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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:12 AM   #16
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Robert,

I agree. When people used to be saying that Apple was overpriced, I told them that it wasn't really true. And I do believe that. But now?

You have to buy a 2000 dollar Macbook Pro just to get Firewire?
Macbook PRO's, who have glossy screens? No Firewire 400 anymore also, only one Firewire bus?

The new ACD... only glossy? No firewire ports in them? Only compatible with their new laptops?

The new display port... Okay it saves space, (again, form over function), but you have to buy all these new expensive adapters, just to connect your laptop to another screen!

I told my brother, who saught a normal Macbook, to wait for the update... Guess what? Now I'm going to shop with hem to buy a previous generation Macbook Pro. I'm not even talking about the new Macbook Prices. 1200 euros for a 13" laptop without firewire even? 2.0 ghz? Really, Apple?

I've never been so dissapointed in Apple as now. The Macbook PRO isn't officially pro anymore... It's for the more rich consumer. I also see this of a very defining point of Apple saying: "sc*w you" to all professional and prosumers out there.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 09:32 AM   #17
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All good points, Mathieu. I can honestly say I've never heard of or seen so many complaints across the board about Apple's offerings after a conference than now.

Myself and others have publicly complained that Steve Job's had become blindsided by the success of iTunes and now iPhone and that his focus was moving too far away from it's professional customer base. It would seem that Job's may have finally decided that there's so much money to be made with the general consumer "i" products that it's no longer profitable to be concerned with pro needs. Certainly none of the new hardware offerings make any sense, both from a usability and a cost-effectiveness standpoint.

Apple historically has taken the "do it the Apple way" mentality with it's product offerings by eliminating features or creating non-modify-able presets, arrogantly telling the customer "this way is best". I'll never forget the huge uproar that went out when Apple did away with the PCMCIA slot, P2 users were up in arms and PC guys were laughing their collective arses off. I defended the choice then but there's no defense for Apple's choices now.

One statement that really makes my head spin about Apple's stated future plans, is that Jobs said going towards Blu-Ray wasn't cost effective, that licensing from Sony was too expensive. Really? So Adobe can pull it off but Apple can't? Gee, that sounds more like a public announcement of weakness rather than a savvy business decision.

I think Apple's distaste for Blu-Ray has more to do with the fact that they want to push everyone into web-based delivery of HD content (iTunes) which they make money on rather than optical media which they don't. Yet another example of Apple arrogance telling it's customers what *Apple* wants rather than giving their customers what they're asking for.

As I always say, pick the best tool for the job. Going forward it would appear that Apple's products appear less and less like the best tool - and certainly not at Apple prices.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #18
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I think Apple's distaste for Blu-Ray has more to do with the fact that they want to push everyone into web-based delivery of HD content (iTunes) which they make money on rather than optical media which they don't. Yet another example of Apple arrogance telling it's customers what *Apple* wants rather than giving their customers what they're asking for.
.
Lets hope some of the Apple people are lurking around sites like this one. Let's hope they will listen as well.
I wanted to address one point not mentioned. A dual BR disc contains 50 Gig of information. Try to download that! So what quality are we talking about through iTunes? not Hi-Def. Also don't forget the biggest cable internet provider (Comcast) has quite low limits on monthly volume of downloads.
No firewire on Macbook, another complete fumble! I think we see Apple going main stream and the quality, innovation and performance level are going down. No wonder Apple stock suffered a major blow last month.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #19
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Yes the new Macbook Pro is "consumerish". But it kinda makes sense - this is a brand new platform that they will be using for the next 3-5 years. So why not simplify the first few offerings and let the customers tell them what to add back in. Hasn't this been the Apple's behaviour for years? Just push it out the door, and fix it later? It's just a computer for godsake, they can always create a new model with more features. And I'm wondering if they haven't factored that philosophy in with their new manufacturing process. Betcha their time to market is now extremely quick. And since their forte is design, that's a pretty big competitive advantage. So I'm prepared to give Apple the benefit of the doubt (and I'm a PC). They have huge gaps in their line up right now - they know it - and they know they can't do anything about it until Intel releases their new chips in 2009.

With that in mind, this Oct 2007 release kinda looks like a good way test the new computing platform with consumers before MacWorld 2009. That's where they have to get it right, but I'm sure they know this as well. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if we see the current 15" Macbook Pro drop down to Macbook status, as they introduce more advanced computers to fill in the higher end gaps.

