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Bjarki Gudjonsson
FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:39:12 pm

Alright, guys.

Most of what people here are talking about is based on the sneak peek, naturally. I've been trying really hard to ignore that press but at the same time some thoughts have been gnawing at the back of my head. Most of what was shown at the demo was editor-based. All good, nevermind what people think about the changes. But what strikes me is that as an online editor of commercials as well as programming, I'm really scared of losing oversight of my projects. A lack of numbered tracks (which I generally use seperately for dialog, music and effects), audio locked to video tracks (essentially hiding some of my audio), grouped edits... It all sounds great while I'm editing, but when I'm finishing my project - I don't know. I hope I'm wrong.

Your thoughts?

B.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:46:44 pm

see below - the feature request thread is pretty good, many participants.

on a personal note, I find it mind boggling that, in order to preserve mystique, apple are willing to literally torture an entire profession.

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


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Bjarki Gudjonsson
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:00:23 pm

Yeah, I'm not really into the feature requests. I'm sure it'll be chock full of features. And this is all really based on really limited information. My point is that this product might further endear itself to alot of it's customers but could potentially alienate others.

My other issues are what I'll do with my Euphonix controllers...

B.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:05:19 pm

let me qualify that - I get apple's reasons, they're very real - the announcement hit USA today - (good god, avid weeps) -

but as to your specifics -I think simon ubsdell below lays out some similar case scenarios, chew fat some p'raps.

as a side note: Apple: release all documentation in.... looks at watch.

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


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Roland Manuel
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:20:06 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "on a personal note, I find it mind boggling that, in order to preserve mystique, apple are willing to literally torture an entire profession."

They enjoy it.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:31:24 pm

Ha. Quite -
hey look sure - they're the home of the digital humanities - and this is a play to give film making tools on an unprecedented scale -
again: the announcement hit USA today for god's sake - this cultural tool dissemination goes to their fibre, and more power to them.

that's all *completely* dandy - I.. just, oh god i just want the manual, or some half detailed walkthroughs before june.

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


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Roland Manuel
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:56:23 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "that's all *completely* dandy - I.. just, oh god i just want the manual, or some half detailed walkthroughs before june."

Trouble is they have played this game with us for years now, I reckon they actually think it is funny. Think they could do with an overhaul of their customer relations system.

It is so nearly here but it still feels a million year away, perhaps they could release the manual a page a day in a newspaper, I'm sure they would find that funny too.


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Bjarki Gudjonsson
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:00:52 pm

We wouldn't even be done with the EULA by the time it's out then. :)

B.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:17:28 pm

Actually I think this is the first time Apple ever did a sneak peak before a product was released.

It's funny how they finally give us an advanced look and so many people are so upset that it was just a one hour sneak peak instead of a two day detailed expose of every feature. Given people's response they might just decide to go back to not showing anything until the product is released.

Why gosh darn it, since they didn't tell me if it'll make lunch for my clients, I'm just going to switch to the telephone and those menus I keep getting under my door!



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Roland Manuel
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:35:22 pm

It will definately make lunch for your clients, I saw it in over colourful glossy boxes, which will hurt my eyes to look at because they are all just too beautiful.

I'm really looking forwards to wandering around it, I don't even care if there's no Color or Motion or compressor or even DVD studio. I enjoyed using them all in the past but there are very good alternatives to them all now. At the end of the day it's not really the end of the universe of they've gone.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:38:06 am

[Roland Manuel] "It will definately make lunch for your clients, I saw it in over colourful glossy boxes, which will hurt my eyes to look at because they are all just too beautiful."

People have been wondering what Apple has done with Siri
http://siri.com/
since purchasing the company that makes the app.

Apparently you spotted the icon in the FCPX interface. Click on it and give it your order and the meal pops out of your SuperDrive (well they need to use that space for something if there's no Blu-ray burner).

[Roland Manuel] " I don't even care if there's no Color or Motion or compressor or even DVD studio"

Actually this is may be one reason why people have been asking open exporting to other tools in a high end post workflow that might include ProTools, Resolve, Nuke, etc.

