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X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store

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Darren Roark
X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:59:59 pm

I bought X2ProLE and today needed the full version. So I went to buy the in app purchase upgrade, it says it doesn't exist. Can't find it in my purchases, or in the App Store.

So I called the developer, who since they are based in the U.K. have a guy living here in the states. He informed me that Apple cut them off due to nonpayment of their developer dues. They realized the mistake and said to them it would take about twenty four hours to come back. I have a major deadline today and so he sent me an installer. Great!

Not so fast...

The installer then wiped my MAS receipt on the LE version, and installed the full version. Only the Mac App Store pops up telling me "This is not a testing account" and then stopped the app from opening.

I spent hours on the phone with Apple who bounced me from person to person and they all said the same thing. "There isn't anything we can do about this."

This is making it much harder for me to enthusiastically endorse FCPX to people. If Apple cannot treat developers better who actually make the "Pro" part of FCPX possible, then I may have to reconsider using them.


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Marcus Moore
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:32:31 am

It seems like you ran into a very specific set of circumstances that unfortunately lined up at the most inopportune time. If anything, it's the developer's fault here, not Apple. What's Apple to do with a company not paying it's bills?

I don't think there's anything more wrong here than if Adobe's server went down and I couldn't install a CreativeCloud app for a day. Things happen. No system is perfect.



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Craig Seeman
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:41:24 am

[Marcus Moore] "Things happen. No system is perfect."

Try explaining that to a client when you're on deadline, the developer offers a fix and the MAS stands in the way.

Some developers have complained that they can roll out a bug fix and it can take days for MAS approval.



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Marcus Moore
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:48:48 am

I get it, I really do- but the developer screwed the pooch when they didn't pay their bills. A developer enters into the MAS agreement knowing they system. If they don't have a workaround for something like this happening that's MAS agnostic, then it's even more confusing that they didn't keep up with their end of the deal.



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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:58:52 am

I think you are misunderstanding the point.

According to them they DID pay their bills and it was a mistake on Apple's part who are taking a whole day to fix it. The company is based in the U.K. and they were gone for the day.

The support person here in the US who isn't himself a developer found an installer to give me. It suckerpunched my working LE version.


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Marcus Moore
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:07:59 am

He said, she said. It could have been an honest mistake on the developers part, or it could have been Apple's fault. We can't know for sure.

I'm just saying that there's a LOT of elements lining up here that put you in your current situation- the local guy's boo-boo, the time difference, the (possibly) unpaid bills, the tight deadline you're on.

The turnaround time for app approval is a problem, and perhaps as time goes on, Apple can instigate a process under which developers in good standing can earn a more expedient approval process for minor updates.

The problem seems to be that Apple has a lot to loose if they let something slip by, press-wise.

Do you know anyone else locally that can do the conversion?



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Craig Seeman
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:37:54 am

Have you tried logging out from MAS just in case being logged in does a check. Not sure if it'll work but I do know that people have moved from MAS purchases back to direct from developer purchases.

Personally I think the MAS is fundamentally flawed for professional use.



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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:53:02 am

I did try logging out and back. This was their version for internal use so it was tied to one of their testing accounts. Since they are based in London and the man who works for them here isn't a technical person, he had no way to send a version that worked for me.

Yes, the MAS is totally flawed for Pro use. In order to offer updates every app has to go through the sometimes month long approval process. Whenever a new issue comes up, you have to wait for that long sometimes if you upgraded. (I know, I should have backed up my working copy of X2Pro LE)

Whenever possible I always buy from the developer. In this case it's the only way available.


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Craig Seeman
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:06:43 am

[Darren Roark] "I did try logging out and back."

Don't log back in. You might even take the computer off its internet connection temporarily. It's just a gamble but if there's no communication with MAS you might be able to run it. If it's looking for the developer's MAS account, that may be the problem. Some installers may allow it to run independently for some period before it checks again. Just a gamble but it might work.

[Darren Roark] "In order to offer updates every app has to go through the sometimes month long approval process."

I know some developers will give you the option to buy from MAS or direct. Granted it's more work for the developer but when users depend on a product for professional use, the MAS wait for approval is a very serious problem.



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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:39:54 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it on my laptop, same thing. It's a bummer.


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Michael Gissing
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:05:14 am

I seem to recall expressing an opinion six months ago that there was a potential problem with having core functionality subbed out to third party developers. At the time I was told this was a non issue, indeed it was an advantage.

