Apple scaling Final Cut Studio apps to fit prosumers

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Apple's Final Cut Studio suite of video post production apps is getting a significant makeover to better target the software to the mainstream of Apple's customer base rather than high end professionals.



According to a person with knowledge of Apple's internal Pro Apps plans, the company has shuffled around management within the Final Cut team in order to retarget its efforts to more closely match the needs of the majority of its customers. Apple's Mac customer base has steadily shifted from desktop models to notebooks, while also broadening out from a high end creative niche to a wider installed base that includes more prosumer and advanced home users.



Apple originally purchased the origins of Final Cut from Macromedia, as part of a Pro Apps strategy intended to make the Mac platform attractive to high end creative professionals. After rapidly evolving to become one of the top desktop video editing suites, the pace of Final Cut Studio development has slowed, leaving some users questing Apple's commitment to its Pro Apps now that desktop Macs make up an ever smaller segment of the Mac OS X business that is itself now being eclipsed by the company's wildly successful iPhone OS mobile devices.



Where to next, Final Cut Pro?



Apple released the current, third major revision of Final Cut Studio last summer. It includes Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, Compressor 3.5, and DVD Studio Pro 4. None of the apps in the suite currently support 64-bit operation on the company's Intel Macs, however.



That curious omission, together with recent rumors of layoffs surrounding the Final Cut team, has left Apple's Pro App customers wondering what the company has on its road map for the future of Final Cut Studio.



In 2007, Final Cut Pro's original lead developer, Randy Ubillos, completely redesigned iMovie '08 to streamline and simplify the iLife title. The changes prompted criticism from existing iMovie users, as the new app didn't do everything the previous versions did. Last January, Apple released an enhanced iMovie '09 version that addressed many of those missing elements in the new app.



The Final Cut Pro team has since been put back under the direction of Ubillos, according to information AppleInsider has obtained, with the aim of similarly improving Final Cut Studio and making it more appealing and useful to the needs of prosumers. Currently, Final Cut Pro is targeted at advanced professionals with a scaled down, less expensive Final Cut Express version sold to users who don't need all of its high end features. Because Apple now primarily sells the Express version, the company wants to rethink Final Cut Studio and scale its overall development to better fit the majority of its customers.



Apple hiring interface designers for new Pro Apps



The layoffs related to Apple's Pro Apps team do not spell the end of the company's interest in building Pro Apps, according to new job postings Apple recently posted. The positions, which include a Senior Visual Interface Designer for Pro Apps and a Senior Human Interface Designer for Pro Apps, support the idea that the company is looking to overhaul its Final Cut Pro offerings rather than sell them off or leave them to rust.



The listing for a human interface designer states "Apple?s Professional Applications Design Group is seeking a passionate senior human Interface designer who also understands the intricacies of non-linear video editing."



It also notes that "the candidate will work closely with all designers, producers and engineers to design the future of Pro Apps; high-visibility applications that are used daily by creative professionals working in post-production (examples include Final Cut Pro, Motion and Soundtrack Pro)."



The visual interface designer posting says the position "is a key player in determining the future design language of Apple?s Pro Apps (including Final Cut Pro, Color, Soundtrack and others). We are looking for a visionary designer who is ready to and capable of setting the bar for UI design."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    As a customer I love this idea.



    As a stockholder I love and hate this idea.
  • Reply 2 of 104
    The only thing keeping me from using Final Cut Studio is the cost and the complexity.



    Final Cut Express offers me a good amount of power but I love the way things are done in iMovie '09 and so I find myself working between the two all the time.



    However, if the cost of Final Cut Studio was reduced by another thousand and gained editing features of iMovie then I would switch in a heartbeat.
  • Reply 3 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post


    Cut Express offers me a good amount of power but I love the way things are done in iMovie '09 and so I find myself working between the two all the time.



    However, if the cost of Final Cut Studio was reduced by another thousand and gained editing features of iMovie then I would switch in a heartbeat.



    With the price of Final Cut Studio at $1,000, I suspect that a lot of people would purchase the program if it were $1,000 cheaper.:-)
  • Reply 4 of 104
    Please Apple, make an Illustrator-killer! Please!
  • Reply 5 of 104
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    This sounds like a huge waste of time and resources for Apple...
  • Reply 6 of 104
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meridian180 View Post


    Please Apple, make an Illustrator-killer! Please!



