Is the trust for Apple gone for good?

Marco Solorio Editorials 47 Comments

In the blink of an eye, the release of Final Cut Pro X has caused a ripple in the Matrix so huge, I’m not sure Neo could even fix this catastrophe. But it’s much more than good software gone astray, it’s deeper than infrastructure changes; it’s about the loss of trust, faith and even livelihoods.

The writing was on the wall for some time actually, but myself, like many others didn’t see it coming—at least not this badly. Let’s go back a few years. Apple’s acquisition of Shake from Nothing Real was huge, and ultimately sold under the Apple Store for a mere $499 (original price was $9900 prior to the Apple buy-out). People, myself included, felt that Apple was really getting serious about post-production based software. The excitement was huge and people (large companies included) really started to take notice. But by 2009, Shake was quietly removed from Apple’s line-up and officially EOL’ed (End-Of-Life).

Our box of Shake shamefully sits at the bottom of the shelf with all our other EOL Apple software.

This really should have been the first hint that Apple didn’t have a huge interest in the pro apps market. Why they initially bought them out in the first place, I do not know. Even worse, why they EOL’ed an awesome app like Shake is even more strange to me. It’s as if Apple became the black hole of pro apps software—they buy it and kill it.

But Shake isn’t the only app gone astray. It seems that with the FCPX release, Color is now the next major pro app to hit the chopping block. I received an NFR (Not For Resale) copy of Final Touch HD directly from Silicon Color (along with some control surface hardware that I still have today) before Apple bought Final Touch out and renamed it to Color.  First using Final Touch HD, my mind was blown, despite the fact that, at the time, the software was in dire need of video card hardware acceleration (which later came about). But like Shake, Apple bought it, and “chopping-blocked” it.

We still hang on to our original copy of Final Touch HD as a momento.

Shall I go on? How about Cinema Tools… Originally developed by my old friends at DigitalFilm Tree under the application name of FilmLogic. If EOL’ed, how will FCPX work with telecine? Oh that’s right, there is no more telecine because it’s not the next wave of the future (sarcasm).

DVD Studio Pro? Bought and gone from Astarte. Next.

Final Cut Server? Eeeeeesh.

QuickTime Player 10 is even a pile, compared to QuickTime Player 7. I outline it here in a blog post I coincidently wrote hours before the release of FCPX.

Soundtrack pro has been reported that it might be integrated into Apple’s Logic Studio. But beware, although Logic is still alive, this too was an app originally bought out by Emagic, and it too, like FCPX, has been simplified down to a degree. At any rate, Soundtrack Pro is nowhere to be seen as a stand-alone, and the current state of Logic Studio is making people scratch their head.

Seeing the trend here? Seems like Apple’s best pro apps were bought out by other companies, only to be ultimately killed in the end; again, the black hole syndrome.

There are many other examples of EOL’ed software by Apple, but let’s circle back to Final Cut Pro X. It’s pretty clear at this point that Final Cut Pro X isn’t an update to Final Cut Pro 7, and is an entirely new app built from scratch. This would be great if it was built upon the functionality of Final Cut Pro 7, but it’s not, leaving many editors, facilities and studios up in arms as to what to do next.

For us, it looks like we’re going in the direction of Avid Media Composer. This isn’t set in stone until after we’re fully installed with it and run it through its paces, and hopefully with AJA Kona 3 hardware integration in the not so distant future. For others, Adobe Premiere seems to be the answer. Both are great apps, and both can continue on where you left off with Final Cut Pro 7, if Final Cut Pro X isn’t working out for you.

But switching non-linear editing applications is only part of the problem, and in some cases, only a small problem by comparison. There are many people that have devoted the last ten years in direct relation to Final Cut Pro, and as a result of Final Cut Pro X, are going through a major life/career change. These include certified Final Cut Pro trainers, value added resellers, user group organizations, third party software/plugin developers, and many more. There are many people that are questioning their livelihood because of this radical shift that Final Cut Pro X has taken. I wonder if Apple knew they were going to directly cause such an issue, or if all they were looking at was nothing but their bottom-line. To me, it shows an enormous amount of arrogance, ignorance, and selfishness from Apple, which is not the Apple I once knew. Is Steve Jobs losing grasp of his company that badly?

