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Macworld: Avid to launch Intel Mac open beta program

post #1 of 38
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Avid Technology, Inc., a software developer specializing in video and audio production technology, is expected to announce next week an open beta program that will offer customers a sneak peek at several of its Intel-based Mac applications under development.

People familiar with the matter say the program will initially be available only to Avid contract customers that hold licenses to the current version of programs, such as Avid Xpress Pro, Avid Media Composer and Avid Media Composer Adrenaline.

Avid customers that are not current with their software licenses will be unable to run the new beta software until they update their customer dongle by purchasing the necessary version upgrades, those people say.

"We expect to release a new Avid Open Beta program on Monday January 8, [2007] as our way of giving our Macintosh customers a first look at the exciting new software in development before it is released," Avid reportedly told a select group of customers an an e-mail communication this week.

The company added that the beta program "is specifically for use on Apple?s new Intel-based Mac systems."

Avid had originally anticipated delivering native versions of its industry-standard Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer nonlinear video editing solutions for Apple's new Intel Macs by December.

Although the Tewksbury, Mass.-based company demonstrated betas of those applications running on Apple's new Mac Pro workstations at the DV Expo this past November, it has yet to offer any update regarding public availability of the software.

Avid, which is not listed among the exhibitors at next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Calif., is expected to issue an FAQ and additional details on system requirements for the beta program on Monday.
post #2 of 38
I guess it's now relatively "easy" to port a program to an Intel Mac. Very nice, I've been looking forward to trying out Avid for some time but haven't gotten around to it.
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post #3 of 38
Quote:
"We expect to release a new Avid Open Beta program on Monday January 8, 2006 as our way of giving our Macintosh customers a first look at the exciting new software in development before it is released," Avid reportedly told a select group of customers an an e-mail communication this week.

See, Beta is just a new Marketing Term that allows you to push unifinished products out faster, and give everyone the rest of it when it's done.

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post #4 of 38
There is some truth to this but the bigger picture is software developers are coming back to the Mac platform. A very good sign.
post #5 of 38
While true, a lot of them appear to be planning on forgoing PowerPC versions of their programs. I still see bloggers in some fantasy land where Apple could switch back to PowerPC if they wanted to. All these new Intel-only offers pretty much have cemented Macintel as the only option for the indefinite future.
post #6 of 38
I'm not a programmer, but I don't understand why these new releases aren't universal. There are still a lot of PPC Macs out there.
post #7 of 38
It's official, Clint Eastwood will be at Macworld.
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post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm not a programmer, but I don't understand why these new releases aren't universal. There are still a lot of PPC Macs out there.

No more PowerPC Macs are going to be made. When the original apps are already Intel-only, why bother spending all that time porting your program over to PowerPC when you have all of this prewritten code for Intel?
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post #9 of 38
I predict that Avid will pull from the Apple market within a year. I can't recall, but isn't the next generation Motion due next Spring-- an expected huge leap forward? FCP will be, too.

Avid is bye-bye.
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post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm not a programmer, but I don't understand why these new releases aren't universal. There are still a lot of PPC Macs out there.

Even though Apple's developer kits will allow you to compile for both x86 and PPC, there is still a good deal of tweaking that can be done to increase the performace of an app. This is especially true for these mammoth CPU, RAM, and GPU hunfry apps, like CS3 and Avid.

Even Apple releases PPC only and Intel only updates.

Also, I assume these expensive, A/V apps are typically used by professionals with the latest hardware, so these companies are better off putting their resources into making a more stable and faster product on one platform than spreading them over two.

My two cents.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Insider

"We expect to release a new Avid Open Beta program on Monday January 8, 2006 as our way of giving our Macintosh customers a first look at the exciting new software in development before it is released," Avid reportedly told a select group of customers an an e-mail communication this week.

Error.
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post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by halo1982 View Post

No more PowerPC Macs are going to be made. When the original apps are already Intel-only, why bother spending all that time porting your program over to PowerPC when you have all of this prewritten code for Intel?

Still, right now, there are still about 4x as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Still, right now, there are still about 4x as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs.

