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What are the Answers to the Unanswered Questions about Final Cut Pro X?

Since Apple’s Sneak Peek of Final Cut Pro X, the questions have been flying around the Internet. Well, here’s concise answers to those questions – as many as I could find, so settle in and learn what’s new and what’s not there yet.

UPDATE: Apple have released their own FAQ

Does Final Cut Pro X really work with native formats or does it transcode?

Both! Final Cut Pro X works natively at version 1 with many formats: DSLR H.264, AVCCAM/AVCHD/NXCAM, DVCPRO HD,  ProRes, GoPro and some others. At version 1’s release it doesn’t appear to work natively with R3D or XDCAM (without rewrapping XDCAM as QuickTime MOV). This is not entirely surprising as each codec/container’s support has to be written new in AV Foundation, which fortunately is up to the job. (Yes, as I predicted, AV Foundation is the media foundation for Final Cut Pro X and the reason for its phenomenal performance.)

But, there is the option to transcode to “Optimized Media” and/or “Proxy Media”. What’s very cool is that, if you choose Optimized Media from say a DSLR source, then you can immediately start work adding keywords, creating range-based keywords, or editing away. In the background Final Cut Pro X will create the transcoded optimized ProRes media files. When they’re ready, Final Cut Pro X switches over to use the transcoded files instead of the originals. Transcoded ProRes files are somewhat easier on the system (although I rarely saw a problem) and render faster.

XDCAM and R3D media still needs to be QuickTime wrapped outside Final Cut Pro X. I expect this to change as Apple or those companies write support for Import Media.

Can I import a Final Cut Pro 7 (or 6) project?

As of Version 1 and today’s release there is no direct import capability for legacy projects. My understanding is that there will be an Apple-provided utility for importing XML from older projects to Final Cut Pro X. However, my advice would remain: do not update software mid way through a project, unless there’s a very, very compelling reason.

Will we be able to switch the Final Cut Pro X layout to a more traditional 2-monitor setup?

Simply put, no. Final Cut Pro X is a single window app, as will become common on Lion. It will behave like a single window app on Snow Leopard two. That means that the layout evolves around function but not with preset layouts like we have in Final Cut Pro 7.

For folks with double monitor setups, there is specific provision for sending either Bins or unified Viewer to the second monitor.

What about the other applications in Final Cut Studio 3?

There are new versions of Motion – Motion 5 – and Compressor – Compressor 4 – available separately from the Mac App Store for $49.99 each. There is heavy integration with Final Cut Pro X for both, so you’ll likely want both.

One big advantage is that this configuration allows a Motion Graphic designer to only have Motion installed and create graphic Themes (packages) for Final Cut Pro X that include title designs, custom transitions and effects without conflicting with the license for a seat of Final Cut Pro X on another Mac. I haven’t seen Motion 5 or Compressor 4 but I’m really looking forward to getting Motion 5.

What about Log and Capture/Tape Capture?

In Final Cut Pro X you can Import Files or Import from Camera. Import from Camera is designed to support live cameras (including your iSight camera on MacBook Pros, iMacs and Cinema Displays), File-based transfers, and very limited tape capture. Tape capture is from FireWire connected devices only (DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD and HDV only) and “capture forward” only. No setting In and Out points: cue the tape to where you want to start, press Start Capture and Esc when done, or when the tape ends.

Files captured with Blackmagic Design or Matrox software (supplied with each company’s hardware) or with Final Cut Pro 7 (or earlier) can be imported to Final Cut Pro X.

Batch recapture from tape is not supported. It is likely a third party opportunity.

What about support for 3rd party hardware “out of the box” with Version 1?

The design of Final Cut Pro X is focused directly on metadata-driven acquisition, not tape. There is rudimentary support for something like Capture now, but I doubt there will ever be support for third party video hardware as we’ve seen, because the workflows Final Cut Pro X is designed to support mostly don’t include tape.

Is there a Viewer or way to simulate one?

There is no dedicated “Viewer” window as we knew it in Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier. The Final Cut Pro X Viewer is a “unified viewer” and takes on image display tasks from the old viewer – this is where playback happens.

Importantly the functionality of the Viewer, which we could not edit without, is still present:

  • Trimming of clips happens in the Browser/Viewer using dragged ranges, or setting In and Out points as we already have.
  • Three point editing is fully supported – including from head and from tail (forward and back timing).
  • Crop, Trim and Motion tab functions from the Viewer are available directly in the unified Viewer.
  • Keyframing Effects happens in the Timeline or the Effects Board.
  • Where two-up views are required, they share the unified Viewer space, similarly to how Slip and Slide and other actions did in Final Cut Pro 7 or earlier.  Two up views are used  edits that are either side of an edit point or for slip/slide operations.

It’s also important to note that during edit operations that benefit from seeing both sides of the edit, the unified Display changes to a two-up view within the window, as Final Cut Pro 7 did for fewer types of edits.

What about three point editing?

Three point editing is fully supported with all the “from head”, “to tail” options we’ve been used to. Three point editing is highlighted in the manual as a key feature. Like in Final Cut Pro 7 three point editing is not compulsory!

If everything is real time, why does it still render in the background?

Rendered media is easier to play, and since the rendering comes as no cost to the editor (no slowdown in working) it makes for a smoother experience overall. However, in most cases on recent hardware, there will be no visual difference between playing in real time and the rendered media. As soon as an effect is applied you can play the result. It will only be rendered in the background and used for future playback of that segment.

Of course, you can make changes that play full quality in real time, and they’ll be rerendered in the background.  In order to not create too many render files, the background render doesn’t kick in (or even attempt to kick in) until five seconds after your last image adjustment. (Five seconds is the default, but it can be changed in Preferences.)

Also note that the background rending means that, when you come to export, files are already ready for a “quick as file copy” creation of a master media file.

Can I work offline/What about proxies/What about Media Manager?

Proxy workflows are fully supported. In fact they’re much easier. Proxy generation is a simple checkbox away and can happen on ingest, or any time you want. Swapping from Proxy to full quality media is a radio button selection away: choose either Original Media or Proxy Media.

There is no Media Manager as it has been, nor is there a need for one.  If you want a proxy workflow, generate the proxies on ingest, or any convenient moment. The Project (edit) can be sent with proxy or full quality media to edit and then simply reconnected to the full quality media by clicking a radio button in Preference settings. Swap instantly between proxy and full quality media in seconds.

Proxy media is ProRes Proxy. There’s no choice, nor is one needed.

Can I have more than one Project (edit) open at once?

Yes, although they cannot be displayed beside each other like could happen in Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier (by dragging a tab out to its own window). In Final Cut Pro X you can open multiple Projects (edits) that remain open and swap between them with the arrows at the top left of the Project Timeline.

This same widget will also step back up out of a Compound Clip to the parent clip, or to step back into the compound clip.  The display shows you exactly where you are in the Project or Compound Clip.

Where are my media and edits stored?

Wherever you like! You can choose to have Final Cut Pro X manage your media library for you, or you can set it on whatever drive you want. Media (Final Cut Events) and edits (Final Cut Projects) folders are always located in the user’s Movies folder or at the root level of the external drive, much the same way as Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier.

Media locations are stored with the Project (edit) file and in the Events. There is no longer one global “Scratch disk” setting! Thankfully.

Can I move projects to another drive?

Yes, you can move, copy, merge and otherwise manage media associated with Events or with Projects (edits). It’s very flexible.

I do not currently have word on shared storage but I would expect shared storage on a SAN to work as long as Final Cut Pro X could connect to the shared media.

Will Final Cut Pro X’s Events be the only way to organize media?

Yes. I wish they’d chosen another name because Event Library is your media library. It is, in effect, a mini asset management tool. I would have called Events “Library”. However, as I ran scenarios of adding footage to edit, the Event metaphor was really quite accurate.

But Events are very flexible. You choose where each media library is stored. You can mount multiple media libraries (Events) at the same time and merge media from them. Even better, when you no longer want to access a volume’s media library, unmount it and it will disappear from the Event Library when it’s unmounted, and come back with full metadata when it’s mounted again.

As you add new material to your Event Library, you choose which Event to add it to. That is, you choose which of your open libraries you want to add new media to. If you don’t, Final Cut Pro X will create the Media Library in the Movies folder, but it has to default somewhere. (Final Cut Pro 7’s Scratch disk also defaulted to the internal drive if none was set.) For example, if you’re adding dailies to a show, within the Event I designated for the show, I would create a sub-event for that date. (Or whatever organizational scheme you want.)

Not only do you choose the Event, but you also choose a name for that import (or choose to add it to a previous Event). It makes perfect sense once you use it. It’s easier, more flexible and a whole lot more powerful than Media Management in Final Cut Pro 7.

What about third party effect plug-ins?

There is nothing in the manual about FXplug support but I expect it is there. I expect an announcement later today about one brand new plug-in set that supports Final Cut Pro X.  However, I think FXplug plug-ins will have to be modified. At a minimum they need to support 64 bit, so that means a recompile, but effects have presets and live skimming on the targeted media, so that also needs some rewriting.

Expect updates as soon as developers get access to the developer kit. That may not be available immediately after release but it will be coming.

Does Final Cut Pro X support Multicam/Multicamera switching?

At the initial release of version 1, Final Cut Pro X does not have a multicamera editing feature, a.k.a. multicam. I was told that Apple have, with Final Cut Pro X, been re-examining everything to work out how to reimagine and improve it. Multicam will come in a future release, when Apple decide how best to implement it within the new application and architecture.

Is the keyboard customizable?

Yes, there’s a new design but you can map the keyboard however you like. You can have mulitple command sets and swap between them.

Not only is the keyboard customizable, but the new Command Center makes it easy to add or modify any menu item’s keyboard equivalent, not just some items. Plus items like nudging controls in the Color Board can have keyboard equivalents applied to them.

When Randy Ubilos said that “everything could be done from the keyboard” he meant that a lot more could be done than ever could be done from the keyboard in Final Cut Pro 7.

There are no button bars or button replacement that I can find.

If Final Cut Pro X is based on a database, does that mean it replaces Final Cut Server?

Events in Final Cut Pro X are like a mini Digital Asset Management tool for your current assets. Final Cut Server automates workflows and stores assets long term, so I don’t see one replacing the other.

More importantly, this will not be a database that anyone can access. It’s built on Core Data and Core Data persistent data stores (i.e. the database) are for that app’s use only. Opening it to all and sundry would likely corrupt the database!  That said, see the above point that I expect a new and improved – and supported – way of interacting with the application.

What about XML-workflows?

The XML workflows that we’ve known are no longer part of the package: no XML export or import. Final Cut Pro 7 did not support AppleScript, just a limited set of AppleEvents  for accessing XML.

However, during my direct briefing, the Apple folk made it abundantly clear that the ecosystem was very important to them, and that there will be a new, and much improved, replacement for the current XML workflow. That’s entirely consistent with what I’d heard pre-release that there would be a new form of XML and that it would be accessed by some sort of SDK (Software Developer Kit). This seems like encouraging news, even if it will mean a lot of extra work on our own software to “get back to where we are”.

Unfortunately, access to these features is not available at today’s release, so we have to wait until Apple deem it complete enough to open to third parties like us at Intelligent Assistance.

What about OMF Export?

At the release of Version 1 of Final Cut Pro X there is no direct OMF export and no “Export to Logic”. Apple does recognize the importance of this workflow, and I’ve been told that there will be a utility available shortly to fill that need until it can be built into the application directly.

[UPDATE] Automatic Duck’s Pro Export FCP has been updated providing both OMF and AAF export from Final Cut Pro X.

What about EDL Export?

Seriously still in 2011? EDL export would be a third party opportunity once the “XML workflow” replacement is in place. If there’s demand.

The Magnetic Timeline seems to close gaps, but what if I don’t want the duration to change?

There’s a function to replace a clip with a gap clip (like a slug), which even keeps any clip connections you’ve set up.

Will my Mac run Final Cut Pro X?

Here’s the system requirements the folks at Apple provided:

  • Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better
  • 2GB of RAM (4GB of RAM recommended)
  • OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later
  • 256MB of VRAM
  • Display with 1280-by-768 pixel resolution or higher
  • Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later
  • 2.4GB of disk space for Final Cut Pro
  • 2GB of disk space for Motion
  • 685MB of disk space for Compressor

Is Final Cut Pro X really for the “Pros”?

I’ve already wondered What the heck is a “pro” anyway?, so I think it’s more useful to consider professional workflows instead of “pros”. From the answers above you should be able to see that at version 1 Final Cut Pro X won’t support some professional workflows, but for other professional workflows it will be more than capable. Using Final Cut Pro X to cut together a story, I’m struck by how fast it is to achieve a result, as if everything was designed to get a result a quickly as possible.






365 responses to “What are the Answers to the Unanswered Questions about Final Cut Pro X?”

  1. External monitoring support Philip … did you get any hint on when access to the necessaries for suppporting that will be passed to the AJA / BMD / Matrox / Motu’s of the world?

    1. I had no hint on that, but am very pleased it’s there. FWIW it’s basically desktop mirroring – the kona card becomes an extended desktop monitor and FCP X sends the signal there. Nice.

      1. TorC

        I understand the reasons for needing calibrated broadcast monitors for color grading. But, I’m intrigued by Apple’s use of ColorSync. My question is: “Is an external broadcast monitor needed for Final Cut Pro X if the finished product will NOT be distributed for television broadcast?” Some said that Final Cut Pro 7 still required this because the canvas view was not capable of displaying the correct color.

        If my properly calibrated (e.g. using X-Rite iOne Display 2) iMac monitor will do the job, then what do I need a broadcast monitor for?

        1. A broadcast monitor is not required if one is not delivering to broadcast environments. A decently calibrated monitor is a good idea but if you’re delivering for computer screens or iPods/iPads etc, then you do NOT want to calibrate on a broadcast monitor as the gamma will be wrong for your deliverables.

    2. proeditor456

      Wow Phil… really – u dont know what a “professional” is? u sound like a mouthpiece for apple no matter how ridiculous the product they sell.

      sorry but FCPX is not a professional editing solution. lets face it — Apple is shifting it’s focus away from professional creatives, and hinting at an over-arching iOS/iCloud/iTunes/Appstore world where products are dumbed down for broad, general consumerists.

      i’m not blaming apple for this change, but let’s call FCPX what it is — a consumer editing solution that cannot compete in the professional editing market.

      all the shortcomings of FCPX is the current workflow of thousands of editorial and post houses across the world — workflows that depend on sound design, visual FX, and color correction in higher-end “professional” grade systems beyond FCPX.

      so i ask you – are you sure you don’t know what a “professional” is? because being a “professional”, i find FCPX a horrible end to the once fantastic Final Cut Pro series…

      FCP — RIP 2011

      1. Steve

        And this is your judgement after what, a maximum of 24 hours use? I mean you HAVE used it right? To all intents and purposes, this is a beta release. Calm down and give it a chance…

        1. I couldn’t get into everything even in a week.

        2. henry

          Why is that a beta release? You paid 300 $ for a beta? Oh my god.

      2. A pro is someone making a living out of something. And yes, there are a lot of people who are going to be happy with FCPX who are living out of its use.

        Pro does not mean tv or theater anymore.

        Yet, I understand your deception about the missing features (multicam) and how much it is presented like a iMovie upgrade (import iMovie projects but no FCP7!).

      3. re: dumbing down

        Ditto!! This is not a professional app. Tracks are gone? Are you kidding me?!! That’s like removing the layers palette from Photoshop, and fumbling around inside the canvas without real control. I don’t need help organizing my media, in fact, I prefer having the hierarchy I designed, with folders for separate clients, jobs, projects, etc. This morning I tried bringing in a single layer PSD, and FCPX assigned it a new category “EVENT” entitled Jun 22, 2011 (1). I then tried all the composite modes, none of which rendered out the layer over the video. There is ZERO transitioning from a decade of projects built in FCP. This quintessentially illustrates Apple’s desire to market more toward the masses putting together family vacation videos, and less to the smaller community of high-end, artistic professionals that have historically defined the Mac users. I suppose this’ll be good for the freaking company stock. I am very disappointed, but I am really glad I can continue to work in the old FCP, at least until Apple decides to drop support for it. May have to switch back to Premiere.

        1. Alex Fry

          “Tracks are gone? Are you kidding me?!! That’s like removing the layers palette from Photoshop”

          I think this sentiment sort of sums up the issue.

          As a Nuke user I find apps that cling to the layers metaphor for image manipulation to be hopelessly archaic.. Sure people are used to it, but its gives digital systems the same handcuffs as the things its meant to be replacing..

          I’m prepared to give Apple the benefit of the doubt on this one, I cringed the first time I used a node system after growing up on layers.. Now, I cant imagine ever going back to the dark ages

      4. Tom

        I have been an FCP user since 1.0, creating movies, TV shows and sales videos. To hear that my decades of work will no longer be able to be reused if I upgrade is INSULTING!!!. I have clients that pay me to store their projects so that they can come back to them a year or more later to re-edit and reuse what they paid so much to have created. Now, if I upgrade, I will loose all that recurring business? NO F’N WAY!!!

        Also, until now, NO OTHER PROGRAM has ever told me that I have to relearn everything from scratch because they decided to change the ENTIRE program structure. That’s over a decade of mastering this program and now I have to start from square one again. That too is just INSULTING. I am a true machead and avid FCP user, but I will NEVER upgrade to this software if this is the way Apple decides to treat their “professional” users. Long live the true FCP 7 and earlier. I love FCP and I really don’t understand why they couldn’t just make it better instead of rebuilding everything.

        1. I’d be eternally happy if FCP7 could simply handle all the different formats the way FCPX does. I am super comfy in the old app. Why does everything have to be “rebuilt from the ground up”. The old app was getting better and better with every upgrade. Not broke – don’t fix. Here’s a suggestion for “thinking different”: Leave the damn thing like it is. I need sequences. I need nesting. I don’t need to see every clip I’ve ever shot, along with the date I shot it. And another thing – not every piece of video or motion graphic is an “EVENT”, nor do I really care about the date of its production.

          1. Except that there was no way to add 64 bit or native support to FCP 7. It had to be rebuilt from the ground up to get the performance. No other way. Once they knew they *HAD* to rebuild, it was then they decided to examine what their customers – all their customers – did and how to make that easier.

            It was pretty fundamentally broken, and needed remaking. And actually, when I thought about Events I couldn’t think of a single example that wasn’t an Event. A shoot is an Event, Dailies could be an event, or the whole project could be an Event. Changing the name just to make it different from iMovie apparently didn’t appeal to Apple.

          2. David

            Adobe didn’t have to completely rewrite the program and throw out features and fine control in order to add 64 bit support. I’ve been waiting 2 yrs for Apple to port their application to their own Snow Leopard. I’m not willing to wait longer for updates that may or may not restore lost functions that I can get elsewhere.

            I was willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt on the new editing paradigm. But not when they throw out essential features like multi-cam, multi-track audio or even the ability to work with other 3rd party tools like Pro Tools. The lack of fine control in audio, color and even timecode (hundredths of seconds but not frames?!) and replacing control with “auto” features is an epic fail.

            It’s no big deal to produce a streamlined user interface when you throw out features and functions by the handfuls. FCP X is really ex-FCP — lobotomized and castrated.

