Three items of note

Posted on by Larry

Some interesting news this morning.

FIRST

Apple has quietly notified developers that it is preparing to offer volume purchases for business customers via the App Store.

MacNN has more about this.

The significance of this is that volume purchases of Final Cut Pro will no longer be tied to individual iTunes accounts. This might also presage the arrival of volume pricing and distribution for educational customers.

SECOND

I’ve had emails or phone calls from three different resellers telling me that Apple has notified resellers that it is offering them a one-time, two-day opportunity to buy as many copies of Final Cut Studio (3) as they want.

While this is not the same as putting FCS (3) on the open market, it does mean that the product will be available from selected retailers for a while longer. If you need licenses, contact your favorite, non-Apple store reseller.

THIRD

A large number of Final Cut Pro editors are thinking about switching platforms. Last week, my podcast – the Digital Production Buzz – had a series of discussions on switching to Avid. (Details here.)

This week, we have the product manager for Premiere Pro on the show, along with a recent Final Cut Pro post house that switched to Premiere. (Details here.) If you are thinking about switching, listen to this show first.

Larry


22 Responses to Three items of note

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  1. Leo Hans says:

    @Nivardo Cavalcante

    It doesn’t yet. That’s the reason: yet

  2. Floris says:

    I’m going multi platform for now. Doing a large project in Final Cut Pro X… very nervous about it because if you hit a road block, you’re stuck on an island with nowhere else to go. I do hope the Lion update will be here soon with versioning (auto save versioning) support as well as some major bugfixes and hopefully some small improvements based on the feedback they have received from numerous editors.

  3. @Leo

    Three years of development and only after launch will take care of the video I / O? Someone left the phone off the hook in the development of FCP X. Why? For all that the Pro will come in a few weeks? This to me demonstrates a failure to provide the resources.

  4. Craig Seeman says:

    @Floris
    Please keep us(me?) updated and feel free to reach out for help if you’re in a quandary. The scary part about FCPX is that it’s so different that many issue one can run into might be entirely unanticipated.

    @Nivardo
    Unfortunately we don’t know whether FCPX is in a feature incomplete state because there was a lack of allocated resources or what Apple/Ubilos is attempting was very difficult . . . or some combination of the two.

    There’s the other issue regarding why Apple did not seem to be more open with third party developers. You’d think that they’d want a well supported App when released. This I simply can’t fathom as a business decision. Was there a concern that a the typical legal NDA was not sufficient and whether the consequences would be worse than releasing an App that is incompatible with everything that came before it.

    FCPX as a program I can appreciate and I like the direction it can take although I have no idea if it’ll actually take that direction.

    Apple’s decisions defy my understanding of business practices. Either there was a serious and prolonged management failure or they have some as of yet unseen moves that are concealed for the moment, which will bring this app to the market front.

    Given the rumored “Jobs reaction” I have a hunch some portion of management was not being watched and guided from higher up the chain. That in itself concerns me.

  5. Leo Hans says:

    @Nivardo

    We don’t know how close it has to be with Lion APIs and the 3rd parties plans from Apple.

    Apple has build up a very good video engine, a very good interface and new editing paradigm. Then FCPX is open enough waiting for 3rd parties collaboration.

    Take a look at the effects with the Motion 5 engine integrated in FCPX. A lot of custom effects are being developed by users (I made a few and posted in my blog).

    It was necessary to release the software to be tested in real projects. I am still working with FPC7 and Avid MC, but I am mirroring projects in FCPX (when I have time left for that).

    Let me say that I am impressed about the simplicity and the speed working and the fast and precise editing I can achieve in FCPX despite being new for me (not to mention the impressive software speed itself).

    Three years of developing that instead of an I/O driver? Yes, drivers can wait. We should wait too before taking an action like switching to another NLE.

    Building FCPX is way more complicated than OMF, EDL, XML and I/O. Yes, there are a lot of things to add in the near future, but they are nothing compared with the things they already has done for FCPX.

    If we don’t like the editing paradigm we can jump to another NLE. Regarding of that little important things we can wait for a few months because we may know well our professions, but Apple engineers know how to build up an application and how to add things in the correct order. I have no doubts on that.

