro on a MBpro can't use a TBolt raid?"

The above two arguments are analogous to an argument one sometimes sees in geek circles that Apple is doing things all wrong with the iPad -- that if you were to take a 'real' desktop operating system and graft on some touch features, you'd have something more powerful and consequently 'better'. The massive success of iOS suggests this isn't true -- that the market values Apple's simplicity and focus. In many respects, FCP X is the iOS of the NLE market.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:43:04 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Adobe and Avid NLE products are presently packaged, priced and implemented in a way that makes them impossible to sell either though the Mac App Store or Microsoft's forthcoming Metro app store."

Oh, I see, you think the only changes coming down the pike will come from Apple. I'm going to guess that simplified "one click" software distribution is going to be commonplace soon, from everyone. Your so living in the past.


[Chris Kenny] "In many respects, FCP X is the iOS of the NLE market."

Here I agree with you totally.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:35:40 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Oh, I see, you think the only changes coming down the pike will come from Apple. I'm going to guess that simplified "one click" software distribution is going to be commonplace soon, from everyone. Your so living in the past."

If you believe Media Composer or Photoshop CS6 are showing up in the Mac or Metro app stores, you're not aware of the restrictions Apple and Microsoft are imposing on developers. This would not be a trivial undertaking.

We've seen Adobe's next big play in distribution -- it's 'Creative Cloud'. They don't want to join the Apple or Microsoft app store ecosystems, they want to go off and build their own thing. I'm sure their thinking is that their apps are sufficiently important and high-profile that they don't need to benefits that come with being in a platform's app store -- but they're creating an additional barrier for new users.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:44:07 pm

[Chris Kenny] "If you believe Media Composer or Photoshop CS6 are showing up in the Mac or Metro app stores, you're not aware of the restrictions Apple and Microsoft are imposing on developers."

No, what I'm saying is "one click" software distribution will not be limited to any current ap store. The distribution possibilities are endless, why do you think we/ve arrived at the end game?

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:52:06 pm

[Herb Sevush] "No, what I'm saying is "one click" software distribution will not be limited to any current ap store. The distribution possibilities are endless, why do you think we/ve arrived at the end game?"

Err... you can't do one-click installs unless you already have users' billing information and you have installer infrastructure already on their computers. Operating system vendors have this (well, Apple has it, Microsoft will have it). Third-party developers who eschew OS vendor app stores are going to be at a disadvantage vs. those who have products and business models that work with them.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:18:44 pm

Adobe has a similar systems in place with the AdobeID system. I have been downloading the CS starting with CS4, I believe.

I'm not saying that the App Store is easier or harder, but Adobe has this system in place and Creative Cloud will probably make it even more streamlined. They also have easier Volume Licensing if you're in to that sort of thing.

For Herb, I would also encourage you to watch Adobe's presentation that steamed today and perhaps gain some insight as to where content creation MIGHT be heading, obviously it's not from an Apple perspective.

Apple isn't the only one that's thinking about content creation "ecosystems". They aren't doing it quite like Apple, but they certainly aren't not thinking different, if you can follow that double negatory.

Jeremy


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:33:51 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Adobe has a similar systems in place with the AdobeID system. I have been downloading the CS starting with CS4, I believe."

Yeah. For people who are already in the Adobe ecosystem. This is the key distinction. Users are in the platform vendor's ecosystem essentially by default. If third parties want them in their ecosystems as well, that's an additional hurtle users have to get over before buying/installing their apps. Many new users entering the market won't do that; they'll pick the path of least resistance, the obvious solution. If you're a Mac user who wants to get into video editing and FCP X is the top paid app in the Mac App Store (as it has been fairly consistently), guess what NLE you're probably installing?

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:49:32 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Yeah. For people who are already in the Adobe ecosystem. This is the key distinction. Users are in the platform vendor's ecosystem essentially by default. If third parties want them in their ecosystems as well, that's an additional hurtle users have to get over before buying/installing their apps. Many new users entering the market won't do that; they'll pick the path of least resistance, the obvious solution. If you're a Mac user who wants to get into video editing and FCP X is the top paid app in the Mac App Store (as it has been fairly consistently), guess what NLE you're probably installing?"