            My big concern now is whether FCP 7 will work with Lion and when issues arise, will they provide updates and support for FCP 7? My guess is that they won’t. Which means that I’ll be freezing my system as well until I can get moved to Avid or Premiere and know that the one I’m using doesn’t have major issues with Lion.

          3. Adobe had already completely rewritten the program at a time when rethinking didn’t make sense. Apple thought it did. It was their choice.

        2. Jim H

          FCP 7 will not be going anywhere for a while. I’m sure many of the things that people are missing now will be in the package in not very much time. Until then, keep FCP 7 on a fast computer while you dip your toes in here.

          This does remind me of the launch of iMovie in the amateur market. The first version looked brilliant, but left out many of my favorite features. Now they’re there, and I love the interface and the plumbing of the app too.

          I suspect as FCP X evolves, it will be in another bay, and then on both machines, and then on one of the new 16-core Pro in the fancy suite.

      5. Chris

        What you said, sounds just about right. They Don’t have a clue as to what is needed or who uses the apps. Too busy with iPhone and iPad? Yep its obvious Apple is doing just that. Lets just move to Adobe Premiere and get it over with. Apple is obviously become a TOY factory. (sad, yes I know). Automatic Duck, is another overpriced solution. Not acceptable to me, sorry.

        1. The iPhone that got us the AV Foundation that is the fundamentals to the performance of FCP X. I like that focus.

      6. Richard Starkey

        Agreed. Some of these people are so far up apple’s you-know-what that they could not possibly understand what a professional editor is.
        Much as I have liked FCP, I have always and will always need to go elsewhere for grades, VFX and flame/ smoke work.
        Embarrassed that I ever defended this company and strayed from avid in the first place.

    3. Paul Jay

      AJA already has a document online.

      1. Paul Jay

        But that is using the AJA card as an extended desktop, which is no solution really.

  2. Cory Bauer

    “What about EDL Export?
    Seriously still in 2011? EDL export would be a third party opportunity once the “XML workflow” replacement is in place. If there’s demand.”

    I must be way behind the times, but what on earth is the alternative to generating an EDL that makes it such an archaic concept? We need to creative OMF and EDL files for every offline edit we do; how else would we possibly send our sound and picture edits for online?

    1. It’s not that no-one needs EDL, it’s just that the target market doesn’t. A third party (like ourselves) could make an EDL utility once we get access to the new XML replacement. When it’s ready. (Be patient Philip)

      1. Chris McCaleb

        If the target market really was professional post-production, EDL support would be included. It is still the standard in the professional film industry, where workflow exists outside one single product. Same with OMF/AAF support. This demonstrates a shift away from professional utility, and more towards pro-sumer hobbyists and ultra-low-budget projects. And don’t get me started about multi-cam.

        Regardless – thank you for the concise update!

        1. As I’ve said before there are many types of professional post production. This doesn’t support all workflows yet. But it will or third parties will fill in the gaps.

        2. Greg

          Automatic Duck are offering a solution for OMF/AAF export from FCPX.

          1. Jeff

            Automatic Duck costs more than your editing application. Fail.

          2. YOu’d rather everyone pay more for Final Cut Pro X to subsidize the few that need it?

          3. Yeah, and it costs nearly twice what FCX does…

          4. Wenders Li Li

            How about the cinema tools? Is that ANOTHER third parties we need to PAY!?

      2. subvoice

        is it the rule now that apple sends out “unfinished” software so that people have to wait and pay for options that they need in their professional life?! could you fanbois please stop to approve such BS from apple!

        1. GeeGee

          “is it the rule now that apple sends out “unfinished” software so that people have to wait and pay for options that they need in their professional life?”

          Ever tried ANY Adobe products? They seem to be perpetual beta. And they charge you for each and every bug fix (or “incremental upgrades” as they call them).

  3. Philip,

    Thanks for the great break down on FCP X. Helped answer a lot of my questions.

    FCP X looks like it can be a very powerful tool.


  4. Bill

    No upgrade pricing since its a completely new product then…so its $400?

    1. And it will be $400 when the full next version comes out. App store doesn’t allow upgrade pricing. It does allow them faster iterations

  5. Yes, oddly enough, in 2011, we still need EDL support. We have networks who still rely on ancient specs, and associate producers who require EDLs for tracking and music cue sheets. EDL support for film re-capture as well. EDLs, although old, are still used in very high end workflows. Still used to break up large single clips in RESOLVE…which is new.

    Tape capture with third party apps…I thought so. I was surprised to still see firewire tape capture. Good. But no batch capture…bad.

    NO CHAPTER MARKERS when making a DVD. losing that seems odd.

    1. Jeff

      Not to mention most legal departments require EDL’s to check stock/licensing.

      It’s a common deliverable with most anything we deliver.

      1. That has been much better handled with Sequence Clip Reporter for more than a year. You really are in the dark ages. 🙂 From It will be updated to FCP X as soon as we get access to the new “XML” workflow.

        1. Really, Philip? It’s not bad… just buy my plugin and it’s fine…

  6. Nice overview. It’s like the original Bondi iMac. Ripped of the ADB ports, floppy, etc, like an old bandage.

    Now they’ve ripped out XML, marked “in & out” tape input & output, round tripping, and several other things that the growing FCP masses were just starting to lean so heavily upon.

    I think it’ll hurt for a few years. So existing FCP 7 users will keep using that, and FCPx will put back all the things that core users really do need. So in a year or so, the transition will be a lot easier.

    But, at least for Apple, this helps stem the tide of people leaving Apple’s Pro Apps for other solutions.

    1. “But, at least for Apple, this helps stem the tide of people leaving Apple’s Pro Apps for other solutions.”

      Was there really a tide? And would this really stem it? Seems more likely to start a tide of its own.

      1. Chris Wilby

        Sorry Patrick you beat me to it!

      2. Chris Harlan

        I’ve been a big FCP booster for years. I’m not saying I’m done, but I’m scratching my head pretty hard right now.

        1. Joseph Hung

          I second that…I’m sure there are good things in FCPX and more to come, but I’m totally dumbfounded right now. I’m riding that tide out until FCPX really gets worked out…a year maybe 2 down the road.

    2. Chris Wilby

      I didn’t realise there was any tide to stem!

  7. Tony

    Thanks for the informative post. I’m really bummed after all this waiting in excitement to read that there is no Multicam/Multicamera switching support in fcpx yet. I guess at least you saved me $300 for the time being.

    1. Multicam support will come. It just takes time

      1. FCP’s multicam sucks pretty bad anyway, so what are you missing ? prem pro’s multicam is far more useful, and in the grand scheme of things, probably not a lot of people use it. besides FCP7 still works if you must

        1. Andy

          LOL… as opposed to WHOSE?? Premiere’s?? Or even AVID’s??

          Oh puh-leeeeeeeeze. You’ve just discredited yourself completely.

      2. jschroter

        Looking at the current layout – I’ll bet that IF multicam is implemented it would be similar to the ‘audition’ function. Currently you can select multiple clips in an event and create an audition. Not much of a stretch to imagine those clips playing at the same time. It’s practically built in already.

        1. Yes, the similarity to an Audition and multiclip didn’t go unnoticed here either, but an Audition is sequential whereas multicam would need to see all streams in parallel.

    2. Mark T

      FCP X &7 can exist on your machine at the same time. You could upgrade without conflicts and keep using 7 as well.

      1. Jon L

        Then I ask, what’s the point to upgrade? I need the features that are missing, and I don’t have the money to put down 300 for a new app, and then anther 500 for “third party” fixes.

        1. If you work with file-based sources in a quick turnaround where you want high quality and high production value edits fast and output to files (and use a bureau to go back to tape) and don’t do multicam then FCP X is perfect right now! 🙂 (Not really but that’s what it’ll work for now).

          If you rely on a missing feature then you can buy third party tools if you are a professional (ie you get paid and therefore can afford to pay for the tools you need.)

          1. JasperJohns

            “If you work with file-based sources in a quick turnaround where you want high quality and high production value edits fast and output to files (and use a bureau to go back to tape) and don’t do multicam then FCP X is perfect right now! 🙂 (Not really but that’s what it’ll work for now).”

            That’s great if you’re doing home videos or weddings, but in a professional environment where you have to send files to sound mixes, xmls to effects houses, etc… with FCP X, you’re hosed.

            “If you rely on a missing feature then you can buy third party tools if you are a professional (ie you get paid and therefore can afford to pay for the tools you need.)”

            wtf? What kind of argument is that? the economy is screwed, people are demanding more work for less money, while editors are becoming more one-man operations, where they own all the equipment and not just be a hired gun at a big post house. Isn’t your’s the “let them eat cake” excuse?

          2. Dick W

            Any advantage for a more casual user who works mostly with AVCHD files with minimal post video editing and mostly syncing external audio tracks to the video? A lot of the pro stuff is outside my job description and FCP7 is not very intuitive for the casual user.

          3. It is definitely more intuitive than FCP 7.

    3. I have been using FCPX today and you can do a type of multi camera. All you do is select all the clips from the different cameras and use the synchronise clips action (right click) and it will turn it into a synced clip and you edit all you camera shots together very easily the same as different tracks (which have been done away with!) as in FCP7. It does all the work of syncing the clips as long as they have audio for it to do the hard work. This has been a huge relief for me as I started worry as we do a lot of multi camera interviews.

      I really freaked out when I started to use FCPX but I have to say that a lot of my concerns about it being just an iMovie Pro have been alleviated when I started to use it. There are a lot of ‘hidden’ powerful features when you start to use it.

      1. Yes, there is clearly a foundation for Multicam in the app: otherwise why would Sync allow you to sync multiple video tracks (something you could not do in FCP 7 and earlier). And I think most people should use it first.

  8. Yes, REALLY. Yes, in 2011 EDLs are still needed – how do you expect to send your work to Flame/Resolve/Smoke, etc?

    EDLs may be old, but they are still the only common denominator in many cases.

    That was kind of an asinine thing to say. As if FCX was the only system out there.

    1. I don’t think the target market for Final Cut Pro X sends EDLs. They don’t work that well with file-based media and that’s what FCP X is designed for.

      1. Yves

        It`s obvious that Apple has now shifted who the target market for FCP is, from professionals (broadcasting, indie and comercial filmakers, etc)who have invested in FCP over the years, to more hobbiests/prosumers, because everyone in the above mentioned fields needs and uses things like EDLs, OMFs and multi-cam on a daily basis to make their productions run, and to communicate between the different levels of post-production (offline-online-soundmix).

        I think it’s wrong to have to wait and depend on third-party options for what amount to pretty basic, and current post-production tools – it’s also a wrong to assume that these tools are obsolete because they are not.

        It’s a real shame, and I really don’t think industry will react well, like a previous poster said, I think the industry will not touch this for a good while, at least until those basic tools are re-introduced. Otherwise, FCP evolves into a prosumer app, and everyone goes back to Avid.

        1. The market for FCP has not been solely or primarily the “bradcasting, and commercial fillmmakers” for a long time. Indies yes, and FCP X will work well for them. And the 1.9 million customers that don’t work in Film and TV will be very well suited with the new app.

          1. Markus

            You keep saying that FCP X is perfect for those 1.9 million current FCP users that do NOT work in professional film and broadcast.

            If that really was the target audience for the new version X – then why did Apple show it at NAB to exactly the above mentioned 0.1 million users and why did they – as you said – consult with the BBC, with other larger post houses in L.A., professoinal film editors etc.?

            If they really didn’t care about us who work in this small segment, they could simply have ignored us all together. But fact is – they did give us a version that simply won’t work in a standard multi-editor, SAN-based, multi-client environment. Mayb not yet, that remains to be seen. Certain people are (in a way righfully) upset, because Apple gave to that very group a sneak preview in April, only to release a product that they can’t really use. And worst of all – they pulled the plug on FCP 7 without even providing a solution for importing legacy project. (I hear they’re demanding copies back from retailers.) That’s really arrogant.

            And THAT’s what drives people up the wall. You say there are choices out there – well it’s not always that simple.

          2. R Chung

            See…here’s the thing, Phillip. How was FCP 7 NOT perfect for these 1.9 million customers that don’t work in film and TV? Too many features getting in the way of simple cutting and adding dissolves/titles? Were the buttons not big and colorful enough? Was it just too intimidating/demoralizing having the ability to do multicam, EDL and OMF export and all the things that professionals who do work in film and TV use…and not use them?

            Was it overpriced?

            Now, I don’t mind Apple gearing their new edit software towards a certain ‘self-contained’ pro-sumer demographic…kudos to that. The problem here is that in doing so, it is abandoning support and growth for their app that works for everyone….prosumers and film/TV professionals alike. They are forcing obsolescence…not by giving us something better, but by not wanting to deal with it anymore.

            I understand that from a big-business standpoint, it;’s probably a lot more profitable to bank your future on commodity hardware like iPods, iPads, and iPhones. But the insult lies in not coming out and acknowledging that, and in trying to pull the wool over the eyes of people who know exactly what they need for their profession. You don’t tell your professional consumers that they don’t need certain features…THEY TELL YOU when they don’t need them. You’re not going to force a trend in digital media workflows by removing vital elements of that workflow, the trend will tell you when it’s no longer necessary when the trend actually happens.

            Call it what it is….a sellout.

          3. It’s organization was clumsy – FCP X’s metadata foundation eats it. The editing tools were nowhere near this fluid. The effects not this fast. The workflow (within the App) super fast; media management that’s a dream as compared with FCP’s issues with media management (that got better over time but we’ve jumped to best of breed).

            Your mileage obviously differs, although from the tone I wonder how much time you’ve spent in the app?

        2. bw

          I’ve made a decent living for the past 12 years as a professional editor, and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been requested to export an EDL. I’ve never been asked for an OMF, and I’ve used multicam once (it stinks in the old FCP). Do these facts mean that I am not a “true” professional? What I’m taking away from many of these posts is that many media professionals are scared to death that production tools are becoming more and more accessible to the masses. I also have a feeling that our current economic situation is exacerbating this fear. The fact is that the media landscape is changing drastically, and what qualified as a “true” professional five years ago doesn’t really apply now. I feel that we are at an exciting turning point in this industry, and the transition from old to new is probably going to be very painful for some, but it must happen.

          As for FCP X itself, I haven’t used it yet, but I like what I see. As I understand it, Apple is committed to restoring the missing features people are raging about, and I have no reason to doubt them. The fact that so many people are passing final judgement on a software package that has been in release for only 3 days amazing. Especially in this day and age. I especially find it disheartening that established and respected production professionals have declared FCP dead after not even taking a full day to work with the software. I have no doubt that Apple is listening to the complaints, taking notes, and preparing updates. They have too much invested in this not to.

          By the way, this is not coming from an “Apple Fanboy.” I have been looking at other editing alternatives just as I have been looking at FCP X, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

          1. ECS

            Never been asked to export an EDL??????? OMF????? And you say you are a pro???? Tell me of ANY high end editing job that DOES NOT require EDL’s, OMF’s in the end…

            I have been a huge FCP user since v1 and will definitely give FCPX some time and more than a chance, but the new direction definitely seems away from the professional market.

            I am all for things opening to the masses 100% – that’s what FCP was to begin with. And FCP7 IS exactly that. But what made it so amazing is you could alos do high end jobs; TV shows, commercials, films etc on it too. Great, appeal to the consumers – but don’t push the pros to the side.

            I am struggling to be positive and hoping FCP X will work out but Avid or even premiere Pro gained a lot of ground with this direction shift. That is my main beef – the new direction seems to be saying “so long” to the pros.

            Ugh, thinking of foing back to AVID makes me sick but it may be the only choice…

            Come on Apple don’t abandon the pros…


          2. High end job? Who said I worked at the high end. (Well, I set up and maintain systems for movies but don’t ever want to edit them myself). High eng no. Professional editor, for over 20 years. Yes. There are many types of PROFESSIONAL editor and for many of them FCP X will be perfect. For the tiny Studio Film and Broadcast TV market, FCP X might not be suitable. Apple aren’t abandoning professional editors, although it seems like they might be focused on giving 95% of their user base a better editing experience.

          3. ECS

            Thanks for your response Phillip. I can’t understand your argument, though well crafted, when you keep trying to say things along the line of Apple is focusing on 95% of their base, edl, dpx, omf users are “niche”, elitist etc. From a statistical pov sure – that is not the largest margin for Apple, but they are the top of the editing game. I’m not putting down other professionals who may use FCP, but if the top of the game, those who edit films, tv shows etc don’t use it I think it’s not fair to call it a top grade software. That doesn’t mean it’s not good for certain types of editing or less demanding types of editing, but if you can’t use it to do the most demanding jobs, 5% or not (that 5% is the top 5% of course) then it is a glorified consumer product…which is fine. Just don’t tell me it’s more than that.

      2. All this talk of a “target market” in regards to EDLs makes me wonder why, then, Apple chose to post a quote by Angus Wall on its release statement for FCP X. Having worked at Angus’s company as an assistant on commercials, I can tell you that EDL, XML and OMF export are a part of the workflows for 99% of the jobs there, and ditto for all of the commercial post houses in LA with FCP seats. Omitting tools in use by a significant portion of FCP’s pro user base, including the pros Apple quotes in its press releases, is baffling. There are companies with 6 figures worth of equipment that have invested in FCP as an offline editing tool. Excising these people from the “target market” is an odd choice.

        1. Marketing works like that. Omitting tools in the first release that are used by small percentages of fthe Final Cut pro installed base makes sense if you’re developing the application.

          1. Yves

            I think it’s wrong to call it a small percentage, many many post production houses have made the switch from Avid to FCP or have build their buisness up on FCP, and there really is no way that FCPX will integrate into the workflows. Even so called indie filmmakers most often need to finish at the very least soundmix outside FCP.

            I just don’t get why they would choose to cut off the hundreds of production houses that have invested, and would continue to invest, lots of money and resources into FCP suites. Why couldn’t Apple accommodate them with the standard tools needed for the job, while still pushing the envelop of what an editing software can do, because I believe there are tons of really interesting things going on with FCPX not seen anywhere else, but it just won’t cut it with a huge part of the customer base.

            Apple likes to push software/hardware/web spaces to evolve and change and I like this about them, but they often do it to shape their image and not necessarily to what is best for it’s customers. I think this is why people are reacting so strongly, is because they where excited, but then feel alienated by the very platform they helped build – like it’s not for them anymore.

          2. Joseph Hung

            I second that.

        2. As of today you can export AAF and OMF via Auto Duck tool. Upgrade utility is coming.

          1. Tel

            Yes, for $495 though. Nearly twice the price of FCP X

          2. Yes, you can export an OMF via Automatic Duck, but in Final Cut Pro 7, or Avid MC5.. Or even Adobe Premiere you could do it nativly. How else should you get your edit to the sound mix? I find it strange that Apple chose to leave that out. The same for XMLs.. How am I now going to get my edit from FCX to lets say Da Vinci? Via another software, which probably means that I need 10 different softwares just to export my edit to different departments. I would say Avid MC is worth the extra bucks just to get everything in one package.

          3. Native OMF form FCP 7 was pretty bad and flakey, that’s why Automatic Duck made an OMF Exporter for FCP 7 for those who wanted to get OMF right, or do embedded media.

