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Apple looking into re-offering Final Cut Pro 7 volume licenses after FCP X backlash - Page 5

post #161 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That wouldn't be Apple's fault though but the 3rd party software developers. AJA have products to let you do this sort of thing and not plugins but standalone apps:

http://www.facebook.com/ajavideo/pos...50678862540354

They may not work reliably but then it would be their responsibility to sort it out.

Yeah and IMO, that would suggest they should focus on making the core application stronger and not try to take care of everything themselves. For example don't try to support STP, Color, DVDSP, LiveType, FCE etc. Just bring it down to a very small core application and let it be a powerful component in a workflow so that it can be used with Logic, Nuke, Da Vinci, Pro Tools and so on seamlessly.

You're just spouting theory. You could, for example, design Microsoft Word to only make pdfs, and insist that printer manufacturers build printing into a kind of printer interface. If it didn't work, it would be something you'd need to take up with Lexmark, or Brother, or HP... no. An app needs to deliver its functions from start to finish, and if it doesn't it's half an app.

This board is full of apologists for Apple having only done half the job, and finding excuses why it all makes perfect sense. FCP X is not a better app for having shed half the stuff its predecessor could do, its "core editing functions" are not better for losing functionality like track allocation and edls and sequence timecode, it's just a job half done.
post #162 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley99 View Post

Most TV and feature film editors that I know are happy that we don't won't have to deal with FCP anymore.

Feature film and TV editors are not debating whether or not FCPX is a pro editing platform. We KNOW it's not a pro editing platform anymore. So the big question is: How are we dealing with it? The truth is most of are either indifferent or happy.

Most feature film and TV editors didn't really like FCP all that much to begin with. Most of the time it was not our first choice for an editing platform. We thought it was finicky and unreliable. And the more complicated the project - like a big multi-editor TV show - the harder it was to work with. Usually the producers were the ones who made us use it. They wanted to save money. So they forced us to use FCP instead of AVID.

I think what Apple did with FCPX will mainly screw over middle-class professional editors who don't work in feature film and TV. And I definitely feel sorry for those guys.

But in feature film and TV editing, I'd say 95% of my work was already AVID. And no one that I know is going to miss FCP.

70% of projects that come to us for finishing are probably Avid, the rest FCP 7. Color (and its predecessor Final Touch HD/2K) are fine grading packages in their own right, and FCS 3, when handled well, did a whole lot more effectively than Avid Symphony - though perhaps not DS. The full size Tangent panels are very nice indeed - they make the Artist Series look like toys. Still a valid finishing platform - but no one in their right mind would grade in FCP alone.
post #163 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That wouldn't be Apple's fault though but the 3rd party software developers. AJA have products to let you do this sort of thing and not plugins but standalone apps:

http://www.facebook.com/ajavideo/pos...50678862540354

They may not work reliably but then it would be their responsibility to sort it out.



Yeah and IMO, that would suggest they should focus on making the core application stronger and not try to take care of everything themselves. For example don't try to support STP, Color, DVDSP, LiveType, FCE etc. Just bring it down to a very small core application and let it be a powerful component in a workflow so that it can be used with Logic, Nuke, Da Vinci, Pro Tools and so on seamlessly.

They've kinda messed that up a bit so far with the single-user design but they can turn it around in a future revision if they choose to.

As you quite rightly say though, it doesn't matter. People will make a choice on what works. If Apple doesn't deliver this then they are out. The market decides who wins and who loses and if Apple feel they still want to be in it, they have to realise they can't make the rules all the time.

I agree 100% with what Fearless says.

For film and TV editors, output to tape, edl, omf are the CORE parts of what the application needs to do. It'd be like if Microsoft removed the ability to print to paper from Microsoft Word. Yeah, I'm sure someone would eventually develop a 3rd party work around to make that work. But why would I buy a word processing program that doesn't have the ability to actually print to paper? I'm sure there are some people who don't need it. And I'm sure a lot of people would talk about paperless offices and the wave of the future. But it would be ridiculous to tell customers that they're leaving this core function of a word processing application to 3rd party developers.

Again, let me reiterate. I think FCPX is probably a smart move on Apple's part. I'm sure it'll be great for the consumer market. Just not for pros.
post #164 of 203
Oh. I see Fearless already beat me to the punch with the Microsoft Word/printer analogy.
post #165 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless View Post

With respect Marvin, you're once again confusing ingest with mastering. Hardly anyone shoots tape any more - we know that. And it's usually not where the pressure is. Of course we use RAID storage and LTO for archiving. That's not the problem.

Getting a show out on deadline should not require a journey to an external app and if it does, it's a workaround.

Yeah, that's a fair point, you don't want to have to export into an app and then write to tape as that would waste significant amounts of time. Do you think that this process will never change? It seems like it's always just a matter of time before processes migrate to file-based workflows. On a deadline, would it not be far quicker to write ProRes to SSD at 200MB/s or higher? Tapeless mastering seems like the logical next step (obviously not overnight, which is the immediate issue but sometimes forcing migration is the only way to start it).

If you think tapeless mastering is the way to go, how long would you perceive such a migration would take?
If not, what reasons go against tapeless mastering? Format standardisation perhaps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless View Post

You could, for example, design Microsoft Word to only make pdfs, and insist that printer manufacturers build printing into a kind of printer interface. If it didn't work, it would be something you'd need to take up with Lexmark, or Brother, or HP... no. An app needs to deliver its functions from start to finish, and if it doesn't it's half an app.

There are intermediate layers with printing that already exist though. It's not that Microsoft implement a printing system, it interfaces with the OS-level CUPS print server and there's the whole postscript conversion happening (using the printer drivers - hardware manufacturer's responsibility) to allow print output to come out reliably on a variety of different hardware. Microsoft don't build that, they just do the front-end. With edit to tape, Apple has to build that. Now, given that it's a fundamental part of the workflow that pro editing software aims to service then they have no choice but to take on that responsibility or they can choose to expect a migration to tapeless and leave people hanging in the interim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless View Post

This board is full of apologists for Apple having only done half the job, and finding excuses why it all makes perfect sense. FCP X is not a better app for having shed half the stuff its predecessor could do, its "core editing functions" are not better for losing functionality like track allocation and edls and sequence timecode, it's just a job half done.

Yes, FCPX is half done and there are a lot of excuses made for it. There is a balance though. Some ways of doing things are not good. Tracks are too limiting. Surely it's better to have non-linear tagging of clips instead of making sure they are all in alignment. EDL/OMF etc will be coming. So many things had to be rewritten and it's not clear when they started this. 64-bit breaks all drivers and plugins. The biggest problem was discontinuing FCP before FCPX was ready. Apple has indicated they want to cater to professional workflows and it remains to be seen if they will deliver this over time - I think with a handful of key changes, they can still turn it around.
post #166 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Yeah, that's a fair point, you don't want to have to export into an app and then write to tape as that would waste significant amounts of time. Do you think that this process will never change? It seems like it's always just a matter of time before processes migrate to file-based workflows. On a deadline, would it not be far quicker to write ProRes to SSD at 200MB/s or higher? Tapeless mastering seems like the logical next step (obviously not overnight, which is the immediate issue but sometimes forcing migration is the only way to start it).

If you think tapeless mastering is the way to go, how long would you perceive such a migration would take?
If not, what reasons go against tapeless mastering? Format standardisation perhaps?

This is another big mis-conception everyone seems to have about editors. In film and TV, we are not the ones making the big decisions about our workflow. Yes. We give our input and sometimes push for new systems and workflows. But a lot of these decisions are above our paygrade. Right now most sound houses, color correction facilities, and VFX houses still have hundreds of thousands of dollars of tape based equipment. They're not going to change just because we tell them to.

Yes. Tapeless mastering is the future. But it's not going to change just because the editors ask for it. Usually it changes because some VP of Post-Production at a big studio looks at the new workflow and equipment, crunches the numbers, and decides that the efficiency and savings of a new system outweigh the cost of replacing all the old equipment and retraining everyone on the new stuff.

Also, even if the industry magically went tapeless tomorrow, FCPX still wouldn't be ready for prime time. EVERYTHING about FCPX is NOT geared towards a professional workflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple has indicated they want to cater to professional workflows and it remains to be seen if they will deliver this over time - I think with a handful of key changes, they can still turn it around.

