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Apple Announces New Pro Software 479

Posted by michael
from the amateurs-need-not-apply dept.
yroJJory writes "Apparently, Apple has just announced new pro software today. First off is the new app Motion, which is a new motion graphics program with real-time previews, procedural behavior animation and Final Cut Pro HD integration. Second, is Final Cut Pro HD, boasting the beauty of HD with the simplicity of DV. Capture DVCPRO HD over FireWire, edit using camera-native footage and output over FireWire with no generational quality loss. RT Extreme, now for HD, can deliver multiple HD streams, effects, filters and transitions in real-time to an attached Apple Cinema Display. Last, but most important to me, is DVD Studio Pro 3, which has slick new transitions, superb HD to MPEG-2 encoding, Graphical View, support for all professional audio formats -- including DTS -- (FINALLY!!), and integration with Final Cut Pro HD and Motion. Motion will be available this summer for $299. The Final Cut Pro HD update is available now for FCP 4 users. DVD Studio Pro 3 is expected to ship in mid-May." Reader green pizza writes "Apple today introduced Xsan, a clustered filesystem for Mac OS X systems."
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Apple Announces New Pro Software

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  • by Spytap (143526) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:06PM (#8900519)
    Motion capture is completely different from motion graphics. And yes, Motion capture is too expensive to be done at the consumer level.

    Not to be an ass, but this could have been cleared up by simply clicking the link in the article and reading the first sentence in the product description...
  • Xsan (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:12PM (#8900552)
    Xsan is a typical SAN filesystem, not just "network mount points". It allows storage to be pooled and aggregated, and for multiple machines to concurrently mount the same filesystem(s) simultaneously. The keys in a SAN are things like storage monitoring, management, centralization, and performance.

    Just look at Apple's Xsan home page [apple.com] and Xsan press release [apple.com].
  • Re:Wait ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TiMac (621390) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:12PM (#8900554)
    A SAN is immensely more complex than this, and Xsan does virtualized volumes for data sharing, file-level locking, and several other things that an out-of-the-box setup will not. Read carefully...I'm not sure of all the details on this product yet, but it's not just mountpoints.
  • Don't forget Shake! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TiMac (621390) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:15PM (#8900570)
    Apple also introduced Shake 3.5 [apple.com] for Mac OS X, Linux, and IRIX...
  • by arikol (728226) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:15PM (#8900572) Journal
    Click the links first, functionality of the software is explained there. Motion capture needs points of reference on the target. Its also usually done in a high contrast environment (similar to blue/greenscreen but not as fancy) and the reference points have to be highly visible on the target (i.e. white tufts on all movement points, black suit underneath). Most ppl wouldnt want to bother with this even if they had hardware/software capable of doing it....
  • Re:Wait ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Have Blue (616) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:16PM (#8900577) Homepage
    It's a SAN clustering program. You run Xsan on each of your 4 Xserves, you plug a 3T Xserve RAID into each of them, and the whole backend appears to your G5 (and every other G5 on the network) as a single 12T volume that's faster than any single hardware unit, since Xsan also does load balancing.
  • by nedron (5294) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:18PM (#8900582) Homepage
    As the original poster mentioned, DSP 3 finally supports muxing DTS audio streams.

    This has been a requested feature since 1.0. Noce to see they finally got DTS support into the product.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:22PM (#8900613)
    Silly rabbit, they're using 100Mbps of the available FireWire bandwidth, which is only four times higher than a DV stream. This is essentially DV-style compression for HDTV signals. It has the advantages of DV (lossless editing since it's the camera's native format) as well as the disadvantages (one-time lossy compression with some loss of colour resolution).
  • by Enrico Pulatzo (536675) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:24PM (#8900622)
    Well, they are using the DVCPRO HD codec, which requires only 100Mbps stream, 1394b is overkill.

