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Craig Seeman
Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 3:41:10 pm

Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
http://www.screenlight.tv/blog/2013/03/05/will-avids-accounting-woes-spark-...

I don't know if I'd agree with him entirely on some of his reasoning but it's good to see someone looking at the numbers, the history, the key players and doing this kind of analysis.

I certainly have some things to say (don't I always) about his analysis but others might want to look an comment first since my own thoughts might be a bit stale.



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Chris Potter
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 6:51:07 pm

Hey Craig,

Thanks for reading and sharing my post. Would love to hear your thoughts on where my reasoning is off. It's a tough story to get straight. I'm not sure that the accounting delay is really going to be the thing that pushes them over the edge, but I do think the clock is ticking in terms of them needing to find a way to unlock the value of the assets. You can only have great products and a losing business model for so long (unless as I think Ron Sussman spelled out on twitter, you are a car company or to big to fail).

- chris


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 7:45:29 pm

[Chris Potter] "Would love to hear your thoughts on where my reasoning is off. "

I wouldn't use the term "off" since, in this case, it's not really a matter of right or wrong. People looking at the same financial facts may draw different conclusions though. There certainly are large segments of your piece I do agree with which is why it's good to see someone else with that kind of analysis. Also there are some points I'd emphasize more strongly than you may have. In other words my accent marks would fall in different places.

I'll post more later since I'm a bit busy at the moment but here's some of my points. Some may be similar but I may flesh out some differences.

R&D is one of Avid's biggest problem. The lack of capital is one. They employee unhappiness and insecurity is another. Their "product stasis" is basically buying time for any number of potential competitors to beat them badly. It may take a few years but baring any changes in capital at Avid, this seems nearly inevitable. Also keep in mind the very value of the niche they serve is changing relative to the growth of the overall market. To put it another way, there are markets Avid competitors can enter and grow in without even going near Avid's niche. Eventually that would make even Avid's niche a very easy target.

I'm not sure that Adobe or Apple's NLE pricing is a big factor, although it does play a role long range. You also have to factor in Editshare which can be a hardware competitor, has what is now a free NLE, has had entry into the niche market that is one of Avid's few strengths. I can say more about this when I have the time. Again it's not "right or wrong" but I do think there's a variety of factors in play.

Private Equity is a strange thing though. A debt free company may always have some value much like a penny stock only better. There are a few different Private Equity models and Avid's stock is on the decline. You never know at what price point it becomes a worthwhile jump. It may very well be Private Equity that decides to keep or sell off parts. For all we know (and we don't really know) the delay on the earnings release may have been an attempt by the owners to forestal a more severe stock drop (making them a more attractive target).

I'll have more to say when I get the chance.



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Chris Potter
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 7, 2013 at 11:13:57 pm

Your R&D point is a great one. Without spending in this area it's hard for the product portfolio to continue evolving. Without deep pockets it's hard to invest in this area. Avid faces real constraints in this area. I believe that one of the risk factors that they mention in the annual report is along these lines:

"The market segments in which we operate are highly competitive, and our competitors may be able to draw upon a greater depth and breadth of resources than those that are available to us."

It's funny that they don't mention people as a risk factor. I would be worried about the culture after so many restructuring plans and rounds of layoffs. I do think that if the new CEO decides to restructure in some form he will have to address people's fears that it's going to be death by 1000 cuts.

The Final Cut and Adobe pricing is kind of like the icing on the cake, the real pain started with hardware sales. Your point about EditShare highlights the problems they face. There are nimble and innovative competitors in every segment in which they operate. These competitors will continue to erode their pricing power (unless they can invest in R&D and stay far ahead of the curve).

Yes, with the stock price on the decline I wouldn't rule out other form of private equity play. If hedge funds can take shots at Apple for sitting on cash hoards, then surely they have some thoughts on how they could take out Avid and make a buck. Never underestimate the creativity of investment bankers :).

It will be interesting to see what if some of the class action lawyers that are putting out press releases create more problems and put more pressure on the stock price.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 2:08:30 am

[Chris Potter] "It's funny that they don't mention people as a risk factor. I would be worried about the culture after so many restructuring plans and rounds of layoffs. I do think that if the new CEO decides to restructure in some form he will have to address people's fears that it's going to be death by 1000 cuts. "

I don't know how accurate "GlassDoor" is since it really depends on voluntary employee and former employee input but this is simply not good.
http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Avid-Technology-Reviews-E2291.htm

I'm not sure another round of layoffs would make sense at this point unless there's some hidden "fat." Keep cutting either sales, service, development staff and you're just damaging the company further.

Interesting comments on Autodesk and Blackmagic.
If the price were low enough (again we don't know what that point would be) they themselves could buy and use what's valuable to them and scrap the rest. The question is which products would fit in with their business models. Without knowing any details I'd imagine ProTools might still be valuable and Blackmagic could approach it as they did with Resolve. I'm not sure what the market is for Avid's storage related products. I can't help but think if it were good, Avid wouldn't be in this situation. Media Composer would have to present a very different approach than Avid's in order to be of any value IMHO.

Ultimately I can't help but see any end point but private equity or being sold to another company to use for parts.

With a track record now going on years with no ability to right themselves, With only a strategy of cutting and cutting more, with a change in CEO which amounts to no obvious significant shift, I only see them bleeding down to the point where they become an affordable purchase for somebody for some reason. There's no other influx of capital.



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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 2:57:34 pm

[Chris Potter] "Your R&D point is a great one. Without spending in this area it's hard for the product portfolio to continue evolving. Without deep pockets it's hard to invest in this area. Avid faces real constraints in this area. I believe that one of the risk factors that they mention in the annual report is along these lines:

"The market segments in which we operate are highly competitive, and our competitors may be able to draw upon a greater depth and breadth of resources than those that are available to us."

It's funny that they don't mention people as a risk factor. I would be worried about the culture after so many restructuring plans and rounds of layoffs. I do think that if the new CEO decides to restructure in some form he will have to address people's fears that it's going to be death by 1000 cuts. "


It's not just capital and employee talent. Avid's ability to innovate is also constrained by their existing user base, which is surely the most conservative in the industry. Take Media Composer, for instance. I suspect pretty much everyone who hasn't been using Media Composer for a decade or more (and some people who have) will admit that its interface is largely impenetrable to new users. There are lots of features hidden in there, but it doesn't feel like a modern app, its UI is practically maze-like, and the ways it handles many things (like non-native media — a distinction that ideally shouldn't even exist in a modern NLE) seem grafted on, because they were.

It seems unlikely Avid can grow the product into new markets and attract new users without addressing these issues. But addressing these issues looks like it would require a full-out rewrite of the technical foundations of the app, and a huge overhaul of the UI. And how do you do that without the existing, extremely conservative user base revolting?

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 4:37:41 pm

One might say Avid is so afraid of offending its current small niche that it has forsaken the rest of the industry. While defending that niche may have been of great value when they were all paying $80,000 a box, it's not as lucrative when it's $2500. $80k included proprietary hardware sales. $2.5K does not. Wider sales of the lower price hasn't resulted in the hardware sales they need. $900 cross grade pricing hasn't either. Feature innovation isn't matching that of other NLE developers working on expanding their user base, revenue and profits. Avid's MC feature set is still primarily targeted to the $80K base which isn't paying $80K. MC still has features that lead. The importance of those features to the broader market is diminished though or, at least, the profit they can make from those features are.

Basically Avid doesn't have a business model to be a profitable software company. Avid doesn't have a business model to be a profitable hardware company. Avid shows no signs of changing.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 4:42:33 pm

[Chris Kenny] "There are lots of features hidden in there, but it doesn't feel like a modern app, its UI is practically maze-like, "

Maize-like? Really? Doesn't feel like a modern app? I'm sorry. I find these silly statements.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 4:59:59 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Maize-like? Really? Doesn't feel like a modern app? I'm sorry. I find these silly statements."

That might be debatable but the gist of his comments hold true to me.

As to the UI, an experienced editor using FCP can probably work their way through the differences. I don't see a newbie finding it easier than learning Premiere Pro, maybe Lightworks and especially FCPX.
If an FCP user has an easier time picking up Premiere Pro. If a newbie has an easier time picking up FCPX. The MC UI certainly doesn't hold any advantage and may be a greater obstacle than other NLEs. Maybe that's not as harsh as Chris's comments but I haven't heard anyone talk about the MC UI as equal to or easier to grasp than any other NLE on the market.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 5:17:32 pm

[Craig Seeman] "That might be debatable but the gist of his comments hold true to me.
"


I'm surprised! I'm shocked! I'm falling down!


[Craig Seeman] "As to the UI, an experienced editor using FCP can probably work their way through the differences. I don't see a newbie finding it easier than learning Premiere Pro, maybe Lightworks and especially FCPX.
If an FCP user has an easier time picking up Premiere Pro. If a newbie has an easier time picking up FCPX. The MC UI certainly doesn't hold any advantage and may be a greater obstacle than other NLEs. Maybe that's not as harsh as Chris's comments but I haven't heard anyone talk about the MC UI as equal to or easier to grasp than any other NLE on the market.
"


I do agree with most of that. It takes a bit of work, as does X. As far as the UI goes, I definitely prefer Avid's. I find X a bit candy-coated.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:13:22 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I do agree with most of that. It takes a bit of work, as does X. As far as the UI goes, I definitely prefer Avid's. I find X a bit candy-coated."

X is taking a different approach at building its base. It's attractive to newbies since it's intuitive for that crowd.

For experienced editors it may be between MC, PremierePro and maybe Lightworks down the road a bit. It's possible that MC would the most challenging (talking about UI not simply features). We can certainly see it by the number of FCP7 houses taking a serious look at PremierePro due to the easier learning curve for the FCP7 editor.

The way I'd put it is that while MC still leads in some features, as they stagnate, others will catch up in that area, In the mean time it seems MC is losing the UI battle as well. It may well be that its UI plays a big role in people looking at PremierePro.

So if MC UI is daunting to the newbie and FCP7 users are attracted to PremierePro that would seem to put MC behind in the UI area. It means to me that people in different markets are looking at other NLEs precisely because of MC's UI.



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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 5:22:26 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Maize-like? Really? Doesn't feel like a modern app? I'm sorry. I find these silly statements."

I'm aware that lots of existing Avid fans (which I'd guess you are) don't see any of this. It was rather the premise of my previous post.

I could point to some objective characteristics of the Media Composer UI that make it feel dated — its multi-windowed approach (there has been a strong shift in UI design to panes rather than separate windows), the style of its UI widgets and the fact that its toolbar icons aren't antialiased, the fact that on the Mac it appears to still be using deprecated Carbon text rendering libraries (this is trivially easy to tell if you know what it looks like), its extensive use of modal dialogs, etc. And I can point to completely bizarre, non-standard UI, like the way it handles setting preferences or configuring keyboard shortcuts. I can also point to really odd workflow behavior, like the way it can only work with MXF files in numbered subdirectories in an Avid MediaFiles folder at the top level of a drive, and the fact that dragging an MXF file from the Finder into a bin does nothing useful — but oddly enough it will offer to do something useful if you drag in non-native media.

But really, it's hard to make this case to someone who doesn't see it, because it's the sort of thing that you either see, or you don't. I wear a fair number of hats in my present position, and I've worn even more over my career — I've done UI design and software development professionally, among other things. Media Composer simply does not work the way an app designed from the ground up by competent UI/UX people in the second decade of the 21st century would work. It works, frankly, like an app from a couple of decades ago that has had a huge number of features grafted onto it — because that's exactly what it is. There are signs of this all over the place in, say, Photoshop as well, but Media Composer is by far the worst offender among apps I come into regular contact with in this industry.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 5:30:51 pm

[Chris Kenny] "But really, it's hard to make this case to someone who doesn't see it, because it's the sort of thing that you either se"

Drivel. But for what its worth, I have also noticed that a number of X users seem unable to see the sugary, sparkly, diabetes-inducing, unicorn-frolicing, my-little-pony-like UI of X for what it is either.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:25:03 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Drivel."

Sit a new user down with Media Composer, FCP X, and Premiere. In each app, have a project/event already created and named appropriately. Give the user a folder full of video clips in whatever format is preferred by the NLE. So that would be DNxHD MXF files for Media Composer, ProRes MOV files for FCP X, and, well, Adobe doesn't have an equvilant codec, but let's just say ProRes MOV files there as well, which should work fine.

Ask the user to import the footage into the app.

With FCP X or Premiere, the user will see the appropriately named event/project and drag the footage in. This will work. Alternatively the user will look for some kind of 'Import Footage' command, and will find one and use it. This will work.

In Media Composer, you have to go create a /Avid MediaFiles/MXF folder, then create a numbered folder within it (numbers only, please!), then quit Media Composer, place your media in that folder, re-launch Media Composer, access the Media Tool, check all the correct boxes (which is a little confusing in its own right), and then drag the clips from the resulting window to your bin. This is completely undiscoverable, and, frankly, crazy. And it's not an isolated example.

If you're the sort of person who learns software by reading manuals and memorizing steps, maybe you really don't see why this is any harder. If you've been using Media Composer for 15 years, maybe it hasn't occurred to you to question this in a very long time. But if you're a new user who learns software mostly by exploring it — which is how most people seem to prefer to learn software — Media Composer is very nearly impenetrable gibberish.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Michael Hancock
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:43:31 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Ask the user to import the footage into the app."

So post software should be built and judged entirely on how easy it is for someone with no experience with them to import footage, without any training? Seems silly. How easy is it to get footage in Resolve for someone with no experience? Or Smoke? Or Speedgrade? Do we completely disregard the reasons why an NLE prefers/requires a specific media structure simply because someone hasn't learned why?

