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Old April 19th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #31
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Disappointing news

Before I share I should point out that ever since I migrated my company into pro film & video we've been using FCP exclusively with exception to exporting files to post houses for film-outs or CGI. And for the most part using FCP has been a fairly good experience.

However, the past 3 years especially has found Apple playing catch-up with the exponentially changing arena of new technology in both video camera formats (HDV/P2-MXF etc) and output options (HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, Flash etc).

As most of you probably know, SP4 can author HD-DVD but even today there are no mac-compatible HD-DVD burners, requiring sending the project to a replicator who have minimum copies starting at 5000 units. Not exactly a cost-effective or easy way to do a test burn prior to exporting the DLT. Blu-Ray support has been conspicuously missing from SP4.

The two major additions to FCP is "Color" and the Pro-Res, while both are nice add-ons Apple has failed to bring FCP up to the same level as the competition.

In FCP 6, P2-MXF is still not native to the timeline requiring the transcoding process into QT's either before or during import (something HDLog and P2 Log Pro does faster and better); this was the most suprising and disappointing news since almost all the "rumor" sources had fairly reliable information suggesting MXF would become native to the timeline. HDV rendering support has not improved; Soundtrack has not been given any updates to address lingering sound issues and as mentioned before, the fact that Blu-Ray is still missing and that there is no HD-DVD burner for the Mac on the horizon still leaves DVDSP4 crippled with creating HD-spec content.

From all I've seen here so far at NAB I can't help but be highly disappointed in the fact that Steve Jobs has redirected so much of the attention and resources away from both the OS and pro apps development and instead into the goofy iPhone project that I feel a paradigm shift has occured for Final Cut.

I'm not about to leave the Apple platform but for me Premiere CS3 is getting a serious look-over as is Avid Composer. More later as I continue the research.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #32
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SP4 can author HD-DVD but even today there are no mac-compatible HD-DVD burners
yes, good points, but you didn't mention that if you want to do trial burns, SP4 will burn HD-DVDs to standard 4.7G disks (you can't play them of course)
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Old April 19th, 2007, 11:27 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
...the fact that Blu-Ray is still missing and that there is no HD-DVD burner for the Mac on the horizon still leaves DVDSP4 crippled with creating HD-spec content.

From all I've seen here so far at NAB I can't help but be highly disappointed in the fact that Steve Jobs has redirected so much of the attention and resources away from both the OS and pro apps development and instead into the goofy iPhone project that I feel a paradigm shift has occured for Final Cut.
I completely agree. The lack of integration of either Bluray or HDDVD (or both) is embarassing and tragic, especially considering Apple used to be at the front of integrating new hardware (CD-ROM at the time etc).
I'm sincerely hoping that this will come with Leopard; particularly since HDDVD and Bluray depend on strong OS integration (HDCP crap).
Of course, there's already Bluray and HDDVD drives available and people have put them into firewire and USB enclosure (and use them for backups using Toast8), but that's nowhere near what one needs in order to prepare video discs....

The whole iPhone thing seems just to be what shareholders expect. Unfortunately, it's iPods etc that seem to drive Apple's stock value (and not FCP).

Dino
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #34
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I'm also curious- I have a black macbook that i purchased in June. At the time it had the same specs as the 15 inch macbook pro with the exception of the graphics card (2 ghz intel core duo, with 1 gig of ram). Thinking I wouldn't be using motion, I decided to go with the Macbook. Now I'm upset since on the website it says even FCP 6 requires a stand alone graphics card. Also, Color looks pretty amazing, so my question is do you think the new suite will work (other than Motion)? And what about After Effects CS3, since I'm interested in also purchasing that? Thanks
I"m surprised they didnt warn you of this at the apple store [if you went there before you purchased]. I was going to buy a black macbook, and when they asked me what I do they highly suggested i dish out the extra money for the pro version. Apple always tries to make you buy the more expensive stuff, but they tend not to lie about the capabilities of their machines.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #35
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I completely agree. The lack of integration of either Bluray or HDDVD (or both) is embarassing and tragic, especially considering Apple used to be at the front of integrating new hardware (CD-ROM at the time etc).
I'm sincerely hoping that this will come with Leopard; particularly since HDDVD and Bluray depend on strong OS integration (HDCP crap).
Of course, there's already Bluray and HDDVD drives available and people have put them into firewire and USB enclosure (and use them for backups using Toast8), but that's nowhere near what one needs in order to prepare video discs....