I hear you, but it's not like Adobe doesn't have a system in place.

Also, the Creative Cloud will allow "temporary" rentals for which someone can try out the software beyond the free trial and it's cheaper than FCPX.

I also agree that in the current state, the appstore is impossible for Adobe.


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:50:17 am

[Chris Kenny] "Many new users entering the market won't do that; they'll pick the path of least resistance, the obvious solution."

Dedicated professional editors who's livelihood is based on the tools they use are not going to be put off by having to enter their credit card info at a website.

And I don't see typical Ap purchasers, used to buying games at $4.99 for their Iphone, purchasing $299 software for their as yet non professional video use.

I don't see FCPX as a whim purchase. If they're serious, the xtra 5 keystrokes to download Adobe won't matter. If they're not serious the $299 price will matter.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:00:36 am

[Herb Sevush] "Dedicated professional editors who's livelihood is based on the tools they use are not going to be put off by having to enter their credit card info at a website."

True. But winning new users now is probably the key to dominating the market in five years.

[Herb Sevush] "And I don't see typical Ap purchasers, used to buying games at $4.99 for their Iphone, purchasing $299 software for their as yet non professional video use. "

I agree that FCP X probably isn't going to be purchased by many casual hobbyists. But you're trying to divide the world into "dedicated professional editors" and casual hobbyists. That's not accurate. There are non-casual hobbyists, people interested in becoming professional editors, people who aren't technically professional editors but have some 'serious' reason to want to be able to edit video, etc.

Take, say, a high school student who wants to try to break into shooting and editing by trying to book wedding jobs. This kid isn't a 'dedicated professional editor', but it's not too hard to see him buying FCP X. (And if he's really interested in editing, who knows what kind of projects he'll be booking five years later?)

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Richard Herd
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 25, 2012 at 10:35:35 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Take, say, a high school student who wants to try to break into shooting and editing by trying to book wedding jobs. This kid isn't a 'dedicated professional editor', but it's not too hard to see him buying FCP X. (And if he's really interested in editing, who knows what kind of projects he'll be booking five years later?)"

Nailed it exactly, for me. I'm a Digital Media Arts teacher. I just won a grant and bought iMacs and FCPX along with Adobe Creative Suite. I still need Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. But I decided not to teach After Effects because of the price barrier.

Two of my students just won scholarships. They shot short films and documentaries. They are so eager to learn it's amazing. They are 16.

What kind of projects will they be booking when they are 21?


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Walter Soyka
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:06:40 am

[Herb Sevush] "Dedicated professional editors who's livelihood is based on the tools they use are not going to be put off by having to enter their credit card info at a website."

Agreed. If you can use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, After Effects, Premiere Pro, or any of the other apps in the suite, you can probably figure out how to buy it without a one-click app store.

Likewise, if you can get by with an App Store competitor to one of the above, you are likely not in Adobe's target market anyway.

Chris, I do get your point that Apple is targeting a larger market than the traditional digital content creators that the other 3 A's are targeting -- but so what? Do you really think there's no room for differentiation in the creative professional space?

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: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 10:18:35 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Adobe and Avid NLE products are presently packaged, priced and implemented in a way that makes them impossible to sell either though the Mac App Store or Microsoft's forthcoming Metro app store."

Sorry Chris, but you're info is not up to date, at least per Adobe. If I sell you Production Premium today, I have the option of selling you the retail package or the download from Adobe. So, whatever benefit you just gave to X in that regard no longer applies.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Chris Harlan
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 10:30:29 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "[Chris Kenny] "Adobe and Avid NLE products are presently packaged, priced and implemented in a way that makes them impossible to sell either though the Mac App Store or Microsoft's forthcoming Metro app store."

