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June 29, 2011 - Dave Hecei
There really is no other way to describe it. Final Cut Pro X – you either Love it or Hate it. The recent update, actually a complete retooling, of Apple’s flagship non-linear editing software has created a whirlwind across the Internet. There are an amazing number of those condemning Apple for abandoning them, the professional market. While I think there is plenty of negativity out there, it seems that much of it is coming from those who don’t even make their living using Final Cut Pro.

Apple just recently posted a FAQ on their site describing some of the questions surrounding Final Cut Pro X. This can be found here. It describes some of the things that FCPX can and cannot do. It also lists some of the things that FCPX will be able to do in the future.

Mutli-cam is one of the biggest missing features in FCPX. Apple promises that it will be in the next release. However, importing FCP7 projects is not going to happen. The media files can be brought in, but the project files are just not compatible, I suppose, with the new trackless timeline – or what Apple calls the Magnetic Timeline.

Over the next weeks and months, third-party developers will be bringing plenty of plug-ins, extensions, and add-ons for FCPX. These tools have to be written for the new 64-bit software, along with Snow Leopard and Lion Mac OS. This also goes for the new Motion 5. Things will come; it just will take a bit of time.

Change is hard. If you have been with Apple for any amount of time, you know this all too well. We have gone from OS 6 to 7 to 8 to 9 and then the big step to OS X. We have gone from Power PC architecture to Intel. These have been for the most part less painful than they could have been. At the time, the idea of Apple switching from PPC to Intel caused a major conniption for many Mac fanatics. The idea of having to purchase all new software caused severe panic. In the end, the switch from PPC to Intel and OS9 to OS X was the best thing that Apple has ever done.

Software has also come and gone. When Apple went from iMovie 6 HD to iMovie 8, the world almost ended. Professionals in the motion graphics industry have already felt the pain of dealing with Apple. When Apple bought Shake they dropped the outrageous $10,000 price down to $499, but then eventually dropped it completely two years later. Now, we no longer have Color and DVD Studio Pro. I also know editors that use Final Cut Server with a large SAN unit. It is unclear whether this is dead too or if something will come along to replace it.

Yes, there are plenty of reasons to grab torches and pitchforks and march to Apple’s offices. Change is hard. In the end, maybe the new Final Cut Pro X will turn out to be the building block of a whole new editing system. It will just take a bit of time. The best thing that Apple could do today is to put Final Cut Studio 3 back in the stores. At least for another year.


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