---Finally, if pricing software at a low price is such a great idea, what is happening to Final Cut Studio? From any vantage point (except possibly a true Apple fanboy), it is clear that development of the product has stagnated over the last several years. Is this because Apple doesn’t have enough income from the suite to support three vastly different application development environments? I can’t help but wonder if Apple charged $2,000 or more for each of the suite biggies (Final Cut, Color, and Motion) that we would see much more solid development on the applications.
Contrast the Final Cut Studio development with a couple of other higher-priced app’s development over the last couple of years. Avid seems to have hit their stride recently, offering several big improvements to their software including direct support of filesystem media, mutli-resolution, and stereoscopic editing. Smoke’s development over the last several years has also reached a quick pace. Each year there has a been a major update with new features as well as minimal mid-year upgrades. From a stability standpoint, I also find Smoke to be way more stable than Final Cut. In fact, it’s not even close with the recent release of Final Cut Pro riddled with bugs. This is certainly not to say that Smoke doesn’t have bugs — far from it. I just find them to be far less serious and unpredictable than the ones found in the studio.
Does smoke replace Final Cut Pro? No. After Effects? No. Nuke? No. The software serves a more specialized market — high end finishing where creative tasks can be done quickly and efficiently. There are requirements for this market that require more specialization than they do for other markets, so it is best to focus on those things in the software. Opening the software up to too many vertical markets ends up pulling the development in too many directions instead of concentrating on what the software does best.
The bottom line? If the software is too expensive at this point in time, maybe it isn’t for you.----