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Old July 30th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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Apple - moving away from Pro apps or prepping for Snow Leopard?

What do you think? Is Apple moving away from their Pro Apps or are they prepping the user base for Snow Leopard?

At first I was lukewarm about the FCS3 release, but now I'm thinking, there might be a method to the madness. Maybe Apple has been busy tying up loose ends and squashing bugs in OSX and FCS so when Snow Leopard and the next generation Pro Apps are released, Apple can confidently move forward without having to look backward. Basically taking care of the current installed user base ... as is, and then offering something newer, better, faster. It's a sound business strategy. Or am I being an Apple apologist?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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An interesting hypothesis.

My question would be whether Apple would use the "core" of FCP in any new "pro" release as there are SO many 3rd party hardware devices designed and optimized for FCP. It also seems to me that since Apple already has iMovie and Final Cut Express that they are already positioned for nearly complete market coverage. I COULD see a bit more of a migration of FCP to higher end use and transitioning whatever would be necessary to FCE so that mid level users wouldn't feel the same need to move to FCP but I couldn't put my finger on exactly what features those would be.

I honestly think that FCP has been watered down with recent releases that seem to make it easier for newer NLE editors to access it that take away from the more traditional high end NLE features: the one that peeves me most is the automatic inclusion of an audio cross dissolve when I add a video cross dissolve. A pro level editor SHOULD treat audio and video separately UNLESS this is a user selectable option. This was obviously added for the benefit of event videographers and those that assemble video montages but works very poorly for training, promotion and broadcast applications.

It will be interesting to see how Apple treats the Final Cut franchise after Snow Leopard.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
What do you think? Is Apple moving away from their Pro Apps or are they prepping the user base for Snow Leopard?

At first I was lukewarm about the FCS3 release, but now I'm thinking, there might be a method to the madness. Maybe Apple has been busy tying up loose ends and squashing bugs in OSX and FCS so when Snow Leopard and the next generation Pro Apps are released, Apple can confidently move forward without having to look backward. Basically taking care of the current installed user base ... as is, and then offering something newer, better, faster. It's a sound business strategy. Or am I being an Apple apologist?
No Apologist here more like sound reasoning.

Apple's likely doing this in steps.

1. Deliver features that leverage more Leopard OS features and move the suite to Intel only processors.

2. Deliver next generation Snow Leopard and then eventually update FCS for Snow Leopard and take advantage of some of the new features.


Now I don't think that moving to Snow Leopard is going to bring Blu-ray burning or a plethora of features but it'll bring the ability to run 64-bit through and through. It'll bring
even more efficient use of multi core processors and with Quicktime X it should bring some video improvements as well.

I doubt Apple delivers a Snow Leopard savvy version for quite some time (9 months or so) as they will need to polish Snow Leopard with some point releases first.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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I attended an Apple presentation today on the new features.

This release seems to be all about features for high end cinema/film workflow, particularly in Color and their support for different codecs and image sequences.

I don't think they're abandoning the pro market.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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If they were abandoning the pro market, why would they waste time and money on developing new professional codecs for the high-end market?

I really can't see Apple abandoning their pro applications.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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I believe Apple is definitely becoming more of a CONSUMER friendly company and ignoring their professional side of things. They did minimal updates to FCS just recently and acted like it was the holy grail. They get rid of their expresscard slots for a SD reader. They lose the replaceable batteries and give you false claims of battery life (cut of Wifi, bluetooth, & dim monitor till you can't see squat, etc.) to make you feel better about not EVER being able to replace the battery. They obviously are forgetting who their clients were even during times of rebuilding their own company.

As professionals, we should expect a little better treatment than the crap they have been dishing out lately. Now, I am so frustrated with them. Sure, I love apple WAY more than Microsoft as most of their stuff just works I have minimal thoughts of things going wrong on my mac. However lately, it seems they are moving toward the route of shuffling out small incremental crap (sure, some of the features are useful) upgrades while focusing on their freakin app store and iphones. Why would I want an SD card reader in leiu of an expresscard port? That's my biggest pet peeve.

Also let's examine the FCS.

Final Cut - It's pretty good, however, I have learned to hate how they can't be like the rest of the world and offer wider support for codecs NATIVELY, as in I don't wrap them to .mov files and am no longer able to use them on other editors. For me as an EX1 user, I am starting my full switch to Adobe Premiere because, I can get the original BPAV folders on my drive and start editing. No rewrapping, or anything. Once rewrapped, I'm pretty screwed as far as options.

