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Interesting Forum Posts: An Open Letter to Avid

With the Avid press release that the company is “announcing a major shift in 2008 strategy in response to customer feedback” I thought it would be appropriate to point out this discussion thread on the Avid Media Composer forums. Entitled An Open Letter To Avid, the poster really takes Avid to task for their somewhat lackadaisical response to the Final Cut Pro juggernaut. Here’s a couple of excerpts from the original post:
As one of the legions of loyal Avid users who now find themselves in the situation of having to retrain and retool in a world running rampant with Final Cut Pro, and having enough time to see both systems, their strengths and weaknesses, I have to ask why Avid seems to be just laying down like some lumbering giant and not fighting back with all you’ve got? The popular theory is simply that you just don’t care. That you don’t feel it’s worth the effort. Plain and simply…the editing base that you built your reputation on isn’t worth the R&D dollars to stay ahead of the game. If that’s true, there are legions of Avid users that feel betrayed by the incompetence and cynicism of your attitude. You’ve spent over 20 years building one of the most sophisticated software and hardware systems around…why are you sleeping while Apples are growing all around you? Because when you finally decide to wake up, Avid will have become just a footnote in the non-linear world.
Ouch. This opened up some 15 pages of debate that went on for over a week before the thread was finally locked by one of the moderators. Credit should be given that they let it go on as long as they did as there are a lot of posters in those 15 pages who are very critical of Avid. One of the comments that jumped out to me was the talk of Avid being a publicly held company. Someone suggested that if Avid dumped Avid Xpress Pro and cut the price of Media Composer then shareholders wouldn’t like that. Any talk of a price cut probably would upset shareholders but the way Avid’s stock has dropped over the last couple of years then it couldn’t hurt. Maybe that’s part of the problem, Avid trying to please shareholders and not editors. But with all that said, Avid’s stock is up as of this writing so someone likes the announcement that Avid made today. The market seems to like it and as an editor who uses Avid products I like it too. Now we have to wait until 2008 to see what really happens. EDITOR’S NOTE: Frank Capria adds some light on this subject in reference to a recent interview with Avid’s interim CEO Nancy Hawthorne where she admitted mistakes Avid has made in the past several years. Here is Capria’s post.

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  • Steve Speed

    I was an Avid user but lost faith in their ability to provide me with the tools to compete with the Adobe and FCP crowd. So I jumped ship to FCS and haven’t looked back. Apple seem to have ambition something that Avid seemed to lose some time ago.

    The real problem Avid has is that it has not cost effective fully featured entry for the aspiring editor who wants to learn Avid. The entry into the Avid line is a rather dull and limited expensive application called Xpress Pro HD which is great as an offline seat to a MCA but it is not going to inspire little johnny in his bedroom.

    The grassroots are where the editors of tomorrow are made and both Adobe and Apple know that and have provided cost effective high quality suites for the youtube generation to cut their creative teeth. Avid buy Pinnacle and try and position Liquid as an Avid product, produce a cobbled together Studio version of Xpress Pro that is as expensive as it is dull.

    I was an regular reader of the Avid forums when I was a user and it has shocked me that the same old criticisms by unduly loyal users are still being voiced now as they were 4 years ago. Avid are really lucky to have these people.

    Avid now say they are listening but are there any of the new generation that are vaguely interesting in Avid? I’m not…

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