        3. ECS

          Agreed 100%. I am completely baffled by the lack of support for EDL’s OMF’s etc… Seriously Apple????

          I don’t care if Apple appeals to the masses – great! But don’t toss us to the side after we have invested so much time and energy into the company. t really makes me wonder what they are thinking…

          1. There is support for OMF via Automatic Duck. If you’re in the small, small % of Apple’s FCP customer base who need OMF, you’re clearly a paid professional who can afford to pay for the tools they need.

    2. DJ

      Flame/Resolve/Smoke utilise final cut pro xml’s for import.

      This workflow is obviously crippled in FCP X, which seems like an 80% done preview. That being said, it’s a bloody good preview of things to come. And that’s not just for this suite, but for the likes of Media Composer which will follow suite in some part somewhere along the line.

      1. The XML workflow we’ve known is dead and gone. It was a kludge in FCP but in FCP X there’s something bettercoming. It’s just not ready for developers and public yet.And that’s direct from Apple. And it probably has fewer than 80% of the tools and features it will have over it’s life.

        1. Andy

          I hope what your talking about is EDL export.

          I’m really looking forward to finishing jobs in Resolve then FLAME or DS, etc from clients that have cut using FCPX. Though because they’re “still” shooting 35mm half the time, I guess we wont have that problem because our telecine chain doesn’t have a firewire connection for them to digitize from. Guess we shouldn’t have donated our miniDV decks to schools a few yeas ago and we could have put it to tape for them.

          I guess the film and Alexa work flow will be fine because I can bill our clients half a day in Avid to match cut their edits and generate a EDL for a resolve conform. Thats triple the cost of the FCPX application. Maybe Automatic duck will get a few sales after all.

          1. You can capture media with any application and then use it in FCP X. There will be enhanced, ie better than ever, workflow integration. It’s just not ready for wide distribution yet. That sucks, a good portion of my livelihood depends on it, but we have to wait.

  9. Is there a work-around to the lack of multi-cam support. Is there a new paradigm to how we think of a multi-cam shot, with sync and edits?

    1. Nothing immediately comes to mind for a Multicam workaround other than lining the tracks up and solo/slicing.

      1. FWIW, there’s audio auto-syncing now, so at least it’ll be easier to line up those tracks.

        1. MGribs

          I do many ‘show’ edits with two camera setup, Tele and Wide, I cut way to the Wide as my safe footage, when Tele footage is bad/changing.

          Anyway tried syncing manually two 1hr Tele and Wide segments from a show in FCPX. Well I can report it was was very frustrating for good and bad reasons and I’ll be going back to early FCP 🙁

          Price! Performance!, color matching, effects, rendering

          Auto Synch didnt work, plus pushing it all into a CompoundSynchClip, well not very useful for editing
          So I had to manually synch footage which was as painful as older FCPs.
          The ability to change clip opaque level via a visible level is now hidden on properties (talk about stupid frustrating decision), as I use that a lot.
          Worse though is once I synced Tele and Wide, added some transitions on the Tele StoryLine, but then decided to remove the transition…it removed the segment of Tele footage where the transition was…sound was out of synch again !
          Chapter Makers cant be placed in FCPx, you can only do that in Compressor’s terrible interface…bad Apple, Bad, causing more work thats should not be needed!

          Frustrating experience and surprised that Apple released with out Multi-cam and obvious issues for semi-pro user like me.
          If they had just kept the old timeline then this release would be a different story for them.
          They could have then added the new storyboard timeline (which I still dont like, but may get use to it) when multi-cam support was done.

          Oh Apple what have you done….

      2. Tel

        Ah that takes me back.

  10. Chris Harlan

    Yeah. We still need EDL support. A list is still generally a completion requirement for half of the studios and networks I deliver to.

  11. scott tupper

    Soundtrack Pro? I take it we are supposed to move up to Logic now? Not that I particularly cared for STP.

    1. Logic would be a great alterantive. But there’s a lot of audio in FCP X from STP

      1. I’m sure Logic is a great alternative, but how would you get your sound mix from FCX to Logic?

        1. By an as-yet not finished feature. Sorry

          1. I’m sure Final Cut X Lion, Tiger, or whatever they will call 2.0, will be really good, but for now, as 2.0 doesn’t exist, it will keep alot of people from upgrading.

            I aggree that alot of people are putting FCX away before they have tried it properly (me included), but I just can’t see the point in upgrading now before all the features I need are included, specially when I would need to buy an expencive plugin for a feature that might be included in the next version of FCX.

            And for me, as I’m in the buying-process right now (I don’t got a private working system yet), I’m leaning towards Avid, and maby even on a PC, as I can’t buy FCP7 anymore. I don’t want to buy something I have to wait half a year before I can use.

  12. Any word on the support for Playback devices like my Blackmagic Card? Or AJA, matrox devices etc?

    1. So far only AJA have made a statement but I’d expect FCP X to support other devices for desktop mirroring out.

      1. Harry

        FCP X works with my Matrox MXO 😉

          1. But they’re just hijacking the “Monitor on Second Display” command, no? So not really a broadcast-quality solution.

  13. Mark Raudonis

    Things I worry about:

    1. Multicam (as in when it will become available)
    2. Media organization OUTSIDE a single project
    3. Multi EDITOR workgroup interaction on shared storage
    4. Print to tape (what will 3rd party solutions be?)

    Now that the cat’s out of the bag, the biggest issue becomes WHEN these items and many of the other GUI issues identified already will be addressed.

    Pre-NAB 2012 would be nice.


    1. One thing I was told in my briefing is that updates would no longer be waiting for major release points. Frequent was the word.

      As for the point 1, 2, and 3 are definitely real but more focused than the larger market for FCP X.

      4) well opportuniteis for third parties are always good imnsho.

      How about that Log and capture? Are the children tasty?

      1. Thomas

        There are already great third party capture and print to tape apps like blackmagic design’s Blackmagic Media Express. Log & Capture, EDL export, etc. all available…

        And you need external hardware to output to tape anyway.

        I think all we need to do ist wait for 10.0.1 😉

        1. Correect. Exactly like I wrote here a year ago when I suggested they may not rewrite Log and Capture.

  14. Steve

    Philip, you’re just taking up for Apple for releasing this piece of shit, toy software. Stop apologizing for FCPX’s shortcomings. You now seen like you are an Apple insider who can’t be objective.

    1. I refute the POS argument. I am always objective. Take it however you like but objective means seeing the good as well.

      1. Steve

        There is good in FCPX but it is far outweighed by the bad. You’re saying that FCPX is 1.0 is “technically” correct but it’s actually 10. Never in the history of any editing tool has so many features, tools etc been REMOVED and the version gone up.

        1. I will go over this one more time for the slow guy up the back. Final Cut pro X is a completely new application. No code in common with FCP 7 and earlier. It’s version 1. Start over. Fresh.

          Every single feature that’s there is a new feature. There are no features to “take out”. Features have not been built. Some, like log and capture because tape is going away for most, others like Multicam are coming.

          1. There’s a ton of bitching going on about a product people couldn’t possibly have spent enough time on to evaluate rationally. I’ve always found it bizarre how people in technology based industries get upset by change when its the one guarantee. Change doesn’t just mean a new keyboard shortcut, it means a different mindset. My thought process (so far) has been “ooh, not sure about that, something’s missing…oh, hang on I don’t need it any more”. You can talk about EDLs, flame suites and laying to tape but they are niche needs. The fact is, you can do on a macbook 90% of what could only have been done on a flame a decade ago. That’s change and its the direction things are heading, like it or not. People said Final Cut 1.0 was a toy when that was released and we all saw how that turned out. Besides, YOU STILL HAVE FCP 7 UNTIL THE UPDATES ARRIVE (and think of that as app updates – regular). FCP Professional since version 1.3

          2. Steve

            Philip, you’re either naive, an Apple fanboy or both. This it’s version 1.0 is no excuse for not including basic FCP 7 features that people need. The constant parroting of Apple’s marketing-speak of “it’s coming, it’s coming” is only show your readers that you’re now part of the reality distortion field.

          3. Markus

            Calling it “FINAL CUT PRO” X was their biggest mistake.

            It can’t even import Final Cut Pro 7 projects (I product they now pulled the plug on!).

            Yes, it’s a version 1.0. There is nothing wrong with that. Call it iEdit Pro, Montage Pro – whatever, but don’t make it sound like it’s just a natural step up, which it clearly isn’t. I completely understand why people are upset.

      2. ECS

        FCP X is like buying a car that has an amazing paint job, some cool features for the kids, cool interior – lot’s of bling, but a car with an engine that’s too small, no tires and no windows; basically a joke to people who want to use it every day.

        But hey it looks great – and if you buy it and then go to a third party mechanic they can sort of make it work with strange work arounds – as long as you go downhill and don’t mind the lack of brakes.

        i find this release insulting as heck. They should have named this program something else and not kill the FCP brand.

    2. Paul Jay

      ”you’re just taking up for Apple for releasing this piece of shit, toy software. ”

      Exactly what ‘Pros’ said about FCP 1.0

      FCP X is 1.0 of 2011..

      Same story. Same crying.

      1. Steve

        And Paul you’re as big of a fanboy as Philip if you’re going to scream the FCPX is 1.0 scream. The X stands for TEN and while it is new its TEN. If Apple called it 1.0 then I think reaction would be much less harsh as there wouldn’t be expectations.

        1. Steve you are the idiot here. Final Cut PRo X is a brand new application. Nothing was “Left out” because nothing was in there at all. Not even a menu bar when they started. Every single feature is added new. Please do not post here any more garbage posts like this or you’ll be banned. It’s my blog and I will not allow anything but intelligent conversation. This is your one and only warning.

          1. Brian

            No it isn’t brand new. It comes from iMovie, which is why you can import iMovie projects, and NOT FCP projects. This is why it should be called iMovie 2/3/4/whatever the heck they want to. And you can’t even buy FCP 7 any more!

            It’s like if Adobe created a new version of Lightroom, called it the new Photoshop, took away Photoshop so you couldn’t buy it anymore, and it wouldn’t let you open any old PSDs. It’s just plain ridiculous.

          2. If you’re read the comments, you’d have realized you could not be more wrong. But once more: iMovie based on QT; FCP X not based on QT, based on AV Foundation. iMovie projects share some data structures with FCP X but FCP 7 shares no common data structures with FCP X. Now I know that’s not going to do anything to change your mind, so continue to be angry and wrong.

        2. Andy

          Well gee, Steve, since you’re quite obviously everything BUT a “pro”, it doesn’t look like anyone, in particular Apple I’m sure, will be shedding too many tears over losing your obnoxious, ad hominem, clueless, holier-than-thou little carcass, eh?

          Don’t like it? Don’t buy it and go and play somewhere else and leave the grown-ups in peace, yes?

        3. Were you not around for the OS X transition??

          1. It does remind me of the OS X transition. OS X was not a fully featured enough replacement for OS 9. Lacked features, but look into what it has become. FCP X will follow the same path. A year or two of catchup with rapid release cycles, then on to adding amazing features we haven’t even thought of yet.

  15. I’m downloading now so I’ll save my full judgement for later, but as someone that assists professionally in commercials this FCPX isn’t going to integrate into nearly ANY present-day commercial workflows. You said “Seriously still” about EDLs but almost every telecine company can’t take XMLs so we are forced to hold onto that old technology. The job I’m on now is a massive multicam job, scratch that, it couldn’t be done. It also has P2 footage as a B-cam, but surprise, you can’t import it in the new FCPX. Ok 4 mins until download complete but my hunch is the “real” pros, and let’s just define that as people working with budgets of at least 5 digits, will be hard-pressed to easily work this software into their pipeline.

    1. My worst fears were confirmed. Apple has pulled an iPhone 1 on us all. In this case taking our money for something they knew couldn’t service real professionals. They’ve essentially sold everyone iMovieHD as if it was FCP, like wrapping a Ford Escort in red ribbon and selling it as a Saline Mustang.

      Meanwhile all the Apple apologists are reassuring the crowds of angry mobs that features we had in FCP7 will at some later date, according to sources, make their way back into FCPX. Major FAIL. My eyes are on Avid or Adobe to step it up and regain the real “pro” market.

  16. Chris Harlan

    Beyond some personal things I do not like–I very much liked spreading out over a number of monitors and working with multiple open sequences on different monitors, and treating sequence like bins if I chose to do so–there seem to be a number of things missing that make this product useless in the production environment I work in. I still have to deliver OMFs and EDLs. I still need to be able to work with ProTools users and Avid editors. I can’t not.

    Here’s a question: with this trackless timeline how do I make stems? How do I deliver split audio? I don’t know that I can’t, but it is not immediately apparent to me that I can–so how do I?

  17. Josh Rawls

    I was disappointed that the Canon 60D isn’t supported, but the T3i is. The majority of the shooters in my area use the 60D and the 5D mkII. At least the 5D is supported. Any idea if there will be a “hack” like there was for the T2i in the old log and capture?

    1. Marc

      Erm, I just imported & edited some footage shot on my 60d fine.

      1. Josh Rawls

        That’s great news! It isn’t on the official list, but I thought it odd they would support the cameras above and below it.

  18. Robert Lawson

    Thanks, Philip, for all of your well-reasoned and rational commentary. These recent blog posts have been terrific.

  19. Thanks for that excellent report Philip. This is an ‘interesting’ update to FCP, basically though it seems like a whole new app than a new version of Final Cut Pro, which by it’s name should have some compatibility back and forth with FCP 7, but seems it doesn’t? For me, though I may ‘play with it’, the fact that most of my shoots are ‘multicam’ makes it less practical for much of what I do. The lack of XML in and out also really keeps it in a ‘closed’ environment, like ‘it’s FCP X and nothing else.’ Fact is now I use Premiere Pro and FCP and the XML to go back and forth a lot. It would be wonderful if I could use FCP X for the stuff that makes it great, but not be limited to it. Some type of XML IO would do that, I guess you say that’s coming?

    Anyway, thanks so much for all the great info, you’re a treasure to the filmmaking community!

    1. There will be backward compatibility coming. short term from a third party according to my apple contacts. And their is a new and improved workflow integration, but that too is coming. Auto Duck used the new tool for their new Transfer utility.

      1. mp

        All these third party fixes for everything the program used to do, and absolutely should to if it wants to maintain the “p” in the FCP are going to drive up the cost of a workable program well above what the past few versions of FCP were for sure.

        Automatic duck is $500 alone. It’s crazy to expect users to invest in third party plugins for stuff they’ve been expecting to be able to use reliable and natively for a long time.

        This reminds be a bit of when quicktime X was released with Snow leopard. At an apple hosted product demo I was told that it was a brand new program, and in reality a “version 1.0” and that increased functionality would come as they develop it. But it’s been like 18 months since then and QT7 is still far far far far superior to 10. If it takes that long for FCPX to catch up Apple is definitely going to lose a lot of serious customers.

        1. Jim H

          I just can’t get too concerned about the present media professionals’ anger at the unreadiness of FCPX for the industry professional. Here is the dilemma: editing software for professionals is enormously specialized and very costly. The entire “suite,” as it is, will cost $400. Many of the extras, Apple tells us, will be added in frequent updates. Millions will pay for that. With the money earned, Apple will put in the features pros need. That’s the way they’re paying for it. It will be $400 next year, with a lot more features.

          And when you download it, you get all the copies you need on computers controlled by your Apple ID. All the updates you need.

          I think the fact is, the code had to get the s__t kicked out of it. It had to be reprogrammed to deal with multicore and graphics processors. Bottom up. It had grown rings of old code, from the German company that wrote the first version, to the switch to IBM processors and to Intel. It had cruft. So Jobs decided to start over. He very often turns out to be right, if sometimes only eventually.

          I think it would be most helpful to stay in FCP 7 for awhile, as this story unfolds. Learn the new beast.

          And I hope for a new Quicktime, fully unified, in Lion. With support for 64 bits.

          1. Macromedia wasn’t a German company. Perhaps you confuse Fast which became part of Avid? That was a German Company. Or the German company behind Logic? The new QT you hope for is called AV Foundation and it’s the foundation of Final Cut Pro X.

          2. The new QT is called AV Foundation. All new shiny and ready to go, Supports .MOV and other native formats. QT Player X is almost certainly AV Foundation based in Lion.

  20. Jo

    Thanks Phillip, for the great article answering a lot of questions. I work in VFX and frequently (very frequently) need to import and EDL and the matching QT export from an Avid. This allows me to identify source clips etc. I also mark all VFX locations.
    From what I read there is no way to import an EDL ? and no way to set markers ?
    thx for clarifying, Jo

    1. There is no current way to export an EDL, and that’s no surprise for an app that’s looking ahead to the next 10 years – lacking support for a 35 year old format isn’t surprising. However, as soon as third party workflow access is release, EDL support from a third party should be relatively easy.

      1. Peter Cave

        You may argue about ‘old’ formats all you like, but this argument is about what is currently common practice, not how the future may be. Timecode should be dead & buried if one uses this kind of reasoning.
        I have seen major companies like Ampex and Quantel disappear due to ignoring the user base. Let’s hope Apple don’t become arrogant and alienate too many ‘pro’ users, otherwise the advantages that FCPX has may never be used in the ‘pro’ market.

      2. Anthony Peterson

        Age is irrelevant. Never take anything away unless you can replace it with something better. Has Apple replaced EDLs with something better? No. Apple will regret this decision.

      3. Philip,

        It was a pleasure to see your presentation about FCPX in Boston a few weeks ago. Thank you for that. I would like to point out that just because a format is old, it isn’t necessarily useless. And as someone who has written a fair number of tools for generating EDL like documents in the audio domain I have to wonder why it wasn’t just done by Apple. I mean that seriously. Is there something about the internal data modeling of FCPX that makes it difficult to generate an EDL, or an OMF, or an AAF or MXF document? If so, doesn’t that imply that something is broken in the design? Or if not, then why not just do it for the release. EDL especially shouldn’t have taken that much development time. Especially since they already had legacy code that could have been reworked should then choose. Same for OMF.



        1. I think it is simply that Apple will leave the tools for niche markets to third parties like the AAF/OMF export tool from Automatic Duck.

          We’ll probably add EDL export to Sequence Clip Reporter when we can get access to the workflow tools.

          I think it would be philosophically difficult for a “next 10 year” focused app supported a 35-40 year old format only used by a very small number of people relative to Apple’s 2 million installs.

          1. Brian

            I think it should be a common courtesy to include EDL support. It would be very simple for one of the largest software companies in the world. Instead, they choose to be asses about it, forcing users to buy a third party plugin which will make more than it would’ve cost to implement it in the first place.

  21. Philip – impressive flak jacket you have on there.

    Any sighting of better speed changing tools?


    1. Speed change in FCP X is super slick and easy.

      1. But is it any better? Does it do frame blending/pixel calculations? If so, that is very very good news!

  22. I know patience is a virtue. But apple has been sitting on the previous version for almost two years now. I already felt like FCP 7 was a pretty lame update; but now two years later, Apple’s trying to reinvent the wheel? In the meantime, Avid and Adobe have been creating true next generation Pro editing systems. (well adobe is truly next gen anyway) EDLs in 2011 are old fashioned? How about FCP based pros still limited to 4gigs of RAM and one processor? Every project I’ve edited goes to Pro Tools. So FCP X is not an option until a cost-effective OMF export is available.