I think you're completely wrong on this point. Apple has clearly indicated they are no longer interested in catering to professional workflows. It's not just a handful of changes that need to be fixed. It's dozens. Export to tape, EDL, OMF, multi-cam, audio track selection are just the ones at the top of the list. In the feature film and TV world, it will take them years to catch up with AVID again. If ever.
post #167 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless View Post

You're just spouting theory. You could, for example, design Microsoft Word to only make pdfs, and insist that printer manufacturers build printing into a kind of printer interface. If it didn't work, it would be something you'd need to take up with Lexmark, or Brother, or HP... no. An app needs to deliver its functions from start to finish, and if it doesn't it's half an app.

It's funny you should say that, because that's actually close to how printing actually works. Apps on windows produce a windows meta file, apps on OS-X produce a postscript derivative and the problem of printing it is passed down to the printer driver. The printer driver is supplied by Lexmark or Brother or HP, whoever made the printer - unless the printer understands WMF or Postscript natively, in which case it's obviously not needed.

The abstraction layer is there so that every single application in the world doesn't need to implement printing itself. They only need to know how to render to the screen, because on windows that produces WMF and on OS-X it produces 'display PDF'. Back in the olden days before NeXT developed display postscript things didn't work this way - instead they worked the way you describe - but thanks to NeXT and Apple the industry moved on.

So you're actually making a pretty good case for Apple, at least on that feature.
post #168 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

It's funny you should say that, because that's actually close to how printing actually works. Apps on windows produce a windows meta file, apps on OS-X produce a postscript derivative and the problem of printing it is passed down to the printer driver. The printer driver is supplied by Lexmark or Brother or HP, whoever made the printer - unless the printer understands WMF or Postscript natively, in which case it's obviously not needed.

The abstraction layer is there so that every single application in the world doesn't need to implement printing itself. They only need to know how to render to the screen, because on windows that produces WMF and on OS-X it produces 'display PDF'. Back in the olden days before NeXT developed display postscript things didn't work this way - instead they worked the way you describe - but thanks to NeXT and Apple the industry moved on.

So you're actually making a pretty good case for Apple, at least on that feature.

I'm sorry, that's disingenuous. All sorts of things happen under the hood, of course, but which 3rd party app do I need to launch to print from Word? If Apple's tape editing were so integral a part of the OS that I never needed to leave FCP X to do it, I'd have no complaints on that score. But as you say, roll back a couple of decades and that's just how things worked...

Sadly I now need to export a QuickTime (despite AV Foundation having supposedly left QT behind), make sure I've spent a hour of deck time doing a complete pass to stripe the tape since VTRXchange can't assemble, launch VTRXchange, adjust my settings in that application, then insert edit the QT. That's a workaround - don't tell me it's not!

That Apple considers this omission to be inconsequential speaks volumes - and gives a clear message that Apple cares little about our daily needs. Even if it's patched in a later release (talk to us please!) the damage to the app's tenuous credibility has been done, the horse has bolted.
post #169 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Yeah, that's a fair point, you don't want to have to export into an app and then write to tape as that would waste significant amounts of time. Do you think that this process will never change? It seems like it's always just a matter of time before processes migrate to file-based workflows. On a deadline, would it not be far quicker to write ProRes to SSD at 200MB/s or higher? Tapeless mastering seems like the logical next step (obviously not overnight, which is the immediate issue but sometimes forcing migration is the only way to start it).

If you think tapeless mastering is the way to go, how long would you perceive such a migration would take?
If not, what reasons go against tapeless mastering? Format standardisation perhaps?

Good question Marvin. We began this company in its present form about 5 years ago, as HD was gaining traction. We were aware then that tape was likely to be supplanted in the near future - and wondered whether the Digibeta we bought then would have an economic life. We could have bought HDCAM SR, which the BBC and some others now require, but couldn't justify $160,000 in the face of the eventual, or maybe imminent, move to tapeless delivery. So four years ago we bought HDCAM, the standard HD TV deliverable here.. And guess what? We could probably have bought the SR deck.

How many shows have we delivered tapeless for money so far? Zero. Sure, MPEGs for screenings, Blu-ray (yes), H.264 for Vimeo - but the paying work is still on tape. We're still mastering a couple of broadcast shows a day to Digibeta and HDCAM, often both, for major national networks to high standards, using FCP 7 and grading in Color. High end docos and regular series work shot tapeless, telefeatures shot on Genesis, RED and Alexa material and of course EX.

When tapeless delivery occurs I think it will happen quickly - in the space of a year or so certain networks will eschew tape altogether, or insist on both - one for TX, and a tape for archive. Others will require tape for years to come. It'll be driven by their own server structures and interfaces, not by suppliers and post houses telling them what they should want.

Our biggest issue, as someone pointed out, is that Sony's HDCAM factory was in Sendai and for a minute there stock was scarce. That seems to have eased. But I'd say it'll be 3-5 years before we can seriously deliver a tapeless master to meet a contracted deliverable, with all sorts of caveats like LTO or supplementary safety copies. Will it streamline things for the networks? Possibly. For us? No, it'll add more work on identical budgets.


Oh, to add re the SSD thing, sure, sending portable drives on couriers and hoping to get them back might work, but there's still the fundamental QA pass that needs to happen, in real time: watching the finished show down with everything in place is very instructive, especially with the producer in the suite. Watching the output of a deck from a confidence head replaying what is actually on tape, rather than what you thought was going there, significantly reduces the incidence of errors. A "render and run" pass lacks that robustness.
post #170 of 203
I don't know what all you white collars are arguing about. I need two things for a software product:
engineers and salesmen. Engineers don't really care about the user, salesmen sorta do. I would need, minimally,
12 engineers and one sales guy or gal to sustain a FCP clone. I call my product SCP, Sustainable Cut Pro.
Sustainable because, as long as engineers and salesman exist, and a revenue stream is forthcoming, the product will continue.

Given global labor rates, I can easily get an engineer for under $20K a year. The salesman would cost more, say $50K.
That's $290K a year. My price points would be $1,000 purchase, $100 yearly upgrade. So how many new purchasers would
I need to keep the product going?

Assuming my 13 employees forgo salary in return for stock the first year, I would need 290 new sales. The installed base of FCP
must be huge. All I would need to do to migrate the critters to SCP is guarantee a robust XML importer that does all the right things.
Once the legacy projects are in, and in good shape, my users become both loyal and generous.
post #171 of 203
Here's the part of this debate that I find really weird: why do people who know nothing about professional feature film and TV editing keep trying to tell us that Apple made FCPX for us when they clearly didn't?

I love Apple products. I own an iMac, Macbook Air, Mac Mini, iPhone 4, Airport Extreme and many iPods. I'm completely Steve Job's bitch.

I also think FCPX is probably a great move for Apple. I understand where they're coming from. FCP7 was completely bloated from years of features they had to keep adding in order to keep up with AVID. The only way to fix this in the long run was to start from scratch - which would be a massive undertaking. Because they were starting from scratch, they probably didn't have the time or resources to create a new line of editing software that could cater to both professional and consumer editors. So they made a choice: Forget about the pro market, let's concentrate on the consumer market. That's what they do best after all. There's nothing wrong with this. I'm willing bet it's going to make a lot of money for them in long run.

I just don't understand why all these people keep insisting that this is really all going to be for the benefit of professional editors in film and TV?

You know all those cool new features like magnetic timeline, clip connections, compound clips, content auto-analysis... Guess what? Professional editors could care less about any of that. Keeping audio and video clips in sync is the EASIEST part of what we do. That's like telling an astro-physicist we've invented this cool new calculator that makes it easier to add and subtract numbers, but we've taken out the ability to do calculus or derivatives or any of the stuff you really need. The only people who really care about those features are consumer editors.

Look. Professional editors on big budget projects have complicated needs. Our editing software needs to be complicated. This isn't being snobbish, this is just a fact of life.

I applaud that Apple has managed to simplify editing for consumer editors. I think it's great. But a simplified editing software is intrinsically at odds with the complicated needs of professional feature film and TV production.