Sure this is just one person for one day but what happens to deadlines and workflows if Marquis was in cash flow difficulty and Apple bumps them off the app store for a month?? This is not a confidence booster to put it mildly.


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Marcus Moore
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:49:16 am

In a worst-case scenario, there are other options for getting this audio out of X. Xto7 and then export an OMF from Legacy.

I think if Apple is going to continue to let a 3rd party serve this functionality (and there's no way to know if this is a long or short term plan), then it's only a matter of time before other developers emerge. In fact, I'm fairly certain I've heard that more OMF exports options are on their way.

There IS a downside to 3rd party OMF export if there's only one supplier- but I still see an upside where specific functionality can be updated on a faster schedule than FCPX itself.

Apple never would have pushed out 17 updates to FCPX in the last year to address Legacy to X project translation. But Philip Hodgetts and his team have been able to do just that.



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Michael Gissing
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:19:34 am

Putting core functionality into software and making it work before release means you don't need third party developers to making so many updates.

I can see their may be upsides but my concern at the moment is that the downside is unacceptable when a single developer plus the apps store is the thin veneer of workflow stability.


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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:19:57 am

I also tried that. This particular project has so many sound edits that it was a mess when it got back to ye olde fcp7.

I do think that is Apple's long term plan to have 3rd party devs handle this. When I was on the other side of this argument, I pointed out that FCS 3 was $1299 a seat where this is $300 for all the computers you personally own.

Knowing now that any AAF functionality comes with a licensing fee going to Avid, it makes sense that if you are one of the rare pro people who need that sort of thing you should pay a la carte.

And I do think that this is a major flaw in the logic of the App Store system. If I forgot to pay my internet bill, it would only affect me, in this case it affects customers of their software. It's the old saying, cutting off your nose to spite your face.


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Michael Gissing
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:21:41 am

AAF has a license fee but OMF doesn't so the argument for not putting OMF functionality in FCPX holds no water for me.


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Michael Phillips
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:52:58 pm

I don't believe AAF has a license fee. See:
http://amwa.tv/developers.shtml

Developers have access to specification files, sample files, reference files, and an open source effort underway, also SMPTE ratification, etc.

AAF has been an open standard for many years.

Licensing from Avid is around development of DNxHD in a product and the ability to call it DNxHD versus SMPTE VC3. So there is a license fee for the Avid Media Toolkit (AMT) with DNxHD, etc. that many vendors have adopted - for example Resolve and Redcine X Pro's direct export of AAF. and MXF wrapped native DNxHD media. Same for camera and external recorders, etc. But AAF on its own does not have a license fee. There may be confusion that Avid started AAF as an extension to OMF 10-12 years ago, but many vendors are part of the organization, and anyone can join, vote, extend, etc.


Michael


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Craig Seeman
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 5:35:33 am

[Darren Roark] "And I do think that this is a major flaw in the logic of the App Store system. If I forgot to pay my internet bill, it would only affect me, in this case it affects customers of their software. It's the old saying, cutting off your nose to spite your face."

The irony it's not the third party developer so much as Apple's handling the issue that impacts professionals using an Apple product. Rather than pulling the product they could have sought a number of other remedies while ensuring that professional users still had access to needed tools.

Darren, this is one of those cases where I think you should send an email to Tim Cook articulating your concern that Apple's MAS store policies impair both the use and reputation of their own professional products. Their actions in handling an issue with a developer can actually result in both short and long term damage to your business and your relationship to your clients.



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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 5:44:49 am

Yes, I already have it written. As soon as he is back from China I plan on sending it.

It makes me miss Steve even more. So many things seem to be slipping away now.


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Craig Seeman
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 6:00:25 am

[Darren Roark] "It makes me miss Steve even more. So many things seem to be slipping away now."

I've heard Tim Cook is very responsive as well. You may not get an email back from him but you may get contacted from someone with authority to handle this.... but do consider that it was Cook responding to an email which set off the whole thing about something coming in 2013 in regards to MacPros.



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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 7:34:48 am

That was not to say that missing Steve meant I had any disrespect for Mr. Cook. I do feel that by the time the iPhone started to become so huge for them and Steve became very sick that their priorities shifted as a result. My point is, Mr. Jobs kept Pixar alive while he and them were hemorrhaging money.

I believe it was his strong and stubborn belief to keep them afloat whatever the cost meant he knew what it means to keep innovative tools in the hands of passionate professional creatives. I'm sure that's not lost on Mr. Cook, but I doubt we will ever see the likes of that sort of mind in charge of our future toys in my lifetime.


