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Expert
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎12-13-2015
Message 1 of 3 (991 Views)

Future of Catalyst

[ Edited ]

Are you ever going to sell a perpetual license and actually build Catalyst into something greater than it has been?

 

The justification for subscription was faster development, but looking at the timeline and release notes, customers really aren't getting that. I'd expect to see updates at least every month, even if they're only bugfixes, because people are paying monthly to support ongoing development. Instead it's mostly organized how it was before, and it's lacking in features that should be continuously rolled out, not once or twice a year.

 

I see no information about what the plans are.

 

I tried Vegas 14 and it didn't work correctly. I'm using DaVinci Resolve for free. I'm not sure what incentive people have for using Catalyst. Resolve is better in most ways, and it's free. I would probably buy licenses for Catalyst, if it weren't subscription, and if it was actively developed. Or it should come free with the purchase of Sony cameras.

 

But it just seems foolish to pay $22 per month for software that stops working when you don't pay, when you can install Resolve for free and be done with it. Plus Resolve has major updates lately, and is far more powerful. The people who are willing to subscribe will use Adobe Premiere because it's part of a package that includes many other applications. Catalyst is not that. Prepare and Edit are just two small applications that do not deserve a subscription model. They should be part of a Sony hardware purchase with the software development costs baked into the price of the camera, or a normal purchase like before.

 

The subscription model screwed up discoverability in the open market. If you search B&H for "Sony Catalyst", you get 11 different broken product listings. They all say, "Currently Unavailable". If you search Amazon, you also get a bunch of weird product listings, some are $76.35, one is $299 and says sold from Adorama, but if you search their site there's no listing for Catalyst. Another one is listed as refurbished at $335.58, with the weird title of, "SONY CREATIVE SOFTWARE CATP1099ESD MEDIA PRODUCTION IS GROWING MORE COMPLICATED AND TURNAROUND TIME sony creative software catalyst prepare sony creative software".

 

I have no idea what SCS is doing, but it's a mess. The website doesn't make sense now that everything was sold, and the one good product you have left is absent from the news, is broken in the market, and is not a fit for a subscription model.

 

There might be times when I'd prefer to use Catalyst over Resolve. But I never open Catalyst anymore. I can't, because I'm stuck with the buggy broken version before it went subscription-only. I never used it for anything. I paid hundreds of dollars, for software to spend hours of my time beta testing. It can't even be used for many small projects, because it's fairly normal to do things like import a sequence of images, or export at custom resolutions, which it does not work for.

 

It's just strange because there was this opportunity where Vegas was disrupted, and people used to that software might be more willing to try something else. A lot of people editing for YouTube seem to use Vegas, because when I searched for Vegas 14 on there I mostly saw advertisements for the crack, and on the official video I think were a bunch of comments from people saying they'll wait for the cracked version. Maybe those are lousy customers, but I've also seen a lot of them saying how Sony cameras are best for what they do. So why not tack on some dollars to the camera costs, and give them Catalyst for "free"? Then build an active community where people are actually using the software, and then use that to offer them other services like the paid Sony Ci.

 

Instead, Blackmagic Design is stealing the show, and it looks like you all packed up and went home. I don't like that, because it's limiting options. I might like Resolve today, but tomorrow when version 13 is released they could change it to be more limited, and then increase the cost to purchase the "Studio" version to $2,000. Then because all my projects are tied into it, and there's no better alternatives, I'll pay it.

 

I thought Catalyst looked promising. It had a lot of great things about it. For people who don't want Adobe's subscription, and don't want to be tied to Resolve in case they start charging a large amount, Catalyst seemed like a nice little fair option.

Expert
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎12-13-2015
Message 2 of 3 (566 Views)

Re: Future of Catalyst

The last update to Catalyst was December, 2016. It still can only be licensed for $22/month. I saw a YouTube video where someone tried it believing that was the one-time price. On YouTube, a search for Sony Catalyst videos uploaded this month returns 0 results. The last video from "Sonysoftwareofficial" was 11 months ago. The last posts on Facebook and Twitter were from around that time, on April 8th, 2016.

 

The last post on Glassdoor about working at SCS was July, 2016, saying it is "no more". The only activity I've seen is in this forum, from Omar. From the public perception, SCS could be an empty building now, with Omar at home answering people's posts from his phone, to keep up support for past customers.