    The new pricing structure doesn’t make sense long-term. FCS 3 was 799. Then add 299 every year or two for updates. FCP-X and others are 399 a year forever. Plus whatever extras you need to recover features you lost. If they keep this pricing, loyal long-term users will end up paying much more over time. For many of us, they’ve essentially just increased the upgrade price by $100. Finally, I think it’s horrible that Apple essentially hung us long-term users out to dry by basically stating that this is a whole new product. Many of us invest in software packages expecting that there will be upgrade paths later. It’s part of the reward you get for being loyal to a company. So I guess the new pricing structure is great news to those who who are new to Apple’s editing projects. But kind of a slap in the face to all those who’d previously invested.

    1. Chris WIlby

      “In the meantime, Avid and Adobe have been creating true next generation Pro editing systems.”

      Say what?

      The above system are just ‘faster horses’; FCPX is definitely an automobile. :-))

      1. I’m sorry, have you actually worked with Avid or Adobe? If you’re calling them faster horses, then FCP 7 would be a pony! Adobe’s last 2 versions of premiere have been multi-core, h264 native, and 64bit. More or less the same with Avid? What exactly makes FCP more advanced?

        1. I’ve used Premiere Pro CS 5 and 5.5 a lot. Media Composer not so much, but I have some basic familiarity.

          Yep, each one of the feature you mention are faster horses features. An “automobile” in this context would be a rethink of how to get to the destination. And early cars were probably not as capable or as comfortable as a horse-drawn carriage, but the transition happened anyway.

          1. I see what you are saying. Well, it’s going to be a real wait and see. If they don’t include a few key features really quickly then this automobile will be leaving without me. I’m still not convinced that Apple’s reinvention policy is such a good thing. At the end of the day, do pro editors the world over want Cupertino deciding how editing should be done? I dont’ have an answer yet, but from experience, I will say that I hope that Apple isn’t using their internal video department as R&D! Frankly, all I was hoping for was 64bit and multi-core. It’s all I’ve wanted for two years.

          2. I know the BBC was one of the early places they consulted. And got a very surprising answer. (That they were considering iMovie because of the speed, over all the negatives of iMovie).

          3. Michael Aranyshev

            It’s not an “automobile”. It’s the old stupid “select mode before putting clip on the timeline”. And it defaults to “insert” which is usable for some ham–fisted dude with the attention span of a chicken who cuts a piece once in six months. I cut every day so I don’t have flash frames and black frames in my cut without it. I’m paid for that.

            Making Insert/Overwrite a command not a mode — that was new and smart. Guess what app works this way?

  23. wow – as someone who is primarily a musician, i do hope there is an export to Logic feature or to OMF or something similar available soon (that is not an extra purchase). That was one of the main things i was missing in Final Cut Express, along with a 24fps timeline option…

    It’s cool that auto duck has picked this up, but unless i misunderstand, that program costs more than FCP X! 🙂

  24. Christopher Carnel

    Enough of the hand wringing! You have your FCP 7, 6 & 5’s. KEEP CALM & CARRY ON for God’s sake!

    When you’re ready to exploit the advantages of FCP X, of which there is an insane amount to take advantage, you will.

    And that day will be far sooner than you think and the shortcomings that will immediately be handled by the automatic ducks of the world will one day, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, become full features within FCP X…those that still apply anyway. And Phillip brings up a great point that updates will be far more frequent. How is this not a win, win, win, win, win???

    Do not think for a minute that Apple didn’t know what they were doing or purposefully shunned the hardcore professional work flows. That putting all of these professional features into FCP X was so simple but simply disregarded b/c they want it to be iMovie Pro. Give me a break.

    Everything comes down to choices. Even Apple had so many resources and so much time in the context of their pro apps division.

    I think Phillip’s genuine surprise that so many of his “wish list” features made it in and made it in so QUICKLY says a lot.

    Something had to give and knowing full well that the pros already had their FCP 7 to fall back upon then why not bring out v1 that is this good but lacks some key features? I mean why not?

    This is the thing that drives me nuts about expectations when it comes to Apple. Louis CK said it best that people bitch and moan when their flight is delayed for 15 minutes not really giving thought to the fact that the journey otherwise is measured in days (at least) if not weeks. This is the same with Apple. People are usually so enthusiastic, so enamored with what they come up with but a perverse “well it doesn’t have…or they didn’t do…or they failed to address this”. Bullsh*t.

    We should all be thoroughly grateful for companies like Apple and wish far more were like them. Where would NLE be without FCP? Seriously…where would we be?

    It’s all good. This has proved to be an enormous step forward and creative content is never going to be the same…pro, prosumer or blatant amateur. And storytelling, THE FRICKING POINT OF IT ALL, will be far better off for it.

    Don’t worry…be happy.

    1. Cory Bauer

      If the missing features were simply an issue of resources and not prioritizing consumers over professionals, please explain why Final Cut Pro cheerfully offers to open your iMovie project but has no clue how to access a Final Cut Pro project file. Why can it export directly to Facebook but not generate an EDL? Why does it have a whole row of buttons dedicated to one-click access for iMovie templates, but no multicam editing?

      It’s the presence of these obviously-consumer oriented features in the absence of critical professional features that’s the real kick in the teeth.

      1. Dave Ackerman

        Completely agree with you.

      2. ORB

        Being a totally new product compared to previous Final Cut, they had to re-do everything, BUT they had already some work done (library handling / templates / others) for iMovie (of which the engine was recently strongly upgraded), so probably this is why it has so many iMovie functions. Latest version of iMovie has a much more modern “engine” (regarding system exploitation and integration) than old Final Cut, so they could use iMovie stuff but not old Final Cut stuff

        1. iMovie has a whole different foundation and code base. Ideas where reused but not code

      3. Peter Appleby

        A lot of what goes into software development is staged. My guess is that opening iMovie projects and exporting to Facebook are rather easily done compared to Multi-cam editing, for example.

        Software is never a big-bang, all at once for what is essentially a 1.0 deliverable. For whatever reason, Apple has decided that now is the time for them to open their kimono and show the world what they’ve been hiding.

        My guess is that some of this is pressure from competition, and possibly some to leverage the latest Lion and Thunderbolt features.

        My 2 cents is to experiment with this for myself, like many early adopters. Many folks will just wait and see. Obviously, some have no patience and feel the need to dis the product. Oh, well. Only time will tell.

      4. bw

        As crazy as it sounds, the ability to send directly to Facebook and Youtube would actually be an enormous time saver for the network I work for. I work on both the broadcast and online side of things, and frequently post to our Facebook and Youtube pages. The fact is, as much as we hate to admit it, these are major markets for video content, and although the options may seem amateurish, they can certainly be useful.

    2. Stephen

      @Christopher Carnel,

      You make some good points, but why has Apple discontinued Final Cut Studio 3? I have customers that need to add seats and can not!

      Adobe and Avid may be getting some customers….

      1. Christopher Carnel

        I hear you. The reality is this is how Apple operates. They move forward and don’t look back and I’d argue strongly that we’ve all benefitted from that philosophy tremendously.

        Look I’m as bummed out as everyone with these oversights. And I truly believe it stems that we all see the great promise in this program, the unbelievable efficiencies and time savings that are to be had amongst other benefits. And we want it now. We wanted it yesterday. Solid media mgmt in FCP???!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!

        We want all the good, do away with all the headaches of FCP Studio and walk into the “future” today.

        But alas it’s not to be…YET.

        But don’t fret…Automatic duck has filled in some holes on DAY ONE.

        And all this talk about iLife integration over EDL’s, etc. I get it but let’s be honest. The FCP group did not do this, or not integrate the ability to import “legacy” FCP projects to piss us off or b/c they were too busy making sure we could import photos from iphoto. If Larry Jordan is to be believed they knew this and could have predicted the negative reviews and flame wars on boards like this. But they didn’t do it out of spite. There is a reason. And given this product I think there’s every reason to give them the benefit of the doubt and not rush to judgement that FCP is now iLife Pro

        And these “issues” will be addressed…secondary market or otherwise. And like Automatic Duck’s solution it will happen far faster than the hand wringers realize.

        So FCP 7 is still here. If you can’t stand it then Avid & Adobe offer solid products as well.

        But make no mistake about it. The future arrived yesterday and for those with patience and the ability to find work arounds this product is going to bring gains in productivity and time saving that I truly believe are going to make FCP Studio, Avid & Adobe look like they’re buggy whips over the next six months.

        We will see…

      2. Markus

        We are one of those customers. About 15 FCP systems running on 5, two on 7.

        We do mosty offline editing, we use the two 7 bays for finishing. We want/need to uprade the 15 bays for an HD workflow. How? Apple just pulled the plug on us. X is not going to work yet – highly collaborative environment, SAN, high security projects, they can’t just all show up in an event library all the time….

        Do we want to switch to AVID? Hell no! We love FCP and Apple. We did the exact opposite. We switched over from AVID to FCP in 2004….

        1. If you’ve been running FCP5 for all these years, what stops you from continuing to run it?

          1. Brian

            Because it’s time to move on to something faster. Adobe is faster, and it doesn’t take away critical features for collaboration. Apple has showed their hand, finally after years and years and years, so now it’s finally time to move on.

  25. jamsk

    Apple is looking to the future, not the past.

    It’s a paradigm shift, not an update or upgrade. These are always painful for people trying to improve their current workflow, but the bottom line is that it will require a new workflow.

    I’d wager that most editors today don’t even know what a real “bin” was.

    1. Steve McGarrigle

      …It’s literally a bin where all the ends of your short trims would fall in a big mess below where they were hanging, waiting to be spliced and auditioned – probably on a Steenbeck or Moviola.
      Good times…

    2. tania huiny

      come on, you are being condescending. every recent film making graduates were forced to work with a Steenbeck editor for their first year at school. I knew what a real bin was before I was introduced to FCP, and that was ten years ago.

  26. [When Randy Ubilos said that “everything could be done from the keyboard” he meant that a lot more could be done than ever could be done from the keyboard in Final Cut Pro 7.]

    After a scan of the available defaults in the Help Guide, I don;t see that, Phil.
    There were 450 default keyboard shortcuts and *another* 450 shortcuts mappable by the user. I am dying to get a commandset file to look over the whole shebang but right now, I don’t see it. I see a ton of opportunities to ruin my wrist with a mouse.

    As you say, version 1.0…

    1. There are some standard keyboard shortcuts, but pretty much everything else can be mapped to custom keyboard shortcuts.

  27. Stephen

    As it is quite clear that FCPX is not ready for many pro users due to all the issues you outline. So why has Apple decided to stop selling Final Cut Studio 3?

    There is no way I can switch to FCPX in its present form. Now you can not even buy another seat of the older version!

    May be a great time to be selling Avid!

    Apple totally screwed this up. The Mac App store is full of negative reviews. What are we supposed to do wait another 2 years for improvements that would only add back what is missing?

  28. Bryan

    This “app” is a joke and a serious slap in the face to pro FCP users….a user base that is quite large. No reason to call it Final Cut. Call it something new, without the Pro. I have no doubt that more functionality will be added over time, but how dare Apple triumphantly demo this at NAB…i.e. the National Association of BROADCASTERS, when you can’t use the product for most broadcast workflows.

    15 years from now, EDLs, XMLs and OMFs might seems archaic, but TODAY and for the next several years, at least, these tools are necessary for software to speak with other software/hardware in a professional production environment.

  29. Chris Jacek

    AS an educator trying to build a media program, this presents many difficulties. What do you teach the students that will be trying to get a job in the industry in the next year or two? FCP7? FCPX? There are very technical media management skills related to FCP7 that may or may not become obsolete, based upon how Apple will support it and, and how many potential employers stick with it. Oddly enough, I’m inclined to teach the beginning students FCPX, and then teach them FCP7 as they advance. And of course, if this blows up in Apple’s face, and the pro community abandons them (which is a possibility, if not a probability), I need to get them solidly trained on Premiere, which also looks like the only true easy workflow path the After Effects in the next couple years. Ugh! I have learned good news, however, regarding maintenance licensing. Even though FCPX is a totally new product, you will get it for free if you have a maintenance agreement. This also includes Motion and Compressor.

    At the end of the day, I think Apple is doing this rather clumsily, and will undoubtedly anger the pro users, and possibly lose a large portion of them. At the end of the day, I’m not sure that is going to hurt them much. Thus far, I’m 60% angered, and 30% intrigued (the other 10% is confused as always). But I understand the strategy of the risk. For every one of us grizzled pros, there are 100 up-and-comers who have a DSLR or flip camera and want to make skateboard videos. Who’s to say that they aren’t the future of media production?

    1. Exactly in the same boat as you. What do we teach the students coming in the Fall? In three years they will probably be using some iteration of FCPX, so might as well get started now. However our curricula also includes Pro-Tools, Color Correction in Resolve, and Film Editing. None of which plays nice with the new FCP. Not to mention the current students who just learned FCP 7.

      Oh well… I see massive complaints and complications either way.

      1. Jamie

        Keep teaching FCP7 and teach them never to buy the first generation anything…especially from Apple

  30. Bryan J Busch

    What is “Snow Leopard two”?

    1. What? Not following you Bryan.

      1. Bryan J Busch

        You wrote “It will behave like a single window app on Snow Leopard two.” Is there an update between Snow Leopard and Lion?

        1. There are components within the app that seems to be for Snow Leopard or for Lion, so I don’t know if there will be an update or if it will “just happen.

          1. Steve McGarrigle

            Maybe the poster meant “on Snow Leopard too”?

  31. I’ll be happy to shift my paradigm if I can use all the fonts on my system with the text and/or title tool. Any word?

    1. Sure you can. Full font previews in the title tools.

  32. Peter

    Ok, no edl, xml, tape IO and reasoning as to why and when it may or may not come. But I cannot even export a QT file with 4 discreet audio tracks. C’mon, that’s pathetic. I can choose stereo or surround. That’s it. That’s so far removed from the everyday workflows of most post houses it’s unreal. If the ability to export a video clip with four audio tracks in a “professional” nle in 2011 was to much of an effort to include it in a 1.0 release Apple may as well throw in the towel now and spare us the agony of waiting for things that will never materialise. Actually, I am pretty sure this is what they have done already without letting people know.

    1. Jamie

      It’s not for the professional…it’s been a stunning development, but I think a lot of us had this fear before today…and now it’s materialized.

      Yes, they may “update” it forcing us to pay for the shiny new additions that were once standard (see a pattern yet with Apple?) but I think we, professional editors, should let this one go for the next 6-12 months…I’m still a skeptic, and I do believe Apple did misrepresent this product…but the reviews are in, this is not a professional platform…anymore…and yes, “anymore”, it is still tagged with *Final Cut Pro* regardless of this being built from the ground up…they reinvented the wheel when all we really wanted was 64 bit, native playback 🙂

    2. Steve

      Well thats killed a whole bunch of workflows in use in places I know…

      Pretty much every EPK download has multiple discreet audio tracks in my experience, and broadcasters using file based delivery usually want a programme sound and an M&E mix separately.

      1. There will be a way of doing separated audio exports, The foundation is clearly there in metadata.

  33. alf hanna

    I have been using Multcam daily for my latest six month project. Without at least the same functionality, there is no way I will move forward, and likely will punt, given that I hear that Adobe has much better multicam (for now). So I freeze my Apple enviroment for the near term.

    1. You will not be able to use FCP X 1 but at some point Apple will have a reimagined, new and better Multicam. That I have direct.

  34. Hey Phil,
    You keep bringing up the point that this is a completely new program, But wouldn’t you say that it resembles more like iMovie than Final Cut..?

    I mean just the fact that it will open up iMovie files but not open up FCP project, should be a huge red flag.

    This is iMovieX and apple being the great marketers that they are use the name that production house and film studios have built up over the past years to fool the public. Now kids who just bought a dslr can make a movie and upload it to facebook, thinking they are using the same program that “there will be blood” was made with.

    Its a business and I get it, but, I dont believe how apple expects us to abandon our current work flows and start from scratch not to mention making all of our past projects obsolete.

    sad day…

    1. There are some visual similarities only Mark. iMovie is based on QT, FCPX on AV foundation. So despite the fact they borrowed what many find to be good interface ideas (when Randy showed iMovie 09 at LAFCPUG many wanted features from it) it is a completely different, completely new app with no common code to iMovie.

    2. Steve McGarrigle

      I had the same thought myself. But this kind of marketing strategy may blow up in Apples faces. Any aspirational kudos that the program has gained from it’s high profile film and broadcast usage will be killed by the mass exodus of it’s professional user base.

      The message is clear. This is Final Cut pro in name only. It is not the program used to cut Tetro, Eat Pray Love. True Grit, 300, and No Country for Old Men.

      If the industry abandons FCP(X) there is no aspirational value for the consumer/prosumer market in owning it.
      As a prosumer editing tool it is very powerful, there isno doubt and I’m sure that many sales will be generated on this basis alone. But when it comes to choice, a prosumer will likely choose the software that allows you to learn “what the pros use”.
      Soon that may just be Avid Studio as a learning pathway into Media Composer because as it stands, the industry will not be touching FCPX.

      ( This is all just a bad dream right? I’m going to wake up, the 64bit FCP8 will have been released and everything will be right in the world.)

  35. Jeremy Aubert

    This is really disturbing….

    I understand it is a brand new application but why release something half complete. It is missing MOST of what the pros require. When I say “pros” I mean people actually working in the film, television and commercial industries. This is no where near up to scratch. How long will the entire industry sit on the last fully capable version of FCP before moving to another system I wonder…

    Bad news for the pros. Good news for students, indies and hobbyists. I feel betrayed.

    1. Jeremy there’s a word for people who want to limit “pros” to broadcast film and TV – elitists. Sorry but that is now a very small niche among professional editors. At most there are 100,000 people who meet that description worldwide, and most work with Media Composer. Apple have 2 million pros with Final Cut Pro. Do the math.

      Right now, at version 1 FCPX doesn’t suit the broadcast tv and film workflows. That doesn’t mean it’s not Pro, just missing for a while some workflows that niche needs. Those tools need.

      1. Brian

        I think someone who considers EDLs to be unimportant should be referred to as an “elitist”.

        1. Of Apple’s 2 million FCP 7 customers/installs, how many use EDL today? Not in your part of that group but totally. it would be fewer than 50,000 people (The Editor’s Guild has about 6500 members for a calibration point). That’s 2.5% (did I finally get that percentage right?)

  36. T.Klaavo

    To move a project into professional sound post production today you need to be able to export OMF and an EDL. Now it seems that Apple wants everybody to do the sound edit and mix inside FCPX. Not happening. 99% of sound post uses Pro tools (omf import), and something like Synchro Arts Titan to conform audio from EDL. This workflow must be supported asap. Of course I’m also curious to see what will be the next generation workflow, but until that the tried and working tools should stay..

    1. That’s why Apple worked with Automatic Duck to get OMF export the day of release. It’s supported. EDL support will never come from Apple but likely from a third party once we all get access to the XML workflow replacement. We talked last night of adding Export EDL to our Sequence Clip Reporter software when it’s updated for Final Cut Pro x.