Sorry Chris, but you're info is not up to date, at least per Adobe. If I sell you Production Premium today, I have the option of selling you the retail package or the download from Adobe. So, whatever benefit you just gave to X in that regard no longer applies."


And Amazon.


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:42:58 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Sorry Chris, but you're info is not up to date, at least per Adobe. If I sell you Production Premium today, I have the option of selling you the retail package or the download from Adobe. So, whatever benefit you just gave to X in that regard no longer applies."

Selling downloadable apps from a web site (where users have to enter credit card information and download and navigate and installer) is not remotely the same thing as selling apps from an OS-integrated app store (which already has user billing information and from which an app can be installed with one or two clicks). The difference might seem trivial to tech-savvy computer folks, but it's far from trivial, and so are its market implications.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Jules bowman
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:33:09 am

Marian Carey has sold millions upon millions of records. Are you suggesting her records couldn't have been better? Are you suggesting her records should be considered as better than every record that sold less? Are you saying because more people have bought a Mariah Carey record it is therefore BETTER than a Tom Waits record, musically that is?

The geek circles may be right. And if something more was made of it, how do you know it would have sold less?

Is populism you benchmark?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 10:12:43 pm

[Chris Kenny] "There is a long-term trend away from high-priced specialty products. Look at the long-term erosion of Avid's market share -- none of the fundamental factors that were responsible for that trend have changed. The idea that a high-end-only product will win the next round of the NLE wars runs contrary to all of this. It's highly unlikely."

I don't agree with most of your premises in the paragraph above Chris. Your appraisal of Smoke as a "high-end only" product is no longer accurate.

The fact that $3500 Smoke 2013 combines ease of basic editing with a whole lot of Flame under its hood, makes it supremely valuable to almost every editor now, from rank beginners to the most knowledgeable experts, so long as they have higher aspirations than YouTube.

Think of it like the new Hyundai Genesis 3.8 / R-Spec 5.0 - you don't have to be a race driver to want 439 horsepower under the hood. It's not cheap, but it's got what the high-end competition has when you really need to step on it, but for a fraction of what the high-end costs.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:38:14 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I don't agree with most of your premises in the paragraph above Chris. Your appraisal of Smoke as a "high-end only" product is no longer accurate. "

It's nearly 12 times the price of FCP X, and while its UI has been improved, most new users are still going to bounce right off of it. I would be seriously surprised if as many as 5% of editors routinely cut in Smoke three years from now.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Tim Wilson
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:17:41 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Has everyone forgotten history so quickly? The original Final Cut Pro initially found its way into the market because it was one of the first NLE products to seriously embrace DV/FireWire -- consumer video technologies that pros initially didn't take seriously (one recalls extensive arguments over the definition of 'broadcast quality')."


Chris, I think this is absolutely critical to keep squarely in focus.

Not only that, it was the first NLE that could easily do full-resolution "broadcast quality" work on a laptop. (You can also thank Panasonic for their major contribution with DVCPRO HD for kicking it up a couple of notches.)

That's the irony I find in the "no tower=no pro whatever." FCP was designed to work great on whatever you had handy -- MacBook Air, iMac, Fry Baby, Cuisinart, you name it.

Lighter and lighter-weight codecs are making it more and more possible. They didn't show it in the booth, but Blackmagic's secret suite demo showed their visually lossless 4K codec at about 35mb/s off a Thunderbolt thumb drive.

KIDDING, but you know it's coming.

No tower=no sweat. Or not. :-) But in any case, FCP was the one that started the trend away from towers in the first place.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Chris Harlan
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:43:09 am

[Tim Wilson] "but Blackmagic's secret suite demo showed their visually lossless 4K codec at about 35mb/s off a Thunderbolt thumb drive.

KIDDING, but you know it's coming."


You *&^%er! My jaw actually dropped reading that line. And now I'm angry to know its not true. I want my 35MB/s 4K! I want it now!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:55:05 am

Higher compression 4k Redcode is not far from 35 MB/sec

35 mb/sec though, is far away. Big difference in mb vs MB.

The more long GOP compression, the more CPU you need, though, at reduced overall bandwidth.