On what basis do you keep insisting that FCPX is the first step in Apple's big master plan to win over top tier feature film and TV editors? How would you actually know what it is we need from our editing software?
post #172 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley99 View Post

On what basis do you keep insisting that FCPX is the first step in Apple's big master plan to win over top tier feature film and TV editors? How would you actually know what it is we need from our editing software?

Er, faith. Religion. Belief in the hereafter...?
post #173 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless View Post

I'm sorry, that's disingenuous. All sorts of things happen under the hood, of course, but which 3rd party app do I need to launch to print from Word?

The printer drivers, which while they may be supplied by MS or Apple are in fact generally the work of the printer maker and redistributed under license. I'm not being in the slightest bit disingenuous here, printing really is abstracted out from the application completely and the device specific layer is abstracted out even from the operating system.

I have no idea what your problems are like with tape and FCP-X, I'm not claiming that the analogy actually holds - I'm just saying that if it does your analogy is proving the opposite of your point.

I imagine that Apple's preferred solution is that 3rd party plugins will be provided for each tape output system (I presume there are different hardware options with different interfaces?). FCP will thus have the messy hardware level stuff abstracted out, in an analogous way to the abstraction layers in printing.

Oh, and you may recall that when MS VIsta was released the world+dog complained that it didn't support their printers, because 3rd party drivers essentially didn't exist at launch time.
post #174 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by franky lamouche View Post

Given global labor rates, I can easily get an engineer for under $20K a year. The salesman would cost more, say $50K.

Lord help your users
post #175 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Lord help your users

Note he said global labor rates. He's contracting out the engineering to India.
post #176 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Note he said global labor rates. He's contracting out the engineering to India.

Like I said, Lord help his users
post #177 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Another way to think of it is that it's fractured between the people who build software and the sheep who merely use software

If I follow your logic: no matter what a company offers like Apple for example we are to accept it and go along because they've had a successful track record @ offerings in the mass consumer market - BULL sir, Bull - if any product doesn't fill a market segments needs it won't be used by that segment, Apple helped democratize this industry (well Amiga Computers & NewTek Video Toaster set the ground work, Apple picked up the fumbled ball and ran with it) it has nothing to do with "it's the future", it's the relationship between them, hell not taking off ones hat in doors or talking with food in your mouth is still bad manners, no matter how many "Jack Asses" do it - I go with what works for me as I assume most intelligent people do.

It's great for programmers to initiate new code, but functionality is the problem, so these function couldn't be replicated in new 64 bit code even better? - or are coders writing this stuff to be self indulgent - like most editors, I do it for a commissioned job to meet a clients idea & purpose to sell to others - capitalism 101. Apple is basically compelling us all to accept any and all they do, because most have brought into the myth that Apple can do no wrong, that's utter non-sense and a cultist mind set, nothing and no one in life short of Jesus can claim that... so if FCPX fits your needs go for it, but don't sell me the "new paradigm shift in editing angle" when it's actually about getting a bigger market share of those who can more easily use iMovie add the name FCP because it has cache, minus the sophisticated range of level controls found in Color or SoundTrackPro, now it's keep it" iSimple X" no XML import, but there is iMove import and easy export to Youtube and Facebook, while and not to Pro Tools for audio stims, WTF?

Okay I do love the new MetaData function and the fact I can use 4k files (when exactly?) - but I require multiple monitors, a Source, Edit and Preview - I don't want someone sitting so close to me sharing one monitor or even two, I need room to work my magic this industry is the top of the editing food chain and in my niche commercials are king, there are basic requirements of high technical knowledge, skill and artistic collaboration, from everyone involved from below the line to above it, we depends on each other and the tools of the trade to do the job well, and learning new apps, and hardware constantly as it comes to market - I learned Shake but that was EOLed, and it was highly used industry wide ever see a film called Lord of The Rings, I still kept faith that Apple would incorporate the functions in some new great product, nope didn't happen, in fact they brought more small companies like Color and Logic etc... to do what? EOL them and kill off that market segment to what end? this confounds me truly, to destroy these great products for no real reason... so now that Apple is very profitable and no longer a computer company per se, but a Electronics firm, it can be arrogant and act like a bull in a china shop. Sony never, ever would act in such a manner - I cannot believe I invested so much in Apple apps & hardware to be shown this level of disregard by them, well foolish me for believing their hype so completely and not looking @ them as a company overall and how they operate as a business.

Just tell us that you plan to no longer cater to the pro industry and are going for the prosumer who needs the simplest amount of control and will accept whiz bang bells and whistles over substantive functionality and customization for the types of workflow that we do day in and day out - apple is not the only game in town, a half to a full $billion dollar industry has grown up around Final Cut Pro this has caused grave concern for that cottage industry, new and hungrier developers are out there waiting to show their wares, like Imagineering Systems, Black Magic & Aja to name a few companies with products that fit our needs, JUST BE UP FRONT APPLE, this clandestine nature is starting to ware thin and you wont be so profitable forever, you may need us again someday... now how much is that Davinci Resolve...
post #178 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNo View Post

... now how much is that Davinci Resolve...

Odd you should ask that - within a week or two, apparently, free! Resolve Lite for Mac... now you still need the CUDA hardware and it'll only do SD & HD (oh dear) but it's a very fine introductory look. I have the full Tangent setup and Resolve only works with Wave, or their own, or Avid's puny Artist Series - but hang on, with a Symphony alongside...
post #179 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNo View Post

If I follow your logic: no matter what a company offers like Apple for example we are to accept it and go along because ...

You don't follow my logic. You also don't appear to use full stops, which makes it very hard to meaningfully respond to you, because it makes reading your prose close to unbearable. Instead I'll have to try to respond to your long incoherent ramble in an unsatisfyingly vague way, so if I fail to address your point I apologise, but it's probably because I couldn't find your point in the word soup.

I am saying that many FCP users are being as irrational, and unreasonable here as Star Wars fans were when Lucas 'betrayed' them. To the users FCP is their tool, but to the developers FCP is their product. The users believe that they 'own' the product in the same way that Star Wars fans felt they 'owned' their movie experience, however ultimately ownership lies with creators not consumers.

It's the creators' right to create something that some users don't like, and the users are absolutely entitled not to use it when they do. There are many reasons why the creator may choose to do this, which the user often doesn't appreciate. Star Wars fans will simply never understand Lucas' determination never to release the original movies without the changes that he made back in the 90s. Lord of the Rings fans will never understand the stupid Arwen sub-plot, the moving of lines between characters for seemingly no reason, the gratuitous Legolas arcade game moments.

If FCP no longer works for you then don't use it, perhaps it will never be suitable for you again, in which case never return. Perhaps Apple made a mistake with FCP that will result in the product dying. Perhaps they made a decision that will set FCP up for years to come in the prosumer space. Perhaps FCP will prove successful in the pro space in a few years because its new clean architecture will allow for faster innovation than the competitors. There are lots of ways this may shake out, and it's Apple's right to make the decision as to where it wants to send the product, just as it is Lucas' right to refuse to release a set of Star Wars movies which he would be dissatisfied with.

This attitude of entitlement is no more appealing in movie creators than it is in movie consumers.
post #180 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

Apple didn't make FCPX for fun. They made it to make editing faster and easier. If someone says they're good at video editing and can't use the faster and easier software then how good at editing are they really?

"Good at video editing" is not just operating an application. Being "good" is telling a story well. That separates the pros from the amateurs.

Professional video companies strive to have the best and fastest tools in order to please clients. When editing for yourself, you don't have clients. We constantly are upgrading and improving our workflows to be more efficient and to be better than the other guy. We don't hold on to inefficient processes. However, we can't use FCPX because of the missing features. We can't tell our clients that can't use their tape library anymore. We can't grade color from a thumbnail on an LED monitor. We can't output audio tracks for Pro Tools mixing. We can't even pull an EDL for selects.

Yes, there are some good features in the baseline app. It's just not ready for prime time yet. The pros will be all over it when it is done.
post #181 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I'll make it easier for everyone. Show me Coppola or the Coen Brothers using FCPX by this year for a major-release full-length feature (not indies or documentaries).

Of course if they want to shoot film, they can't use FCPX for editing. Two words-Cinema Tools. "Cinema Tools is software bundled with Final Cut Studio that combines film database tools with conversion tools. It is used to log and keep track of film as well as to reverse telecine or perform advanced pulldown"

Cinema Tools is not included with FCPX.
post #182 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If you think tapeless mastering is the way to go, how long would you perceive such a migration would take?
If not, what reasons go against tapeless mastering? Format standardisation perhaps?