Apple did say to someone after the SuperMeet that there is more to come. I strongly suspect that relates to a more complete post workflow. I too think Apple will have complete integration of the features found in most of the rest of the Suite but I do think they realize there's professional need for professional export to other programs.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:24:49 pm

this is on a pretty large scale tho - apple provided comprehensive Q+A time with senior personnel for all the last major iOS revisions to allow for communication channels with developers - but for the entire dependent editing community, they chose broad scale blind side PR.

the essential problem here is that apple view the professional products community as consumers - which we are not - we employ their software with care as a business engine, both singularly and as business entities.
we are not here to be simply wowed, and even if the demo wasn't for us, we surely deserve a quiet follow up to simply know what is going on.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:36:35 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "this is on a pretty large scale tho - apple provided comprehensive Q+A time with senior personnel for all the last major iOS revisions to allow for communication channels with developers - but for the entire dependent editing community, they chose broad scale blind side PR."

Anybody they talked to about FCP was under NDA so I doubt anyone can assume they weren't talking to some key facility personal.



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Roland Manuel
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:42:28 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "we are not here to be simply wowed, and even if the demo wasn't for us, we surely deserve a quiet follow up to simply know what is going on"

I have been complaining that point for years, if Avid, Adobe, The Foundry or even I as a business treated the clients with such childish secrecy we would not have many clients. But Apple assumes they have more power than I think is safe for them to assume. It was ok when there was no alternative for £ or function but the gap is pretty well closed, in short, they had better have made FCPX an awesome product or they will loose their clients, I think from reading the blogs a lot have made plans to not be so dependant on an erratic supplier.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:50:25 pm

nah - they've got me, I really can sort of see my future editor in that software, I'm going to sit down and eat the manual - I just think they could comport themselves better as a professional company with professional clients.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:27:15 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "I just think they could comport themselves better as a professional company with professional clients."

This is probably the one area where Apple is trying a new approach and they've hit some bumps along the way. Bouncing out the entire SuperMeet schedule when they only had a one hour presentation seems a bit odd. It certainly might impact the mood of the audience.

Additionally the historically secretive Apple has been trying a new marketing approach, still under development, for the last couple of years. It more or less seems to have begun with Steve Jobs answering his email. Apple went from complete silence with rumor opposition with calculated approaches to managing and propagating the rumor mill rather than outright opposition. They began to see rumors as another form of viral marketing. This change culminated with the "sneak peak" to End Users rather than an Apple Press event to the Media. Apple may not have anticipated "unanswered questions" leading to doubt rather than anticipation amongst many of those end users.

I think they'll recover from it because, ultimately, judgement will be on whether Final Cut will meet or exceed people's needs and expectations. Businesses, whether one person shops or bigger facilities, will determine whether it streamlines workflow, drives down overhead, expedites return on investment.

It'll be interesting to see how the handle the "official" release event. Also we'll see if they learn better how to handle the rumor/viral marketing which, in this case, should have better managed getting needed information into the professional market.

But my gosh, have you seen this much attention ever before for any not yet "officially" announced professional video product? The problem is a lot of it is not positive or even cautious optimism.



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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:53:57 am

[Roland Manuel] "or they will loose their clients, "

I don't think many of those will be gone for long if Apple understands the industry as they well do.

I remember the resistance to Avid in 1989 because it had horrible compression at such low resolution you couldn't see any details in the frame. I was editing linear for nearly a decade at that point and non linear on a laser disc based CMX 6000 for about a year. An Avid system was around $100,000 give or take and cost pennies compared to a full blown online room and about 1/3 the price of a CMX 6000. Avid won the war over linear and blew out the non linear competition.

In 1999 I remember Avid editors were resistant to Final Cut Pro as it was bereft of key features and cost about $1000. FCP market share has blown past Avid although it took a few years for the features to be developed enough to make the huge cost savings actually worth it.

It's now 2011 and once again editors, even old guard FCP editors show some resistance. Once again the new toy on the block will gain traction and blow past the competition and go beyond the "old" FCP as well.

Apple has been good at what they do for over a decade in the NLE market and not only do they know where the industry is going, they have resources Avid didn't have, and even Apple themselves didn't have in 1999, to make it happen IMHO.



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Bjarki Gudjonsson
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 12:12:53 pm

Great points you make there, Craig. It's actually kind of interesting to see what the response has been these last few days. Are they using that preview to gain online feedback and polish their product accordingly? Are they reluctant to release more info because they're gonna wow us all over again with a presentation including Color X, Motion X and more?

The fact that this public display was produced, but not followed up by an updated Final Cut page on their webpage tells me we don't really know the whole story. And I'm pretty sure Apple will release more info as soon as they're ready. It's just a couple of months, anyway. I'll use that time to finally clean up my Mac Pro rig and set it up all over.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:52:26 pm

[Bjarki Gudjonsson] "Are they using that preview to gain online feedback and polish their product accordingly?"

