John Siracusa on Mountain Lion Dual Monitor issues

Some fair points regarding the still-in-progress evolution of full screen apps and their use on dual monitor Macs in Mountain Lion:

“No one said this stuff is easy”

Indeed, but maybe a Settings preference for this would be welcome, rather than just assuming everyone is on a single-screen laptop.  I’d love to be able to show quicktime full screen on one monitor, while grading projects on the other screen – it’s possible with Quick Look so why not make that the universal behavior?

 

Auria – 24 simultaneous track recording on iPad

Now we’re getting somewhere. Auria, a 48 track audio-only DAW, has been released on the App Store. This is the first audio recording app I’ve seen that really grabs ahold of the potential on iOS devices.

From the article, some great things are ahead too:

Since Auria supports a special iOS version of VST plug-ins, we’re in talks with several plug-in vendors at the moment. You’re likely to see more great plug-ins becoming available in the near future. MIDI support is also something on our list for a future version, along with virtual instrument plug-ins.

The old guard had better watch their back – these little companies are going to steal the spotlight before too long.

User Interface of Figure – a case study

Fellow music blogger, Ethan Hein has an excellent study of the ins and outs of Figure’s interface from a usability perspective.

Two interesting notes:

Part of the reason I moved from Reason to Ableton Live is that Ableton looks and works like a computer program. It has its own quirks, but at least everything on the screen has a function.

And later:

Figure has no skeuomorphism whatsoever. It’s all flat-colored polygons and large, friendly text. Everything on the screen is functional; nothing is decorative. Smartphone software forces these kinds of minimalist design choices just by virtue of their limited screen real estate, so iOS apps and mobile web sites tend to be easier on the brain than their desktop counterparts. Propellerhead took the mobile aesthetic and ran with it. Figure is their most attractive and least annoying product by a mile

I’ve said it before, that Ableton has a huge advantage in the mobile space, in that their app already looks like a 21st century mobile app. While many of the core iOS developers are struggling to bring their software “up” to a legitimate level (with a nod to Algoriddim, who has successfully marketed Djay as a competitor to novice apps like Virtual DJ), Ableton could stay the course and bring Live to a mobile device while maintaining many of the UI metaphors present in their desktop app.

► Translation from PR-speak to English of Avid’s divestment press release

Note: the news reports and press release don’t really paint a truly accurate picture of what’s happening at Avid right now.  Here’s my attempt:

Today Avid® (NASDAQ: AVID) initiated a series of strategic actions to focus the company on its Media Enterprise and Post & Professional customers and to drive improved operating performance. As part of these actions, the company is divesting its consumer businesses. With these changes, Avid will concentrate on core markets where its deep domain expertise, track record of technical innovation, and strong brand offer the greatest opportunity for success.

 We have no idea how to address the coming explosion of consumer products like the iPad, so we’re giving up.

“The changes we are announcing today make Avid a more focused and agile company,” said Gary Greenfield, CEO of Avid. “By streamlining and simplifying operations, we expect to deliver improved financial performance and partner more closely with our enterprise and professional customers. Our objective remains to provide these customers with the innovative solutions that allow them to create the most listened to, most watched and most loved media in the world. I’m excited about our future prospects.”

Our consumer base isn’t growing fast enough to support our business, so we’re sticking to the old suckers who have bought our stuff for years, regardless of quality or price.

Avid has agreed to sell its consumer audio and video product lines. The company’s consumer audio products are being sold to inMusic, the parent company of Akai Professional, Alesis and Numark, among others. Headquartered in Cumberland, Rhode Island, inMusic’s brands are best known for producing innovative products for music production, performance and DJing. The products involved in this transaction include M-Audio brand keyboards, controllers, interfaces, speakers and digital DJ equipment and other product lines. Avid will continue to develop and sell its industry-leading Pro Tools® line of software and hardware, as well as associated I/O devices including Mbox and Fast Track.

 Again, we have no idea what to do with this cool-kid hipster stuff like “DJ scratch tables” and “keyboards” and “newer software”.

Separately, the company’s consumer video editing line is being sold to Corel Corporation, a consumer software company headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. The products involved in this transaction include Avid Studio, Pinnacle Studio, and the Avid Studio App for the Apple iPad®, as well as other legacy video capture products.

 We’re not really well known for our video software or anything, so let’s sell that off too.  It’s not like pro software ever learns from what’s happening in consumer-land anyway.

The divested product lines contributed approximately $91 million of Avid’s 2011 revenue of $677 million. As part of the transactions, certain employees of Avid will transfer to each acquiring company. Avid estimates that the proceeds from these transactions will be approximately $17 million, subject to closing inventory adjustment, with a portion held in escrow.  Both transactions are expected to close today, July 2, 2012.

It’s not a “layoff”, it’s just a change of scenery!

Avid also plans to reduce the number of its employees as it streamlines operations, with approximately 20% of its permanent employee base impacted by the divestitures and headcount reduction plans.  The company currently expects to incur a restructuring charge of approximately $19 to $23 million related to these actions and other associated measures.

 We’re actually going to lose around 17% of our revenue by doing this, but don’t worry – the pro market will stay the same forever so it’s OK.

The company’s cash balance on March 31, 2012 was $49.7 million. The proceeds from the sale of these product lines should offset most of the restructuring charges paid in 2012.

We have around six months before we run out of money.
 Good luck to Avid, even those who don’t use your products don’t want you to die.  We need competition in the consumer markets more than ever.