Color - It's ok, however, are they ever going to completely rewrite the software they purchased so that it is consistent in UI, or are they just going to continue to put little features into a software package someone else already made and slap their name on it.

Motion - Should I even go there? Motion is great in concept, but POOR POOR POOR in execution. You wanna see a program crash on the almighty mac?........Just use motion. And also, what the heck happened to Node based compositing? I mean, they bought Shake and never really did anything with it. This new version of Motion was SUPPOSED to be the after effects killer. I was expecting to see a motion like interface mixed with Node based compositing and other features from shake. The upgrades seen on this program were rather minimal for the claims rumored around before it's release.

Compressor - Holy terrible User Interface.......this program really came from apple? And the encoding times get ridiculous sometimes. I just have learned to HATE this program!

Soundtrack Pro - I use it to grab different sound effects it comes with and export them. I just don't get this program. It's not very friendly.

I won't even go into the other things. I really liked Final Cut at first. Now, I'm not so sure. I keep flip flopping around but now think I am going to just go all Adobe. I have CS4 Master Collection and honestly, I couldn't be happier about editing from my original camera files with Premiere Pro. I have always loved After Effects and about 99% of things I do can be done in AE. I also have Lightroom which IMO beats the crap out of Aperture. Again, another example of apple locking you into their software. Apple seemed to have peiced together some decent stuff, but I don't get why they can't make all their stuff work better together like Adobe has done with their CS4 products.

All in all, I feel let down by apple. Adobe has stepped up their game and it shows that they have been around longer with how well their stuff works and how it works together. So after finishing up one more project in Final Cut, I am gonna scrap the FCS. The only reason I have to do this last project is because about half of my footage is trapped under the .mov wrapper and I don't want to transcode to something else. The wrapper leaves the native footage inside it so picture quality doesn't change. So to stay true to what I captured I'm just gonna work through it one last time. Then I'll be editing from my original files from now on.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #7
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My thoughts

Apple's still committed to Pro Apps.

Final Cut Studio isn't the biggest upgrade in the world but hopefully it's setting the stage for more significant upgrades going forward now that it will have access to 64-bit functionality and more performance ehancing features of OS X.

Color will likely not change much in UI. The needs of color grading don't seem to jive with the UI that an editor would use. I think those familiar with grading understand it and those familiar with more traditional UI do not.

Motion seems to have a bit of a focus issue. Apple needs to kind of solidify its place in the suite with a clarification of what it does and doesn't do.

Compressor - Haven't really heard all that many complaints about it.


I think Adobe has done a good job with their suite of apps but i'm not ruling out some good evolution of Final Cut Studio . It'll get there.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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For an edit suite I SHOULDN'T have to use another codec to get things done. So screw the Prores marketing hype. Apple is great at marketing but if you look past what THEY are telling you and think about it, It's just not worth it. Just get an edit suite that can perform.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #9
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I was bummed at this FCP "lowgrade" when it came out, too. We have 4 edit suites and we haven't even upgraded yet. That shows how important the things they added are. (Time code window? Woo hoo! That was really one of the top 10 "new features?" Ugh.)

Anyways, the more I've thought about it and calmed down, the more I think this was just a bridge upgrade and that we are going to see the new overhauled re-write that has been rumoured for 2 years around NAB time. This would make sense. So, once again, I will wait this Spring to see if they announce an app with real improvements and stability.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #10
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I think FCP 7 is a great upgrade with many small, subtle improvements. But those subtle improvements made my life so much easier. Absolutely love it. I am sure FCP 8 will be a major update that's truly 64-bit and written in cocoa.

I don't really use Motion. I prefer After Effects.

SoundTrack Pro is awful. Worst program ever.

Compressor is ugly but it works. I prefer it over Adobe Media Encoder.

Color is great. Ever seen Da Vinci? Or every other old-school video program for very specific tasks. They all have the same kind of black simple interface. Magic Bullet Looks? Also has a similar UI. I am perfectly fine with this.

DVDStudio Pro. Really needs an update. I prefer Encore.

