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Is Final Cut Pro X Apple's Biggest Mistake In Years?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the post-scully-era dept.

Media 443

Hugh Pickens writes "The latest version of Final Cut Pro, the widely used tool in the professional video editing world, was getting a reputation as the app that launched a thousand complaints, as the 955 reviewers and raters on iTunes collectively rated FCP as, 'Two and a half stars.' 45% of reviewers gave the software one star, the lowest rating possible, bestowing on the program the dubious honor of being the lowest-rated Apple software hosted by the company's digital store. Many complaints center around lost features. We used to be able to do this, and now we can't. You can't work with existing FCP Suite projects. There's no external video monitoring, no EDL imports, no backup application disk so good luck re-installing the software on the road without a good internet connection, and lots of unanswered questions about site licensing." Pickens continues: "'This was the product that completely built my company starting in 2000 / 2001 and now it's time for me to say goodbye,' writes Walter Biscardi. 'As I tell everyone else, if the tool isn't working for you, then find a tool that does.' But is this negative response just a very short-term response from editors who have gotten used to doing things the old way and don't want to change? Clearly, there are some amazing new features in FCP X. The 64-bit architecture means much better performance. The new tools such as the magnetic timeline, clip connections, compound clips, and audition seem like intuitive, great features. 'Great design, like great music, is almost always foreign at first, if not disturbingly strange,' writes David Leitner. 'You have to spend time with it. But if it is great, and if you invest your attention, it will change the way you look at the world.'"

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I thought that was the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571428)

Remember, Apple was doomed to failure? Oh, wait, maybe it was the iPad? No one wants a tablet when they can have a netbook... Oh wait..., uh...

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571552)

especially Linux netbooks - no consumers will want windows once they've seen ubuntu...

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (2, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571558)

..or .Mac, Mobile Me, Apple TV etc All stellar successes.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (2, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571672)

Apple TV is actually pretty good.

If they open it up to App development, then it is going to rock the crap out of any of the devices in that space.

Oh... and .mac/Mobile Me are the same product and have morphed into the iCloud services which, according to everyone who has looked at them... are pretty damn good.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571770)

But nobody uses them.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (0)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571882)

Eh.. $99/year so I can keep track of where my iPod is and sync my computers and iStuff via the wireless network instead of the USB port? No thanks. It might be very well done, but the price is in no way related to the utility to me of what they provide for it.

Fortunately apple still provides rsync, so I don't really need to send my data to their server to get it from a computer in one room to a computer in another room. Syncing the iDevices over the internet is neat, I guess, and I'd be willing to pay up to $35 dollars for 4--5 years of "basically what dyndns does for free" + some automatic configuration.

I don't see why apple needs to have more data than the ip addresses of all the computers I register with them in order to provide internet syncing of devices, or why that should be worth $99 per year.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572216)

$99/year? What the hell are you smoking? Is the AppleTV now a subscription device or are you talking about the now-defunct MobileMe? In either case you're quite out of the loop. iCloud costs NOTHING unless you want to use the iTunes Match service.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572210)

Why do people keep bringing up the AppleTV? Jobs has said numerous times that it's more of a hobby device that they're hoping to take somewhere. They never had lofty expectations for it.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1, Flamebait)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571562)

Oh this is stupid fanboy stuff... Sure there have been the naysayers, but to say that Apple can't make mistakes is just plain lunacy!

Apple makes plenty of mistakes, but what they excel in is burying it quick. For example the iPhone 4 antenna problems. Or how about we talk about how they caved in on the 30% cut for inapp purchases? Nobody talks about that? Or how about how that Swiss newspapers are shifting away from iPad apps to HTML 5 apps... No that you don't hear about. But it does not mean that it did not happen. It is just that the fanboys keep yelling and screaming louder...

Caved on what? (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571636)

Or how about we talk about how they caved in on the 30% cut for inapp purchases? Nobody talks about that?

Confusion - what is there to talk about besides Apple getting 30% on in-app purchases? That remains the case today. How did Apple "cave" there?

Are you thinking subscriptions? They did dial back a little. But lots of people talked about that...

Or how about how that Swiss newspapers are shifting away from iPad apps to HTML 5 apps

OMG, where the Swiss go the world follows!

Re:Caved on what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572212)

Ah. Apple bitches are out again.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571692)

Considering it makes sense for a newspaper to use a development model that does not support Push Notification and deep integration with the OS... how is moving from apps to HTML 5 a ding on the Apple development system?

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572250)

Because if anyone in the world doesn't use an Apple product in every facet of their life: Apple has failed. Duh.

Message sent on Safari on my iToilet.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571980)

For example the iPhone 4 antenna problems.

The truth wasn't "buried." The antenna problem was simply so blown out of proportion to begin with, mostly by anti-Apple zealots. People stopped talking about it because most realized realized it was a non-issue that didn't affect their day-to-day usage of the phone.

how about how that Swiss newspapers are shifting away from iPad apps to HTML 5 apps... No that you don't hear about.

Seriously? Now you're really reaching...

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572248)

I have to go back a ways but I can point to Apple mistakes that they didn't even acknowledge quick:

One button mouse. Cooperative multitasking. Emulated 68K code in the network stack and file systems. Gil Amelio. Frog boy the manager (whatever the fuck his name was). System 7. System 8 (not the failed project, what they shipped as 8). etc etc etc

Remember the phrase 'not invented here'? Says volumes.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571568)

But there is a difference between calling a brand new product a potential failure, and an update on established software getting slammed by people that use the previous versions and loved it.

