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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:09 PM   #1
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Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

This is very a very interesting read from Ron Brinkman, one of the original product designers of Shake.

X vs. Pro. Digital Composting

A couple interesting quotes:
Quote:
...back then the same questions were being asked as now – “Doesn’t Apple care about the professional market?”

In a word, no. Not really. Not enough to focus on it as a primary business.
Quote:
Apple isn’t about a few people in Hollywood having done something cool on a Mac (and then maybe allowing Apple to talk about it). No, Apple is about thousands and thousands of people having done something cool on their own Mac and then wanting to tell everyone about it themselves. It’s become a buzzword but I’ll use it anyway – viral marketing.

And really, from a company perspective high-end customers are a pain in the ass.
Quote:
...Apple would rather have products which do things that other products can’t do (or can’t do well), even if it means they leave out some more basic&boring features along the way. Apple isn’t big on the quotidian. In the case of FCP, they’d rather introduce a new and easier and arguably better method for dealing with cuts, or with scrubbing, or whatever, even if it means that they need to leave out something standard for high-end editors like proper support for OMF.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 12:08 AM   #2
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

Thanks for the link, Tim. It gives a very good insight into the internal decision-making process at Apple. But it can't really answer what Apple's "management intention" truly is towards FCP X.

Are Apple going to restore "basic functionality" features (such as opening previous version projects, versatile media management, versatile exporting, etc.) which we already had with "classic" FCP? And then leave the more pernickety high-end features to third-party developers? This would not be too bad from my viewpoint as the new FCP X system has terrific potential to speed up workflows and keep the focus more on the creative side - provided they restore basic functions to make it a viable workaday choice.

Or are they happy with having set a new paradigm that a lot of incoming people around the world will happily use and are content to see a lot of the existing FCP market drift over to companies whose livelihood is 100% reliant on keeping their editing/graphics software always up-to-date and on the cutting edge?

I think we'll have a better idea in 6 weeks time. I'll keep clicking the Software Update option every day until then.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 02:44 AM   #3
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

Interesting post, thank you!

I agree with him, but I still think that Apple has its sights on making FCPX "professional". They will never be a company that communicates with and takes direction from its customers directly - never have been, but they have still made a lot of stuff that I have used to make my money.

We'll see, but to me FCPX seems pretty good for someone like me, that have never needed OMF, EDL or multicam - while still making some money on video during my 10 years with FCPX.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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From the guy who developed Shake

X vs. Pro. Digital Composting

The blog by Ron Brinkmann is very matter of fact. He says there are probably only 10,000 high-end editors in the world. Wow I'm asking for a raise if we're in that small of a number. So, like many have said, Apple appears to be no longer interested in the feature film, broadcast, commercial and high-end corporate and govt. market.

"So if you’re really a professional you shouldn’t want to be reliant on software from a company like Apple. Because your heart will be broken. Because they’re not reliant on you. Use Apple’s tools to take you as far as they can – they’re an incredible bargain in terms of price-performance. But once you’re ready to move up to the next level, find yourself a software provider whose life-blood flows only as long as they keep their professional customers happy. It only makes sense."

Cheers.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: From the guy who developed Shake

Looking for a local AVID reseller as we speak... 12 years, things have come full circle. Time to go back "home" perhaps...

I feel bad for manufacturers like Matrox and JVC who have leveraged themselves HEAVILY on the Apple/FCP market...
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Old June 29th, 2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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Re: From the guy who developed Shake

Shaun... AVID resellers are already getting very aggressive. Personally, I'm not resisting.

Videoguys.com - Avid Media Composer 5.5 Crossgrade for Final Cut Owners
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Old June 29th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #7
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Re: From the guy who developed Shake

Thanks Kevin. The software is the single CHEAPEST part of the equation for me so I'm looking for a VAR to put the whole system (including I/O) together...
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Old June 29th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #8
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

(duplicate threads merged per suggestion by a highly valued DVi member)
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Old June 30th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #9
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

I can't say its good to hear, but his blog, supports my suspicions of whats been going on. Good to know I'm not crazy. Seems like people here are always defending Apple. This isn't about you can't edit in FCPX or its the worst software, or that because Avid or other software isn't any better you should be happy. Its just knowing that Apple priority isn't to address the needs of professional editors. While FCP has been a great product for many years, I'll be keeping a closer eye on competitors who are more invested in providing for video professionals. It leaves me with a feeling of disappointment and yet there is nothing I can do about it. I guess its better to be informed about motivations of a company than to be in the dark or hold a false sense of euphoria based on marketing.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #10
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

I'm still mourning the death of Shake.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 05:33 PM   #11
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

Of course a few thousand editors are not the reason for Apple to make a high end product for this small group of customers.
However:
Many companies produce high end products to claim their position in the market even though they make all of their money with consumer clients. Among these are clothing companies that outfit Mount Everest expeditions with super high tec functional clothing and consumers buy the same jackets spending a lot of money only to walk down main street on a mild winter day. For these companies it is crucial to be seen as technology leaders even if their main income is from people who will never use (or need to use) the potential the products have.
I would guess, that most people who buy computers use them mainly to surf the web and write emails but actually own the computing power necessary for an apollo mission.
I am not sure if this is true, but I think Apple is still perceived as catering to high end professionals and this partially justifies the higher prices for hardware in they eyes of consumers.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #12
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

To be sure, Apple has brilliantly played both ends of the marketing spectrum, by putting the "pro" term on hardware and software giving the illusion to the general consumer that Apple's products are "pro preferred".