Actually it is far simpler. I was consulting a production company in Hollywood about going tapeless. They didn't want to do it since their clients want tape. Right or wrong, their clients don't trust hard drives. They want a tape in their hands like they have done for many years. They feel confident that their program will make the journey to the network for airing.

The clients hear stories about taking a hard drive that had been sitting on a shelf for a few years and it not working. They know tape will last for at least a few years. I transfer quad tape that is over 50 years old and it still plays.http://forums.appleinsider.com/images/smilies/1eek.gif

Panasonic has made the transition to tapeless and Sony is on the way. It's coming, just not fast.
post #183 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley99 View Post

Right now most sound houses, color correction facilities, and VFX houses still have hundreds of thousands of dollars of tape based equipment. They're not going to change just because we tell them to.

Yes. Tapeless mastering is the future. But it's not going to change just because the editors ask for it.

But when does it change? Who pulls the strings? Someone has to just step up and do it or nobody will.

Seeing such a drastic loss in investment is not something anybody wants to face but it's coming eventually. The migration to tapeless recording has already taken hold and if it's secure enough to trust your source footage with, it's secure enough for any part of the pipeline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley99 View Post

I think you're completely wrong on this point. Apple has clearly indicated they are no longer interested in catering to professional workflows.

They have 4K editing, an upcoming XML API, there's a hint of a Python plugin API, auditioning, clip grouping, GCD, colorsync, Thunderbolt connections for fast RAID drives.

What consumers need any of this? Despite falling short on the full package, there's at least some strong effort there to go well beyond what iMovie users care about and even the wedding video market.

The trust is gone because of the surprise nature of the change but what would people have said if they asked for permission to remove 'edit to tape'? There would have been resistance in the extreme because there's nothing left but workarounds. If they are deciding they only want to do tapeless from now on for active workflows, they just have to go their own way, even if they go it alone. When it's the right thing to do then they'll get the head-start on people who eventually go that route and they have no legacy to hold them back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley99 View Post

It's not just a handful of changes that need to be fixed. It's dozens. Export to tape, EDL, OMF, multi-cam, audio track selection are just the ones at the top of the list. In the feature film and TV world, it will take them years to catch up with AVID again. If ever.

They've said the API is coming in a matter of weeks so this will fix most of the IO issues. This doesn't in any way make up for the fact that an incomplete version was shipped as a replacement for a complete version but it may not be too long before they can beef up the product significantly enough to actually fit into a collaborative workflow (even if it's just as an accessory). A powerful API is a much faster way to get features back in than having to check off each one themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless

I'd say it'll be 3-5 years before we can seriously deliver a tapeless master to meet a contracted deliverable, with all sorts of caveats like LTO or supplementary safety copies. Will it streamline things for the networks? Possibly. For us? No, it'll add more work on identical budgets.

Oh, to add re the SSD thing, sure, sending portable drives on couriers and hoping to get them back might work, but there's still the fundamental QA pass that needs to happen, in real time: watching the finished show down with everything in place is very instructive, especially with the producer in the suite. Watching the output of a deck from a confidence head replaying what is actually on tape, rather than what you thought was going there, significantly reduces the incidence of errors. A "render and run" pass lacks that robustness.

The real-time QA certainly negates a lot of the advantages of tapeless and the storage still isn't cheap. The "render and run" advantage will work great for people who don't need the QA but there really has to be something more compelling to ditch tape if you do need it. It's cheap, slow but you need it real-time anyway and it's already an archival-quality medium.

The big disadvantage with tape is the same with any mechanical medium - storage density, which has implications for storage space. There's also format restrictions - being able to retrofit new compressions back onto it, which tapeless doesn't have. This is a plus and a minus of course. If you hand someone a digibeta tape, they know what they are getting, if you give them an SSD, it might have a 320x240 Indeo Video 3 clip on it.

There really ought to be some stricter video standards imposed on tapeless media.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNo

they brought more small companies like Color and Logic etc... to do what? EOL them and kill off that market segment to what end? this confounds me truly

Yeah, those moves are a little baffling. At least they brought their competitors' prices down but it comes across as a bit irresponsible to keep destroying high-end software packages and stealing small parts for more basic apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Park Seward

The clients hear stories about taking a hard drive that had been sitting on a shelf for a few years and it not working. They know tape will last for at least a few years. I transfer quad tape that is over 50 years old and it still plays.

Panasonic has made the transition to tapeless and Sony is on the way. It's coming, just not fast.

Thing is, tape will always make sense for archival use because nothing else is really designed for long-term storage. For an active workflow, there is still the danger of someone wiping a solid-state filesystem accidentally, which is not something you can do with tape but as long as there are enough digital copies during the active workflow and enough regular backups to tape, it should be secure enough.
post #184 of 203
Marvin. I don't understand why you keep arguing all these minor technical points. Why do keep trying to convince us that FCPX is going to be this big professional application? How would you know what professional feature film and TV editors need? As I've said in previous posts: I think FCPX is probably going to be fine application. Just not for high end feature film and TV editors. The strange thing is that film and TV editors aren't even debating this point anymore. We KNOW it's not suitable for us and probably never will be. It's kind of weirdly pathelogical how you keep defending it.

In fact...

HERE'S AN ARTICLE FROM SACHIN ARGARWAL WHO WORKED ON FCPX AT APPLE IN THE BEGINNING:

I worked on Final Cut Pro from 2002 to 2008. It was an amazing experience. The Final Cut Pro X project was just getting started when I left Apple. It was an ambitious and controversial move, but it made sense for Apple. Here's why:

Apple doesn't care about the pro space
The goal for every Apple software product is to sell more hardware. Even the Mac operating system is just trying to get people to buy more Mac computers.

The pro market is too small for Apple to care about it. Instead of trying to get hundreds or even thousands of video professionals to buy new Macs, they can nail the pro-sumer market and sell to hundreds of thousands of hobbyists like me.

Millions of people are buying phones and cameras that can shoot HD video, and many of them are looking for ways to edit. I know how to use Final Cut Pro because I worked on it for 6 years, but for most people it's just too complex.

FCP X lets Apple move beyond the pro space, and sell to a much larger group looking for better tools.

Apple doesn't compete on features
In the early days of Final Cut Pro, the product stood on its own. It was the first truly powerful, software based non linear editor.

Editors had two choices: spend $50k on an Avid system, or $1k on a Final Cut Pro license. You couldn't compare the two on features because the experiences and price points were vastly different. Every seat FCP won away from Avid was a huge victory.

But things changed in 2006 and 2007. Serious competitors to Final Cut Pro came from Adobe, Pinnacle, Sony, and others. People were choosing their hardware and software based on format support, or specific features they needed.

That's boring. Apple doesn't play that game.

So it was time to reinvent the video editor. And Final Cut Pro X really delivers there. FCPX isn't defined by a feature chart. It's not trying to do more than its competitors, it's doing it better.

And once again, Final Cut Pro stands on its own. And once again, Final Cut Pro will expand the market of video editors out there, and I'll be one of them.

Final Cut Pro 1.0 didn't win over every Avid user, and Final Cut Pro X won't win over every Final Cut Pro user. But they've laid the foundation for something incredible, and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

Congrats to all my friends on the Final Cut Pro team who shipped this incredible release!



AND HERE'S ANOTHER ARTICLE FROM ANOTHER FROM RON BRINKMANN WHO WORKED AT APPLE ON SHAKE (ANOTHER PRO APPLICATION THAT THEY KILLED) :

I’ve had a couple of people ask for my thoughts on the new FCPX release given my history with Apple and in particular my experience with how they dealt with another product that was focused (in our case almost exclusively) on professionals – the compositing software ‘Shake’. So, even though I don’t think they’re totally analogous events, I figured I’d use it as an opportunity to make a couple of points about (my perception of) how Apple thinks.

For those that aren’t familiar with the history, Shake was very entrenched in the top end of the visual effects industry. The overwhelming majority of our customers were doing big-budget feature film work and were, naturally, all about high-end functionality.