Sounds like a lot of issues are related to licenses, go figure. licensing is the bane of our world.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571706)

No, the majority of issues centers around the fact that existing FC7 stuff simply can't be used by FCX.

It's forcing us to redo all of our work.

Well, not me. I don't use Apple software or hardware (for this very reason.)

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571800)

its not like other manufactures don't do the same thing to get people to upgrade.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571950)

I don't think you understand. Even when manufacturers do use underhand tricks to get you to upgrade, the inability to actually move your projects to the new version is not one of those tactics.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

solkimera (1319365) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571982)

don't the make the new stuff unusable in the old? and give some way to convert from old to new?

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572224)

FCPX is very young. Apple has outright said that there are more features to be implemented. I'd wager the reason they released it this soon was because FCP7 uses the old Quicktime engine, something Apple likely didn't bring along for 10.7.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571578)

Unlike your examples, you're not dealing with mindless fanboys that will buy anything with an Apple sticker on it, you're dealing with professionals that need to get their work done.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (2)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571600)

Normally, it's non-users who make nasty comments about Apple products, but these comments are by loyal users. That's significant.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (2)

index0 (1868500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571638)

When version 1.0 of your product has no "Cut & Paste", you can only go up.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (3, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571954)

What I find amazing is the number of people here who will rip into companies for never spending time improving the quality of their software rather than adding features, turning great products into bloat, etc.

Here we have a company taking a product that was getting on the bloat side, and completely rewriting from stage 1. Making something much more efficient and easy to work with (though admittedly lacking some features), and saying "hey, we'll add the crucial features in the next few months as we figure out what you guys are really missing", and suddenly everyone goes "oh my god, biggest mistake ever".

I'm sorry, but what... Good on apple for taking the brave move and de-bloating their app.

Re:I thought that was the iPhone (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572234)

THIS. It wasn't so much bloat as aging code. FCP7 was still running on the old Quicktime engine and couldn't use more than two cores for a lot of things. No 64-bit support. FCPX fixes that and is EASILY several times faster on an i7 than FCP7. Final Cut has been in desperate need of a rewrite for quite some time now and they finally made it happen. I can understand some professionals getting upset, but I'll wager that within six months, the bulk of the complaints will be addressed and people will really dig into it.

no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571434)

but First Post X is my biggest success this year!

Re:no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571522)

Fail

When Steve isn't watching.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571464)

... Apple goes to the wall. We've seen it before.

Conan's editors seem to love it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571474)

Everybody else seems to be holding it wrong.
Video [teamcoco.com] .

Re:Conan's editors seem to love it (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571690)

Wish I had mod points....that video is hilarious.

Re:Conan's editors seem to love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571750)

Hahaha that was funny as hell :)
Conan rocks

Re:Conan's editors seem to love it (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572022)

I got the advert about ADHD and said to myself, well it's actually right on spot and stuff, also ironic... then the real stuff began and I literally rofled. Thank you good sir and thank you irrelevant advertising, you make my day.

"Apple's Vista" (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571486)

A lot of people (and businesses) looked at Vista and stayed on Windows XP. Eventually, Windows 7 came out, fixing some of the problems (also, hardware was better and had more memory...).

Likewise, if FCPX won't work, you can still use FCP 7 until Apple adds back the missing features.

Still it seems like they should continue selling and supporting FCP 7 for a while or have called it Final Cut X Express so they could get the feedback without the complaints.

no 10.7 looks like Apples windows ME (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571618)

no 10.7 looks like Apples windows ME

it's not even a real os more like a paid 10.6 update.

Re:no 10.7 looks like Apples windows ME (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571680)

Um, how so? I've been on the dev release for dev 3 and 4 now. It's got some bugs still, but it's probably the biggest OS X upgrade in the lifecycle of the product.

Re:no 10.7 looks like Apples windows ME (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572010)

But the way there selling and the cutting Rosetta of is like ME.

I can see the download only being a big mess for people who need to load it on a NEW HDD.

People with 2-4+ macs with out a way to download 1 time and burn to a disk.

Also when the new systems come out with 10.7 pre loaded will they ship with a restore disk or usb key?

or will you need use the restore partition to re down load it? Hope your HDD does not fail or you get a new one. apple saying take it to apple store for a reload is not easy as saying that for all.

What about people on dial up why not offer a disk for like $10-$20 more?

having to install 10.6 then downing a big update to 10.6.X and then having to install or download and install 10.7 for a clean install is big job and a lot of time.

Re:"Apple's Vista" (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571762)

That whole "continue selling" thing is the issue though.

Re:"Apple's Vista" (5, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571768)

You could continue using FCP 7 but...

- You'll be stuck with an application which hasn't seen serious updates in over 2 years, it won't continue to support the latest codec updates for things like Red footage and get the features.
- You won't be able to open your projects in FCP-X once it does reach feature maturity.
- You can't buy copies of FCP 7 so if you need another license you're SOL.
- You could be using an application *now* which has everything that FCP-X promises in the future.
- You may never see some features return and Apple isn't providing any roadmaps like other companies on what and when they intend to release.
- You are now waiting on a company which has made through action and lack of communication perfectly clear that they aren't targeting your market sector anymore. Motion is evidently a perfectly reasonable replacement for Shake according to Apple. If you disagree with Apple on that point... I wouldn't stick around waiting for pro features to find their way back into FCP-X... ever.

It would have been like if Vista had been released and Microsoft had stopped supporting XP that same day.

