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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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  • What impresses me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:06PM (#8900520) Homepage Journal
    The most impressive thing about the Mac world is that Apple puts so much effort into building a complete software environment for their customers. With (compared to the Windows world) 3rd party software houses effectively shunning Apple because of the lack of users (again comparatively speaking), Apple would no doubt be dead if not for Apple's heavy investment in writing these pro-level tools that have become absolutely essential to the media cartels.

    However, I wonder how long Apple can continue with such heavy investment in this excellent software. The return on investment of this kind of thing can't be that great considering the low low price of the software. Granted, it moves Mac G5 boxes, but I wonder if the markup on the Apple hardware can compensate for the loss leading of the Apple software.
  • by rodgerd (402) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:08PM (#8900528) Homepage
    People don't write software for MacOS because Apple will compete with them.

    Why do you think the likes of Adobe are scaling down their Mac product line? Apple are trying to have their lunch. Why bother writing software to bolster your enemy?
  • The real news .. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by naden (206984) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:12PM (#8900553)
    Has to be the XSan .. this combined with the XServe and XServe RAID really does have to worry companies like Sun and SGI a little.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:12PM (#8900555)
    The return on investment of this kind of thing can't be that great considering the low low price of the software.

    Shake 3 - $4950

    The big production houses use it, use it lots, and use it on several workstations.

    Apple are making a bit of a profit, but they also have an intensely INTENSELY loyal following just because it's the best of the best.

    Their other apps are cheaper, but then they'll all continue to be updated, all continue to need new hardware, and all continue to need newer versions of the Mac OS.

    Combine multi million dollar production budgets and that level of loyalty, Apple's video production market isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and is going to keep bringing them in solid profits.

    Hey, they're not a market leader by % of total machines sold, but they're still a business with a near $2billion turnover each quarter with profits in the tens of millions. I'd like to be in that position
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:13PM (#8900557)
    The other way to look at it is that by providing their own software they pretty much guarantee lock in. I think it is a good thing they have a small market share. It would scare if a company that controlled they hardware, the os and the software as tightly as Apple. As bad as Microsoft may be at least they don't control much outside of the OS and Office.
  • by tentimestwenty (693290) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:13PM (#8900560)
    I'm not even a big video user but this is amazing stuff. From start to finish they've got everything almost anyone could want to make high end productions and the cost and hardware is stupidly cheap. Real time HD over FireWire on a $3000 computer? Just to get that to work is amazing, but to have a purpose built SAN to handle all the files, and it all works together with amazing fit and finish. I can't see anyone in the industry not going for this. Apple's been saying that having the hardware and the software let's them do all sorts of unique things, but this is the first time it's going to completely change a whole industry. Linux companies take note and make sure you've got a hardware side to your operations.
  • by Selecter (677480) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:14PM (#8900563)
    Most of the software is not any sort of a loss leader for Apple. They make some serious cash off most of their in house softwarez - iLife 04 was a huge success for Apple as noted in the recent quarterly report.

    Hardware delays not withstanding, ( within reason ) Apple's future is pretty bright. Check how many /. readers have and use Macs compared to 3 years ago. 3 years ago, anything Apple was a running joke here, becuase the hardware was so outdated mostly, but also becuase OS X was not ready for primetime.

    Big difference today - Apple is the geek computer. Hardcore gamers are the last holdout IMO.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:21PM (#8900600)
    People don't write software for MacOS because Apple will compete with them.

    Apple only seems to be stepping in where a competitor's product is languishing on the Mac platform. Two examples:

    Internet Explorer for the Mac was left to rot by Microsoft, so Apple came up with Safari.

    Adobe Premiere for the Mac was a neglected piece of shit, so Apple came up with Final Cut Pro.

    This is a very clear message to software makers: "Shitty, infrequently-updated Mac software will not be tolerated. If you're going to make it, make it right or we'll take your marketshare with a kick-ass app that shows off what the Mac can do."
  • by rduke15 (721841) <rduke15 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:28PM (#8900637)
    FCP doesn't seem to be supporting uncompressed HD. Apparently, it's only for the Panasonic DVCPRO HD codec.

