Apple stays coy at NAB

Adobe and Autodesk are using Apple’s lull to reach out for market share.

Final Cut Pro on an Apple MacBook Pro. (Source: Apple)

There was a time NAB was such an important show for Apple that the company took up a huge amount of real estate in the South Hall. Today that real estate has been taken over by hardware company Black Magic; Apple has contented itself with private updates for key users and favored journalists. There has been little word on updated workstations for content creation and Final Cut Pro has only gotten incremental improvements, most of which have simply returned features that were stripped out of the previous release of Final Cut Pro X. At Mac World Apple announced the return of multi-cam support and new features such as fast green screen mattes, and auto-analysis that attempts to identify shots such as long-shots, close-ups, etc.

During the NAB time frame, it’s been published (leaked) that Apple will add new features such as multi-channel audio editing tools, dual view, native support for MFX and RED camera support. With its brand new Smoke, Autodesk is clearly capitalizing on Apple’s slow return of professional features to Final Cut Pro in favor of consumer-friendly features. Autodesk has already made inroads into the high end of professional FCP users. The new price tag of $3,495 is designed to scoop up another few layers of professionals.

Adobe has also targeted the lost generation of Final Cut Pro users who are looking for more advanced tools. And, the PC makers are joining the software hopefuls. Dell was a strong presence at NAB, seeing an opportunity in the hole opened up by Apple’s delay in introducing new workstations and its more consumer-oriented Final Cut Pro.

To be fair, it is believed Apple is doing a great deal of work on bringing editing tools to the iPad platform, which promises to be a spectacular breakthrough for content creation. Just imagine if Apple can show everyone how to take advantage of touch interaction for video editing.