Steve Kilisky's Dynamic Media Blog

January 4, 2007

An Active Day for Mac Users

It's been an active day in terms of discussion, analysis, and commentary about our announcement to bring the Adobe Production Studio to the Mac. Over on MacRumors.com the score as of this writing is 85 positive and 25 negative ratings. Many folks would characterize this as a good reception to the announcement, and I would tend to agree that overall the response has been extremely positive. But I have perfectionist tendencies (a strength and a weakness. TIP: perfectionism is a great answer to job interview questions probing into weaknesses, certainly better than saying, "I'm unorganized and have trouble prioritizing my work"). As a result I am not satisfied with anything less than stellar results.

So despite the overall strong positive reaction, I find myself focused on understanding the reactions that fall into the negative camp. After scouring the Web reading as many media and user comments as I could find, the naysayers seem to fall into 3 main categories:

1) there are those who seem to be down on Adobe in general or maybe just like to "stir the pot" and will be negative no matter what we do. Thankfully this is a relatively small number, as it is hard for me to have a productive dialog with these types of individuals.

2) There are those who still have a less than great memories from their experience with the old Premiere 5.0a/b/c (sorry we deleted your files), and 6.x. To these people all I can say is "Premiere Pro is not the Premiere your father knew" (it is a completely new code base from the old Premiere, not just the old Premiere with 'Pro' added) and hopefully you'll be willing to re-evaluate it. If you don't, I can understand it; I still flinch anytime someone mentions Jack Daniels to me (hopefully that analogy makes sense).

3) There are those who use Final Cut Pro (or Avid) and don't foresee a reason to switch based on their investment and/or satisfaction with their current NLE. Fair enough. A comment I received on my "Back to Mac" blog entry characterizes this sentiment well; "I would have been one of those 4 years ago to ask for PP on the Mac. The problem is a little program called Final Cut Pro that we switched to. While still interested in seeing what the PP team turns out, you are going to have to make something VERY special to convince us to switch back. Bummer when you turn your back on your customers once."

If you fall into category number 1, I'm not sure there is anything we can say or do that would change your perspective, but for those who fall into categories 2 or 3, we have our work cut out for ourselves to earn your business and we will do our best to do that.

That said, while  I personally feel Premiere can stand toe-to-toe with other NLEs, I believe that the Production Studio is today for Windows users and will be later this year for Mac users an attractive offering no matter what NLE you feel best meets your needs. After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator are all mainstays in most post production environments and assuming it makes economic sense, Production Studio will be a good investment. And if you place sufficient value on the integration/workflow between those apps with your NLE, DVD Authoring and tools (plus Soundbooth as well), then Premiere Pro, and Encore deserve an evaluation because if you use AE on a regular basis, then overall Premiere Pro and Encore work better with AE than any other NLE or DVE authoring app.

For those of you who expressed support for this announcement, thank you. We appreciate it. For those Mac users not familiar with the Production Studio and happen to be within traveling distance of San Francisco, I encourage you to stop by and see a demo and talk to us at MacWorld (booth S901). If MacWorld isn't an option we'll also be showing the Mac Production Studio at Video Forum in Feb. in London. Alternatively, here are several OnDemand seminars of the Windows version of the products that you can watch at your leisure: Overview of Production Studio hosted by our own worldwide evangelista extraordinaire, Jason Levine, Commercial/Motion Picture Production and DynamicLink, hosted by Rob Legato and Adam Gerstel, or High Definition for Independent Filmmakers, hosted by Jacob Rosenberg. Last but not least check out more info about the Mac Production Studio on our web site which includes a FAQ and will hopefully very shortly have a form to sign up to be kept up to-date on news regarding the next release of Production Studio and other live events where it will be shown.