    Never going to happen... Pro level apps (for professionals) are on their way out it sounds...
  • Reply 7 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sportyguy209 View Post


    With the price of Final Cut Studio at $1,000, I suspect that a lot of people would purchase the program if it were $1,000 cheaper.:-)



    Sorry, I forgot to put NZ at the end. Here in New Zealand Final Cut retails for $1999(NZ). It's easier for me to get $1000 than $2000.
  • Reply 8 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Never going to happen... Pro level apps (for professionals) are on their way out it sounds...



    Someone read the article well didn't they?
  • Reply 9 of 104
    nlcardsnlcards Posts: 4member
    As a professional that uses Final Cut Studio on an every day basis, this souds awful. I don't disagree that the suite could use some redesign, but to "dumb down" Final Cut to be more like iMovie would be a slap in the face to editors everywhere.



    I can't see this happening.
  • Reply 10 of 104
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    This sounds like a huge waste of time and resources for Apple...



    I disagree completely.

    iMovie is too weak to do anything meaningful and Final Cut Express scares the crap out of people.

    If Apple can design an easy to use GUI that doesn't require days of tutorials to figure out, I think they will have a winner.

    I've tried to get several people on to FCE and their experience usually lasts 5 seconds - they find it too daunting.



    Look at the excellent GUI for the iWork apps... once you learn one, you pretty much know how to use them all. If Apple can achieve the same workflow with video and music editing... It's a big boost to their ecosystem - resulting in more sales.
  • Reply 11 of 104
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NLCards View Post


    As a professional that uses Final Cut Studio on an every day basis, this souds awful. I don't disagree that the suite could use some redesign, but to "dumb down" Final Cut to be more like iMovie would be a slap in the face to editors everywhere.



    I can't see this happening.



    Sounded more like they want to smarten up Express than dumb down Pro.
  • Reply 12 of 104
    laleslales Posts: 31member
    Didn't anyone read the last few sentences? Such as new ProApp designers being hired?
  • Reply 13 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Never going to happen... Pro level apps (for professionals) are on their way out it sounds...



    Except they are looking to rework tools for the masses of the people. Something that's accessible to more people. Something that works.



    For me and my work, AI (as example of a "pro" app) is weak compared to Freehand. And it stands as an example of how Adobe lets a product get stagnant. So I don't consider Illustrator as "pro" as Freehand.



    I was merely suggesting they make an vector app that's accessible to more people and will drive the forces of competition. If Apple chose to put their force behind an app that would fit into their existing media creation tools, and their plans for things like iAd and the App Store, I think they could have something pretty good.



    They already have still photo, video, and audio creation. And with the current up-swelling of Adobe-angst, why not show off what Apple can do.
  • Reply 14 of 104
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rain View Post


    I disagree completely.

    iMovie is too weak to do anything meaningful and Final Cut Express scares the crap out of people.

    If Apple can design an easy to use GUI that doesn't require days of tutorials to figure out, I think they will have a winner.

    I've tried to get several people on to FCE and their experience usually lasts 5 seconds - they find it too daunting.



    Look at the excellent GUI for the iWork apps... once you learn one, you pretty much know how to use them all. If Apple can achieve the same workflow with video and music editing... It's a big boost to their ecosystem - resulting in more sales.



    You can't take complex professional level applications that are use to create professional and complex content and dumb it down and not lose functionality.



    You cited iWork as as an example... Look at the newest version of Page and compare it to version 1.0. It much more complex in terms of looks and functionality. It will continue to gain complexity if Apple is ever serious to unseat Office at the business level...



    There is no way that Apple can dumb down Final Cut Pro enough to make tutorial free and not lose major functionality...
  • Reply 15 of 104
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    This is bull$hit! And downright insult to all the editors out there who uses it. I'm not against redesigning the interface (sure it could use a little more Apple beautification and simplicity as far as design) but to dumb it down is just down right stupid.



    If Apple wants consumer friendly they need to further develop Final Cut Express...



    There's a reason I switched from Avid to Final Cut and so did a lot of editors and filmmakers. It's easier and cheaper.
  • Reply 16 of 104
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post


    The only thing keeping me from using Final Cut Studio is the cost and the complexity.



    Final Cut Express offers me a good amount of power but I love the way things are done in iMovie '09 and so I find myself working between the two all the time.