Of course if they don't "bring it" to MacWorld 2009. Well ...
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Old October 16th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #20
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Myself and others have publicly complained that Steve Job's had become blindsided by the success of iTunes and now iPhone and that his focus was moving too far away from it's professional customer base. It would seem that Job's may have finally decided that there's so much money to be made with the general consumer "i" products that it's no longer profitable to be concerned with pro needs.
I'm not ready to go quite that far, but agree there's a degree of truth in this. They are clearly concentrating on the iPhone and (like it or not) it's quite an impressive acheivement from both a technological and marketing standpoint. I'm still very content with my Macs, but clearly have much less demanding needs than yours.

As for Apple's stock falling recently, well I think it got rather overheated and was due to correct. Of course, all bets are off with the current economy.

And the following chart might provide some insight as to why Dell sells their laptops for less than Apple: Quotes for AAPL - Yahoo! Finance
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Old October 16th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #21
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Economics wise, how many people really need FireWire on their MacBooks? How many consumer cameras now only have USB2? How many external hard drives are now USB2 only? Who buys the majority of MacBooks? Professionals? Did Apple make the right choice? I don't have the statistics, do you? They came out with something called the MacBook Pro for a reason and it's not just to steal your money.

My 15" MacBookPro (one of the first models) only had one FireWire port. Did they ever have more? I bought a cheap express card and now have three when I need them. No big deal.

Apple isn't supporting Blu-Ray right now for whatever eccentric (or reasonable) reason. Does that mean you can't work with Blu-Ray. Of course not. Buy Toast and a burner. You can make Blu-Ray compatible H.264 HD files in Compressor already. That's a lot cheaper then a new laptop that has few substantial improvements in speed.

Has Apple ever put an SDI port in their computers for the people who work with DigiBeta or other high end digital video? No and they never will. But as professionals we can acquire the extras and work happily in SDI.

Final Cut has some strange lapses in it's development. The CG is still the same as it was in version 2! Why hasn't Apple at least improved it a little? LiveType wasn't the answer. Fading layered effects is still whacked out but at least I know how to solve that simply.

This has been done before but let's do it again. List the improvements you would like to see in the next stage of FCS.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #22
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Economics wise, how many people really need FireWire on their MacBooks? How many consumer cameras now only have USB2? How many external hard drives are now USB2 only? Who buys the majority of MacBooks? Professionals? Did Apple make the right choice? I don't have the statistics, do you? They came out with something called the MacBook Pro for a reason and it's not just to steal your money.
Pro LOL...what's so Pro about the MBP? I can find any number of PCs that have discrete GPU, Expresscard34 and a higher rez screen. Don't you think it's telling that Apple spent a majority of the keynote talking about the manufacturing process of the new laptops? These are "still" computers that need to be connected to a variety of other technologies. Regarding the Macbooks. USB only means they're just a toy. Powered Firewire gave them some respectability and the ability to utilize audio and video gear. Now the only thing a Macbook owner can really laud is the aluminum brick it was milled from. That's not really going to help you compute better if you're missing connectivity.

People are just acknowledging that Apple's laptops are not that well featured and with the omission of firewire on the Macbook it just doesn't represent a good value.

I'm officially turned off. I'll buy a PC laptop with Blu-ray and Firewire and use that before I spend a bunch of money on "all show no go" Apple notebooks.





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Old October 16th, 2008, 11:24 PM   #23
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I agree with some of the comments about mbp but it doesn't bother me in the least because I wouldn't want to edit video on a laptop. Looks like they've decided its more profitable to cater to the needs of i-consumers than prosumers for their laptops. That makes good business sense and after all Apple is in the business of making money. I can't envision consumers replacing discs in favor downloading video content. I'm sure Apple will come around to this realization sooner than later.