[Chris Kenny] "In Media Composer, you have to go create a /Avid MediaFiles/MXF folder, then create a numbered folder within it (numbers only, please!), then quit Media Composer, place your media in that folder, re-launch Media Composer, access the Media Tool, check all the correct boxes (which is a little confusing in its own right), and then drag the clips from the resulting window to your bin. This is completely undiscoverable, and, frankly, crazy. And it's not an isolated example."

There's a reason for Avid's media structure, and easier ways to get MXF media populated in a bin - your method is not necessarily the best or fastest. Besides, once you show and explain to a person why it's done a certain way they understand it and it's no longer a hurdle. At all. And in return for a short explanation and a bit of understand they get Avid's legendary media management. Seems a fair trade.

Plus, if you gave ProRes files to everyone the Avid user could drag them over just like Premiere or FCPX and Avid would import them (not instanteous like X or Premiere, but the end result is the same). Or they could AMA them and get direct access. Of course, that might require them to read a manual (heaven forbid).


[Chris Kenny] "But if you're a new user who learns software mostly by exploring it — which is how most people seem to prefer to learn software — Media Composer is very nearly impenetrable gibberish."

Most people prefer to learn software by just exploring it, without any training or explanation or reading of the manual? People who are buying the software to make money with, as part of their job? I don't buy it. And even they do, then why does Bill Davis keep telling people you need to watch training videos to really come to understand the how and why of FCPX and that it will take you 6 months to "get it" and really understand it? He's a huge proponent of X and even he recommends training.

Are there things Avid could improve on, including interface tweaks? Absolutely. But to say it's oudated is kind of silly. You're not even a day-in day-out editor, Chris. Maybe the interface wasn't designed for you?


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:22:52 pm

[Michael Hancock] "So post software should be built and judged entirely on how easy it is for someone with no experience with them to import footage, without any training? Seems silly."

Seems like something I didn't say.

I specifically argued that this was a problem for Media Composer with respect to attracting new users and expanding into additional markets. Not that post software should be judged entirely on the basis of walk-up usability.

[Michael Hancock] "Seems silly. How easy is it to get footage in Resolve for someone with no experience? Or Smoke? Or Speedgrade?"

I don't use Speedgrade or Smoke, but I have found Resolve to be vastly less impenetrable, in the way I'm discussing here, than Media Composer. In fact, it's hard to think of other examples of software as bad as Media Composer in this respect. 3D modeling apps, maybe. But they're all like that. MC's problem is that its major competition isn't like that.

[Michael Hancock] "Do we completely disregard the reasons why an NLE prefers/requires a specific media structure simply because someone hasn't learned why?"

Frankly, yes, we should disregard that when evaluating UI. "The internal structure of our app requires us to do this crazy, unintuitive thing" is not really an excuse, if there are other ways things could be structured that wouldn't require that.

But this is exactly the sort of thing we expect when dealing with an app that has been around as long as Media Composer has. Really, think this through. When Media Composer was new, file-based workflow was effectively unheard of. Odds are your media files were being captured from tape directly into MC, so it worried about where to put them, and file-based importing was a special case, not a basic task, so handling it with a quirky workflow and a special tool was fine. Since then, file-based workflows, including workflows involving native camera media, have become common. So in addition to the system that was created for the tape-based era, Avid has grafted a whole separate system onto MC in the form of AMA, which references and works with media files in a completely different way.

I want the long-time Avid users to really think about this, as if for the first time. Media Composer has two completely different paradigms for working with media, depending on what format it's in. Would you design an NLE like that if you were designing it from the ground up today? Not a chance. It's purely an artifact of new capabilities being grafted onto a legacy architecture.

[Michael Hancock] "Are there things Avid could improve on, including interface tweaks? Absolutely. But to say it's oudated is kind of silly. You're not even a day-in day-out editor, Chris. Maybe the interface wasn't designed for you?"

I'm not a day-in-day-out creative editor. I do quite a bit of online edit and conform work, including prepping projects in offline NLE environments. I also design and specify entire end-to-end workflows, from dailies, though offline, online and deliverables. I suspect a lot of creative editors who don't see what's wrong with MC may be focusing almost exclusively on a narrow set of core editing functions, and ignoring the fact that the whole structure around them has become a creaking relic.

The kinds of things we're talking about here will not be fixed by 'tweaks'. It's worth noting that MC is the oldest of the major NLE environments, and the only one that, as far as I know, has never had a ground-up rewrite. The points I'm making here are a fairly straightforward, expected consequence of this fact.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:34:39 pm

[Chris Kenny] " It's worth noting that MC is the oldest of the major NLE environments, and the only one that, as far as I know, has never had a ground-up rewrite. The points I'm making here are a fairly straightforward, expected consequence of this fact."

Since I never worked with Avid I can't talk to all it's cludgy grafting on. But I did work with a program that behaved like that, with an incredibly unintuitive interface that had user options so spread out through it's incredible maze like menu trees that it was almost impossible to know where any feature was listed - it was called Final Cut Pro. An absolute hodge podge of grafted features if ever there was one. It was totally unituitive and unusable without training, and even then it took awhile. After about 8 years I'm still learning better ways to do stuff every day. But it was flexible, customizable, and powerful.

And then the powers that be re-wrote it from the ground up guided by all your UI rules with modern fonts and came up with a program that could do simple stuff simply but was totally unsuitable for a large segment of it's customer base.

I'll take the cludgy Avid approach.

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: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:13:15 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Since I never worked with Avid I can't talk to all it's cludgy grafting on. But I did work with a program that behaved like that, with an incredibly unintuitive interface that had user options so spread out through it's incredible maze like menu trees that it was almost impossible to know where any feature was listed - it was called Final Cut Pro. "

Classic FCP started life as a Macromedia app, and honestly it has never quite been up to the standards of most of Apple's software. The 'Tools' menu in particular is sort of a random grab bag, and in my experience some large fraction of FCP editors have never quite figured out audio routing.

But for just getting footage into the app and performing basic editing operations with the mouse, 'classic' FCP is worlds ahead of MC in terms of usability. I think this is a not-insignificant reason for its success, and I think FCP X is even better at 'simple things should be simple' (as long as you're not defining 'simple' to mean 'the same as they are in [other NLE]'), and that this will pay significant long-term dividends in terms of adoption.

More broadly, FCP X is simply of a different era from Media Composer not just in terms of UI and internal architecture — there's also pricing (it's ~80% cheaper) and packaging (it's available for one-click App Store installation). The whole computing world is evolving. This industry exists within that world. And Media Composer — 'heavy', expensive software with a proliferation of windows and modal dialogs and a — is what things are evolving away from. Existing users, particularly those who are just interested in editing and don't really follow the broader computing industry, don't necessarily know or care about any of this. But it will absolutely impact what choices new users and facilities make over the coming years, even if the people making such choices aren't explicitly thinking about it.

[Herb Sevush] "And then the powers that be re-wrote it from the ground up guided by all your UI rules with modern fonts and came up with a program that could do simple stuff simply but was totally unsuitable for a large segment of it's customer base."

But they've since turned it into something with the necessary capabilities to serve the overwhelming majority of their customer base, and without abandoning 'simple things should be simple'.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:20:35 pm

[Chris Kenny] "simple things should be simple'"

You know what should be simple? Sync markers. Visual relative time code. The ability to relink and re-sync audio and video once its been disconnected.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:53:05 pm

[Chris Harlan] "You know what should be simple? Sync markers. Visual relative time code. The ability to relink and re-sync audio and video once its been disconnected."

I am not going to make an excuse here, there should be sync markers.

But you know what is really easy?

Copy audio from a clip and paste it separately (as a connected clip) anywhere you want in an FCPX timeline without worry or need of destroying or overwriting, or placing the puzzle pieces exactly right before pasting, and then you can simply turn off the audio on the first (copied) clip.

How do you get it back? Turn it back on.

Put simply, there's no reason to disconnect the audio in the first place, just leave it there and turn it off and on as you see fit, the dynamic timeline adjusts.

I know, I know, people will hate it and call in 'unpro', but I am on 5 days of over the shoulder client attended editing and it is the most creative "in person" sessions I have had since my very first over the shoulder session.

There's still nothing like the first time.

Just like the Avid or FCPX interface, I don't really care what it looks like, I don't care about the caché of using one platform over another, I just care what I can do with it.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:00:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Put simply, there's no reason to disconnect the audio in the first place, just leave it there and turn it off and on as you see fit, the dynamic timeline adjusts.
"


THAT is quite a statement! Apparently you don't have to do much dialog work.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:06:41 pm

[Chris Harlan] "THAT is quite a statement! Apparently you don't have to do much dialog work."

The pieces I am working on are all dialog.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:13:50 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Chris Harlan] "THAT is quite a statement! Apparently you don't have to do much dialog work."

The pieces I am working on are all dialog.
"


Well, I'm fascinated by that. I have to clip chunks out of sentences, slide a clause a few frames this way or that under a cut-away, only to have to reconnect it in a different version of the edit. I have to retime dialog, drop in ADR, shave this way and shave that way, constantly. Me? I use sync markers and TC. How you are doing all that fine-tuning and finessing without have to separate audio from video and slide it around, I would truly like to hear.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 2:09:10 am

[Chris Harlan] "Well, I'm fascinated by that. I have to clip chunks out of sentences, slide a clause a few frames this way or that under a cut-away, only to have to reconnect it in a different version of the edit. I have to retime dialog, drop in ADR, shave this way and shave that way, constantly. Me? I use sync markers and TC. How you are doing all that fine-tuning and finessing without have to separate audio from video and slide it around, I would truly like to hear."

I guess my question back is, what is preventing you from doing this in fcpx?


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 2:22:43 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Chris Harlan] "Well, I'm fascinated by that. I have to clip chunks out of sentences, slide a clause a few frames this way or that under a cut-away, only to have to reconnect it in a different version of the edit. I have to retime dialog, drop in ADR, shave this way and shave that way, constantly. Me? I use sync markers and TC. How you are doing all that fine-tuning and finessing without have to separate audio from video and slide it around, I would truly like to hear."

I guess my question back is, what is preventing you from doing this in fcpx?
"


I'm sure there is a way that I could end up achieving what I needed to. From what I can fathom, though, it sounds like a real PITA. Do you actually have to do this kind of high density, granular audio editing? Trying to do this without separating audio sounds crazy to me. To me, it sounds like I'd end up with a massive clog of crud.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 2:44:52 am

[Chris Harlan] "Do you actually have to do this kind of high density, granular audio editing?"

I don't really use ADR, but the rest of it sounds like a normal day of editing.

So, yes.

[Chris Harlan] " Trying to do this without separating audio sounds crazy to me. "

Isn't that how you are doing it now? Audio is in a separate space than video?


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 2:59:44 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Chris Harlan] "Do you actually have to do this kind of high density, granular audio editing?"

I don't really use ADR, but the rest of it sounds like a normal day of editing.

So, yes.

[Chris Harlan] " Trying to do this without separating audio sounds crazy to me. "

Isn't that how you are doing it now? Audio is in a separate space than video?

"


I guess I'm just going to have to be skeptical. You've made a really bold statement that there is no reason to ever separate audio from video. Since that has never been the case in any other NLE, ever, you can understand my doubt. If what you are saying is true, then I guess you don't need sync markers, but I'm having a very hard time believing it. How do you deal with stems that aren't initially attached, and only match with time code? Doesn't having an unnecessary 18 layers of audio attached to every single clip bog things down a bit? Doesn't having hidden video for every single clip you are using get cludgy pretty fast? It seems like a nightmare to me.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 3:08:57 am

[Chris Harlan] "You've made a really bold statement that there is no reason to ever separate audio from video."

No I didn't. I said that audio and video can be separate, just like any other NLE. I said you can copy/paste audio anywhere you want, please tell me where I said there is no reason to ever separate audio from video.

[Chris Harlan] "How do you deal with stems that aren't initially attached, and only match with time code?"

Create a synchronized, or sometimes multicam, sometimes compound clip.

[Chris Harlan] "Doesn't having an unnecessary 18 layers of audio attached to every single clip bog things down a bit?"

Have you discovered how audio components work in FCPX?

[Chris Harlan] "Doesn't having hidden video for every single clip you are using get cludgy pretty fast?"

I didn't say it had to be for every clip. It was a very specific example for Herb's specific need.

Jeremy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 3:15:55 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I didn't say it had to be for every clip. It was a very specific example for Herb's specific need.
"


I get that now. My bad. And my apologies. I read your statement to mean that there was no reason ever to separate audio. I was wondering how we could be so far apart. Stupid me.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 3:27:43 am

[Chris Harlan] "Since that has never been the case in any other NLE, ever, you can understand my doubt. If what you are saying is true, then I guess you don't need sync markers, but I'm having a very hard time believing it."

I'm not sure it's quite the case that you'd never want to detach audio in FCP X, but there are certainly many cases where if you're used to other NLEs you might think you should, but you probably shouldn't. Sync markers wouldn't exactly be a bad addition, but if you're not trying to make FCP X work like a more traditional NLE, they're not nearly as critical than they might initially seem.

[Chris Harlan] "How do you deal with stems that aren't initially attached, and only match with time code?"

Make synchronized clips in the event viewer before you start editing?

[Chris Harlan] "Doesn't having an unnecessary 18 layers of audio attached to every single clip bog things down a bit?"

If you mean performance-wise, I don't think disabled audio tracks have any negative performance implications. If your concern is timeline clutter, remember that you can visually collapse audio into its associated video if you're not working with it, and even when you expand it, all tracks show up as one 'object' unless you then explicitly expand those as well. So you never really have to see more timeline clutter than you want to, and in fact it's easy to choose to see less than in other NLEs (no visually separate audio items). Also, note that if you disable some audio tracks for a given video clip from the 'Channel Configuration' panel, those disabled tracks don't show up when you expand audio components in the timeline at all — it's as if they had been deleted, except you can bring them back by clicking a checkbox.

