January 03, 2007

Adobe video apps: Back to the Mac

Excellent news: Last fall’s debut of the cross-platform Adobe Soundbooth beta was a sign of good things to come, and the company has just announced that the next version of the Adobe Production Studio will be available on both Macintosh & Windows. Specifics of features, pricing, and schedule aren’t being discussed right now; rather, this announcement is a heads-up that signals the direction for this tightly integrated suite of products, including a greatly increased commitment to the Mac platform.

After Effects PM Steve Kilisky has posted some background on the history & evolution of platform support in DV apps.  The short story: Adobe Premiere needed a rewrite from the ground up, so the team had to focus its efforts on a single platform, with the hope and intention of returning to the Mac after building momentum on Windows.  That’s exactly what they’re now doing, alongside Encore DVD and Soundbooth.

I know that there’s plenty of really emotional history here, and I’m posting the news just to help spread the word.  I expect that Steve, along with DV PMs Bob Donlon & Hart Shafer, will have more to say via their blogs in the weeks and months ahead.  So, I’ll leave comments open on this post, but it would probably be most useful to channel feedback to those guys directly.

[Update: Macworld has posted news and analysis of this development. I’m really pleased to see all the positive and supportive reader comments. Elsewhere, Orphanage founder Stu Maschwitz posted some brief positive notes about switching from FCP to Premiere. I love the “Voltron” comparison. :-)]

Posted by John Nack at 11:23 PM on January 03, 2007


  • Michael — 1:19 PM on January 04, 2007

    It’s awesome…I have been using AP for some time but now I’ve switched to OS X and FCP just feels different(not as good).
    That competition should bring some new features to the table from both companies:). And I really hope for some competitive pricing from Adobe’s side:)
    [Cool; I agree that competition will bring out the best in all players. –J.]

  • Razorhead — 3:21 PM on January 04, 2007

    I suspect that by summer 07 Adobe will announce a Mac verson of both Premiere Pro and Premiere Elements.When I switched to the Mac it was a chore learning Final Cut. I’m still not very comfortable with it. I look forward to Adobe’s entry to this market.

  • Frank Fulchiero — 2:12 AM on January 05, 2007

    Great! We still have a faculty member with many tens of hours of partially-edited video projects in Premiere 6.5 on the Mac, and keep a G5 with OS 10.3.9 and QT 6.5 just so he can keep editing. It would be great if the timelines can be migrated to the new Premiere. Here’s hoping.
    6.5 is actually pretty stable with the latest QT and OSX on the Mac, but there are ‘stretch’ marks in the audio and it gets out of sync.

  • Michal — 6:32 AM on January 05, 2007

    What you should really have is to have a public beta, even a very short one to get FCP users to know AP….
    [I think that’s a great idea. Tens of thousands of people have downloaded the Soundbooth beta & have provided lots of good feedback. I can’t speak for other teams and their plans, but all the betas to date have been well received. –J.]

  • Chirsten — 12:39 PM on January 05, 2007

    How lovely, I’m sure Apple Pros will be flocking back to a company that continually treats them like second-class citizens across the board (from developers to video professionals, etc). No thanks.
    [Thanks for the words of encouragement. Adobe increasing its support for the Mac = a chance to beef on Adobe. Kind of unhelpful, don’t you think?
    It’s a big company, and not every decision by every team over the years has favored the Mac–that’s true. I personally have nothing to do with history involving FrameMaker, old versions of Acrobat that lacked features on the Mac, etc. I’m just asking that people try to focus on the positive, which is that over the last year or so Adobe has been increasing support for the Mac, and that’s a good thing.
    In an interesting juxtaposition, I read this right after reading happy news about using Flex Builder on OS X. –J.]

  • Michal — 6:56 AM on January 06, 2007

    Christen, it’s not that weird that OS X wasn’t the main goal of Adobe because G3/G4/G5 based macs just failed to deliver audience wide enough to justify development costs of every single Adobe app…now when intel based macs are selling like hot cakes and Apple’s market share is going up this cost is now justified…imho

  • Durin Gleaves — 8:43 AM on January 08, 2007

    It was also near-impossible to stay competitive when Apple released FCP as they were allegedly heavily subsidizing companies to start using it. A friend who is a television editor in New York told me that they received several top of the line mac’s with FCP installed and were basically told to keep them and if they used FCP to edit, to allow Apple a bit of publicity out of it. Unfortunately they were a hardcore Avid house, and couldn’t get their work done fast enough in FCP (his show aired about 6 hours after it finished taping) so they stuck with Avid.
    There was no one doing this sort of thing on the Windows platform, no clear leader dominating the field, so I think it made business sense for Adobe to pull back the reins and focus their efforts on becoming the leader in one market, then come back to the Mac. Otherwise, I don’t think Premiere would have lasted were it forced to spread itself too thin.

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