Because of all the shifting and killings of Apple’s pro apps, I have to wonder about the MacPro desktop computers as well. If Apple continues to shrink their pro app offerings, and all of their pro apps are shifting to over over-simplifications with less controllability, why then will people need these massive desktop machines, if Apple is more focused on “iProducts,” including the iMac? Do iApp people even fit in the MacPro desktop market? If the MacPro desktops eventually hit the chopping block, then there will be an even larger problem for those of us that rely on powerful MacPro workstations with software licenses that are on OSX. I have Windows machines in my facility, but I still do prefer MacPros for the main computer workstations.

Ratings continue to drop for FCPX on the App Store as of this post.

So all of this begs the big question, “Can Apple be trusted from here on out?” For me, I will no longer buy any kind of pro app from Apple for my facility, knowing their EOL history is very strong—even if an updated Final Cut Studio 3 (based on FCP7) was released. It amazes me that all of my favorite pro apps from Apple are all EOL’ed. Literally.  For me personally, I no longer care about FCPX or even FCP7 updates. I’ve already started passing up articles on FCPX how-to’s or work-arounds, as I will not be using FCPX in my facility, and since FCP7 is EOL’ed.

Because I’m switching to Avid Media Composer, all I care about at this juncture is integrating my current hardware and software with it, and what else I need to change or buy in order to make that happen. It’s a domino effect really, and all because of a 2.5-star, $299 downloadable app from the App Store. Seriously, that $299 app is costing me thousands of dollars, but luckily, none of it is going to the App Store. Just keep making powerful desktops, Apple, so I don’t cut my ties from you completely.

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Marco Solorio

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Marco Solorio is an award-winning feature filmmaker, published author, and international speaker as a 30-year veteran in the industry with many industry awards to his name. As owner of OneRiver Media, he has produced, directed, and lensed content spanning from commercial to feature film works. As a credited thought-leader in the industry, Marco has consulted for the likes of Pixar, Apple, and Google to name a few. Along with published books to his credit, Marco has also been featured in... Read Marco's full bio here.

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Comments 47

  1. I left the Apple universe (software wise) 2 days ago. Its like they say, when one door closes, another one opens. And it opened on CS 5.5 for me. Its fast , fun and familiar. Even in the learning curve, I keep muttering “Wow” to myself. As I said before, its everything that FCP 8 should have been. And the bonus is knowing that Adobe gets it.

    1. Post

      Premiere CS 5.5 is indeed a great alternative. Looks to be already working extremely well with AJA Kona 3 drivers. There’s a few reasons for us going to Avid Media Composer, but if they don’t work out, we’re definitely going Premiere Pro as well.

  2. Apple has turned their business model from software/hardware development to mobile/entertainment/appliance manufacturer (*cough* warning sign – rumors abound that they’re launching a TV line within the next 2 years). They are not interested in open-source developers, they seem interested only in making hardware/software “packages” that have single functionality for the consumer market.

    Then there’s what was said in 2010:
    At the iPad launch event in January 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, “Apple is the largest mobile devices company in the world now.” A month later, COO Tim Cook re-iterated this point when a Goldman Sachs analyst asked Apple what it calls itself. Cook: “Yes, you should definitely look at Apple as a mobile device company.”

    At least that’s how I see it unfolding.

    1. Post
    2. After this debacle, my thoughts went immediately to hardware too. Now where am I gonna get workstation powerhouses like my current 3.2 octocore MacPro with hard raid, 32g mem, 4 15k rpm cheetah hd’s, quadro fx 5600. Where am I going to find that kind of hardware?

      1. Here’s a system I built 11 months ago to handle my video and graphics needs. The beauty of building one’s own system is that I get to choose the components, not some market minded company man interested in maximizing their profit by selling me a system with substandard components that I can’t upgrade.

        So, here it is;
        Motherboard – EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way SLI
        RAM – 12GB DDR3 1600Mhz Ram
        CPU: Intel I7 975 3.33 GHz Extreme
        Video Cards: Dual Geforce GTX 480
        Power Supply: Thermaltake 1200W Tough Power
        HDD for O/S : 500GB Seagate
        HDD for Data: 4 – 1TB Seagate mirrored config.
        DVD1: Pioneer DVR-118L DVD +- R/W
        DVD2:Pioneer BDR-205 Blue Ray Burner
        Matrox H.264 encoder card
        O/S: Win7-64 Ultimate
        Adobe CS5.5 Production Bundle
        Autodesk 3dsMax design 2012.

        The system is fast, powerful and I don’t have to be beholden to Apple, Dell, HP, or any other manufacturer. I can upgrade when I want with what I think will work best. I have to supply my own support, but then, I can and don’t mind. The system is very stable.