Re:"Apple's Vista" (1)

number11 (129686) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571988)

You could continue using FCP 7 but...

So maybe it's time to switch to Avid or Sony Vegas?

Me, I use Womble, but neither my hardware nor my needs are what you'd call "professional level".

Unfortunately, I don't think any other program is going to be compatible with those old FCP7 files.

Re:"Apple's Vista" (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572178)

And somehow this situation is tremendously different from a week or so ago before the release of Final Cut X?

Re:"Apple's Vista" (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572162)

That requires actual thought, rather than just doing what Apple tells them to do. Wrong demographic, buddy.

Worry not... (3, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571488)

Steve will send some shill journalist *cough*mossberg*cough* a short ambiguous email explaining why FCP X is actually a better product, then the fanboys will understand that they were wrong and Apple is right.

Re:Worry not.. (0)

bennett000 (2028460) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571590)

it's true, Apple doesn't make mistakes, they take other's mistakes and make the future...

Apple never makes mistakes (3, Funny)

Dominus Suus (1187361) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571632)

FCP users are used to doing things the 'Windows' way. When they learn why Apple removed all of those features, they'll realise that having to change their entire workflow and implement a bunch of clumsy workarounds will make them far more efficient than before. Besides, the features that have been dropped nobody ever uses anyway.

Re:Apple never makes mistakes (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571804)

Because opening a project created by a previous version is Windows-esqe.

Re:Worry not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571660)

I think your definition of "understand" is way off. Reminds me of the persuadotron of Syndicate.
Like, you press its button, and in a dramatic voice say "UNDERSTAAAND!".
"Yes Master! Thank you Master! FCP X is amazing, Master! These are not the apps I am looking for, Master!" (*repeadetly bows down while installing FCP*)

Re:Worry not... (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572254)

The same Mosseberg whom Steve Jobs called "our friends in media"?

Software developers are all losing touch. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571492)

Apple now. Mozilla recently. Canonical a few months ago. Facebook... well, forever.

Hiding behind "you're doing it wrong; the software is right, change your habits" may work sometimes; just because everyone else got away with it doesn't mean you're in the same boat.

There's certainly a lot of niches out there for software done right, if anyone wants to jump into them.

Touched by SAP. Brutally. (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571658)

Hiding behind "you're doing it wrong; the software is right, change your habits" may work sometimes

It works for SAP. To our present horror and eternal damnation.

Re:Touched by SAP. Brutally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572066)

SAP is European. That means it's expensive and inflexible. But since it's expensive, you can't go wrong and even if you do, you don't admit it, until they come out with the Next Expensive Thing and you then spend your companies money on that because it fixes everything that was wrong with SAP.

Re:Software developers are all losing touch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571816)

apple usually gets away with that.

"Designers" are taking over. That's the problem. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571898)

The main problem these days is that so-called "designers" are calling many of the shots, rather than actual software developers.

This is a pretty radical departure from the past few decades, where we've seen it mostly be the opposite situation. Software developers would make the decisions, but would occasionally enlist the help of graphics and UI designers to tweak the UI's appearance or for suggestions about improving the UI's usability.

These days, however, we're seeing the "designers" deciding how UIs, and even the software as a whole, are to behave, from beginning to end. The software developer is there to merely implement whatever the "designer" wants, without any ability or power to make decisions themselves.

The problem arises because software developers and "designers" have very different focuses. Software developers want to create applications that work well, and are effective to use, even if they might not be very pretty. "Designers" tend to only care about appearances, even if the application isn't very usable. And they only keep themselves relevant by changing, often needlessly, the appearance of the application or web site on a frequent basis.

This is exactly what we've seen from each organization and group that you mentioned. Apple, for example, was originally founded by software and hardware developers. The UI didn't look horrible, but it was usable and that's why Apple systems became popular initially. After their rough patch, and the acquisition of NeXT's technology and talent, we saw them focused on providing high-end, high-quality software and hardware where usability was key. Then the iPod/iPhone/iPad situation arose, and the emphasis shifted more towards "design". Now more emphasis seems to be on making the software look "trendy" and "hip", rather than working well.

The same goes for Mozilla. We've seen nothing but one pathetic Firefox UI redesign after another from them lately. These unnecessary redesigns are only disruptive, and haven't been beneficial. Now the developers have been distracted for a long time making these changes, rather than fixing the performance problems or memory leaks that plague Firefox. Users suffer not only from the bad UI changes, but they also suffer from the lack of real progress when it comes to fixing these serious problems.

It's time for software developers to make the decisions, rather than "designers". The priorities and concerns of the software developers are much better aligned with those of the actual users. The applications may not look as pretty, but that's easily ignored if they work well.

Re:Software developers are all losing touch. (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572192)

Hiding behind "you're doing it wrong; the software is right, change your habits" may work sometimes; just because everyone else got away with it doesn't mean you're in the same boat.

Users, particularly professional users over the age of 40, ask for stupid things and complain mightily about everything. When the Montage editing system came out, it used a computer and a dozen videotape machines to edit film, and the editors would complain about the slowness of work, and they'd demand a system that supported TWO dozen videotape decks. So, when the first Media 100 and Lightworks machines came out, editing was MUCH faster, but the editors complained and managed to force the original software vendors to make the computer systems act like videotape editors -- the original Avid software woudn't even allow you to insert a clip inbetween two others in one step, because this was impossible with a three-point videtape editor.