I certainly thinking Apple is paying attention to forums and blogs in the industry. I've mentioned elsewhere that a real part of the "radical change" is their approach to marketing (viral marketing and the rumor mills) started when Jobs started answering emails, knowing very well his responses would go all over the net.

I think they realized the best way to get a "full measure" is the "sneak peek" and see what happens. That they said it was a sneak peak, publicly stated that they were showing a BETA, even expressed the hope that it would work that night, makes it quite clear that what was being show was NOT FINAL.

The App Store distribution gives them a very different "final round" for the product then they've every had before. Without the need to replicate disks, print boxes, have the marketing material done before all that, distribution and shipping time, they can work on things up to just days before distribution.

In fact, this "viral" observation means they'll already have a sense of what they need to work on for X.1 if they missed a demand for a key feature.

[Bjarki Gudjonsson] "The fact that this public display was produced, but not followed up by an updated Final Cut page on their webpage tells me we don't really know the whole story."

Yes, and there will likely be a "more formal" release event in the future. They're probably banking on a lot of "Ah, Ha!" when many of the questions are answered at that event.

IMHO the really big shift in Apple is not simply the product but they've moved from "secretive" to "managed rumor" as a form of distributing information and gathering feedback. That doesn't surprise me at all as it started with Jobs himself. It surprised me that in all the postings virtually NO ONE has caught this. That a "sneak peak" is very un Apple like historically UNLESS one considers that this has been an ongoing marketing transformation initiated by Jobs.

People don't even seem to understand the price drop makes sense with the cut in their manufacturing and distribution costs, NOT simply "consumer" pricing. That this distribution model allows them to implement changes and updates lightening fast. Heck people don't even get the Thunderbolt tie in although that was made clear by Apple at "sneak peek"



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Chris Kenny
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:52:21 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "see below - the feature request thread is pretty good, many participants.

on a personal note, I find it mind boggling that, in order to preserve mystique, apple are willing to literally torture an entire profession."


Honestly, I think people are reading this in a rather screwy way, because of the sort of narrative that has built up over the last couple of years. According to that narrative, Apple was neglecting pro video because a) there had been no major Final Cut Pro update in a while and b) Apple couldn't possibly care that much about pro video (or even the Mac) when they were selling all those iPhones.

But that narrative never made any sense. The lack of FCP updates was easily explainable by Apple quietly working on a major overhaul, which was what they obviously had to do at this juncture given the technical limitations of the old FCP, and which we now have confirmation is precisely what they were doing. Meanwhile, the "Apple can't focus on more than one thing at a time" meme is bizarre nonsense that somehow never gets applied to other companies. Ever seen any handwringing about how Sony is going to neglect pro video cameras because PlayStations are selling too well? Me neither.

Well, despite the fact that the very existence of FCP X (arriving at about the time you'd expect if they'd started serious work on a major overhaul after shipping FCP 6) substantially undermines the case that Apple was ever actually neglecting this market, many people are still interpreting the entire FCP X announcement according to a mental framework in which Apple is neglecting this market, and picking at every little detail that could be read as supporting that. This has turned what was, based on the actual substance, an early announcement about a few interesting new features, into round after round of baseless speculation that anything Apple didn't explicitly announce, no matter how basic and essential, might be on the chopping block.

Apple isn't torturing people. People are torturing themselves. And it wasn't, as far as I can see, Apple's responsibility to design its announcement to comfort people who insist on torturing themselves.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:58:37 pm

I'm in major agreement with you.

Between OS, Quicktime and hardware changes, Apple had to aim at this target a while back. This is where their resources were focused. They were focused on changing the Jet to Space Flight rather than changing the tires to travel on a runway they were planing on leaving behind.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 6:44:14 pm

no absolutely - I completely go with the long term build up to this - that's all cool - basically there are five or six things the industry would love to know arising from that sneak peek - there are post facilities who badly need to know what is going on. I just basically think apple could have someone write a blog entry to dampen the fevered mood - with a few bullet points on the status of features like the clip viewer XML etc. It wouldn't kill them - but I rather think they won't - they'll just let the industry stew for two and a half months. that's my issue.

and yesss.. I may indeed be torturing myself, but well, I'm really not the only one, and apple have a simple solution at hand - the keyboard.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:13:26 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "no absolutely - I completely go with the long term build up to this - that's all cool - basically there are five or six things the industry would love to know arising from that sneak peek - there are post facilities who badly need to know what is going on. I just basically think apple could have someone write a blog entry to dampen the fevered mood - with a few bullet points on the status of features like the clip viewer XML etc. It wouldn't kill them - but I rather think they won't - they'll just let the industry stew for two and a half months. that's my issue. "

Well, Apple doesn't have a blog, and that aspect of their corporate culture is not likely to change soon. There is, no doubt, some schedule set up for an official announcement of FCP X (as opposed to that highly unusual 'sneak peek') that will come with more detailed info.

