I've been wondering about the long term implications of the death of FCP as we know it. Our company has 20 seats of FCP 7 running off 2 Xsans in 2 locations. Over the past few years, our administration side of the company has slowly transferred over to Macs as well. It's much easier for us to manage one platform and share information.
But what happens if we transition over to Avid or Premiere Pro? We can run those apps on Mac or PC. That's something we'd have to consider from an economic perspective as our first generation Intel Power Macs start to age. And if our production machines change, then our administration machines would slowly follow. Not overnight, but I could see in 5 years that our company might shift from 40 or 50 Macs to 50 or more PCs.
Apple has always positioned Macs as the creative person's computer. But what happens if creative companies like ourselves switch to PCs?
Now I'm not saying we'll switch to PCs. I love working on Macs and would hate to change. FCP7 works well for us and we can carry on with it for the next couple of years. But business is business and these are decisions that Apple is forcing us to look at.
I'm still hoping that FCP-X evolves into something useful, but I'm not optimistic. And as our company changes, so will others.
Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms?
Well the animation and 3D graphics industry like the Mya crowd have been PC fanboys for a while now...
The vast majority of Avid systems I encounter at post facilities and broadcast operations are PC based.
From what I've gathered from FCPX, it looks like FCPX is based on iMovie's UI and database infrastructure. So even though Apple claims in their FAQ that OMF/XML output will be re-instated in concurrent updates, I wonder if the 'trackless' nature of FCPX/iMovie infrastructure means it won't translate as needed to the multiple track editing that sound designers require in their non-apple professional sound studio pipeline.
Essentially, my fear is that the iMovie-based programming infrastructure being the reason why FCP7 files can't be imported into FCPX, might also be a problem in an FCPX OMF/XML export.
Also, as this CNN news story points out, Apple is moving towards a more closed system where all Apple services and software will be pushed through their Appstore. As a matter of fact, OSX Lion will only be available for purchase and install through the Mac Appstore just like FCPX:
I wonder if part of the reason for the stripped features of FCPX was to allow a manageable download from the App Store, and if future FCPX updates or "add-on features" such as Multi-cam will be monetized?
With the "paradigm-shift" that is FCPX, professionals have to speculate what the future of Apple computing will be since Apple's intended path is to push everything through the App Store. How will this affect non-Apple developers? Will Adobe be forced to 'strip down' their products to develop for an App Store-driven OS so that Apple can take 30% commission off of that? And will Adobe and 3rd party developers be game with that? Or will they consider such development as too much of a quality-loss/financial loss and cease developing for the Apple platform altogether?
As you can see, the FCPX discussion has more far-reaching repercussions not just to the editing world, but the creative professional world in general -- and the future of Apple computing as a whole. FCPX might just be the beginning.
Until Apple releases updates with the necessary plug-ins and the future of Apple computing becomes more clear, it might be safer to wait to see the outcome. But I wonder how long Apple can afford to wait as it seems that many professional shops aren't waiting around and are already ditching the Apple platform altogether.
[Stevo Chang] "it won't translate as needed to the multiple track editing that sound designers require in their non-apple professional sound studio pipeline"
For a demonstration of what happens to your audio with OMF export to ProTools see the demo on the Automatic Duck website:
It works just fine and all your tracks come through as you would expect them to, vertically configured as they were in FCPX.
Sweeet - thanks for the link to the demo! That clarifies my concern for OMF/XML output to ProTools.
[Simon Ubsdell] "It works just fine and all your tracks come through as you would expect them to, vertically configured as they were in FCPX."
It does not seem completely vertically configured in parellel to the FCPX timeline to me, though it does look somewhat more organized in the demo than I expected after reading the manual, which states that using compound clips can result in in lots of audio tracks in your Pro Tools session.
At this moment organizing the tracks seem not to be a feature yet, so a seperate organizing session in Pro Tools might be necessary, though with the 'audio role' meta data parameter which is present in FCPX that might change. But it's a start.
For larger facilities you might not need automatic duck on every editting station, so that still makes FCPX a bargain compared to its previous pricepoint.