When Apple released FCP X six years ago, there was an incredible backlash, which Apple deserved for the sudden, harsh removal of FCP 7 from the market. But I believe there was another reason behind the anger beyond the sudden cut off: there was no more hope that Apple would supplant Avid in the editing world.
Over the 12 years of FCP Classic’s life, it started to supplant Avid’s Media Composer in “Hollywood.” Initially at the budget end of the market, where FCP’s price point was very compelling against the expensive hardware/software combination that was Avid Media Composer.
Over its life some people saw Apple heading in the direction of becoming a Media Composer killer.
Except no-one disliked Media Composer that much. What was happening is that, while people loved working in Media Composer, they were not fond of the company that made it. Around 1999 the consensus was the editors loved Media Composer and hated Avid.
With the release of FCP X, it was obvious that Apple had chosen to embrace the democratization of production that had happened over the intervening 12 years and they were not going to make a niche app for “Hollywood’s” needs.
Hopes dashed, despair follows leading to the dark side and hatred.
Arguably Apple fanned the flames of democratization with the release of FCP 1 with support for DV: the “good enough” format that drove democratization.
Betting on democratization was the right thing for Apple to do, once it was obvious that FCP had to be rewritten from the ground up. If there’s a rewrite, why not a rethink? With over 2 million licenses sold (and potentially five times that number of active seats) FCP X is unquestionably the most popular professional NLE in the current market. Not necessarily in the “let’s replace Media Composer” market, but in the democratized video work for sure.
Now, if you are looking for an “Avid killer” then Blackmagic Resolve is probably the app to do it.
It’s also worth noting that those who went back to Media Composer after Apple’s “abandonment”, went back to a very different Avid, and very different cost structure for Media Composer. Instead of $150,000 a seat (with essential hardware), you could now pick it up for $1295 (sans hardware).
Apple’s competition had made Media Composer more affordable, but the release of FCP X made many editors simply hate both companies!