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Activity Forums Creative Community Conversations Is the blindness that Apple showed in the FCPX release a portent of Apple’s future?

  • Ted Levy

    June 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    “……..Packard Bell, Compaq, Seagate, Quantum and many others, are gone…….”

    Seagate is far from gone. Still the same publicly-traded drive manufacturer it’s been for years. In fact, today:

  • Chris Kenny

    June 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    [Chris Harlan] “There is a committee feel to the software, where different divisions seem to have won out with different aspects of the software, creating something that is neither this nor that, but a glob of compromise to satisfy internal company needs. “

    Meanwhile other detractors are claiming it’s the singularly evil vision of the megalomaniacal Randy Ubillos.

    As far as I can tell, there is nothing about the initial release of FCP X which is not explained as follows: Apple was working on a shiny new media architecture and editing paradigm. They wanted to get an app based on it to market as soon as possible. Well, prosumers need X + Y. Pros need X + Y + Z. So, how do you get an app to market as soon as possible? Implement X + Y and ship. Then work on Z for a while. The full set of X + Y + Z will arrive for pros at essentially the same time, but you get to sell a bunch of copies of your app to prosumers in the meantime.

    The counter to this is to point to consumer-only features in FCP X and say “They spent time on this instead of that pro feature I wanted”. That could demonstrate that Apple has actually made decisions that required pros to wait longer, so consumers could get functionality sooner. Several people have made this argument. But the features they can point to, as far as I’ve seen, are either trivial, not as exclusively consumer-oriented as they’re claiming, or both.

    The “It’s because Jobs wasn’t there” theory makes no sense, because FCP X’s target market, and probably the list of features to implement before initially shipping, would have been established years ago. It’s not like FCP X was written in the last six months.

    Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

    You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.

  • Ts O’grady

    June 28, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    The consistency of the UI in FCP X is obvious. I think your committee argument is backwards. It’s actually FCS that looks like it was designed by committee, not FCP X, and for good reason – it was a mix of Apple bought and Apple developed software. In fact it was the mix of different UIs and inconsistant features that FCP editors wanted fixed in FCS.

  • Ts O’grady

    June 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Really? An Apple death knell? Really?
    It’s interesting to hear people claim that the pro market is unimportant to Apple, who would gladly give it up so it can make so much money with the prosumer market, while simultaneously elevating the status of the pro market to such an extent that ignoring it will mark the demise of Apple.

  • Scott Sheriff

    June 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    [Greg Burke] “But the problem is some “vets” who own there on houses look at it say “..Its a toy..” Thats what my boss called it when I was trying to show him what it did.”

    Back when I worked in broadcast, and not the guy that writes the check for the gear, some of us production guys were bending the GM’s ear at an after party. The subject of how our online bay used to be the best in town, but now was not came up.
    He put down his drink, and told us the job of the station was to make money. Not to acquire every piece of new equipment that hits the floor at NAB.
    This was coming from a guy that not only was the GM, but a partial owner, and a guy that wrote the checks.
    It was then I realized it was a lot easier to spend money that isn’t yours.

    Scott Sheriff

    I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
    You should be suitably impressed…

    “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” —Red Adair

  • David Johnson

    June 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    As far as I know, it’s not from an insider like Ron Brinkmann, but another one of the best evaluations of the situation I’ve read is this post from a fellow COW member:

    Both Ron Brinkmann’s blog and that COW post say basically the same things and both are spot on. As Ron Brinkmann, put it …

    “‘Doesn’t Apple care about the professional market?’ … In a word, no.”

    So, perhaps the question posed in the title of this post is based on a faulty premise …

    “Is the blindness that Apple showed in the FCPX release a portent of Apple’s future?”

    Perhaps the transformation of FCP is not at all blindness or accidental, but a calculated direction shift that has been in the works for many years. In other words, it’s not about Steve Job’s health … or battling factions within Apple … it’s about business/money. Having become more successful than ever by focusing all resources on the mass market instead of the tiny pro market, why would anyone expect Apple to care about the pro market once it had gotten what it needed from that market? What did it need? Simple – a boost up from oblivion that lasted long enough to develop and market hot consumer products that are selling by the millions. So, perhaps a cheap App Store download that perfectly complements those consumer market iDevices is not at all indicative of short-sightedness or Apple’s imminent demise … in fact, perhaps just the opposite. In other words, FCPX will sell like hotcakes … just not to the same people who were buying FCPS (once the give-it-a-try wishful thinking wears off). It’s just basic math – sell a few thousand $1000 products that require major recurring R&D investment; or, sell millions of $300 products that only require re-printing a version number on the box … oops, I forgot … no box either.

  • Mike Chedwick

    June 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    All successful companies founded and run by visionaries tend to decline when the one with the “Golden Touch” dies. Apple has been centered around a “Cult of Personality”. It is ripe for ruination.

  • Ts O’grady

    June 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    [David Johnson] “It’s just basic math – sell a few thousand $1000 products that require major recurring R&D investment; or, sell millions of $300 products that only require re-printing a version number on the box … oops, I forgot … no box either.”

    FCP has 2 million users and has always cost at least $1000. Do the basic math.

  • Chris Harlan

    June 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    David, the answer might be “no” but the fault isn’t the question. Even if you think FCPX is perfect and well focused–which I don’t–the release was grotesquely mishandled. If we can’t agree on at least that, then we won’t find any commonality at all.

    I certainly don’t disagree that Apple can make more on a consumer product than they can on a Pro product, but as zillions of others have pointed out–why not both? Or, at least, why not ease out of the Pro market in a less passive/aggressive fashion? That kind of behavior is not very good for business, especially when the PR department has been waving the “Pro” flag since Cold Mountain.

    And if you go back two years and start reading the leaks that were coming out of Apple you will find that it WAS very much about battling factions. The startling thing for me about X is that it seems to be a hodgepodge–a neither/nor. Its got a few really great pro features, and some very useful consumer features–but a huge gap in-between them. 4K but built in Facebook link. Smells like committee compromise to me.

  • Chris Harlan

    June 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Chris, Steve Jobs’ health has been a serious issue for Apple for the last 2.5 years, not just the last six months.

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