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What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?

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Grant Gomm
What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 2:48:16 pm

I've tried to stay current with all of the discussions here on the cow about FCPX, and I decided to hang on to my FCP7 and see how it all plays out.

But it makes me wonder about Apple's intentions. What do you think they are?

Are they honestly trying to provide the best possible product for the professional market, and really screwed up (or maybe in your opinion they were successful),
OR
Do they feel there's more money to be made in the consumer/prosumer market - even if it costs them some loyal supporters, and do they REALLY care if past users jump ship? For every pro-editor who migrates somewhere else, how many customers do they gain from the consumer market?

And btw, when I say pro-market, I'm talking about competing with pp5.5, avid, etc...
Consumer/prosumer markets = anything from Aunt May making videos of the baby shower she hosted to Brett from Brett's moving service who is making a promo spot for his website, to Tyler who just graduated from highschool and is planning on winning an oscar for his feature indie he shot and edited on his MBP in starbucks. Also in this list include Laura who's best friend is getting married next month and she wants to make a wedding video, and maybe she'll go pro and do other weddings after; and don't forget Fred who is in middle school and just wants to play around and make funny videos for his friends and upload them to YouTube, and so on and so on and so on...

Where will Apple make the most money? What do you think is Apple's goal here? Can you back it up?

-Grant Gomm
http://www.blacklionproductions.com


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Chris Kenny
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:08:51 pm

I think Apple shipped when they had a product that would be useful to a decent number of number of users, but one shouldn't read into this a lack of interest on Apple's part in making the product useful to more users in the future.

It's really that simple.

And yes, Apple cares if high-end users jump ship. They bragged about post house and broadcast market share as part of the FCP X announcement.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Eugene Lehnert
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:17:36 pm

Why didn't they just call it Final Cut Pro Express? I don't understand how someone made this decision and expected everyone to follow through with this release? It reeks of arrogance. Are they Apple or Microsoft now?



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Chris Kenny
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:24:19 pm

[Eugene Lehnert] "Why didn't they just call it Final Cut Pro Express?"

Because that would imply a separate product with high-end features, but assuming my interpretation is correct, the missing high-end workflow features will simply be added to this product over time.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Grant Gomm
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:37:15 pm

Hey Chris,
Thanks for your input. I really hope your right. However, I feel like I don't have a good handle as to why you'd be right. Do you have evidence or sources that say "this is apple's plan..."?

-Grant Gomm
http://www.blacklionproductions.com


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Chris Kenny
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:46:29 pm

[Grant Gomm] "Do you have evidence or sources that say "this is apple's plan..."?"

Start here.

However, during my direct briefing, the Apple folk made it abundantly clear that the ecosystem was very important to them, and that there will be a new, and much improved, replacement for the current XML workflow. That’s entirely consistent with what I’d heard pre-release that there would be a new form of XML and that it would be accessed by some sort of SDK (Software Developer Kit).


So Apple essentially told Philip Hodgetts flat out that they're working on the 'ecosystem' issue, which is the bulk of the problem with the 1.0 release.

From the same source, on multi-cam:

At the initial release of version 1, Final Cut Pro X does not have a multicamera editing feature, a.k.a. multicam. I was told that Apple have, with Final Cut Pro X, been re-examining everything to work out how to reimagine and improve it. Multicam will come in a future release, when Apple decide how best to implement it within the new application and architecture.


The other major problem is video output, but between possible AVFoundation upgrades in Lion and the changing peripheral landscape with Thunderbolt, there are all sorts of reasons why they might be taking a little longer.

See also my discoveries digging around in the FCP X binary file here.

Since then I've also discovered a framework included with FCP X called "MediaIO" that seems to contain references to serial deck control features. (Which I find surprising, really; it is fairly believable that Apple would be willing to leave advanced deck interaction to third-party software.)

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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J Hussar
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 5:12:52 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Because that would imply a separate product with high-end features, but assuming my interpretation is correct, the missing high-end workflow features will simply be added to this product over time."



Chris, seriously, you are all over apologizing for Apple - I get it, you like them - and so do I. I was on Mac even when the PC world said it was dead.

But you are simply guessing, and hoping and speculating. What I see is factual, right in front of me - no pro features.

The big picture is IOS for them, consumer level products - that's it. They have slowly killed all their pro apps that they acquired. They are all about iPhones, iPads, iMacs, etc. now.

I see absolutely NO reason to believe this wasn't intentional - and they are calling it 'PRO' so the skater kid making a video 'thinks' that he's a 'pro.' We are not part of Apple's IOS finger gesture future.



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Chris Kenny
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 5:58:27 pm

[J Hussar] "The big picture is IOS for them, consumer level products - that's it.

This is inconsistent with several of the features of FCP X (e.g. high-precision floating point image processing, 4K support, DPX/OpenEXR export, pretty credible video scopes, organization features to support long-form projects) and inconsistent with what Apple has told Philip Hodgetts about future FCP X features.

Apple has had a lot of success in consumer markets. Some folks in this industry seem to determined to attribute every disappointment to that, somehow, but it really doesn't make any sense. A year ago, the fact that FCP hadn't been rewritten as a 64-bit Cocoa app was used as evidence that Apple only cared about consumers. Yet Avid Media composer also wasn't (and still isn't) 64-bit. Is that because Avid is also too focused on phones and tablets? Frankly, a lot of people just have very unrealistic expectations with respect to how long software development takes.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:19:27 pm

[Chris Kenny] "nd yes, Apple cares if high-end users jump ship. They bragged about post house and broadcast market share as part of the FCP X announcement.
"


yeah, thats called clever PR and managing the market, if they'd just come straight out and said they were ditching the pro market there would have been a firestorm. They're doing this in stages. Apple have shipped a product they want on the machines of everyone who has an iphone, an ipad and an ipod.