        Apple seems to be headed in reverse. Ipad, whoohoo, not a bad toy if you arent serious about graphics and editing. I wish all the Apple users the best of luck.


  3. Could not have written this better if I did it myself. I really don’t care what Apple does with their ProApps moving forward because I simply cannot trust them with my livelihood any longer.

    Killing Shake and now Color for no other reason than….. well I really don’t know what the reason is. Apple dominates the Consumer market so keep making the iApps and sell Color, Shake, Final Cut Studio, Logic Pro to someone who will actually continue to develop them into something even more powerful for the pro user.

    For now, Adobe Premiere Pro is winning over my facility though we are excited to try out Avid MC before we make that determining factor.

    Trust is something you earn over time. In one fell swoop, Apple destroyed the trust of thousands in the Post Production industry. Whether intended or not, that will forever be the consequence of the launch of Final Cut Pro X. Can’t say I didn’t see this coming since April…….

    1. Post

      Very well said, old buddy. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what their motives were either with the buying and killing of said apps. There’s just no logic in it.

      Funny, we’re in parallel but opposite predicaments; you’re trying PPro first and MC last, where we’re trying MC first and PPro last. Since you have more seats than I do, it makes sense for you to try PPro first, and it looks like it’s doing extremely well with the latest AJA Kona 3 drivers. Cool stuff.

      Your last paragraph hits it all perfectly, my friend.

    2. Reading Walter’s post, I am reminded of just how much the words echo the very words used back when Discreet killed edit* and would not sell it to anyone interested in rescuing it from the ash heap.

      The part in this that had me scratching my head wasn’t the “next big thing” in the direction that FCPX was taking, that is up for debate and people are free to use it or not. The really befuddling part was the way they pulled Final Cut Studio from the Apple Store and began issuing RMAs to retailers and VARs, even refusing to authorize any new licenses for those who tried to buy copies and light them up.

      That made me see that this was going to be a public relations disaster for Apple, but do I believe that it will hurt them in the end? No. We are all just a very small part of what made Apple over the years. We can argue that we kept them alive, that we held true and yadda yadda — but this is not a romance or a marriage, it is merely business and they are going another direction now.

      Sadly, as creatives and as storytellers and communicators, it is much more than that to us. To them, it’s numbers.

      In addition to both Premiere Pro and Media Composer, I have also been looking back at Media 100. Imports FCP projects, duplicates the functionality of the Duck for far less, supports most of the common formats, has had update after update with Boris & Company thinking like maniacs in terms of 6 month cycles of feature updates, as well as supporting 3rd party hardware.

      I have a new slogan for Final Cut: Final Cut Pro 7, it’s the New edit*

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        Very well said, Ron. I agree on all points. I too was taken aloof when I found out that Apple required all VARs to send back all boxes of FCS. It really hit home for me at that point. And yes, it does boil down to numbers for them. I wish they could take an E-ticket ride back to 1984. And funny about Media100… I was tweeting about that the other day. For one, I hadn’t realized they were even still in business. For two, it looks like they really could be an answer for some people that are going away from FCPX. But like I mentioned in my tweet, I’m not sure I want them taking any more of my money… they already took $30k of it 15 years ago! (Old grudges don’t die!) Final Cut Pro 7, the new Edit*… I like that. Very true.

  4. As much as it pains me to even consider it, I actually think their agenda is bigger and more sinister than most people even dare to consider and I think Steve Jobs is the driver moreso than having lost control.
    Apple take the long view and their long view is to OWN the entertainment and information industries. Films are no different to music and newspapers and by redefining the playing field as a proprietary Apple space they will own it. Along the way they NEED to destroy the status quo – the new cannot triumph until the old is dead and buried.
    When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the late 90’s he set about sacking most of the senior management and board. His proven style is to sweep the field and start from scratch.
    Sadly the professional post industry are mere insignificant pawns in his big game.

    1. Post

      I agree, if Steve Jobs does in fact think he will change the post-production industry with FCPX, then he definitely set himself up for utter failure in that regard. But he has nothing to lose, so what does he care? That’s what bugs me most I think, since this directly involves peoples’ livelihood in the industry.