  • by rebeka thomas (673264) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:30PM (#8900638)
    Their other apps are cheaper, but then they'll all continue to be updated, all continue to need new hardware, and all continue to need newer versions of the Mac OS.

    Shake 3 is also out for Linux. Cheaper OS, cheaper hardware, higher performance. I don't see that many houses will use Shake on OS X boxes for much longer.
  • by MoneyT (548795) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:31PM (#8900648) Journal
    Apple wouldn't need to write software if the developers would actualy, you know, develop, as opposed to letting products die *cough* premeire *cough*. If no one is going to write software for Apple, Apple will write the software themselves.
  • by MoneyT (548795) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:34PM (#8900654) Journal
    Control like that is only really a bad thing if the person in control is making bad decisions and abusing their position.
  • by geniusj (140174) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:35PM (#8900663) Homepage
    Shake is also costs twice as much for linux. Enough that it's cheaper to get a powermac and shake than to get a linux box and shake.. that's intentional.
  • by MoneyT (548795) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:39PM (#8900682) Journal
    And before the iMac, there were probably less than 10 companies producing USB products. It's all about pushing people forward into the new world.
  • Interesting. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:41PM (#8900689)
    First SGI came out with a port [macworld.com] of their CXFS [sgi.com] filesystem, and now Apple's Xsan. Both of these fill a hole that was blindingly obvious the moment Apple came out with the Xserve RAID.

    Both Xsan and CXFS are cross-platform: you can attach heterogenous (Windows, Linux, Irix, Solaris, Mac OS X, possibly others) systems to the one filesystem, and have it all work. The interesting part is that CXFS needs an SGI Irix box at the centre to deal with the metadata updates (as I understand it). Xsan also needs a metadata server, but it's unclear whether it needs to be an OS X box, or if it'll work with other operating systems at its core. If the former, it's understandable. If the latter, it'll be a good chance to make it into the enterprise in a big way.

    Either way, it looks like Apple is making some serious, steady steps towards the enterprise market. They're very much the underdogs; people looking at this sort of thing like to see a track record before buying; but still... interesting times, indeed.

  • by wvitXpert (769356) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:42PM (#8900694)
    That may be true, but it seems like the future of computing. As much as I love choices I think Apple's integration is a good thing. Right now computer hardware and software is just kind of stitched together loosely. Apple is optimizing their software for the their hardware with a resulting computing experience that is unparalleled. When I use an Apple I feel that it is a quality product. Not just because the hardware seems so well designed and thought out, or because the software works so simply yet effectively. It's the combination of both hardware and software that makes a computing experience, so it makes sense for Apple to control both.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday April 18, 2004 @09:44PM (#8900705) Homepage Journal
    The Linux world is a bazaar. The Windows world is a cathedral, albeit an incompetently-run one. It's disingenuous at best to talk about "The PC World" without making this distinction. Not to mention that the Apple cathedral has a pretty good relationship with the Linux bazaar these days.
  • by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:06PM (#8900797)
    "Hardware sinking ship?" I have to disagree with you there. With the release of the G5 bringing the Mac hardware platform on par with, if not ahead of its PC counterparts, Apple is by no means hurting. This is without counting the 64-bit capabilities of the processor that are, as yet, still largely under-utilized. They also have a good price point for their workstation systems, that easily compete with what the other guys have to offer.

    Apple is far better off than it was a year ago, or even five years ago, when things were really ugly.

    There's a strange (and, IMHO, unrealistic) trend of opinion lately that says that Apple should stop making great hardware and concentrate on making great software that only runs on that great hardware. If you think the software is that damn great, then buy a Mac. That's what Apple's trying to get you to do, but people seem to be missing the point.
  • by dfghjk (711126) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:07PM (#8900806)
    Don't know why you think these tools are "absolutely essential" since there are plenty that don't use them. Don't know why you think the price is "low low" either or that the software is "excellent" since it's only just announced. Finally, I can't imagine why you assume that this software is "loss leading". Apple's not giving this away for free. FCP is not inexpensive and Shake is quite pricey.
  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:16PM (#8900839)
    Apple releases some great looking new software, and it's inexpensive for what it is. I wonder what particular anti-Apple axe the slashdotters will have to grind today. Surely this can't be good news!
  • Re:Kudos to Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tobycat (722641) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:18PM (#8900847)
    I think Apple has something to be proud of here. They've attracted some of the very best technical talent in the industry and are keeping them employed in the US. Apple accomplished this during an economic downturn in which technology companies were laying off double digit percentages of their workforces. Instead of shrinking, Apple diversified its product line while hanging onto (and adding to) its technical talent pool. The result are a diverse set of applications that appeal to both consumers AND vertical markets. Oh, and they are making a profit and are a debt free company.