The truth is, the industry at large probably isn't even paying that much attention at the moment -- most of the industry folks I come into professional contact with in the real world were only vaguely aware of any of the NAB announcements or their implications, and certainly haven't formed opinions about FCP X. This "fevered mood" is perhaps a few hundred people on Twitter and a few message boards working themselves up with little factual basis for any concern, and I'm just not entirely sure it's sensible to expect a major corporation to change the structure of a carefully planned rollout for a product with a couple of million users on that basis.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:23:33 pm

Well sure: I was in professional contact with real world professionals *only today* in a place called AKQA cutting a sports thing for them - they've just invested heavily in about 30TB more xsan and a stack of new seats - believe me, they are extremely curious to know what's happening to the roadmap.
Then say there's Hogarth - they've entered the Soho market as an FCP pure play pitch - they're probably pretty curious too. Then there's Unit in soho, who actually cut a lot of Apple's European ad versions - again pure FCP play, hooked up to audiopost suites and colour grading suites - they are very curious about what is going on, in terms of interoperability with other systems and...
they'e all going to be sitting on their hands for two and half months wondering if their work flow still works.

this isn't about freaking out on twitter - I think apple have a professional onus to clear up some of the questions outstanding from the event.

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


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Chris Kenny
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:36:51 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "this isn't about freaking out on twitter - I think apple have a professional onus to clear up some of the questions outstanding from the event."

The reason people are freaking out is because they went into the event skeptical of Apple's commitment to the pro market (despite the fact that the very existence of FCP X should have substantially dispelled that), and viewed the entire announcement through the lens of, essentially, "Based on what we've seen, what's the worst thing that could be true that they're not telling us". I don't think Apple has any responsibility to respond to people who deliberately choose to torture themselves by playing that game.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie? on our blog.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:43:32 pm

yeah. what you're saying does ring very psychologically true alright. This is a *bit* of a perception thing.

but hey! there could be a manual wikileak. A bradley manning in the bowels of the development team...

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:48:47 pm

Do keep in mind that Apple having an event, gave more information that Apple usually disseminates before a product is released.

I think Apple is happy that many are now going to sit on their hands rather than reach for Avid or Premiere or move their entire facilities to Windows. It won't be a long wait though at all. It's only 8 to 10 weeks until the end of June and WWDC will be sooner and some of the more general road map may be revealed then as developers learn about Lion (and Quicktime AV) programming support, which may be a major factor in how FCPX handles things.

Sometimes revealing some pieces create misconceptions. So many people's perceptions who only saw Twitter feeds where later impacted differently when they saw the video clips.

Saying "no more viewer" can set off more panic then actually showing the interface's functionality. Saying "trackless timeline" is another example. I'll bet answering about tape based log and capture is another one of those things as well. Better to leave people with questions after seeing something, than posting something that can be misconstrued. Maybe the "can you do this or that" is not a simple answer because the response may be "that's not quite the right question in the new context."

Take the Henry Ford quote being used in the FCPX context. "If I asked people what they wanted, they'd say a faster horse"

So you show them the car and their question is,
"So how much manure does it produce because I need it to fertilize my farm?"
If you tell them none and they run away.

Alternately you need another few hours to show them the advantages of the faster trip from farm to market and back which gives you another day of productivity on the farm they might say, "I can buy more fertilizer, do more work and save more time and money in the process."

Sometimes giving short answers to explain things is NOT the way to go. Apple will wait until they have a controlled environment to paint a complete picture rather than risk out of context responses.



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Bjarki Gudjonsson
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 21, 2011 at 2:25:10 pm

[Chris Kenny] "Ever seen any handwringing about how Sony is going to neglect pro video cameras because PlayStations are selling too well? Me neither."

Actually, Chris, the opposite is true of Sony. They are notoriously spread out. Their left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing. There have been stories of Sony divisions outbidding others for components, for instance, which tells you that Apple's position as a hardware/software producing unit has a unity to it's products that isn't found elsewhere. That in itself tells you that Apple does in fact use it's engineers between projects. Whether or not that has actually delayed this product, we can only guess.