  5. Well said, though I need to say that the “livelihoods are at stake” meme is annoying to me. If your livelihood vanishes because a line of software ends, well, unless you’re coding that actual software, you have no business remaining in business anyway. The same people who say livelihoods will be lost also say that moving to Premiere Pro from FCP7 is a cakewalk. So why don’t these people just buy Premiere and be done with it? Do these businesses seriously not have the 1k or 2k to invest in their own business?

    Sorry, it’s just that the other complaints are so strong and compelling, I don’t think it behooves people to overdramatize this.

    But otherwise, great post.

    1. Post

      Unfortunately for some, it stretches far beyond switching a single seat of software from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro. Otherwise, yes, it would be as easy as that $1k or $2k re-investment, which in the grand scheme of things wouldn’t be that big of an ordeal. It hits home when you personally know people that have built their careers around FCP, whether they develop plugins specifically and only for FCP, whether their sole means of income is based around FCP training and support, or any numbers of other reasons where FCP is their primary focus and profit base. Luckily I do not fall into this category (even though it’s costing my facility a fair amount of coin to transition out of FCP). Yes, never keep all your eggs in one basket, but regardless, a radical change like FCPX is definitely causing some people to rewrite their professional objective. It’s a reality.

      1. Thing is, I do know a ton of people whose business is FCP7 training (almost all the major figures), and they are all now doing FCPX training.

        As for plugin authors, they knew this was going to be a ground-up rewrite, which meant they’d have to recode their plugins anyway, even if the interface had remained similar to FCP7.

        I don’t know, I simply can’t envision a person who loses their whole livelihood because a software package has been rewritten. I think that argument is a straw man, to make this admitted clusterf— sound more dramatic and Evil!™

          1. “livelihoods at stake” is a fairly stupid argument in just about any field. It’s like arguing that electric cars are destroying the livelihoods of the oil companies. Or with any future technology that improves upon the past technologies while making it nearly dirt cheap.

            Those kinds of arguments are almost always centered around immediate money income of a select group of people rather than the good of the world.

            It’s also why paradigm shifting innovation usually seen from small start up companies and almost never from an establish large company. The shift would take to much from their profits and so they try to sweep it under the rug if given half a chance.

            Having said that, I don’t necessarily think FCPX is a paradigm shift to a better product or that Apple knows what they are doing in this case.

            1. Post

              Well, my livelihood isn’t at stake because of FCPX (or more accurately, the loss of the established pro apps). We just had to switch gears, re-adapt, spend some money (more than I’d care to do), and get back on track. However, I do know some people that are doing a major career shift because their sole career investment was in FCP, whether training, software development, or whatever. Just passing on what people are telling me, as they figure out what to do next. Is it as severe as they imply? Maybe so, maybe not, maybe more than they realize, and maybe for the better. But it is happening nonetheless.

  6. The reason Apple buy these specialist companies is to gain intellectual property or expertise and push their technology towards the wider market.

    For example, the optical flow technology in FCPX came from Shake. Since FCPX architecture is built around a database, it seems reasonable to suggest that the Final Cut Server team were heavily involved, especially since some features demoed at NAB 2007 never made it into a shipping version of Final Cut Server.

    1. Post
      1. My mistake, Pierre you are right. Optical Flow was not originally from Nothing Real. Instead it seems to have come from the purchase of Silicon Grail in 2002.

        Marco – I haven’t had time to delve into FCPX’s CC yet, although I’m not sure how much technological innovation there was by Silicon Color. I always got the impression their USP was providing the features of existing CC tools at a far lower price point. I’m not surprised that Apple have dropped Color though – the separate app workflow was unfeasible for most real-world situations.

    1. They were probably thinking what everyone else is thinking. Beta testers don’t get to suggest functionality or features – they exist for one reason, to find bugs. Any other input is unwelcome.

  7. Great write up Marco. This basically sums up how I’ve felt over the last week. I find it absolutely disgusting how Apple has handled this. In education, we are completely screwed. Classrooms have been built around FCP7 and all the infrastructure put in place for that. FCP x…. fine whatever, but pulling support and additional seat sales of the old version now has me even more pissed off.

    As a editor for the last 15yrs and 10 of which were on FCP I am furious that the didn’t give us a road map to at least transition with. This goes along with the idea that they are getting ready to EOL their entire pro/enterprise line. Think about the death of the X-Serve. The “transition” they gave us was to use mac mini servers or a workstation with server on it. Now with the apparent EOL of FC7 and FCServer I think they are going to kill the workstations as well. I am afraid Apple has decided with their abundant arrogance that they will just terminate all of us and move on to where the big $$ are in the consumer market.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll happily admit it but with all your examples and my gut feeling… If there is no word from Apple or if this is the path they have chosen…. I will NEVER ever buy another Apple product, either for my facility or in my personal life. To the company that inspired me to buy the only stock I’ve ever bought in 2001 when I truly believed they spoke my language….you disgust me now.