 

Meanwhile, DaVinci Resolve has lively development, and their updates are full of features. I paid hundreds of dollars for Catalyst, and I'd like to be able to have it around as a tool. But the version I have, before they switched licensing schemes, is full of bugs, so I haven't even opened it in a long time.

 

I think for most people editing quick videos for the web, Catalyst could be a better tool than Resolve. The origins of Resolve are legacy, where it expects a hardware-based workflow, where you have a control surface, and external video monitors. But Catalyst feels like it's designed for use on a single touchscreen. It could be simpler for people to produce a quick YouTube video, without needing to learn such a complex system as Resolve.

 

Even though I'm using Resolve, I'd still like Catalyst around, so I can try using that instead sometimes. Its workflow might fit better for certain use cases. I also think Browse should be more featureful with popular Sony "home" cameras, with support for things like PlayMemories Camera Apps, and full automated importing from external Sony cameras.

 

I tried Vegas 14, and they didn't even fix the HiDPI support, which Catalyst had from the start.

 

It'd be nice if Catalyst was opened up for perpetual licensing, and actively developed. It really feels like SCS was abandoned, where the website still isn't updated to reflect the changes after selling most of the products. Catalyst would've been a nice tool to have around, as an alternative option for independent people publishing for the web.

 

It feels like SCS was focusing more on the legacy world, and lost that competition, where at this point, Vegas and Catalyst aren't caught up to the level of Resolve. For "prosumers" aspiring to that Hollywood scene, Resolve for free is too obvious of a choice, and must've impacted SCS sales.

 

But there's more people on MacBooks today, editing little videos for social apps and websites. Adobe could get away with forcing subscription because it's like a monopoly in the designer world. But who would pay $22/month for Catalyst? Serif is succeeding with Affinity, and look what their website says:

 

"

Professional photo editing software

No subscription. Just $49.99

"

https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/

 

That's what Catalyst should be:

 

"

Professional video editing software

No subscription. Just $49.99

"

 

Then give it away to popular YouTube channels. Upload videos demonstrating how someone at home with a touch-enabled laptop or tablet, like a Microsoft Surface Pro, can use a Sony digital camera to shoot some 4K video, adjust the colors, do a quick edit, and publish to YouTube, where the results are better, and process is simpler, than whatever they're doing now, with their pirated version of Vegas, or subscription of Premiere, or free but complicated Resolve.

 

Resolve on Windows doesn't even use the monitor's color profile. It assumes people are using expensive broadcast gear. If you have a "home" class machine, the people in their forum tell you to spend thousands of dollars on unnecessary hardware, because they're still living in the past decades when television was a thing.

 

Catalyst could simplify the home workflow. In a world where most people spend all their time in mobile apps, Catalyst is the professional level. Buying a Surface Pro to have a more powerful editing machine than what's available on the iPad Pro is the new Hollywood. Buying a little color calibration puck is the more likely alternative for most people, not buying dedicated video monitors.

 

You could prescribe simple workflows for that using Catalyst. Better than Adobe, because no forced subscription. Better than Vegas, with its retinal scaling and touch support. Better than Resolve, because it isn't as complex as a space shuttle to operate. Better than Final Cut Pro, because you don't need a Mac.

 

If Catalyst was already mostly built, why not market it like that? From what I see, it does not look like it's making much money as it is. I've never seen a single person mention it. When people ask what people use to edit videos, I never even see it listed as an option.

 

Sony has such popular cameras, and they seem to own the rights to Catalyst, so why aren't they trying to do more with it? The website looks the same as it was last year. It's just Omar, hidden away here.

Expert
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎12-13-2015
Message 3 of 3 (228 Views)

Re: Future of Catalyst

[ Edited ]

I keep receiving an email notice that "aschwabe" replied to this topic, since January. But when I click, there's nothing here. I tried private messaging, but it says, "One or more of these members do not have private messages enabled. Their names have been removed from the Send to list."

 

  • aschwabe (Rookie) posted a new reply on 01-10-2017 12:34 PM
  • aschwabe (Rookie) posted a new reply on 03-07-2017 06:44 PM
  • aschwabe (Enthusiast) posted a new reply on 04-04-2017 05:59 PM

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