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Walter Soyka
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:42:36 pm

There was one huge positive for finishing mentioned in the sneak peek, and I really don't understand why it's not getting more attention. FCPX will have color management and a linear, floating point color space. FCP and QT's total mismanagement of color and gamma has been a thorn in my side for years, and I'm hopeful that FCPX's new color model will change all that.

A lot of people are making a lot of noise about the disappearance of numbered tracks. I hate to break out the cliché analogy, but I think this might be like asking Henry Ford for a faster horse. The sneak peak showed really pervasive use of metadata, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that there will be new ways to group clips which will entirely replace the notion and functions of numbered tracks. I'm trying to wait until June before I freak out that I won't have any way to quickly turn off all graphics to generate a clean version of a video or output multi-channel audio.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:15:59 pm

Absolutely, hurrah for floating point!!!!!! This is really good news and means that FCP is no longer compromised on picture quality for finishing.

Simon Ubsdell
Director/Editor/Writer
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Paul Dickin
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:37:02 pm

Hi
Without placing too much importance on 'rumour', the first postings about what has turned out to be FCP X, that came in 2009, came in two paragraphs.

Para 1 has subsequently checked out more or less to be spot on, predicting what we would be getting - if you take into account that the NAB 2010 original announcement date was subsequently amended to be delayed until NAB 2011.

Para 2 talked about problems of delivering a fully integrated suite at a professional level - with the conclusion that because to those difficulties this had been rolled on to 2013 before everything would be ready for delivery.

Reverse-engineering Apple's precise sneek peak decision process leads me to the same conclusion. Apple have said nothing so far beyond "FCP X is coming" because its too early, and there's still too much to do.....



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walter biscardi
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:13:15 am

[Bjarki Gudjonsson] "Your thoughts?"

All my thoughts are in my blog.

http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/4690/apple-dropped-the-ball

Bottom line, Apple wasted at least an hour of the FCPUG Supermeet with what they DIDN'T say. Not for lack of time, but for lack of.... well I have no freakin' clue.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:09:08 am

[walter biscardi] "Bottom line, Apple wasted at least an hour of the FCPUG Supermeet with what they DIDN'T say."

Actually that was my first reaction too. Why toss an entire schedule when you have no intention of using the time? Maybe Apple is just a poorly managed company when it comes specifically to Post Production. They would seem to be the next Commodore Amiga at least when it comes to FCS and Post Production, eh?

Maybe the incomplete presentation was a calculated business decision. I've heard, but can't confirm, that the beta they were showing was not the current state of the product. I know first hand that a company can have a "presentation state" version because newer versions are presenting new challenges to the coders. Perhaps there's a serious issue they're tackling which may delay a specific function. Perhaps the problem is such that several functions are at risk, one may have to be delayed beyond release and they haven't decided which one. Rather than promise anything, they rather be silent in anything they feel insecure about saying, showing, promising beyond what's locked down.

I'll quote this from a blog I read in which someone actually talked to an Apple staff immediately after the SuperMeet. My own caveat is one never knows if contents in a blog are specious or a misremembered or misinterpreted presentation of what was actually spoken.

While this Apple employee I talked to didn’t let out any secrets or new information about FCP X he said a few things that were quite telling.
...
But then I said: “I probably would not want to edit a feature film with that application based on the demo I saw tonight.” My statement seemed quite intriguing to this Apple guy.
...
Then he asked me a question that really summed up what we saw in FCP X. He asked if I was around for Final Cut Pro 1.0 some 10 years ago? I responded ‘Of course! That finally gave me an Avid at home.” He then asked: “Would you have edited a feature film in Final Cut Pro 1.0?” I probably would not have edited a feature in FCP 1.0 as it wasn’t a mature enough or robust enough application to handle a feature..
...
He said that he thinks of FCP X more like a 1.0 production. “A rebooting of Final Cut Pro” I said. “Exactly” was the response.

I have no idea if the conversation is true or accurate. I certainly find it odd that even that much would be revealed to anyone if the above is true though.

My own subjective opinion is, one either believes Apple is convinced that being secretive has a market advantage or they genuinely didn't want to risk making some statements in public at this point before the release.

Given Apple's history of silence, that they had a "sneak peak" before a controlled product announcement is more open then they've ever been before . . . and maybe they just mismanaged it, at least party due to that.