Picture editors are clever people but they have impenetrable smugness when it comes to the gear and what they feel they need to learn in order to use it; they also hate software that is "easy," because it devalues their technical chops and makes it easier for the director or producer to push the buttons without them, they also tend to hate anything that makes them buy new gear, though they'll generally find some other way to rationalize this.

FD. I'm a sound editor and am exactly the same way about Pro Tools [avid.com] ; OTOH I wish Pro Tools had something magnetic timeline and coalesced clips, but Avid is stupidly conservative where Apple is stupidly tweak-happy.

Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial release (3, Insightful)

inpher (1788434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571496)

Apple essentially merged FCP and FCE. While leaving the extremely advanced users behind with EOL software. Some numbers say that Apple sold about 2 million copies [creativecow.net] of the last version of Final Cut Pro, if we assume that Final Cut Express sold less, at perhaps one million copies (this is a bit low, part of me thinks there are actually more FCE users). This is the market for the new Final Cut [any version] that Apple is targeting. However, was their mistake in alienating the top 50 000 - 100 000 or so users in the initial release enough to kill their whole market? No, most users are not affected by the high end limitations in the initial release.

Most importantly though is that almost all of the complaints have already been acknowledged by Apple and the product manager has promised that they will return to the suite in coming updates [nytimes.com] .

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (5, Funny)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571576)

So, loading a file you created last month using the previous version is a "high end feature"?

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (2, Funny)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571686)

Ask the MS Word team

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (3, Informative)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571836)

Ask the MS Word team

I can still load Word 95/97 docs in Word 2010. Try again.

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (4, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571776)

The 30-year old Avid timeline interface and the new FCPX magnetic storyline (coupled with some of the missing features) are probably different enough that, no, you can't just read in a previous project. Without a half-zillion available tracks, you won't get an exact one-to-one conversion.

FCPX is a clean break with the past. Some will deal with it. Others will cry and complain about how things aren't the way they used to be and that they need to learn something new. Some will run to other platforms, each with their own problems and issues. (And cause equal chaos and disruption to their precious workflows in the process.)

Some will do the sensible thing and stick with their current toolset until FCPX has what they need. After all, FCP7 works just as well today as it did last week. No one is forcing Walter or any of the other guys to convert today. Their "tool" is still working. All Apple needs to do is maintain FCP7 until FCPX gets up to speed and third-parties get drivers and codecs available for video cards and cameras like the RED.

And some will dive in and create some amazing video with it. Personally, I can't wait.

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571916)

The 30-year old Avid timeline interface and the new FCPX magnetic storyline (coupled with some of the missing features) are probably different enough that, no, you can't just read in a previous project. Without a half-zillion available tracks, you won't get an exact one-to-one conversion. FCPX is a clean break with the past.

My concern is that this experience is going to give the dynamic timeline a bad name, even though I'd been wanting one for years. Having to manually manage a one-to-one relationship between media and a statically-allocated player object, which is what tracks on an Avid are, is very old-fashioned compared to what the hardware can do now -- I really shouldn't have to worry about wether or not a sound is playing on A1 or A2, I just wanna hear them both, please let the computer figure it out for me. But now people are racing to call it consumerish, when they're really pissed off about AAFs and RED support.

FCP7 is no more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571934)

All Apple needs to do is maintain FCP7 until FCPX gets up to speed

But that's the whole problem! Apple will not maintain FCP7, they have pulled it off the shelves already. That's what all the professionals are complaining about.

You cannot buy FCP7 any more. Imagine you are a video shop that needs to hire more people. You can no longer buy new FCP7 licenses for them! You are forced to either use FCP7 illegally or switch to FCPX (which means completely changing your workflow and redoing everything because your old projects will not load).

If FCP7 remained as a viable option there wouldn't have been nearly as many complaints as the current shitstorm.

Jesus... I know this is Slashdot, but at least bother to understand the problem before dismissing it out of hand.

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572124)

Someone is an avid (pun intended) Apple fanboy.

The love fest that is your post is sad. Apple screwed up here. Badly.

Their "tool" is still working. All Apple needs to do is maintain FCP7...

Something that they have shown that they have little interest in doing. They have not updated FCP7 since 7.0.3 (a very minor update), September 15, 2010 [apple.com] .

Combine this with the other Apple missteps of the last month, and it looks like Apple is losing sight of quite a bit these days:

iMac internal hard drives require a custom firmware and--far worse--a custom connection on the physical drive itself [macrumors.com] . Meaning you cannot replace a dead drive yourself. Good luck if you hang onto your computer after its warranty expires, or live no where near an Apple Store for that matter. This will be expensive in the future. (I have replaced the hard drive of an iMac that is currently three years old; it was not that difficult, but now it would be impossible)

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will supposedly [macrumors.com] only be installable after installing Snow Leopard on current machines. So, if your drive dies, then you must install Snow Leopard before installing Lion. And it sounds like you will have to redownload Lion every time you choose to install it. Around 4 GB of fun. That won't add to down time, will it...?

I hope that Apple is set for a huge backlash for this (Lion in particular, as the iMac issue won't surface for most people until years later). Their dominance of being a dream customer service company is about to hit a wall and lose. And, I say this as an owner of an iPhone 4, MacBook Pro and iPad 2. These will be my last Apple devices, at least until they turn themselves around like Microsoft (of all companies!) has recently with the latest crop of WP7 Mango and Windows 8.

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572154)

The issue is not whether you can create good new video with it, or whether you have to learn something new. It's the fact that the existing FCP data files out there are worth millions -- or more likely billions -- of dollars, and unless backward compatibility is maintained, those files are *worthless*.