I'm not sure that number is completely accurate, but regardless; the target market for Avid products is not going to think twice about purchasing Mac Pros to run the software and would greatly value the increased performance.
post #13 of 38
That is true about a lot of Mac Pros being sold soon. Our facility has 5 Avid systems and we do not have one Intel Mac yet. Why? No native Avid products and no native Photoshop (except for the new PS beta.) It is very much a chicken or egg problem in this case.

This beta is great news and a different move for Avid. They have not had an open beta program before to my knowledge. They have been working on this release for a long time and no one can complain too much for Avid shipping a solid product. The ship date has been pushed back many times, so this news is far better than another possible release date.

Also, I don't think Avid will be pulling out of the Mac platform anytime soon. Why would they put so much effort into the Intel shift? If they were going to drop, it would have been about 2 years ago when they were not doing much with the Mac and they were not in parity with the Windows version relaeses. The Apple competition (and soon to be Adobe Premeir Pro competition) is good news because it pushes all of the companies to do their best. It is great when the consumer is able to actually benefit from capitalism.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksbrain View Post

I predict that Avid will pull from the Apple market within a year. I can't recall, but isn't the next generation Motion due next Spring-- an expected huge leap forward? FCP will be, too.

Avid is bye-bye.

post #15 of 38
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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksbrain View Post

I predict that Avid will pull from the Apple market within a year. I can't recall, but isn't the next generation Motion due next Spring-- an expected huge leap forward? FCP will be, too.

Avid is bye-bye.

Let me guess, a Mac User who thinks that Apple is better off making ALL of the software, so any products that Apple makes will immediatly kill their competition in whatever market they enter, for the Mac?

Shake's replacement, based on Motion's codebase is due next spring. I believe a new version of FCP is due this year? I'm not familar with it's release cycle.. regardless, Avid is here to stay, and Premiere as well.

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post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm not a programmer, but I don't understand why these new releases aren't universal. There are still a lot of PPC Macs out there.

While it might seem to make sense to make universal upgrades to all programs, that is just not the case.

In areas where performance is relatively unimportant, that might be true. But, when performance is paramount, it isn't true.

It's already been determined that Intel Macs are much faster at rendering than even the older G5 Quad. A 3 Gz Mac Pro is at least 50% faster, and is competitive with comparable machines from Dell, and others, while the Quad isn't. That's just the fact. If Apple comes out with an 8 core machine, and if these programs will properly be able to utilize them, which they likely will, then there is simply no way anyone would stick with a PPC machine.

No way!

As rendering speed is almost the only measurement that video editors are concerned about for their workstations, making these programs universal would be a waste of time, and money.

Apple must make their own programs universal for obvious reasons, but other software houses aren't under the same constraints.

As new editing programs come out, new Intel machines will be bought to run them. The price of a new machine is not a major cost factor for professionals, or editing houses. They buy new, faster, machines on a regular basis anyway.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksbrain View Post

I predict that Avid will pull from the Apple market within a year. I can't recall, but isn't the next generation Motion due next Spring-- an expected huge leap forward? FCP will be, too.

Avid is bye-bye.

I can't imagine where you get that idea from, but it absolutely will not happen. They tried that before, when Apple's fortunes were dropping steadily.

Avid went chapter 11 because of it. They fired their entire management team, reorganized the company, and brought back all of the programs they had either stopped making for the Mac, or had never made for the Mac.

With Apple's fortunes now rising, we will see a big shift BACK to the Mac. Avid will be there to benefit from it.
post #19 of 38
Let's understand something here. Avid Express Pro is the ONLY program from Avid that the FCP Suite competes with.

The only one.

The rest of Avid's offerings are way above FCP's abilities. Apple simply doesn't compete in that space.

Will they? Maybe. Video editing is one of the few places where a newcomer can get a solid toehold in, if they have a better solution.

But, even then, it wouldn't be easy for Apple.

And Avid Express Pro has kept up with FCP, and competes well, even though FCP does sell more copies.

I know there are some chauvinistic people here who can't imagine that anything done by any other company than Apple could be good.