Furthermore, note that you can change the sync relationship between audio and video for a given clip via 'Open in Timeline' — without detaching audio at all. And of course you can make J and L cuts without detaching audio.

[Chris Harlan] "Doesn't having hidden video for every single clip you are using get cludgy pretty fast?"

Why would it? Again, remember how different FCP X's timeline is. In a regular NLE, if you have video attached to your audio, that video exists on a video track, and you have to put it somewhere, maybe disabled on V2 or something. That would be ugly. But in FCP X, the video and the audio are collapsed into a single visible 'item' — a clip with both video and audio doesn't take up any 'space' that an audio-only clip doesn't.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 4:08:05 am

Chris, I appreciate the time you took, but actually Jeremy and I were having a misunderstanding, or rather I misunderstood something Jeremy said, and took it to mean that there was never ANY reason to separate audio from video. It was in the light of that that most of my blathering was taking place. Since you were kind enough to take the time, though, let me respond to a few of your questions and ask a few of my own:


[Chris Kenny] "[Chris Harlan] "How do you deal with stems that aren't initially attached, and only match with time code?"

Make synchronized clips in the event viewer before you start editing?
"


I understand that as a possibility, but the problem for me is that separate audio stems are often--in fact, more often than not--coming from a different source, late in the process. With TC, I can easily match and replace long into the edit. Even if the TC is wrong, I can work out the difference and make adjustments.

[Chris Kenny] "note that if you disable some audio tracks for a given video clip from the 'Channel Configuration' panel, those disabled tracks don't show up when you expand audio components in the timeline at all "

This sounds relatively useful. In 7, MC and Pr, I just physically strip the many unwanted channels out in a time line, so this might actually be an improvement.

Question: Can I disconnect one channel, and not others? Let's say I have a clip that has dialog on ch.1, a car backfire on ch. 2, and some OS laughter on ch. 3--How easy is it for me to slide ch. 1 three frames to the left, ch. 2 two frames to the right, and keep Dia. in sync on ch. 2? In traditional NLE's all I do is slide each along their tracks. How do I do this easily in X?


[Chris Kenny] "Furthermore, note that you can change the sync relationship between audio and video for a given clip via 'Open in Timeline' — without detaching audio at all. And of course you can make J and L cuts without detaching audio.
"


I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. You can change sync relationship, but do you retain any reference to the original relationship?


[Chris Kenny] "In a regular NLE, if you have video attached to your audio, that video exists on a video track, and you have to put it somewhere, maybe disabled on V2 or something. T"

No, I just delete the video, and if I ever need it back I match frame.

[Chris Kenny] "But in FCP X, the video and the audio are collapsed into a single visible 'item' — a clip with both video and audio doesn't take up any 'space' that an audio-only clip doesn't.
"


So much of my work is with audio, that I can't imagine having them collapsed most of the time. I use waveforms a lot to navigate.

I AM very curious about how channels operates, and whether or not I can adjust or separate individual channels. My fear with X, is that I would end up needing three separate iterations of the above clip to make the kind of adjustments I'm talking about. Would love to be wrong though.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 4:50:53 am

[Chris Harlan] "I understand that as a possibility, but the problem for me is that separate audio stems are often--in fact, more often than not--coming from a different source, late in the process. With TC, I can easily match and replace long into the edit. Even if the TC is wrong, I can work out the difference and make adjustments. "

You can add/replace attached audio on a clip in the timeline at any time via 'Open in Timeline', although I'm not aware of a way, at that stage, to automatically sync based on TC. That seems like it might be useful, though, and I can't think of why it couldn't be added.

[Chris Harlan] "Question: Can I disconnect one channel, and not others? Let's say I have a clip that has dialog on ch.1, a car backfire on ch. 2, and some OS laughter on ch. 3--How easy is it for me to slide ch. 1 three frames to the left, ch. 2 two frames to the right, and keep Dia. in sync on ch. 2? In traditional NLE's all I do is slide each along their tracks. How do I do this easily in X?"

Via 'Open in Timeline' you can change the relative sync of any attached channel group. You get a timeline with your video clip as the 'primary storyline' and your audio channel groups as connected clips, and you can slide them around relative to each other in the ways that implies.

[Chris Harlan] "I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. You can change sync relationship, but do you retain any reference to the original relationship?"

If you're talking about original embedded audio, that will obviously be the same length as the embedded video. This means that if you slide it out of sync via 'Open in Timeline', it's pretty easy to figure out where it originally was.

[Chris Harlan] "So much of my work is with audio, that I can't imagine having them collapsed most of the time. I use waveforms a lot to navigate."

Remember, though, that FCP X can show waveforms on video clips. (Although if you don't expand things it does show a single combined waveform for all the attached audio channels, which might be an issue for your use).

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 5:00:15 am

Interesting. It just doesn't seem quite worth it to me yet. It seems harder or as hard as what I do now, but with no real gain. I can see giving it a try though, if rolls gets a bit more developed, and I get some color-coding.


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Sandeep Sajeev
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 8:39:28 am

I AM very curious about how channels operates, and whether or not I can adjust or separate individual channels

Chris,

Not sure if you've seen this, but this video helped me understand Audio Components when they were introduced in 10.06 (I think).

http://themovieswemake.com/2012/10/fcpx-audio-component-editing-workflow/


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 8:55:54 pm

Thanks! I've only watched part of it thus far, but its quite interesting.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:07:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Copy audio from a clip and paste it separately (as a connected clip) anywhere you want in an FCPX timeline without worry or need of destroying or overwriting, or placing the puzzle pieces exactly right before pasting, and then you can simply turn off the audio on the first (copied) clip.

How do you get it back? Turn it back on."


OK, so now I've got this copied audio, it's from a talking head clip, and it's acting as VO for a montage of action shots. Now the client wants me to break up the action shots with a little bit of the talking head video (it's very emotional, he's talking about his pet rock here). How do I "turn on" the video from this audio copy?

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:10:03 pm

[Herb Sevush] "How do I "turn on" the video from this audio copy?"

It's right where you left it from the original clip.

You discussed detached audio, I gave you a solution.

If you want to keep video, you simply put the video clip (with audio) underneath the primary.


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:16:30 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You discussed detached audio, I gave you a solution.

If you want to keep video, you simply put the video clip (with audio) underneath the primary.
"


This works,the majority of my work is interview based narrative, I never disconnect the audio so sync is never a problem although I mostly use the Primary for narrative and build up above.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:32:54 pm

[Steve Connor] "I never disconnect the audio so sync is never a problem"

And I've always disconnected all my audio in every NLE I've used, and sync has also never a problem for me because they've all had ways to re-establish sync. The idea that you have to piggy back your unused video onto your audio clips in the timeline because the program is so inept that it can't get it back for you is a classic example of why some folks, with their own peculiar work habits, think that X is not necessarily a huge step forward.

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


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:42:08 pm

[Herb Sevush] "why some folks, with their own peculiar work habits, think that X is not necessarily a huge step forward."

Thats true, if you want to work in more or less the same way you always have then FCPX is most definitely not for you, I can totally respect that.

FCPX requires at least some level of change although I haven't changed my style of editing as much as others have here.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:03:08 am

[Steve Connor] "Thats true, if you want to work in more or less the same way you always have then FCPX is most definitely not for you, I can totally respect that."

There are many things about my workflow I'm willing to change, however ...

[Steve Connor] "FCPX requires at least some level of change although I haven't changed my style of editing as much as others have here."

Other than the need for a sophisticated multicam feature, which X has, being able to work without locking my audio to my video is one of my most important requirements. PPro is better than X in this regard but it still is not good enough.

I've been cutting this way since I started with film 40 years ago, I believe it is the "best" way to work even if others don't, and I believe in my elitist heart of hearts that any software designer who doesn't allow for this way of working doesn't understand editing.

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


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:07:22 am

[Herb Sevush] "I've been cutting this way since I started with film 40 years ago, I believe it is the "best" way to work even if others don't, and I believe in my elitist heart of hearts that any software designer who doesn't allow for this way of working doesn't understand editing.
"


Can't argue with that!

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:43:55 pm

[Herb Sevush] "The idea that you have to piggy back your unused video onto your audio clips in the timeline because the program is so inept that it can't get it back for you is a classic example of why some folks, with their own peculiar work habits, think that X is not necessarily a huge step forward."

Hey man, no argument form me about sync markers, they should be there, but they aren't so you make do with what you have.

If you have a lone audio clip that you need your video back for, you match frame back and hit option-r. This will replace a video clip with your audio lickety split.

Shift-f, option-r, bake some cakes. Or match frame back and hit q to add a new instance of a clip as a connected clip.

There's really easy easy to bring back the audio, but it doesn't look anything like an out of sync marker.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:45:56 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "If you have a lone audio clip that you need your video back for, you match frame back and hit option-r. This will replace a video clip with your audio lickety split."

But normally I'll have a bunch of video clips over one audio clip and often I'm just trying to replace one of those cuts with the video. If I match back I'm getting the video for the whole audio - either I have to cut the audio just where I want the video to match back, or drop the video on a higher track (in legacy terms) and then trim the in and out. both of these cases are a lot more time consuming than just hitting re-sync. I do this kind of replacement constantly, so a couple of xtra steps on each instance adds up.

By the way, I'm not busting your chops here, I do appreciate your taking the time to explain how you are working with X.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 2:21:17 am

[Herb Sevush] "But normally I'll have a bunch of video clips over one audio clip and often I'm just trying to replace one of those cuts with the video. If I match back I'm getting the video for the whole audio - either I have to cut the audio just where I want the video to match back, or drop the video on a higher track (in legacy terms) and then trim the in and out. both of these cases are a lot more time consuming than just hitting re-sync. I do this kind of replacement constantly, so a couple of xtra steps on each instance adds up."

So you have a bunch of video, and a 'master' audio track and a bunch of other audio tracks below, right?

You then want to sync one of those video tracks with it's own audio.

In 7, you simply select that clip and slip the audio back in sync using the sync markers.

In X you'd go to the audio tab and turn the audio on.

I am probably misunderstanding.

[Herb Sevush] "By the way, I'm not busting your chops here, I do appreciate your taking the time to explain how you are working with X."

My chops don't feel busted. We are all learning something and I like having these comparisons. I edit a decent amount of different things, but I don't edit everything. I'm always curious to hear how other people go about their edits.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:21:11 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's right where you left it from the original clip. You discussed detached audio, I gave you a solution.
If you want to keep video, you simply put the video clip (with audio) underneath the primary."


I never know, until an edit is locked, whether any piece of audio is going to be used with it's sync video or not. So every instance of audio would have to carry it's video with it, buried under the primary, just in case I needed to bring the video back in sync. Meaning if I have some audio used as natural effects with some overlapping dialogue I could have 3 -5 layers of video buried under the primary waiting to make an appearance - and this seems reasonable to you? I'll take your word for it until I actually try it out.

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:28:36 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I'll take your word for it until I actually try it out."

That sounds reasonable.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:34:16 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "That sounds reasonable."

You make me smile.

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


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:07:40 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know, I know, people will hate it and call in 'unpro', but I am on 5 days of over the shoulder client attended editing and it is the most creative "in person" sessions I have had since my very first over the shoulder session.
"


Sorry Jeremy, but unlike other forums here on the COW stories of actual use of the software don't really count.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:50:05 pm

[Chris Kenny] "More broadly, FCP X is simply of a different era from Media Composer not just in terms of UI and internal architecture — there's also pricing (it's ~80% cheaper) and packaging (it's available for one-click App Store installation). The whole computing world is evolving. This industry exists within that world. And Media Composer — 'heavy', expensive software with a proliferation of windows and modal dialogs and a — is what things are evolving away from."

I agree that the modal dialogue heavy MC is what things are evolving away from. But until they evolve away with the same editing power and strength, they are actually de-evolving.

As for cheaper and Ap store availability - yes, if your 23 years old, this matters. It mattered when Avid cost $20 - 50K and FCP cost $1K, but the $500 difference between the various NLE's today don't make a difference to anyone with a job. Until Apple starts producing actual useful editing tools as opposed to programming niceities the cost difference won't matter. This is not a consumer item, these products have to help me work better. Ap store BS is something to sell to your stock holders.

[Chris Kenny] "Existing users, particularly those who are just interested in editing and don't really follow the broader computing industry, don't necessarily know or care about any of this. But it will absolutely impact what choices new users and facilities make over the coming years, even if the people making such choices aren't explicitly thinking about it."

Count me as one who doesn't care about the business side, just the editing side. As long as I believe the tools I work with will still be available I don't care what the share price is of the company I buy it from. Apple has clearly demonstrated that being with a successful company is no greater assurance of that being true than being with a failing one.

[Chris Kenny] "But they've since turned it into something with the necessary capabilities to serve the overwhelming majority of their customer base, and without abandoning 'simple things should be simple'."

That is pure supposition. X doesn't have the necessary capabilities for me, it doesn't have the necessary capabilities for any editor I've been in contact with in real life. This forum is the only place where I've met any pro editor who doesn't treat X with with either disdain or indifference. My anecdotal evidence is no more authoritative than Bill's or Jeremy's, but it's not any less so. Just because Apple has sold a lot of copies it doesn't mean people are using it. Adobe has sold many copies of PPro and most of them sit unused in a drawer. For this, as in many other things, I'll bow to the wisdom of Aidnreas and ask "where are the job postings for this oh so popular application?"

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: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:03:40 pm

[Herb Sevush] "As for cheaper and Ap store availability - yes, if your 23 years old, this matters. It mattered when Avid cost $20 - 50K and FCP cost $1K, but the $500 difference between the various NLE's today don't make a difference to anyone with a job."

