Say goodbye to the Pro Apps as you know them. The writing has been on the wall for several years, yet many Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Studio users continue to cling to the hope that Apple will make a major leap with Final Cut Pro and bring it into 64-bit computing, and finally address the numerous issues that have been on wish lists, sometimes for an entire decade.
Well, Apple demoed iMovie Pro at the FCP SuperMeet this past Tuesday April 12th and made absolutely no qualms about visually signifying the end of the Pro apps as we know them. There was no talk of Color. Soundtrack, Motion, Compressor, DVD Studio Pro, Blu-ray authoring, 3D authoring, feature film features, etc. No the focus was solely on Apple iMovie Pro.
How did we get to this sorry state? Well, I think there was a conversation in January that sort of went like this:
Steve: Did you see Avid’s latest software? And the CS5 thing is killing us. Ugh!
Get Randy on the phone.
Randy: Wassup Stevie baby.
Steve: Stop acting like a kid. We need something to keep our Pro Apps users on board & buying hardware. It’ll take too long for QuickTime X and Lion to enable the infrastructure for a new & power Final Cut Studio. What do you have?
Randy: Well, consumers love the new iMovie!
Well, they did after we put back many of the features I threw away when I redid it.
But they love it now! It’s the only version of iMovie they buy any more!
Steve: Randy, it’s the only version of iMovie we offer any more.
Randy: Oh, yea, righto, Stevo.
Steve: Stop it Randy.
I really need a rabbit out of a hat here.
Randy: What if I dress up iMovie with some cool higher end features I’ve been thinking of and we call it iMovie Pro?
Steve: What? That’s inane. Nobody’d buy into that bullshit.
Randy: No, really! If we present it just the right way, and I make sure it has a few of the most asked for features that people have been begging for in FCP for a decade… they’ll gobble it up!
Steve: Oh yea, the “reality distortion field thing?”
Steve: Okay, I’ll bite, what do you propose?
Randy: Okay, I’ve always wanted to have the software, like, autodetect things- like faces, people, etc. Like the iPhoto thing. And we can have the clips slide around in the timeline like it did with iMovie 1 back in 1999.
Steve: That’s going back a ways there, Randy.
Randy: …oh, and I know people hate waiting for rendering, that’s why Premiere is so cool with that whole GPU thing. That ROCKS! The way you can just stack up HD clips an—
Randy: Oh, yea, sorry. Anyway, I could also grab background rendering from iMovie 1. FCP users will just gobble that UP! We’ll talk about 64-bit and all that, but we can fudge what doesn’t really work in software.
Steve: No render bars?
Steve: Can I manually dedicate CPU processing to interface and background tasks so the interface doesn’t slow…
Randy: NO! We make it all “automagically” happen like with the iPhone. The less they have to think, the better. Plus, then they can’t screw it up and blame the application.
Steve: Good point. That has worked well with the iPhone. Control everything. … Can you have this ready by NAB?
Randy: WOW! You thinking of the big stage on the show floor again. That would be awesome! We could…
Steve: I’ll give a call to the FCP users group and see if they’d be interested in letting us take over the Supermeet. It’s about 1/50th the cost of the NAB booth and we target exactly who we need to target.
Randy: User group meeting? Like, not even at the Las Vegas Convention Center?
Steve: The reality distortion field works best when you fill the room with people who already believe. I’ve been doing this a while. Trust me.
Randy: Wow, you going to present it? That would really be gre—
Steve: No. It’s not worth my time.
You do it.
Yea, You present iMovie Pro.
But you’ll have to come up with a catchier name.
Randy: oh, okay.
Steve: Great. Thanks! (click)
There was a slide that showed FCP adoption increasing at 2x the rate of the growth of the market. That’s a fantastic statistic. “First Rule of Video Editing Systems” is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Or, more simply, do not mess with what works. Apple just threw out FCP and FCE and gave us an enhanced up iMovie Pro. All new workflow. All new interface. So every successful professional user – whose livelihood stems from the production of work – must now start from scratch and relearn how to load media, manage it, edit it, export it.
All those tentative FCP users who had been “on the fence” about switching to all the incredible features of Premiere CS 5.5, or jumping on Avid’s current crossgrade promotion for FCP users, or jumping to Vegas which has offered many FCP features years ahead of FCP including 4K and full-on Blu-ray authoring, or even taking advantage of the free trial of Boris’s Media 100 to edit 4K, 2K, and Redcode, needn’t hold out any more. Since Final Cut Pro users have to learn a whole new editing interface (iMovie users won’t) you might as well take this opportunity to try out other professional software.
Apple has shown their hand.
They took over the BEST place to reach FCP users.
They had all the press they could ever want.
iMovie Pro is all they have to show.
Show’s over. Go home.