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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #1
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Fade to Gray at Avid Technology

Barrons has an article about Avid's plight, and it doesn't sound good: http://online.barrons.com/article/SB...rrons&ru=yahoo

I'm not sure if you can view this without being a subscriber, so here are some highlights:

Quote:
NOT EVERY "ACTIVIST" INVESTMENT fairytale has a happy ending.

At video-editing pioneer Avid Technology (ticker: AVID), the story has gotten gloomier since the arrival two years ago of activist investor Blum Capital Partners, which has increased its stake in the company from 6.4% in April of 2006 to 22% currently, making it the single biggest holder of the stock.
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"The likelihood Pinnacle is no longer part of Avid in the next year is greater than 50%," says Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson.
Quote:
Most important, however, is how drastically the company's status has slipped among both long-time customers and today's rising crop of film makers.

"It's as if a good friend is expiring," says Jon Alpert, an Emmy award-winning documentary film maker, who used Avid computers to produce shows for HBO such as 2006's Baghdad ER. Avid has done much to further community television, and "it's a pity they don't seem like they will be around much longer," adds Alpert.
Quote:
Avid still has fans, but the devotion gap, if you will, has narrowed substantially with Apple. A recent survey conducted by Piper's Olson of 112 post-production video specialists found 45% using Avid machines and 41% using Apple, with the latter having jumped from 32% just a year ago.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #2
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I got the whole article through this link...

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB...lenews_barrons

"It is really, increasingly, financial suicide to consider using Avid," when the same work can be done with Apple gear, [Emmy Award Winning Editor John Alpert] says."

YEEESH. Sounds pretty bleak, but.... I think Avid will survive in some form. 45% per cent of the post-production market and AVID's technology is going to sound pretty good to some buyer.
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Last edited by Theodore McNeil; June 11th, 2008 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Read the article.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 11:05 PM   #3
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I hate Avid with every fiber of my being, 15 years of editing on Avid will do that to you. The only reason it still survives is the lack of pros on FCP.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 12:50 AM   #4
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Eh I don't think pro res is as good as dnx and the media management in Avid blows FCP out of the water. There are a lot of minor things that FCP has to get over that tend to land on the more high end side of things, like a terrible edit to tape feature and shotty performance on hour long projects and the ability to change settings in easy setup, audio and video settings, and in sequence settings is just a little too much and gets really crazy sometimes. I currently work at a facility with a Symphony Nitris, MC Adrenaline, and FCP 6 with Kona 3 and I must say the only thing I'm liking about Apple over Avid is Color and DVD Studio Pro. Color of course being FinalTouch HD I don't know if that is fair to say it's Apple. I use FCP at home and since I am still in college FCP is what I learn in school but I really think for things like onlining and media management FCP is beat without a doubt. I think Avid is fine since it is used outside of the USA heavily since Apple hasn't left the states too much yet and the fact that a lot of the big companies still use Avid and are too stubborn to change.

On a little side note I have also noticed that a lot of these newcomers (I am one since I'm only 20 years old) don't even know what the onlining step is which is very scary. I think the whole way Apple simplifies things like Easy setup lets these new "Editors" to become unaware of a real workflow used by real productions. I believe an article was posted previously that almost drew a parallel between FCP and inadequate editors.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:24 AM   #5
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One problem is that there is no proper Apple certified training scheme for FCP as there is for Avid, or if there is it's not as widely recognised as Avid training. You can apply for a job on Avid and be expected to show some Avid validated document to show you've been properly trained. I think they make a large amount of their income from that as much as from hardware/software.

There's a lot of people out there with pirate copies of FCP and a subscription to Lynda.com, as you say, not doing the proper training on workflow, etc. The same is true of Avid Xpress, only you can't pirate the training certificates.
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Last edited by Dylan Pank; June 12th, 2008 at 04:12 PM.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodore McNeil View Post
I got the whole article through this link...

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB...lenews_barrons
Odd... it's the same teaser as the original poster's link, not the full article.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 07:21 AM   #7
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Odd indeed ... Well, I got to the full article by typing in "AVID" into google news search. The article comes up as the top story.

I just tried it again and it works.
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Last edited by Theodore McNeil; June 12th, 2008 at 07:28 AM. Reason: mistake
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Old June 12th, 2008, 07:34 AM   #8
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Strange... I tried what you said... it works. Click on the link you originally posted... no go :) They're the same url! I don't get it
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Old June 12th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #9
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I believe that Barrons and Wall Street Journal are setup such that you can read the full article on the same day it was published via a link on their partner sites, but those links will only show a teaser the next day. However if you do a Google search such as "Barrons Avid" it somehow digs into the site to find the real article URL.