    Apple suggests that you have a 160MB(capital B)ps connection to do uncompressed (read: non DVCPRO HD) HD content, which requires a PCI-based solution, not firewire.
  • by CrowScape (659629) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:36PM (#8900668)
    Yes, because we all know Premiere was the only NLE software for the Mac...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:40PM (#8900686)
    Technically, FCP does support uncompressed HD. It's just not for free over FireWire (it'll take a Kona capture card and a storage system of the Xserve RAID's calibre).
  • Re:Wait ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:50PM (#8900729)
    Xsan is Apple's port of ADIC's CVFS (or "StorNext" as they took to calling it a while back) to Mac OS X, with new administration tools.

    A CVFS client on Window, Solaris, whatever, will plug right into an Xsan network.
  • Re:What impresses me (Score:5, Informative)

    by geniusj (140174) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:53PM (#8900743) Homepage
    Given that in rendering you are crunching large chunks of data. The fact that G5s are 64-bit and have an insane amount of bandwidth between every subsystem probably helps it quite a bit. Not to mention that while Shake is optimized for the G5 (compiled with 64 bit support), it is doubtful that the same optimizations were given for, say, AMD64. The G5 is no slouch, as you seem to be inferring.

    One thing that I am pretty sure about, but not positive, is the cost of running a linux cluster node in the farm. I know the OS X licenses for a cluster node are free. However, I do not believe that to be the case with a Linux node. Again, further driving the cost way up. The most cost effective option for recent shake adopters are most likely XServe G5 Cluster Nodes. As they are relatively cheap individually (for the power they provide) and you do not need to pay a licensing fee for each node.
  • They make it sound like realtime HD over firewire is some big deal until you realize it's just 19Mbps HDV video

    Wrong. HD over FireWire is 100 Mbps. It's only after the program content has been sent to the transmitter that HD gets squeezed all the way down to 19 Mbps. In production, the bit rates are 50-100 times higher than that.

    (Real men deal with uncompressed SMPTE-292, of course. Gigabit and a half per second, thank you very much.)

    You shouldn't comment on what you don't know.

    Right back atcha.
  • Re:What impresses me (Score:3, Informative)

    by rduke15 (721841) <rduke15NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:53PM (#8900748)
    these pro-level tools that have become absolutely essential to the media cartels.

    Actually, the media cartels are mostly using Avid (on both Mac and Windows), not Apple's FCP.

    It's not in the high-end market they are competing (though that may change), but in the lower end where Adobe Premiere was not good enough and Avid too expensive. That's where everyone jumped on FCP and... bought a Mac. That's not to say FCP isn't good. It seems to be pretty good, and the editors I know tend to rather like it, even if it cannot (yet?) really compete with high-end Avids in some areas. But that seems to be the next step.

    They have a very clear business model of providing (good) software to sell their hardware. (iTunes to sell iPods, FCP to sell Macs, what's next?)

  • Re:Interesting. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:57PM (#8900763)
    Xsan is Apple's branded port of CVFS.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:59PM (#8900768)
    Uhhh... Mac OS supports a second mouse button just fine. In fact, I'm using an MS Intellimouse Explorer with my OS X (10.3) box right now. I'm using all of its buttons: left, right, middle, scroll wheel, and the two on the side (which are mapped to Expose).

    This is a problem that hasn't been a problem for years ... at least as long as OS X, and probably far longer.

  • by goMac2500 (741295) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:12PM (#8900825)
    I updated to FCP HD today (which is a free upgrade). So far looks the same. I don't have an HD camera so I can't try that out. No problems with the update so far. We're looking at Xsan at work. We are implementing a huge multi-XServe LDAP system and have a multi-terrabyte XServe RAID to back it up. Originally we would have had to partition the XServe RAID, but Xsan would solve that problem. Motion has caused the biggest stir among my creative-type friends,
  • by Risto (666860) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:14PM (#8900834)
    I don't know how they can get away with calling it motion

    In light of the Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox/Fire--- browser, and the mobilix.org forced name changes
    it should be noted that "Motion" is a well known motion detection software.

    http://motion.sourceforge.net/
  • Slight correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by DavidinAla (639952) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:24PM (#8900869)
    Apple didn't buy a company that developed FCP, but rather bought an unfinished product called Key Grip from Macromedia. Here is a brief history of how the product came to be.