The whole iPhone thing seems just to be what shareholders expect. Unfortunately, it's iPods etc that seem to drive Apple's stock value (and not FCP).

Dino
This is getting a little off topic but as a business owner debate about the futer of Apple/FCP could be a good thing.

Your right, the CEO of Apple's only responsibility is to manage shareholder value and as much as we may depend on continued development of FCP, that continued development is antithetical to Apple success.

Which means the more successful the iPod, iPhone and iTV the less likely Apple is to continue on with FCP. Do you think its a coincidence that Apple changed its name from Apple Computers to Apple Inc? Apple is now a consumer electronics company.

We go to NAB and witness a significant presence at the Apple booth where all of us Apple faithful pine for a bit more functionality, a bit more competitive advantage over our Avid brethren. Which I might add didn't exactly light the room on fire with any nwe products. Contrast that with Adobe's and Apples presence at CES and I'm sorry to say NAB pales in comparison.

Looking down the road a bit I predict that Avid will purchase FCP, it would be a good fit for Avid and would relieve Apple from a lot of R&D expense that I'm sure they are not seeing the kind of return on investment required for the new Apple Inc.

Unfortunately 90+% of Apple's shareholders have never heard of FCP or Motion. All Apple needs increase shareholder value amongst the main stream consumer is iMovie and iPhoto etc.. We it appears are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #36
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Looking down the road a bit I predict that Avid will purchase FCP, it would be a good fit for Avid and would relieve Apple from a lot of R&D expense that I'm sure they are not seeing the kind of return on investment required for the new Apple Inc.
As an Avid editor of 13 years, I'll be making the transition to FCP 6.0 over the summer. There is just too much bang for the buck to ignore. I'm not sure you'll ever see Apple sell FCP to Avid. And as evidenced by this years NAB, Apple blew away Avid. Apple did a good job of investing in good technology, purchasing/acquiring other companies to introduce FCP server and Color. Those investments will pay off for Apple in selling higher end Mac Pros. Also, Avid doesn't play well with 3rd parties and Apple does.

I believe Apple has the right balance of higher end professional solutions coupled with broad based consumer gadgets.

I think Apple is the American version of Sony which has broadcast and consumer solutions. But, Avid has its' work cut out for it or it's going to be purchased by someone like Panasonic someday soon. (That's been my prediction for 4 years now)

Cheers.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 09:08 PM   #37
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I worked the Panasonic booth at NAB as a P2 Workflow consultant (in fact, I'm literally on my way back home after breaking down the setup); we had all the NLE "partners" as part of our booth, Apple, Avid, Adobe, Grass Valley etc. The Apple and Adobe stations were literally next to each other allowing simulaneous viewing of both and of course, brief Q&A sessions with the consultants manning each station.

All of "us" (consultants) were expecting that Apple would follow suit to Avid and make MXF native to the timeline in FCP 6; when we were told it was not and still required the use of the P2 Import/transcode function - you should have seen the raised eyebrows and dropped jaws. That was by far, the single biggest surprise/disappointment since the majority of HVX/P2 shooters are using FCP. A few crazies are using Vegas of all things (I'm jabbing at Barry - nicely) (^_^)

I'm not fully convinced that I won't upgrade to FCP 6 - yet, mainly because there have been some very powerful additions to the FC suite, such as Smooth Cam and the Optical-flow based retiming from Shake (now part of Motion), tighter integration with Motion and a few other filters. And of course with Pro-Res 422 FCP is looking more Avid-like all the time by requiring more external hardware - which is both good and bad, but debated somewhere else.