So after Apple acquired us there was a lot of concern that Cupertino wouldn’t be willing to continue to cater to that market and, although it took a few years, that concern did indeed come to pass. The development team was gradually transitioned to working on other tools and Shake as a product was eventually end-of-life’d.

And back then the same questions were being asked as now – “Doesn’t Apple care about the high-end professional market?”

In a word, no. Not really. Not enough to focus on it as a primary business.

Let’s talk economics first. There’s what, maybe 10,000 ‘high-end’ editors in the world? That’s probably being generous. But the number of people who would buy a powerful editing package that’s more cost-effective and easier to learn/use than anything else that’s out there? More. Lots more. So, a $1000 high-end product vs. a $300 product for a market that’s at least an order of magnitude larger. Clearly makes sense, even though I’d claim that the dollars involved are really just a drop in the bucket either way for Apple.

So what else? I mean what’s the real value of a package that’s sold only to high-end guys? Prestige? Does Apple really need more of that? Again, look back at Shake. It was dominant in the visual effects world. You’d be hard-pressed to pick a major motion picture from the early years of this century that didn’t make use of Shake in some fashion. And believe me, Lord of the Rings looks a lot cooler on a corporate demo reel than does Cold Mountain or The Social Network. Swords and Orcs and ShitBlowingUp, oh my. But really, so what?

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

And really, from a company perspective high-end customers are a pain in the ass. Before Apple bought Shake, customer feedback drove about 90% of the features we’d put into the product. But that’s not how Apple rolls – for them a high end customers are high-bandwidth in terms of the attention they require relative to the revenue they return. After the acquisition I remember sitting in a roomful of Hollywood VFX pros where Steve told everybody point-blank that we/Apple were going to focus on giving them powerful tools that were far more cost-effective than what they were accustomed to… but that the relationship between them and Apple wasn’t going to be something where they’d be driving product direction anymore. Didn’t go over particularly well, incidentally, but I don’t think that concerned Steve overmuch… :-)

And the features that high end customers need are often very very unsexy. They don’t look particularly good in a demo. See, here’s the thing with how features happen at Apple to a great extent – product development is often driven by how well things can be demoed. Maybe not explicitly – nobody ever told me to only design features that demoed well – but the nature of the organization effectively makes it work out that way. Because a lot of decisions about product direction make their way very far up the management hierarchy (often to Steve himself). And so the first question that comes up is ‘how are we going to show this feature within the company?’ All the mid-level managers know that they’re going to have a limited window of time to convey what makes a product or a feature special to their bosses. So they either 1) make a sexy demo or 2) spend a lot of time trying to explain why some customer feels that some obscure feature is worth implementing. Guess which strategy works best?

And by this I don’t mean to imply at all that the products are style over substance, because they’re definitely not. But it’s very true that Apple would rather have products which do things that other products can’t do (or can’t do well), even if it means they leave out some more basic&boring features along the way. Apple isn’t big on the quotidian. In the case of FCP, they’d rather introduce a new and easier and arguably better method for dealing with cuts, or with scrubbing, or whatever, even if it means that they need to leave out something standard for high-end editors like proper support for OMF. Or, to look all the way back to the iPod, they’d rather have a robust framework for buying and organizing music instead of supporting, say, an FM radio. And it’s why Pages doesn’t have nearly the depth of Word but is soooo much more pleasant to use on a daily basis.

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



ADDENDUM. I suppose I should make it clear (since some people are misinterpreting a few things) that I’m not complaining about Apple’s decisions with regards to either Shake or FCPX. (As a stockholder I’ve got very little to complain about with regards to Apple’s decisions over the past several years :-))

And, in spite of the fact that MacRumors characterized this post as saying “Apple Doesn’t Care about Pro Market” I don’t believe at all that ‘professionals’ should immediately flee the platform. As with anything, you should look at the feature set, look at the likely evolution, and make your own decisions. My perception of the high-end professional category is informed by my history in feature-film production, which is a large, cooperative team environment with a whole lot of moving pieces. Yours may be different.

Ultimately my goal was to shed some light on the thought-processes that go into Apple’s decisions, and the type of market they want to address. Bottom line is that I do think that FCPX will provide incredible value for a huge number of people and will undoubtedly continue to grow in terms of the features that are added (or re-added) to it. Just don’t expect everything that was in FCP7 to return to FCPX because they’re really different products addressing different markets. It’s up to you to decide which market you work in.
post #185 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There really ought to be some stricter video standards imposed on tapeless media.

This is what SMPTE is for and I have no idea if they are even talking about this. What usually happens is a manufacturer comes up with new tech that is so good everyone wants it and then standards follow. I am not aware of anyone proposing a tapeless mastering scheme that would be accepted by networks, color houses, TV stations etc. and that would also be archival to some degree like tape is.

Someone really needs to get going on this, but I'm not confident anyone is.
post #186 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

This is what SMPTE is for and I have no idea if they are even talking about this. What usually happens is a manufacturer comes up with new tech that is so good everyone wants it and then standards follow. I am not aware of anyone proposing a tapeless mastering scheme that would be accepted by networks, color houses, TV stations etc. and that would also be archival to some degree like tape is.

Someone really needs to get going on this, but I'm not confident anyone is.

Yeah. Take a look at the Blackmagic site - touting their rack-based and portable SSDs in things that look a lot like Digibeta boxes - is that a hint of an attempt to standardise some kind of digital delivery form factor?

It seems weird to campaign to discard tape you can put in a machine and watch that meets a known format and (hopefully) tech standard and replace it with volatile tapeless data that's as likely to be wrong as right, plus an LTO that you can't watch.

But as I've said, it's about networks and their server workflows, and we all wait for news. Perhaps the Harris or Quantel sites are where to look for crystal balls...
post #187 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


I am saying that many FCP users are being as irrational, and unreasonable here as Star Wars fans were when Lucas 'betrayed' them. To the users FCP is their tool, but to the developers FCP is their product. The users believe that they 'own' the product in the same way that Star Wars fans felt they 'owned' their movie experience, however ultimately ownership lies with creators not consumers.

< . . . >

If FCP no longer works for you then don't use it, perhaps it will never be suitable for you again, in which case never return. Perhaps Apple made a mistake with FCP that will result in the product dying. Perhaps they made a decision that will set FCP up for years to come in the prosumer space. Perhaps FCP will prove successful in the pro space in a few years because its new clean architecture will allow for faster innovation than the competitors. There are lots of ways this may shake out, and it's Apple's right to make the decision as to where it wants to send the product, just as it is Lucas' right to refuse to release a set of Star Wars movies which he would be dissatisfied with.

This attitude of entitlement is no more appealing in movie creators than it is in movie consumers.

Generally I like the direction of your thinking on this and other subjects, but a big objection here, though I think the comparison is clever.

The view of how a user of software feels about the "product" is too narrow. Software is not like an object or a story; when you use it for hundreds or thousands of hours, it becomes part of your nervous system, or part of your hands and fingers. When the company pulls it, it feels like an amputation. Thus the emotion. Rationality is irrelevant when someone is cutting off a part of you.

We don't have language yet for what software means to people. Apple is ignorantly destroying a cultural treasure by pulling FCP, like Caesar cutting down the druids' sacred groves of oaks. Doesn't matter how flawed it was, it had become a way of life for many.
post #188 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley99 View Post

I think FCPX is probably going to be fine application. Just not for high end feature film and TV editors. The strange thing is that film and TV editors aren't even debating this point anymore. We KNOW it's not suitable for us and probably never will be.

It's not suitable now but no one knows what their development roadmap is and the only people they talk seriously with are people in the industry, which suggests that's their focus. The Supermeet was not for the public, the recent meeting in London wasn't either, here are a couple of links from people who attended:

http://twitter.com/#!/aPostEngineer
http://www.fcp.co/forum/4-final-cut-...ondon-6711#346

Now, that doesn't mean much - the only meaningful thing that can happen is for Apple to deliver a product that works - but there are clear indicators that they have gone beyond what was necessary to make an iMovie upgrade. If there are no substantial improvements over the next couple of months, I'd say it's far clearer that they have little intention in catering for their current Final Cut users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshdog

I am not aware of anyone proposing a tapeless mastering scheme that would be accepted by networks, color houses, TV stations etc. and that would also be archival to some degree like tape is.