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


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Peter Blumenstock
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:35:25 pm

Just because Apple announced it at pro event doesn't mean a darn thing. The used the opportunity to promote an upcoming product and used terminology appealing to that crowd. Apart from that, there is not a single thing here that points in the direction of professional users. Nothing, zero, zilch.
And before you tell me it does 4k: they popped in such a setting, that's all. In an application that doesn't even let me export four channels of discreet audio (and that has nothing to do with features they dropped but with the very basic way this app and its stupid trackless timeline works).
Apart from that announcement speak, give a reason why you think they care for the pro market. Give me an explanation why they cannot continue selling FCP Studio alongside FCP X till your predicted upcoming features are in there so people can work.


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Buddy Couch
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 4:20:56 pm

Pro means many different things to many people. I can assure you a professional baseball player doesn't put a minor league player in his level of "pro". Its definitely more of a minor league software at the moment. Some very smart people on these forums have legitimate complaints against Apple. If I was Apple, I would get on the ball with addressing the high priority ones ASAP.

You can still buy new copies of Final Cut Studio an such from retailers like Amazon. They are continuing to get new copies as well. If you need the advanced features that defines it as 'pro' for you, then keep using studio. If you can use what it offers then try out X. Although even I must say it doesn't offer much in the arena of editing that Imovie can't do LOL.

I think most 'pros' here would rather have had final cut express with a different intro screen than what X is. I have had another day to mess around with X and I have to agree with the clunky remarks.


Buddy


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John Berpskin
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 3:55:02 pm

I have read and read and read reactions from posters all over this forum and finally had to register so I could share my two cents. This is the perfect topic to start with. I have a lot of ideas about where Apple is headed (unfounded mind you - just opinion) but here goes -

1 - I think Apple is at the start of something very revolutionary that will carry a new way of thinking/producing on NLE just like they did 10 years ago. The release the other day is a means for you to start thinking/experiencing the shift in approach while still using existing FCP 7 . Only reason i can think of why the two coexist.

2 - I think Apple is AWARE of the fact that large post production houses are among the top 10 dying industries reported earlier this year. (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/top-10-dying-industries-us-include-newspapers-telecom/story?id=13292328) and are looking to the INDIVIDUAL editor for future sales - not the larger post houses.

3 - I DO NOT think they are looking to alienate pros - just evolve them. Those interested in the evolution with grow with the product - those unwilling are given a $300 chance to evaluate and jump ship.

4 - I think apple is aware that tape is dying and that file based is the future.

5 - I think Apple is aware that TV is dying and on demand/online is the future with content upload becoming more and more accepted for broadcast. Hell, vivex accepts uploads now.

6 - I think Apple has taken the steps to start a NEW PLATFORM designed SPECIFICALLY for file-centric based structure (DSLR Cameras, Red, Etc) instead of tape based WITH the ability to import file based. Think about it - no one has created a program from that angle.

7 - I think it is WAY TOO EARLY to say what will be implemented and what will be dropped. No one knows these particulars of the program and it is far too early to speculate. But I do think the current 1.0 version is nothing more than a way to launch the program bare boned and then develop.

Just my opinion.


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Peter Blumenstock
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 4:10:55 pm

So why not continue selling FCP Studio for those who still need the "old" workflows, the post houses that haven't gone bust, the people who edit for film, who need multicam, who need proper audio mixing, work with RED and have invested thousands and thousands of dollars into that platform????


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John Berpskin
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 4:33:49 pm

"So why not continue selling FCP Studio for those who still need the "old" workflows, the post houses that haven't gone bust, the people who edit for film, who need multicam, who need proper audio mixing, work with RED and have invested thousands and thousands of dollars into that platform????"

Because editors are a stubborn lot and rarely embrace change. FCP 7 still exists (in my opinion) on your HD for a reason - they don't want to fully porting over to FCP X yet. Some of the processes that X will offer will take some time to get used to. So keep using 7 but start getting accustomed with X. As for all the other features mentioned (multicam/film/audio mixing/etc) I have seen NO RELEASE that states will not be implemented or addressed and any talk of it not being implemented at this point id just rumor.

My opinion, again, is that they will be added IN CONJUNCTION with Lion's release and further Thunderbolt development. With those two factors out there unsubstantiated, I again see this release as nothing more than a stripped down preview of things to come. They're not saying "this is it" but rather "this is what it's kinda going to look like."

As for still selling FCP, why? In their eyes, it's part of the old way of thinking and a closed chapter. And while i have read countless threads from people about how final cut server/omf/xml/multican/red IS NOT REPRESENTED in this version, I have read NOTHING that states it never will.

Again...my opinion.


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Peter Blumenstock
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 4:44:07 pm

None of this helps me or any other post house one single bit if I need antoher licence of the old FCP to get 90 percent of work done that FCP X can't.


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John Berpskin
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 5:55:56 pm

Hence the reason they left FCP 7 intact after install.


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Gary Huff
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 6:53:35 pm

FCP X is being groomed to eventually go to iOS, as will all of Apple's hardware offerings at some point in the (relatively) near future.


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David Burch
Re: What's Apple's Strategy with FCPX?
on Jun 23, 2011 at 7:48:38 pm

That would be well and good if there was an easy to way port a project from FCP7 to FCPX and back again. I could work around the no multicam feature, for instance, if I could start a project in FCP7, edit the multiclip portion, and then open the project up in FCPX and finish the rest of the project out. As of now I have no way of doing this.

I agree with the person who said they simply released a product as fast as they could, and plan on implementing features later. At least I hope that's the case. This next year will be a crucial time for Apple's market share in the pro industry. They have already released updates that fixes the lack of XCDAM EX support; let's see if they can be as timely with implementing the missing features.


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