  6. Pat (VET) says:

    If I were an FCP (legacy) owner I’d be having to decide to sit tight and see what Apple or 3rd party providers pull out of the bag in the next 12 months. If apple do it that would be great but lots of 3rd party add ons to make it work will be expensive and clunky (syncing updates and resolving issues!)
    Or I’d be taking advantage of the offers being made now to get on board another ship that I know is sailing in the right direction.
    But open source ligthworks I’m not sure about.
    Open source can be great it can also be dire and I wouldn’t want my job and earning potential tied to something so variable.
    Who do you chase with a bug or a problem with Open Source? Who’s responsible for problems? What if developers and contributers move on?

  7. Richard Coulombe says:

    On june 2, as and independent filmmaker, a proud owner of Final Cut Studio 1 and a long time proponent of Apple’s software and hardware, with several ongoing projects, I ordered an upgrade to Final Cut Studio 3, along with a set of printed documentation, as a precautionary measure to the upcoming release of Final Cut Pro X potential issues and all the uncertainty around the new application’s feature set, backward compatibility and .0 version software stability.

    At that time, I could have ordered it online from the Apple Store.

    I prefer encouraging local business here in Quebec city, Canada. So I ordered it from my local Apple retailer, the oldest in Quebec.

    I waited for the retailer’s phone call to go pick my goods. And I waited, and waited… Until, on july 8, I called the retailer to be informed that Apple had simply cancelled my order on june 21. The retailer did not relay the news to me for two full weeks. Do I need to say that made me very angry?

    The retail store’s buyer first told me over the phone to upgrade to FCP X from Apple’s App store. I explained that the feature set of FCP X didn’t meet my projects’ requirements and that I couldn’t import my existing FCP projects in FCP X even if I wanted to.

    She then wryly offered me a full FCS 3 seat she had in stock… for 999.95 $. This made me outright furious. After some arguing, She offered to send an email to Apple to request a Final Cut Studio 3 upgrade and to put me in CC. But I never got a copy of such an email from the retailer or from Apple.

    The next day, I met with the authorized Apple retail store manager. He explained to me that he had little or no influence whatsoever over Apple cancelling customers’ orders, that this was quite frequent on the part of Apple and that they couldn’t do anything about it.

    I offered to buy the full license of FCS 3 they had in stock for the price of the upgrade and the documentation Apple had cancelled. He told me that the meager profit (6% according tho him) he made from the 5,000 $ in equipment I had bought from them over the last 3 years wouldn’t make up for his loss he if he did so. That he’d be better to return the FCS 3 box set to Apple to get a refund.

    I left the manager, disgusted at how him, his employees and Apple altogether had treated me as a customer.

    The same evening, I found a secondhand upgrade license for FCS 3 for the same price of 300 $ I would have paid to Apple. So my problem was then solved, thanks to some Web searching a little luck.

    But this was not the end of the story…

    On july 19, the buyer from the retailer store sent me an email to the effect that Apple finally had some copies of the FCS3 upgrade available and was willing to sell me one.

    My written response to the buyer was that she should have followed on closely with Apple in june, starting around june 9, about week after my order, thus ensuring I wouldn’t have had gone through all that trouble with them and with Apple. I also wrote I was no longer interested in buying the upgrade from Apple and that I was no longer interested in doing any business with the retailer ever.

    I will now have a very hard time recommending any Apple product to anybody. My thrust in Apple has been destroyed.

    Some people on the Web have been explaining over and over how clever Apple has been regarding the FCP X launch, letting go of a few thousand picky professional and replacing them with millions of new users, and also how existing FCS users had no choice to move on.

    As for myself, I will move on. My next editing suite will assuredly be one provided by Apple’s competition, since it seems Apple had figured by june 21 that it could do without me as a customer, and above all has proven not to be forthright and thrustworthy.

    I am wondering if Apple, even at this time, has any idea of the extent of the damage it inflicted upon itself and its business, and upon post-production houses and professionals, by displaying such a lousy attitude towards such a large group of power users of one of the best products it had ever put to market. Time will tell, and my take is that it will not be to Apple’s good in the long run.

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