    "Kudos to Apple" is appropriate. This is one company that has worked hard and managed to stay focused over a long period. They deserve recognition for it.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:27PM (#8900878)
    Funny how people who only look on the positive side of Linux aren't modded as flamebait.
  • by zowch (552785) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:45PM (#8900952)
    Well, it's not so much WINE-like, but for Linux PPC users, there's Mac-on-Linux [maconlinux.org], which has worked very well for most commonly used apps (in my opinion).
  • by dfghjk (711126) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:47PM (#8900964)
    This was only coincidence. The development cycle for USB devices was much too long for the iMac to have possibly influenced any product development. It may be true that iMac owners were the first with serious interest in USB but that's not the same as saying that the iMac *made* USB.

    Vendors were most definitely making USB devices before the iMac was introduced. In my job I saw and worked with plenty of them. Intel saw to it.

    I might remind you that Apple has very small market share and I doubt many USB device vendors concern themselves with whether their products work with macs. That's Apple's job if they care to do it.

    How do those Pioneer DVDR drives work with macs? You know the ones that you change the firmware id string and call them superdrives? The OEM version doesn't work so well, does it?
  • by raga (12555) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @10:50PM (#8900971)
    As bad as Microsoft may be at least they don't control much outside of the OS and Office.

    Like it or not, but for 90% + of desktop users, there is nothing "much outside of the OS and Office".

    cheers- raga
  • by tyrione (134248) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:02PM (#8901018) Homepage

    Point the blame squarely on Adobe for not getting off its ass and investing in some in-house Cocoa Developers. Now that Apple DOESN'T NEED ADOBE and Adobe never forsaw that happening. So now they are bowing out because they realize it would take 18 months of in-house revamping (time well spent) to offer Cocoa-ized/Objective-C versions of their Apps.

    Adobe has had SEVEN YEARS to build an in-house Cocoa Team, along-side their Carbon Team(s).

    Tough Titty to all companies in the OS X space who don't get off their asses and learn Cocoa/Objective-C.

    Hell it has been pointed out several times already that Cocoa doesn't have to be written just in Objective-C. You can mix your C/ObjC++/Python, etc... There are no technical hurdles to be had. It is all B.S.

    Any company that doesn't reinvest in technical skillsets for their staff deserve to go Bankrupt.

  • by zaffir (546764) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:27PM (#8901118)
    They haven't sold the original-style iMacs for at least 3 years. I'd say 3 years on a hard drive is pretty good - most HD manufacturers don't have warranties beyond 1 year. Fried network cards, i can't account for, other than the general statement that computers in schools are abused severely, and often under-maintained. And if they aren't in a well ventilated room, iMacs have overheating troubles - they're fanless.

    As far as the eMacs, i don't know what to say. Might have been a bad batch.
  • To Quote Hillel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dcocos (128532) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:35PM (#8901158)
    I've seen a lot of messages saying, is Apple killing the market for apps b/c they create them, themselves? To answer that I quote Hillel "If not now when? If not me who?" Apple answers to itself quite nicely.
  • by dbirchall (191839) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:41PM (#8901181) Journal
    Well, it is supposed to be a redundant array of inexpensive drives, no? With 250GB+ SATA drives available, SCSI360 and FC are hardly "inexpensive" any more.
  • by repetty (260322) on Sunday April 18, 2004 @11:47PM (#8901216) Homepage
    "Apple simply can't compete on PC hardware. Not at the volume they deliver. They have two long term options: 1, increase their volume. 2, get out of hardware."