Posted by Steve Kilisky at 11:20 PM on January 4, 2007

Comments

mdotstrange — 3:10 AM on January 5, 2007

I for one cannot wait for Premiere Pro back on the Mac... I made an animated feature film by myself that premiere's at Sundance this year and every single frame went through AE... I started cutting on FCP on a Mac but dynamic link coerced me to export all my FCP sequences as EDL's so that I could do the rest of my work in Premiere Pro on my PC and then Color Correct in AE... I love MAc's and I love Premiere Pro so now I get both...thanks!!!
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Reply:

Thanks for sharing your experience and congrats on Sundance .

steve

Allan W. — 10:47 AM on January 5, 2007

I saw comments in those three categories as well online. I posted this on the Ars Journals yesterday:

Anyone who thinks Premiere Pro is anything like the original Premiere is sadly mistaken. Premiere Pro in its current state is a world-class editing platform, and its integration with After Effects is very useful for editors. Read a few reviews if you doubt it.

I'm no fanboi, either - my day job is cutting in FCP. However, I probably won't switch because we've got 5 workstations running FCP studio. If I was starting my own shop - after Q3 2007 and the Leopard upgrade (which this may require, actually) - I'd give the Adobe Studio a hard look. After Effects is a cornerstone for many video pros, so many of us have it anyway and know the "Adobe Way" (whatever that means). AE integration and Clip Notes are huge features, not to mention very good out-of-the box HD performance.

That's the only rub for me - my current facility is invested in FCP (but with AE, too), and I think Apple's going to show some amazing stuff with FCP 6. I really hope they learn from your experience at some point and start over; the FCP codebase is very creaky and needs a fresh start.

However, I'm personally quite excited about this news, and will be watching closely.

Allan W. — 10:49 AM on January 5, 2007

Oh, one more thing: if you make it easy on FCP users to bring import/export their timelines via XML (or even other means), that would go a long way for many, if they could switch back & forth without too much trouble (or an Automatic Duck). It would certainly lower the barriers to integrating into an established FCP workflow (or adding contractors who use PPro).

That would be cool.

Sao_Bento — 11:47 AM on January 5, 2007

First off, Steve, you're certainly a nice guy and I've always been impressed by what the AE team brings to the table - so this is not entirely directed at you - BUT - As someone who would be characterized as a perpetual Adobe naysayer, I'd say , on behalf of all of us with whom a dialog would be useless, that Adobe should be clear that they understand their own actions turned many people from steady customers into negative nellys.

I've seen it spun a million ways, but the reality is that anyone who's had to gear up Macs in the last several months has had to deal with Adobe's dropping the ball. I know Apple didn't do this or that, or that there are business decisions that outweighed something or another, but the reality is it's your customers who were trying to buy your products who were let down (by you). Wether or not you agree with the characterization of the situation, you must certainly agree that this is the perception amongst us disgruntled ex-customers.

Personally, I look at buying software as entering into a partnership with the maker of the software. I refuse to enter into business with partners who's reputation is for not holding up their end of the deal.

I think it's great that Adobe is bringing this stuff to the Mac again, but you'll have to work hard to earn a lot of people back. Adobe needs to quit acting like a monopoly and earn your customers, like you did in the old days. In time there will be competition, so while people might not have a choice today, they will tomorrow, and I expect they'll be looking to partner with a company that looks after their customers.
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Reply:
Hi Sao,

First of all, thanks for sharing your views on this. Just to clarify (it's the perfectionist in me), I didn't say a dialog would useless, just that I find it difficult to have a productive dialog.

In general I agree with your sentiment that any company's actions (intentional or not) that alienates a customer, needs to work extra hard to keep/regain that customer's business and loyalty. I still avoid Marriott hotels whenever I can as result of the treatment I received at SIGGRAPH a few years ago.

I can't speak for Adobe as a whole but I know that I personally try to learn from the past and use this knowledge to make better decisions in the future.

Now the question that begs to be asked is if this dialog is productive does that mean you really aren't in category 1 or I was wrong in my self-assessment?

Steve

Branislav — 4:50 AM on January 7, 2007

OK, so Production Studio is coming to the Mac but is there any chance of porting it to linux? You mentioned something at the end of the previous post. Is there a reason to hope?