Since a primary focus of this discussion is adoption by new editors, things that matter "if you're 23 years old" are actually kind of important here. It's also worth noting that these price differences add up pretty fast for a facility with multiple seats.

And... $500 difference? If you don't qualify for cross-grade pricing, etc. Media Composer is still $2500. there's a fair chance it's more expensive than most of the computers it's installed on these days. That's not nothing.

[Herb Sevush] "Until Apple starts producing actual useful editing tools as opposed to programming niceities the cost difference won't matter."

You really can't use the idea that FCP X isn't a useful tool as a starting premise in an argument in a forum where many people believe it is.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:25:25 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Since a primary focus of this discussion is adoption by new editors, "

Since when. This started as the death knell to Avid Thread. While it's focus is on the future of editing it is not specifically about 23 year old un-employed editors. Attracting editors does not equal only attracting 23 year olds. sometimes it means attracting editors using an orphaned system. Sometimes it means simply trying to get editors to switch tools. Many young editors drop out. Others learn whatever system their boss wants them to. Others might learn FCPX.

[Chris Kenny] "If you don't qualify for cross-grade pricing, etc. Media Composer is still $2500. there's a fair chance it's more expensive than most of the computers it's installed on these days. That's not nothing."

If your a Pro you qualify for cross grade. If your a student you get it for beans. A $500 to $1500 dollar difference over the life of the software is less than nothing if you earn a living with it. If you really think a few hundred dollars is that important you should be pushing Lightworks. It's free. That's more than a million times less than FCPX.

[Chris Kenny] "You really can't use the idea that FCP X isn't a useful tool as a starting premise in an argument in a forum where many people believe it is."

Your correct, my remark is badly stated. Permit me to rephrase - I would rather Apple spend their programming time working on making X more useful to more people than worrying about the look of the time code clock.

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: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:58:02 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Since when."

Since the discussion in this sub-tread began with this post.

[Herb Sevush] "If you really think a few hundred dollars is that important you should be pushing Lightworks. It's free. That's more than a million times less than FCPX. "

I make a policy of seriously evaluating pretty much everything that might plausibly be useful (and that's sanely priced), although I've held off on Lightworks so far pending Mac/Blackmagic compatibility.

[Herb Sevush] "I would rather Apple spend their programming time working on making X more useful to more people than worrying about the look of the time code clock."

I suspect they have the resources to do both.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:01:08 pm

[Chris Kenny] "I suspect they have the resources to do both."

But apparently not the desire, or 2 years in it would be capable of my workflow.

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: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 3:06:13 am

[Herb Sevush] "But apparently not the desire, or 2 years in it would be capable of my workflow."

I don't know what your workflow is, but I've found that a lot of people in this industry — hell a lot of people in general — seem to have a fairly unrealistic idea of how quickly large software projects evolve.

Also, it's worth noting that commercially released software is generally developed along two 'branches' — one for updates to the current major version, and another for bigger stuff slated for the next major version. While this practice is nearly universal, it's actually not 100% clear that FCP X has been following it (since Apple has been dropping major new features into current-version updates), but if it has been, then it's possible that Apple has done quite a lot over the last couple of years that we haven't seen yet because we haven't seen 10.1 yet.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:46:42 am

[Herb Sevush] "I'll bow to the wisdom of Aidnreas and ask "where are the job postings for this oh so popular application?"
"


hey - wait , just stop. - Herb come on - screw wisdom right in it's face. I'm in this exclusively for Apple kicking.
after the blade across 7 - it is the sport of kings.


that said - X just is a dead letter outside the thunderdrome.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Sandeep Sajeev
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 8:27:04 am

This forum is the only place where I've met any pro editor who doesn't treat X with with either disdain or indifference.

This unfortunately holds true for me as well. I'm the only one I know in real life who's using X. And when I suggested it as a good tool for a project, I got laughed at. Despite me listing the many ways in which it would make things easier on that particular project.

The bounce back is oddly very harsh.

So now I don't do it anymore. But I must admit, I'm baffled at the venom that this program generates. It either works or it doesn't, but people sure have an awful lot to say about just why it's the worst NLE on the market.


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 9:59:57 am

[Sandeep Sajeev] "And when I suggested it as a good tool for a project, I got laughed at. Despite me listing the many ways in which it would make things easier on that particular project."

I guess you have the last laugh then. Most Editors are still judging it based on the reactions of people after the release, not on any personal experience with it.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:08:07 pm

[Sandeep Sajeev] "The bounce back is oddly very harsh."

they killed FCP studio, completely wrecked everyone's head - and we will all see this software dead if it is the very last thing we do.

- or something along those lines.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:28:54 pm

[Sandeep Sajeev] "I must admit, I'm baffled at the venom that this program generates. It either works or it doesn't, but people sure have an awful lot to say about just why it's the worst NLE on the market."

This reaction is all about the rollout that some folks here - Bill Davis and Tim Wilson amongst others - think was so wonderful.

By officially EOLing FCP7 without notice and replacing it with Beta software with a totally incomplete feature set Apple generated the intense antagonism throughout the industry that X is the recipient of. It remains to be seen if this initial reaction will be overcome by future releases and the passage of time so that the software will be judged on it's own merits.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:35:20 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Ask the user to import the footage into the app."

What about right-clicking in a bin and choosing import?


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:35:25 pm

[Chris Kenny] "It works, frankly, like an app from a couple of decades ago that has had a huge number of features grafted onto it — because that's exactly what it is. There are signs of this all over the place in, say, Photoshop as well, but Media Composer is by far the worst offender among apps I come into regular contact with in this industry."

As a non Avid user who is now seriously considering switching over I will say that I agree with Chris on several counts.

1) The actual screens and fonts look dated and tacky.
2) There are elements of the timeline that seem dated - the limit on audio tracks for example.
3) the media organization seems very complicated and restricted.

Having said all that I would like to go on and say that:

as to #1 - What professional would give a sh*t.
as to #2 - They can / should fix it.
as to #3 - It's worth learning for the excellent results. Sometimes restrictions are good for you.

[Chris Kenny] "Sit a new user down with Media Composer, FCP X, and Premiere. In each app, have a project/event already created and named appropriately. Give the user a folder full of video clips in whatever format is preferred by the NLE. So that would be DNxHD MXF files for Media Composer, ProRes MOV files for FCP X, and, well, Adobe doesn't have an equvilant codec, but let's just say ProRes MOV files there as well, which should work fine. Ask the user to import the footage into the app."

I could suggest another example.

Have an editor import several scenes from tape, over time code jumps. Have him sync the takes to a script for easy indexing. Have him export the show to tape.

Now compare other NLE's to Avid.

[Chris Kenny] "But if you're a new user who learns software mostly by exploring it — which is how most people seem to prefer to learn software — Media Composer is very nearly impenetrable gibberish."

The definition of an overly limited NLE would be one that a user could figure out without a manual or training. If it's possible to do, then it's not worth the trouble using.

As has been said before, "Of course it's hard, its the hard that makes it worth doing."

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: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:48:30 pm

[Herb Sevush] "#1 - What professional would give a sh*t."

In some cases (possibly including this one), this kind of thing can be a visual indication of dated technical foundations.

[Herb Sevush] "The definition of an overly limited NLE would be one that a user could figure out without a manual or training. If it's possible to do, then it's not worth the trouble using."

I firmly subscribe to the Alan Kay philosophy of software design — "Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible." Media Composer falls flat on its face with the former. Avid itself, and MC's existing fans, are fooling themselves if they think that won't hurt adoption. That's bad news for a company that could really use some revenue growth, and it's bad news for the product's long-term market position.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Herb Sevush
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:18:17 pm

[Chris Kenny] "In some cases (possibly including this one), this kind of thing can be a visual indication of dated technical foundations."

Or it can be seen as part of retro chic. In any event while I noticed it while playing around with Avid I also noticed scriptsync. Yes it would be nice if they kept the fonts modern, but it would be much nicer if FCPX had timeline sync and timecode indicators, or if PPro keyframed the audio by clip as opposed to by track.

[Chris Kenny] ""Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible." Media Composer falls flat on its face with the former."

Yes, but rather that then programs that fall on their face with the latter. The first limitation can be overcome by familiarity, the second limitation cannot be overcome at all.

I am not sold on Avid, for the moment it doesn't suit my workflow. I have avoided it for 15 years, I've always thought it somewhat clunky when sitting in on sessions with experienced editors. However it is only one of 2 NLE's with both a sophisticated multicam feature and a usable timeline for someone who edits with detached audio, and since the other one is now an orphan I don't seem to have much choice. It is the most sophisticated NLE for cutting out there with the most tools for advanced editing - and caring about it's aliased screen fonts is a low priority on my evaluation list.

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: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:38:17 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Or it can be seen as part of retro chic."

FCP X's main timecode display (which is clearly designed to look a bit like a sixteen segment display under glass, though if you pay attention you'll notice it renders some numbers in ways an actual segmented display can't) is 'retro chic'.

Not using modern font rendering algorithms for text in bins and dialogs because you've never updated your software to do so is just 'legacy'.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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David Lawrence
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:12:25 pm

[Chris Kenny] "FCP X's main timecode display (which is clearly designed to look a bit like a sixteen segment display under glass, though if you pay attention you'll notice it renders some numbers in ways an actual segmented display can't) is 'retro chic'.

Not using modern font rendering algorithms for text in bins and dialogs because you've never updated your software to do so is just 'legacy'."


Yeah, because everyone knows that a main timecode display rendered as skeumorphic sixteen-segment lights under glass is way more important than something like out-of-sync indicators in a drab, aliased font.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:21:41 pm

[David Lawrence] "[Chris Kenny] "FCP X's main timecode display (which is clearly designed to look a bit like a sixteen segment display under glass, though if you pay attention you'll notice it renders some numbers in ways an actual segmented display can't) is 'retro chic'.

Not using modern font rendering algorithms for text in bins and dialogs because you've never updated your software to do so is just 'legacy'."

Yeah, because everyone knows that a main timecode display rendered as skeumorphic sixteen-segment lights under glass is way more important than something like out-of-sync indicators in a drab, aliased font.
"


Uh-huh. But what sparkles better?


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David Lawrence
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:22:37 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Uh-huh. But what sparkles better?"

Ponies!











_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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David Cherniack
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 3:13:26 am

[Herb Sevush] ", or if PPro keyframed the audio by clip as opposed to by track."

Huh? Last time I looked you can keyframe audio clips since about version 1.5. Surely you mean something else and your brain is just bamboozled by all the feces being flung around this thread like a bunch of enraged monkeys... :)

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:21:52 pm

[Chris Kenny] "In Media Composer, you have to go create a /Avid MediaFiles/MXF folder, then create a numbered folder within it (numbers only, please!), then quit Media Composer, place your media in that folder, re-launch Media Composer, access the Media Tool, check all the correct boxes (which is a little confusing in its own right), and then drag the clips from the resulting window to your bin. This is completely undiscoverable, and, frankly, crazy. And it's not an isolated example."

You can also open Avid, create a bin, drag & drop the media files from the desktop into the bin or use the File->import command and your files will import into Avid (it automatically creates the folder structure it needs). Material already in an Avid codec that matches the project settings will be rewarpped into MXF, not transcoded. The only Avid wrinkle here is that users need to understand that imported media will be transcoded to match the current format and framerate settings of the project (with the previously mentioned exception). Though is that really worse than users tossing in every format under the sun, wondering why performance sucks and eventually transcoding into a less CPU/GPU dependent codec?

From an asset management perspective having everything given a unique alpha numeric file name and kept in a centralized place is great especially in multiuser, shared storage environments. Sure, it forces some aspects of asset management on the user but I don't really see that as a bad thing in the long run. I've worked in places where you could import whatever you wanted from wherever you wanted and it's an operational nightmare. I spent years editing and developing workflows in a FCP7 mutli-user environment (over a dozen editors and a 40TB Xsan) and when I got a new gig working in a similar situation but with MC and ISIS I had forgotten what a joy it is to work in an all Avid environment. Yes, it has it's problems but it is very easy to tell that Avid's sweet spot is shared storage, multi-editor environments.

To walk the dangerous road to Analogy-ville... without instruction sit one new user behind the wheel of an automatic, another behind the wheel of a manual and tell them to start the car and drive around the parking lot. The user of the automatic will probably be on lap 30 around the lot before the user of the manual figures out how to start the car and successfully get in first gear. Is it accurate to extrapolate from this that manuals are inherently inferior to automatics?


There are certainly things I dislike about MC (stills imported as video, the effects handling, etc.,) but things like it's media management are great and I'd hate to see that disappear because no other NLE currently has anything comparable.




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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:30:53 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "(stills imported as video"
WOW does it still do that?

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:52:06 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "You can also open Avid, create a bin, drag & drop the media files from the desktop into the bin or use the File->import command and your files will import into Avid (it automatically creates the folder structure it needs). Material already in an Avid codec that matches the project settings will be rewarpped into MXF, not transcoded. "

I'm aware of these methods, but they still don't really match the expected behavior (since they always generate new media and might in some instances cause transcoding). And they still don't address my points about MC basically having two ways of referencing and managing media, one being the original 'native' way, and a second way, that works totally differently, that was grafted on to support file-based workflows better.

[Andrew Kimery] "Though is that really worse than users tossing in every format under the sun, wondering why performance sucks and eventually transcoding into a less CPU/GPU dependent codec?"

FCP X manages these problems in significantly more comprehensible way with its ability to automatically generate optimized and proxy versions of imported clips.