    Why do you say that Apple can't compete on hardware? They're doing great right now. Do you expect that to change? And if you do, are you also one of those people who said back in '90 that they've be out of business in just a couple years?

    Apple's business is great now. Never better. Never.

    I don't think Steve Jobs gives a shit what you think as long as he's making billions.

    You make billions and then maybe he'll listen to you.

    --Richard
  • I have a half-dozen of the more recent blueberry iMacs...

    Oops. Stop right there. There's your problem. You've only recently awakened, Rip VanWinkle-like, from 1999.

    I'll try to get you up-to-date. OSX!!! OMFG! Flat-panel iMacs! OMFG! G5s! OMFG! iLife! OMFG!

    OK. Just giving you a hard time. But bitching about 5 year old hardware failures just makes you look silly.
  • Apple doesn't HAVE to "compete" on hardware. This is ridiculous. It's like saying that that the Four Seasons will have to match prices with McDonalds, or get out of food.

    Apple has made a decision to use a non-standard platform as the vector for their OS. In a lot of ways, that has simplified the task of creating a reliable operating system. So WHAT if they're doomed to charge more than HP for an entry level system...they aren't trying to create a monopoly. So long as enough people buy their computers, devices and software to turn a profit every quarter, they're far better off than the hundreds of other PC manufacturers who can't see past the concept of hardware as a commodity.
  • by MasonMcD (104041) <masonmcd@ma[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:16AM (#8901385) Homepage
    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/


    If there was some confusion, I might see the point. But there's no way Apple's Motion will ever be confused with motion detection software.

    It's like saying Apple can't use "Logic" because there's a computer quiz game called "Logic!"

    They really have to compete in the same space. And no, "software" isn't a space.
  • by nicholas. (98928) on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:22AM (#8901412)
    If you looked at their earnings reports from last quarter (or indeed most of the previous quarters from the past years) you'll see that Apple's hardware offerings haven't been profitable at all. Most of the quarters that Apple reported profits were because of their portfolio (sale of ARM stock for instance).

    46 million of profit on 1.9 billion isn't too good (2.35 percent). In fact were it not for the AMAZING sales of the iPod I don't think Apple would have reported a profit. If Apple hadn't been deversifying away from computer sales they'd be in big trouble right now. I find it odd that a computer hardware company is relying on a music player to make them profitable. It would be one thing if Apple were profitable on Mac sales and the iPod was icing, but for Apple to be dependent on the iPod is a little frightning.

    For comparison, Adobe also had a good quarter. They generated a profit of 123 million on revenues of 423 million (29 percent)
  • by dfghjk (711126) on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:25AM (#8901424)
    Other packages offer educational discounts as well.

    It will be hard to have this conversation with you since I doubt you'll agree that there's anything comparable to FCP. On the PC side, Vegas and Premiere would be considered competition and each is considerably less expensive on the street. Each does titling and comes with compression suites. Adobe bundles Premiere with audio software as you describe but Vegas doesn't AFAIK (they offer one). Adobe's bundle includes two other packages (AE and DVD authoring) so you aren't going to get very far with the comparision. I bought the Adobe bundle of 4 apps and paid considerably less than $999 without an educational discount.