Of course we all know that today with hardware components being literally on-par with each other (Intel in both PCs and Macs) there's really no justification for Apple's premium pricing on hardware.

But this blog post is spot-on about what myself and others have been trying to educate people about Apple's core focus: Apple is first and foremost an "i-Product" company. They're in the business of creating cool toys for the general consumer market.

They purchased and killed Shake. They purchased what is now Logic, and it's future is also widely viewed as tenuous. They purchased the core of Final Cut Pro and have been slowly watering it down to it's "X" iteration.

To his point about there being 10K actual pro-editors in the market (and he says he's being generous) I think the number is less - maybe even lower than 8K. And by "professional" I mean those who use ALL the tools an editor needs, such as high-end compositing, the telecine process, sharing EDL's etc.

Clearly FCP X wasn't designed for that customer in mind, it's designed for the iMovie or FCE power user who wants a "pro" application with a pro-sumer interface and simplified structure. it's not meant to be used in Burbank to make film-outs, nor collaborate with others. It's meant for the one-man-band "indie" filmmaker who does everything in-house and never really uses all the stuff FCP 7 is packed with.

Has anyone picked up on the distinct loss of DVD Studio Pro? Nowhere is it mentioned, not even in the rumor mill so again, according to Apple FCP X users are mainly going to be posting to the web, mobile or other non-physical media. Not DVD, not to a film transfer and most certainly not to Blu-Ray (even though there's still an output option for BR).

Truthfully, I'm OK with all that. So Apple created an "i-Product" on steroids. Fine. The only thing they did wrong was hoodwink the pro community by calling it a "pro" product. Kinda like the MBP: A single-drive laptop with a glossy screen is "pro"?

So as the gent says, Apple really doesn't care about pro customers. That's OK too, because the competition clearly does so all of us will have options for the future - and can remain on the Mac platform if we so choose.

'Nuf said.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 11:05 AM   #13
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
Has anyone picked up on the distinct loss of DVD Studio Pro? Nowhere is it mentioned, not even in the rumor mill so again, according to Apple FCP X users are mainly going to be posting to the web, mobile or other non-physical media. Not DVD, not to a film transfer and most certainly not to Blu-Ray (even though there's still an output option for BR).
I wouldn't be surprised if they offer iDVD with some "pro" features and call it DVDSP X. The story with Blu-Ray was Apple didn't want it to compete with their online distribution of movies so they refused to offer Blu-ray hardware in their computers and likewise wouldn't offer software to author it. Its just one glaring example of how technology decisions are made based on their business needs not yours. There are work arounds but why should you be paying someone to actively work against you. Instead of offering the latest and most popular technology they are trying to shape customer's demands to their own.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 08:30 PM   #14
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
To be sure, Apple has brilliantly played both ends of the marketing spectrum, by putting the "pro" term on hardware and software giving the illusion to the general consumer that Apple's products are "pro preferred".

Of course we all know that today with hardware components being literally on-par with each other (Intel in both PCs and Macs) there's really no justification for Apple's premium pricing on hardware.

But this blog post is spot-on about what myself and others have been trying to educate people about Apple's core focus: Apple is first and foremost an "i-Product" company. They're in the business of creating cool toys for the general consumer market.

They purchased and killed Shake. They purchased what is now Logic, and it's future is also widely viewed as tenuous. They purchased the core of Final Cut Pro and have been slowly watering it down to it's "X" iteration.

To his point about there being 10K actual pro-editors in the market (and he says he's being generous) I think the number is less - maybe even lower than 8K. And by "professional" I mean those who use ALL the tools an editor needs, such as high-end compositing, the telecine process, sharing EDL's etc.

Clearly FCP X wasn't designed for that customer in mind, it's designed for the iMovie or FCE power user who wants a "pro" application with a pro-sumer interface and simplified structure. it's not meant to be used in Burbank to make film-outs, nor collaborate with others. It's meant for the one-man-band "indie" filmmaker who does everything in-house and never really uses all the stuff FCP 7 is packed with.

Has anyone picked up on the distinct loss of DVD Studio Pro? Nowhere is it mentioned, not even in the rumor mill so again, according to Apple FCP X users are mainly going to be posting to the web, mobile or other non-physical media. Not DVD, not to a film transfer and most certainly not to Blu-Ray (even though there's still an output option for BR).

