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Old September 7th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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The Future of Final Cut Studio

I know previous topics were closed, but I recently came across some new articles on the future of Final Cut Studio. As many of us are using this suite, I thought it might interest you. I am using Adobe Production Studio more and more, as I find Apple's communication seriously lacking for a pro tool.


Final Cut Studio 4: The Inside Scoop

MacSoda is claiming they have inside information regarding Final Cut Studio 4.

One thing that isn’t here to stay is what we all hate… Final Cut’s bulkiness as a suite, and it’s slug-like agility when live-previewing and rendering. The major feature of the new Final Cut Studio, and the reason the upgrade is taking so long for the team to complete, is a complete architectural code rewriting… i.e. Snow Leopard. The new Final Cut Studio has been re-engineered from the ground up for speed. And apparently, the wait is not in vain. Previewing will be instantaneous. Long renders will be a thing of the past. The secret is that the new Final Cut Studio has been created to take advantage of multiple cores… so if you’re running on an 8-core Mac Pro, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you stuck it out and didn’t switch to Adobe’s offerings.
They also tout rewrites of Motion (Shake integration), Compressor and a rework of Color getting the FCS interface treatment. DVDStudioPro won't be included anymore (at least they say so).

I am not sure what to think of this. They may be right but some parts seem to generic.

I find the following two articles more interesting:

Introduction to AV Foundation

Nice article written by Philip Hodgetts about how the iPhone and iPad are better suited to playback H.264 then Final Cut Studio. Also, QuickTime X is basically a ported version of the iPhone's mediaplayer. This is pointing towards Apple rewriting QuickTime, on which Final Cut Pro heavily depends.

Philip's reaction to the MacSoda article

It’s highly unlikely that the next studio release will happen in early 2011, or even 2011. As I noted in the comments on the article, it seems very, very clear that the QuickTime we know will get a complete foundation change. Final Cut Studio would need many of those changes to be able to replicate Adobe’s Mercury Engine performance (along with the need to be 64 bit Cocoa and use Open CL and Grand Central Dispatch). It will need those changes for native support of anything other than QuickTime, which is why everything in FCP needs to be wrapped to QT, if not transcoded.
All of this makes me wonder if I want to stay with Apple. At this moment, also with the latest developments around Apple in general (less professional focused, more consumer focused), I am considering switching to either Adobe or Avid, as they both offer a multi-platform editing suite (Windows and Mac) and are far more open in the communication to their customers. Avid underwent the biggest facelift in that regard, and has become very open (Adobe already was). If Philip is right, we have to deal with the outdated Final Cut Studio for another year while the camera manufacturers are in overdrive. The thing that is bothering me most, is the fact that Apple isn't telling us what they are doing. Adobe announced the Mercury Engine way ahead of the CS5 release.

I am attending IBC next week and really hope Apple will announce something around that time, otherwise I think it they lose another customer. I am really liking Premiere Pro so far, very stable.

I am curious what other people think of these developments. 2012 is a long wait.

p.s. don't forget to read the comments on the last link mentioned, some insightful comments there! Unbelievable that the next Final Cut release is most likely stalled because the have to wait for OS X 10.7, which most likely won't make it out until late 2011, after which it takes 6 months for programs like Final Cut to make the transition (because of stability and bug squashing). The most funny thing of it all is the fact that the technology for OS X 10.7 is said to be ported over from the iOS... which means your iPad is better suited to runt the next FCS then OS X at this moment.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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I also have this debate in my head. I work with AVID (PC based) at work and Final Cut at home. I know I could easily get an Avid license to work at home, and personally it's getting hard for me to jump from one platform to the next.
Do a lot of editors deal with this? Using different platforms often?
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Old September 7th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #3
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I have seen articles by this guy before and nothing came of it. Its pretty obvious that DVDSP is dead mainly because Apple didnt write it so to add blu ray support is too large of a undertaking it makes more sense to start over. People can say they have inside info but with Apple we'll know when Apple tells us. Personally I dont use FCP but I own it. id like to see a real update (FCS 3 wasnt) but I wouldnt be surprised if we dont see one. Apple doesnt care much about content creation anymore they sell i-pods. I dont think IBC is where Apple makes these announcements anyway.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 06:23 AM   #4
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As a Final Cut user, I'm finding it hard to believe that a company that will likely sell more than 50 million iPads next year is going to put it's best talent on FCS. So many fantastic projects to work on in video, none of which directly involve FCS.
There was a time FC was part of Apple corporate strategy. I just don't see how it matters much to Apple today. Would you rather work on the UI in FC or be involved in designing the future of television?
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Old September 8th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #5
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I think Don has nailed the situation perfectly. In my opinion, Apple
is in a prime position to sell off its pro apps, before FCS loses any
more market share.

