Producer | Editor | Gentleman

Final Cut Pro X: Back Away from the Ledge

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I must admit I am amused by the hyperbolic reaction to Apple’s release last week of Final Cut Pro X. It is apparent that either a large percentage or a very vocal minority had determined before even using the software that Apple had destroyed their popular NLE application. Maybe they did just that. Or maybe this is the first step in revolutionizing the way we all edit. Nobody knows right now.

It is obvious to me that Apple really mishandled the rollout of this new product and misjudged the way the professional editing community would react. I think that Apple has become used to just rolling out new products and having the world genuflect at their altar of genius. Unfortunately for Apple, the editing community is a bit different than the consumers of iPods, iPads and iPhones. Professional editors like to feel special and a bit above the crowd when it comes to technology, and I often notice a bit of annoyance at Apple for being so focused on consumer products while treating their suite of editing products as less important. But it doesn’t take a genius to realize that Apple makes a hell of a lot more money from the consumer market than it does from its various niche products.

But just because Final Cut Pro is not Apple’s flagship product doesn’t mean they don’t care about it. In fact, I think this complete redesign shows their long-term commitment to the professional editing market. The question is not if FCP X is ready for prime time now, but if it is the dominant NLE in a few years.

There are plenty of blog posts out there about how Apple screwed up, with lists of “what’s missing” from the software. I think most of these writers are making uninformed assertions. While I agree that there are some troubling signs from this latest release, it seems that almost all (but not all) of the criticisms have been answered by the FCP development team.

As for myself, I am going to hold off on judging FCP X as a success or a failure until I have an opportunity to download and learn it…and that probably won’t happen until they have released updates with some of those “missing” features. For now, I will continue working in FCP 6 & 7 for some clients and Avid for others.

Here are a couple of very informative articles about FCP X that clarify what is fact and what is fiction. Read the comments below each article for more insights into the issues and for a taste of the passion.

from Studio Daily…

Should You Upgrade to Final Cut Pro X?

From New York Times…

Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X

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