In software for creative media production, a re-definition process is gaining momentum that was originally started by Apple’s consolidation of their top-line creative software as the “Pro” line. But what does “Pro” stand for in an economy that is on the way of making the old definition of professionalism obsolete. Professional instruments are traditionally those you can bet your life on. Transferred to the creative media industry, that makes professional instruments those that one uses to earn a living. But there’s no clear divide any more, as electronic musicians use products that used to be considered as un-professional to make a (good) living with music, while an army of amateurs invests in “Pro” products, thus funding their development in the first place.
So, as the hard, essential definition of professionalism doesn’t seem to hold in this realm, the “Pro” in so many software products seems to signify something else: The image of the straightforward, no-frills professional, the one that “gets things done” with just the right tools for the job. With an abundance of complex creative tools at hand, a demand is created for straightening out the creative process, for something to help actually finish a project – just like the glorified “professional”. Maybe that dream is what so many of us buy in a “Pro” product.