But the other bone of contention is the HD-spec authoring; the last Apple consultant I spoke with could only *hint* that something *soon* is coming down to address the lack of Mac-based HD-DVD burners and that a few other add-on's might be coming, but nothing that gives me any solid hope of any of that is real.

As I mentioned before, Premiere CS3 (which has a Mac-Beta version available on the web now) looks very promising from several aspects, but until I test it that too is a "definite maybe" at best, especially since Encore has never been the powerful DVD authoring solution that SP4 has been and still is.

More to come as info is learned...
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Old April 19th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by David Parks View Post
As an Avid editor of 13 years, I'll be making the transition to FCP 6.0 over the summer.
Just so you know. There is a new site dedicated to helping Avid editors make the switch.

Check it out at: www.avid2fcp.com

You might find it helps you transition over.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
Before I share I should point out that ever since I migrated my company into pro film & video we've been using FCP exclusively with exception to exporting files to post houses for film-outs or CGI. And for the most part using FCP has been a fairly good experience.

However, the past 3 years especially has found Apple playing catch-up with the exponentially changing arena of new technology in both video camera formats (HDV/P2-MXF etc) and output options (HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, Flash etc).

As most of you probably know, SP4 can author HD-DVD but even today there are no mac-compatible HD-DVD burners, requiring sending the project to a replicator who have minimum copies starting at 5000 units. Not exactly a cost-effective or easy way to do a test burn prior to exporting the DLT. Blu-Ray support has been conspicuously missing from SP4.

The two major additions to FCP is "Color" and the Pro-Res, while both are nice add-ons Apple has failed to bring FCP up to the same level as the competition.

In FCP 6, P2-MXF is still not native to the timeline requiring the transcoding process into QT's either before or during import (something HDLog and P2 Log Pro does faster and better); this was the most suprising and disappointing news since almost all the "rumor" sources had fairly reliable information suggesting MXF would become native to the timeline. HDV rendering support has not improved; Soundtrack has not been given any updates to address lingering sound issues and as mentioned before, the fact that Blu-Ray is still missing and that there is no HD-DVD burner for the Mac on the horizon still leaves DVDSP4 crippled with creating HD-spec content.

From all I've seen here so far at NAB I can't help but be highly disappointed in the fact that Steve Jobs has redirected so much of the attention and resources away from both the OS and pro apps development and instead into the goofy iPhone project that I feel a paradigm shift has occured for Final Cut.

I'm not about to leave the Apple platform but for me Premiere CS3 is getting a serious look-over as is Avid Composer. More later as I continue the research.
Frankly I sense the interest in P2 waning. Many feel that Panny overrpriced the P2 media and the new Sony XDCAM EX looks to have aligned with a superior storage format in Expresscard34 which links right into PCI-Express for more bandwidth. This is of little consolation to HVX200 owners but I think I'd rather have ProRes 422 and Color than standout P2 performance.

Acceptable (IMO) Blu-ray authoring doesn't exist at an affordable level. These HD formats offer and unprecedented levels of integration and protection features. Blu-ray alone requires knowledge of 3 types of DRM (AACS, BD+ and ROM Mark) and HDCP encrypton. The interactive layer is comprised of BD-Java and BDMV for menu and other features. HD DVD is going to require AACS support and HDCP and the interactive layer requires HDi. Supporting both is not going to be for the faint at heart. Adobe's page on Blu-ray support in Encore has NO data. I need to know a lot more information about available features before I consider their authoring anything special or at the least acceptable.

Apple isn't a monolithic company. Because Sony cell phones are struggling doesn't mean that their camera division is. Each depart has it's own budget and revenue/profit targets. The iPhone has nothing to do with Final Cut Pro other than both relying on OS X. To think they are corollated is foolhardy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino Leone View Post
I completely agree. The lack of integration of either Bluray or HDDVD (or both) is embarassing and tragic, especially considering Apple used to be at the front of integrating new hardware (CD-ROM at the time etc).
I'm sincerely hoping that this will come with Leopard; particularly since HDDVD and Bluray depend on strong OS integration (HDCP crap).
Of course, there's already Bluray and HDDVD drives available and people have put them into firewire and USB enclosure (and use them for backups using Toast8), but that's nowhere near what one needs in order to prepare video discs....