You do video editing for a local advertiser. Your client wants to rebroadcast last year's Memorial Day sale ad with this year's dates and times. You're screwed.
You're the editor/director for a small but successful art film that showed at Cannes last year. A studio asks you to make a few changes so they can show it in theaters worldwide. You're screwed.
You did a TV biography of a famous person three years ago. That person has just died, and your channel wants to do a retrospective using your footage. You're screwed.
You're a senior film major applying for work at a major studio. They ask you to send them a sample of your most recent work so they can look at your technical skills. You're screwed.

I can't think of another major piece of software that broke backward compatibility with data files from the previous version. When OS X came out, they had Classic Environment so you could run OS 9 apps, and they supported that for about a decade. When Intel macs arrived, they provided Rosetta so PowerPC apps would still work, and they supported that for six years. Word 2010 will still read Word '97 documents. I'm not sure, but I think Adobe Illustrator CS5 can open Illustrator '86 documents.

This is not a case of stick-in-the-mud thinking. It's simply the case that for every experienced professional user of a piece of software, the value of the software is insignificant compared to the value of the files they've created using it.

Re:Leaving the top 10% behind in the initial relea (3, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571818)

They should have forked the product. The old branch is clearly different than the new branch, but they're said to be the same product, and while close, there are lot of people making money with FCP that are really disturbed.

Were Apple to have forked the product, none of the difference in expectations would have happened. Altering expectations isn't what Apple normally does, so this is quizzical. It's strange behavior for Apple, and I think they realize this now.

This is so much different than a death-grip antenna issue, that Apple should have been wayyyyy on top of this long ago. Not like them.

Those top 10 percent give apple users credibility. (2)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572276)

Having hight end graphics development being done on apple helps counter the image that apple owners are just stupid content consumers with more money than sense or in the very least allows those apple users to ignore rational arguments and say 'but high end video editing is done on apple computers'.

If all the professionals left apple, i think that the fan-boys might find themselves loosing arguments (rather than the other side giving up try to convince him he's wrong) and think twice before shamelessly pointing to the apple on the back of their monitors.

Lack of backward compatibility WTF? (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571504)

I can see Apple trimming features and re-thinking the UI in ways that people aren't used to: they do that constantly.

But making a new version of a software that can't load files created by last month's version? That's insane. These are professional quality video files: advertisements, short films, TV shows, movies ... these things have far more value to their creators than any features the new version might have.

Ensuring backward compatibility with existing data files for at least a couple of years, or at the bare minimum providing a translator, is probably the first rule of software design. What were they thinking?

Re:Lack of backward compatibility WTF? (3)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571908)

I wonder how many Final Cut houses are thinking "FCP X is a new interface, a new format, and cannot work with our existing files. Why not just transition to another piece of software entirely?".

Re:Lack of backward compatibility WTF? (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572128)

Id trow my 2 cents ^ ^ If they whine enough maybe someone in management or IT can study the petition to change workflow, but that usually is traumatic, really traumatic not as in office 97 to 2003 traumatic. More likely they will put up with it, buy new boxes with the new version and use the old machines with the old version, send a newsletter informing customers about the change and how the new version delivers up to 30% more magic while working on archived material will become painful and 30% expensive (you know 30% less magic) and that is all.

Apple eats, editing house eats, customer bows. Thats how we do it in marketing ;)

Awesome addition to upcoming iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571524)

This will go well with the iPhone 6 camera that won't record or take pictures unless someone else lets you. Apple has really streamlined their products by removing all that unnecessary functionality.

Professional FCP users a a small group... (5, Insightful)

juosukai (1714458) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571610)

... but apparently a lot more vocal than anyone thought.

Apples decision to go the prosumer-route makes perfect business sense, developing a tool for professionals in this market probably offers a dismal ROI, as compared to a tool that anyones mother buys for editing a wedding. They just had no inclination how attached and vocal the FCP users are, and the amount of backlash is staggering to them. The professional market (that needs OMF, XML EDL etc.) is probably a negligible speck in their turnover, but then again, they are people who are professionals in communicating, so this is turning into a PR disaster.

And the sad part it, most of this could have been avoided by two things: communication and not EOL:ing FCS3.

They should have come out saying that the product is not yet ready for professional use, and they are hoping to add the missing features in a certain timeframe. No, Apple hardly ever comes out and says this, but in this case I see no downside. The software seems brilliant for most users, and the Apple MO is to make big changes in the playing field, and giving people no choice except to embrace it or to fuck right off. But right now it is not a question of doing things differently, there are huge and gaping issues that render the software unusable for use in many environments.

And they should not have pulled FCS3 from the shelves. I mean, how stupid was that. Now bigger facilities are fucked if they need to add another seat, or someone loses his/her disks etc. They gain nothing but killing the product right away, but lose a lot of good will. They should have waited until _most_ of the professional features were there, giving people the option of staying with FCP instead of jumping ship to Avid or Premiere....

I guess that this debacle, along with eoling the xserve and adding os x server as standard to Lion is just to show that Apple is in no way interested in the business market. And that is perfectly ok, well within their rights. I am already migrating my clients from OS X Server based solutions to Linux and BSD (and AD, of all things). I just hope that others see the writing on the wall as well...

Pro is the reason for its success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571772)

"The professional market (that needs OMF, XML EDL etc.) is probably a negligible speck in their turnover, but then again, they are people who are professionals in communicating, so this is turning into a PR disaster."