But, that would be wrong.
post #20 of 38
The points that you (mel) and solipsism have brought up make sense. No doubt that the future is Intel and perhaps PPC fades out a bit quicker than many expect.
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Still, right now, there are still about 4x as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs.

By the end of 2007 there will only be 2X as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs
By the end of 2008 there will only be as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs

Also folks who are running high end systems are always looking for the latest and greatest systems.
So are they going to stick with the dual G5 or 8-core Intel solution?
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Avid went chapter 11 because of it. They fired their entire management team, reorganized the company, and brought back all of the programs they had either stopped making for the Mac, or had never made for the Mac.

I've never heard of this? When did they go bankrupt?
post #23 of 38
The only Avid app that I as a home user am interested in seeing come back to the Mac is Avid Cinema, a fine digital video editing program that came pre-installed on some Macs in the pre-iMovie days years ago. It had some features I still miss.
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post #24 of 38
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post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kickit982 View Post

I've never heard of this? When did they go bankrupt?

I don't remember exactly when.

I looked it up in Wickipedia, but, as usual, the information is woefully imcomplete (much more serious with their defs then the errors that creep in).

The first 10 Google pages have nothing useful either.

NASDAQ had charts going back ten years. According to that, it could have been around 2001.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

By the end of 2007 there will only be 2X as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs
By the end of 2008 there will only be as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs

Also folks who are running high end systems are always looking for the latest and greatest systems.
So are they going to stick with the dual G5 or 8-core Intel solution?

Ok, back to this.

It doesn't really matter what the ratio is. What matters, is which machines will be used.

No current high end Avid solution will work on any Mac other than the Powermacs. So it doesn't matter how many Mini's, Powerbooks, iBooks, iMacs, MacBooks, or MacBook Pros there are out there.

The only one that will run on another Mac is Express. That is their lowest end solution.

Right now, the ratio between the Powermac and the Mac Pro is probably 100 to 1. Possibly even greater.

But in the Avid market it's infinity (damn, the symbol doesn't work here. Fix that guys!). No current Mac Avid user uses an Intel Mac Pro!

But, it doesn't matter.

For the reasons I gave above, earlier, Avid customers will be buying Intel Mac Pros to run these (high end) programs. They will have to, because the programs will only run on them. And, they will want to, because of the major performance increase.

They will want to run Express on an Intel machine as well, for the same reason.

It's that simple.

Ratios don't mean a thing. They will change soon enough.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Still, right now, there are still about 4x as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs.

And that ratio is shrinking every day. Also, this is a beta and by the time the final version ships, there will be more intel use and less PPC. If something already runs on PPC, it makes sense to keep it, but it probably only makes sense to support PPC if doing so is relatively simple.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Still, right now, there are still about 4x as many PPC Macs than there are Intel Macs.

I just heard that tomorrow, Jobs will announce that Leopard will be Intel only and Apple will unleash a campaign to get people to upgrade they systems by announcing that anyone still using PPCs is a "poppie head".

I don't make this stuff up, I just pass it on.
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post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm not a programmer, but I don't understand why these new releases aren't universal. There are still a lot of PPC Macs out there.

The biggest misconception is that if there are xxx million or YYY times more of one product, that's the market you hit. The reality is that you want to target your products at people who are going to BUY them. There still could be 5 million non-OS X users out there; however, my guess is that VERY few are buying any new products. There are a lot of PPC users out there; however, my guess is that since they haven't upgraded to an Intel box, they also aren't actively updating their software (as a general rule). The Intel users have already proven that they'll pay for something new; THEY are most likely to buy something new. I have seen stats from some vendors (via their programmers) for OSes -- if their installed base is 80% OS 10.3 and 20% OS 10.4, 90 % of their upgrades are sold to the 10.4 customers.

So it could very well be that from Avid's perspective, 90% of their (Mac) customer base is PPC; howver, they expect to sell 90% of their products to Intel customers. Many customers are waiting to switch to Mac Pros until Avid switches, so although they currently own a PPC machine, they'll upgrade along with Avid to an Intel machine. Given that % and that they may already have optimizations for Intel on their Windows side that they can now move over, an Intel-only version takes less resources to make. With a high end product like Avid, optimizations/making it fast is (probably) an important part of their development process.