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walter biscardi
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:14:44 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Then he asked me a question that really summed up what we saw in FCP X. He asked if I was around for Final Cut Pro 1.0 some 10 years ago? I responded ‘Of course! That finally gave me an Avid at home.” He then asked: “Would you have edited a feature film in Final Cut Pro 1.0?” I probably would not have edited a feature in FCP 1.0 as it wasn’t a mature enough or robust enough application to handle a feature..
...
He said that he thinks of FCP X more like a 1.0 production. “A rebooting of Final Cut Pro” I said. “Exactly” was the response.

I have no idea if the conversation is true or accurate. I certainly find it odd that even that much would be revealed to anyone if the above is true though."


So then Apple has made a calculated business decision to take a very robust, solid editing system and give us a 1.0 reboot that isn't really ready for primetime and they expect those of us to run it professionally on feature documentaries and broadcast productions?

Really, this is a wise decision? Here's something that's pretty good but not nearly as good or robust as what you're using today. Yeah, we've been working on this for over 2 years, but it's the best we can do for now and we know you really want something new. So bear with us for the next two years or so while we make it something as solid as FCP 7 and has all the features you'll need to cut a film.

If that statement you printed is near true (and from what I heard from other people after the event, it sounds pretty close to what I was hearing) Apple is really playing with professional careers. This is not a consumer product and we're happy to have bugs and failings in the first few iterations. This is a professional products that people make their living on.

If Apple is admitting this thing can't cut a feature length project, why even release it? The Cow really needs to get an interview set up with Walter Murch and / or the Coen Brothers. Would really love to hear their take on the "new and improved" FCP and whether they plan to cut a movie with it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:17:30 pm

[walter biscardi] "Really, this is a wise decision? Here's something that's pretty good but not nearly as good or robust as what you're using today."

Personally I think Apple will "come through it" meaning that they will have the "favored" NLE. Just not immediately. Avid in 1989 had HORRIBLE video. You couldn't see facial expressions and hands were blurry appendages. In 1999 FCP was no match for Avid.

I think Apple's confident that FCPX will be the leader. Unlike the two "game changers" in the past, FCP7 is still there and the other options won't prevent you from coming back or mixing and matching NLEs.

I do think Apple's new method of distribution means it won't take 2 years this time. My own hunch is it'll mostly there by the end of the year.

I think this is the cause for the incomplete presentation and unanswered questions. They just can't say the order of the roll out. They could have said something to the effect, "You'll have this and more in June and we'll continue to roll out additions throughout the year" or something to that affect. It would have been the more diplomatic spin on admitting they have more to do.

If you've every had to "reboot" anything in your life (such as starting a new business after a previous effort) you know that whether personal or business, sometimes you're lead to that point. I think this is Apple's situation. They really had to make drastic changes, commit the resources to the new FCPX, and simply need more time. With the new distribution model it makes it both more affordable (for them and us) and faster to distribute the updates.

[walter biscardi] "Yeah, we've been working on this for over 2 years, but it's the best we can do for now and we know you really want something new. So bear with us for the next two years or so while we make it something as solid as FCP 7 and has all the features you'll need to cut a film."

It won't be 2 years. I think more like the end of this year IMHO. What would you do if you were them? Show nothing, distribute nothing, be silent for 6 more months? There will be something for SOME people to use in June. There will be time to acclimate to the new interface. Since they don't need to print and ship disks, there'll likely be major updates in the App Store (free using it's update feature) by December. Actually I think Apple is being more open then ever before as they've never done a Sneak Peek. At the same time they're not going to answer questions about features that are still being developed.


[walter biscardi] "If Apple is admitting this thing can't cut a feature length project, why even release it? "
For the same reason Avid released their's in 1989 and Apple in 1999. It gives people time to use the app, get a sense of product direction, gives the developer an idea of how to prioritize things.



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Dave Jenkins
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:23:55 pm

If FCP X isn't all there in the 1.0 release then Apple should give us a timetable for making it the feature equivalent to FCP 7.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:53:36 pm

[Dave Jenkins] "If FCP X isn't all there in the 1.0 release then Apple should give us a timetable for making it the feature equivalent to FCP 7."

I think you've hit on the key "secrecy" issue. They don't quite know the timetable so they don't want to comment on which features and what order.

I've worked with developers and while there are internal timetables, there's a whole host of reasons not to make them public. When you have a complex interlocking Rubik's Cube of a program, you can run into unforeseen stumbling blocks. It may well have been why the were showing an earlier beta at the Supermeet rather than a current one . . . and that's also not uncommon for presentation.

From a developers perspective, the one thing worse than customer uncertainty is promising a delivery date and discovering you're going to be way off and having to make a "negative" announcement or, alternately, just quietly letting the date slip (and the customers will be quite noisy about that) or, worse yet, having to pull a feature entirely after announced because an issue gives it an uncertain future, sometimes so much so it's either back to the drawing board for that feature or just dropping it.