Less compressed or uncompressed footage is easier to playback computationally, but at a higher bandwidth.

This has been your 15 second conversation interrupter. We now return you to your regularly scheduled speculation symposium.

Jeremy


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Chris Harlan
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 4:02:53 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Higher compression 4k Redcode is not far from 35 MB/sec

35 mb/sec though, is far away. Big difference in mb vs MB.
"


Jeremy, you tweaker! Yes, I know. Which is why I typed "MB" instead of "Mb." Since "mb" is neither "MB" or "Mb," and really nothing, I took "visually lossless 4K at 35mb/s" as an uncapitalized "visually lossless 4K at 35MB/s" because it would be terrific, and I can conceive of it. Since I cannot conceive of "visually lossless 4K at 35Mb/s," I just didn't think that that was what he was writing. But your assessment of me, friend Jeremy, is that I don't know the difference between my bits and bytes. I must leave a sorry impression.

[Jeremy Garchow] "This has been your 15 second conversation interrupter. We now return you to your regularly scheduled speculation symposium.
"


This had me laughing for a good minute, but to be fair, its late, I'm still working and waiting on another Aspera feed, so I think I'm just about punchy enough to laugh at anything. Since its a Sizzle I'm working on, I currently also have the mother of all ear worms.


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Tim Wilson
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 25, 2012 at 5:29:30 am

And for the record, since I was making sh^t up, I figured I might as well go for mb rather than MB...since as Jeremy points out, MB is perilously close to NOT making sh^t up.

[Note to Grant: Let me know if my "correction" - heh heh heh - needs more work. And again, sorry for letting the cat out of the bag.]

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Chris Harlan
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 25, 2012 at 6:15:23 am

[Tim Wilson] "And for the record, since I was making sh^t up, I figured I might as well go for mb rather than MB...since as Jeremy points out, MB is perilously close to NOT making sh^t up.

[Note to Grant: Let me know if my "correction" - heh heh heh - needs more work. And again, sorry for letting the cat out of the bag.]
"



Yes but MB, still would have been cool, and was convincing. Mb wouldn't have got my goat at all. And, mb still isn't anything.


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Richard Cardonna
Adobe can beat smoke
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:30:34 pm

I am sure that adobe can catchup to smoke with just plugins (at first) And could run on windows heavy iron with more power than smoke on an highend imac with 20 daisy chains thunderbolt contraptions and a much better price.

Porting smoke to window would be awsome but as I was told not an easy job because its unix based.

But, lets see.

Richard C


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:00:02 pm

"I don't care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right." attributed variously to P.T. Barnum, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and Big Tim Sullivan.

I prefer the american to the roman.

As for the perfection of Apple's intent.

After the rollout the released the "roadmap" for the next year, clearly as a reaction to the blowback they were getting. They, very quietly, un-EOL'd FCP7 thru over the phone sales, also, one can surmise, because of the feedback they were getting. No matter how you look at the recent "seat" numbers, they are loosing percentage in market share. Anecdotally they seem to be loosing some of their presence in various film schools around the country. They are now backtracking on their design concepts by promising to include a 2nd viewer window in upcoming releases. They claimed that it was impossible to import old FCP7 projects into FCPX, now third party developers are doing it.

I don't think a perfect rollout would require a near constant backtracking by the "roller." I think Apple took their #1 position in the NLE market and threw it in the toilet for many of the reasons you laid out. I don't know if that larger market they think exists, exists. I do know that I am switching not just software but also hardware to the PC platform. I don't think I'm alone.

the other thing to consider is what would have happened if they created FCP8. 64 bit, anything on the timeline, metadata intensive - but with tracks, 2 viewers, multicam, broadcast out, XML, OMF, EDL. They could have changed the data structure but kept it operationally similar. It could have been as "Apple" as they liked, but still respected basic editing conventions. It was quite possible to do, look at a lot of their software - Pages, Keynote, Safari - they didn't reinvent the wheel there.