Someone really needs to get going on this, but I'm not confident anyone is.

Maybe it's down to people coming up with varying formats so quickly that there's little point sticking with a single format. DNxHD/VC-3 seems like an obvious format to start with but Apple would want to stick with their ProRes format so you get a lot of unnecessary transcoding. Competition is good for lowering prices and pushing the envelope but not for standardisation unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearless

It seems weird to campaign to discard tape you can put in a machine and watch that meets a known format and (hopefully) tech standard and replace it with volatile tapeless data that's as likely to be wrong as right, plus an LTO that you can't watch.

Would watching a digital copy of a master backed up to a verified LTO data transfer sufficiently match the QA process of live tape? If you verify the data bits, that's surely better than WYSIWYG.

Eventually you won't be able to use tape for this kind of thing anyway as they can't get the density high enough - short of splitting the frame in 4 parts and sending each one to its own tape drive.

Of course, needs will dictate where people take it. If home cinema is going to top out at 1080p then tape can work indefinitely and it's only the 4K+ film makers who have to worry about tapeless solutions.
post #189 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Maybe it's down to people coming up with varying formats so quickly that there's little point sticking with a single format. DNxHD/VC-3 seems like an obvious format to start with but Apple would want to stick with their ProRes format so you get a lot of unnecessary transcoding. Competition is good for lowering prices and pushing the envelope but not for standardisation unfortunately.

The networks (both the legacy broadcast networks and some cable networks) demand HDCAM SR which is 444 10 bit RGB. The reason for this is interesting. TV people learned along time ago that it was absolutely necessary to acquire the images at the highest quality possible. The reason was that in the analog era every time you made a copy you lost a "generation" and your image quality took a big hit. This remains true in the digital age, particularly with compression artifacts. Compressing and then re-compressing and then transcoding etc, all degrade the image. The idea is if you capture the image at a high quality level, even with image degradation during post it will still (hopefully) look good by the time it hits the air. The 7D/5D formats are a good example. They are already ultra compressed right out of the camera and most people have to convert to another codec to edit. Pow! You just lost some image data. Maybe you want to color in Lustre? Convert to DPX, Biff! More potential loss. You finish your cut and now you want to deliver via DGFastchannel. Boom! More data loss because they only take MPEG2 streams. There will never be a single compression standard so it still is very important to maintain a super high image quality as long as you can in the post process. The networks trust you have done this and thus request SR masters to retain the image quality you worked so hard to preserve. In fact we still try to work uncompressed when possible for this very reason. Tape has lot's of warts, but it is mature and works pretty darn well. It's fading, but very slowly.

Quote:
Would watching a digital copy of a master backed up to a verified LTO data transfer sufficiently match the QA process of live tape? If you verify the data bits, that's surely better than WYSIWYG.

Eventually you won't be able to use tape for this kind of thing anyway as they can't get the density high enough - short of splitting the frame in 4 parts and sending each one to its own tape drive.

Of course, needs will dictate where people take it. If home cinema is going to top out at 1080p then tape can work indefinitely and it's only the 4K+ film makers who have to worry about tapeless solutions.

You could verify data bits, but that won't tell much other than the file got on the drive. What if it's the wrong file? with tape you can easily and quickly check what is there. You can scroll frame by frame to look for bad edits or audio glitches. Harder to do with a file and you have to plug it into a computer and maybe even copy the file to a RAID if the drive isn't fast enough to play the data. I know people are talking about 4k TV, but that is long way off. 3d has flopped for two reasons: Stupid glasses and expense. Millions of people recently bought HD TVs and now they want us to by another more expensive one to get 3D? No sale. Same with 4k. Nobody is going to shell out for 4k TV - not for many many years.
post #190 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Generally I like the direction of your thinking on this and other subjects, but a big objection here, though I think the comparison is clever.

The view of how a user of software feels about the "product" is too narrow. Software is not like an object or a story; when you use it for hundreds or thousands of hours, it becomes part of your nervous system, or part of your hands and fingers. When the company pulls it, it feels like an amputation. Thus the emotion. Rationality is irrelevant when someone is cutting off a part of you.

But don't we make those same connections to all art? That's part of why franchises are so successful, they offer more of the same. They build on the previously existing connections that we've made to the characters, or the music or whatever, but still give us a fresh experience. Heck how many times have you heard somebody complain about a new album because it sounds too different from the artist's old work? They'd grown attached to that old style, it was part of them - they wanted more of it. Isn't your favourite music part of your nervous system too?

Software is art, which is something that other creative people often don't really understand, or perhaps just don't believe. I don't just mean the pretty GUI exterior but the entire thing, it's all art. Coders will look at a piece of the internals and see beauty or ugliness, the same with the larger structure, code is art at every scale - rather like architecture. All the coders who work on it are artists or at the very least artisans - they must be if the product is to be any good. Those artists understand your connection to their previous work, but they want you to engage their new one. They want to stop performing that old set on tour and work with the new material. Apple is one of those bands that won't pander to audiences - it will perform what it damn well wants to.

Quote:
We don't have language yet for what software means to people. Apple is ignorantly destroying a cultural treasure by pulling FCP, like Caesar cutting down the druids' sacred groves of oaks. Doesn't matter how flawed it was, it had become a way of life for many.

The loss of the old FCP is a cultural loss, but so was the loss of the Amiga, BBC-B, C-64 etc. So much so that tons of people went off to recreate the experience in emulation. All technological artifacts are cultural artifacts. But Apple isn't ignorantly destroying this treasure, Apple is doing so creatively - like Rauschenberg erasing a De Kooning, the Chapman brothers defacing a Goya, or a young DJ remixing a classic jazz recording into a completely different genre.

Try to stop thinking of Apple developers as mere programmers working for a vendor and think of them as as you think of yourself, as artists working within a collective artistic endeavour.

And remember, sometimes a cultural loss brings future gains, if the Beatles hadn't split up we'd never have had the Frog Chorus.
post #191 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley99 View Post


HERE'S AN ARTICLE FROM SACHIN ARGARWAL WHO WORKED ON FCPX AT APPLE IN THE BEGINNING:


We have been testing PPro for sometime now and just yesterday we stepped up and purchased licenses of the Adobe Production Suite to replace all our FCP 7 software. FCPX may develop into something great or like Shake, Color and DVDSP it may just languish and then die and we won't take the risk of it being the latter.
post #192 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

But don't we make those same connections to all art?

I don't have time to answer your very suggestive argument right now, so check back later if you don't mind. For now, yes I do see software design writing as art, but of a higher or different order than painting or music making, or even architecture. Not even symphonic composition comes close, but it may the most analogous.

I don't think destruction of a historic triumph of software making like FCP is necessary for the new version to come into being. (That "creative destruction" meme is neoconservative cant that enables wars to be conjured out of lies.) And I never said FCP X was a bad job of software making, though I suspect I may not like the new interface and basic metaphor as much as the old, but that may be the way a leftish, linear brain like mine prefers to see the editing problem.

It is not only ignorance that would allow the killing off of the old, it's doctrinaire brutality. It ought to be kept alive, not supported necessarily, but allowed to be taught in schools and used by editors for as long as they prefer it, if only as an historical artifact. It really did change the world, as much as the KEM and the Steenbeck did, and like those machines it is still useful and instructive. More later.
post #193 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

That's the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard. This is software for PROFESSIONALS, who make a living producing and editing video. You don't replace the software they depend on with a half-finished shell of a product that can't do half of what the professionals need.

If you are going to rip it up and start over, then don't release the new software until it can fully replace the current software. One of the biggest boondoggles by Apple is that the new software can't import projects from Final Cut Pro 7. Video professionals often have to go back to old footage and re-edit it for new projects. They can't do it with FCP X, and it looks like they will never be able to.

Apple could get away with something like this with iMovie, since professionals don't make their living from it, but the Final Cut situation is a mess that's going to bite Apple hard. It proves once again that Steve Jobs is not a software person - otherwise he would never have allowed this, or iMovie, or QuickTiume X, or MobileMe, or some of the changes in iTunes (the artwork column is now really small and ugly). If he drove the software people like he drives the hardware people, this wouldn't happen.

