I’m seeing this all over the various forums, blogs and twitter feeds in one variant or another in regards to the big Final Cut Pro X reveal at the FCPUG SuperMeet in Las Vegas last Tuesday.
“Hey, don’t knock down this product when it was just a SNEAK PEEK people! Sure there’s some questions out there but we should all be happy that Apple has at least shown us something. You know they’re normally super secret so the fact that actually showed Final Cut Pro X is a big change in the company. I’m excited about these new changes! Now we have to wait till June to see what features are still in the application before we start to complain.”
Apple had two freakin’ hours of stage time available and they wasted it on just one hour of a super slick presentation.
Of course we’re going to knock the presentation because all it did was leave us with many more questions than answers.
How long would it have taken to mention planned support for third party filters? 30 seconds?
Third party capture cards? 60 seconds?
Log and Capture / Edit to Tape support? (are they still there?) 20 seconds?
Customizable interface to replicate a more traditional editing style? 2 minutes?
Continued support of OMF, XML, EDL, AAF import / export? 30-60 seconds?
Text Tool? 2 minutes?
Track management? (as in allowing us to specify audio tracks for elements for ease of sending to ProTools and other sound editors) 1 minute?
The other ProApps? (as in are they being updated, retained and if so, expected releases?) 2 minutes?
In other words, MANY of the unanswered questions that all of us are asking could have been answered in that additional hour with plenty of time to spare.
Even if they didn’t want to show one of their patented slick slides or video demo, they could have at least told us about the various professional features that many of us use every day. But apparently those questions I’ve asked up above are somehow trade secrets that simply cannot be revealed because what if (gasp) one of the competitors (Avid, Adobe, Quantel, Autodesk, Vegas) finds out that Apple intends to retain standard pro features?
I’m sick and tired of sneak peeks and teases quite honestly. Put the product out there where we can truly test it out and ask questions like the Adobe, Avid, Autodesk, Quantel and all the other demonstrations that were out on the show floor. Put it in the hands of 1,000 beta testers in all sorts of production situations to get real world feedback instead of relying on a couple of post houses and maybe 10 beta testers. I spoke one on one with the CEO of Avid about the product and the future of the product. That was a useful conversation with frank questions and answers.
“I cannot speak about anything except what you just saw in the presentation”
is the response one of my colleagues got from the Apple ProApps team after the “sneak peek.” In other words, you have questions, I have no answers.
So what was the point in coming at all if you didn’t want to address the Pro Editors’ questions?
For fanboys it was the ultimate Apple dog and pony show last Tuesday.
But in the end, in front of 1700 video editors, on what could have been the night Apple completely re-invented non-linear editing, quite simply, Apple dropped the ball. Next time come prepared to answer very simple, very basic questions from the professionals in the room.