Recall that Final Cut began life as a Macromedia Inc. product before
being acquired by Apple. Might be time for it to find a new home again.

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Old September 8th, 2010, 06:32 AM   #6
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Well, for there to be a future of television you have to have editing software as well ;-)
FC is big in TV here, but Im not sure what to belive about FC and Apple anymore.
I do think and hope they are working hard on the next upgrade.
Over here, Avid is the only other contender. Premiere is just not used in TV or film.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #7
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The problem is, every iOS device sold is a constant revenue stream for Apple. Sure, they'll make more money off the sale of a new Mac Pro and Final Cut Studio seat versus an iPad, but after that money comes in, there's no revenue stream from that purchaser for 3-4 years. Apple shareholders are only interested in what you've done for them lately, as in last quarter lately. Apple most likely sells 100 iOS devices for every copy of Final Cut Studio, so it's not hard to do the math.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #8
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Make that something like 10,000.

Anyway, I don't like the interface of Avid, but that is a personal thing. I think Adobe works fine, and unless you are collaborating with other people, I don't see any problems. Adobe even offers importing and exporting of FCP and Avid sequences. Not sure how well that works though.

I really like the tight integration with AE, Photoshop, Encore etcetera.

I agree with Chris, Apple should look at selling their Pro Apps division if they don't put much effort in at anymore. All this news, combined with the lay-off rumors, makes you wonder what's going to happen to Final Cut at Apple.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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I'm also an FCP user looking at Adobe, I don't see why Apple can't just give us a preview of what's coming even if it's a year or more away from release, what I don't want to do is continue waiting and then in a years time nothing comes and ProApps are either sold or shelved.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #10
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Well, just two years after switching from Liquid to FCP I feel nearly in the same situation. Avid let die this marvelous editing suite to focus customers on their products. But I preferred to switch to Apple. I am still happy with FCP but it's not fun to see that there is no vision for the future. Apple can do it's secret stuff with iPads or iPhones. Nobody cares if you have a new hardware with or without a camera. But for software some transparency is crucial - imho.

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Old September 8th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Recall that Final Cut began life as a Macromedia Inc. product before
being acquired by Apple. Might be time for it to find a new home again.
And started its life at Adobe before they sold it to Macromedia ;)
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Old September 8th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #12
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Three years ago everyone said Avid was dead. But they forgot that Avid was a pioneering company and had already started re-inventing its software. Starting with Media Composer 3, then 4, and now version 5.
Each release was aimed at adding significant new features. Media Composer is a core product of Avid Technology. If they had failed to make the product sing, the whole company might have gone under.

Avid had everything to lose, while Apple is so large that they really have nothing to gain with FCS.

Which BTW, FCS is just a collection of software companies that Apple bought, IMO, not a holistic post solution.

Avid Media Architecture just works all too well. A lot of high end post/feature work is moving back to Avid because Apple hasn't really done any good work under the hood of FCS.

My final point is that everyone needs to broaden their skills to include Avid, Apple, and Adobe if you want to be taken seriously as an editor now and in the future.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #13
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don't forget

Didn't Steve answer an email awhile back saying the next version of FCS would be "awesome"? With all I have invested into FCP (time, hardware, plug-ins) I can at least wait till the next version before making a decision about my future with FCS. Having said that, anything short of awesome could be the last straw for me as well. As for MacSoda, they are JAFO. Anyone who saw "Blue Thunder" knows what that is.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #14
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If Apple sold its Pro Apps, then the buyer wouldn't be constrained to restrict it to the Mac platform. What would be cool is seeing a revamped suite -- including a tightly integrated Shake -- working under 64-bit Windows or even -- do I dare dream? -- Linux.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:46 AM   #15
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FCS4 out by 2012???
Great, just in time for the end of the world.
At least I'll be able to finish my final project in record time.
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