    ==========

    http://www.creativecow.net/forum/read_post.php?p os tid=108142367318278&forumid=126

    Kathlyn and I remember when FCP was being developed on WindowsNT (at Macromedia and was known as Key Grip) and Media 100 had signed on with the Key Grip team to make it their front-end of choice for M100's soon-to-be Windows system. (It was Q3-1996 at the time.) At the Macromedia World Developers Conference in September 1996, we were guests of John Molinari (founder of Media 100) and he introduced us to Bud Colligan of Macromedia, Lauren Herr of Truevision (later Pinnacle), Peter Hoddie of the Quicktime team and many members of the Key Grip team.

    Later on in October of 1996, I was asked to appear on a TV show as one of the panelists discussing digital video. The other panelists were Randy Ubillos (lead engineer of both Premiere and Key Grip (FCP)), Steve Whitney (then of M100 but later of Puffin Designs and then Pinnacle), and one of the key people from MicroNet (who then were key drive manufacturers in this marketspace).

    I also quite well remember when Apple bought Key Grip and later rechristened it Final Cut Pro. I remember the chagrin it gave Avid and how that also intensified when Apple announced that they were dropping the six-slot PCI architecture of the old 9500/9600 design base.

    I worked for Avid for 18 months under contract as a consultant to help reposition the marketing message of Avid after they made the ill-fated "We're going to be PC-only" at NAB and set their predominantly Mac-only user base on fire.

    Apple did NOT develop FCP as an answer to Avid's announcement -- it was quite the opposite, really. Avid saw the writing on the wall and determined that they stood a better chance on the Windows-side of the aisle -- a move that would later prove a lapse in judgment and would require "a repositioning of the reposition." ;o)

    Just to set the record straight,

    Ron Lindeboom
    creativecow.net
  • by PipsqueakOnAP133 (761720) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:30PM (#8900889)
    Very true. Apple sure didn't supply silicon to make devices, however, before the iMac, no vendor would have made USB devices since Win95 and Win98 didn't have complete USB implementations back then. And besides, the same developer argument regarding porting from Windows to Linux/Mac applies here. There was no reason for them to make USB devices back which only worked on some machine rather than do it over RS232 or Parallel and make it work with ALL the PCs availiable.

    The only incentive for them to make USB devices when the iMac came out was since Mac users have typically tolerated a markup on addons, they were able to charge much much more per unit made AND they were assured they'd be first to market if they got it done fast.

    Eventually, if the device wasn't compliant with both the iMac and Win98SE, the device wasn't going to sell.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:37PM (#8900914)
    Gee, none of this has ever [sonypictures.com] been done [sonypictures.com] before... I'm CERTAIN Apple didn't bump this announcement early to deflate the rumored debut of Vegas 5 tomorrow. What have they to fear? {/sarcasm}
  • HDV 720p is 19Mbps and the other formats are 25Mbps.

    Ce n'est pas correct, mon petit frere. Regular DV/DVC/DVCAM/DVCPRO is approximately 25 Mbps. There's a 50 Mbps variant called DVCPRO50. (The 25 Mbps variant is 4:1:1; the 50 Mbps variant is 4:2:2. If this means nothing to you, don't worry about it.)

    There is no 720p variant of DVCPRO-HD. The DVCPRO-HD format anamorphically encodes either 1280x720 or 1920x1080 into 1280x1080 with 8-bit samples (4:2:2) at 100 Mbps.

    I suppose you work with 1.5 gigabit digital video streams, then? I doubt it.

    Sure. HD-SDI, i.e., SMPTE-292. Look around on the back of your HDCAM or D-5 deck. See that coaxial port? That's what it is. That's the transport for uncompressed HD. That's the video signal we use to get HD into our Smoke and our Fire.

    If you've got enough disk bandwidth, it's trivial to export uncompressed HD from Smoke as a QuickTime and bring it into Final Cut. I've done it several times, when circumstances demanded it; I did not have enough disk bandwidth, but I wasn't working in real-time, so it didn't matter.

    Sorry, I do know what I'm talking about.

    Not from where I'm sitting, bud. No offense, but nope. Not from here.
  • Re:Xsan (Score:4, Informative)

    by ryanw (131814) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:55PM (#8900991)
    Xsan is a typical SAN filesystem, not just "network mount points".
    Not to question your knowledge in SAN, but have you read what Xsan [apple.com] is and can do?