    However, if the cost of Final Cut Studio was reduced by another thousand and gained editing features of iMovie then I would switch in a heartbeat.



    I am fine with FCS the way it is (although I do miss Shake) aside from the lack of 64 bit but I know a lot of folks that feel the same as you



    on the professional side many of these folks would love to see all the individual apps rolled into essentially one master app with Shake bought back into the fold.



    on the more 'hobby' side, a scaled down version that is something around halfway between imovie and FCS, with at least some of the compression etc stuff.



    I know a lot of folks that would love to see DVD studio support Blu-ray mapping (even just with 3rd party externals) and would love to see the itunes Extras brought into the studio (same with LP and Logic)
  • Reply 17 of 104
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,100member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Never going to happen... Pro level apps (for professionals) are on their way out it sounds...



    I don't know how you misconstrue Professional Non-linear Editing tools being redesigned to find a broad sweet spot with pro tools are on their way out and thus Illustrator won't happen.



    Sorry, but Illustrator isn't Final Cut Pro Studio. It never has been.



    Non-destructive editing tools aren't on their way out. Apple is going to force Adobe's hand I think with tools that cover about 85% of all needs and the 15% not being covered will spawn a 3rd party market to work as sister applications to their suite.
  • Reply 18 of 104
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    This is bull$hit! And downright insult to all the editors out there who uses it. I'm not against redesigning the interface (sure it could use a little more Apple beautification and simplicity as far as design) but to dumb it down is just down right stupid.



    If Apple wants consumer friendly they need to further develop Final Cut Express...



    how do we know that this isn't exactly what they are doing. creating a new FCE. or even dropping that program and revamping imovie to be the replacement. easier interface but more vavoom under the hood. better, more FCS like, tools, the ability to have plugins etc.



    perhaps they will do this across the board with all of ilife. I know a lot of folks are surprised that iweb isn't all HTML5 friendly and figure that is the next step there. with perhaps better tools for adding code snippets and being able to make freeform sites and save them as your own template.

    add more editing tools to iphoto etc.
  • Reply 19 of 104
    rmm221rmm221 Posts: 29member
    I fall into the category of Apple enthusiast and PROFESSIONAL film/television editor. So, it saddens me that Apple appears to be allowing their high-end PRO market to languish. I learned non-linear editing back in college 10+ years ago cutting on Final Cut Pro 1.0... I loved the simplicity and power of the program. I got my first job in Hollywood 3 years later and convinced the company to invest in and install Final Cut Pro systems, because of it's low-cost and the fact that I was cheap labor (at the time) and already knew the program well. I remember it had it's multitude of problems... Dropping frames during layoffs of tapes and non-conforming speed ramps properly when onlining being the worst culprits. (Problems that kept me at work until 3am countless times) All of which I found work-arounds for eventually... With each new release of Final Cut I hoped they'd address some underlying issues of Final Cut like the terrible media management system and in-ability to share projects with multiple users.



    But to my dismay... none of these issues were resolved by Apple. I got a job offer 4 years ago at a company looking for an AVID editor... I knew some AVID, but at the time felt more comfortable with Final Cut... Now 4 years later.. I'm glad I made the switch. There are still things I like about both systems... But Avid appears to be adopting a lot of the cool things Final Cut Pro allowed you to do. So as a Professional... I must say I won't entirely miss FCP Pro. I'm glad I know both fluently... But now I know where to focus my energy if i want to continue to make money as a editor in Hollywood.
  • Reply 20 of 104
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sportyguy209 View Post


    With the price of Final Cut Studio at $1,000, I suspect that a lot of people would purchase the program if it were $1,000 cheaper.:-)



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post


    The only thing keeping me from using Final Cut Studio is the cost and the complexity.



    Final Cut Express offers me a good amount of power but I love the way things are done in iMovie '09 and so I find myself working between the two all the time.



    However, if the cost of Final Cut Studio was reduced by another thousand and gained editing features of iMovie then I would switch in a heartbeat.



    ARE YOU SERIOUS?

    A lot of editors and filmmakers switched to Final Cut because it's cheaper. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH AN AVID SYSTEM COSTS? You got an editing software (almost up to par with Avid), color grading, motion graphics, audio editing, packaged together for a $1000, that is bargain dude.
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