There has always been a misconception that Microsoft is more "evil" and controlling than Apple. If given a chance Apple would be just as bad as Microsoft. For that matter all technology related companies want to lock you into their software/hardware/format to eliminate competition and then milk you for as much as they can. Realize its a tool to achieve an end. The grass is always greener on the other side that's why most professionals rather stick to one editing system than hop back and forth.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #24
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Pro LOL...what's so Pro about the MBP? I can find any number of PCs that have discrete GPU, Expresscard34 and a higher rez screen.
The only reason I need a MBP is to run Final Cut studio. Other than that, I can easily find a windows notebook with specs equal or better that the over priced MBP
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Old October 17th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #25
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People are just acknowledging that Apple's laptops are not that well featured and with the omission of firewire on the Macbook it just doesn't represent a good value.
Value for who? You? Perhaps you are right, it's not a good value for you. Have fun with your new PC laptop. But there are still plenty of new white FireWire ported, matte screened MacBooks for sale for $999. Why don't you consider one of those before being "officially turned off".

The question here is, how many professionals are using MacBooks out of the entire sales count? Does Apple truly know the statistics? Since many people buy their MacBooks personally or in addition to a desktop, Apple may not be able to understand the effects this decision has on a significant section of their customers. Remember Macbooks were designed for students, casual home use and modest professional use (writing, web design, etc.) many features are never used. Try to find a low-end consumer camcorder with a microphone input these days! They used to all have that until the companies realized that almost nobody used it and they could save a few dollars per unit by removing it. The few that did use the input were forced to purchase a more expensive model!

Perhaps a concerted effort will convince Apple to release a version with FireWire again or at least a simple 4-pin port.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #26
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William

The is rife with complaint about the "missing" Firewire in the new Macbooks. There have been attempts to "spin" this via comments like "Consumers don't care about Firewire" for that "USB has won" or attempt to equate Firewire as some video only connection. I have a Canon DV camcorder that only supports Firewire and I have a USB/Firewire Western Digital drive that I wisely connected via Firewire (as you'll see why below). No one has contacted me for a survey to ascertain what connectivity I've chosen. If Firewire is a "dying" technology as some of these web pundits proclaim then why is there such an outcry?

My personal belief is this. I've followed Apple for over two decades and I know one thing about Steve Jobs. He has an aesthetic ideal for a product and then the engineers must make the product fit within these boundaries sometimes to the peril of the product (See Apple III). Jobs loves thin laptops which is why over the years we've seen overheating problems with the Macs or the dropping of some ports for space reasons.

The latest casualty to this obsession for thin computing is the FW port on the Macbook. EVERY Macbook sold before Oct 14 has had Firewire. It is no more of a Professional connection than USB. It has always been firmly planted in the middle. Suitable for low end applications and acceptable for high end as well.

When I say that the current Macbook does not have value I am certainly attempting to "shift my center" and look beyond my own needs. In order to compute "value" I have to look at the price of the computer and the featureset that it provides. At $1299 the Macbook Alu is already starting out fairly high. While the aluminum casing is gorgeous it's benefit to the consumer is fairly minute beyond aesthetics. I think the chipset is a nice upgrade with suitable graphics that should appeal to many people. I think that the optical drive is what we've had for years (no Blu-ray). Connectivity though has taken a decided downturn. By making the laptop USB 2.0 only without the possibility of expansion Apple has severely weakened the laptop and this affects not just me but all of us looking to get performance and longevity from our laptop.

Value is a subjective thing to us all but it is open for debate and that's what I'm here for. I ask any who read this. Do you want to spend $1300 of your hard earned money for a laptop computer that has defaulted to a connectivity standard that performs like this?

Here's the type of performance you're looking at with USB 2.0

Here's how eSATA, FW800 and USB 2.0 stack up

http://barefeats.com/image08/not4_sr.gif

USB 2.0 Dominated

http://barefeats.com/image08/not4_sw.gif

USB 2.0 Dominated

http://barefeats.com/image08/not4_rr.gif

USB 2.0 Dominated

http://barefeats.com/image08/not4_rw.gif

USB 2.0 Dominated


Also keep in mind this is just storage read/write benchmarks and it doesn't show how well the connection does under heavy load. USB being CPU driven means that as your computer's load increases your storage connection will slow down further. In audio applications the difference is even more pronounced because USB cannot match the low latency of Firewire nor the isochronous realtime media support that audio interface/effects require.

Though even with the aforementioned foibles of USB 2.0 I'm earnestly open to differing opinions about why losing Firewire is no big deal. I must assume that performance is not important to a portion of the population in particular those who view the aesthetic quality of a computer to be paramount and are willing to pay a premium regardless of said performance or lack thereof.