A large part of the appeal of FCP is that it is an affordable *professional* product that non-professionals can buy and use as well. You can learn it and grow up to be a pro who edits on it. Colleges teach its use. It does it all--until now. Now there is no point teaching how to use it in professional film and video classes. It is no longer a product that cuts down the line between amateur and professional. It is now iMovie X.

Large group of pro FCP users (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571840)

There is a large group of upcoming pro FCP users - the freelancers that are basing their video production business off of a dSLR video workflow. Apple saw this coming, and created a great editing suite for them. It doesn't have the major high-end features like Color or Shake, but I think the release as-is is fine for freelance pro use. Additionally, the goal is to get this new market experienced on this release, so they're prepared for a workflow that includes more advanced color correction and group projects.

Studios are going to hate it, freelancers are going to love it.

Re:Large group of pro FCP users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572114)

Except the studios can't even buy copies of what they are using... so they're just kind of fucked, and the "freelancers" have nowhere to go up to except somewhere else. It ain't brilliant, unless Apple is just done with the market.

Re:Professional FCP users a a small group... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572012)

The professional market (that needs OMF, XML EDL etc.) is probably a negligible speck in their turnover, but then again, they are people who are professionals in communicating, so this is turning into a PR disaster.

And perhaps even more so when they're not being all that professional - it looks like a Really Big Deal(tm) to them so they'll run stories that it is so, throw up some extra dark clouds on the future for people using Apple in a business setting and so on. Don't piss off the media who'll present your products to the general public seems to be public relations 101. To me this sounds more like the successor to Final Cut Express than Final Cut Pro...

Re:Professional FCP users a a small group... (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572078)

Yeah, who would have guessed that professional editors have an outsized ability to make their complaints heard. It's like they have direct access to the media or something...

installation disk? (0)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571648)

Dude... ever hear of a USB stick?

Re:installation disk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572256)

That implies that the Mac App Store allows you to save the downloaded installer, which it does not. At best, you can save find and manually backup the complete installed application.

This is not the case [apple.com] for applications that do not install themselves completely as just a .app file. As I do not use it, or otherwise have it, I have no idea if FCPX installs things into the /Library folder (among other common places), which would make backing up and manually installing it a much more difficult feat (finding all of the stray files).

Half full, half empty (0)

kanweg (771128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571654)

If Apple had presented it as an update for FC Express people would be all over it. Many professionals would say: Hey, in many cases that suffices. I can do the same job in less time. Great!!! Pundits would say: If Apple improves this a little bit more, it will make FCP redundant. Financial analysts would say: Apple is cannibalizing FCP, and speculate that all this easy to use power would still turn out profitable.

But the above situation is with exactly the same program as we have now. Apple WILL add the stuff pro's want (e.g. multicamera support which Pogue got word from Apple is their top priority now). It is just that some professionals will have to get used to the idea that complicated stuff can be done more easily and more quickly, and that for some features they'll have to wait a bit longer and keep using their old tools.

Every professional uses the tools that make him most productive. It would be foolish NOT to add this one to the toolbox. If you're so specialized that you can never use it, you could still give it a spin: You'd be fluent with it once the new features are there. $300 is really nothing if you're a professional.

Bert

Re:Half full, half empty (5, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571876)

I use everything under the sun. But professionals would be foolish *TO* use this one in their toolbox. Why? Because you can't use it WITH ANY OTHER TOOL.

I've bent over backwards before to integrate some nifty little tool into my kit. But FCP X is overtly attempting to be incompatible with everything else. It isn't even compatible with FCP.

Stand alone, walled gardens are great if you can do everything in the garden. But professionals have to collaborate with lots of other tools, workflows, clients, hardware and applications. If you're editing in FCP 7 and the color or sound tools are insufficient you can just export your project and finish in another app. If you get stuck and FCP-X doesn't cut it-- you're stuck with data you can't get out and finish on something else.

Add to that its new media management system which is antagonistic to the standard SAN/Shared Drive workflow and you're left with an application which doesn't want to play nice with other computers or even copies of itself.

When there are other superior and ready competitors who don't make you guess when and if they'll support your work available TODAY you would be a fool to not switch to the ready and willing competitors.

apple is exiting non consumer markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571668)

look at it. XSAN hardware killed. OSX server killed ('rolled into standard build' = killed in a few generations), XSAN software is rolled into lion so I hear, but with less features. Color & Shake bought & killed. At this point there is no real use for mac pros - they must be next on the list. Weird they even sold them when FCP didn't use multiple processors anyway....

you can't even buy FCStudio now. The link takes you to FCPX

we have a lot of students using FCP on an XSAN shared storage. doesn't look like that is supported (ok video files can exist outside of the local machine as long as they tick the 'dont copy' box but what about projects existing on the network. if that's not supported we go back about 7 years)

its also screwing the BBC who from my sources have fallen out with another video editing supplier.

FFS Apple release the source to FCStudio 3. let the community take it over.

People are complaining about the wrong things. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571710)

I have been using Final Cut Pro since version 1.0 on projects large and small, and I have been an Apple certified instructor for about 6 years. Take that at face value.

I to am upset at some of the missing features in FCPX, but you know what? It's a 1.0 product. It is amazing for 80% of editors, maybe 90%, and I do believe the missing features will eventually be addressed. No one in their right mind would switch platforms in the middle of a project, stick with FCP7 if its still working for you, and let FCPX mature and blossom in its time.

