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Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?

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Jeff Kay
Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 24, 2014 at 10:38:05 pm

I figure that subscriptions and MC8 would be closer to CC:TD than to FCX:TD.

I don't really pay attention to news about upcoming releases. CC itself was actually out for about a month before I even knew that it was a thing. Despite the aspects of CC that I found completely disappointing (well, everything 'cloud'*), utterly moronic (forced subscription**), or complete head scratchers (installing Encore***) overall I have been extremely satisfied with CC. I regularly use the softwares from the old production premium bundle, but having access to the whole library has been useful.

*I sadly believed for a moment that the cloud was going to be something new and innovative rather than a wannabe dropbox with an interface so awkward and clunky that the total storage space is the only thing it has over a Geocities account. It sounds great being able to upload PSDs directly and have clients view them without the need of them having photoshop, except they are also able to download them (I mean everything on the internet kind of by design has to be downloaded before you can view it), so you need to watermark them, which means you are saving an additional copy, so you might as well just export watermarked jpg, which the smaller size would reduce upload time, and since you can't share a whole folder you have to manually select the share option for each individual picture, using a dropbox account instead will pay for itself in time saved. Well there's sharing PSD's, and that's about it. Premiere/audition/AE/media files, but you couldn't do anything more with those than you could with any other storage. Though at least regular storage would hold any file, while the cloud would only hold files it recognized as media or being from adobe applications. So much for the idea of having another backup of my Avid bins and settings for redundancy. Not that it would have mattered as I found out when I accidentally hit the cloud bookmark (and for once adobe's site actually remembered the login information that I keep telling it not to forget) and found that everything had been deleted due to some error. Well everything except for what was in the trash bin, that was still there. But don't worry there are fonts you can download. And if that wasn't enough with Behance you can accidentally click the wrong box when trying to show something to a client and instead have it posted on your Behance account Adobe ID just created, because you didn't even realize how much you longed to have your work associated with the love child of LinkedIn and Pinterest. I probably had delusional expectations rather than merely great ones, but I was hoping for something that could at least allow others to view a premiere timeline representation along with the resulting video and provide notes that get generated as markers. Well aside from being able to view the timeline, that actually existed in Premiere 2.0 nearly ten years ago; the future's in the cloud! If you catch me skygazing don't ask me what I think that cloud looks like, I don't want to take that Rorschach test.

**Its really not just the forcing of the subscription and should have been expected backlash and ill-will about the move. Upon hearing about the subscription I initially frustrated/upset/in disbelief thinking that it was a boneheaded money grab that would only barely be tolerated because of the size of the software library. Then I actually sat and examined the pricing and realized that unless there is a huge price spike, the vast majority of users would end up spending more on upgrades than they would on the subscription. Its so boneheaded its the opposite of a money grab; effectively refusing to let people give them more money while at the same time generating ill-will, bad press, and the distinct software versions they could have sold to avoid this whole mess.

***Uninstall Premiere CC if already installed. Navigate a hidden, non-intuitive menu to install Premiere CS6. Immediately uninstall Premiere CS6, but be sure check the option to not uninstall Encore. Then reinstall Premiere CC. Because there is no reason to give Encore its own installer, or have it included in the newest Premiere version. This absurdity was almost enough give up and just use AvidDVD... almost.

I only just found out that MC8 is a thing; it release in May, bought a new MC7 licence in April. The timing is, annoying, but I can say that's all it is. Yet despite ultimately embracing CC, there is something about this MC8 change that I'm finding infuriating. Now I've always felt Avid was overpriced; they've certainly been more resistant to lowering prices than the other NLEs, the system I've been using for the past year is less than half the cost of the software that I run on it. MC7 was a very welcome release with long desired features, much improved performance, and the large drop in price. Difficult to directly compare price as adobe and apple took very different directions, but that's not really the most appropriate comparison. We all know avid is not going to be the first to innovate and is a bit stubborn to get up and move, but avid is solid, reliable, and there was never any doubt that it would get there. Now we can reliably work with linked media, not wait 5 minutes for audio wave forms to be re-re-re-recalculated, and with a comparable competitive price. Avid, clad in Victorian garb arrives fashionably late to 2008.

But really I found the price change significant enough to buy a new licence rather than upgrade from MC6. Its -been wonderful having a copy on a workstation and a copy on a laptop, so I don't have to worry about constantly activating and deactivating copies if I need to work remotely (or simply want a different work location where I can see the outside for the first time in a week). Even better I can ingest, render, and transcode without tying up the edit station. Someone is going to point out background transcoding/rendering, but rather than background rendering, I prefer backroom rendering. Its pretty convenient, neat, cool, slick, hip, and a tad retro as adobe has allowed that with two simultaneous installs on a single licence for years.

