The title is complete linkbait, but shortly after Apple acquired Final Cut that's exactly what Adobe wanted. For the last fortnight, we've been reading John Buck's excellent book Timeline Volume 2, a history of editing.
We have been working our way through John's book on the iPad and have been completely engrossed with the story of not only Final Cut Pro and its birth, but the history of the other players in the market such as Avid, Media 100 and the reason why Steve Jobs made iMovie.
There are many blog posts and interviews about the origins of Final Cut, but this second book detailing computer based editing history by John Buck has to be the most comprehensive. This is not a book compiled from facts spread about the internet, John has travelled and interviewed key people such as Randy Ubillos, Adrian Ettlinger, William Warner and even the QuickTime team! Products and stories stop and start, people move to jobs and then back again, all fascinating stuff.
As an example, John has posted an extract from the book about the acquisition of Final Cut and how Adobe tried to stop it in its tracks. We didn't know that iMovie was a direct result, how things go around in circles! Well worth five minutes of your time to get an understanding that our favourite NLE nearly didn't see the light of day. Here is an extract of the extract:
"Then came another unexpected decision from a former ally in desktop publishing, Adobe. The Final Cut group had barely settled into their new office when Apple management met to consider a request by Adobe to shut down the project. With the Macromedia transaction completed and now public, it was only a matter of days before the makers of Premiere, made their displeasure of a rival editing software package on the Mac known to Apple.
Despite the rebuff on making a consumer version of Premiere for the upcoming FireWire iMac, Steve Jobs was in a tough position.
In order to placate one of the largest makers of Mac software, Apple presented a business case to Adobe that argued Final Cut was drastically different to Premiere, and ultimately beneficial for the desktop market overall. Sales of Macs were driven in part by the sales of Adobe software products, and should the dilemma escalate, Apple could lose a critical supply partner and re-ignite fears of bankruptcy.
Eventually Adobe Systems backed away from its threats to Apple’s newly acquired Final Cut."
Volume one of the two covers the story of editing technology from the Lyta through the Moviola to the beginning of the second book. It is next on our reading list.
If you are looking for an inexpensive present idea that somebody could give you for Christmas then these two books for $5 each download would make good use of a $10 iTunes gift card.