HM
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:43 PM   #27
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BD big deal

I do think not having BD is a big deal for me. Just go buy toast so I can have no menus? Just go out and pay a premium, then buy more software and hardware, cobble it together and be happy that I work on a mac. I see. Sir, may I have another? The Adobe guy at the last show I went to had a very compelling pitch. I wonder, why did I buy a 2008 mac? Because I use FCP which is not allowing my to do what much less expensive software is doing for PC users.

Nearing my upgrade cycle of my second tower I am going to look very seriously at a PC with BD and Premier. Why the hell not at this point? Then what is going to get me back to mac? Probably nothing.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #28
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I did some reading on the firewire issue and the most likely reason Apple did this was not to save money or to retire an old technology on its way out, but to push professionals into buying the more expensive mac book pro that has fw800. There are two ways to differentiate product lines from consumer to professional, one is add features to the pro line and the other is to remove features from the consumer line.

While its not very nice of apple taking the firewire away from the new mac book, you can use the move to your advantage by saving money and buying the older white mac book. Performance wise they're the same only real benefit of the new version is the new internal video card can handle games.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 03:12 PM   #29
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Lets hope some of the Apple people are lurking around sites like this one. Let's hope they will listen as well.
I wanted to address one point not mentioned. A dual BR disc contains 50 Gig of information. Try to download that! So what quality are we talking about through iTunes? not Hi-Def.

No firewire on Macbook, another complete fumble! I think we see Apple going main stream and the quality, innovation and performance level are going down. No wonder Apple stock suffered a major blow last month.
BluRay just sucks in practice. The visual quality of the movies are nearly indistinguishable from DVD resolution on my 52" Sony Bravia. This is probably due in part that movies aren't in HD-level focus most of the time, and possibly the transfer process. The rental selection just isn't growing fast enough as shops seem to have new releases for sale in a glass case while the same titles are available for rental a month later, at least at Blockbuster. Netflix is better in that regard.

I own an early Sony BluRay player, the DSP-S300, and I'm find BluRay movies that don't play (yesterday, Scorpion King II) at all, even with the latest firmware upgrades. The player needs a minute to startup, 20 seconds to begin reading a disk, and 20 seconds to eject a disk. "Play" on the remote or front panel doesn't commence playback. "Select" is the new play. Some disks need five minutes or more to startup, the time needed to load some fancy menu system. This just turns me off from watching these movies as much as I like the idea. Sony PS3 aside, the bulk of the BluRay players in existence don't handle BD-Rs to my knowledge.

The alternative to BluRay seems to be these "HD" movies channels which offer the blockiest video I've ever seen. Many of the "HD" movies are 4:3 DVDs, and at least half HD movies are so blocky that they're much worse than regular DVDs. I watch portions of them to keep up with the industry, as I don't need to watch "Purple Rain" (which I liked, Prince was awesome at that time) 50 times.

Given that Apple has pushed Firewire all of these years, it's surprising that this feature is missing. However, I don't think that BluRay or Firewire are on the minds of any stock investors, particularly in the last month.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 02:11 AM   #30
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I did some reading on the firewire issue and the most likely reason Apple did this was not to save money or to retire an old technology on its way out, but to push professionals into buying the more expensive mac book pro that has fw800. There are two ways to differentiate product lines from consumer to professional, one is add features to the pro line and the other is to remove features from the consumer line.

While its not very nice of apple taking the firewire away from the new mac book, you can use the move to your advantage by saving money and buying the older white mac book. Performance wise they're the same only real benefit of the new version is the new internal video card can handle games.
I was trying to stay out of this, but really...

If someone is actually a working professional - that is, someone making their living creating video for profit - the idea that they'd care about this level of cost difference is silly.

The extra to pay the difference between a MacBook and a PRO - for most working professionals - can likely be hidden in the craft services budget - or by hiring one less PA and dragging your own cases around for a couple of shoots.

Apple makes various levels of tools for various classes of users, just like everyone from guitar manufactuers to tennis racquet companies.

Get over the petty squabbles about the tools. If you can't afford the best yet, so what? What you CAN do with the basic level stuff is essentially more than ALL the capabilities I had available when I started working in multi-million dollar dedicated post houses years ago.

So put the gear gripes away and get to work!

While you're bemoaning what you didn't get in the latest upgrade, some snot-nosed kid who doesn't understand or even THINK ABOUT what the machine might NOT be able to do - is out there somewhere getting ready to steal your clients.

FWIW.
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