    Don't know who you're calling a troll but who's the one bragging about FCP being a steal at $999? At that price it's one of the more expensive packages. As far as special discounts, they may give it to you if you ask nicely but it doesn't alter the retail price. Adobe's best pricing is generally found in bundles with hardware. I paid under $500 for the Vegas bundle (long ago) and could easily buy the SF app for soundtrack creation if I had the interest. SF has been doing that a lot longer than Apple has.
  • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:37AM (#8901476) Journal
    A) Intel starts shipping USB hardware in 1996 or so.
    B) Microsoft is readying "Windows 97"/"Memphis" with full USB support (remember the demo crashing on Gates?)
    C) Manufacturers start gearing up for the anticipated USB demand
    D) Windows 98 is delayed again in early 1998
    E) Apple introduces the iMac
    F) All those USB products in the pipeline quickly get Mac drivers and blue plastic, because otherwise nobody was buying them.
    G) Every Apple customer upgrading to the imac has to throw out his/her peripherals and buy new ones
    F) Mac products sales shoot thorough the roof, saving several key retailers for Apple
    G) Jobs looks like a genius, when it was at least 50% luck.
  • by Slur (61510) on Monday April 19, 2004 @12:44AM (#8901513) Homepage Journal
    Unix is a smart and straightforward platform. The APIs Apple builds on top of Unix are also very well thought-out, refined to a huge degree during their evolution on NeXT. And Apple has an advantage over Microsoft because they have far fewer legacy issues. They have learned that rebuilding everything with a whole new foundation is what you often have to do to remain streamlined.
  • by Spatula Sam (770957) * on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:32AM (#8901698)
    But when you compare Apple and Adobe you are, um, comparing apples and oranges. Compared to other _hardware_ manufacturers, Apple has consistantly been one of the few that has maintained healthy profit margins. The only other PC manufacturer that I know of that has kept it's profit margins on hardware as healthy as Apple is Sony, which like apple has been successful in distinguishing its products in an increasingly comoditized market. So au contraire, Apple CAN compete on hardware, and it IS profitable.
  • by cubicledrone (681598) on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:34AM (#8901713)
    Apple simply can't compete on PC hardware. Not at the volume they deliver.

    Why must every company have impossible sales numbers to "compete?" Why isn't it possible to simply continue making money on lower volume? (which is precisely what Apple is doing, and doing better than any other company)

    I'm saying their hardware isn't profitable.

    It's probably more profitable than the $599 machines from Dell.

    Apple has some great consumer and professional applications. They have the potential to deliver more.

    So why do they need to drop their entire hardware line?

    Who would you rather be, Adobe or Apple.

    Apple. Adobe doesn't have iPods. Adobe doesn't have Cinema displays. Adobe doesn't have Powerbooks.
  • by The Lost Supertone (754279) on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:35AM (#8901717) Journal
    Uhh I'm a geek, and I'm a Mac user... heck I'm going to be a Pastor, I'm not really a pro looking for a comp to do my big huge post production work on, I do basic web design, graphic design, photography, some audio stuff, chat etc, and I'm in college. Macs aren't just for stupid people and pros. They're for geeks too.
  • by the_2nd_coming (444906) on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:41AM (#8901745) Homepage
    their computer hardware accounts for 69% of their revenue.

    btw, adobe if you had not noticed is in the software business....

    it is kinda easy to rake in the dough on popular software when it costs about one billionth the cost to print it package it and ship it than the price of the software at retail.
  • by flaming-opus (8186) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:54AM (#8903739)
    Having played with the Xraid, I can say that it's no dog. It's a very nice entry-level Raid-box. It's very dense (GB/rack-unit), very inexpensive, and performs pretty well. It does lack redundant controllers, though this is true of most entry-level raids. I wouldn't be surprised to see a respin of this product in the next 12 months.

    The SAN market is changing. There are more switch vendors, and they are all having to compete with iSCSI, so the cost per port is coming down. While it's true that apples aren't competing in the market space where SANs have TRADITIONALLY been deployed, they are competing in the area where SANs are beginning to be deployed. "Only for graphic artists" isn't a joke. They announced these products at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters). This is no small trade show. This is a full convention center with multi-million dollar booths. TV and movie houses buy billions of dollars worth of computer equipment, and a sizable chunk of this is apple.

    These little apple clusters are a joke compared to enterprise SANs of symmetrix, Sunfire, and P690 boxes, but it's still a many billion dollar market. (Especially if you sell both the hardware and the software).
  • by Ineffable 27 (203704) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:59AM (#8903780)
    Some responses to your more objectionable points:
    • re. .DS_Store files on network drives -- I understood that Panther did away with this bug;
    • iMovie is consumer-level, not pro-level; if you want that feature, get FCP or something;
    • iTunes can play ogg files natively, with only a tiny bit of jiggery-pokery; the .ogg file icon may be found in iTunes' resources;
    • luckily, the iBook 'spanning block' can easily be overcome with a firmware hack (though yes, your point is taken that Apple would disable even this if they could).
  • by IAmATuringMachine! (62994) on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:11AM (#8903881)
    Astroturfing implies that the company is putting people up to it. I can guarantee you that they don't have to do that.

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