I totally agree with ELROTH 100% !
post #194 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

It is not only ignorance that would allow the killing off of the old, it's doctrinaire brutality. It ought to be kept alive, not supported necessarily, but allowed to be taught in schools and used by editors for as long as they prefer it, if only as an historical artifact. It really did change the world, as much as the KEM and the Steenbeck did, and like those machines it is still useful and instructive. More later.

Computer folk have grown accustomed to this kind of brutality, after all did FCP really change the world more than the original Mac OS, long gone and soon no longer even remotely supported? More than Visicalc? Again it's rather like architecture, sometimes a building must be torn down before another can be built. Creative destruction? Well that's another discussion - and probably one that would require alcohol and large hand-wavey type gestures.

There is a great case for saying that 'abandonware' of any kind should be brought into the public domain, at least in some fashion, but unfortunately that's not the world we live in. Still if there are enough people who really care about this product you could presumably join together to create an opensource version - GPL it - it will live forever in some shape or other.
post #195 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Computer folk have grown accustomed to this kind of brutality, after all did FCP really change the world more than the original Mac OS, long gone and soon no longer even remotely supported? More than Visicalc? Again it's rather like architecture, sometimes a building must be torn down before another can be built. Creative destruction? Well that's another discussion - and probably one that would require alcohol and large hand-wavey type gestures.

There is a great case for saying that 'abandonware' of any kind should be brought into the public domain, at least in some fashion, but unfortunately that's not the world we live in. Still if there are enough people who really care about this product you could presumably join together to create an opensource version - GPL it - it will live forever in some shape or other.

Yeah, last night I was thinking about how this compares to the case of WordPerfect. Those who made their living with that software moaned and mourned for years that Word became the new standard.

My original point was that you should expect people to be irrational when part of them is declared obsolete and then is lopped off like a gangrenous limb. When we work with a massively powerful piece of dynamic architecture like Final Cut, as you learn not to be frustrated by its complexity, your angst turns to respect and then, if you're a cheerful sort, into awe and even affection. This is the reward of mastery, and you and the software become symbiotic.

So, I don't think Steve or whoever 'gets' this, and the evidence is that they grimly, silently
collected the outstanding copies and . . . did what? Shredded them? No communication, no transitioning, they just pull the plug, like Steve did to Andy Hertzfeld when it was time for the original Macintosh group to move to new offices. He lost days of his work, if I remember right.

Their callousness is deafening, to mix a metaphor. Software is different from any previous art form in that people live inside it and live through it, and it through them. This is new in human history, so I can't blame people for not getting it yet. But err on the side of preservation and kindness, not on the side of creative destruction. It's as if Beethoven made everybody learn and play the Seventh for ten years till all the players had it down and were masters of it, then declared he never wanted it played again when he finished the Ninth, and destroyed all the sheet music. No, it's worse than that, because software is used to create other things.

I like your idea of setting up some sort of open-source maintenance of this museum piece. It was a part of human history.
post #196 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Yeah, last night I was thinking about how this compares to the case of WordPerfect. Those who made their living with that software moaned and mourned for years that Word became the new standard.

Some of us who are even more foguey-ish think TeX should have been the standard. TeX at least lives on in the scientific community, and since it is open-source it will likely still be around in decades to come.

Quote:
My original point was that you should expect people to be irrational when part of them is declared obsolete and then is lopped off like a gangrenous limb. When we work with a massively powerful piece of dynamic architecture like Final Cut, as you learn not to be frustrated by its complexity, your angst turns to respect and then, if you're a cheerful sort, into awe and even affection. This is the reward of mastery, and you and the software become symbiotic.

I'm a unix guy forced to live in a windows world, the kind of person who prefers command lines to UIs and who wrote documents in Postscript for a while because I knew the language and it seemed a waste of time to learn Word. I absolutely expect people to react emotionally in this sort of situation.

The problem isn't that people are reacting emotionally, it's that most of them (who aren't you) don't even realize that they're doing so.

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So, I don't think Steve or whoever 'gets' this, and the evidence is that they grimly, silently
collected the outstanding copies and . . . did what? Shredded them? No communication, no transitioning, they just pull the plug, like Steve did to Andy Hertzfeld when it was time for the original Macintosh group to move to new offices. He lost days of his work, if I remember right.

I'm sure Steve gets it, he's a geek after all. Every old geek has loved and lost dozens of technologies, programming languages that fell from use, APIs that changed - it's the sea in which we swim. A huge part of Steve's uniqueness is his willingness to slay his own technological firstborn in honour of the software gods. MS for example are unable to do this. It took them years to remove the DOS layer below windows, and they still can't get Windows out of their mobile offerings - even if it's only left as a vestige in the brand-name.

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I like your idea of setting up some sort of open-source maintenance of this museum piece. It was a part of human history.

I think there is already some work on an OS NLE suite, you could potentially fork off of that.
post #197 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I am saying that many FCP users are being as irrational, and unreasonable here as Star Wars fans were when Lucas 'betrayed' them. To the users FCP is their tool, but to the developers FCP is their product. The users believe that they 'own' the product in the same way that Star Wars fans felt they 'owned' their movie experience, however ultimately ownership lies with creators not consumers.

It's the creators' right to create something that some users don't like, and the users are absolutely entitled not to use it when they do. There are many reasons why the creator may choose to do this, which the user often doesn't appreciate. Star Wars fans will simply never understand Lucas' determination never to release the original movies without the changes that he made back in the 90s. Lord of the Rings fans will never understand the stupid Arwen sub-plot, the moving of lines between characters for seemingly no reason, the gratuitous Legolas arcade game moments.

If FCP no longer works for you then don't use it, perhaps it will never be suitable for you again, in which case never return. Perhaps Apple made a mistake with FCP that will result in the product dying. Perhaps they made a decision that will set FCP up for years to come in the prosumer space. Perhaps FCP will prove successful in the pro space in a few years because its new clean architecture will allow for faster innovation than the competitors. There are lots of ways this may shake out, and it's Apple's right to make the decision as to where it wants to send the product, just as it is Lucas' right to refuse to release a set of Star Wars movies which he would be dissatisfied with.

This attitude of entitlement is no more appealing in movie creators than it is in movie consumers.

Thats the rub, I'm more than just a consumer and no one is disputing Apple's right to change any product they own, this is not about some artistic choice, but a financial one based on customer relations (do you even earn a living editing or freelance?) The years Apple sought courting this industry has resulted in quite a few FCP seats at the table of profits, in ether new or old media, most anyone with skill and drive and could ante in & play for pay and yes their is a type of entitlement of the people in this industry, so that doesn't bother me as much as the Star Wars analogy... (sigh)

No one outside the distribution chain lives or dies if Mr Lucas changes anything in his stories so I get the analogy but this is hardly a rant on artistic vision, but hard line business operations, you seem to forget that this, is what it's all about "HOW DO WE PROCEED WITH APPLE FROM HERE?"

It's not that we own the product, but are the users of said product, that is the intent of it's existence for use by persons that require the product, it's a relationship between the provider and end user - not a one way transaction.

All I want @ this point from Apple is the cutesy of declaring what are it's intentions for remaining in this niche market or not, I have to have trust in the vendors that provide the tools that I make a living with and dictates as to how the product will be suitable in use with little to no collaboration between the two is callous in the least, why do you defend such egregious behavior?

Again I don't worship a company or it's management, I will both praise them and criticize when appropriate, so sticking to the theme of industry productivity in the high end editing segment, they've intentionally soured that relationship. So by all means pursue the market that is more lucrative to the bottom line, I work that way as well - but state your intent, so all my make an informed decisions as to how best to serve the enterprise segment of entertainment...

A few years is quite a period in a fast changing industry, where bells & whistles are ask for by clients constantly. I learn new applications as soon as I determine a need, follow trends so as to better predict where I can make a profit and just like Apple whom depend on Intel who I'm sure lets them know what changes are coming to allow them to make decisions on what to offer consumers of their products (Desktops, iPads, Iphone etc...) no surprise that disrupt the enterprise thats why they left Motorola, whom were more enamored with game consoles than providing Apple with the chips they needed to get out product, so whats the difference when apple left out key functions (to keep it simple for non pros to use) and end of life FCPro 7 with no overlap or for a reasonable transition to or from the new FCP X.