[Andrew Kimery] "From an asset management perspective having everything given a unique alpha numeric file name and kept in a centralized place is great especially in multiuser, shared storage environments. Sure, it forces some aspects of asset management on the user but I don't really see that as a bad thing in the long run. I've worked in places where you could import whatever you wanted from wherever you wanted and it's an operational nightmare."

While Apple isn't presently making use of this to enable multiuser functions, FCP X also has a much more straightforward and flexible way of handling this as well. It can optionally copy imported media to a folder structure it manages (either at import time or at any later time). And that folder is named for the event the footage is imported into, rather than having an arbitrary, non-descriptive number. It can also store footage in any format it supports in this folder. As well as, optionally, optimized and/or proxy transcodes of that footage — and you can switch between editing with original/optimized/proxy media with one click at any time.

Contrast with MC, which basically forces you to let the app centrally manage your native MXF media, doesn't provide an option to have the app manage your non-native (i.e. AMA) media, and requires you to manually move media around in the Finder and relink sequences to move between original and proxy representations of the same clips.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:19:17 am

[Chris Kenny] "I'm aware of these methods, but they still don't really match the expected behavior (since they always generate new media and might in some instances cause transcoding)".

You are aware that you can drag and drop into Avid yet you choose to come up with the most bizarre method of media ingest into Avid imaginable. Not really an apples to apples comparison.


[Chris Kenny] "FCP X manages these problems in significantly more comprehensible way with its ability to automatically generate optimized and proxy versions of imported clips."

Doesn't that put the user in the same position as Avid w/regards to new media generation? Albiet X's way of working with natively media, doing the transcoding in the background then invisibly relinking to the new media when it's ready is much cooler than sitting and watching Avid's import bar. X also provides a unified approach than Avid as working with AMA requires a different workflow than working natively inside Avid.

Overall I'm okay with Avid's fundamental approach to asset handling material because even though it can be restrictive at times the pro's outweigh the con's (at least in my experience). Some aspects, like AMA, need improvement but what software doesn't? On a related note, one of the things I most loved about FCP Legend was it's flexibility. The downside to that is that the program would readily give you enough rope to hang yourself and happily watch as you did it. It might sound odd that I like some of the restrictive parts of Avid and at the same time like the lack of restriction in FCP7 but some situations benefit from rigidity and some situations do not. Horses for courses as they say.




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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:18:33 am

[Andrew Kimery] "You are aware that you can drag and drop into Avid yet you choose to come up with the most bizarre method of media ingest into Avid imaginable. Not really an apples to apples comparison. "

It's not 'the most bizarre method of media ingest into Avid imaginable', it's the standard method for importing pre-existing MXF files without having to copy or transcode anything. It's precisely what you'd do if you had e.g. rendered a bunch of dailies to MXF out of Redcine or Resolve and wanted to start editing with them. If you do a Google search of 'Media composer import MXF' you'll find lots of people asking how to do this, and this is the standard answer.

[Andrew Kimery] "Doesn't that put the user in the same position as Avid w/regards to new media generation?"

In some sense. I mean, there's no way around having to generate offline media if you want to have offline media. But FCP X doesn't have any of the arbitrary limitations or arbitrary differences between how formats are handled that MC has, doesn't require the same bizarre workflow to import media that's already in its 'preferred' format, and doesn't require the user to manually manage and relink to different sets of media.

[Andrew Kimery] "Some aspects, like AMA, need improvement but what software doesn't?"

Eyeballing this as someone who has some software development experience, I've got to say that these distinctions and limitations in how Media Composer handles different media formats look very 'deep' — like, replacing this stuff might be like trying to replace a building's foundation with the building still on top of it. And this stuff is all going to be tied up with Avid's shared storage solutions as well, making things even more complicated. There's probably a reason they went and did AMA instead of adding more flexibility to 'native' media handling in the first place.

In my view, if Avid wants to reverse its long, slow decline, they need to pull an FCP X — except with much better communication with users, no radical new timeline paradigm, no immediate discontinuation of the legacy product, and a more complete feature set in the 1.0 product. I think they really need a clean start. As I mentioned in an earlier post, MC is the only major NLE that hasn't had one. FCP obviously had one with X, and Premiere had one with Premiere Pro in 2003, which was also a complete rewrite. There is little desktop software that has 24 years of technical continuity, and there's a reason for that.

I ran across an article a couple of years ago (the link I saved to it sadly now appears to be dead) that quoted an Avid employee saying that Avid actually started down this road once, but backed away precisely because they were worried about a backlash from existing users.

[Andrew Kimery] "The downside to that is that the program would readily give you enough rope to hang yourself and happily watch as you did it. It might sound odd that I like some of the restrictive parts of Avid and at the same time like the lack of restriction in FCP7 but some situations benefit from rigidity and some situations do not. "

Working at a post house (and getting to see lots of projects as they transition from offline to online), I know exactly what you're talking about. But there are ways to prevent self-hanging that don't involve restricting options as much, and there are certainly ways to do it that don't compromise user friendliness. FCP X's proxy workflow, for instance, is both more friendly and more foolproof than manually managing original AMA and offline MXF versions of clips in MC.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 3:27:30 am

[Chris Kenny] "It's not 'the most bizarre method of media ingest into Avid imaginable', it's the standard method for importing pre-existing MXF files without having to copy or transcode anything."

Ah, since the hypothetical situation was a neophyte importing footage I jumped to a situation where the person was handed DNxHD camera masters and told to get them into Avid.


[Chris Kenny] " And this stuff is all going to be tied up with Avid's shared storage solutions as well, making things even more complicated. There's probably a reason they went and did AMA instead of adding more flexibility to 'native' media handling in the first place."

I agree and didn't mean to imply that I thought it would be a simple fix. AMA was definitely a stop-gap solution and they will have to unify how Avid handles media. Just like I think they'll have to work on interfacing with the timeline. The SmartTool looks like it will give you FCP-like functionality but it's so kludgy in practice that I rarely use it even though I really like FCP Legend's timeline interfacing.


[Chris Kenny] "In my view, if Avid wants to reverse its long, slow decline, they need to pull an FCP X — except with much better communication with users, no radical new timeline paradigm, no immediate discontinuation of the legacy product, and a more complete feature set in the 1.0 product. I think they really need a clean start"

I don't think anyone would disagree with that and it sounds plausible to me. Update the backend, give the GUI a facelift but keep the look & feel intact so users don't feel like they have to relearn the program from scratch.




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Jok Daniel
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 4:47:53 pm

[Chris Kenny] "I think they really need a clean start. As I mentioned in an earlier post, MC is the only major NLE that hasn't had one."

MC6 is a complete (64 bit) rewrite.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 5:00:00 pm

[Jok Daniel] "MC6 is a complete (64 bit) rewrite."

Porting to 64-bit does not require rewriting all source code. It mostly just requires cleaning up code that makes non-portable assumptions about the sizes of data types. MC6 does not appear to be a full rewrite, Avid has not said that it's a full rewrite, and the technical feasibility of Avid having pulled off a full rewrite in the time between MC 5.5 and MC 6, or of having done a full rewrite that maintains the level of backwards compatibility that MC 6 maintains, is virtually zero.

It's still the same old codebase.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Jok Daniel
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 5:48:53 pm

[Chris Kenny] "MC6 does not appear to be a full rewrite, Avid has not said that it's a full rewrite, and the technical feasibility of Avid having pulled off a full rewrite in the time between MC 5.5 and MC 6, or of having done a full rewrite that maintains the level of backwards compatibility that MC 6 maintains, is virtually zero."

"With a complete rewrite of its code base, Avid freshens up the under-the-hood technology and puts the foundation in place for new features making more efficient use of 64-bit operating systems." http://www.studiodaily.com/2011/11/top-five-media-composer-6-features/

"Avid has taken the opposite approach. In rewriting MC6 as a 64-bit application, a job that took two years to complete, Avid has kept the familiar way of working." http://provideocoalition.com/ssimmons/story/avid_media_composer_6_is_announ...

"Avid also decided to rewrite all their code from scratch, but instead of one big hit, they have been progressively rewriting their code for the last three or four releases, if not longer." http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2011/11/64-bit/


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 6:38:30 pm

[Jok Daniel] ""With a complete rewrite of its code base, Avid freshens up the under-the-hood technology and puts the foundation in place for new features making more efficient use of 64-bit operating systems." http://www.studiodaily.com/2011/11/top-five-media-composer-6-features/

"Avid has taken the opposite approach. In rewriting MC6 as a 64-bit application, a job that took two years to complete, Avid has kept the familiar way of working." http://provideocoalition.com/ssimmons/story/avid_media_composer_6_is_announ....."


These appear to be quotes from others who are also assuming that 64-bit means a rewrite occurred. It doesn't.

[Jok Daniel] ""Avid also decided to rewrite all their code from scratch, but instead of one big hit, they have been progressively rewriting their code for the last three or four releases, if not longer." http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2011/11/64-bit/"

This confirms that Media Composer was not rewritten between 5.5 and 6.0, and was in fact not rewritten from the ground up at any point. Over several releases, more and more code was progressively made 64-bit 'clean' (and/or updated in other ways), but there was no break in the continuity of the codebase.

Despite the "Avid also decided to rewrite all their code from scratch" language, it is extremely unlikely that no code dating from before this process remains. Even if that were the case, replacing code one 'module' at a time doesn't really provide an opportunity to rethink the basic structure of an app, which is a big part of what Media Composer, in my opinion, requires.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 6:50:41 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Despite the "Avid also decided to rewrite all their code from scratch" language, it is extremely unlikely that no code dating from before this process remains. Even if that were the case, replacing code one 'module' at a time doesn't really provide an opportunity to rethink the basic structure of an app, which is a big part of what Media Composer, in my opinion, requires."

For the most part all of this is entirely irrelevant. If you compare performance on most Macs between FCP X and MC 6.5.2 today, FCP X is clearly a worse performer. There are more memory leak issues, the UI is laggy and media handling is sloppy. So whether ported or written from the ground up, the proof is in actual results. Then let's factor in that by rewriting X from the ground up, many of the features editors have relied on were completely dropped, forcing most established users to either stick with FCP 7 or add a lot of workarounds and extra utilities to use X.

- Oliver

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 7:03:29 pm

[Oliver Peters] "For the most part all of this is entirely irrelevant. If you compare performance on most Macs between FCP X and MC 6.5.2 today, FCP X is clearly a worse performer. There are more memory leak issues, the UI is laggy and media handling is sloppy. So whether ported or written from the ground up, the proof is in actual results. Then let's factor in that by rewriting X from the ground up, many of the features editors have relied on were completely dropped, forcing most established users to either stick with FCP 7 or add a lot of workarounds and extra utilities to use X."

There has been a fairly extensive discussion about why I believe Avid needs to consider a ground up rewrite, and your post pretty much ignores all of it.

But yes, feature, performance, and stability regressions in your initial release(s) are one of the expected costs of rewriting. We saw the exact same thing with the first couple of releases of OS X, in spades. Does this mean Apple should have kept Mac OS on its 'Classic' foundations forever? Twelve years after the OS X transition, if we think about what that would look like, I think it's very clear it would have been a huge mistake — that today, Apple would be in a far weaker position had they not transitioned Mac OS to new foundations. I believe that Avid is making such a mistake right now.

--
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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 9:31:34 pm

[Chris Kenny] "There has been a fairly extensive discussion about why I believe Avid needs to consider a ground up rewrite, and your post pretty much ignores all of it."

Yes, I've been following it, but I choose not to get into the nitty-gritty of it, largely because I don't agree. It's easy to offer suggestions of why something should change, especially when you don't use or like it. While I do agree that a lot can be improved, the suggestions offered don't necessarily hold water. For example, complaints about applying effects. That's funny, because the process for applying effects in MC is pretty much the same as in X. Open a palette, apply an effect, open an inspector, move sliders. Quite frankly I think both methods (MC and FCP X) are poor.

[Chris Kenny] "Twelve years after the OS X transition, if we think about what that would look like, I think it's very clear it would have been a huge mistake"

While I agree, you should also note we lost something in the move from OS9, such as the ability for the users to greatly customize the OS to their liking. The benefit is a more solid, buttoned-down OS.

[Chris Kenny] "I believe that Avid is making such a mistake right now."

You may be absolutely right. However, it's far easier for Apple to do so with FCP X because it can financially afford to treat ProApps like a hobby. I'm not saying that it does - just that it has that luxury. Avid doesn't.

I think Avid's problems have very little to do with whether MC needs to be more rewritten more than it has been.

- Oliver

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 9:53:09 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I think Avid's problems have very little to do with whether MC needs to be more rewritten more than it has been.
"


Yes! I think making Avid X would be the final bullet in the brain pan.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:29:14 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Yes! I think making Avid X would be the final bullet in the brain pan."

That's exactly the problem. Given the likely reaction from Avid's present user base, that might very well be the case. But the alternative is for Avid to slowly waste away. This is not a prediction — it's what has been happening for years now.

--
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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:44:36 pm

[Chris Kenny] "[Chris Harlan] "Yes! I think making Avid X would be the final bullet in the brain pan."

That's exactly the problem. Given the likely reaction from Avid's present user base, that might very well be the case. But the alternative is for Avid to slowly waste away. This is not a prediction — it's what has been happening for years now.
"


But that's not the problem. People buy X because its from Apple and in the Apple fold, and Apple can sell X as it does because X is basically loss-leader. To suggest that Avid could benefit by directly competing with X on the ground that Apple has established is silly. Yes, Avid has problems, but I don't see creating their version of X as even remotely an answer.