The whole iPhone thing seems just to be what shareholders expect. Unfortunately, it's iPods etc that seem to drive Apple's stock value (and not FCP).

Dino
I hope the iPod and iPhone and Apple TV exceed every sales target. Apple is serious about video and if they have adequate funding I'm assured of future development of Pro applications from Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
This is getting a little off topic but as a business owner debate about the futer of Apple/FCP could be a good thing.

Your right, the CEO of Apple's only responsibility is to manage shareholder value and as much as we may depend on continued development of FCP, that continued development is antithetical to Apple success.

Which means the more successful the iPod, iPhone and iTV the less likely Apple is to continue on with FCP. Do you think its a coincidence that Apple changed its name from Apple Computers to Apple Inc? Apple is now a consumer electronics company.

We go to NAB and witness a significant presence at the Apple booth where all of us Apple faithful pine for a bit more functionality, a bit more competitive advantage over our Avid brethren. Which I might add didn't exactly light the room on fire with any nwe products. Contrast that with Adobe's and Apples presence at CES and I'm sorry to say NAB pales in comparison.

Looking down the road a bit I predict that Avid will purchase FCP, it would be a good fit for Avid and would relieve Apple from a lot of R&D expense that I'm sure they are not seeing the kind of return on investment required for the new Apple Inc.

Unfortunately 90+% of Apple's shareholders have never heard of FCP or Motion. All Apple needs increase shareholder value amongst the main stream consumer is iMovie and iPhoto etc.. We it appears are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Absolutely absurd. Shareholder don't have to care about FCP. They care about their returns and Apple can deliver consumer product and Pro product with ease. How you can intimate that Apple is looking to sell out when the Silicon Color and Proximity acquisitions are less than a year old is mind boggling. But it does raise legit questions. If Apple didn't care about video they wouldn't have purchased new companies or End of Life'd Shake.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
I worked the Panasonic booth at NAB as a P2 Workflow consultant (in fact, I'm literally on my way back home after breaking down the setup); we had all the NLE "partners" as part of our booth, Apple, Avid, Adobe, Grass Valley etc. The Apple and Adobe stations were literally next to each other allowing simulaneous viewing of both and of course, brief Q&A sessions with the consultants manning each station.

All of "us" (consultants) were expecting that Apple would follow suit to Avid and make MXF native to the timeline in FCP 6; when we were told it was not and still required the use of the P2 Import/transcode function - you should have seen the raised eyebrows and dropped jaws. That was by far, the single biggest surprise/disappointment since the majority of HVX/P2 shooters are using FCP. A few crazies are using Vegas of all things (I'm jabbing at Barry - nicely) (^_^)

I'm not fully convinced that I won't upgrade to FCP 6 - yet, mainly because there have been some very powerful additions to the FC suite, such as Smooth Cam and the Optical-flow based retiming from Shake (now part of Motion), tighter integration with Motion and a few other filters. And of course with Pro-Res 422 FCP is looking more Avid-like all the time by requiring more external hardware - which is both good and bad, but debated somewhere else.

But the other bone of contention is the HD-spec authoring; the last Apple consultant I spoke with could only *hint* that something *soon* is coming down to address the lack of Mac-based HD-DVD burners and that a few other add-on's might be coming, but nothing that gives me any solid hope of any of that is real.

As I mentioned before, Premiere CS3 (which has a Mac-Beta version available on the web now) looks very promising from several aspects, but until I test it that too is a "definite maybe" at best, especially since Encore has never been the powerful DVD authoring solution that SP4 has been and still is.

More to come as info is learned...
HD DVD burners are coming this summer

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10341423

Robert Zohn is an authorized Toshiba reseller (Company- Value Electronics in Scarsdale NY) and has participated with many industry pros regarding the next generation HD formats. He sells both Blu-ray and HD DVD and has provided great info to AVS forums.