Now Avid offers options rather than a single one size fits none plan that could only be created by someone with their head stuck in the clouds. The subscription's monthly fee of $49.99 doesn't leave me terribly happy with a yearly cost of $599.00, and yes the actual first thing I noticed about the MC8 plans were that those numbers don't add up. Its less than a dollar, so I guess that little of a difference should just be ignored even though that's not how rounding works. But as we all know its important to consider the audience. One of Avid's features held in very high esteem is the trim mode, that mode MC users are particularly fond of for easily and quickly making precise changes, with one of the desired results being that discrepancies, even small ones, are removed. Part of what we do is pay attention to tiny details. If this was frames rather than pennies, then that's about 3 seconds of discrepancy in a half-hour time slot; if that's a track off by 3 seconds then everything is probably ruined. This pricing fiasco is only eclipsed by the most paramount issue of making sure every listed price ends with 9's because selecting your MC8 option is surely an impulse buy. And while we're at it, we've been trying to get rid of those pesky dongles, phase out support for hardware, and want to sell support in plan bundles, not by the individual case, so make all those prices end in 0. Pull that wool over the eyes of those dumb editors, they'll never suspect a thing. We'll go further, next conference have a Q&A and hire ringers to talk about their satisfactory experiences; there's no way a room full of editors could realize they're actors. Especially talk about great experiences with the Elite Support plan add-on because our pricing for that might be a little bit confused as we want the persistent licence plan that maintains support to be less than the subscription plan, so we'll swap it up for elite support. And despite the same amount of extra support service being added, we really need to have the pricing not be the same for the two plans, because... I seem to have lost my notes and can't remember why. Everyone else here looks more confused than I do, okay just make the price end in a zero and no one will buy it. Alright, next item.

Each MC edition has had extra software added in and Avid has always viewed those as extras. Though in the current climate, it really feels like these extras need to be there, but it can be a pain as they change up and we aren't sure of what tools will be available for the next year or next update. Lots of disappointment when BCC disappeared in 6, but there was a reasonably equivalent exchange with Avid FX... I mean, Boris FX... I mean, The Program Formerly Known As Boris Red, Boris Red. TPFKABR,BR effectively contained everything that was in BCC and more, all wrapped up in a far less convenient package. But the current non-subscription licence is losing practically all of its extras, only keeping NewBlue 1, a significant step down from what came with MC7 alongside a price increase; kind of have to reach around my elbow to scratch my rear with CC, but at least it has an option to make a DiscontinuedVideoDisk. While the subscription by default gets access to options that add a significant price for a perpetual licence to attain, most notably Symphony and BCC Welterweight. At an identical price to CC (but a smaller discount for existing customers), it feels rather lacking as CC offers photoshop, illustrator, after effects, audition, and others for which the avid subscription has absolutely no answer (wonder what would happen if the avid sub included protools). A bit of avoidance concerning specifics on licences for the extras work with the sub and supported perpetual licences. I'm having horrible visions that the licencing for the add-ons will no longer be permanent and users will lose the ability to utilize those softwares when the 3rd party contract with avid expires. Though its just a projection of my own bias as I'm sure I'm the only person that doesn't pay close detailed attention to news and updates.

I'd say its disappointing to see the price increase, but the price of MC itself really hasn't increased. The perpetual licence "comes with" a year of support, but take the year of support off the price tag and it ends up back at the MC7 price. I think that's what is really irritating to me, the only way to buy MC is to also buy this extra support. And that's what I can see is the ultimate goal of this change is to push the sale of the Avid Support Plan for Media Composer which has just not been doing terribly well against the its major competitor the Google Support Plan for Media Composer, which has a much lower price tag as well as a faster response time. Rather irritating that 'providing options' ultimately results with the only options being take the CC plan that was so well received that we're here right now, or be forced into buying an extra package that leads down a path of constantly encouraging repurchasing of that package effectively being the same as a subscription. The support plan being half the yearly price of a subscription is a beautiful trap where the most basic MC version still takes a little more than 3 years before the accumulated cost surpasses the sub for a superior version of MC and it takes just shy of 6 years for the MC Symphony option to surpass the sub. A significant part involves contracts with 3rd parties, which will change, as they have changed with every MC release, so avid will absolutely have to reevaluate, offering incentives, changing price structure, or shaking things up in some fashion, which is bound to happen within 3 years leaving anyone on the Support plan with a bigger bill than the sub plan. And meanwhile adobe, owning all of their software, won't have to worry about this. I see all this and all I can think is wow... is the only game that still has a sub.

I now look at avid and see that super famous sports star that is egocentric, rude, does things that people hate, constantly trying to hawk their current endorsement on you, but all the while you still can't really say anything, because no one else can play ball like that.

I most certainly do have concerns and frustrations in regard to the new release, but I do hope everyone can see the absurdity, hyperbole, and humor used here for the catharsis it was intended to be.

But even after all of this, they're still not AutoDesk.

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 24, 2014 at 11:25:13 pm

The built in 'year of support' is a work around that allows Avid to roll out feature updates at any time without worrying about violating the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Long story short, Avid screwed up it's books and let itself get delisted from NASDAQ because it violated portions of SOX. There is no way to get access to Avid now without some sort of subscription and that is very much by design.