OK given a FCP8 rollout at the same price as X, what would have happened? Less noise, of course, but I think it would have sold better, their market share would have increased, their future just as bright.

We'll never know about the alternative, time will tell about their choices.

A perfect rollout - only in the bizzaro world.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:33:35 pm

[Herb Sevush] "No matter how you look at the recent "seat" numbers, they are loosing percentage in market share."

Margin-of-error losses in a survey that probably ignores most the target demographic (see below).

[Herb Sevush] "I don't think a perfect rollout would require a near constant backtracking by the "roller." I think Apple took their #1 position in the NLE market and threw it in the toilet for many of the reasons you laid out. I don't know if that larger market they think exists, exists."

It has existed for years. It's the market that bought most of the copies of classic FCP as well. How many people do you think are employed by post facilities or broadcasters in the US? FCP X had more than 2M licensed users. I doubt more than 5% of them were doing film/broadcast work -- and this is before we even discuss all the freelancers who probably pirated classic FCP, many of whom might buy legal copies of FCP X now that App Store distribution has made it cheaper and easier.

[Herb Sevush] "the other thing to consider is what would have happened if they created FCP8. 64 bit, anything on the timeline, metadata intensive - but with tracks, 2 viewers, multicam, broadcast out, XML, OMF, EDL. They could have changed the data structure but kept it operationally similar. It could have been as "Apple" as they liked, but still respected basic editing conventions."

It's not "Apple" to not question basic user interface assumptions. Which is why I predicted they'd do precisely this with FCP X over a year before it shipped.

An "FCP 8" certainly would have been better received in these forums, but whether it would have had the same long-term potential is unclear. FCP X's long-term potential will be determined primarily by its appeal to new users. I suspect Apple believes its new interface will have more appeal than a traditional NLE UI, and Apple has a pretty good record with these things.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 8:38:03 pm

[Chris Kenny] "It's not "Apple" to not question basic user interface assumptions."

So where is the "assumption questioning" with Safari?

Itunes is the least "Apple" program they own, I don't see them tossing it out the window.

This mantra that Apple questions and rethinks everything is PR bullpoo.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:02:06 pm

[Herb Sevush] "So where is the "assumption questioning" with Safari?"

A browser is quite limited in this respect because much of how it works is dictated by how the Web itself works, which is outside of Apple's control.

[Herb Sevush] "Itunes is the least "Apple" program they own, I don't see them tossing it out the window."

iTunes was originally an outside acquisition (though it did get a major UI makeover), and I'd actually consider it quite likely that Apple will toss it out the window. It still contains Carbon code and some archaic UI (unnecessary model dialogs, etc.). It was built for the era when the Mac was your "digital hub". Now iCloud is. I think it's inevitable we'll see iTunes replaced with a a ground-up rewrite designed more as a client than a hub -- probably within the next two years.

[Herb Sevush] "This mantra that Apple questions and rethinks everything is PR bullpoo."

Because they don't do it for every generation of every product? Doesn't follow.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:12:15 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Because they don't do it for every generation of every product? Doesn't follow."

Because they don't alwas do it. This is your quote from a previous post:

"It's not "Apple" to not question basic user interface assumptions"

I am merely pointing out that it is sometimes very Apple not to question interface assumptions. That they chose to do it here cannot be explained by the argument "but they always do that" when quite clearly they don't "always do that."

[Chris Kenny] "iTunes was originally an outside acquisition "

When they re-do this very important consumer Ap, we'll see if they also make it incompatible with the previous version and require users to reload everything and throw out all their song lists.

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


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Bill Davis
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 4:20:20 am

[Herb Sevush] "When they re-do this very important consumer Ap, we'll see if they also make it incompatible with the previous version and require users to reload everything and throw out all their song lists.
"


Sounds a bit like the iCloud rollout to me.

; )

"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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Tim Wilson
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:02:54 pm

[Herb Sevush] "And I am patiently explaining that the upgrade could have preserved what was valuable in the old without tossing the baby out. Adobe and Avid among many others have managed to upgrade their basic software without destroying the workflow of their users.