James Hawkes — 4:04 PM on January 7, 2007

The part I found potentially exciting is the possibility of Matrox bringing their AXIO product line to the mac. I've been eying their product for a while but the changeover to a Windows box is the only stumbling block. A relatively inexpensive hardware accelerated system like this would encourage a lot of mac users to consider swapping from FCP.

EyeballNYC — 11:30 AM on January 9, 2007

Hey all - all us here at EyeballNYC (if you dont know, check out the website) are trying to get some open discussion regarding after effects and design issues started on our new Wiki - need pointers, got tips, or just want to shoot the breeze about design, animation or tech, please visit us at http://mographwiki.com/Talk:EyeballNYC
and share your thoughts!

Joey Morelli — 8:25 PM on January 9, 2007

(disclaimer...none of this is directed at you personally, of course)

Hi Steve!!

I hope you had a glorious holiday season with your family :)

Just a bit about Premiere coming back to the Mac:

AE / PS / ILL has been my bread & butta since '96 (Premiere also - early on). Nowadays, I fall into the #2 / #3 catagory...had a few bad experiences with old Premiere (Mac) and my Targa 2000 Pro card followed by the Matrox RTMac (yikes) but I was getting by...then - POOF. Just as my freelance business was ramping up - Premiere was gone. I was forced to choose between Xpress DV & Final Cut Pro (nobody was hiring Designers / Editors with Premiere rigs anyway at that time so I just let it go). I chose them both to increase my chances of landing projects. Because I am so deep now into both Avid & Final Cut applications in both full time and freelance projects, I have absolutely no use for Premiere Pro nor will I in the future (unless Avid & FCP disappear). This is just my situation, of course...but I think there are a lot of people like me out there.

I really feel that since Adobe pulled Premiere away from the Mac, Final Cut Pro (now Studio) has a complete stranglehold on Premiere's Mac market and I do not foresee Adobe getting that back...ever. Steve Bayes (Avid's ex-Senior Product Designer) has been hired by Apple to run the FCP Development Team so things are only going to get better in that camp and all of us hardcore Final Cut Pro freaks are waiting for that to happen. As for Adobe, I will always be a faithful end user / advocate of AE / PS / ILL, but you cannot abandon folks that buy & use your products to earn a living and then say "OK... we're back on the Mac and we won't disappoint you again". There's an old saying:

Fool me once - shame on you.

Fool me twice - shame on ME.

On the After Effects front:

I hope you get the chance to visit the Adobe After Effects forum and see the gigantic "Sticky" thread at the top of the forum that we have been adding to for months called "AFTER EFFECTS WISH LIST":

http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?14@@.ee6b2fe

There is a TON of useful suggestions for product enhancement and I personally cannot wait to see what Adobe has cooked up for the next versions of AE / PS / ILL! Thank you for all you do and keep up the fantastic work.

Respectfully,

Joey

Michal — 2:11 PM on January 11, 2007

How would you comment on a performance of AP on a Core Duo macbook?.

Apple dropped support for macbooks in FCP and I'm wondering are you going to follow them on that..

Michael Tuthill — 11:30 AM on February 9, 2007

First off, Premiere 6.5 was my staple for a couple years. I used Speed Razor back in the day because there were no really reliable windows based NLE out there other than Adobe which seems to be the black sheep of the editing world. All I can offer you guys is that I just picked up Adobe Premiere Pro 2 last week because I still edit on a PC using Windows XP because I refuse to switch to the Mac OS which will forever remain sub par to me. Case and point - I just got out of the editing labs at the school I go to (fitchburg state college) and tried compositing a roto'd eye from someone else's face onto another face using Mac's Shake software...and the whole system locked up when I turned on FCP. The amount of work that I put in to roto the eye in Shake took twice as long as it did to redo it in After Effects. I'm sorry, but Mac tries to ride on some holier than though clientelle base and I'm not buying into it. I will now and forever be using Adobe for personal projects, PP2 and AE all the way!

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