I wonder if P2-MXF support is something that Apple has planned for Leopard. I don't like the haphazardly guess but Final Cut Pro often they show some things in the Pro apps that come as API for 3rd parties at a later date. Motion was the precursor to Core Image/Video and looking at Motion 3 it became clear that the 3D movement it offers is what Apple used for Core Animation.

The issue is while FCS works on Tiger it clearly is going to improve on Leopard. Tiger cannot run 64-bit applications beyond the Unix layer. Leopard has a whole new Quicktime framework that is 64-bit with much improved encoding (h.264 with Alpha) and better routing options. I'm beginning to wonder if they will simply hold some things back that were intended for Leopard (remember they thought Leopard would be shipping in June at the latest)

I'm not yet convinced that we've seen everything. If I'm a developer I'm not pluging in P2-MXF into the current deprecated 32-bit quicktime frameworks knowing that the successor is being delivered in a scant few months.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #40
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Absolutely absurd. Shareholder don't have to care about FCP. They care about their returns and Apple can deliver consumer product and Pro product with ease. How you can intimate that Apple is looking to sell out when the Silicon Color and Proximity acquisitions are less than a year old is mind boggling. But it does raise legit questions. If Apple didn't care about video they wouldn't have purchased new companies or End of Life'd Shake.
I don't understand your point about how ending Shake has anything to do with Apple caring about video?

In 2002 Apple purchased a company I co-founded whose technology got rolled up into Motion. That;s when Apple was beating their chest about "taking over" the viedo industry. Just like the 3MHz G5 they didn't deliver. I have been living with your illusion longer than most and my assurances came from the top. And regarding the purchase of Silicon Color, it took two years to complete our transaction, a lot of things changed in those two years.

You say that shareholders don't have to care about FCP, although that may be true I bet there isn't a single Apple shareholder who doesn't know about iPods, iPhone and iTV.

The truth is, whether you want to accept it or not, the return on investment for the continued development of professional video applications is not enough. I don't know what percentage of their overall cash flow comes from selling FCP and Mac Pros, but what ever it is its less that than generated by the consumer products and that gap will widen.

Its not like this is the first time this has happened in the entertainment space, remember Ampex, Abekas, Alias, SoftImage, SGI, Mountaingate, Lightworks, CMX, Chyron, and Grass Valley?

These were all powerhouse companies who had incredible market share right up to the time they went out of business or were rolled up by someone else.

Its not that Apple doesn't have the brain power to support both the Pro and Consumer markets, they don't have the corporate will to do both. FCP is quickly becoming a liability as it relates to shareholder value.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #41
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Sorry Chuck that was an incomplete thought. Apple EoL'd Shake because they are "rumored" to be working on a successor. They also seem to be rewriting Logic Pro the audio DAW acquired with Emagic.

I do agree with you that the consumer focus of Apple is going to grow ever more present but media is Apple's competency and I see them continuing to grow. The problem with Apple has been too many transitions in a short amount of time. They ditched Copeland and bought NeXT and transitioned to a Unix based OS then they ditched PPC and went Intel.

I'd surmise that if the Open Source community didn't exist it would have been nigh impossible for Apple to come as far as they have. Thank you BSD and Linux.

I think Apple's Pro apps are lucrative. They sell Workstation Macs which have the largest margins and are now designed primarily by Intel. Apple cannot push their products without having OS X and computers running it. They have to keep the platform growing because that's where they have the most control. Apple cannot become a peripheral only company. They cannot subsist off of selling iPods or iPhones or Apple TV forever. They need the revenue and cache that comes with being one of the best known computer providers on the planet.

I see Avid as the company that is struggling more. What did they offer at NAB...hot chics. Digidesign is selling speakers now...WTF? Talking about flailing about with little direction. Avid will keep the high end but over the course of the next few Final Cut Studio updates Apple will continue to erode Avids share of the low and midrange setups.