  8. Has the time come for a new player in the ProApps space? I’m getting pretty sick of the changes to the Adobe licensing system, and am LONG over the arrogance and ignorance (stupidity) of Apple with regard to professional media. Apple doesn’t get it. In actuality, they never have. Even with the acquisition of Cinema tools, no one at Apple clearly understood the production market. When we were working on Cold Mountain, Apple was pushing us to change (mid-cycle, mind you) to a beta version of the OS X release of FCP that didn’t have any of the features we needed, strictly so their marketing group could show us off. In the end, they used images of Cold Mountain to sell our competitors’ products, and kicked us to the curb without so much as a mention in their 2-page spread which appeared in every industry publication for the next few months… It was at that moment that we began dismantling our business and closing up shop. How was a 10-person “macsclusive” business going to compete *against* Apple Computer?? But even today, Apple doesn’t understand telecine, they don’t understand the concept of differing workflows, and while they are keen to use big names like Walter Murch to promote their tools, they don’t even understand the recommendations he makes to them. Apple is a consumer-products company, and they make big $ doing it. ProApps are (apparently) too complicated for them to give serious attention to…
    Has the time come for some new entries into the Professional media market? I know one thing for sure – I will never be involved in a business that is more than 50% reliant on cooperation from Apple again. Apple picks their “golden child” partners, and feeds them proprietary specs, while leaving more capable companies flying in the wind. Witness what Apple+AJA did to Grant Petty. In the end it was good for Grant, as he turned around and did his own thing (rather unscrupulously, but it paid off for him). Witness the Uncompressed-over-firewire box that ProMax in LA showed for about 1 week on their site before it quietly disappeared (no doubt due to the threat of loosing their Apple distributor license.) Witness the numerous requests that we at Aurora made to Apple asking for the protocol spec that Apple had shared only with AJA. We were told, “that’s just not available.”

    I remember the first NAB show that I attended with Aurora, we were showing real-time, 3-way, color correction and some other effect in both MJPEG and in Uncompressed, while Apple was sucking up to Pinnacle, trying to get uncompressed working on Cinewave. Andrew Baum (who was the product manager for FCP at the time) asked us, “When will this be shipping?”. I answered, “Two months ago, when we tried to get space in your booth.” Lucky for us, Charles from ProMax had given us a space in their booth. It was always like that with Apple interfaces.. You had to be in their face constantly, or they didn’t remember who you were…

    Speaking of the ultimate “bend over” story… Don’t forget the time and effort that Matrox put into developing real-time hardware effects, only to have Apple rip the rug out from under them before they shipped even a couple months’ worth of the RTMac.

    Bottom line: this is typical Apple behavior. I love their machines. I can’t stand using anything else, but it’s a love/hate relationship. I think Steve has done more good than bad at the helm, but he has really made some boneheaded moves along the way from a technology standpoint.

    I agree Marco. I don’t think MacPros will be around for long either…

    I don’t make my living in this world any longer, and am very relieved about that, but I do wish you – and the many other friends I have made in your business – the best of luck navigating the new uncharted seas ahead!

    Best Regards,

    -Mike Stroven

    (former) V.P. Systems Engineering
    Aurora Video Systems

    1. Post

      You know, it’s funny because just today, I was literally tweeting about the Aurora codec! To this day, I have never seen a better 8-bit compressed codec than that of the old Aurora 8-bit compressed codec! I seriously don’t know how you guys did it, but nothing has come close to it. Granted I primarily work in 10-bit ProRes at this point, but regardless, that freak-of-nature codec was mind blowing. You guys never got the recognition it deserved. My Aurora Igniter RT Film is tucked away on a shelf, as I’ve never had the heart of letting it go.

      Until you mentioned it, I all but forgot about the Matrox RTMac (was huge) and the Io-esque ProMax box. And you’re right, they were all killed off quietly, at a time when people were begging for them. Amazing how these and other things were taken by a blind eye by Apple, or “offed” by the turn of a shoulder. Even more weird when they’d do it to themselves (Apple) for a true WTF moment. Was an interesting time too with the whole Digital Voodoo > AJA > Blackmagic Design trip. Just all so weird.