    2. YOu have OMF export from FCP X via Automatic Duck. If you’re working with external audio houses then $495 to continue that doesn’t seem like too much of an imposition on someone earning their living from these workflows. That’s my opinion anyway.

      1. Seth

        Isn’t that an elitist viewpoint?

      2. T.Klaavo

        FCP X is quite cheap to buy, being a software aimed at professionals. So I kind of accept the total cost of that + automatic duck stuff. Have never tried any of their products, though. Does the Automatic Duck OMF/AAF solution pass the original audio file metadata (source TC, scene/take info etc)? FCP has always lost them when exporting, which has been a pain for some workflows. If AD can keep these, it really is an improvement. FCP OMF/AAF export has always been very limited, compared to Avid.

  37. James

    If I correctly understand the external video situation here, then it seems like edit bays with 3 monitors (2 computer displays plus and Kona to SDI or the like) will suddenly find that one of them is a paperweight. There is no way to display the program windows and tools across 2 monitors and use a 3rd for external monitoring; the 2nd monitor either displays an expanded library or becomes a fullscreen viewer window. AJA provides instructions on how to make the card act as a desktop mirror for the latter scenario while at the same time warning that this output should be considered “preview quality.” Which essentially negates the purpose of having a the AJA card in the first place. Unbelievable that the software has taken such a huge step backward in this regard.

  38. I tested the background encoding to ProRes with a very simple project that has only three Canon h.264 clips. I saw the background encoding being done in the inspector and I found the finished ProRes files in the Finder. owever, FCPX still tells me the clips are h.264 in the info box…

  39. Steve

    Does the Kona desktop mirroring properly support interlaced monitoring on a broadcast monitor? A lot of us are still delivering 1080i native interlaced content, onlined in FCP, and have to ensure that nothing goes wrong in field dominance terms etc., and to ensure nothing is interline twittering too nastily. We have broadcast interlaced monitors, often glass ones, Tek scopes for continuous monitoring of boring stuff like video levels etc. How do these integrate. If FCPX is a single monitor app – it sounds as if you can’t even have software vectorscopes/waveform monitors permanently displayed?

    Watching edits on de-interlaced computer monitors rather than a decent interlaced broadcast monitor is a real issue if you are still cutting native interlaced material and delivering interlaced.

    Does the desktop-mirroring option offer proper native interlaced output? (I’m hoping it’s not a re-interlace of a de-interlaced progressive feed – which can mask these issues)?

    It does sound like this is similar to the roll out of Mac OS X. Initially lots of people stayed with Classic Mac OS, until Mac OS X, and its ecosystem, had matured. In many ways FCP X sounds like a good replacement for Final Cut Express – but that is probably a little unfair.

    However the lack of batch capture from tape, and it sounds like the support of any timecode driven tape ingest and outgest seems crazy. It does feel like they’re ignoring a large chunk of the broadcast market, which – in adopting FCP – has given the product huge amounts of credibility in the wider market.

    Oh well – I guess by version 3 it will be sorted. However if the App Store offers free update downloads, doesn’t this mean that Apple are losing a continued revenue stream from people upgrading to the next verison?

    1. Steve

      Can you still playout to HD-SDI/SDI from the timeline – for a quick and dirty “get this to air now!” solution? (I know areas that are mainly based around file-based delivery to playout servers where the “playout from the timeline” is still the ultimate backup for very close-to-the-wire edits, where there isn’t guaranteed to be enough time to export and copy over the network)

      1. YOu can play out only to FireWire. Capture or play out to SDI requires you to export to a file then play out via other software. Because all of the Project is constantly rendered, creating the output file will be as fast as a file copy, not render.

    2. Since the desktop mirroring is just that, it won’t be interlaced. Apple directly told me that the App store (and new financial rules) means they can roll out frequent free updates. When there is a full update it will be a full purchase – such is the App store way.

  40. Chris WIlby

    You must have incredibly broad shoulders Philip!
    Keep up the good work, because, some of us, think just like you.
    No pain – no gain!

  41. HDSLDude

    “Will we be able to switch the Final Cut Pro X layout to a more traditional 2-monitor setup?”

    Yes, indeed you can use a second display. In the Window-menu there are two options to choose if you want the viewer or the library to appear on a second display. Yay!

  42. RickLeen

    As a teacher….So what do we teach young editors? Broadcasters, Film editors and Corporate Editors can move between Avid, FCP and Premiere easily. Student learns on FCP gets hired at a TV station, gets put in front of an Avid workstation and they can start editing with a minimal learning curve. Now if you teach them on FCPX they’ll be in front of an Avid or Premiere work station and go “huh?” I vote moving to Premiere for schools–inexpensive and teaches existing workflows that can be transferred to larger broadcast and production houses.

    As an editor, I need to continue working on projects each day, have 10 years of old projects and cant just stop and say “this is the new way of doing things” to exclusion of all past and present projects. Maybe it is time to move to Avid or Premiere? I see Final Cut ProX as a loser–Apple’s creating themselves a niche market.

    1. Teach them how to edit. Don’t teach applications, they will constantly change. If they want to work they’ll need to know Media Composer and Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Pro X for the next five years.

  43. Spike

    I had no idea that there were so many people and/or post houses that had a contract with Apple to produce software to their precise specifications! How does one go about negotiating that kind of deal?

    There are a lot of things that bug me about FCPX to be sure. But I am lucky enough to have a company nimble enough to adapt to inevitable change and by design, my target market and my business model, I don’t have my ass in a crack because of tape.

    I have three client meetings today. Each of those clients will, over the course of the jobs in play, pay me a lot (lot!) of money to produce the films they need for their businesses. (Feel free to look up the definition of professional right now) The subject of my post production software will not come up.

    I will continue to use FCS 3 just like before. I will integrate FCP X when I am ready. In the interim I will learn it.

    I may take a run at starting to seriously integrate Adobe software.

    I will not bitch about how Apple screwed me over. I can’t. I have no contract with them (implied or otherwise).

    My little company will do just fine because I know what business I am in and it ain’t the “I need perfect post production software” business or the “woe is me Apple screwed me” business.

    1. guy

      i love this comment.
      anyone having problems with the trim/ripple/roll tool and in adding transitions to clips not on the main timeline?

  44. Mike Johnson

    It seems to me that FCPX is very powerful, as long as you work how Apple wants you to. There are certainly some AMAZING features, but a lot of extremely important features for pro use is missing right now. I compared it this morning to giving a client a rough cut of a video without telling them its a rough cut and without telling them what you’re still working on. Personally, I feel it would have been better for Apple to be open with the post production communities about the development of FCPX and wait to release it when its complete, rather than just hurrying to get it to market. Now we have a product that’s great for certain workflows, but not ready for mainstream post to adopt. If this version had multicam, better audio controls, TC synced tape I/O, true video I/O, and the ability to import FCP7 projects, I would be all over it doing everything I could to move to FCPX. Instead, we wait for the unknown and uncertain updates to hopefully add these features. And if they don’t happen, Apple will almost certainly be losing a share of the pro market – not that they care.

    1. The tape support is limited because tape has no metadata, and when you think about the next decade and the use of tape by the majority, they made the right call to drop tape support, as Terry Curren and I said last year (and I wrote about). There are alternative ways including capture in FCP 7.

      1. John A. Mozzer

        I still think it is incorrect to say that tape has no metadata.

        ( )

        However, I’ve always felt that marking in/out points, fast forwarding and/or rewinding, results in unnecessary wear and tear on tapes. I think it is better to use a “Capture Now” feature, and then edit capture files as needed.

        1. Tape has the possibility of Timecode. That’s the only Source metadata. Reel name is added. I’ve also been a long time advocate of capturing the whole tape and then doing the logging. Decks are slow.

          1. John A. Mozzer

            Please see:

            DV Analyzer: What Does It Analyze?

            . . . not only timecode.

          2. Well, yes for DV – a digital format, there is a little more. But via HDSDI you don’t get that. You know, the professional interface.

  45. Markus

    Wow – so noiseindustries just released thier FxFactory Pro plugins for Final Cut Pro X and Motion!!!!!!

    What did they know that nobody else did? Seems odd that everybody is in the dark about plug-ins – and they put theirs out the same day FCP X is released….

    1. When an API like FXplug is new, it’s always shared with just one or (in this case) two developers. That way Apple can support them while the documentation is being finished, and while the API itself is still a little fluid. Once it’s locked down and “ready for production” then Apple will release it, as they did for FX Plug 2 yesterday (with the changes I predicted btw). Same thing with the XML workflows replacement. Auto Duck used it for their OMF AAF export but it’s not ready for wide distribution yet, for whatever reason. We wait patiently.

  46. Philip, thanks for all the updates and information. I just purchased the fastest iMac 2011 and installed FCPX. I have been a Sony Vegas Pro user for years, and I am LOST trying to learn FCPX. Are you going to post some training videos soon?

    Also, has anyone tried to use the auto syncing feature? I have been trying to use it all morning and the “synced” file isn’t synced at all. I am used to using PluralEyes on Vegas and it works well. Is there a trick? Also, it creates a single track when using auto-sync…so how can I choose which audio track I want to use after the multiple tracks are synced into one? Thanks.

    1. Training isn’t my focus any more, but Ripple Training and Larry Jordan do have some training coming. I didn’t have anything to sync so can’t help with that. but to get access to the audio you open out the tracks and I’d have to look in help for the specifics of that again I did it during the week..

  47. Chumley

    Thanks for the FAQ.

    As much as they might not fit your workflow (what is your workflow, by the way?), EDL generation, OMF export and capture from and print to tape are still used by a number of people. If you have you ever edited a feature film for a major studio you would know that they want to screen off an HDCAM tape for audience previews and executive screenings. You would also know that the sound department requires an OMF so they can do their job and that EDLs are used to conform the DPX files for your DI.

    All of this functionality was added to FCP over the years and now it is not there. You can trumpet the virtues of third-party options all you want (as a developer who stands to profit from them) but my position is that Apple should have waited a little longer until these tools were integrated. It’s not like they’ve never made editing software before.

    1. Nobody, least of all I, have said that this version 1 suits every workflow. OMF export has a solution. You can export to tape with any number of utitlies from AJA, Blackmagic or Matrox and they’ll get the Timecode on the edit right, something FCP 7 still had trouble with.

      It’s version 1, it will mature.

      1. Chumley

        But you have dismissed other workflows as being antiquated.

        “Seriously still in 2011? EDL export would be a third party opportunity once the “XML workflow” replacement is in place. If there’s demand.”

        Guess what? There’s a demand right now.

        Your assertion that the target market does not need EDLs because they don’t fit the file-based workflow suggests that the target market does not include feature film or broadcast television professionals. That would be fine if Apple didn’t highlight FCP’s use in that market to sell it to everybody else.

        BTW, I’ve been using FCP on features for years and assistants have exported to tape (HDCAM deck) with no need for third-party options.

        1. That was meant as a joke. Sorry it didn’t come across that way. EDLS still have some use in very niche workflows but the % of people among Apple’s customer base using that 40 year old technology is very small.

          But I’m serious enough about it to probably add EDL export from Sequence Clip Reporter for Final Cut Pro X when we get access to the data.

          1. Chumley

            I recognize that the definition of a “professional” user of FCP encompasses many different workflows and that not all pros use every function of any tool. Call it “niche” or “elitist” (as you did in an earlier post) but that niche gets put on display in Apple’s PR material when in comes time to sell the product. If the product no longer meets the requirements of that segment of the user base then isn’t a bit disingenuous to advertise that it does?

            I’m very excited by some of the features in FCPX, especially metadata integration. My issue is they didn’t include functionality in v1.0 that, at it’s root, is metadata related (EDLs, OMF, etc.).

  48. shupe

    I don’t buy any of this. You guys still think you are dealing with a company run by Steve Jobs. We are NOT.

    Snow Leopard was a downgrade.
    Quicktime X was a downgrade.
    Final Cut “Pro” X is a massive downgrade.
    Lion???? i shudder to think…

    Let’s start here. How about a “File – Open” menu choice?? This software was clearly designed by the geniuses that GREYED OUT the entire interface in iTunes. If i made an App that didn’t have File – New, File – Open, and File – Save… i’m pretty sure Apple would throw it back in my face. But if you are an Apple employee decades old rules that make it possible to understand and use all software are out the window. Why? File – Open is a rule that all are supposed to use for the benefit of all…. it’s a RULE. Just like greyed out is a rule. Just like backwards compatible USED to be a rule at Apple.

    I’m a Mac lifer since ’87, and at this point i have ZERO faith in any part of Apple anymore. Every version of FCP could open legacy documents, if Apple hasn’t figured out how to do that most basic function, then DON’T RELEASE the software. 2001 Apple would have waited. 2005 Apple would have waited.

    This is JUST like Quicktime X. Rolled out to much fanfare, completely unusable garbage. Apple’s response… “Oh if you need to pro features you are supposed to use the “old” Quicktime 7 Pro”. Sound Familiar?

    Or the iPad folks that took 12 months to make WiFi models keep accurate time (TIME for God’s sake!!). Or the high level execs that are going to provide NO DISKS with Lion (you know, because hard drives NEVER fail or need to be replaced with larger ones) This is the logic of all the ex Microsoft employees that run Apple now. And this rant is aimed at the Apple brain-trust more than the rank and file coders who make FCP.

    That logic overflows into decision like… you can’t arrange your workspace the way you wish (the absolute opposite of Apple friendly). You can’t have more than two monitors (since when???). You can’t view on an external device for those oh so unimportant CLIENTS. I want to Save or Save As my document AS I SEE FIT. For Apple to be wholesale removing this stuff is an OUTRAGE. It’s ANTI-APPLE (or at least, what Apple was under Jobs)

    This IS an absolute train wreck of Vista proportions. Apple didn’t even officially acknowledge that FCP-X was a coming product. The software is RELEASED on the same day it is announced with the name “Pro”, AND they pull FCPS3… and WE are the ones who have done something wrong?!?! I think NOT!

    So to those of you that think we are chicken little… i disagree. At Apple, the sky IS actually falling. Apple has proven again that the ONLY thing they care about is iPads and iPhones. Any my iPhone would be great… if it worked as a PHONE ( that’s Apple reverso logic at work again… the iPhone does everything, except reliably connect phone calls )

    How am i supposed to believe that the morons that dropped this bomb on us are smart enough to fix it? That is why we are screaming bloody murder. If heads don’t roll in high places, this actually WILL be the end of Final Cut Pro.

    We are not screaming just be jerks. I care about FCP and i’m upset about what they have done to a once proud franchise. And i don’t believe any of this would have happened if Jobs were truly still in charge. This is less about FCPX and more about what Apple has devolved into.

    1. Do you feel better after the rant? Did it change anything?

  49. Paul

    Spent an hour on it today and it drove me nuts… thats not necessarily a bad thing but how do I do precision audio edits? Like fill the whole screen with the wave form and remove an unwanted pop? How do I export audio stems? Essential on every job.. How do I export multi-track audio? No save? No tracks? Is that really a good idea I’m going to get used too? Hmmm… Something doesnt feel right

    1. Exporting stems isn’t supported in this release, because it’s one of the features used by relatively few of Apple’s customers. It’s important to them but Apple had to focus on features for the V1 release that most people use. And they have good data on what most of their customers do use.

      Save is automatic, you can’t ever lose work. I like that. Track solution will come based on metadata – the foundations are there now.

  50. dogllama

    This release should be called Final Cut Indie. Or maybe iMovie Pro.

    When you lose functionality that is the standard in film and commercial workflows all over the world (like XML / EDL / OMF / etc..), in favor of making it more accessible to the “target market” you are officially making it prosumer and not professional.

    I get it, Apple wants to make cash, and they will. They will do very well with the indie market and prosumer market. But the real professionals working with millions of dollars on the line are not going to be using FCPX.

    I hate to say it because I have been a FCP supporter (and defender) for so many years, but I am going back to Avid. I simply can’t run a show on this software.

    1. You know, if FCP X isn’t going to suit your workflow, please go to a tool that does. There are choices, why not make them. Bitter complaints don’t achieve anything but I guess, the satisfaction of a rant. 🙂

      1. dogllama

        Just because a statement is logical and honest does not make it bitter or a rant.

        However, putting smiley faces after your posts does make you seem smug and asinine.

        1. The smilie face is to indicate that I am not being serious. That it’s intended to be taken lightheartedly. Sorry you misinterpreted that.

          Logical discussions are devoid of emotional content – that’s the definition of logical. Rants and bitter comments are by definition emotional. They cannot be together.

          1. dogllama

            Oh I see, it’s like “no offense”…

            No offense, but I think you assessment of final cut pro x is absolute rubbish. 🙂

          2. And you’re entitled to your opinion 🙂

  51. John

    Nice informative article. Thanks Philip. I’m a newbie video hobbyist who has destroyed clips in FCP 7 by dragging clips and creating all types of havoc. I’m learning, but it still makes me nervous. FCP X and the Magnetic Timeline are for me. I think most people will come around to this.

    Off topic: If you also own FCP7 and Studio 3, the Apple website “strongly suggests” installing FCP X onto it’s own hard drive or partition. Is that really necessary? Can’t I just install on my existing HD? Does anyone know what will “break” if I install it on a single hard drive. Thanks all.

    1. I don’t think anything will break installed on the same partition (it certainly is working fine on one of our computers that way) but since the two apps are named the same when running, being on the same partition will lead to some confusion as the “wrong” version opens. Opening FCP 7 projects from the project file should alleviate that.

      1. John

        Appreciate it. Thanks again.

        1. Chris Wyatt

          Hi John send to Motion 4 from FCP7 is broken.
          You will send to Motion 5 only in FCP7.03 with FCPX and Motion 5
          residing in the same partition as Final Cut Studio 3.
          If you do not install Motion 5 you will not break this function in FCP7.
          This will be a problem if you have Motion 4 templates you have modified
          or made and want access to still in FCP7 – as well as all 3rd party Motion 4 plugins.
          I expect this will be one of the many first fixes in the first upgrade.

  52. Miha Pece

    First, thank you for very objective overview.

    Usually I’m satisfied just to read posts, but this time I have to say, that some comments are really insulting. They are insulting to editors and also to software designers.

    I think majority of us can see progress regarding creative editing in this new tool. We deserved this progress in our fast changing field. With so many talented programmers it’s strange that we were so long stuck in tracks.

    If you check closer, all shortcomings are technical. It’s just a matter of time, when they will be resolved.

    1. Needless to say, I agree.

  53. Jason Horner

    I don’t get this target market jingo. The thing is the kids use it because WE (the pros) use it and we teach them how to use it…otherwise well…we wouldn’t…then THEY won’t!
    I would pay twice that much for these blatantly obvious inclusions…coz hey it’s my favourite program, what I use all day, every day and I DO like the look of the new features, but now…I can’t use it after all this wait.
    Make a bitchin’ machine that everyone will want to use…simple.
    The thing is Philip, who the hell in the real world did they consult? – it seems every editor is telling Apple this is wrong.
    Alienating your user base is disastrous, especially after all the hard work FCP proclaimers (myself included) have put in to make it an AVID contender. Just look at what happened to Media 100 albeit in a reverse fashion.