At the risk of being the 20th person to paraphrase Henry Ford, "If you asked people what they wanted, they'd say they wanted a faster horse". Apple is consistently brave for throwing in the towel and starting froms scratch when it is necessary. 90% of people DONT need multicam, DONT need XML, and DONT even need tape any more.

Lest you think I'm all about roses and puppies, here is where Apple F@#$ed up, big time: The day that FCPX was released, they completely wiped out any evidence of Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Server. So if you DO want to stick with Studio until FCPX is mature, like any sane person would, you are seriously screwed.

Need to expand your editing suite? Too bad, you can't buy any more licenses. Need to replace a missing license? Too bad, you cant. Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Server don't exist any more. I needed to download the 1.5.2 patch to final cut studio the other day, and you know what? I couldn't. The download link went to FCPX's web page. That is INSANE!

What kind of company proclaims to support the professional and corporate world, puts out a product, gives you no hint of the upgrade lifecycle, and then yanks any and all evidence on a Tuesday with no notice whatsoever? I work with large businesses and universities, installing Final Cut Server installations. These companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and months preparing for a roll out, and all the while Apple is happy to sell them products, knowing in the back of their mind that they're going to pull support before long. Who does that? Scam artists do that.

Apple was never all that corporate-friendly in the past, but this move is downright evil. There's no way I can recommend Apple's products to corporate clients now, for fear they could do this again. At least with Shake, they gave a warning, they kept selling it for awhile, and they released the source code so developers could continue supporting it. They didn't wipe out any trace of it on their site. I couldn't even buy a final cut pro KEYBOARD, from a totally different manufacturer, on the online store. The buy link was erased. That is some Orwellian shit right there.

Microsoft has a history of buying companies with promising technology, getting you locked in, then charging and arm & a leg. Apple buys up companies with promising technology, lowers the price, gets you hooked, then kills it off and leaves you hanging.

Re:People are complaining about the wrong things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571856)

haha lead dev for apple here, we fucking hate you all, die in hell retards, i'm going to break it all like i broke flstudio lolz

love

adam

Re:People are complaining about the wrong things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571996)

There's no way I can recommend Apple's products to corporate clients now

Where have you been? They have done this for years. They are always moving onto new and shiny. That works 'ok' in the consumer market. Not so much in the business world. After my 3rd lost job because of something they axed. I went to the MS stack and been doing good for 15 years...

Re:People are complaining about the wrong things. (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572054)

In other words, Apple is treating professionals who live and die by their product as if they were kids doing throw-away projects on a free web-based ap. Um... not a very smart way to treat professionals -- and, BTW, not the best way to treat the customers that buy your most expensive software and most expensive hardware.

The support lifetime for a software product is directly related to *who* uses it, *how* they use it, and the value of *their* end product. At least, when I was in the business of creating electronic design automation software that sold for $50K to $150K *per* *seat*, that's the way we treated it. Customers doing multi-million dollar projects, and who forked over $250K to us for software, didn't have to take updates if they didn't want to. And if they were smart, they sure as hell didn't take updates in the middle of a critical project -- better the bugs that you know and have worked around than the bugs that your vendor just put in last month and hasn't found yet.

This is exactly like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571714)

They did the exact same thing with iMovie a couple of years ago. They built a completely new product, and let it take over the name of a popular and established but long in the tooth product. People screamed bloody murder about the lost features (and to some extent because there were any radical changes, regardless of what they were). And then Apple re-added the lost functionality in the next couple of releases, and everybody forgot about it to the extent that people can think this approach "isn't like Apple". This is the way the address cruft and bloat in their software: kill it and write something cool and modern and simple that does basically the same thing from scratch and release it under the same name, then add back in the niche functionality you omitted for simplicity sake in the next few releases.

If FCPX doesn't do what you need, there's nothing stoping you from continuing to use FCP7 until it does. It functions just fine even installed on the same box as FCPX.

Re:This is exactly like Apple (and Intuit?) (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571878)

They did the exact same thing with iMovie a couple of years ago. They built a completely new product, and let it take over the name of a popular and established but long in the tooth product. People screamed bloody murder about the lost features (and to some extent because there were any radical changes, regardless of what they were). And then Apple re-added the lost functionality in the next couple of releases....

I sincerely hope this is what Intuit plans to do with Quicken for Mac. They haven't gotten to the "re-added the lost functionality in the next couple of releases" stage yet, alas....

Re:This is exactly like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571994)

And then Apple re-added the lost functionality in the next couple of releases, and everybody forgot about it to the extent that people can think this approach "isn't like Apple".

Really? I thought people forgot about it because anybody who wanted a usable timeline switched to Final Cut Express or to the previous version of iMovie HD that they gave away for free to anyone who bought the new iMovie. I don't know anyone who used and liked the old iMovie who still uses iMovie in any form. If that is what people say about Final Cut Pro in three or four years, Apple will have lost a lot of good will in the TV and filmmaking communities.

Re:This is exactly like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572186)

"Most people" people "forgot about" the lost functionality of iMovie because the program's users were primarily amateurs who didn't have any real investment in those features (or if they did, they gave up on iMovie altogether), and they were very quickly eclipsed by new amateurs who never knew the old program so they didn't know what they were missing.