"Avid's present user base" is far more varied than you might think, btw. Its not the same as it was a decade ago. That base is now made up of a lot of people who use multiple NLEs and are open to quite a bit more than once was the case.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 11:22:34 pm

[Chris Harlan] "But that's not the problem. People buy X because its from Apple and in the Apple fold, and Apple can sell X as it does because X is basically loss-leader. To suggest that Avid could benefit by directly competing with X on the ground that Apple has established is silly. "

I believe it would be fundamentally possible to develop an NLE and profitably sell it for a few hundred dollars a copy, it it were sufficiently accessible to have appeal to the broader editing market rather than primarily to just the broadcast/feature niche. I doubt Apple actually loses money on FCP X. And Resolve shows that if a tool is compelling enough, it doesn't have to be from an Apple or an Adobe for people to pay attention to it.

I like FCP X's timeline paradigm, but it's clear that not everyone does, and Apple clearly alienated some folks with the way FCP X was introduced. If, two years ago, Avid had had an app on the market that was as user friendly and inexpensive as FCP X, built on a modern engine, available on OS X and Windows, and that had a traditional timeline and workflow features FCP X didn't then (and in some instances still doesn't) have (broadcast video I/O, EDL and OMF exporting, etc.), Avid would have cleaned up.

That didn't happen, as far as anyone can tell. Think about that. Think about what it says about Media Composer's appeal to non-Avid editors. When Apple axed FCP 7, MC should have been the overwhelmingly obvious choice for people who didn't like X. It wasn't. Instead it seems like the most common choice has been to stay put, and wait around for Premiere Pro or FCP X itself to get better.

[Chris Harlan] "Yes, Avid has problems, but I don't see creating their version of X as even remotely an answer."

The idea that Avid needs products with more mainstream appeal isn't just some crazy notion of mine — Avid itself appeared to believe this a few years ago. But they addressed the issue mostly through acquisitions (of e.g. Pinnacle), basically failed to ship compelling products, and never really structured things in such a way that adoption of more mainstream products would plausibly lead to sales of higher end products.

Fundamentally, I believe a company in the NLE market could be quite successful with a model very much like Blackmagic's — free/cheap 'Lite' software to pull people in, more expensive 'pro' versions of that same software, to provide a clear upgrade path, and reasonably priced hardware. Add in server software, etc. to support the customers who need collaborate editing (a traditional Avid strength) and I bet you could make it work.

Of course that doesn't mean Avid, the corporation that exists today, necessarily has a clear path to successfully transition to this model.

--
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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:13:40 am

[Chris Kenny] "Fundamentally, I believe a company in the NLE market could be quite successful with a model very much like Blackmagic's — free/cheap 'Lite' software to pull people in, more expensive 'pro' versions of that same software, ."

What makes you think there are significant numbers of Resolve users shelling out $1K for the paid version? Especially since the main Lite limitation is the lack of bigger-than-HD output. I'd bet almost no one, except for folks actually building grading businesses. Not too many of those. It's a loss leader for the cards and sweetens the sale for the camera. Plus Grant has a soft spot for color correction. You'll note he's not giving Teranex away for free (and it has a software base inside all that hardware).

- Oliver

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:26:06 am

[Oliver Peters] "What makes you think there are significant numbers of Resolve users shelling out $1K for the paid version? Especially since the main Lite limitation is the lack of bigger-than-HD output. I'd bet almost no one, except for folks actually building grading businesses. Not too many of those. It's a loss leader for the cards and sweetens the sale for the camera. Plus Grant has a soft spot for color correction. You'll note he's not giving Teranex away for free (and it has a software base inside all that hardware)."

I did propose selling hardware as part of the model for this hypothetical NLE vendor as well. And if I were running this hypothetical company, I don't think I'd be quite as aggressive as Blackmagic is with Resolve Lite — I think maybe I'd do a very limited free version (unlike Resolve Lite, the limitations of which are pretty much irrelevant to most of the market), a mid-range product in FCP X's price range (all editing features, but missing most 'pro' workflow features), and then a full version at maybe $800.

--
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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:28:19 am

[Chris Kenny] "I don't think I'd be quite as aggressive as Blackmagic is with Resolve Lite"

I think they had to. Apple devalued the market for color correction software when they rolled Color into Studio.

- Oliver

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:32:01 am

[Oliver Peters] "I think they had to. Apple devalued the market for color correction software when they rolled Color into Studio."

Yeah, I agree that this made sense for Blackmagic, particularly since they were going into it making 100% of their revenue from hardware in the first place. Although I do recall comments at one point that as additional features are added to the full version of Resolve they might not all make it into Lite, so the products might more further apart in the future.

My point, though, was that I wouldn't quite recommend that precise approach to Avid.

--
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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 1:27:03 am

Mind if I interrupt this dance? ;-)

Oliver, while everything Chris suggests may involve some risk, may or may not be the best solution... there's the alternative....

I know how COW folks' disdain for analogy these days but it's a language I sometimes prefer to speak in.

Avid is much like cancer patient that may be approaching a terminal stage. The doctor may even say the patient has a couple of years or maybe... a bit longer with a very poor quality of life. Any possible treatment certainly means risk. Treatments may range from standard to experimental and prognosis may range from low chance of success with limited life extension to very much unknown for the experimental treatments.

A key problem is the longer the patient takes to make a decision the greater the likelihood of bad outcomes. Granted my bleak picture is my own painting and some might disagree. After it's just one doctor's opinion.

Ultimately Avid has to decide if software is going to stand on its own as a profitable part of the business or it will be a hook into its more profitable hardware and services. Or maybe even some tiered combination.

I think many if not most of the companies in the post field have made significant changes in their business models as the markets have changed. Avid certainly has made some attempts but to date they've been serious failures. Their response is to keep cutting away diseased parts but apparently never even remotely attempting a cure. Yes, with treatment there's risk but without treatment the end seems inevitable.

So if everything Chris suggest is wrong... what's the right risk for Avid to take?
Or do you believe waiting it out is a solution?



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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 2:39:03 am

[Craig Seeman] "Ultimately Avid has to decide if software is going to stand on its own as a profitable part of the business or it will be a hook into its more profitable hardware and services. Or maybe even some tiered combination."

Agreed. I suspect the latter approach (hardware ands services) is the answer.

The bottom line is that high end post is no longer a profitable business for large, public companies. The survivors either have deeper-pocketed parents or are smaller, privately-held (or venture capital-held) nimble companies. It may well be that the best course for Avid is to double-down and target only broadcasters and restructure accordingly. That's what GV has done. Not sure how well it is for GV, but you can see it in other sectors. Panasonic is a prime example of previously large companies who are floundering. Or Sony.

I don't think that "dumbing down" the software for broader appeal is the solution. Of course I don't have the answer either. But then no one else on this forum does either or they'd have the contract with the $1M golden parachute ;-)

- Oliver

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 3:45:40 am

[Oliver Peters] "Of course I don't have the answer either. But then no one else on this forum does either or they'd have the contract with the $1M golden parachute ;-)"

Actually I do think we have answers, what we might lack is the experience and skill set to implement them successfully. People with those skills might want to look at ideas from people like us.

[Oliver Peters] "I don't think that "dumbing down" the software for broader appeal is the solution."

They had their chance with Pinnacle and they mishandled that, I think. Lack of business imagination. If there were no viable strategy there then I don't think Adobe would be continuing their Elements line.

[Oliver Peters] "The survivors either have deeper-pocketed parents or are smaller, privately-held (or venture capital-held) nimble companies"

This gets back to some of the things Chris Potter brought up. The problem is Avid really needs an Angel so they can go private.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 2:04:35 am

[Oliver Peters] "I think they had to. Apple devalued the market for color correction software when they rolled Color into Studio."

Actually they didn't have to. If the market wasn't profitable, if the market meant heavy loses, they could have exited. Instead they used software to sell hardware. They decided where the potential revenue source was and decided the software would be the hook.

I can speculate one way of thinking that brought them there. They had a reasonable estimate of immediate hardware sales for the niche market that chooses resolve over other tools including but not limited to Color. They probably also estimated that making free resolve pervasive, they may even entice some Color users to move. Some portion of that market will grow into hardware purchases. Also facilities buying the hardware would be assured of a very large talent pool. Was this the only answer? No, if they didn't think that was viable they could have exited the market.

With Avid, Media Composer is still too expensive to be pervasive. Just about every other NLE is less expensive. Sure Avid made a move with low crossgrade price when the FCP7 plug was pulled. But the result was that most hung on to 7 and another portion moved to Adobe Production Suite (many already had so it was, at most an upgrade to the current version).

Even with that, Media Composer is not a significant revenue stream and, at the crossgrade price, worse than that. Avid had no strategy that opened the door to hardware purchases, at least nothing in the way that works like Blackmagic. I suspect, unlike Blackmagic, you may find Media Composer users looking at Isis competitors for example.

Sorry for the verbose response but basically Avid doesn't seem to make the software hardware connection that competitors might make.

ProTools and its ecosystem might be a closer parallel to Resolve and its ecosystem. Blackmagic has a broadening range of low cost hardware wither it's video cards, ATEM switchers, Teranex, VideoHub and now their move into cameras. Avid has what appears to be narrowing niche of high priced hardware.

Briefly, Adobe went through a major business model change which, as we've seen here, upset a few. Apple certainly went through a change which upset many. Avid seems to be afraid to take such risk. What they did do is, in the laster few years, enter and then exit the "consumer" market at a major loss... again with no business model on how to connect it to their ecosystem.

Avid will have to do something that will upset some portion of their user base in order to survive. I think that's inevitable. That problem is exacerbated because, while being debt free... they are also basically capital bereft.

Blackmagic and other businesses made changes because they had business models in place. They probably had mechanisms for covering the risk as well. Avid my be in a position where they have no choice but jumping without a safety net.

If the NLE market isn't profitable to Avid they either have to make it so or use it as a tool to sell hardware. That's a choice.



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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:24:20 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I think Avid's problems have very little to do with whether MC needs to be more rewritten more than it has been."

Technically true, in the sense that MC isn't actually a huge fraction of Avid's revenue. Avid's downturn really started as commodity hardware got powerful enough to displace their specialized hardware. That trend is ongoing and irreversible.

But finding a wider market for their video editing software could perhaps help offset some of that.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:30:24 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Avid's downturn really started as commodity hardware got powerful enough to displace their specialized hardware."

Agreed. Hardware is a factor for the make up of the company in its current situation. That's why BMD chooses to give away Resolve, but limit the I/O to BMD cards, plus selling very expensive panels. I doubt they make money on Resolve software outright.

[Chris Kenny] "But finding a wider market for their video editing software could perhaps help offset some of that."

Doubtful, unless there's a huge restructuring. Look at Autodesk. They can afford to do what they have with Smoke, because M&E is a small chunk of Autodesk and editing/effects an even smaller portion within M&E.

- Oliver

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


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:05:41 pm

Good point Aindreas, let's ban colourists from expressing an opinion

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:07:29 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "I kind of don't get why a colorist comes in and starts lecturing the room on anything he can think of."

Good point. What could a colorist, online editor and post facility owner, who regularly uses all of the major NLE environments as part of complex workflows, has software development experience, and has considerable knowledge about the history of the computing industry, possibly have to say about video editing software or the future of video editing?

--
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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:25:51 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Good point. What could .... video editing?"

I'm not piling on here, so forgive the question. You seem to be a fan of FCP X. No problem, but for the sake of clarity, how much seat time do you have editing with it in a client-supervised environment?

- Oliver

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:43:24 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I'm not piling on here, so forgive the question. You seem to be a fan of FCP X. No problem, but for the sake of clarity, how much seat time do you have editing with it in a client-supervised environment?"

I don't really do client-supervised creative editing.

I know there are several editors now exclaiming "Ah ha! Why should we listen to anything this guy says?" But the reality is that what software wins and what software loses in this industry is really not determined by whether you can do a particular kind of edit with one key press in one NLE vs. having to grab the mouse in another. It's determined by price, by larger workflow considerations, and, in the long run, by what software is most accessible to new editors.

--
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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:59:36 pm

[Chris Kenny] "I know there are several editors now exclaiming "Ah ha! Why should we listen to anything this guy says?" But the reality is that what software wins and what software loses in this industry is really not determined by whether you can do a particular kind of edit with one key press in one NLE vs. having to grab the mouse in another. It's determined by price, by larger workflow considerations, and, in the long run, by what software is most accessible to new editors."

While I agree with that in principle, I see owners make plenty of evaluations of what software they think is good, based on a cursory exposure to it. Then in the "heat of battle" it falls over - but that's the editor's problem, not the person who made the purchasing decision.

That's my experience with X and some express the same concerns about Premiere. Others have good experiences, so YMMV. In the end, it's not about doing one kind of edit versus another, but rather can you deliver on time and on budget. Despite the financial issues, Avid has consistently proven that their products can do that. To a large extent - at least in the POV of most on this forum - so did/does FCP7/FCS.

If the consideration is larger workflows, X completely "fails", unless you are willing to use a lot of extra applications and/or workarounds. Also from a facility owner's POV, Apple should give you great concern, since they burned users of a number of their apps, like Final Cut Server. I freelance at such a shop and FCSrvr is all but completely dead in the water, thanks to all the Java/MacOS issues. They are moving on to something else at even more expense.

- Oliver

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:11:22 am

[Oliver Peters] "While I agree with that in principle, I see owners make plenty of evaluations of what software they think is good, based on a cursory exposure to it. Then in the "heat of battle" it falls over - but that's the editor's problem, not the person who made the purchasing decision."

I don't just stick 'Digital Workflow' in my title to justify the nerdy glasses. I do fairly extensive workflow testing before putting anything into production.

[Oliver Peters] "If the consideration is larger workflows, X completely "fails", unless you are willing to use a lot of extra applications and/or workarounds."

If you step back and stop taking the workarounds required by other NLEs for granted, it's not clear that FCP X is really any worse.

