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  #31  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:28 AM
Lee Blaske Lee Blaske is offline
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

Software costs, though, are WAY down across the industry. Some huge, full-featured tools are now dirt cheap. The cost of a lot of music and content (which this software is used to create) is also now dirt cheap, completely free, or easily acquired without charge or consequence.

There are just a LOT of factors converging at the same time for Avid, and I seriously doubt there was anything they could do that would head this off (at the same time maintaining the size/value of the company in the marketplace).
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

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Originally Posted by John_Toolbox View Post
I do think that the upper management of avid considered this, in fact I would not be surprised if the higher software upgrade prices might have been intended to make up for this lost revenue. But as you mention, there is a lot more than just a crappy economy that has changed in this industry since 2002, and these things very well could have been underestimated... Especially if the people making these decisions aren't in touch with the way things have been changing in this industry.

Another take on the price would be to compare it to the price of everything else. The price of gas, food, and everything except real estate seems to be increasing without end in sight. You could technically argue that to justify the price of software increasing, but in reality it just means that everyone is being squeezed that much tighter by the economy, and that much less likely to be able to afford a software upgrade.
I generally agree.

It seems that these days, the commodities with which mentioned price increases are tolerated fall closely within the category of necessity, i.e. food, clothing, and fuel. For many of us DAW software and hardware are in that category, as they remain essential to our livelihoods. The new feature set offered to us in this interim release, (though very convenient and worthy) will do little to change the way we earn a living, therefore may not be essential to us. Pricing, marketing, and expectation should reflect this. This may not be the release on which to bank the company. Don’t get me wrong, I love this version and personally, I can afford it. But many cannot, and that’s the rub. If and when the 64bit version (allowing for serious VI usage) comes down the pike, people will eat less just to buy it. IMHO, that day will spawn a different story with a different outcome.
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  #33  
Old 10-28-2011, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

Don't lose sight of the fact that audio is still only 40% of Avid's revenue.

Listening to the conference call it's clear they consider large sales of Avid gear to post houses as their main line of business. In fact when they discuss audio they largely refer to it as retail (meaning a large portion of audio sales are to amateur enthusiasts).
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2011, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

Hello. It also has to be pointed that Digidesign (I never have and never will call them Avid) is and always has been doing well. It's the video part and the rest that are always bringing the shares down. Even if Digidesign (Audio division) didn't perform like they thought, it still did well and turned a profit. Ever since Avid has owned Digidesign they have been doing well and turned a profit. This is not the main reason, but one of the reasons why I never wanted to or felt that it was right to call Digidesign Avid or Avid Audio. They have never been the same and Digidesign has always suffered from being associated to or being owned by Avid.

If you really want Pro Tools to do well, it's time for Digidesign to separate from Avid, let their video end sink itself not bring Digidesign down with it.
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  #35  
Old 10-28-2011, 12:59 PM
TLarvenz TLarvenz is offline
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

Things are changing definitely changing and there are trends toward software as opposed to hardware based solutions like TDM and HDX. But audio work will almost always - I believe - require some hardware, if only high quality multi-channel converters. I don't see multiple audio inputs as being something that the average computer user would require, and would therefore always be a need that would be addressed through audio hardware makers.

For tracking, latency is a killer for me and I find it to be a groove killer. HD systems are where Avid believes the problem lies and the slow adoption of Native in place of our TDM systems was where they placed the blame for slow sales on the audio side.

In my opinion, and based on much of what I've read over many years on the DUC, many of us HD users have been anxious - ok frothing - for a replacement for our long in the tooth TDM systems and would have snapped them up. Part of the problem was that there was no update to the hardware for nearly a decade. And HD users wanted that. Being gearslutz(tm?), we have faster computers with memory that was considered practically inconceivable for even a hard drive when HD came out. Our monitors are almost comical in terms of size these days, as they've blossomed into these huge and beautiful raft-sized marvels. And the HD cards were being powered by a chip solution from the 90s. The plug-ins became more innovating, creative and powerful which demanded more and more from our cards and the only thing we could do was add more cards rather than invest in upgrades to more powerful or efficient cards.

Even now, they've unveiled the HDX but it still needs software support that will keep many HD users from upgrading until the software catches up. I believe that most people would be happy with a 5 year upgrade cycle on their systems. As has been the case, the systems can certainly have longer lives beyond what the design intention for those who aren't able to upgrade sooner. Some people change out computers every two to three years, which I think would be unsustainable for all but the highest end studio. I doubt that anyone would have suspected that in 2011 we'd still be running essentially the same cards we bought in 2003. We understand that certain acquisitions will (hopefully) be one time purchases - great mics, pres, etc. - but computer based tech will be constantly upgraded based on faster, more and better. We wanted that but nothing was released to address those concerns. HDX really should have been released in 2008. We expected it to be really. So a lot of people hunkered down, opted to "hold fast", and hope for a hardware update that was years late.