Steve Jobs is not about money and that's what makes him dangerous. When Billy Gates' company moves into a market they are doing do to make money. If they don't see the money they bail. Apple got into doing video and audio because they wanted to and the endgame wasn't about making phat dollars. It was about creating cool products.

You don't see a "OS X Genuine Advantage now do you"?
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Old April 20th, 2007, 12:18 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
All of "us" (consultants) were expecting that Apple would follow suit to Avid and make MXF native to the timeline in FCP 6; when we were told it was not and still required the use of the P2 Import/transcode function - you should have seen the raised eyebrows and dropped jaws. That was by far, the single biggest surprise/disappointment since the majority of HVX/P2 shooters are using FCP. A few crazies are using Vegas of all things (I'm jabbing at Barry - nicely) (^_^)
I'm still pretty convinved that this will come about (sooner or) later, however it will be a major update to Quicktime that is required before anything like that can hapen.
I have no idea when Quicktime 8 will ship ... maybe as part of Leopard? But I would suggest that if and when Quicktime does include native support for MXF and other burgeoning formats, then it will be a simple Pro Apps Update that will bring the functionality, without an explicit upgrade to FCP et al.

I'm not predicting necessarily that th efunctionality will come with Leopard, nor with the "next" major update to Quicktime. But I am predicting that it "will" happen.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 01:35 AM   #43
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SNIP

Its not that Apple doesn't have the brain power to support both the Pro and Consumer markets, they don't have the corporate will to do both. FCP is quickly becoming a liability as it relates to shareholder value.[/QUOTE]


I'm sorry Chuck, but I've got to TOTALLY disagree with you on this analysis.

The FCP product manager and others at NAB this year were delighted to announce that FCP has a worldwide PAID installed base of around 800,000 seats.

Doesn't take much math ability to figure that an upgrade that commands above $500 a pop for a physical product that in quantity probably costs vastly under $50 minus marketing and overhead to produce and ship is something most companies would salivate over in terms of contributing to bottom line health.

If even 50% of the installed base upgrades ( a laughably small figure) at even if they ALL did it at the lowest (imaginary net) upgrade price of $450 simple math tells you that would generate 188 MILLION bucks in positive cash flow to the bottom line.

If the reports are right about the iPhone reaching a million "Let me know when it's shipping" email hits - with even a 50% conversion of those to sales - and figuring that Apple's slice of the 600 bucks or so retail at 50% - that means the iPhone (in my totally guessing imaginary financial comparison) could easily yeild less bottom line profit than FCP for the forseeable future.

The reason NONE of this will happen is that I believe Apple's strategic direction is escaping you totally. It's not about any ONE product, it's about developing a LINE of products that delivers an exceptional user experience and seamless full-line connectivity.

Blink twice and I bet in a few years you'll see someone cutting then post-producing (sound, color, titles, etc.) some small piece of content on FCPStudio, having a group discussion (with visuals!) about it via iChat, posting the actual file on .Mac for secure team review, watching that cut on your iPhone right off the .Mac server - or on your Plasma via iTV. Then blasting it out to a dozen different rez versions for different uses via DVDSP.

The key is that the Apple SUITE approach means you can do any or all of this, pass files, view on multiple devices, create virtual workgroups and bunches of other stuff without ever leaving the apple chain.

Now tell me why they'd want to sell a critical (and already HUGLY profitible) link off to AVID?

Makes NO business sense unless you get stuck looking at individual PIECES rather than the whole puzzle.

Which is what I think you might be doing.

For what it's worth.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 01:35 AM   #44
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I can see why Apple's handling MXF carefully.

MXF in many cases competes with Quicktime. Apple is going to have no choice but to support it natively but they are going to take great care as to not harm their efforts to promote Quicktime.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 03:52 AM   #45
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>MXF in many cases competes with Quicktime

Only in the sense MXF its a wrapper format. AVI is a hugely widespread wrapper format too, but Apple support it, in Quicktime, already.

I can't quite see how supporting MXF in the same fashion would weaken Quicktime?
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