One thing I can say, given that they're no longer tied to making disks and shipping, they can minimize costs and lead time when they do add a feature. The lower the costs of distribution, the easier it is to get things out the door when they're ready, as opposed to waiting for a bunch of features to burn to disk.

This is why I believe the update schedule is going to be MUCH FASTER than 18-24 months. I'm guessing, depending on the feature, 3 - 6 months.

Personally I think the one mistake they made at the presentation was not mention what the App Store model offers to FCPX development.

A simple statement like:
"With no disc mastering, warehousing, printing, shipping, we can pass those savings on to you" (Explains that the price drop is not because it's not "pro") "and we can roll out feature updates more quickly because of that" (translates to: if the feature you want isn't there in June, the turnaround time will be much faster than 24 months).

While it wouldn't answer the specific feature questions (which they may not be able to as noted above), it might have alleviated a huge amount of the angst and panic with a positive spin on price and the App Store advantage to the Pro user.

This was Apple's first ever "sneak peek" and apparently they didn't think about how to anticipate the price/feature concerns and provide some kind of professional assurance even if they can't give details.



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Dave Jenkins
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:55:50 pm

All great points Craig, it's just that it will be hard so sit by and wait if we get half of what we have now. I'm hoping they knock it out of the park and this is no more than idle speculation. We will see in June.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
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FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:29:42 pm

[Dave Jenkins] "it's just that it will be hard so sit by and wait if we get half of what we have now"

We have forums filled with "Chicken Little." Of course I too want all the important stuff to be there but people should understand that just because feature "Y" is missing doesn't mean there's going to be a 24 month wait for implementation. Apple designed a low cost distribution system that will allow them to roll out things as they're added.

I'm truly surprised when I see this from some "old timers." I've been in video since the demise of 2" I've seen manufacturers disappear, facilities go under, the way we edit changed radically over and over again.

The biggest bonehead move I remember was Avid announcing they were leaving the Mac market. Apple decided never to depend on a third party software for their hardware sales every again. It seems to have been the catalyst for everything they are today from iTunes to the App Store. Unlike Avid, Apple has not announced any pull out from any market. They have not announced a discontinuation of any product (and they had no problem EOLing Shake when they felt that was the right thing to do).

What we will see may be so different that it will not simply be the sum of the previous parts so there's no way to "announce" that until it can be seen to be understood.

Apple may be vexing to many but they are smart. They want control of everything vertically in the markets.

If a caterpillar becomes a butterfly do you announce the discontinuation of the caterpillar?
OMG the removed crawling. We must use something else to crawl! Uh, no! Now you FLY!
They just haven't told us how to flap our wings yet.
....
And in Apple fashion they will do the telling (they like control) and they will provide the air to fly in.



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cam khoury
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 27, 2011 at 6:50:45 pm

Perhaps I'm adding my two-cents worth a bit late but I would like offer this commentary. I've read where a couple of people have compared this upcoming release to the maiden release of Avid in 1989. I was very much involved in shaking out that release and have very different memories of how that all went and find the comparisons way off the mark.

First, you have to remember that Avid was not replacing anything when they issued v1. It was a concept product and while there was a field of competitors (CMX 6000, EditDroid, or Montage) the Avid way of working and storing dailies on SCSI drives was a new concept. It was never meant to be high quality and it's closest analogue might have been the Quantel Harry, itself a game-changing product. If you have ever cut on a flatbed, you probably praised the Avid because you never had to chase a trim again but the expectations for a rich feature set were not very high and film workprints were an eyesore to watch anyway. As such, you weren't taking anything away that editors had come to rely on already. Also, because they mimicked a flatbed (and even allowed for Montage and Steenbeck-style controllers) they provided solutions for film editors and worked extremely hard to make sure ALL features that film cutters already had come to expect were in the Media Composer software. They really didn't try to force creative styles into a new box but rather tried to do what editors were already doing in a digital fashion. The people most uncomfortable with the Avid at the time were video folks who didn't understand why we needed a period of prep-time to digitize and sort (something film editors and their assistants were already used to) and the high quality video that video editors already saw in their suites. Also, if you needed to see a facial expression in better resolution you could simply pop in the source tape and ask MC to 'Locate Frame' so Avid had provided useful tools to anticipate people's real-world concerns.