PC vs MAC for Video Editing... (1)

goadventure (2092188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571732)

I seriously want final cut pro for PC, I'm ready to buy a cheap MAC just to use that one program for video editing. Sad to here the latest version isn't measuring up to prior glory I love the easy of use, and do not understand how PC based video editing programing tools look and feel like a newbie's first time using Dreamweaver(Not so new anymore through lol) Hope final cut can fix or re-release

Re:PC vs MAC for Video Editing... (1)

Jennifer3000 (921441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572268)

MAC (stop yelling!) is a brand of cosmetics. You must mean "Mac" - short for Macintosh - which is a brand of computer. Furthermore, Final Cut Pro might provide a lees-than-ideal user experience on a lower-end (or "cheap", in your parlance) Macintosh - albeit less so nowadays which standard (and maximum) RAM capacities have increased so much.

They'll get over it. (0)

mozumder (178398) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571788)

This is a great release, especially for freelancers. Apple is telling everyone to redo their business, because they have a forward-looking vision that's based around a new platform with a great interface. They will work out user details later.

Aperture was pretty tough to use in v1.0. V3 is nearly perfect.

Apple leads the industry. The industry doesn't lead Apple. The lack of power felt by professionals must suck, but it's better in the long term for industry growth.

Final Cut Pro is huge (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571914)

AS a former user, I can say that it is a truly massive software suite. It is well made and addresses so many niches in the field that they are bound to upset people different amounts in each niche. Apple has also been working on a complete rewrite of the massive quicktime library that does much of the heavy lifting; probably to make it do more of it and doing this while porting the whole app over and redesigning it as well. Some features are bound to get put off until later and they likely wanted to make some money and/or didn't want to patch the old version's growing incompatibilities; so rather than get everything ported and revised they chucked or delayed features.

Some things are big mistakes and possibly with enough complaints they will be resolved. Somehow I doubt EDL support would be chucked. delayed or buggy perhaps? Could be that they intend to sell Final Cut Pro Studio as the new "pro" and this one is the "express" version of Final Cut Pro. That is what I expected -- since express lacks many features they can make a better express on the path of rewriting the full product.

Apple dropped the ball hard on this one! (5, Interesting)

Paska (801395) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571926)

Mistake would be the understatement of the year. Apple f*%ked up royally on this one.

We manage two prestige advertising firms, one in Canberra and another down in Melbourne and the complaints are flowing, loud, and spitting from the mouth. But what's worse is, our customers are 100% right and they ain't shit all we can do.

The balls is deep in Apple's court on this one, and unlike the failed Xserve. The high-end video market is an area they do not want to drop the ball on, this industry laps up Apple hardware, is glued to the Apple suite and these guys pay up *big* bucks for managed services from Apple directly, the resellers and support vendors.

Conan O'Brien rips Apple's Final Cut Pro X on show (1)

bgspence (155914) | more than 3 years ago | (#36571932)

Re:Conan O'Brien rips Apple's Final Cut Pro X on s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572170)

haha, nice!

New Hires? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36571946)

Did Apple hire a bunch of Gnome developers to work on FCP? Only Gnome developers (er, "designers") have the sheer arrogance to remove a bunch of features, claim the product is better than ever, and then dismiss users who complain as idiots.

Just another step in Apple's transparent roadmap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36572050)

Apple knows better than you and always will. At least that's what they want you to think. The FCP castration, plans for OS X Lion and the desktop App Store, Thunderbolt, the proprietary USB connector on iPods and iPhones, iOS itself, Apple's EULAs, iCloud, killing off iWeb, and well the list goes on and on. All of these lead to one conclusion: controlling the end-user experience in a profitable way. Apple is working very hard every day to separate people from their money, and that is ALL they care about. In the past they developed some excellent software (well, NeXT and other little fishes did the real work) but one look at their flagship bloatware iTunes should be all anyone needs to see Apple's real agenda. I used to be a pretty hardcore Apple fan but I got rid of my last MBP 2 years ago when the writing on the wall became clear. They better hope Steve Jobs never dies because he's probably the last person at the company trying to make sure the same mistakes made in the early 90s aren't made again.

Hard to find the wheat among all the chaff (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572076)

The Conan O'Brien show's take on it [youtube.com] is pretty hilarious.

The problem I have anymore - whenever a "pro" product is discussed - is it's very hard to get at the reviews from the small group of people I actually am interested to hear from. For example with photo workflow software, such as Lightroom or Aperture, I really only care about what serious, experienced photographers have to say regarding most of the feature sets - yet the loudest screaming is coming from fanbois on one side or the other. And now, with FCP X, we're seeing exactly the same thing.

I don't know if the problem is too many wanabees poseurs on line or what - but when I read someone generally whining about Apple "giving up on professionals" and then they follow up with a statement like "That's it, I'm switching to Adobe/Microsoft"... it's quite apparent their statement is a waste of space since they aren't in that line of work.

If a person want to complain about specific features, and can show himself/herself knowledgeable, great - that's useful information no matter what their background is. But unfortunately the signal to noise ratio on the web is dismally low in most regards, and when it comes to intelligent discussion of Apple products it seems to fade to the level of background noise.

Re:Hard to find the wheat among all the chaff (1)

dwightk (415372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572196)

when I read someone generally whining about Apple "giving up on professionals" and then they follow up with a statement like "That's it, I'm switching to Adobe/Microsoft"... it's quite apparent their statement is a waste of space since they aren't in that line of work.

Yeah, Shouldn't they be saying: "I'm going to use the old FCP until all of these specific issues are resolved to my satisfaction.If that never happens I will have to look at other options."

So FCP 7 magically uninstalled itself from every.. (1)

Black.Shuck (704538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36572246)

...pro machine at the instant FCPX was released?

Damn Apple, that's some cold-ass shit.

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