    1. See my response to Stephen Berke. BBC among others were consulted. Lots of big post houses were consulted. And a lot outside those organizations across their customer base. I am confident that the app they’re releasing (and continuing to enhance) is the app that the majority of their 2 million install customer base wants and can use right now. For the less common workflows, the focus on them comes later. I don’t think they’re alienting their user base. I suspect that you may not realize that it’s overhwelmingly not Film and episodic TV.

      1. david

        I’m sure Apple consulted many broadcast and post houses. And I’m dead certain (flame me if you will) that 90% of that discussion was regarding UX design and paradigms for speeding up workflow in a “timeline” – which is the area Apple always seems to innovate. I would also be willing to bet that within these discussions most broadcast and post-houses (including the BBC) made the assumption that EVERYTHING that is BASIC and FUNDAMENTAL to their post-production workflow, client experience and delivery, and that already existed in FCP, AVID, Adobe, and every other NLE through the ages, would be naturally included. I seriously cannot hear a single one of these editors saying… “You know what, Steve? Screw EDLs! Pull out OMF export! Don’t need an external broadcast monitor or any good professional grading possibilities. Tape? Phewy! All we really need is iMovie on steroids and that magnetic timeline thingy and we’re set!”

        Get real!

    2. GeeGee

      “I don’t get this target market jingo. The thing is the kids use it because WE (the pros) use it and we teach them how to use it…otherwise well…we wouldn’t…then THEY won’t!”

      That´s just BS. “Kids” , as you call them, usually are the early adopters and reasons for change in the industry, where the geriatric “pros” are too much within their own comfort zone, and too lazy to learn new ways of doing things. Hence, it should be forbidden for everyone. At least we must condemn it.

      Just look at what happened a couple of years ago, when the dslrs with video capabilities came out.” Terrible” this and” terrible” that, rolling shutter and jellocam and who knows what. Impossible to use for any serious work (especially the video “pro” geriatrics were very vocal).

      And what happened? It gave birth to a whole new breed of independent dslr-film professionals (needless to say, superior to the video pros that had criticized the concept). Superior? Yes. The same way the film industry IS superior compared to the video industry.

      “The thing is Philip, who the hell in the real world did they consult? – it seems every editor is telling Apple this is wrong.”

      Again, this is about the FUTURE, not a collection of everything that has been.

      No experience of the industry? Hmmm… Ever heard of Pixar?

      1. Steven

        I worked at Pixar for 10 years. We tried like hell to switch from Avid to Final Cut Pro. It was a disaster.

  54. Markus

    I’d love to know what their (Apple’s) thinking was on how FCP X with its new all-events-all-the-time media/bin/collections setup is going to work in a shared and collaborative environment, with more than one editor working simultaneously with the same media (SAN).

    Also from a metadata point of view – let say we can somehow share media – what’s going to happen to the metadata that everyone is writing to the files?

    Thank you so much for all your great analytical work so far, Philip. You’re doing us all a great service. (In fact, APPLE should be answering most of these questions, which they are not…)

  55. Kai

    Thanks for the informative article.

    As for the question “Professional”:
    -I would expect any “professional” editing software to offer OMF or AAF exporting for mixing/sweetening in Pro Tools.
    -EDL export. If your workflow involves film transfers or Flame/Smoke work you STILL use EDL’s.
    -Assignable tracks. When you’re finishing 13+ episodes of a TV series, the audio engineer should be able to count music/effects/dialogue being on the same tracks on every time.
    -Just a wish, but XML support for easy integration with After Effects (Adobe/Apple relationship not withstanding)

    As an editor, FCP X looks very powerful. Unfortunately, for broadcast work, the missing features aren’t “shortcomings”, they’re deal breakers.

    1. It’s definitely not ready for broadcast work at v1. Nor was FCP 1-3. And the % of Apple’s 2 million installs of Final Cut Pro that need OMF is probably less than 50,000 or .0025%. OMF is desperately needed which is why Apple worked with Automatic Duck to get this ready yesterday.

      1. Chumley

        That’s actually 0.025%. You are off by an order of magnitude. All in good fun.

        1. Oops You’re right. Still .025% isn’t a big proportion.

          1. Carlos

            My high school math class showed me that to get a percentage, you first divide the target by the base, or 50,000 by 2,000,000, which gives .025, then to call it a percentage, you move the decimal place 2 places to the left, which results in 2.5%. Probably still peanuts. 🙂

          2. Lynn

            Um, you’re both wrong. It’s 2.5%.

  56. Steven

    I get it. It’s the craftsman, not the tool. Choose what works for you. Embrace the future. There is value in all of this, but it’s not the whole picture.

    I have made my living as a professional editor for over 15 years. I’ve worked on feature films, short films, network and cable television. Some of these were edited in Final Cut Pro. My home is chock full of Apple products, which I adore.

    But when my paycheck depends on it, I would choose Avid every day of the week. I need to integrate with ProTools editors and HD video decks. I need a shared storage solution that works. I need dedicated third party support.

    These things are not optional.

    I encourage you to include Final Cut Pro in your arsenal. But don’t rely too heavily on it. An amazing Keynote demo isn’t going to bail you out when your sound mix goes awry.

  57. Stewart

    I have been editing for 15 years. Used every version of FCP since Beta 1.

    I shoot on HDV… I guess I must throw it away and buy a tapeless camera.

    I have hundreds of projects archived, some of which don’t have any video footage…. I always ASSUMED I could re-batch capture my tapes…. So I now need to open EVERY project, re-capture all footage, and save as XML… because I NEVER DID IN THE PAST… otherwise I may as well set fire to all my years of client work.

    Apple seems very clear on this:
    If you are creating an edit suite for the FIRST time TODAY… Buy FCPX.
    If you have been working with FCP for years F.U. we don’t need you anymore.

    I think the real solution will be iPhone 5 with iMovie pro X…. Cause the only place videos need to be is on Youtube anyways.

    1. HDV ingest is supported via FireWire. Just that it’s limited to a Capture now type of thing. There is no batch recapture in FCP X nor anythng resembling it other than a reimport from a card when it fails.

      Ironically, FCP X owes more to iMovie on iPhone which is at least built on AV Foundation, than it does to iMovie which is built on QT.

  58. You know… Remember the days you watched sci-fi movies, as a kid, and saw all
    The awesome technology? Like the touchscreens, the holograms, the robots and wifi… The stuff that probabt caused you to become a video editor in the first place. You saw them wave twir hand on the screen and everything
    Magically happened, you marveled and thought “I want to do that when I grow up”.

    Well, it’s finally happening, and all these kids are shitting bricks because for the past X-amount of years they’ve been focusing so hard to achieve their imaginations of what the media world is supposed to be, they forgot what it is really becoming.. Which they will slowly realize it is becoming what they always dreamed it to be, before Discovering video editing.

    FCX, Motion 5, Compressor will only be as good or bad as the imagination driving the apps.

    Remember when steve jobs gone away with the floppy disk? Didn’t people get mad? And
    Now…. No
    One cares about te floppy.

    iTunes web store…
    App store…
    FInal cut studio 1…
    Logic studio….
    IMovie 09 from iMovie HD.

    This story has been retold so many times.

    1. Michael Aranyshev

      I remember. I also remember that if you hooked up an external USB floppy it would work except for soft eject. Still does.

  59. Dski

    Does fcpx have any speed ramping?

    1. Yes, it’s in a submenu for ramping to or from zero and blends smoothly if you apply different rates to different parts of a clip.

  60. Ben Masterson

    “Nice informative article. Thanks Philip. I’m a newbie video hobbyist who has destroyed clips in FCP 7 by dragging clips and creating all types of havoc. I’m learning, but it still makes me nervous. FCP X and the Magnetic Timeline are for me. I think most people will come around to this.”

    Most people meaning the millions that have iPhones and call themselves videographers. Well they definitely need something to edit with. Now they have it.

    I’m not sure why they didn’t just upgrade iMovie and leave FCP alone. It says it all in the fact you can import iMovie timelines. Like…really? Finally all the “Pros” can take their offlines from iMovie and online them! Luckily I have predicted Apple’s move to low level consumer catering ever since iPods became so popular. I bought FCP v7 because it was becoming a “standard” and it was decent. But at least I never have to buy another Apple product again once they totally abandon the professional market. Makes me feel actually good that all the cheap clients of the world can now hire “newbies” with iPhones and FCPX and not waste my time.

    and BTW…Motion is terrible, unless you don’t really do motion graphics..then it is sweet.

    1. FCP had no future technologically. It was based on a technology that had no future (QT), it could never be 64 bit. And what they’ve made has no relationship to iMovie than some superficial visual elements and some naming. All else is different and pro focused, just not all pros (yet).

      1. if Philip likes final cut pro x…I like it too…he’s right it will get better and better. sometimes we have to look through someone else’s eyes like Philip’s to see the truth!….and the truth is final cut pro will become the #1 nle on the market very soon…thanks’ philip

  61. if Philip likes final cut pro x…I like it too…he’s right it will get better and better. sometimes we have to look through someone else’s eyes like Philip’s to see the truth!….and the truth is final cut pro will become the #1 nle on the market very soon…thanks’ philip

    1. Thanks. Where should I send the check for that ringing endorsement. 🙂 I do see a fine future for FCP X, at the same time recognize it’s not ready for everyone right now.

  62. Dave

    The bottom line is that they should not have used the name “final cut pro” for this product. The fact that you can open imovie projects but not fcp projects is ridiculous! I’ve been opening archived projects for years! I have been using FCP since version 1 and have seen all the upgrades. Some were more impressive than others, but none of them stripped the program of essential features. I remember what a big deal it was when they added multicam support…now its gone. This is not an upgrade, this is a whole new program that is clearly not intended for the professional environment. FCP has come a long way in the film/television world…lots of big films and shows have been cut on FCP. I assume that those folks will just stick with FCP 7 for awhile, but perhaps Avid will seize this opportunity.

    1. Joseph Hung

      I have not used FCPX yet. I don’t think it’s worth my $400 right now because my workflows are not supported by this “new application.”
      I embrace change and I think that FCPX has some really great features we all have been asking for, Pro or not Pro. However, there are alot of stuff that FCPX does not come with that doesn’t support current workflows that have FCP as a part of it for years. This forces many businesses to suddenly think of solutions and spend more money to get out of an ecosystem that is not providing the tools they need. It takes time and money to build those workflows and systems.
      I honestly am excited about some of the new features, but I am also honestly feeling very betrayed by Apple. I have been editing with FCP since almost day 1. A very big fan and everything I do revolves around this application. I have been dedicated to their product and vision, and spent loads of money and time on it. For Apple to do this to our existing businesses, basically saying “thanks for your allegiance all these years, but you’re just gonna have to do it all again” really is a betrayal
      The only thing I can do now is wait and see how FCPX turns out in the next year or so. In the meantime I’m still working on FCP7, and won’t be upgrading my OS for a long time. Until then I will have to figure out what the replacement NLE will be, Premiere Pro or Avid. Premiere Pro is more accessible, and Avid is too expensive. We will have to see how this cookie crumbles for Apple.
      Philip, I just want to say I am an avid reader of your blog and this is my first time posting. Thank you for all you’ve done, and this article is really informative and answered many of my questions. I unfortunately have to disagree with your conclusion. FCPX is no way near ready for the real world, and should have been in R&D longer with the entire community involved in those steps. I understand that they needed to rebuld the system because of 64 bit etc etc, but seriously, they couldn’t have waiting until they ironed out the wrinkles and included the standards that are being used in tens of thousands of post houses? In order for many current workflows, pro or not, to use this app they will need some serious 3 rd party help, and that is likely going to be at a huge expense, more than what FCS3 and 3rd party stuff was in the not so far past. For my business, we are not in a position to support this new move by Apple. In fact, we are now going to look at other options, because I can’t take the risk and bet on Apple coming out with all the standards that I need in a reasonable amount of time, and be forced to rebuild my NLE systems from scratch. Basically, that’s what I have to do anyways whether I stick with Apple or go to Avid or Adobe, no matter what. So maybe it’s time I move elsewhere and let Apple make content for iphones. They totally didn’t keep their promise with QTX, so I cannot believe them until I see promises being fulfilled.

      I am also very afraid of rumors that an OS upgrade could render FCS3 unuseable. Have you heard any news about this possibility?

      Thanks again,

      1. I doubt Lion will kill FCP 7. Anything with an X in it needs to mature. OS X, QT X…. their v1’s had very limited use. FCP X is much more fully featured and usable today by a lot of people, as I outlined. That’s a big number.


        1. Joseph Hung

          I hope you are right Philip. I understand that this is “version 1” when it is actually called “version 10” which inherently means predecessors. I understand that this is a rough road and FCPX will mature and become a great app in time. That Apple will work out the kinks, add back standard features the community of professionals and non professionals rely on to pay their rent. And sure, there is a big number of people that use FCP that will find the new X useable for them as well. I believe that is a big number, for sure, but it is also a very big number of pros and non pros that will be burned by this change. 54% to be exact. That is a big number too.

          1. The X in Apple’s world signifies a total departure from what came before: OS X, QT X, and now FCP X. And like OS X the initial release lacked essential features and wasn’t workable for most people. This release is workable for a lot of people but it will take one or two releases to get back to parity and then start building new stuff on top of this new foundation.

      2. Steven

        Avid is not as expensive as it used to be. And if you have a file-based workflow, the software-only version should be more than adequate. It is similar to Final Cut in most respects, and superior in many others.

  63. Dmitry

    Philip thanks for hard work! Welcome to Russia. What about missing features-i’ll waiting maijor update.

    Best regards

  64. randy

    As far as the elements popping onto different tracks concern… I wonder IF we were able to lock elements to their current ‘virtual track’ and also any elements that we add or move could only move to a open ‘track’ if this would ‘fix’ things a bit.

    1. You cannot lock a clip to it’s virtual track (lane btw) The solution is metadata based. Look at audio role metadata.

  65. Fantastic article, it answered most of my questions.

    There was similar gnashing of teeth when Logic went through its major transitions – “oh my God, they took away the Environment! This is a useless POS!” or “This looks just like Garageband, its just for newbies”.

    Bleh. Logic Studio is really smooth, and really pro. I’ve been a Logic user since version 3 on the PC, and have bought every single upgrade. Its a very, very different app now, and its fantastic. True, I’ve had to change my workflows to adapt to the product, but in general that’s been a positive thing – Apple is really good at figuring out new and smarter ways to do old things. I really value their outside the box thinking.

    For Final Cut, I must be one of the 1.9 million other users, because I am absolutely THRILLED with everything new in it, and I couldn’t care less about any of the supposedly missing features. I’ve bought every version of FC for many years, but this is the version I’ve been waiting for. It will make my life a lot easier and a lot faster.

    I’m definitely NOT a full time editor dealing with post houses and broadcast workflows or major releases… but I definitely make money using a variety of media tools, and FCPX looks like a winner to me.

  66. I think the right word here is “Betrayal.” Surely the updates will come, but at this moment, Apple has built it and it appears that a large portion of those of us who actually use and have used FCP for years, won’t come. I feel we’re being asked to buy a bait and switch software. Represented as what we’ve all been waiting for and more – and getting a mass-market, general appeal piece of software that out of the box makes much of everyone’s edit suite garage sale material.

    It’s clear from your well thought out comments, Philip (which I thank you for), and the comments flying all over the web, that Apple has made a marketing decision. They’re appealing to their largest base, which as you point out, is not those of us who make our living using these tools and who have invested years of time, money and energy into learning, teaching and boosting them. Yes, this is a 21st century product and FCP 7 clearly was not, but it’s also a kick in the teeth. Yes, we may all grow to love the ap as it one day arrives in a completed – or at least workable – form, but today, it’s a bitter pill. Yes, it’s a new ap with lots of promise, but it’s one we have to learn from the ground up – and there are other options if that’s the case. No question, FCPX looks pretty cool. But so did iMovie and QTX. Both useless tools in any but a YouTube environment – which I guess is who this software is squarely aimed at. But yes, most of us will buy and play with X eventually because it’s hard to run out on the girl you’ve loved for years at the dance, but it sure looks like a lot of us are looking around that dance floor and thinking there’s a better party down the street. Or at least a band that’s playing our song.

    Yeah. I feel betrayed. It’s not a good feeling.

  67. Michael Crow

    Last week I bought a Matrox RTMac system . It was very cheap. It will be sufficient for most of my editing needs with Mac OS 9, and Final Cut Pro 3, on a G4 Quicksilver 867.
    Wee need cuts, sometimes dissolves, some titles. FCP 3 with Matrox is more than enough.

    I work professionally at a local tv, we use the latest technologies here for editing on PCs, with video servers. However as I can deem it, we need most of the time basic things.

    FCPX will be a good toy for a time, looks good, seems capable (no multicam however), but we can do a lot on ancient systems too. Do not believe the hype.

  68. George Howard

    I believe Philip meant “too”, as in also. He could have just said, “It will behave like a single window app on Snow Leopard.”

    Just forget he ended with “two”.

    Philip, how many words can you type in one day? This is truly a Herculean effort, here, and I admire and thank you. The patience of Job is yours and I am honored to be able to enjoy reading your wonderful analysis.

    If I misunderstood the original question, oh, well, it wouldn’t be the first or the last time. I always cut myself and others a lot of slack.

    1. Sorry about the typo. George is correct. Last week I did over 50,000 words between the book and the four blog posts and writing documentation for a client.

  69. Dean Neal

    Hi Philip from a fellow Aussie 🙂

    Just quickly, as a Producer who lives in Perth (West Coast) and my editors are Sydney based (east coast), the big question for me is Apple introduced nice features in FCP 7 for me to help remote manage workflows.

    iChat Theater is a great tool and I can make frame by frame based calls and changes to the edit. Is this coming for FCP X? I would be dumbfounded if a recent introduction for FCP 7 is suddenly kaput.

    More importantly, what would be the alternative way now?

    Also, the re-linking of media is an interesting one. I Voice Over our content (sports TV work) here by the editors sending me a MOV complete export of the show. How does this mode of working (collaborative) work with the latest release?

    Are the editors going to have to send me a full event folder? Maybe Proxy workflows is the go?

    Apple is leading the virtual distribution model of selling software and it would be nuts if they don’t maintain and ENHANCE their tools around this very model.

    We work in a global, diverse geo-spread world. I hope they don’t neglect this moving forward.

    Finally, how does Voice Over work in FCP X? I know SoundTrack Pro had good tools but most editors I dealt with the VO Tool. It worked ok enough, however was limited in track selection, which made multi audio devices with Apple Core Audio support like Apogee Duet about of a mismatch with that tool.

    Thanks for the efforts here. It is a turbulent time for this platform – no doubt.


    1. They will send the Project file as long as you both have the media it will link up automatically. iChat Theater was a great feature and it could easily come back when they get the (probably overall) more important features back. I don’t think a lot of people used iChat theater.

  70. PRW

    Stepping back from debate on the merits of the app a moment . . .

    The thing I am having trouble with is that Apple is a company that understands marketing pretty well. Given that assumption, it just baffles me while they would roll out the program in the way that they have. If they had really consulted “pros” in a systematic way pre-release, a lot of complaints made above would surely have surfaced. And yet they decided to go ahead — for reasons, I bet, that have little to do with the app itself. Would it not make sense to say out loud this is the first step in a long development road and that provide a clearer roadmap. Yanking FCP 7.0/FCS 3 without explanation surely did not send the right message.

