Producer | Editor | Gentleman

FCP X: What Apple Should Have Said

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When Apple gave their sneak peek of FCP X in April, they should have then released some sort of statement to the editing community. The release should have read something like this…

We are excited to be preparing for the release of Final Cut Pro X this coming June. We are extremely proud of the work that our developers have put in to this new application and believe that it will show our loyal customers that Apple is fully dedicated, long-term, to the craft of editing for film, television, video and the web.

With that in mind, we want to stress that this first release in June will be a Beta version of the application. We wanted to get it into our customers’ hands as soon as possible, but there are some things to keep in mind.

First, this is not an update to your existing version of Final Cut Pro. This is a completely new application. Therefore, it will not overwrite your existing application and you can use both your existing software and the new FCP X on the same computer. We feel this allows producers and editors to continue working on any existing or legacy projects for as long as they need to, while gaining confidence and comfort with the new workflow of FCP X.

Second, this Beta release will have some things missing that editors rely on. Rest assured we are working to include these things down the road, whether as a built-in feature or as a third party plug-in from one of our trusted partners. What’s missing from the Beta release? Multi-clip editing, the ability to assign specific tracks for certain elements, management for multi-seat facilities and a few other things that we are committed to incorporating in future releases.

So, you might ask why not just wait until it is complete to release FCP X. Well, we thought the best way to improve this product is to get it into the hands of all the great editors out there actually practicing the craft of editing on a daily basis, and then benefitting from all the excellent feedback that would be generated.

Thanks for reading, and when FCP X is released in June, please let us know what you think. Until then, happy editing!

After releasing this statement they should have continued to hit these talking points to anyone and everyone that would listen.

The reason for doing this is obvious; by giving us a glimpse and then retreating to their bunker in Cupertino, they ceded control of the narrative to the blogosphere…a dangerous proposition indeed. So what did we hear in the hours, days and months after that night in April? From Apple – nothing. From anyone with an opinion and a keyboard – “This is the end of FCP.” “Apple doesn’t care about us.” “It’s just a glorified version of iMovie.” …and on and on and on. Everybody bloviating and making statements of certainty without really knowing much of anything.

Of course, there were people on the other side as well, who applied the rosiest of perspectives upon that Rorschach Test of a presentation. And what ends up happening? Everybody is disappointed.

We’re talking about Public Relations 101. Set expectations. Control the narrative. Flatter your base (AKA kiss ass).

The big question as I see it is why didn’t they do something like this? I can only come up with three possible options.

1) Incompetence
2) Arrogance
3) Incompetence & Arrogance

Either way, somebody should be very worried about their job at Apple.


  1. Frank Bella says:

    You like it that much – ehh? I guess we should warm up the AVID suite again :-)


  2. Michael V Williams says:

    I haven’t used it yet…and it doesn’t even matter whether I like it or not. The reports I’ve heard from people using it are actually pretty positive. The point of my post is that Apple’s complete failure to launch the application correctly resulted in a nightmare of a backlash, and it could have easily been avoided. Hopefully, somebody there will learn the lesson.

  3. herojig says:

    Nightmare for whom? Only for the folks trying to get some work done and get (work-related) answers about FCPX on Apple Discussions, which is not clogged with apple haters, adobe and avid fanbois, and whiny “editors” wishing for the olden days. This blog post is just another example. What a waste of time…

    • herojig…I’m simply pointing out that Apple could have minimized the overwhelming negative response by doing this one simple thing. If they don’t care about the negative response, that’s their business but I don’t understand why any company that sells products to consumers would want their consumers to think of them in a negative light. I agree much of the “whining” is unwarrented, based on misinformation or not enough information about the product. But, again, Apple could have avoided that by just doing what I suggested. Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong. Either way, thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Lon Keller says:

    I think an equally important part of such a statement would be a section explaining Apple’s future commitment to the Pro community. Are they in or out? What business wants to invest time and money into products that have no future? Like it or not, Apple needs to represent itself as a business partner, not just a developer and manufacturer of software and hardware. And as a partner, it is Apple’s responsibility and simply good business to be up front with the professional video community.

  5. It’s not so bad. A whole new group of frustrated people are about to feel a creative freedom they only dream t of before they discovered Sony Vegas Pro10. FCP and Apple’s undying arrogance will not be missed anywhere that I know.

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