Apple have followed Avid in dropping out of NAB this year. Some see this as a sign that trade shows are becoming less important. The return on investment isn’t good enough. Maybe Apple has all the mindshare it needs from now on.

This reminds me of when I beta tested Macromedia Director for the Mac and PC back in the mid-nineties. Every new weeks we’d get a large envelope full of floppy discs. We would stress-test the scripting and animation features. I would attempt to get the user interface to break. It wasn’t hard. We got to know the software engineers quite well by email. We were shocked when the news came that the testing was over. Given the amount of bugs we knew about, we thought that there were many months to go before the software was ready. It turned out that the marketing department had picked a launch date and they wanted to stick to it.

Maybe Apple and Avid no longer want to have their schedules set by trade fairs. NAB is too soon for Final Cut Studio 3, it’s too late for a single user interface combined version of Avid’s various editors.

Maybe from now on we’ll hear about new products when they’re ready for us to use instead of at the next trade fair.


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