I assume that this is still true, but when I was there, this was a great concern. It was sometimes maddening to sit in customer facilities where they demanded that Media Composer change to keep up with Final Cut Pro, then walk through step by step them: What if we changed THIS? "No." What about THIS? "NO." Or this? "HELL NO!"

No disrespect intended to either Avid or the customers, because this really is a very difficult row to hoe.

Which is why, in the end, Steve didn't want to talk to customers. I can cite interviews in both 1985 and 2008 (and did in the article I referenced above) where he explained why: customers will ALWAYS favor what they know. In the 2008 interview, he specifically said that customers can't see around the corner, so why ask?

Pretty arrogant, even for Steve. Maybe we should start some Chuck Norris-style meme. Steve Jobs could see around corners, and the corner after THAT. He could see all the way around the world so clearly that he could kick your ass even while you were behind him, without even turning around.



Apple chose not to, basically because Steve Jobs found it hard to edit his family's home movies. Now there's a great reason for change."

I'm not saying that any of this was GOOD, or done for any right reasons other than the ones I mentioned: he wanted it to look and act like Apple, and he wanted it to do something completely new. They could NOT do that and maintain old workflows -- because at the end, neither Adobe nor Avid changed anything FUNDAMENTAL.

Why? Because they care about maintaining continuity. Apple, not so much. Their whole heritage, from the origin of Mac, was founded on dis-continuity. People love it when it works for them, and don't when it doesn't.

Also as I mentioned, I really really like what Adobe and Avid have done. :-)

I should have said this a lot earlier, but I'm glad that it appears that nobody has taken my "zombie-Borg FCP" ANALOGIES as saying anything about FCP as YOU experience it. It's obviously been doing awesome things for you awesome people for a very long time. I was speaking from an imaginary perspective that I also obviously think is pretty accurate, rhetorical/humorous exaggeration notwithstanding.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:17:41 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I'm not saying that any of this was GOOD, or done for any right reasons other than the ones I mentioned: he wanted it to look and act like Apple, and he wanted it to do something completely new."

My point is that this works with consumer products because SJ was a consumer, he could understand their wants and needs without feedback because his feedback was all the guid he needed. This does not work with technical specialist software - neither SJ nor R. Ubilos is an editor and knows what would make for a "visionary" editing experience. They can make Imovie, a hobbyist editor, because they are hobbyists. To think that the same holds true for pro NLE editing is to think he could design a commercial airliner because he used flight simulator.

I am in no way saying your incorrect as to what actually happened at Apple. I am saying calling the rollout a "success" needs a redefinition of the word.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:29:24 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I am merely pointing out that it is sometimes very Apple not to question interface assumptions. That they chose to do it here cannot be explained by the argument "but they always do that" when quite clearly they don't "always do that.""

They almost always do it with totally new products. Compare iOS to classic PalmOS, for instance -- the latter brought over all sorts of desktop interface conventions like drop-drop and popup menus and desktop-style scrollbars. iOS is much more radical departure from traditional desktop UI conventions.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:41:04 pm

[Chris Kenny] "They almost always do it with totally new products."

We seem to be talking in circles here. Yes they take the opportunity to rethink totally new products, but FCP was not a new product. They *chose* to make it a new product because they *chose* to rethink it. It was the market leader, it needed a 64 bit upgrade, it was not a new product and they specifically chose to throw all that out when it was not the case that they did that with other applications. As is the case with Itunes they can also chose not to create new products. So it is not the case that they "always do it" - and changing language from "rethinking" to "creating new products" doesn't change the truth of the situation.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:48:29 pm

[Herb Sevush] "We seem to be talking in circles here. Yes they take the opportunity to rethink totally new products, but FCP was not a new product. They *chose* to make it a new product because they *chose* to rethink it."

FCP X was a totally new product because Apple had to rewrite it for technical reasons.