Truthfully, I'm OK with all that. So Apple created an "i-Product" on steroids. Fine. The only thing they did wrong was hoodwink the pro community by calling it a "pro" product. Kinda like the MBP: A single-drive laptop with a glossy screen is "pro"?

So as the gent says, Apple really doesn't care about pro customers. That's OK too, because the competition clearly does so all of us will have options for the future - and can remain on the Mac platform if we so choose.

'Nuf said.
I disagree with much of this. Pro is used to delineate the product line not designate pro-preferred. The product designs validate it.

Anyone who's opened up a Mac Pro or G5 understands Apple's high quality mechanical designs over the plastic masses from Dell etc and there's plenty of justification for higher prices. I've always been amazed at how little more Macs cost for all that you get. They've always had it over PCs. And just because Macs now share the same chipsets, there's far more involved in making a computer than chips. Apple has amazing firmware/software and has successfully ported it all across 3 hardware architectures... something MSFT has never done.

The good news is Apple is in business and is doing what it takes to stay that way. For a long time, Pro users carried the company. It's now necessary for consumers to do that.

FCP has millions of users, not 10,000. Arguably, the millions don't fully utilize all that's in FCP like the 10,000 might. There were a lot of cheers in the Vegas demo and the millions of FCP users that aren't part of the 10,000 plus a whole bunch of FCE and iMovie users will drive revenue from buying FCP X that will go toward FCP development and we un-10,000 will benefit. Many of those users won't use all the capability in FCP X but they will buy it anyway just like us millions bought FCP and drove revenue for the 10,000.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 10:42 PM   #15
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Re: Former Shake product designer blogs about Apple and FCP X

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
To be sure, Apple has brilliantly played both ends of the marketing spectrum, by putting the "pro" term on hardware and software giving the illusion to the general consumer that Apple's products are "pro preferred".

Of course we all know that today with hardware components being literally on-par with each other (Intel in both PCs and Macs) there's really no justification for Apple's premium pricing on hardware.

But this blog post is spot-on about what myself and others have been trying to educate people about Apple's core focus: Apple is first and foremost an "i-Product" company. They're in the business of creating cool toys for the general consumer market.

They purchased and killed Shake. They purchased what is now Logic, and it's future is also widely viewed as tenuous. They purchased the core of Final Cut Pro and have been slowly watering it down to it's "X" iteration.

To his point about there being 10K actual pro-editors in the market (and he says he's being generous) I think the number is less - maybe even lower than 8K. And by "professional" I mean those who use ALL the tools an editor needs, such as high-end compositing, the telecine process, sharing EDL's etc.

Clearly FCP X wasn't designed for that customer in mind, it's designed for the iMovie or FCE power user who wants a "pro" application with a pro-sumer interface and simplified structure. it's not meant to be used in Burbank to make film-outs, nor collaborate with others. It's meant for the one-man-band "indie" filmmaker who does everything in-house and never really uses all the stuff FCP 7 is packed with.

Has anyone picked up on the distinct loss of DVD Studio Pro? Nowhere is it mentioned, not even in the rumor mill so again, according to Apple FCP X users are mainly going to be posting to the web, mobile or other non-physical media. Not DVD, not to a film transfer and most certainly not to Blu-Ray (even though there's still an output option for BR).

Truthfully, I'm OK with all that. So Apple created an "i-Product" on steroids. Fine. The only thing they did wrong was hoodwink the pro community by calling it a "pro" product. Kinda like the MBP: A single-drive laptop with a glossy screen is "pro"?

So as the gent says, Apple really doesn't care about pro customers. That's OK too, because the competition clearly does so all of us will have options for the future - and can remain on the Mac platform if we so choose.

'Nuf said.
I totally agree. I would add that Apple has driven sales of Mac Pro's and MBP's with their 'Pro' software, ie FCP. Now that 'X' is greatly losing higher-end Pro users, Apple's Mac Pro sales will suffer.

I am tired of seeing people comparing a Mac Pro to 'cheap Dells' when one computer starts at $2400 and those 'cheap' Dells are $500 for a desktop. For a REAL comparison, check out Dell's T7500 line or better yet, HP's Z800. In addition, Dell and HP do NOT remove and limit the features like Apple does, which includes having only 4 ram slots versus 6, 8 ram slots versus 12 and only 4 PCIe slots instead of 6 or 7. My 12-core Z800 has 12 ram slots for up to 192GB, 6 PCIe slots and one PCI slot. It also has 6 Sata ports and 8 SAS ports built into the motherboard. I also have a great 3yr warranty which came with the computer for free. With all the stuff I have inside my Z800, I would need 2 Mac Pro's due to their limited number of PCIe slots.

FYI, HP gives 25% off their 'Z' series when requesting a quote.
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