All that said, it usually isn't too much of a big deal to keep PPC around (as universal). Not reading things too carefully, maybe the BETA is being released Intel-only (for the above reasons), but the final product might be universal? They might be testing the waters on this
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Let's understand something here. Avid Express Pro is the ONLY program from Avid that the FCP Suite competes with.

The only one.

The rest of Avid's offerings are way above FCP's abilities. Apple simply doesn't compete in that space.

Will they? Maybe. Video editing is one of the few places where a newcomer can get a solid toehold in, if they have a better solution.

But, even then, it wouldn't be easy for Apple.

And Avid Express Pro has kept up with FCP, and competes well, even though FCP does sell more copies.

I know there are some chauvinistic people here who can't imagine that anything done by any other company than Apple could be good.

But, that would be wrong.

You're pretty much right; but even Avid Express is still better than FCP, and for many reasons. For one, Avid is much more efficient, because you can do everything on the keyboard, without having to fuss with your mouse all the time. Secondly, while the cost is a real bitch, the add-on hardware can really help.

For the money, FCP is certainly the best solution, which is why it is the software of choice for most indie films. But when you've got deadlines to meet, and people to impress, it's all about Avid. I'm very excited to hear that it will finally be available for the Intel Macs; I was not looking forward to having to run it on Vista with the whole dual-booting thing, since it seems somewhat unstable on the HP's at my school.
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I just heard that tomorrow, Jobs will announce that Leopard will be Intel only and Apple will unleash a campaign to get people to upgrade they systems by announcing that anyone still using PPCs is a "poppie head".

Funny...but Jobs has already committed to Leopard for PPC. It's a done deal.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
I predict that Avid will pull from the Apple market within a year. I can't recall, but isn't the next generation Motion due next Spring-- an expected huge leap forward? FCP will be, too.

Avid sells around 60% of its high end professional products to Mac users. So no this will not happen.

Quote:
Avid went chapter 11 because of it. They fired their entire management team, reorganized the company, and brought back all of the programs they had either stopped making for the Mac, or had never made for the Mac.

I've never heard of this? When did they go bankrupt?

Mel is right Avid was in real trouble and had to restructure the company. Just in November it was reported that Pro Tools sales began to slow because they are not offering Intel software fast enough.
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Funny...but Jobs has already committed to Leopard for PPC. It's a done deal.

I think he was kidding.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdawson View Post

All that said, it usually isn't too much of a big deal to keep PPC around (as universal). Not reading things too carefully, maybe the BETA is being released Intel-only (for the above reasons), but the final product might be universal? They might be testing the waters on this…

It actually is a big deal. They would need almost double the programmers to upgrade the program. Then they have to keep the two versions synchronized.

Double the support, as personnel would have to know problems on both platforms, etc.

If a big part of the customer base could be expected to remain on the old platform for a while, it might pay, but they won't, so it doesn't.
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It actually is a big deal. They would need almost double the programmers to upgrade the program. Then they have to keep the two versions synchronized.

No they wouldn't.

Double the testing, sure. Maybe one or two additional programmers if they wished to keep someone around to target Altivec.
post #36 of 38
Now if only Logic Pro would have a major update.
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

No they wouldn't.

Double the testing, sure. Maybe one or two additional programmers if they wished to keep someone around to target Altivec.

No. The entire program has to be upgraded. That takes the full team. Moving to Intel takes more than the full team because they have to convert to X Code. After that, the Intel team could shrink, but the PPC team would have to remain the same.

If they decide that it is the last upgrade, then the PPC team could shrink to whatever it takes to do updates, support, etc. But not before the new version is out.

It also takes cooperation between the two teams to make sure they are coordinated. That takes additional personnel.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksbrain View Post

I predict that Avid will pull from the Apple market within a year. I can't recall, but isn't the next generation Motion due next Spring-- an expected huge leap forward? FCP will be, too.

Avid is bye-bye.

Ok first of all FCP is designed by programers, and avid is designed and made for hard core professional editors. FCP is for more of free lancing but when you start talking about broadcasting and movies, Avid will always be the domonate program FOREVER
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