      I’m definitely done with Apple’s Pro Apps (not that I have choice, really), but I’m not completely sure what I’m going to do about the MacPro situation, but it does have me worried. I truly do prefer working on OSX than Windows, but if I have to, I’ll switch our OSX licenses over to Windows and work on that platform. I wouldn’t love it, but I also wouldn’t despise it.

      Around 1996 or 1997, the Mac was dying a sad death (we were mostly gearing up with Windows NT workstations at that time), and never thought in a million years we’d buy another Mac again. Then Steve Jobs came around and changed all that. Fast forward to 2011 and I’m wondering again if I should upgrade our current crop of MacPros or switch to HP workstations. Sucks.

      Thanks for being a part of the FCP history, Mike. Those were some fun times. It also allowed me and so many others to escape the shackles of expensive Avid and Media100 licensing and hardware restrictions. Aurora was the first FCP hardware system I used and served me incredibly well, with superb quality and all without requiring a mortgage to do so. That, my friend, was game-changing.

      1. For some interesting history on FCP and motion picture production, read Charles Koppelman’s book, “Behind the Scene – How WALTER MURCH edited COLD MOUNTAIN using Apple’s FINAL CUT PRO and what this means for cinema”

        (Yeah, the title is a bit verbose, but the content is very interesting.)

  9. Does anyone remember FCP 1 and 2? It was dreadful. It didn’t support anything. It took years for the app to become stable and have pro level functionality. I’m holding out hope that it’s the same story for FCPX. I just hope it doesn’t take until version 5 to get there.

    1. Post

      Thanks for posting, Fred, but this isn’t really about whether FCPX sucks, or how FCPX will mature, or what FCP1 was able to do or not do ten years ago. Rather, it’s about the killing off of all major Pro Apps that so many people and businesses relied on, now and in the future. You cannot buy a new copy FCP7, Color, CinemaTools, DVD Studio Pro, etc. Apple initiated RMAs to all VARs to send back FCS boxes. Any new FCP7 license will not be issued and registered. It’s an utter failure on Apple’s part.

  10. I was pleased to see a post from the Aurora guys here. I, too, used their boards back then and it was a great time. What surprises me the most in all this is how a lot of people did not see this coming and, on the other hand, appologist still find the most ridiculous excuses and answers as why all this will turn out “awesome” in the end. Sometimes I wonder what Apple needs to do to piss also those people off. Short of burning their house down (and even then…) probably nothing. Apple stopped caring for the pro markets years ago. I doubt they ever really did. They stepped in back in the late 90s to bring people over to the Mac platform, bought software left and right and dropped the prices bigtime to win people over. That was pre ipod/iphone. Once they had that market they couldn’t care less anymore. No more trade shows, no new software acquisitions. I knew this would happen, I am just absolutely stunned by the way they did it this time with FCP. Apple’s arrogant attitude stinks to high heavens, it is only now that it REALLY becomes noticable as so many people have invested in their solutions. However, I don’t know what the situation in the US is like, but here in Germany there is an increasing animosity against Apple among people completely unrelated to the pro market. Not that is big or widespread; the hip factor still overweighs bigtime. But I see such posts popping up noticably more often in regular consumer blogs. In the past, people didn’t use Macs or Apple stuff because they thought it was too expensive and not enough software was around. Today I see messages where people hate anything Apple because of their politics, arrogance and walled-in attitude. That’s a first. There was even a big newsmagazine running a cover story on this last week (with several people in the stock market and high tech predicting a hard fall for them. Not tomorrow but in years ahead). The viral marketing that helped them so much in the past can potentially also swing the other way and while their move with FCP certainly won’t have any ripple effect to broader markets, it IS another step in the direction of disliking Apple and a reflection of their way of doing things.
    I am very please with the way Adobe has reacted in the past days. That attitude is refreshing and it deserves our support.

  11. As somebody mentioned, this all now casts doubt on Apple’s high-end hardware. My reliable Mac Pro now seems somehow suspicious to me. I really don’t see Apple having any interest in supporting professional creatives any more, or worse, if they say they do, I don’t have any reason to believe them.

  12. > Any new FCP7 license will not be issued and registered.

    Is this true for purchases from any vendor, so that Apple won’t issue a license to, say, a copy obtained from a clearinghouse?