Contrast that with what Apple is doing and we get, "now change your style because we think we have a better way". I understand the need for change and even a complete revamping of the interface but the software represents more than just a blunt instrument to bang out a video. We develop working styles by using these products over time and the transition to a new product is not a simple matter of shelling out money for the latest fad in software. This is not a word processor where the software can be drastically changed while not affecting our work. We have a far more personal attachment to our edit software and the comments on these boards reflect those attachments. As such, decisions to switch platforms are delicate matters that should not be taken lightly. Incidentally, you have to give Avid a lot credit on this one. They really enhanced their framework and even added FCP functionality to their timeline but left the choice to the editor to decide if that was the way they wanted to work. They could have easily said that the old way is dead so get used to it but instead they offered a way for those who wanted to continue working the old way the option to do so while adding new features for those who chose to move on.

A second point to make about this comparison that is extremely relevant here is that in Avid's early days, when the software was in it's infancy and quite buggy, we had direct lines to the Avid techs. We worked directly with Avid on any number of issues and never had to suffer through the 10 pages of tech support preamble before you could get real tech support. It was then that Avid was much more responsive to it's installed user-base in a way that no company can match today. Also keep in mind that Avid controlled the hardware and software so they could troubleshoot your system from soup-to-nuts. If we have issues today we're left to figure things out on our own. Thanks to the internet, at least we have each other! It would be very unusual to find editors who have a direct line to Apple that would allow them to troubleshoot anything or that would allow input about what a wider swath of editors think about their product. I doubt that for $300, any software company could do that even if they wanted to simply due to the margins required to support that model. There is a reason that Autodesk still charges a pretty stiff support fee on their high-end products.

Sorry to ramble on but I hope you'll find my comments to be mildly relevant to this discussion.

Cam Khoury
One Eyed Dog, LTD
oededit.com
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Craig Seeman
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 27, 2011 at 7:26:42 pm

Having "been there" at the time as well with linear and using the CMX 6000 laser disc based system, I do agree that for the most part Avid tried to follow pre-existing interface conventions and they were certainly more approachable for direct support at that time.

Even FCP1 followed certain interface conventions that preceding them.

I do think FCPX is now looking at a preceding interface history though that didn't exist at the time. In other forums I see Vegas users saying the interface makes sense to them. In other places I see that from Autodesk/Discreet users saying the same.

Additionally, there's a "consumer" history which focused on ease of use which didn't exist for the most part back in early Avid and early FCP, that is pervasive now. "Consumer" is not a derogatory thing although some people have been using it as such here. That involves look at Ease of Use focused interfaces and how to apply that to Professional Post environments minus the crippled features of consumer apps.

BTW this has also happened in professional hardware where Consumer flip out LCD, as one example, have crept into "Pro" cameras. Another might be the use of HDMI. Recent history has been a cross pollination between consumer and pro features.

FCPX might well be the first major market share NLE to vest itself in the UI cross-pollination. So you are correct in pointing out that circumstances are different than the original Avid and even the original FCP. There is the common element in that some part of the "Pro" industry resisted the change even if the reasons and the segment of the market doing the resisting has changed. Generally the "new" way won over the majority of the market share.

Apple is probably the only current major NLE that is in a position with both resources, marketing, market share, to attempt this major UI change. Personally I think they'll succeed in the long run even if they have some bumps to iron out.



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cam khoury
Re: FCPX for the online editor
on Apr 27, 2011 at 8:13:43 pm

I think the new FCP X offers promise but I guess my broader point is that I understand both sides of the argument with respect to the disruptive that occur when our tools change. I'm not so sure that everyone who has a problem with consumer features creeping into the product is just being a Luddite. I've embraced every tool to come to market for the past 25 years and get excited about the improvements they had to offer. But for the sake of argument, one has to consider the time it takes to get to "expert-level" on any piece of software. Baptism-by-Fire is not the best way to run your business and, hence, stability rules in a commercial enterprise even when it means forsaking new features. Most folks wanted to see a solid product improved, not discontinued so that we could move to the next level, as good as that level may be. I'm not sure we all want to be forced into becoming Beta testers for a new platform just because we want to have more native formats or whatever other features that individual editors have been waiting years for.

Having said all that, we'll all buy the new FCP and probably grow into it as we have with all of our past 'new' tools. However, I suspect that this one might tempt a few people to take a closer look at the Avid systems knowing that they have a far more conservative approach to product development and as businesses often do, base their decisions on that stability. Personally, I think it looks pretty cool and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Viva la Choice!

Cam Khoury
One Eyed Dog, LTD
oededit.com
248-613-8966


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