No serious business is going to wait for apple to fully provide them the tools that are needed now not 2 or more years hence, investment in training and equipment is crucial to profit and market share to others as well as Apple. The environment that has grown around FCPro is lucrative although no longer for APPL, who see a vast sea of cult consumers, seriously it has become a cult for the less technically inquisitive, editors by our very nature are tech geeks, thats why we love(d) apple - they were the go to company, maybe no longer.

As a side note I chose the Droid because it was tweekable, I can do vastly more customization with it than iPhone, which was an aspect of previous versions of FCPro I loved, although Motorola is attempting to remove this from their newer devices (sigh - we know best-ism again).

So thats my lengthy retort Mr Cloudgazer, simply Apple is being disruptive to a multi-million dollar industry unnecessarily, I and quite a few more feel slighted and belittled by this action rom Apple, without a heads up to this change of course, ether way I would have been disappointed, but the discourse would have emphasized where and how to proceed from here and with what new industry standard going forward.
post #198 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNo View Post

So thats my lengthy retort Mr Cloudgazer, simply Apple is being disruptive to a multi-million dollar industry unnecessarily, I and quite a few more feel slighted and belittled by this action rom Apple, without a heads up to this change of course, ether way I would have been disappointed, but the discourse would have emphasized where and how to proceed from here and with what new industry standard going forward.

After the hundred-word run-on sentences we get to this. You feel belittled and slighted. Apple didn't consult you, it treated you like a consumer and you are not a consumer. How dare a vendor treat you with such disrespect?

Apple was never your vendor, if it had been then you would have a contract with them guaranteeing service levels, support and product life going out many years. You would have source-code-escrow agreements that would come into force if they demised the product with no upgrade path. If you want to see what enterprise level vendor agreements look like take a gander over at the HP/Oracle spat right now.

Back when you were first buying FCP you could have demanded such a contract, you could have demanded that Apple use a source code escrow agent. You could have demanded continuity of features. Why didn't you? Because Apple would have refused of course, and besides you never truly had a client/vendor relationship with them, you had a consumer/creator relationship.

Why would Apple have refused? Because it was never and has never been interested in being that kind of client lead vendor. Stanley99 posted two articles that make this very clear - if you didn't read them, I strongly suggest you do.

You felt Apple owed you something that Apple had never promised, much as Lucas' fans felt that he owed them. I'm sorry that it upsets you but the analogy holds.
post #199 of 203
Ran across a post in the comments on an Ars story that mirrors my thoughts on all this (the article is here, if you're interested, and grapples with the "is Apple abandoning the pros" question):

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I've sat and had dinner w/ guys from the FCP Engineering team, and they love RED, and they love DPX, because they love indie film makers. They dont give a hoot about CNN tho, or CBS, WB, or any of the big 'industrial' users of FCP. Film editing snobs can go off about how many Oscar winning editors use AVID, it's true, mostly because those guys are old and see no reason to learn anything new - why should they, good editors focus on story not tech - but down in the reality TV trenches, at local news stations all over the country, and other media generating organisations all over the world, FCP and FCP + XSan had given AVID and it's over-priced Isis quite a run for it's money of the last few years.


and

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So lets be clear here - the focus is on the stand alone systems now, the boutique operators, etc. Apple doesn't believe that 'Big Media' is all that relevant anymore, they see it as an industry in decline and not worth their time or attention. It's all about empowering Users over Organisations.

I think this is right on the money, and is in line with my thought posted elsewhere that Apple is rethinking what we mean by "pro." That rethinking, of course, mightily offends our current pros, because they have many years and a lot of money tied up in a workflow based on industry norms. To that user, Apple's apparent efforts to democratize media creation are simply a kind of dumbing down that opens the door to a lot of half-assed amateurs who think all they need to do to be "media professionals" is invest in a bit of hardware and software.

But the thing is that there's always been really creative, talented, skilled folk who don't necessarily want to work in a pro environment--- who don't want to make a living cutting toilet paper commercials, say, or taking a seat in a 20 editor reality tv project.

Now of course getting paid in a competitive field that requires a specific skill set is the customary way of judging who is and who is not a pro. But it isn't necessarily a good way of judging who is and who is not talented, who has a story to tell, who has a vision, and who could run with powerful tools if they were within their means.

It's pretty telling that the big lapses of FCP X are all about multi-user workflow, client handholding and legacy projects. Those are all artifacts of a certain way of "doing business", and as the OP in the Ars comments points out, Apple has never seemed that interested in specifically catering to that particular arrangement. They've always seen themselves as empowering users, not systems.

It's easy for someone who makes a living using specific tools to belittle some kid with a laptop who thinks they can get into Sundance with some poorly lit mumblecore semi-improvised hack job, but once upon a time some of the best, most enduring pieces of world cinema were made by small crews and cut by individuals working on a Moviola with maybe an assistant or two. "File management" meant knowing where the clips were, out of the thousands of physical bits of film stashed all around the editing room.

I have nothing against the folks working in the trenches to churn out episodes of "Amercia's Stupidest Pets", some of whom may be deeply affected by Apple's decisions. And I certainly have nothing against the big feature cutters that won't be able to use FCP X in the standard industry workflow.

But I am interested in seeing what a bunch of inspired, dedicated, creative outsiders can do with a laptop and an HD camera. And I do wonder if people at Apple don't truly believe that "big media" is an economically unsustainable dinosaur that will increasingly concentrate production into a handful of practitioners with a cost structure that makes no sense for 99% of the market.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #200 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Apple's apparent efforts to democratize media creation...

But the thing is that there's always been really creative, talented, skilled folk who don't necessarily want to work in a pro environment.

It's pretty telling that the big lapses of FCP X are all about multi-user workflow, client handholding and legacy projects.

They've always seen themselves as empowering users, not systems.

I am interested in seeing what a bunch of inspired, dedicated, creative outsiders can do with a laptop and an HD camera. And I do wonder if people at Apple don't truly believe that "big media" is an economically unsustainable dinosaur that will increasingly concentrate production into a handful of practitioners with a cost structure that makes no sense for 99% of the market.

I think deconstructing Apple's motivations here is reading too far between the fuzzy lines. Software can be designed to cater for everyone - there doesn't have to be mutually exclusive groups.

Final Cut Pro was not an exclusive piece of software. If you wanted to do a home movie, there was nothing stopping you besides the poor UI design, high price, bugs and poor input format support. Remember the current price point is Final Cut Express, which was built exactly like Final Cut Pro.

Who was Final Cut Express aimed at? Pros suffering in the economy or who didn't like having so many features?

I don't buy the angle of them catering to the starving, lonely artists just trying to make it. Why would you design software with the intention of keeping those artists isolated and never being able to collaborate with other artists like VFX artists, sound artists etc? Apple should understand that you don't make a band out of just Lennon, you need McCartney and George too. Ringo you can add in later but the strongest creativity comes from collaboration no matter how big or small the outfit because you impose standards on each other.

Collaboration means that faceless, soulless corporations can use the product and deliver manufactured art as well as the few who have passion about what they do and live their art instead of just making a living from it and all of them can work together. Isolating people into a group that is not respected by high budget communities helps no one. The talented lone musicians who mix something on their iPad and drop it into Final Cut X and need the audio reworked at a sound studio because they can't afford to buy that equipment themselves only to find out they can't without OMF export meets with an unnecessary barrier.

To make a good product for prosumers, you don't have to make a prosumer product. You can make the highest-end product you can imagine - you just make sure it's accessible to everyone. When Apple adds in XML support or multi-cam is it going to suddenly become too difficult to use?

If Final Cut Pro X reaches feature parity with Final Cut Pro, will it become too difficult for people to use? No, of course not, so why was Final Cut Pro 7? It wasn't anything to do with features or collaborative design. It was just the high price, the bad UI, the bugs etc. Nobody likes those things no matter what pay-grade you are on.

You shouldn't need to be a consumer to get decent format support and a simple, intuitive UI and you shouldn't need to pay $1000 to get collaborative features. The best software design has a simple UI, a flexible, powerful architecture and an accessible price point. Same applies to hardware.

Maybe it's wishful thinking but Final Cut Pro X is only missing some aspects of the flexibility and a good deal of those will be covered by the API, including legacy project migration.
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