[Herb Sevush] "It was the market leader, it needed a 64 bit upgrade,"

This is misleading. There was no way to 'port' the existing FCP codebase to 64-bit, the way Adobe presumably moved Premiere Pro to 64-bit. Classic FCP was written directly on top of, and heavily tied into, Carbon/QuickTime APIs that will never be available in the 64-bit world. Yes, Apple did have the option of writing a totally new Cocoa app that was extremely similar to the old Carbon app (they did this with the Finder in Snow Leopard), but one way or the other the thing needed a rewrite, not an 'upgrade'. Given Apple's MO, it was predictable that they would take the opportunity to rethink some things.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Tim Wilson
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:20:45 am

[Herb Sevush] "I am saying calling the rollout a "success" needs a redefinition of the word."

Not for Apple it doesn't. They accomplished what they set out to do...at least part of which was to make crystal clear that the past is the past, and that their priorities going forward might have little to do with what mattered to you for FCP's first dozen years.

Mission accomplished?

What I've been talking about has absolutely no reference to FCP's 2011 customers. For them/you, a different story of course. So what looks to Apple like a glass very nearly full may look very nearly empty to you....assuming that you agree that there's a glass at all. And indeed, many here do not. :-)

(With apologies to those for whom X is exciting, whether in its current state or its future potential. I get that. For those who don't agree, I think in fairness that Apple has a pretty good track record of putting things together in new ways after blowing them up. Like Mac vis a vis everything that Apple had done before that.)

So I don't think that you and I disagree at all, Herb. You're looking at it from a customer's point of view -- which YOU SHOULD. As an exercise in "WTF?" on my part, the release of FCPX makes sense to me if I look at it from Apple's point of view, without any reference to its effect on current customers.

Which is what I'm saying Apple did. I'm saying that Apple placed their priorities AS APPLE, TO APPLE, ahead of their priorities as the people who set you on this path in the first place.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Chris Kenny
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:32:33 am

[Tim Wilson] "(With apologies to those for whom X is exciting, whether in its current state or its future potential. I get that. For those who don't agree, I think in fairness that Apple has a pretty good track record of putting things together in new ways after blowing them up. Like Mac vis a vis everything that Apple had done before that.)"

Or OS X -- a lot of dedicated Mac users freaked out about OS X, and spent the better part of a year insisting Apple had ruined the Mac.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:58:23 am

I think all of this can be summed up as 'Apple aren't stupid and are doing what they want'. Chris has reminded us that whenever someone does something others like it, hate or or are totally indifferent.

So like it or lump it FCPX is a drifting in a direction some like but many hate, not just because it dares to be a bit different but because it doesn't do the same thing that other systems do or FCP7 did. Apple have their reasons and methodologies which we can argue about but hardly influence.

The endless circular nature of this keeps throwing up the same arguments without changing much. The rest will be a matter for hindsight and the usual revisionist viewpoints. Continue...


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Jim Giberti
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:28:17 am

[Michael Gissing] " Apple have their reasons and methodologies which we can argue about but hardly influence."

Never doubt the power to influence.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: One Year Later, redux: Apple, FCPX and The Perfect Roll-out
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:39:15 am

[Michael Gissing] "So like it or lump it FCPX is a drifting in a direction some like but many hate, not just because it dares to be a bit different but because it doesn't do the same thing that other systems do or FCP7 did. "

That doesn't account for what it does well, or for what it does differently than other NLEs, in a "better" way. Better is in quotes becuase it truly is subjective.

You might not like X's strengths personally, but that doesn't make any less powerful.

With a few free/low cost add-ons, FCPX can almost do what fcp7 did. Almost.

Does some of it need work, yes, and lots of it.

Generic XML import is not there, but fcpXML seems to be working well enough to get out to other industry standard tools (and back).

Audio channel configuration is not up to speed, but stem export is a breeze, complete with video stems if you'd like.

I could go on, but I won't. It's super easy to say what isn't working (or what doesnt work exactly like fcp7), but there's also some that does, and does it well. I'm sure you can say that about any piece of media creation software.

Jeremy


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