I think that the real ProTools problem was the same problem that Apple had before the return of Jobs: their product line has gotten out hand, some competing against each other with no clear lines of division. I believe they need to simplify their product line, focus on quality and innovation for fewer products instead of developing a huge range of hardware. It's the top tier that sets the course of the ship and when the ship runs afoul due to changing tides, firing the crew is not the answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Blaske View Post
I have not been a big Avid/Digi fan in recent years, but in some ways, I don't know if I'd be so quick to heap tons of blame on the top-tier right now.

Too much is changing, and things are changing too rapidly. A company like Avid has a LOT of shareholder expectations, and they're also really locked down by many, many years of legacy systems and the responsibility to maintain standards and compatibility. The weight of all of this is oppressive. Running Avid is like piloting the largest oil tanker out on the high seas. A huge ship needs to plan turns and navigation a long time in advance. And if mistakes are made, the results are catastrophic (e.g. The Titanic). Meanwhile , the competition gets to race around in a Miata.

I was around back in the NED days and owned an EXTREMELY expensive NED system back in the days when the Digidesign guys were working out of a garage (I remember seeing them at an Emu get-together, when they were selling an editor for the original Mac, and had their display set up on a card table). The thought, at the time, that Digidesign would put NED out of business seemed silly. But, it happened. Their comparatively inexpensive cards in a comparatively inexpensive mass-produced Mac was the way to go at the time. NED was too late to compete.

But today, the question is if a really big, highly capitalized audio/video company really has any future in the market. How can Avid compete against a company like Apple that pretty much distributes Logic Pro and FCP as a gift for buying a Mac? Or, how can they compete against a product like Reaper that sells for $60, works on Mac/Windows/Linux, and supports a huge number of formats, plug-ins, etc., etc. (and is 64 bit, has track freeze, etc., etc.).

There are probably still some people who can use the latest, full-blown HDX system (if you're, say, posting a Hollywood blockbuster like Avatar), but most people don't need that. And, most people today don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on dedicated hardware that will be an obsolete dead end in the not too distant future. Also, since Avid is selling many different systems at many different price points, it needs to hobble software to make the more expensive systems more compelling. Compare that to Reaper being $60 for the top-of-the-line (and only) version. I've also heard rumors that with the next release, Logic will be a single, full-featured version.

It's my understanding that there are only four people who develop Reaper. Can Avid match that to be competitive?

Sometimes, things change so much, and so rapidly, that there is simply nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. I fear that Avid is being backed into that corner.
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  #36  
Old 10-28-2011, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

I think Avid's and digidesign's problem is summed pretty neatly by their belief that by untying the software from the hardware they would in the long run establish many new customers who would eventually buy their hardware.

A hardware company uses software to entice people into buying their hardware. Look at Apple for a prime example, they make great software but they use it to sell hardware. That's where their profit lies. Avid and digidesign make great software but instead of using it to sell hardware they made a (I think misguided) decision to unbundle them and allow people to just buy their software. It's perhaps no surprise that revenue will fall. But they felt they had no choice. I don't know, I'm no Harvard MBA but I think they made a mistake and they'll have a hard time getting the horse back in the barn.

Also the fact that audio is seen as very largely an amateur market. No doubt this is true. Outside of a few post houses, there are very few mass purchasers of HD systems. The money is in M-Audio.

So as a professional protools user I fear that the future doesn't look good. I will start to consider this when contemplating upgrading my current TDM hardware. Software upgrades, no problem, that's small potatoes next to the $6k exchange cost.
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  #37  
Old 10-28-2011, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

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Originally Posted by froyo View Post
If you really want Pro Tools to do well, it's time for Digidesign to separate from Avid, let their video end sink itself not bring Digidesign down with it.
A big +1!!

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  #38  
Old 10-28-2011, 01:52 PM
Lee Blaske Lee Blaske is offline
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

Connecting the dots going backward, I think one of the most profound fatal flaws that Digidesign made was the decision to code one version of PT, and then port it to Mac and PC. They should have always coded TWO versions, optimizing them for each platform and taking full advantage of all the kernel level processing (especially in OSX). Not doing that has made PT more anemic than it needed to be, and also contributed greatly to all the compatibility problems over the years (and interminable waits for software revisions so that users could use new computers and new operating systems). When you ignore the power built into the OS, you're giving up a lot.
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  #39  
Old 10-28-2011, 01:54 PM
Violet Violet is offline
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

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Originally Posted by froyo View Post

If you really want Pro Tools to do well, it's time for Digidesign to separate from Avid, let their video end sink itself not bring Digidesign down with it.
Agreed, I hope digidesign gets bought out by a company who knows a thing or 2 about GOOD business.
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  #40  
Old 10-28-2011, 02:14 PM
Lee Blaske Lee Blaske is offline
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Default Re: 10/28/2011 Avid's stock sinks to new low....

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Agreed, I hope digidesign gets bought out by a company who knows a thing or 2 about GOOD business.
Like Gibson?
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