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Craig Seeman
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 5:29:16 pm

Jobs' approach to Apple was almost more a personal philosophy than a business model. That's one reason why he confounded people as well as showed "genius." In many respects he veered from or at least amalgamated things in ways others hadn't.

One thing we hope Jobs and Cook have in common is high standards in customer satisfaction, experience, service. This impacts product design as well as service points such as the retail and Mac App Store. It does seem they are very different in how they approach this though. I think this is impacting our experience of MAS.

Given MAS is a "customer" interface and tool, having a good customer experience has to be primary over Apple/Developer relations and that's what didn't happen in this case.

A key problem is that Apple doesn't differentiate between recreational and productivity tools. I've heard concerns before about the FCPX relationship to the MAS ecosystem. Developers are concerned about the long approval process for bug fix updates for example. They're also concerned that high priced items present problems because there's no upgrade vehicle. This fractures the FCPX ecosystem.



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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:45:51 am

The fact is, if they are telling the truth, which I am inclined to believe the developer, as I have read other instances of other developers having similar things happen. They paid their dues, Apple corrected the mistake, but it will take a day to come back to the App Store.

This wasn't a server catastrophe, this was just the bill collecting computer doing it's thing, and their unwillingness to expedite fixing the problem. Apple gets 30% off the top of every $150 sale. This was over the $99 yearly developer dues.

These people make a major function missing from FCPX possible. It's truly frustrating that they can't see that cutting off apps that directly add essential functionality to their key editing software will also affect their customers.


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James Mortner
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 4:31:34 pm

Did anyone else repor tthis issue? i.e. How many people do you think were affected by this.


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Patrice Freymond
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 8:38:40 pm

I was wondering why I could not upgrade my copy of X2Pro yesterday. App Store was saying that this software was not available. Wrote to Marquis about it but am still waiting for an answer...

Luckily I did not need it yesterday, but it has made me less confident of the whole App Store idea..

Patrice


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John Davidson
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 8:41:32 pm

Interesting thread. I think the MAS is potentially the best option for all things mac, plugins, etc. There's nothing worse for me than having to hunt down plugin serials from 100 different sources after I wipe a system or install a new HD, etc. Finding updates is a full-on nightmare, IMHO. Having an option built in where all your stuff comes right along with your MAS account is such a relief.

If only it worked perfectly. Right now it doesn't. X2Pro told me that it takes 3 weeks for updates to get processed. This needs to speed up, especially for Pro App third parties. Hopefully this will improve. I think that the world of 'buy this and you can use it on 2 seats' is out dated in the world of screen sharing, back to my mac, etc., and a big selling point for the MAS.

Let's hope Apple starts fast laning pro app developers for the MAS.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Craig Seeman
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:13:26 pm

I think you highlighted the benefits and pit falls of the MAS very well.

I'm glad you raised the "2 seat" issue.
On the one hand developer might be concerned in the loss of multiple unit sales but, as your workflow exemplifies, there's the loss of sales for plugin developers precisely because the 2 seat limit, discourages their use in distributive workflow.



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Darren Roark
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Jan 16, 2013 at 9:27:14 pm

The way Apple could prevent this from ever happening again is by deducting the dev dues from the payouts. Or at least withhold payments until they pay them. Anything but having essential applications become completely unavailable.

As an aside, it occurred to me that oddly the short that will be on Funny or Die soon is a parody of Apple product launch events. I wonder if they knew or something.


(John, loved the workflow tutorials BTW! Saw them on fcp.co You debunked so many of the fears in a calm straightforward manner.)


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Chris Steele
Re: X2Pro pulled from the Mac App Store
on Feb 11, 2013 at 11:47:37 am

Hi Everyone,
I've only just come across this post, so apologies for not attending to it sooner. I am Product Manager with Marquis and handle our relationship with Apple.
This episode where we disappeared from the app store was very unfortunate and I am truly sorry that any of you should have been affected by it.
Yes, you are right in that it was due to when we paid our subscription, but I still paid that 10 days before it was due to expire. This unfortunately combined with some app store downtime over the holidays and a bug in the store in recognising my payment.
The Apple team that handle 3rd party relationships were very responsive in getting on top of the issue and we had it sorted within 24 hours.
I am truly sorry if anyone contacted us and did not get a reply, we carefully monitor all our support emails and everyone that reaches us gets a reply that working day (UK time).

We continue to work on X2Pro and plan to include RED R3D media support in the next version.

Many thanks for your understanding,

Chris Steele
Product Marketing
Marquis Broadcast


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