If you've paid attention to the recent Final Cut Pro X debacle and are wondering like so many others if Apple has either lost their mind or, given up on the truly professional editor, the answers to both should unequivocally be, "Yes".
There are a handful of posts from people with a great deal more direct-Apple information than I have, who've very simply stated two things about Apple's perspective on "pro" users.
One: Apple has always - and arrogantly - assumed that it's own direction, rather than listening to it's user-base - is the best direction, period. End of story. Apple may once in a while, give into mass-grumblings when things go really badly or if there's a widespread problem will issue a fix, but as a general rule, it's the Steve Jobs way or the highway.
Second, Apple only wants to produce things that nobody else is doing. They don't want to fortify someone else's idea, expand on existing product structures or simply "update" older software/hardware. They want to go Apple's direction only, and continue to feed the Jobs lemonade to the world.
And from the outside you'd be hard-pressed to think they've got it wrong, just recently during the week-long roller-coaster ride on Wall Street Apple was listed as *the* most valuable company in the world, with Exxon-Mobile coming in second place. Apple has billions - yes, Billions of dollars in CASH and they've gotten there by concentrating in one single direction: iProducts.
Apple has been, ever since the introduction of iTunes a consumer-centric and iProduct tunnel-visioned company and they've reaped their rewards.
So even if you're a loyal Apple customer and have been paying the bills using "professional" Apple products, and Steve Jobs decides that your current software - that being Final Cut Pro - is in need of drastic makeover and needs to be different than every other NLE on the planet, so different in fact that you no longer have a future path forward with your "old" version of Final Cut, Steve Jobs doesn't care. Not one bit.
Why? Because you're a pain-in-the-ass pro customer, and he's making his billions off the general consumer. And so he's going to finally squeeze you out of the equation by turning Final Cut Pro X into "iMovie on Steriods" and laugh all the way to the bank.
In the meantime, you're sitting left feeling less like a professional editor and more like the red-headed step-child nobody will sit next to in class. So if you're Mac-based are you now doomed to a future where you're using old technology while your PC counterparts vault ahead of you in capabilities? Of course not.
Just a few short years ago Adobe's Premiere Pro product lagged behind Final Cut and the rest of the NLE marketplace for years. Why isn't quite clear, but what IS crystal clear ever since NAB 2007 is that Premiere Pro is back, and in a very BIG way, and in point of fact trounced FCP's capabilities starting with the version launched at NAB '07.
Today Premiere Pro and it's pro suite offering, Production Premium, is so far ahead of both FCP 7 and "X" that it's almost laughable to make a direct comparison.
I've spent the bulk of this post flushing out the future of pro-apps for Apple's software lineup, but my next post will talk about WHY every Final Cut Pro user on the planet needs to take a serious look at the Production Premium bundle from Adobe, and never look back.