FCP-X received quite a lot of hash reviews immediately upon its release, wether they where fair reviews or just negative hype, I wasn’t sure however the missing features where reason enough for me to hold off upgrading. Recently a small project came up so I download the demo version (10.0.1) and with an open mind I launched the app and got into doing what I do. Injest from the EX1. Hmmm, no good. Few work arounds later and I have the files in the bin and ready for editing. But whats this stupid little clip viewer and psychotic canvas? The disappoints continued, and I must agree with the word on the street, this is iMovie Pro. This got me thinking. Whats with Apple and the professional market?
Apple appears to be abandoning its pro market, a market that got Apple through the tough times and continues to promote the platform as a serious computing platform. The pro users where originally from the the print industry but over the years has scooped up many others incl, Architects, Scientists, Musicians, and the Film industry. They’ve been a loyal Apple sector however over the last few years we’ve seen pro software and hardware either disappearing from the shelfs or gathering dust; The Xserve, Shake, Finalcut Server, Color, the current mac pro was released 17 months ago [at time of writing] and now Final cut pro appears to have been derailed.
At the same time apple has heavily pushed into the consumer market, just as Steve Jobs wanted with the original Apple II and Macinosh. To be fair, under the hood OSX is very much a PRO machine, however it would appear that apple is no longer focusing on the pro market like they have in the past. Why should they? The pro market is small and very demanding, and Apple appear to be leaving it instead to the third parties to cater to. Not a silly idea, however I think they’ve got it wrong.
Apples consumer base isn’t little boxes like whats been presented at keynote extravaganzas in the past, its more like a pyramid. With your general consumers at the base and the professional market at the top. Why does a student film maker/architect/musician etc choose Apple? It’s not because it’ll go great with their iPhone, its because the pros use them and if the Pro’s use something else so will students, teachers, friends, and so on. If you lose the top of the pyramid you expose the base to erosion.
The pro market can move quickly if they have to; when Adobe stalled on a release of Premiere for OSX the newly released Final Cut stole market share and then acted as a catalyst bringing video editors over to apples hardware. When Quark wavered Adobe InDesign stole the scene. Apple bought Logic (and later released garage band) which they captured the music industry with (ok the iPod may have influenced this group a little too). So my plea to Apple is this; Sort out the Pro sector.
I have a lot more to say on the subject, but i’ll cut it there.