HDVideoPro by Neil Matsumoto
I recently named Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium as my top product of 2011. With the release of their Mercury Playback Engine, as well as Apple’s release of Final Cut Pro X, Adobe has slowly but surely taken back some of the NLE marketshare that Apple has dominated over the years. With the ability to throw almost any codec at Premiere Pro and edit natively, Adobe has recently partnered with Automatic Duck to help improve the workflow integration into the system.
HDVP recently spoke by phone with Adobe’s Bill Roberts on Adobe’s great year as well as what will be in store for 2012. As the Director of Video Product Management, Roberts oversees product planning, design and development efforts around Adobe’s digital video and audio products. He has worked in professional video and audio for more than 20 years, with the majority of his career focused on developing software tools for creative professionals.
HDVP: So it seemed like 2011 was a huge year for Adobe, especially in regards to CS5.5. Do you think a lot of that was due to some blowback from the FCP X release.
BILL ROBERTS: That was interesting but because of Apple’s size and scope, we can only ponder about that. But looking from the outside, it was a smart financial move for them because Final Cut Pro X ranks very high in the App store. And you’re absolute right. It did cause a lot of attention to come our way and I think for us, we were just happy and ready for the attention. If Apple had chosen that path a couple of years ago, I don’t think we’d be in the same boat. But starting with CS5.0, which was in April 2010, we put in the Mercury Playback Engine and we really started to focus on professional quality performance. That started to move a trend. In 2010, before Apple released Final Cut Pro X, our business on the Mac had grown 45%. There already was a strong momentum for us in that space and when Apple did that, it really didn’t change most people’s day to day workflow. People weren’t saying, “Oh my God, Apple has released a new piece of software, I must stop using FCP 7.” What it did do was force people to think about where Apple is going so it did bring a lot of attention to us. But like most things, people won’t spend the money unless they’ve tested out the software. For 5.5, we spent a lot of time thinking about what it was like coming into Premiere Pro if you were coming from an Avid or Apple background. What are the things you would expect to work in a certain way? We spent a lot of time on that, which was a big plus. read more...