    1. Post

      If it’s a brand new, sealed, unregistered copy of FCP7 that is bought today, no matter who you buy it from, it will not be registrable by Apple. FCP7 is EOL. All unopened (unregistered) boxes from VARs and users from this point on are null and void. Way to treat your customers, ay?

      Now, if you buy a used copy from eBay, Craig’s List or whatever, then it might work, but then you may not know if the copy isn’t pirated or what not. So basically, if you want a new seat of FCP7, you’re screwed.

  13. Post

    Just a random thought this morning while preparing my day, I realized that Apple’s huge exodus from having an annual booth at NAB should have been another sign of their demise in pro apps. The only hiccup in that theory is that AVID did it too. However, AVID did come back to NAB, where as Apple has not (at least with a booth), nor do I suspect they ever will have a booth at NAB ever again.

  14. Well, Apple doesn’t even have a booth at Macworld anymore so why would they go to NAB? After all, God forbid, there may be petty customers with whom they’d have to talk to. Communication, can’t have that.

  15. All good points, and from a group of editors more technically savvy than myself. (I’m more of a writer / director who also edits a bit). I learn a lot from these forums.

    With that said I thought we all might benefit from an opposing point of view. So here goes:

    I think it’s possible that Apple is ahead of the curve when it comes to the future of video editing. As video becomes more ubiquitous, a commodity needed for communicating online, the pool of people needing to edit video will grow dramatically.

    As professionals we need to participate in that revolution. Knowing FCPX inside and out, and being able to make it sing, could be vital.

    An application like FCPX might become a ‘must have’ application for every business; like MS Word or Excel.

    FCPX looks to be easier to use, which should facilitate deeper creative expression on the part of the storyteller. If the NLE is easy and fast to use, more brainpower can go into creating then content, telling the story. I think that’s a good thing.

    And, so what if it looks like iMovie? iMovie is very easy to use. I actually like the darker, muted look to the interface.

    In addition, from what Apple says, most of the complaints are about omissions that will be added back in for future releases or by third party developers.

    I agree that EOLing Color is a disturbing omission. On the other hand, I don’t use Color, and I would wager that 95% of FCP7 users don’t use Color either. The built in 3 way color corrector works fine for most of what I do. From what I’ve read the color correction built into FCPX is better than the filters in FCP7. If I need more sophisticated color grading I’ll hire a colorist, just as I do now.

    I haven’t exported to tape in years and I can’t imagine why I would do so in the future.

    64 bit processing seems like a step forward. As does background rendering.

    For me the plan is to continue with FCP7 until at least the next version of X. Then, assuming Apple gives us an easy workflow for Blu-Ray, I will continue to ride the Apple wave.

    So there it is. Let the arrows fly. : )

    1. Respect your opinion. But lets run that down. I’ll play the apple head bean counter and Chief of Operations for pro video apps. Now, I’m gonna sell a $300 upgrade to iMovie and FCExpress, call it an Upgrade to FCP7 knowing all along that that is a lie. That will piss off our entire world-wide pro video market share, totally freaking them out. Then we’ll dump 12-15mil into development and marketing over the next 4 years to get FCPx.7 back up to par where we left off with FCP7. At the same time we’ll parallel any advancements our competitors achieve, so we’re not behind the curve as we’ve been the last 7 years. Now, let me cypher… okay I’ve got 12.2 mil. into it in R&D, development and a new marketing program. Hmmm. I’m gonna have to raise the price or explain to the shareholders the 10 mil. loss. Okay, we’ll charge $899 retail. Wait, now we’re gonna piss off all the little self-indulging gadget-heads that bought FCPx and FCPx.ip(for iPad). Ahhh so what, we’ll get those saps in the pro video market to buy our new Mini-Mac-iPros, and we’ll bundle it with the…..
      Okay, I can’t even run the story line any more, but do ya get the idea? Again, I respect your optimistic opinion, but it just doesn’t play out, no matter how you map it…

  16. I’ll try to be concise although I rarely am. I’m in career limbo. Do I want to compose and record my own music and pursue that as a career option or learn basic video editing skills in pursuit of getting paid for something that as with music, appeals to me on other levels besides the financial one? A Mac Pro and lots of what Apple calls their “Pro” line of software was what I had thought would be the beginning of the answer to my questions (and my prayers) this year…until the release of FCP X. Now, as your words along with input from others confirm the validity of my increasingly negative perception of Apple, I am forced to look elsewhere for my software needs (and I’m still undecided whether I can get more bang for my buck investing in a Mac Pro or a similarly spec’d PC workstation). The main reason I’m against buying Apple hardware is because to me that would be like sleeping with a cheating girlfriend instead of just escorting her to the nearest exit (as I mumble something about the excruciating pain of betrayal, etc…).