Also Premiere Pro might be easier in some regards, but far worse on many other points. And if there is one program that crashes often, it is Premiere. Also, professional editors are on Avid or Final Cut (generalizing it) but it is the truth. Together they have like 90% market share among professional editors. So if you work on projects with other people, nothing beats Avid or Final Cut Pro. The good thing is you can easily bring in your footage from Final Cut to Premiere and then use some cool features like speech transcription, adobe dynamic link with after effects, adobe clip notes for sharing and collaboration or easy exports to Encore. Use the best tools of both worlds.

Why do people force themselves to use FCS or CS4. They work together perfectly fine!
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Old September 26th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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I guess my point wasn't as clear. I never said you couldn't use AE and FC together. Of course you can. I'm referring to the fact that once my EX1 Camera Master files are wrapped up, I'm sort of screwed. While Premeire Pro lets me edit from them and leave them intact as they came off the camera. So in turn if I wanted to move to any other edit suite, I still have my Camera Master files to use. So I could easily go to Final Cut and wrap them in mov's in a seperate folder and then edit with that. Or I could easily convert them to MXF with the included software for my camera. I screwed myself by only importing through FCS. Because now, I have just MOV versions of the files. If I were to hand that off to people who edit on a PC, they wouldn't be able to use the files. I do half the work by not rewrapping the files. It is the same time if you keep JUST the wrapped MOV files and scrap the original files. But that leaves me locked in. I think it is BS that they say NATIVE and yet to do so, you either have to lock yourself into the MOV files only or spend double the time transferring the original files, then rewrapping to work with Final Cut. I could easily just browse to the original image of files and start editing saving me lots of time. So therefor, I leave myself open to more options. I did discover however, the Mac version of Premeire Pro CS4 works with the mov files, so actually, I am going to do this project that is mixed, with Premeire. From this point on though, only the original Camera Master files. I could care less if everyone in the world used Final Cut, if the software I have chosen works for me and makes my workflow that much better then that is what I will use. It's obvious in MY CASE, that moving to Adobe is the smart choice.

On the other stuff, I discussed earlier, those were my big gripes as far as the new laptops. It's obvious they want to sell to consumers as they rid themselves of professional ports and add consumer ports such as SD reader. I know, apple needs to be a business that makes money and by appealing to the consumer market they are appealing to the masses which leads to more money in the long run, but damn, they should really start getting serious and listen to the creative professionals out there. The creative fields stuck with Macs even when they were struggling. To ignore us in favor of the generic consumer is ludicrous.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 01:52 PM   #12
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I have to agree with Nathan's statement about Motion bringing my Mac to it's knees. NEVER have I seen a Mac app so unstable. The only things I can guarantee will run are the training projects from a third party supplier I bought to teach me how to use this kludgy thing. And losing LiveType in favour of Motion for simple animated text is shortsighted. The FCP text tools are unusable and I JUST got used to building stuff in LT and importing project files that I could fly back and forth, updating as I go. Now, boom, gone. I'm waiting to do the upgrade at FCS (3) has nothing for ME.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #13
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Is it possible that the sole purpose of FCP was to make Mac relevant once again when it came to video editing? Add the marketing hype and "Apple iCool" and it has served its purpose ... you guys are still buying Apple Macs.

On a business level they can now afford to put minimal resources and publish notional upgrades, giving the app the appearance of still being alive. Not unlike what Microsoft have done with Internet Explorer once Netscape was knocked off its perch.

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Old September 27th, 2009, 01:04 AM   #14
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Nathan, I just want to say that you might want to check out Avid Media Composer. You can edit XDCAM EX right off the card, no transcoding or wrapping necessary, FWIU.

There is a 30-Day trial and it works on both PC and Mac platforms. FCPS has some tools that I WISH were in Avid, namely Color, but Avid also has some very nice features, esp. for the Sony CineAlta shooters.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #15
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Is it possible that the sole purpose of FCP was to make Mac relevant once again when it came to video editing? Add the marketing hype and "Apple iCool" and it has served its purpose ... you guys are still buying Apple Macs.
I'll trust that that comment was meant in fun because at first look, I found it inflaming.

The Mac has always been relevant ESPECIALLY in regards to video editing but it didn't have the MAINSTREAM appeal that would make it economically feasible. So, the "coolness factor" marketing began.

When buying a Mac THESE days, one is buying tighter system integration and a generally better OS for creative endeavours and one is certainly paying a premium for it. Remember, it is quite possible to spend as much on a PC as it is on a Mac... There are just more budget minded options on the PC/Windows platform.
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