OK, so you can't directly export an EDL. But we seem to have less trouble taking FCPXML files into Resolve than Media Composer AAF files — and if you fall back on an EDL out of MC, have fun rebuilding all your reframes. So really, which is more problematic, workflow wise?

And you can't export an OMF. But roles are pretty powerful. And is this really a more egregious workflow limitation than, say, not being able to natively work with R3D or H.264 files in FCP 7? I mean, at least this can be pretty much addressed by an external tool; FCP 7's format limitations couldn't.

I have lists of workflow annoyances and limitations for Media Composer, FCP 7, FCP X, Resolve, Compressor, Adobe Media encoder, ffmpeg, Motion, After Effects... hell, OS X and Windows. A very big chunk of my job is to figure out "We need to start with A, and get B out of it. What's the best way to do that with sensibly priced hardware and software?" And then I go off and try a dozen things, using various combinations of tools. And I often run into situations where I'm saying to myself, "If only this worked a tiny bit differently, it would solve everything" or "How can this feature not exist in this app?"

FCP X does not stand out as being uniquely problematic in this respect. It certainly was with the feature set in 10.0.0, but not so much these days. In fact, I've recently come up with a new workflow for generating various deliverables out of FCP X that works much better than any workflow I had ever found for doing the same in any other way.

[Oliver Peters] "Also from a facility owner's POV, Apple should give you great concern, since they burned users of a number of their apps, like Final Cut Server. I freelance at such a shop and FCSrvr is all but completely dead in the water, thanks to all the Java/MacOS issues. They are moving on to something else at even more expense."

Apple has a penchant for killing software. Avid is perpetually losing money and restructuring. Adobe seems to have decided to totally change the way its software is licensed, in a way that honestly seems like it'll cost a bunch of extra money.

No vendor is safe. The only safety is in flexibility.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:25:25 am

[Chris Kenny] "If you step back and stop taking the workarounds required by other NLEs for granted, it's not clear that FCP X is really any worse."

Sure it is. You cannot accomplish everything you need to do within the Apple software. You have to find outside solutions, which Apple does not directly support. At least within FCP7/FCS or Adobe or Avid, I'm working with solutions developed and supported by the company. Not so in X.

I currently cannot accomplish ANY advanced post job without falling back on some use of FCP7 to fill in the blanks. While that may seem to be all part of the plan, it's pretty obvious that Apple has washed their hands of anything they don't see as a "current" standard.

Plus, talk to any developer off-the-record and they have nothing good to say about FCPXML or the lack of a plug-in architecture within FCP X. While all the small developers are doing a helluva a job keeping up with Apple, it's nothing like a sanctioned feature set developed to work inside the software.

[Chris Kenny] "I have lists of workflow annoyances and limitations for Media Composer, FCP 7, FCP X, Resolve, Compressor, Adobe Media encoder, ffmpeg, Motion, After Effects... hell, OS X and Windows."

Yes, I would agree.

[Chris Kenny] "No vendor is safe. The only safety is in flexibility."

Agreed.

- Oliver

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 3:31:50 am

[Oliver Peters] "Sure it is. You cannot accomplish everything you need to do within the Apple software. You have to find outside solutions, which Apple does not directly support. At least within FCP7/FCS or Adobe or Avid, I'm working with solutions developed and supported by the company. Not so in X."

I just think this is essentially arbitrary. You're letting other NLEs define the feature set, and then pointing to FCP X and saying it's missing features. But the same thing would work in reverse. For instance, FCP 7 can export an EDL, and FCP X can't. OK, well, FCP X can work with most camera media natively, and FCP 7 can't. How come in one direction this is "you cannot accomplish everything you need to do within the software" and in the other direction it's not? I bet more editors want to work with native camera media than want to export EDLs.

--
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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 12:50:37 pm

[Chris Kenny] "You're letting other NLEs define the feature set, and then pointing to FCP X and saying it's missing features."

I don't think so. I'm looking for features expected by the industry to function in professional workflows. Things like proper project/media control, list interchange (AAF, EDL, XML), media management, interoperability within its own ecosystem (Motion, Logic), proper mixing tools inside the app and so on.

[Chris Kenny] "For instance, FCP 7 can export an EDL, and FCP X can't."

That's not the only issue, but it's an important own in the niche of high-end post. You of all people should know that, because I often cannot send anything other than an EDL to most of the top finishing/DI shops in the world. Why? Linux workstations and the ease of dealing with EDLs for them. EDL-X is a great little app, but I've had better luck going to FCP 7 via Xto7 and then generating an EDL. Ironically FCP 7 has become my "conforming" tool of choice when cutting on X.

[Chris Kenny] "I bet more editors want to work with native camera media than want to export EDLs."

That's completely true. I for one do not advocate using native camera media much. More often then not, it impedes creative editing performance when you need a fast and responsive system. But to that point, Premiere Pro and Media Composer support more native camera formats than does FCP X.

- Oliver

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 3:47:24 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I don't think so. I'm looking for features expected by the industry to function in professional workflows. Things like proper project/media control, list interchange (AAF, EDL, XML), media management, interoperability within its own ecosystem (Motion, Logic), proper mixing tools inside the app and so on."

The objective fact is that all of these apps have different feature sets. FCP X has features not found in other NLEs, and other NLEs have features not found in FCP X. Had you been using FCP X for years, and designing workflows around that, you'd be looking at other apps and saying they had workflow weaknesses because they required external transcoding, or they didn't have metadata support as good as FCP X's, or you couldn't create bundles of output settings and generate multiple deliverables with a couple of clicks, or you couldn't add roles to specific timeline items and output each set of items to a separate file, or whatever — all of these are features that could become critical to workflows one might construct around FCP X.

But since you're going in the other direction, and dealing with workflows that were constructed around other apps, it's FCP X that gets identified as having workflow weaknesses.

In 10.0.0, when there was fundamentally no way to get a sequence into or out of FCP X, one could say that there were, objectively, very serious workflow limitations. Now that we're merely talking about e.g. the fact that FCP X requires you to use an external app to generate an EDL, but not to competently transcode R3D media, while in FCP 7 it's the reverse, determinations about which app has the stronger workflow features are necessarily arbitrary and specific to particular situations and particular individuals' sets of requirements.

[Oliver Peters] "That's not the only issue, but it's an important own in the niche of high-end post. You of all people should know that, because I often cannot send anything other than an EDL to most of the top finishing/DI shops in the world. Why? Linux workstations and the ease of dealing with EDLs for them."

I recognize that EDLs are still necessary for some DI workflows — but not for all DI workflows. For instance, we ask clients for NLE project files (in case there are issues that are best fixed in the NLE before exporting anything), and in the case of FCP X would simply output an XML file and bring that into Resolve. Or, I've heard that Technicolor's DI workflow involves conforming projects in Smoke — if they're on the latest version, that means that perhaps the most 'name brand' DI facility in the world has the technical capability to conform from an FCP X XML file with no intermediate steps (whether they know this and would be willing to entertain the possibility, I can't say).

So, even at the high end, a given project could, for all you can say in the abstract, end up finding (for instance) FCP X's metadata features absolutely critical, and finding that its lack of EDL exporting isn't a problem at all. FCP X's workflow features have reached the point where one can't say it's worse with respect to workflow in the general case. One can merely point to specific workflows where it's worse. But one can also point to other workflows where it's better. Which makes it like pretty much every other tool in this business.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 7:44:04 pm

[Chris Kenny] "The objective fact is that all of these apps have different feature sets. FCP X has features not found in other NLEs, and other NLEs have features not found in FCP X. Had you been using FCP X for years, and designing workflows around that, you'd be looking at other apps and saying they had workflow weaknesses because they required external transcoding, or they didn't have metadata support as good as FCP X's, or you couldn't create bundles of output settings and generate multiple deliverables with a couple of clicks, or you couldn't add roles to specific timeline items and output each set of items to a separate file, or whatever — all of these are features that could become critical to workflows one might construct around FCP X."

This is an absurd argument. You are treating these NLEs as if they existed in a parallel Universes, and that has no bearing to reality. In my country, everybody drives on the right side of the road. That's our workflow. It's been that way for nearly a century. All the lines and turn lanes are painted to facilitate that. All of the drivers muscle memory is all about driving on the right. All of the steering wheels and control panels are designed for driving on the right. Driving on the left presents an equally valid workflow. If we'd been driving on the left for nearly a century, our workflows would be constructed around that. But, so what?! Fortunately for X, it isn't THAT different. But that is the argument you are making.

[Chris Kenny] "But since you're going in the other direction, and dealing with workflows that were constructed around other apps, it's FCP X that gets identified as having workflow weaknesses.
"


Quite definitely.


[Chris Kenny] "So, even at the high end, a given project could, for all you can say in the abstract, end up finding (for instance) FCP X's metadata features absolutely critical, and finding that its lack of EDL exporting isn't a problem at all. "

It's not Oliver who is speaking in abstractions. He's speaking in practical terms. You are the one postulating a different reality to make everyday problems go away.


[Chris Kenny] "FCP X's workflow features have reached the point where one can't say it's worse with respect to workflow in the general case. One can merely point to specific workflows where it's worse."

Sorry. "In the general case," you CAN say which is worse, and taking the overwhelming numbers of real world examples and dismissing them as mere specific workflows is beyond cheeky.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 8:02:55 pm

[Chris Harlan] "This is an absurd argument. You are treating these NLEs as if they existed in a parallel Universes, and that has no bearing to reality. In my country, everybody drives on the right side of the road. That's our workflow. It's been that way for nearly a century. All the lines and turn lanes are painted to facilitate that. All of the drivers muscle memory is all about driving on the right. All of the steering wheels and control panels are designed for driving on the right. Driving on the left presents an equally valid workflow. If we'd been driving on the left for nearly a century, our workflows would be constructed around that. But, so what?! Fortunately for X, it isn't THAT different. But that is the argument you are making."

The driving analogy doesn't map. There isn't one standard workflow in the industry, which apps need one standard feature to support, and which FCP X doesn't implement the same way as everything else.

Rather, the various NLEs have a myriad of features, which provide varying levels of support to various different tasks. These are combined in different ways on different projects to produce a diversity of workflows almost as numerous as individual projects themselves.

With respect to a particular project, you may be able to accurately make the statement "FCP X doesn't offer a workflow for this that's as fast/robust/affordable/whatever as [Other NLE]". However, with respect to all projects, you cannot accurately make that statement. Consequently, you cannot make a general statement that FCP X is worse than other NLEs with respect to workflow. It depends on the project and the other tools being used.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 8:34:31 pm

[Chris Kenny] "The driving analogy doesn't map."

Sure it does. Good play on words, though.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 8:42:00 pm

[Chris Kenny] "There isn't one standard workflow in the industry, which apps need one standard feature to support, and which FCP X doesn't implement the same way as everything else."

I get your analogy, but I think Oliver/Chris etc also make a valid point. In the grand scheme of things, yes, there are perfectly valid, perhaps even more efficient workflows with X. But... The reality is that in a fairly large segment of this biz, one still needs to deliver an EDL, OMF/AAF etc. It probably would be easier for Post Houses to have the latest version of Smoke/Resolve etc and just suck in fcpxml. But right now, they can't. And right now is what matters for "high end pros'" - and I use that term very loosely :-) - when deciding whether or not to adopt X.

I really enjoy cutting in X, it productive, fast, and weirdly, fun. The only thing keeping me from doing everything in it, and pushing everyone where I work onto it, is the lack of "legacy" features. I need to be able to easily swap sequences with other editors. I need to spit out EDL's that are accurate (which EDL-X does really well) and have notes about opacity/effect names etc (which EDL-X doesn't currently do), so online editors can easily recreate what i've done. OMF would be nice, X2Pro works great, but not everyone mixes in Pro Tools, and FCPXML is still a moving target, which causes issues now and again.

Like Oliver, I still use FCP 7 as a conforming tool, and I wish I didn't have to. We often get features and separate stems, which I need to combine and export as split masters so we can cut with them. It's still easier to do this in 7.

So... while in theory, hell even in practice, there are valid, efficient workflows that can be used with X, it can't exist as an island *right now* in the crazy quilt multi-platform, multi-application, "professional" finishing and delivery world. Apple needs to either add internal tools to make it play nice with all the creaky, old fashioned workflows still extant, or offer much stronger support for those developers making the tools to do so. I get why they didn't focus on that out of the gate. And I don't care if i need to spend a few bucks to be able to interact with other workflows.I just need it to work. Because I like cutting it. Especially the sparkly eye candy.

-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Oliver Peters
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 10:20:11 pm

[Charlie Austin] "It probably would be easier for Post Houses to have the latest version of Smoke/Resolve etc and just suck in fcpxml. But right now, they can't. And right now is what matters for "high end pros'" - and I use that term very loosely :-) - when deciding whether or not to adopt X.
"


Let me bring the discussion back to sort of the original intent of this thread and away from the head-butting-features arguments.

This all gets down to critical mass. Post houses that service outside editors and clients for online editing/finishing/grading will adapt to the bulk of material coming in to them. Right now that's largely FCP 7 and Avid-edited content and lists. If tomorrow that shifted to 100% FCP X and everyone started sending only FCPXML, you'd probably see a change to accommodate these clients. But it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.

In my market (cen Fl) I am one of two working pros that I know of (including editors, shooter/editors and director/editors) who are even using FCP X at all. I'd bet that's largely the case in most markets. I suspect the folks on this list are a huge exception and definitely not the norm. Schools are a huge wild card, but even there, I don't know that the vast majority are adopting X. A lot are (more than in general "pro" use), but plenty are still working with FCP 7, PPro and Media Composer. When you look at how that affects finishing shops, it really means that it will be a long time before they need to change.