BTW, I found this comment interesting:

Quote:
Alpert's color-correction expert, who "swore he'd never switch to Apple," this year made the transition to Apple's program, dubbed "Color," with relative ease and is now "quite happy."
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Old June 12th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff View Post

BTW, I found this comment interesting:
He is right, Color is an amazing tool and very powerful when combined with a kona and a mac pro. I use the symphony nitris daily for grading but I find it stops after primary grading even though it does have secondary corrections. Color lets you do a lot more "secondary" corrections like vignettes, tracking points, and has the FX tree. Although Avid has come out with the DS which is supposed to be different from normal Avids. I think with the new boxes Avid is coming out with might create a weird schism because it is a new thing to learn so why not learn FCP.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dylan Pank View Post
One problem is that there is no proper Apple certified training scheme for FCP as there is for Avid, or if there is it's not as widely recognised as Avid training. You can apply for a job on Avid and be expected to show some Avid validated document to show you've been properly trained. I think they make a large amount of their income from that as much as from hardware/software.

There's a lot of people out there with pirate copies of FCP and a subscription to Lynda.com, as you say, not doing the proper training on workflow, etc. The same is true of Avid Xpress, only you can't pirate the training certificates.
This might be a cultural difference, but here in the States having certification is more the exception than the norm. Unless it's a training position I don't think anyone would require you to be certified to apply for the position.

Apple offers certification in everything from OSX to xSan to Color.
http://training.apple.com/certification/

-A
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Old June 13th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #12
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In fact I know people in the biz who don't even have a degree in something. They were just really good and they do it. Certified doesn't make somebody talented. It just means they were shown how to use the software. Most of the companies I have worked for care more about talent and artistic skill then what tools I have used. The other stuff just looks good on a resume. It's all about the reel baby.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:15 PM   #13
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While I agree that Media Manager is the weakest element of FCP, Apple has made a lot of progress in a lot of areas. While I never use "Easy Setups", I do like that you can successfully mix media, codecs and frame rates on the same timeline. I also like that timelines do not need to be "setup" before you can drop clips on them (the auto conform feature is brilliant).

I'm currently editing a feature film on FCP 6 and I've experience zero performance issues. My MacPro is a quad-core with 8GB of RAM and it's handling my feature (using ProRes HQ) with ease. I'm very impressed with this. I was afraid that ProRes timeline performance would be like going back to cutting uncompressed SD on a Blue & White G3. Gladly I was wrong.

We can argue til we're blue in the face whether Avid is better than FCP. But I think it's wholly unfair to blame Apple and FCP for a bout of uneducated "editors". This is a cultural phenomenon more than a direct result because of a "relatively" inexpensive alternative to Avid. I could equally argue that Premiere Pro and Vegas are just as culpable to this cultural divide.

But let's face it. The days of "onlining" digital video are almost over (if not completely for some). So this pooh-pooh'ing over the "youngsters" seems a little silly to me. Again, this is just my opinion.

I'm finishing a feature film at night on FCP, I'm the lead editor on a major Cartoon Network television show using FCP, and finished a major Super Bowl commercial in January edited and finished completely in FCP, Color and Logic.

That says something to me.

Also, I'm a certified Apple Professional as well as certified on Media Composer. I have not touched an Avid in almost four years. And no, no one gives two shits about my certificates on interviews. LOL!!!
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Old June 13th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #14
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Guys,
I've been hearing of Avid's demise for a long time. First it was EMC2, then it was IMIX, then everyone said Media 100 was going to put Avid out of business. Now Apple. The last 2 quarters have been profitable for Avid and one or a couple of stock analysts with agendas to move a stock's volume and price up or down doesn't reflect the long term viability of Avid.

These guys are measuring only the professional nonlinear product line which is only one of Avid's divisions. Nobody talks about the forensics division or even Pinnacle, the #1 consumer edit software in the world. What about the Digidesign subsidary, and you guys are forgetting that Softimage 3d software is used on al kinds of applications. (Some animators I work with use XSI at the robotics lab at JSC) By the way, Avid makes a ton of money off of forensics software to govt. agencies. Avid goes in and sells millions of dollars of playout servers and database sytems with entire mission critical networks to major television networks world wide. So, the company is more diverse in its product offerings than people realize.

Frankly I found the article very slanted and one producer moving from Avid to FCP doesn't represent an entire movement.

And besides, one month you guys are talking about the demise of Apple Pro Apps and then the next month it is Avid. What is the point!! Don't you guys have enough to do??? Like editing??

I'll just keep on editing on both platforms. Cheers.

P.S. Version 3 Media Composer was released this week and it runs great...
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Old June 15th, 2008, 02:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Kimery View Post
Apple offers certification in everything from OSX to xSan to Color.
http://training.apple.com/certification/
Oops, I stand corrected. I was under the impression that that was Apple Trainer certification, but see I that's not the case.
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