    (As an aside, I wonder if the reason they pulled 7 is they didn’t want the new product competing directly with the new one.)

    It smacks of internal corporate politics, and a certain hubris, and a worrying lack of thinking important issues trough. Frankly, it makes me wonder about the consequences of Steve Job’s illness.

    I’d bet that somewhere in a bar in Cupertino there’s a bunch of Apple employees saying “we told them, but they wouldn’t listen.”

    Looking at the FCP marketing page, what’s striking is the lack of focus of the message on the needs of ANY group of users. The claims are basically four:

    1) FCP makes editing “faster, more fluid, and more flexible than ever before.”

    2) FCP makes organizing media easier. (I guess this is why FCP server is not longer needed.)

    3) FCP is fast.

    4) FCP “is a single application for the entire post-production workflow.” (THE workflow? Aren’t there many?)

    What’ striking is that these are fairly broad, vague statements even by marketing standards, and suggest to me this is a product that Apple’s marketing team does not know how to sell. That could be because the whole redevelopment effort has been poorly focused and/or the subject of significant internal debate and/or apathy. This is the best case Apple could make for a “revolution”? Give me a break.

    What missing is marketing that one used to see for FCP — the video of the BBC executive saying how critical the product would be to his organization’s future and how its features were not available on other products etc. The white papers on the feature and innovations etc.

    Interestingly, as of this morning, if one goes to , the pro video app was still being represented by a photo of a FCS 3 box.

    1. The voices of the BBC executives who said they were thinking of moviing to iMovie for the speed? That’s the quote.

      1. Dean Neal

        The BBC comment doesn’t surprise me. Network TEN here in Australia uses products like Viz Easy Cut for a lot of their basic edits. They want quick, fast, simple.

        In sydney, there would be a factor of 10 to 1 Easy Cut V Avid suites at that Network. Backs up your point Philip.

    2. Steven

      I might offer a unique perspective here, as someone who tested Final Cut Pro in its pre-beta days, and who also knows a few of the players behind the scenes.

      I started to worry several years ago, when the Final Cut development team was whittled down, and the resources devoted to it were diverted. It was unfortunate because Final cut had serious speed and stability issues that needed to be addressed.

      At the same time, a very smart programmer made a fast, efficient program which eventually became the basis for the new iMovie. It was an impressive tool, but again I was worried because, at its core, it was not created by or for editors.

      My fear was that this program might someday replace Final Cut Pro. And it looks like that is exactly what happened. I’m just glad that I saw it coming, and I feel sympathy for those who invested heavily in Final Cut and were caught by surprise.

      The good news is that Apple programmers are intelligent and dedicated. They will try to make it work. The bad news is that they are by their very nature forward-thinking, whereas editors must often rely on archaic technologies which these programmers might wish to dismiss. And the pace at which we work favors incremental evolution over wholesale reinvention.

      Avid may come off as a relic by comparison, but its future can be predicted with certainty.

      1. That “smart programmer” pretty much found this industry. Randy Ubillos wrote and coded Premiere 1-4.2 then went to Macromedia to work on KeyGrip, which became Final Cut, which became Final Cut Pro at Apple. Randy led the Aperture team, and then created iMovie 07 as a holiday project *as a front end to Final Cut Pro for producers*. (Seriously). Jobs apparently liked it enough to make it iMovie. Randy is now Chief Video Architect at Apple and would be primarily responsible for design.

        BTW I beta tested FCP 1-5.

        1. Steven

          Okay, so the new Final Cut Pro was made to appease producers. I feel so much better.

          1. I would have said that was the original idea for iMovie not for FCP. They took some of the good ideas developed for iMovie – which editors at LAFCPUG cheered over when shown by Randy U a few years back *and wanted them in FCP* – and then went and built a completely different pro app that has some similar looking interface elements. All built on new code. Which producer wants DPX output?

          2. Steven

            You have to admit, Final Cut Pro X bears a stronger resemblance to iMovie 7 than to Final Cut Pro 7. Do you think that’s what the folks at LAFCPUG had in mind?

          3. Sure, it bears a superficial similarity, but after 5 minutes in fCP X you know it’s not the same App and certainly not the same interface. I found iMovie to be a dog and slow me down. In FCP X I fly.

        2. Roger

          ‘That “smart programmer” pretty much found this industry’

          Pardon? You sound like you’ve been in the industry for a while Phillip so you would have heard of Lightworks & Avid? The programmers who created those systems are the founders of the NLE industry… and they in turn developed their ideas by understanding the tape based linear industry prior, and the film editing (original non-linear) designs & workflows before that.
          I don’t want to sound like some of the near hysterical posters here but I think your numbers of editiors needing broadcast level external monitoring, OMF/AAF & EDL esport etc are low. I’ve worked in the tv industry in three different parts of the english speaking world and see a figure way more than 100,000 editors. But hey ho. FCP X does look exciting, just not fully finished. I’m just peeved I bought a “64bit Workstation” from Apple over 4 years ago and then waited for them to produce an Final Cut Studio that utilised it.. now that they have, my hardware ain’t flash enough to run it. Oh well, Avid have done that to me in the past…
          Thanks for answering some of my big questions though. I’ll wait for FCP X to be more fully featured before buying.

      2. GeeGee

        “I was worried because, at its core, it was not created by or for editors.”

        So if you ever need to be operated on in a hospital, you would like it to be done by other patients, not doctors.

        You seem to worry a lot about change. I know getting out of one´s comfort zone is not always easy or pleasant, but the ONLY way to go, unless you want to end up a grumpy old man.

        There is no such thing as predictable future, it´s just something your brain makes up in a (futile) attempt to get the feeling of control over matters. If clinging to what used to be makes you feel more secure, well, I think you should go with it. Prescription drugs might also help.

        1. It is only created for editors, not patients. For patients, Apple have iMovie. And I’d prefer doctors over patients and professional editing software. The problem is that there are more types of professinals than those that work in Film and broadcast TV. Those people are who this software is added.

          “Patients” do not need DPX export.

        2. Steven

          You seem to have missed my point entirely. That aside, Iet’s revisit your medical analogy:

          You’re implying that I should leave technical work to the experts. That is, let the programmers write the programs, as one would allow a doctor to perform a surgery. The problem is that this is not a proper analogy. A better one would be to discuss the manufacture of scalpels for this hypothetical doctor. An editor does not passively receive his tools while asleep, then go home when the work of creating them is done. The editor is the doctor. The tools are made for his use. They must work reliably and correctly. No competent doctor would go into surgery with a bag full of tinker toys. Except you, perhaps.

          Also, you can spare me the condescending psychological platitudes, and the sarcastic prescription drug references. I am emotionally stable and financially secure. I wonder if the same could be said for you.

  71. Bill Vincent

    Philip, I was not familiar with you until the launch of FCPX – and then attended your live UStream chat. You are nothing but a huge apologist for Apple and this product, which by all reasonable standards has left the pro market in the dust for iMovie Pro. So many people have listed the omissions and problems with this new “version” (it shouldn’t be called a new version of FCP because it isn’t – it’s a new version of iMovie) that it strains credibility to even try to stand up for it as any kind of real professional editing software solution.

    If you don’t know what a professional editor is by now, you obviously shouldn’t have been left with the task of reviewing software for professionals. Your constant cheerleading for this inexcusable lame product release is unprofessional and undermines any opinion you might offer. I swear in your UStream chat you had taken SOMA or something similar – the chatroom was FLAMING with legitimate complaints and concerns around FCPX and you just smiled and ignored all of it. I had to sign out after about 10 minutes, I couldn’t take it – you obviously are a shill – paid or not… heaven forbid you don’t get asked to be a beta tester or reviewer for the next release of iMovie Pro.

    Go write your “iMovie Pro for Dummies” book and do your video tutorials on what is probably the biggest betrayal of Apple to their professional users yet. I won’t be waiting in line.

    1. Please don’t come back. You added nothing to the discussion and were insulting. I welcome constructive comment but this was not it.

      1. GeeGee

        Wow, Philip, you really seem to have scared these guys!
        Interesting to see in, say a year or two (max), WHO looks stupid and apologist here.

        The basic issue seems to be fear. Fear of newcomers (or pros willing to change their ways) leapfrogging these guys who have worked for ages building up their skills.

        Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of YOU not answering all their questions in a proper and submissive manner. Do you not know who they are??

        Philip, keep up the good work! Remember, when these dogs start barking the loudest, it´s only because they are afraid.

  72. At the end of the day, I think much of the anger and frustration is ultimately about the gap between what works today (Final Cut Pro 7) and what is promised (some future version of Final Cut Pro that supports a professional workflow). In this interim many of us will have to continue using Final Cut Pro 7 with no idea how long this gap is going to be with our work, our livelihood now depends on an unsupported product. Imagine the outcry if Avid did the same thing to their users? But Avid would never do this, their editing applications are their livelihood, on the other hand, Final Cut Pro is a tiny sliver of Apple’s business, and so given this fact we have plenty of justification in being concerned, it’s hard not to feel as a professional and educator that the rug has been pulled from under me and there is no soft landing in sight.

    1. Taking FCS 3 off the market was a mistake.

      1. Philip, you wrote, “Taking FCS 3 off the market was a mistake,” that’s among the wisest observations I’ve heard this week. I think “cutting off support” as we’re “staring at the chasm” was like throwing gasoline on the fire.

    2. Roger Yeaxlee

      Exactly James, that is my main bugbear too. As I wrote earlier, I bought an Intel Mac Pro in Dec 2006 thinking that the 64bit architecture would be used to it’s max, speeding up the rendering, importing, exporting, transcoding work that is one of the biggest time consuming aspects of working with video. Nope, FC Studio clunked along, crashed every so often and never used those intel cores or 8GB of RAM I’d bought. But, FCP did do a pretty good job of everything Avid could do, plus included Motion, Compressor, DVDSP, Soundtrack, Cinema Tools and Livetype for a very reasonable price.
      Calling FCPX a replacement for FCP 7 is a mistake.

  73. Again, Philip, thanks for your time and insight into FCPX.

    As a Sony Vegas Pro user adding FCPX to my arsenal, i need some immediate training as almost NOTHING is familiar between the interfaces. I am looking at Ripple Training per your suggestion, and they already have a 5 hour seminar available for purchase at $39.99. How could they have created training so quickly???

    Also, I know you are totally guessing, but based on your experience, when do you think multi-camera editing will make its way to FCPX? I am an indy filmmaker and event cinematographer, so I can’t fully switch to FCPX until multi-cam is here. Any thoughts?

    One last thing. For any Vegas Pro users…I’d say the biggest difference with FCPX and Vegas Pro 10 is FCPX has a major motion graphics advantage (I purchased Motion 5 with FCPX) and the two together are stellar. I just don’t know how to use them yet! 🙂

    1. Ripple Training and Larry Jordan have had the app since February, so they’ve had time to create training. (Probably why they were invited). I don’t do training so only got invited a week before release, but that was enough time to mostly write my metadata book.

      While I’ve never used Vegas it has always been high on my radar and always very, very good performance. FCP X finally matches it.

  74. I’m been using FCPX for a few days, and despite some sluggishness (I think it might be time for a new Mac), it seems like Apple has done more good than bad.

    That said, I have to echo those comments which point out the contradiction in Apple’s marketing here. This is clearly advertised, both on the App Store and, as a tool to replace FCP7. With terms like “sweeten” and “grade”, it is not pandering to the low end. I can live without the features it dropped, either by continuing to use FCP7 when needed, or just waiting until FCP X 2, but don’t market it as a solution for people who it is not an all-around solution for.

    1. Well, that is marketing and Apple marketing in particular. But I think it’s a mistake to take FCS 3 off the market. Won’t change anything but I think it was a mistake.

  75. Ben U

    “Proxy media is ProRes Proxy. There’s no choice, nor is one needed.”

    While I appreciate the information you’re providing us in the article, Phillip, statements like the above make me feel like I’m a kindergartner who isn’t smart enough to make his own decisions.

    It also makes you sounds like a puppet for Apple. At least Adobe has the decency to call their promoters “evangelists” so we know who we’re dealing with.

    1. Why would you want to change from ProRes Proxy for proxy footage? It’s the most efficient codec for the purpose. Not because I’m any sort of fan boy – all my opinions are my own formed during my time with the app. FWIW I am an Adobe Evengelist but have no role or function with/at/for Apple.

  76. Stewart

    I just found out a few more things about FCPX that make it undeniably 100% useless in any professional use whatsoever.

    It does not import layered .PSD Photoshop files. EVERY video I have ever edited contains graphics that were created in Photoshop and then animated in Final Cut.

    It no longer creates a simple file structure, that allows you to simply DRAG YOUR WORKING folder, onto an external drive to hand over to another editor or client. IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE TO ARCHIVE PROJECTS AND GET THEM OFF YOUR SYSTEM?

    It is unable to re-link media that has gone offline.

    At least Apple is finally listening to their users… they are deleting the negative reviews from the App Store.

  77. I was surprised to find that it didn’t import layered Photoshop files, but then I also realized I hadn’t used that feature in five year. Your mileage obviously varies.

    I would just drag my woring Event and Project to the external drive. Bang, just as easy and you can do it from within the app.
    Media will automatically relink if it’s in an Event that’s mounted. No effort required.

    If Apple have any response other than removing reviews, it won’t come for a week. They think first, then act and if they think taking FCS 3 off the market was a mistake, that’s when we’ll hear. I suspect they won’t feel it’s a mistake, but it is.

  78. Scott Waugh

    With Apple you always have to read between the lines – the message is quite clear though – they’ve pitched the Professional (true multi-user, large projects) market over the side. Truly sad considering where they’ve gone with FCP to this point.

    Apple didn’t just dump Final Cut Pro 7, they also eliminated Final Cut Express 4 without a named replacement.

    I would move that Final Cut Pro X is actually the new version of Final Cut Express and Apple has decided to cast off the true Pro market. As a Final Cut Express replacement, in the marketplace, Final Cut Pro X actually fits very well (for all those iMovie users that need something more) and that’s really what this product is (the Pro-sumer version of iMovie).

    Just because a new product is ported to 64 bit doesn’t mean you have to release a product that doesn’t have the features needed – that is Apple’s choice to do it this way. They could have kept 7.0 going and fixed bugs while they readied a true Pro level replacement for FCP 7, but they didn’t – they decided to build a Final Cut Express replacement based on iMovie to capture the Express and bottom part of the Final Cut Pro market (majority of the users probably).

  79. Hey Phillip,

    It’s Tony Mark from the old LAFCPUG days. It’s been awhile, I am now living in the Cayman Islands but still using FCP everyday. I was of course highly anticipating the release of FCPX and of course have my reservations. You and Steve Martin’s blogs have been the best thing for me to see the pros and cons of the system and I will be downloading it today. Will it replace my FCP 3 setup with all the plugins and templates I already have? No… Will it be a second program when I need to quickly edit something I shot in AVCHD? most definitely. I don’t think its a full replacement but I really love some of the new feature and think it will be great for some of the small project I do.

    I am sure that later versions of the new software will include more “Pro” features and those that need those features now, stick with your old Final Cut Pro. I am excited with the direction that the software is headed and as you said.. it’s version 1.. be patient.. it will come, apple is not going to forget about the professional market.. yes, version 1 seems to be targeted as Imovie Pro rather than a professional replacement to Final Cut but new features will be coming soon enough.

    Thanks again for all the work you do on these forums and just ignore those that are just criticizing you or apple.. let them go to Premiere.. believe me that program is loaded with headaches!

    Thanks again and if you ever are headed to the Caribbean.. first round of Mai Tais are on me!


    1. I’m still not buying “iMovie Pro” – DPX export? Themes? Integration with Motion. There are hundreds of features that are exclusively pro focused, but not all pro workflows are currently supported. Being a glass half full guy, and not being directly affected by the current limitations, I love what they’re doing.

      Would love to make it to the Caribbean! Nice to hear from you Tony.

      1. Well my biggest concerns are for third party plugins, I have tons besides FXFactory which I know is good, and being able to import past projects. I also like having sequences where I can have different versions of the same cut, how would that work in FCPX. I also think I will miss Soundtrack Pro. I do a lot of finishing in there and like the export out of FCPS3. But.. I am very excited about some of the new features so I plan to have both in my arsenal for now depending on the project!

        1. FXplug 2.0 is announced and GenArts have new products for FCP X as well. All plug-ins need to be remade as 64 bit and to accommodate the presets/live preview changes made in FCP X. Apple only released the developer kit on Tuesday afternoon for all developers than GenArts and Noise Industries.

          You can very easily keep different versions of the cut in different Projects (which are only your timeline). STP, well, yes, I can understand that.

          Export out of FCP X via Compressor settings is as flexible.

  80. Nick

    Thanks for the info, I’m sure you’re a very popular guy right now!

    I’m one of the middle-of-the-road folks, I’m really excited about all the new features and I think some of them are brilliant, on the other hand, there were a couple glaring omissions from the initial release that are surprising. I’m an admitted Apple fanboy, but I am also a “professional” in that my livelihood depends on my editing application. Without FCP or something of equal par, I wouldn’t be able to do my job.

    I understand that Apple is very gung ho about the new “Unified Viewer.” And yes, I understand you can still do three point editing. However, I feel like eliminating separate “viewer” and “canvas” windows (to use the old FCP 7 terminology) is too big a shift away from the established ways of editing for comfort. It kind of strikes me as like replacing the steering wheel in a car with a touch screen. Yes, it’s new, flashy, exciting… But in order to just drive (not even talking about special maneuvers) you’re going to have to rethink the entire way you do it.

    Do you have any sense that Apple has any willingness, or the ability, to say “okay, we didn’t realize people were so attached to this way of thinking, we’ll figure out a way to bring it back?” (Viewer specifically, perhaps other features too) And if no, is it because of the way that the software is built, or is it more Apple’s sense of “you’re going to learn this new way of doing things and you’re going to like it OR ELSE?!” LOL

    Thanks for your time!

  81. Hi Philip

    I think what we’re seeing here is that for a lot of FCP 7 editors that have invested a lot of resources into the FCS universe, Apple has pulled the rug out from under them with the discontinuation of FCS 3 and the replacement doesn’t offer them the features they need to do their current work, nor a way to move their projects from FCP7 to FCP X (at least for now.) A lot of these folks didn’t see the immediate need to try out other solutions before, such as Premiere Pro or Avid, because FCP X was said to be ‘amazing’ and had been touted to be that way from the limited preview a few months ago, and the Supermeet’s at NAB presentation.

    These folks have been tantalized since last year with an incredible update to FCP7 that would blow everything away. What I’m seeing from these folks now is an incredible backlash because they are really disappointed that they can’t immediately update to FCP X to do their jobs. These folks have also been jury-rigging their use of FCP7, putting up with instability, strange workarounds, slowness, excessive hard drive usage, the need for transcoding, a plethora of issues they’ve powered through for the past several years. They have a working system, but they know with a proper update their lives would be so, so much easier. I believe this backlash is the pent-up frustration of having to deal with all these issues because of an antiquated FCS architecture, coupled with the belief that FCP X was going to resolve all these issues.

