Apple's new Final Cut Pro X 'not actually for pros'
'Rebuilt from ground up' application has fans too
Apple released a completely overhauled version of its Final Cut Pro software yesterday, much to the chagrin of some of its users.
The early response to Final Cut Pro X is at best mixed, with some complaining that the film editing application lacks XML support, and worse still, is bereft of backward compatibility with previous versions of the software.
Others who use Final Cut Pro are saying it's too early to be moaning about the application, which Apple said yesterday had been "rebuilt from the ground up".
The complete re-write of the software has left many film and video editors perplexed by the radical changes to Apple's Final Cut Pro, which competes with Avid in the film editing software market.
A steady stream of insults against and in support of Apple is currently flowing around the blogosphere.
One forum over at Creative Cow has fanbois waving handbags at each other about the new look application.
Some have questioned why it is that Apple released a product that lacks adequate "professional" elements.
Apparently, an update to make FCPX more "professional" is expected to be released in the coming months via Apple's App store.
"I know Apple can make great products, however much I may dislike the way they go about it, but do I invest now in the blind hope that they will actually make their 'pro' product actually work for 'pros' at some unknown point in the future?" asked one poster on the Creative Cow forum.
Creative Cow offered a measured response to Apple's decision to ditch Final Cut Pro 7 and re-write its product "to meet the needs of today's creative editors", pointing out that there are some major improvements to, for example, the GUI and overall performance.
But some editors who chose to go with FCP years ago beg to differ.
"Mostly, I can't believe X won't be supporting older versions. 'REVISIONS' are a fact of life. I deeply regret using FCP for some of the complex things that have been created in my studio. FCP 7 goes into a coma with its lack of 64 bit support, and this has been a damning failure on the late workstations that are terrifically underused," noted Charles Mouyat.
"I've been waiting anxiously, hoping I could upgrade some agonising projects into a new version that was 64 bit friendly. I made the wrong bet on FCP.
"The fact that X won't open projects from FCP 7 is ludicrous. I've been depending on FCP for about 5 years, and as my needs grow, it just falls short. Now, think I'm gonna have to jump away from Apple to explore other software options." ®
Apple actually reported the response from previous FCP professionals
"“We have shown it to many of the world’s best Pro editors, and their jaws have dropped.”
This can be interpreted in a couple of ways...
Actual users are complaining and are being explicit
Complaints include many items other than backward compatibility: (from http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/3171)
- Missing features: OMF, EDL, XML, Multicam, export options, RED RAW, third-party hardware support, etc. I expect some of those to become available through upgrades. I am afraid that we will have to pay extra for individual features (or buy them in packages), especially proprietary codecs that involve license costs. This is a common strategy with Store apps, and wouldn't be beyond Apple. Can you imagine? 100$ for RED RAW support, 75$ for OMF export, etc... by the time you're set up, FCP X cost you 900$ or so. That would explain why Apple is selling FCP X for 300$. Or maybe I'm just paranoid. But then again, it might be a good thing for those that don't need everything.
- You can't import legacy FCP 7 projects. Sure you can retain your FCP 7 install, but I would have liked to transition one of my current projects to FCP X, in order to learn it in my free time.
- I don't like the inability to save a project where you want. I usually save my project in a Dropbox folder, so I can work from the office or home; media files remain in local copies. I'll have to go back to carrying around an external hard disk every day (which will have to contain both project an event folders).
- You can't customize the interface, other than sending either the Event Library or Viewer to the second monitor.
On the upgrade comment - it's *NOT* an upgrade, the previous installation of FCP remains intact so you can continue to edit your old material with that.
Business as usual
iMovie worked fine and they revamped that too.
I once remarked to an Applestore employee that they should "really get some cash registers in here!" after a straighforward purchase went south when he couldn't locate a working remote keypad for me to enter my pin. "They're all being used at the moment" he proudly announced. When I pressed him on why they didn't have the usual counter/ cash register setup he simply replied 'our customers don't want them.' "Well, I'm a customer...and I wasn't asked!" I said and walked out.
Apple are not interested in giving you what you need... only what they want to sell you.