I agree that the drop in 3rd part support (ScriptSync is not part of MC8 though I'm told Avid is working on it) sucks as does the 'add-on' options route they've gone for the people that want perpetual licenses. It is very slim pickings compared to what came bundled with my copy of MC 5.5 a few years ago.

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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 25, 2014 at 8:17:01 pm

ran a history check there.

this is the first full blown post that isn't one of those twelve dodgy regular adobe torch bearers banging on here - in roughly the last 317 days?

there should be a tip jar for this post. promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics

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Tim Wilson
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 26, 2014 at 2:15:00 am

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David Mathis
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 26, 2014 at 3:16:01 pm

Brilliant! Just make sure there are not too many coins in there. The tip jar might just tip over otherwise. :-)

"I am no longer pixilated!" -- Dave, former nut house patient

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Daniel Frome
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 26, 2014 at 11:58:59 am
Last Edited By Daniel Frome on Jun 26, 2014 at 11:59:29 am

Heh.. yeah, Avid doesn't need a debate forum, because their own forums are crowded enough about what the heck Avid is doing lately. It's not even a debate so much as a bashing session half the time.

Buying/Renting/Plan wise though - It can get a bit confusing but there's an option for practically everyone, whether it's the 299/year support plan or just a 50/month rental. I don't think many people are complaining about that.

...But ultimately, Avid still has an identity problem. Are they a hardware company that happens to make an NLE just to fill the void in their hardware platform? That would explain the constant updates to ISIS and Interplay, while Media Composer continues to drag behind the competing NLEs.

While you're on an Interplay/ISIS system, using Media Composer is obviously the best choice. But step outside that comfort zone and you'll find competitors totally stomping on Avid. They seem ignorant or avert (or both?) to competing on so many levels, it's a whole other discussion on its own.

Avid will probably keep MC relevant, but just barely. Just enough to keep the debate alive ;)

And yes... tip jar is in order.

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Jeff Kay
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 28, 2014 at 3:10:39 pm

I guess I didn't appropriately gauge how much this forum has become containment for 'strong opinions' of OS/Platform warriors. Oh well, ce la vie.

Anyone else get the Adobe survey they are doing over the creative cloud? I could talk at lengths about how the survey itself is poorly constructed. But I doubt I'm the only person that just doesn't care about 'the cloud', I care about the actual softwares, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects. I'm not sure how much Adobe seems to realize that (subscription model aside) the CC for many is bloat that is getting in the way of the software that we actually care about.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jun 28, 2014 at 6:24:43 pm

Jeff -

But isn't it possible to selectively install only the applications which you know you will actually use? My thoughts along this line (sorry - another metaphor) are akin to a cable TV subscriber. If you watched every show on every channel just because you paid for the cable service, you'd end up a bloated sack of protoplasm (to quote Ren) on your couch. You pay for have access to everything...but you choose to watch only what is relevant or useful to your interests. Even at 50 bucks a month, and only using Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects (akin to the Production Bundle), you end up with something you can really make money with.

As I've said here a hundred times, I'm still a holdout on CS6, and, since I'm just starting a contract job at a news station where they will provide the tools, my work choices won't be determined by me for a while.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Jeff Kay
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jul 1, 2014 at 7:08:46 pm

The survey Adobe put out is about the "cloud" part of CC. Some of it was over the subscription and pricing, but most of it was over file sync/fonts/behance/storage: all of the "cloud" functions that are overhyped and largely useless compared to other options out there.

That's what I mean when I talk not caring about "the cloud". The file sync is at best a copy of dropbox (only if they have removed the file type restrictions, otherwise its distinctly less useful). If I cared about Behance, I could just upload to Behance (or maybe I want to maintain a degree of separation between Behance ID and Adobe ID). Typekit looked interesting, but then I saw the plan structure and typekit service agreement (If you haven't read it already, you need to). Maybe if I was in publishing I'd care more about fonts, but right now I only have need for non-standard fonts when I'm working in PS or AE, both of which give me plenty of options to just modify an existing font exactly how I want rather than browsing a library for something that is close; with that and considering how easy it has always been to install fonts, I can't see any reason to move to font rental with extremely reduced allowances for derivative content.

And the CC client with all of those things in it is something that one can't get away from completely.

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Joel Perez Irizarry
Re: Is Avid upset they don't have their own ": The Debate" forum?
on Jul 2, 2014 at 2:51:42 am

Premiere is just starting to get features that have been part of the Avid arsenal for years. How is that trying to stay relevant? Not to mention that pretty much all films nominated for the Oscars In the past five years where edited with Avid. The same can be said about Game do Thrones, Halt and Catch Fire, and all top tv series. It's just that it's an NLE with a learning curve that is not attractive to the prosumer market, but that doesn't mean it's not relevant.

MacPro 8 Core 2.26 GHz, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro FX4800, 4 TB CalDigit HDOne Raid 05, AJA Kona 3, Mac OSX 10.7.4, MC 6.0.1

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