    I think the fact is that it doesn’t for most of these professionals, it just doesn’t, and they’re going to have to quell their disappointment and treat FCP X as a learning tool, or just ignore it until it can do what they want, or switch to another NLE that has the capabilities they need and a well-defined future. They need to think of FCP X 1.0 as an early public preview release, be very vocal about what they want to see in the future, and hope for the best. Lately Apple has released a bunch of software that is pretty lame in 1.0, but over a short time it becomes really, really good. This is kind of an IOS model now, and I think the company has adopted this model. Pages on IOS and Mac OS has evolved to a pretty usable word processor, early versions were pretty bad. The App store makes facilitates upgrades and works well for the fast, frequent update model.

    I see FCPX as a very early and feature-incomplete version of what FCPX could be, if Apple listens to their users, their advisors, people like you, maybe in 1 year it will be a full replacement to FCP 7 feature set. For me, I plan to use the current version of FCP X to learn what it can do, perhaps produce short segments of larger projects done on Premiere Pro CS 5.5 (my current NLE of choice) where the fast turnaround promised by the FCP X workflow will be of some tangible benefit. I can’t use it for a full project until some things are added, but for $400 it’s worth trying and getting a glimpse into the ‘future of editing,’ which if what some of the experts say is true, is FCP X.

    Again, I’ve read all the blog entries and your responses and I applaud the amount of info you have conveyed and your balanced and patient approach to what is probably at times a very difficult subject to take on.

    Carry on!

    1. Exactly, Keith. The real problem, or betrayal as I call it, is that we’ve stuck with an outdated but familiar and loving partner – FCP7 – and have been tantalized waiting for its major update to make all things up to date. Instead, we’ve gotten a hobbled, limited release of a software that makes newbies of all of us. It’s all about market share, not service. Apple never used to be like this but I suppose once you’re almost King of the World, you just want to own everything in sight. Never mind those of us who took you to the party and introduced you around to all the right people.

  82. AVID guy

    They should call it apple edit and remove the FCP since it is not FCP. Tape less workflow might be the future, but we are living in the present. All of these features that have been left out are extremely important to any professional post house working in the now.

    So i am professional if I make lame viral videos and get paid for it, but I don’t even know what 1080p means or any other video term or standered workflow? So that means a 18 year old who makes a skateboard video for his friends who pay him in pizza, smokes and a couch to crash the night is a professional? According to you he is because he is making a living.

    I hate apple! The iphone is cool, but all they care about is MONEY! Get an Avid and use real edit system. Enough said!!

    1. And AVID guy isn’t at all biased? I happen to also like Media Composer and respect Avid.

  83. Osmany

    Hi, Thanks a lot for the this…very helpful..and Yes, I read every comment..thanks.

    Quick questions:

    Can you do composite in FCP X? like blend, and alpha?

    How they do this with only one track..or line?

    what about picture on picture and all that kind of things we use tracks for?

    doable still?

    Thanks so much.

    1. There are more blend modes in FCP X than in FCP. They call them lanes btw. You put one clip on top of hte other, it attaches and you composite. I did a key with subject, artifically created shadow (based on the subject – black, blur, distort, position) and background in a three layer composite by just sticking the clips above each other. FCP X handled the Clip Connections form me. PIP the same. Four clips above a background track, all attached automatically and then scaled down and positioned for PIP, all real time, all the time (OK my FW 800 drive could not keep up with 5 layers of ProRes LT at once but that was expected.)

  84. Osmany

    I forgot this one…

    do you all know what is new about this compressor? wondering if I need to have it or not…


    1. Compressor wasn’t installed on my test system so I didn’t explore it or Motion. If you want to customize output, or export only a portion of a Project (timeline) you’ll need compressor.

  85. Thanks for the info! How about the dreaded gamma issues plaguing quicktime files. Had FCP X addressed that at all?


    1. Well, since it isn’t based on QT (instead AV Foundation) and it has Color Sync, I’d expect gamma issues to be gone forever. It’s been directly addressed with the Color Sync inclusion.

  86. Stewart

    Apple is by no means PERFECT!
    They fiercely DENIED any antennae problems when the iPhone 4 came out, then they gave out free iPhone covers so that people could touch their phone as they spoke on it.

    Recently they again DENIED very strongly any notion that the iPhone keeps track of where you are and how easy it is for people to steal that info…. Lo and behold they quickly made an IOS update that fixed it.

    The only reason Apple is now the King of the Hill, is because we bought their products and put them there…. If they crap on enough of their supporters, and we stop buying Apple, they will roll down the hill and become the little guy again.

    Just to be clear, I applaud them for changing the way an editor works… If the new way of FCPx is really a better way, then WOO HOOO! I can spend a few days getting up to speed, not a problem.
    But to take away the tools an editor needs to be a professional editor (Multicam, tracks, layered PSDs, etc…) that is nothing but a slap in the face.

    This is not a case of Facebook changing their layout once again so that I can’t find my friends list.

    Most of the people complaining on this site, Mac Store, and other sites are actual working professional editors. If you took note of all our names, then made a list of all the clients we have, and all their clients. Then made a list of all the projects that pass through FCP every year…

    FINAL CUT PRO is the foundation of an industry worth HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars a year, if not BILLIONS…. But hey I guess Apple is better served targeting the home video crowd.

    1. And the reality is that, while the Broadcast TV and Film market is worth billions, the rest of the video production market is worth a whole lot more per year. Last figures I heard were that broadcast film and TV were about 15% of total dollars spent on video production.

    2. RE: iPhone Antenae- yeah, and where are the continued, unending complaints about that? Why isn’t anyone still talking about it if it was/is such a problem? The stopped giving out those free cases in September of last year.

      RE: tracking info. They weren’t tracking your location. They were caching the cell tower location info near you to aid in speedier mapping.

      They fact that you bought into the media hysteria around both those issues tells me everything I need to know about your powers of evaluation.

    3. Steven

      Don’t edit that way.


  87. Philip, …I just can’t believe the bullshit..the so-called.pros who talk out of there ass are saying..i mean your right….there has been nutting lift’s v1…all will be added in do time….then when they want to come to fcpx…what will they do with adobe/avid…lose money? hahahah

  88. me, im going with fcpx…and im not looking back!!

  89. I don’t want a faster horse…i want a new car.

  90. …and the new cars name is FINAL CUT PRO X…..

  91. Peter

    Hi Phil, regarding one of your earlier comments: So… just out of curiosity, if it’s iMovie that the BBC looked at and they were consulted, why did the BBC move to Premiere Pro last year?

    1. The BBC purchased a boatload of JVC HM100’s which deliver footage in ready-to-edit QT. Now that X doesn’t use QT, what’s the BBC to do? Not surprising that they went to Premiere which is now QT aware. I’ll bet someone at the BBC isn’t any happier than many of us today.

      One last question whose answer points to where X is targeted: If iMovie is QT based and FCP is QT based, why make the decision to put resources into being able to import iMove projects and leave FCP projects waiting for who knows how long, or a third party solution? The answer’s clear. Apple’s trying to have it both ways. I think the tone of the various threads on the web are saying, “They can’t.” At least not now.

      So, like so many others, I’ll wait and see, use FCP7, probably check out X, and update my dusty version of Avid. But I don’t like to have to do it.

      1. Final Cut Pro X fully supports QT media. It’s not based on QT for media handling but that’s unrelated to its use of the media files. Those cameras will work just fine with FCP X.

    2. There are many different divisions within the BBC and that wasn’t a wholesale move to Premiere Pro. It was a different group to their main production facility.

  92. Frank

    Everybody would have been happy and ok if Apple had officially acknowledged that it is lacking features, that these features will be added and that the old suite will be supported and on sale until the new version can match it. Pretty much what they did when the transitioned from OS9 to OSX. It would have given people confidence and trust also to continue investing money in this solution. Because if that’s gone it will once again be the smaller players, the plug-in makers, the little hardware makers etc. that suffer the most. It would have been nice if Apple for once thought about the livelihoods of all these people and the users. No harm in that for them, wouldn’t have cost them a penny and none of the outrage would that is-justified given the way this went-currently taking place.

    1. Yep, pity that’s not the Apple way. It works for the consumer division where secrecy lets them keep ahead. In the broadcast and episodic TV not so much – big plants need to know a roadmap. But that’s just not Apple. And that’s the reality we have to live in. They also don’t react quickly. If there’s going to be any official response (I don’t think there will) it won’t come for 10-12 days.

      1. I think that’s Apple’s only sin here is communication. If Apple had openly stated that this was the new engine for the future of Final Cut, and if you have a closed workflow and did not need these features, it’s ready for you now. BUT if you work in a production environment that requires these features, then consider this an open beta for workflow and UI.

        Though I agree that isn’t certainly NOT Apple’s MO to respond to this kind of stuff, the one thing that IS clear from the “scandals” of the past year is that Apple will react if it feels there’s an issue it can’t avoid- and they’ll tell you exactly what they’re going to do about it.

        At this stage, when you’ve got segments on CONAN about this, I’m starting to think we will some kind of official response, either directly or via someone like Larry Jordan in the form of a Q&A.

  93. Peter

    I don’t really understand. X imports QT just fine and that’s what the JVCs deliver.

    I think it has much more to do with the fact that Adobe has a roadmap, was and is openly commited, truly native with its formats, and shows a recognizable interest in customer opinions and needs while Apple handles everything as if they are about to launch a new iphone and insist that the Apple way is always the best way so we don’t even give you any other options.

    1. Again. Communication. And though it slams against the DNA of Apple consumer business, Apple may start having to “think different” about how it handles it’s professional offerings. They don’t need to go as far as Adobe, but a more open dialogue to address issues would certainly help here with what was always going to be a difficult transition. The stone wall approach is only going to get people’s backs up more.

      1. I’ve said it repeatedly- the secrecy that serves them well in consumer products is a liability in the broadcast film and TV markets. OTOH, I think they expected this response and won’t react at all. If they do react it won’t be for 10-12 days. Apple’s “crisis” response is always measured and final. I think re-introducing FCS 3 via VARs only would be a good compromise.

  94. James

    I remember back in 1999 when I was a student and all of the PROs told me I was wasting my time with FCP and DV.

    I sure that transition to SOMETHING BETTER was painful.

    From all looks Apple has done it again.

    Sure a little time will pass before all of the features are there but they will come. After all, Apple pitched this to PRO users not consumers.

  95. Stewart

    Some of you may have already seen this video. It does describe how many of us are thinking. I found it very funny.

  96. Dave D.

    As always, Philip, great insight. Good article in NYT for the alarmists reftuing some of FCPX alledged shortcomings: thought this video from Conan was amusing:

    Funny stab by Conan on FCPX:

    Enjoyed your talk in Boston!

  97. Voytech

    I just spent a few hours in FCPX trying to recreate a short sequence from FCP7. I highly recommend this exercise to everyone. While there were quite a few “hiccups”, I am now starting to better understand the changes I will need to make in my workflow. And you know what? It’s less scary than I though it’d be. I am aware that some will still face roadblocks, but for me there are almost none. Our dept has been on P2 workflow 4 years now. The Panasonic deck has a inch of dust on it. Most of what we do is internal or web so all of our needs are met by this early version of FCPX. One thing I hope for is that Apple smooths out the performance a bit. On a 8-core MacPro with 12GB ram and raid5 over fiber, I’m getting very weird lags occasionally.

    1. Did you (or can you) update to 10.6.8 yet. It’s the version recommended for FCP X and Motion 5 and was released yesterday. I too saw a few lags on the last beta they loaned me. Then it would go for hours without one.

      1. Voytech

        Just updated to 10.6.8. Some improvement noticed. When dragging a clip onto the timeline, it used to lag a bit before the clip appeared. Now it’s better although not 100% smooth.

  98. Alex I.

    One issue that I don’t see being addressed is that there is no real Log And Transfer option in FCPX. It bothers me that when I did tests of importing footage I was not given the option of going through and only logging the bite size chunks of footage that I was going to use for the edit. For my line of work I need that option or my hard drives will fill up in a heart beat. I also miss the option of logging my footage in the Apple ProRes 422 (LT) codec. That is such a good codec for my line of work in documentaries. My ultimate wish is that in FCPX I want the Log And Transfer option to come back for my DSLR workflow when I have the card dumps on the hard drives.

    1. There is nothing that parallels Log and Capture within FCP X, nor do I expect there ever will be (I wrote about it last June.) FCP X is definitely written with the assumption of abundant and cheap drive space as an assumption, so the solution there would be to capture whole tapes and then marking the areas you want with Range-based Keywords or by marking the areas you don’t want (as a range) as rejected. But if drive space is a premium and you need that workflow, you can’t do that within FCP X nor do I expect you’ll ever be able to.

      You could log and capture in FCP 7 or use a tool supplied by AJA/Matrox/Blackmagic Design to capture from tape.

  99. Here is what scares me: A corporate Apple attitude that “We can dictate the creative decisions of our customers because we are better than them”.

    They have given up customer loyalty for customer obedience.

    They showed it by banning Flash video on their mobile platform.

    They foster the impression that they have no concern that legacy and historical work should be preserved because they have come up with something better. You can’t even play existing Flash videos on iOS. I bought a Droid X just so I could show my own videos on a smart phone. And they play very well!

    I see the same haughty attitude in the way FCP X has been introduced. Lack of empathy with the people who make their living from their products because Apple knows better.

    I don’t trust the culture within Apple to listen to is customers and interact directly with them.

    I am experimenting right now with FCP X and I see how it will be helpful in my web video work.

    Bit I am worried that I might not be obedient enough and will be left in the dust.

  100. Mark


    Thanks for all the work and info. It’s been very helpful.

    I have two feet in the broadcast world, tape acquisition on HDcam tapes, and that’s not going to change soon.

    I can use our FCP6 box to ingest tapes, and drag the prores QT files into my FCP7, or now into FCP X.

    I also have one foot in the HDV world, with a Sony HDV Z7U, recording on cards. (Yes, I have three feet, sometimes four or five)

    Being an editor who always ingests entire tapes, to keep the bins clean, I was frustrated with how HDV tape and cards gave me all those dozens, or hundreds of pesky little clips.

    With the metadata and tagging functions of FCP X, I’m feeling more and more that the clips can not only be manageable, but preferable.

    I haven’t gone through the entire manual, but with all of the analysis ability of FCP X, might there be a way to automatically break up those 30 minutes clips into shots? It seems like it would be easier for the software to do compared with stabilization and counting the number of people in each shot.

    Do you have the ears of Apple, as something they could possibly add in a future update?

    BTW: I’m excited about FCP X. I trust that Apple will listen to their users, separate the legitimate concerns from the knee jerk resistance to anything new.

    1. If I follow correctly you’re asking if, after capture from HDV via FW into FCP X with the “capture now” could those files be automatically broken into clips? There is certainly metadata available to make that happen in the HDV file, but I”m not sure how I’d apply that in the current release. I know that some folks from Apple read the blog, but I’m not sure if they read all the comments. I wouldn’t be too hopeful about enhancements to tape-based workflows.

  101. Mark

    Thx for the reply. Actually my HDV, whether coming in over the firewire, or via the CF cards that my camera shoots automatically breaks the tape into clips.

    When I captured dv tape in the old days (2009) I had the option of having FCP automatically find the start/stop points and add markers onto the tape, then I could drag the markers into a bin and they became separate clips with separate thumbnails.

    We currently use FCP 6 with a Kona Ki card and tape control to capture footage for our edits. I can log and capture the footage into as many chunks as I need to by logging and capturing different clips, but because we don’t usually spend more than a day or two on an edit, I simply ingest an entire 32 minute tape as one large clip.

    I appreciate that FCP X has such powerful analysis functions. It seems to me that if the software can handle things as complicated as stabilization and rolling shutter, it should be an easy matter to find the edit points where the shots start and stop. Then we could make better use of the powerful event browser and the tagging.

    Maybe a check box on the import menu “Break clip up into shots”

    Our daily tv show is currently on the cusp of replacing all four of our editing stations. I could make a very strong argument for going FCP 7, but there are too many unsupported functions and unknown issues to recommend FCP X. Guess we’ll be stuck with the new Sony editing software for the next 8 years.

    1. When you come in via a Kona card you discard all the metadata that was being used to break up the clip.

      I’ll have to text capture a DV and HDV tape to see if FCP X breaks it up or not. I’m now curious.

      “New” Sony editing software? Sony Vegas is about 9 years old now (and PC only but I guess you knew that.) Or have a missed a whole new Sony announcement?

      1. Mark

        New is Sony Xpri NS. Hardware/software solution for broadcast news. We’ve been one of the very few places in the world ever working on Sony’s Xpri HD editing. The new system is built on the old familiar editing interface (familiar to us and a handful of other places that ever used it.) but rebuilt from the ground up. It works well enough, but doesn’t have the creative oomph of a FCP.

        And yes, any footage captured with the Kona card will have no metadata, but how difficult would it be for Apple to imagine a way to break that long clip up into shots after a quick analysis. That would be sweet.

        Meanwhile, I’ll just scrub through my long clips to find my shots, and keep editing like I always have.

        1. Sony have such a good track record! not. Their only success in NLE is Vegas and they purchased that through an obscure division.

  102. Mike

    After freaking out and being very angry for a week, I am trying to regain some perspective and do some soul searching.

    Imagine if — hypothetically — somewhere in Northern California, Walter Murch is starting his next feature film in Final Cut Pro X. All of his poor assistants are screaming about how completely crazy he is, how many features the software is missing, and who knows if the features will be added back in time before the film is due. But he likes the way the footage is presented and how he doesn’t have to wait on rendering anymore, so he’s just using it anyways.

    Walter Murch is crazy. And there’s any number of reasons not to use this software professionally — just like he shouldn’t have used the early FCP for Cold Mountain. But there’s something to be said for being a free-thinker and having an open mind. Those of us who were early adopters of the original Final Cut Pro were rebelling against the old standard rigid conformist Avid suite model. We were determined to do it a better way, our way, even when most people dismissed us. And I’ve always been determined for Editing to be a fully creative endeavor — just as much as writing is a creative endeavor — and not to be a technician job.

  103. Peter

    I spent most of the day inside FCP X and to be honest I really don’t like it. And this has nothing to do with the missing bits or learning something new.
    I find it hard to believe that whoever envisioned and okayed the new way of doing something as simple as an audio crossfade ever had to quickly and efficiently edit 9to5 with lots of tasks like that. This simply isn’t easier or more elegant at all, quite on the contrary, very clumsy. And the app it full of other little things like that which add up. I really wanted to give it a try but I am afraid this isn’t for me.

  104. Douglas

    Is this a clear signal that Apple tell us he will leave the ProApp markets? As their ipad, iphone brings huge profits than FCP, why bother to assign their best man to re-work the whole thing? It’s a marketing strategy that simply based on the money issue! People using iMovie before will be happy to upgrade to FCPX but not the pro group. But the pro group is not the mojority now compare to ipad/iphone users! It’s so sad to see Apple turn his back on their longtime supporter for tons of money! FCPX will not die out but its not for pro group anymore. Pro users really needs is a stable platform rather than a faster but function limited software.

  105. Comment are now closed. No-one is adding new anything to the discussion and I my blog not the place to complain. Apple have a Feedback page for FCP X and I suggest you post your comments and criticisms there.