    Maybe you should read inbetween the lines. It sounds like special software along with fiberchannel. It's much much more than "regular san". You ever tried to mount san read/write onto several systems? It will cause errors and problems all over your filesystems. XSan allows you to mount multipule systems read/write onto the same fiberchannel san system. This requires special software way beyond regular san. People have been looking for solutions like this for years. The closest thing to it is gigabit NFS, but NFS is intensely CPU intensive. I'd be curious to see how well this handles.

  • by goMac2500 (741295) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:07PM (#8901044)
    GNUStep attempts to replicate the Mac OS X Cocoa API under Linux. You still have to recompile the code though, and a lot of multimedia stuff doesn't work.
  • by logicat2001 (706979) * on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:14PM (#8901068)
    Even more interesting is that pre-announcement arrived with a request for beta testers. Requirements and application available here. [apple.com] Best, Logicat
  • by green pizza (159161) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:19PM (#8901085) Homepage
    You're missing the whole point of SAN...

    Yes, Xsan lets several Macs and Xserves share files, but it does so through Fibrechannel, not through a LAN. Several machines can share files and/or cluster their storage together without having to rely on a fileserver. Each machine has direct access to the storage via the fibrechannel switch. No filesharing or networking protocols to get in the way of good perforamnce. Now without some sort of controls in place, this could quickly become a huge mess, that's where the Xsan software comes in. It handles things like connect/disconnect and access privleges.

    $999 per machine sounds steep, until you compare that to similar software offered by Veritas and SGI (SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS). Apple's is a bargain.
  • by May Kasahara (606310) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:29PM (#8901130) Journal
    (nods) I like Premiere as well, and love AE. However, this latest news has got me wondering what's going to happen to AE ($699 for the regular version) when Apple is offering a motion graphics suite for less than half the price (with real-time previews, no less!). Didn't Premiere go through some similar pricing wars with Final Cut Express?
  • by azav (469988) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:52PM (#8901247) Homepage Journal
    You are wrong.

    Apple did not "come up with Final Cut Pro." I worked at Macromedia when Randy Ubillos (of Premier fame) started creation of Keygrip. The product was 2 or more years in development and quite behind schedule. It was done out of the Macromedia offices near Oracle in the mid 90's. Macromedia sold this technology to Apple and the development continued to become Final Cut.

  • by noewun (591275) on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:09AM (#8901337) Journal
    People are abandoning Avid because Avid treats its endusers like pieces of shit: incredibly expensive software and hardware, ridiculous support, features added when Avid feels like it rather than when they're requested, etc. Everyone in the industry knew that the minute a real competitor appeared Avid would be in trouble. When FCP 2 appeared (not FCP 1.0, as it wasn't quite there) it was possible to purchase an Avid-equivalent system for 10% of the price Avid charges.

    Avid dug their own grave on this one, and all Apple did was see an opportunity and fill it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:40AM (#8901491)
    Watson was based on specs that Apple sent out to many of its developers about Shelock.

    They projected well into the future what it could and couldn't do and suggested that folks could even build sherlock plugins based on this. Someone took these specs and made another software and released it before Apple released their much more refined version.

    Moded +4 Insightful at the moment. Maybe these people don't know the true story. Or maybe you are the developer of Watson and pissed off Apple didn't buy you off like a few others had been paid off when they had done this isame thing in the past.
  • by ericdano (113424) on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:43AM (#8901502) Homepage
    Indeed. I have a friend who does a lot of video work. He had a $40K Pinnacle System [pinnaclesys.com] that he ditched for a G5 setup. He actually had a G4 running Final Cut Pro 2.0 for a while, and loved it. It blew circles around his Pinnacle system. Now that he has a G5 system with Final Cut Pro (latest version), he is in heaven. It is a very very slick system.

    The SANs system will be a boon to production companies. The biggest issue with working with video is disk space.......you need LOTS of space.....