    Here are a few of my Apple-related thoughts taken from recent posts (really long ones) I left in Apple’s discussion forums. And I doubt anyone from Apple has read them as evidenced by the fact that they were still there the last time I checked.

    In regards to taking Final Cut Studio off the market at the same time as launching FCP X:

    “There is a catastrophically high level of defiance and arrogance in that swiftly executed plan of action that boldly approaches the near vicinity of God’s Nostrils!”

    In regards to what they did to Shake:

    “…Shake had already been placed on the back burner until they forgot where the stove was.”

    In regards to how Apple has burned all bridges:

    “Even in the best case scenario where Apple releases what their professional users wanted and needed, it might be too late to undo the damage. Timing is everything. If companies begin transitioning over to other platforms and competing software choices out of absolute necessity, how many of them do you think Apple will ever get to switch back?”

  17. This is going to harm Apple a lot more than they anticipate. Apple has built its brand on the back of its professional reputation. I know a lot of non-professionals who have bought macs in the last few years because: “Macs are what industry uses”. There was a perception that Apple was the best and cashed up wannabees always wnat the best.

    But the quailty has dropped significantly in the last few years. I work with six computers all doing different tasks. I bought a 27″ Imac i7 last September to run FCS3. Within six months the screen had pixellated and burn mark appeared all over the LCD. Last month the Hard drive died. That would never have happened on the older macs. Also FCS3 was already tired two years ago. We’ve been using C4 and Cs5 progessivly more often in the last 18 months and now only use FCS3 when the client requires it.

    So 12 months ago I began to ask myself: “Do I really need Apple anymore”. I bought FCPX when it came out, hoping that my instincts about Apple were wrong, but gave up after three days. It was obvious that this program is a toy. Now I’m thinking of flogging some macs and building some serious high powered PCs.

    Once professionals begin migrating to non-Apple NLEs and even non-Apple platforms, Apple will have lost bragging rights about it being the best. Imagine if Mercedes began putting cheap vinyl seats in its cars, or if Rolex started to use Chinese batteries in its watches.

    The consumer market is a lot less loyal than the professional market. If HTC bring out a super-duper smart phone, or if Samsung creates a more attractive tablet, Apple won’t have its loyal base or it professional reputation to bale it out.

  18. I have been an editor for 25 years and have seen the cmx editors, video toaster etc.
    I had the first Avid called Media Suite Pro and even though it was full of bugs I still loved it. In the late 90’s switched to FCP. I couldnt get anybody to use it and I also hated the way it handled files and back then it crashed all the time. We have been Avid ever since and if you configure them right they are pretty solid workstations. I went back to FCP in around 2007 and still I could not stand the interface and the file management. I guess no reason to look at FCP again. Avid will take me all the way until I retire in 4 years!

  19. I’ve been using FCP since 2000 and this is a HUGE DISASTER unless maybe I can just keep shooting DSLR and Prorezzing it forever:) Im also wondering if apple will save the day and come out with a “Pro” version perhaps sometime next year… FCP 8??

    I just found out apple Motion basically has Twixtor(a $600 app)built into its Timing functions. Pretty cool stuff right here:

  20. I’ve been using Premiere for close to 10 years now (back when we were editing Digital-8 skate videos with Premiere 6… oh the splash screen with the galloping horses) and I have to say it was behind the curve until CS4 with CS5 and 5.5 just screaming with any footage I can throw at it, including 4.5k Red raw. I think Adobe’s suite of software should be strongly considered, if anything because they react so well to feedback from their creative customers.

    It’s a real shame that they dropped multicamera and OMF support for FCPX; I suspect the eventual update for OMF support wasn’t planned, but a reaction to customer upset. I think the handful of pro features being dropped were a far worse hit than the program looking different (If anything, giving it a new coat of paint brings it up to par with Adobe, Sony, Grass Valley), or the extra workload for programmers to re-program their plug-ins (Premiere had this growing pain when switching to full 64bit too.) Does Apple think that people don’t edit tv shows or mix rich soundtracks with their software?

    I really thought Apple would try to push the industry with features, but every new feature is them playing catch-up in one respect or another.

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