The other part of this is that the top shops have the top talent, who have their own choices of gear. That means they are the ones calling the shots on workflow, not me as the creative/offline editor. If my client wants to work with Mr.A-List colorist and he requires EDLs, you better believe I'm going to figure out how to get him an EDL instead of complain that he can't work with FCPXML. For that matter, the same is true of trying to provide AAFs out of Avid.

So in the end, there's a lot more that goes into these choices than whether Apple has re-invented editing software or not. Or that Media Composer is perceived as "long in the tooth".

- Oliver

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 2:07:10 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "translation I'm not an editor really, but thats not going to stop me giving forth at very great length on all topics. "

Alternate translation, he's managed a facility and must understand all aspects of the business and has experience making these decisions and keeping in mind staff when making such decisions.



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Chris Kenny
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 3:10:47 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "translation I'm not an editor really, but thats not going to stop me giving forth at very great length on all topics. Future of editing, what you should be using, what apple is going to do.... and on and on and on."

Creative editors are not the only stakeholders who care about and influence outcomes in this industry. They're certainly not the only people able to provide informed commentary about the industry or speculation about its future. In fact, while folks in this forum are, in general, reasonably engaged and well informed on the subjects surrounding this discussion, in my experience a lot of editors out there don't follow industry 'politics', aren't familiar with the history of computing or phenomena like commoditization (critical to understanding how the industry is evolving), don't know anything at all about software development cycles, aren't familiar with product development concepts like 'minimum viable product' (critical to understanding some of Apple's decisions around the FCP X launch), and sometimes don't understand end-to-end post workflows or just aren't very tech savvy at all.

There is nothing about being a creative editor that inherently means one is qualified to comment about big picture industry trends, let alone that one is so uniquely qualified to do so that others should be silent.

But, hey, don't let the fact that I predicted both that FCP X would be a radical departure, and the backlash to that a year in advance deter you from believing that I couldn't possibly have the slightest insight here.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 5:18:18 am

[Chris Kenny] "There is nothing about being a creative editor that inherently means one is qualified to comment about big picture industry trends, let alone that one is so uniquely qualified to do so that others should be silent.
"


Chris, I should say I enjoy and value your input, even though I often disagree with your assessments. It DOES clarify things for me to understand that your day job isn't editorial, and I now understand a little bit more about where you are coming from. I also understand the frustration Aindreas is expressing, because so much of what we are arguing here is about a maze that editors are running through daily.


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 4:35:00 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Creative editors are not the only stakeholders who care about and influence outcomes in this industry. They're certainly not the only people able to provide informed commentary about the industry or speculation about its future. In fact, while folks in this forum are, in general, reasonably engaged and well informed on the subjects surrounding this discussion, in my experience a lot of editors out there don't follow industry 'politics', aren't familiar with the history of computing or phenomena like commoditization (critical to understanding how the industry is evolving), don't know anything at all about software development cycles, aren't familiar with product development concepts like 'minimum viable product' (critical to understanding some of Apple's decisions around the FCP X launch), and sometimes don't understand end-to-end post workflows or just aren't very tech savvy at all.

There is nothing about being a creative editor that inherently means one is qualified to comment about big picture industry trends, let alone that one is so uniquely qualified to do so that others should be silent.

But, hey, don't let the fact that I predicted both that FCP X would be a radical departure, and the backlash to that a year in advance deter you from believing that I couldn't possibly have the slightest insight here."


Well said Chris.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 7:13:26 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "right, yes, well - we're all lucky you're here to inform us all at length on the the things we don't understand, from your highly elevated perspective chris.

mother of god - I mean seriously."


Well you did provoke that reply.

Aindreas is there ANY possible way you could just discuss the points that people make and not the people themselves?

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 7:33:58 pm

in validating your opinion Steve, you have regularly referred to your experience as sometimes the entire basis for validating your point. you finish with - trust me, I've been doing this a very long time.

It is, I would say, fair to question someone's arguments based on the fact that they are giving forth in an editing forum, without actually being, you know, an editor. I'm not the first person to raise this point.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 11:22:19 pm

[Oliver Peters] "For the most part all of this is entirely irrelevant. "

I think's pretty relevant. It's 2013 and when I import an image file into Avid it gets transcoded into a video clip. If I want to import a 720p60 clip as 720p60 my project settings have to be 720p60. If my project is set to 1080p24 the imported clip will be changed to that format and frame rate. Avid's timeline can easily handle mixed media but ingesting mixed media is a chore. I don't think Avid can truly leverage the advantages of modern code if the limitations of the old code are maintained.

I feel like Avid can retain the basic look and feel and MC, which will keep users happy and hopefully streamline the process as they shouldn't attempt to reinvent the wheel, while removing workflow limitations that made since in the '90's but don't make sense today.




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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 9:47:10 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Even if that were the case, replacing code one 'module' at a time doesn't really provide an opportunity to rethink the basic structure of an app, which is a big part of what Media Composer, in my opinion, requires."

Luckily, not everyone shares your view.


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David Lawrence
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:36:53 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Drivel. But for what its worth, I have also noticed that a number of X users seem unable to see the sugary, sparkly, diabetes-inducing, unicorn-frolicing, my-little-pony-like UI of X for what it is either."

LOL, so true!

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Brett Sherman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:02:28 pm

[Chris Harlan] I have also noticed that a number of X users seem unable to see the sugary, sparkly, diabetes-inducing, unicorn-frolicing, my-little-pony-like UI of X for what it is either.

Of course all of us FCP X users are delusional children. I mean come on! I worked with Media 100 for 5 years. I worked with Avid for 7+ years. I worked with FCP 7 for 7+ years. And now I've started working with FCP X. I'm no idiot. And let me tell you, there is absolutely nothing "sugary, or sparkly" about the interface. I find it the most efficient use of space that I've used. Now I do documentary-style work (which apparently puts me on a lower peg than Hollywood fictional work). So our workflows may not be the same. But to suggest FCP X is a toy, is simply without basis. Just because you can't work with it, doesn't mean that others can't.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 9:41:19 pm

Of course its that way, Brett. You just can't see it.

Actually, if you'd been following the thread you might have noticed that my rather harsh remarks were in response to a squabble Chris Kenny and I were having over Avid's UI, and that my response was really about some of his notions about what Avid users can and cannot see about their own software. So, it was meant to be an outrageous, over-the-top statement.

As to the rest of your extrapolations, I do't quite understand where you are coming from. I don't think X is a toy. I relish documentaries. I will do any kind of work that is available to me. I don't quite understand your explosion.

As to X's UI--yes, it is a bit candy-like for my taste. I find the animations wasteful. Is it a deal breaker? No.


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:41:34 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Drivel. But for what its worth, I have also noticed that a number of X users seem unable to see the sugary, sparkly, diabetes-inducing, unicorn-frolicing, my-little-pony-like UI of X for what it is either.
"


Also Drivel

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:56:12 pm

[Steve Connor] "Also Drivel"

See. You just can't see it, Steve.


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 6:59:37 pm

[Chris Harlan] "See. You just can't see it, Steve.
"


Yes I can, it's just that I prefer frolicking Unicorns to an interface that looks like I've just booted up my old Power Mac in OS9!

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:03:36 pm

[Steve Connor] "Yes I can, it's just that I prefer frolicking Unicorns to an interface that looks like I've just booted up my old Power Mac in OS9!
"


LOL! Now you know you guys are a bunch of bronies, right?

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/06/bronies-my-little-ponys/


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:12:48 pm

[Chris Harlan] "http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/06/bronies-my-little-ponys/"

Bizarre!

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:48:29 pm

[Steve Connor] "it's just that I prefer frolicking Unicorns"

Ah yes those were the days....





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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:26:46 pm

We've gone from My Little Pony to flogging a dead horse! Wasn't 4.2 when it became theoretically "useable?"


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:29:30 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Wasn't 4.2 when it became theoretically "useable?"

Theoretically, yes, practically, no. I got fed up with clients asking what the 'horse" was about on the bootup screen and we saw the boot up screen a lot in those days.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:39:10 pm

[Steve Connor] "[Chris Harlan] "Wasn't 4.2 when it became theoretically "useable?"

Theoretically, yes, practically, no. I got fed up with clients asking what the 'horse" was about on the bootup screen and we saw the boot up screen a lot in those days.
"


That was my reaction, too. Of course, I only tried it out.


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David Cherniack
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 3:24:45 am

[Chris Harlan] " Wasn't 4.2 when it became theoretically "useable?""

No. For large projects Premiere 4.2 was misery. It became theoretically and practically usable with the 5.0 64 bit re-write and Mercury playback engine.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 3:49:41 am

[David Cherniack] "It became theoretically and practically usable with the 5.0 64 bit re-write and Mercury playback engine."

In 1998? That's when Premiere (not Pro) was released. You might be thinking of Premiere Pro 5.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 4:33:52 am

[David Cherniack] "[Chris Harlan] " Wasn't 4.2 when it became theoretically "useable?""

No. For large projects Premiere 4.2 was misery. It became theoretically and practically usable with the 5.0 64 bit re-write and Mercury playback engine.

David
AllinOneFilms.com
"


Yes, I agree. We're actually talking about Premiere and not Premiere Pro, back a billion years ago when the rumor went around by mouth and in print that it was finally "useable." I don't know of anybody who tried it, and had anything to do other than the most rudimentary of computer video edits, that thought it was worth anything. I think it was Premiere 5.0 where you could finally use 3rd party cards to get 30fps playback.


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 10, 2013 at 4:39:19 pm

[David Cherniack] "No. For large projects Premiere 4.2 was misery. It became theoretically and practically usable with the 5.0 64 bit re-write and Mercury playback engine.
"


Which, for those who don't know the history of Premiere, wasn't the next version! David means Premiere PRO 5.0 which came YEARS after Premiere 4.2

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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David Cherniack
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 11, 2013 at 1:15:18 am

Yes, I didn't realize that you were discussing ancient pre-history. Wow. I do remember vaguely Premiere 4.2 through dim shards of memory.

As for PPro CS4 it was the last 32 bit version. Memory issues had plagued Premiere for larger projects since its introduction and with CS4 they attempted to portion off separate functions into separate dlls running in their own memory space (in a 64 bit OS). It helped a little but not enough. 5.0 was the watershed 64 bit release though no one outside of Premiere users noticed until Apple did its dirty.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 5:42:54 pm

[Chris Kenny] "It works, frankly, like an app from a couple of decades ago that has had a huge number of features grafted onto it — because that's exactly what it is. There are signs of this all over the place in, say, Photoshop as well, but Media Composer is by far the worst offender among apps I come into regular contact with in this industry."

It's the interface that time forgot!

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Chris Harlan
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 2:14:18 am

Hey Chris!

I thought it was a good, well-rounded assessment. Thanks for writing it, and thanks to Craig for sharing it.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 4:30:28 pm

I have a good friend who worked in the AVID mass storage and engineering departments, and his take on it was very similar to the Glassdoor comments. The way he puts it though, is pithier:

"Beatings will continue until morale improves..."

And of course AVID's method of dealing with competition was often to buy them; and then use these technologies in lieue of innovation and R&D.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Screenlight: Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 4:54:19 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "And of course AVID's method of dealing with competition was often to buy them; and then use these technologies in lieue of innovation and R&D."

Which was a viable business model for a time. They can't afford to buy innovation any more. While they have no debt they have no significant resources to buy or even to put into their own R&D. They can't even sustain their relationship with Boris for bundling.



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Craig Seeman
Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 4:45:12 pm

This short commentary from Richard Harrington who many of us know for his Photoshop tutorials here and elsewhere. More of an outline with links to articles.

The comments following the article are also interesting.

Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?
http://www.richardharringtonblog.com/files/6d1f0a98ed850b763d121e0541411e1f...



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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:00:41 pm

[Craig Seeman] "This short commentary from Richard Harrington who many of us know for his Photoshop tutorials here and elsewhere. More of an outline with links to articles."

Oh yes, I see, a guy who's been an Apple trainer and who now writes training books for Adobe products is predicting the end of Avid - and we are all supposed to surprised and/or impressed?

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 7:41:47 pm

Even if it's just vultures circling just as the law firms are doing, the very phenomena of circling vultures is interesting. They all do smell blood though. Avid is very much wounded. Some are emboldened by that, right or wrong.

Personally I think part of the problem is that Avid really is in a muddy area between selling software (which isn't all that profitable to them) and selling hardware (which they aren't selling enough of to make a profit). This is making them a target from all sides and some are openly shooting at the target.

Realistically everyone in this business has some financial stake including end users who make money using these products.

Maybe you can only point to those who are full time journalists as without motive.

... and maybe there's a reason why EditShare starts an industry news outlet...



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 8:51:20 pm

"I can tell you a WHOLE lot of broadcast stations are switching to Adobe Premiere Pro."

Premiere Pro everyone - premiere bloody pro. the one I actually know rather well.

thank you God. Lets all now turn out the lights here and start using premiere pro.
then I will have gotten away with not properly training myself on anything post FCP7. Except for some excellent javascript keyframe routines in AE and the 3D tracker, which is awesome.

break out the cigars and brandy everyone. Stick on some tunes. Its training easy street.

woop woop.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:43:44 pm

Betteridge's law of headlines: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines

;)




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Oliver Peters
Re: Avid � Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)?
on Mar 9, 2013 at 1:48:25 am

There's a real interesting issue when you look at pricing. Apple has always sought to keep software prices low. When MC cost thousands, Apple priced FCP/FCS at $1K. But all of a sudden, MC gets down to $2500 ($300 academic) and Apple drops FCP X to $300 plus multi-seat licensing at no extra charge. And if some interpretations are right, willing to hold back a year's worth of revenue from it by pre-announcing upcoming features. In other market sectors, this would be considered predatory.

- Oliver

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


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