  • by ericdano (113424) on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:47AM (#8901524) Homepage
    Indeed, yet Apple has Legacy issues it constantly overcomes. 680X0 to PowerPC, and OS 9 (Classic) to OS X. Amazing company. Seriously.
  • Re:What impresses me (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:20AM (#8901638) Journal
    Actually, they had an existing shake-on-linux infrastructure. They were already a major Shake customer at the time that Apple bought the app.

    -jcr
  • Re:What impresses me (Score:3, Informative)

    by malducin (114457) on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:21AM (#8901648) Homepage
    1) Yes they did have a Linux infrastructure but that was after purchasing Shake. Originally Weta used a lot of SGI gear (although at least some of it also ran Linux not Irix) when worked started on Fellowship of the Ring. But by Two Towers they switched quite a bit to Linux, which was around the time Apple came out with Shake for Mac after purchasing Nothing real.

    As far as cost in many situations in high end VFX the cost of the software is not that important considering the cost of the artists and technicians. And even at the end they didn't have to worry too much about infrastucture costs as New Line Cinema ponied up the money to upgrade the renderfarm for return of the King if I remember right.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:26AM (#8901674)
    this is offtopic but....

    Apple does not have a near monopoly, the rules change when you have. When you have a monopoly you may not enter a market in which you did not have a presence before using you monopoly as leverage. That is the whole point. The reason is that we need to protect the open and free market which means that there has to be a level playing field.

    Law aside, the USA missed a chance to keep domination the software market. If MS was split up it would van created 3 or 4 very large companies which would be free of moral and legal problems. Microsoft needs to split up and differentiate it self.

    MS has a chance now to learn how to function while it is still the default choice of many people. It still has the chance to show that it know what people want. If they wait -- they will loose to alternatives and local initiatives.
  • AFAIK it was late because they had trouble making it work under Windows.
  • by mah! (121197) on Monday April 19, 2004 @02:28AM (#8901948) Homepage
    Yes, because we all know Premiere was the only NLE software for the Mac...

    Well, AFAIK it was the only one in the $500-$1000 price range.

    Media 100 and Avid systems were aiming at quite a different market, in Mac OS 7.x-8.x times. With quite a different set of features & options. Premiere 5.x couldn't even copy-paste sets of multi-track edit sequences (not sure whether later versions can do that now). As someone once told me (in pre-FCP days), Premiere is like the pico of video editing compared to Avid being the emacs of video editing

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2004 @06:05AM (#8902561)
    My fingers are crossed that they'll do something about Quark, and soon.

    Particularly since Quark just outsourced all it's management to India (I, for one, wish more upper-management would have the balls to do this, since they're fscking worthless anyway) and they're in a virtual death-spiral with Quark 6.
  • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter@gm a i l . com> on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:53AM (#8903733) Homepage
    You mean 'one of the designers'.

    In the article you talk about, he was still using OS8 and had access to a second mouse button when he wanted one.

    "I've been using a two-button mouse on my Macs for a couple years now, and no one could pry them away from me. The Kensington two-button mouse allows me to use the second button for System 8's context-sensitive menus, and even lets you set a third code for both buttons pressed simultaneously."

    He then goes on to argue --

    "In principle, I'm not against adding more buttons, but only if some clear definition exists for each, so the user can predict what might happen were one pressed."

    What is interesting is that his opening salvo in explaining the 1 button mouse in the beginning

    "We wanted an interface that could be learned in 20 minutes, and you can't do that with a mouse festooned with buttons."

    is what Apple is still aimed at out of the box: Learning an interface in 20 minutes.

    As the article says, even 6 years back, Apple had the hooks in the system to allow for 2 or more button capibility straight out of the box. All you have to do is spend the $15 to buy one...maybe even ordering one from Apple itself along with your order.

    What the folks who continually bitch about the lack of the 2 buttons seems to ignore is that its a choice. And something that gives the clear definitions of what the second mouse button should do. What should it do? If an application is properly designed, one button is good enough to get the job done easily. If properly designed, two buttons might give the power user to get the job done much faster after learning the rest of the interface with only one button -- and then learning the short cuts.
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:25PM (#8905538)
    Yes, but the licence fee talked about here is for Shake, not the OS.

    Render nodes are free for Shake on OS X, but not for Linux.

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