Avid, Adobe pile on Final Cut Pro X with cheap crossgrades

Avid, Adobe pile on Final Cut Pro X with cheap crossgrades

Summary: Avid has joined Adobe in a strategic shot across the bow at Apple, offering disgruntled Final Cut Pro users the opportunity to crossgrade to Media Composer for a fraction of the retail price.


First Adobe, now Avid. Apple's competition for the hearts and minds of professional film and video editors is heating up further now that Avid is offering a "crossgrade" from Final Cut Pro (excluding the new FCP X version) to Media Composer for $999 - a fraction of its regular retail price ($2,500).

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro

Apple has been under fire from pro video and film editors since its June release of Final Cut Pro X - a new version of its venerable video editing software that's a complete reboot, missing key features needed by many pros, sporting a radically different interface, and lacking the ability to import existing Final Cut Pro 7 projects. My colleague Scott Raymond has even declared that Apple is abandoning the professional market altogether.

The new version of Final Cut Pro, available for a fraction less than its predecessor but only through the online Mac App Store, has been derisively dismissed by some editors as little more than "iMovie Pro," and Apple has found itself in an uncustomary position of being on its heels.

Apple reacted by posting a FAQ answering many of the major questions that video editors have asked, and revealing that plans for new features, like multi-camera support, are due in an incremental release. But many of the answers Apple gives in the fact make it clear that the company's not reversing course or offering an alternative for video editors who don't find Final Cut Pro X viable for their workflows.

Media Composer 5.5

Media Composer 5.5

Avid, meanwhile, is itself credited with creating the modern digital video editing marketplace. The company was founded in 1987 and by the early 1990s had built up a legion of loyal users; it became the gold standard for use in professional video editing and, later, film. Its fortunes have waxed and waned as Apple, Adobe and other companies have introduced competitive video editing products, but Avid still retains a huge cachet with pro video editors, many who were originally trained on Avid systems. And in some respects, it's the workflow that Avid pioneered which Apple is trying to get away from in Final Cut Pro X.

In a post to the Avid Community blog, company CEO Gary Greenfield reiterated Avid's commitment to video pros. Without directly addressing the complaints about Apple, Greenfield said video editors have been in heated discussions recently "because this is about your livelihood," and added that Avid customers "can depend on us to be thinking about your needs first."

Adobe has similarly responded by offering Final Cut Pro users a deal of its own - Premiere Pro CS 5.5, Adobe's own pro video editing application, is also available at a steep discount for Final Cut Pro users - 50 percent off its regular retail price. The deal also applies to Avid Media Composer users. Adobe has created a Web site with information on switching to Premiere Pro.

Adobe's move is ironic: although the original Premiere originated on the Mac platform in 1991, Adobe stopped selling Premiere to Mac users in 2003 concurrent with a complete rewrite of the app and the introduction of Premiere Pro, available only for Windows. Adobe later developed a new version of Premiere Pro that worked on Macs, releasing it in 2007 with Creative Suite 3.

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software

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  • What even more 'ironic' is that FCP(X) is done by the same Ubillos guy who

    ... came up with Adobe Premire (first and second version).
  • RE: Avid, Adobe pile on Final Cut Pro X with cheap crossgrades

    i knew that the steep profits from the iphone and ipods have made apple under-develop the pro apps but to do this to the people who have put their careers on the line to stay loyal to Final Cut is unforgivable. they must have fired all the people with any complex thinking and replaced the with the same uni-thinking baby techies that apple was supposed to stand in defiance against. hey all you assholes in black turtlenecks! i'm losing my job over this you dickheads!
    • re: i'm losing my job over this you dickheads!

      @zeituna - Because Apple released crapware, <i>you're</i> losing your job? Or was it you just weren't very good at it in the first place?
  • Good for Avid, never trust Apple for long term professional work.

    If there was ever a lesson from this debacle, it's never to trust Apple again for any serious professional software. They appear to have given up on the Mac Pros too. I guess all future Apple gadgets would be iDevices in a couple of years.
    • RE: Avid, Adobe pile on Final Cut Pro X with cheap crossgrades

      @kraterz I definitely agree on that very very much
    • RE: Avid, Adobe pile on Final Cut Pro X with cheap crossgrades

      Apple might have botched the rollout of FCPX but they are changing the future of video editing. From another ZDNet article:

      They?ve re-written FCPX with an architecture that only pros need!

      Key features include:

      64-bit architecture. Addresses more than 4GB of RAM. Aunty Em doesn?t need that, but pros already do, even if they don?t know it.
      Multi-processor support with GCD. Rumor has it that a new 16-core (32 virtual cores) Mac Pro is due next month. The old FCP saw almost no benefit from more than 6. Grand Central Dispatch brings multi-processing to the rest of us.
      Background GPU & CPU rendering. Takes advantage of the incredible performance of modern GPUs and multi-core CPUs.
      4k media support. How many 4k consumer camcorders are there? None - and there won?t be for 10 years.
      Object storage. 99.9% of pros have no idea what this is or why they should care, but as video content and archive capacity explodes, this is the only way to fly.
      Cheap scale-out storage. Xsan costs $999 per seat today and next month it is free! Including the Xsan cluster file system in OS X Lion and in OS X Lion Server for $50 is huge for video shops.
      These aren?t features that Dad needs for a soccer game video. These are a foundation for feature and capability growth for more than the next decade

      And from a former Avid employee, Mike Bernardo:

      Based on your time at Avid, how seriously do you think they are taking FCPX now? Do you think they see this as a window of opportunity to steal back some of the FCP base ? or do they see FCPX as an even bigger threat now?

      Mike Bernardo: I still have many friends at Avid, and I?m sure there are a lot of smart people there thinking about this very issue as we speak. I know that while I was there, they took the threat from Apple very seriously.

      I think it would make sense to try and capitalize on Apple?s mis-step with some customer outreach and perhaps try to position Avid as the company that still ?cares? about Pros as a short term tactic. But without some new product to show, I?m not sure how effective that would be. If, as a FCP7 user, you hadn?t picked Avid in the past, I?m not sure what would change your mind now.

      The bigger concern I would have if I were at Avid would be that it appears Apple is again trying to leapfrog their competition with a new paradigm for video editing. Avid?s interface was already showing its age, and now it?s only going to appear more antiquated in the eyes of young editors growing up on FCPX. Maybe Avid doesn?t necessarily see that as a big deal ? they have their loyal users who aren?t going to switch and they know it. Remember also that Avid doesn?t make their money from the editor software alone ? they also have big enterprise server systems that manage large amounts of media and also do things like big newsroom automation systems. These are things that Apple are not likely to compete with. However, in all those kinds of systems, the lynchpin is the Editor, and if none of the younger editors know how to use, or don?t care to learn Avid, that?s a big long-term problem.
  • RE: Avid, Adobe pile on Final Cut Pro X with cheap crossgrades

    never trust Apple again for any serious professional software.. agreed!
  • RE: Avid, Adobe pile on Final Cut Pro X with cheap crossgrades

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