back to article Apple's new Final Cut Pro X 'not actually for pros'

Apple released a completely overhauled version of its Final Cut Pro software yesterday, much to the chagrin of some of its users. The early response to Final Cut Pro X is at best mixed, with some complaining that the film editing application lacks XML support, and worse still, is bereft of backward compatibility with previous …


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  1. Uncanny Aleman

    Business as usual

    iMovie worked fine and they revamped that too.

    I once remarked to an Applestore employee that they should "really get some cash registers in here!" after a straighforward purchase went south when he couldn't locate a working remote keypad for me to enter my pin. "They're all being used at the moment" he proudly announced. When I pressed him on why they didn't have the usual counter/ cash register setup he simply replied 'our customers don't want them.' "Well, I'm a customer...and I wasn't asked!" I said and walked out.

    Apple are not interested in giving you what you need... only what they want to sell you.

  2. stu 4


    yeh, bought it to 'upgrade' my FCS3 I bought last year.

    So far not too impressed. Usual lack of docs and crappy online help you get with apple stuff (online help only!!! so can't use it on the laptop without net acces for help - mental)

    Still, it could just be getting used to the new paradigms, but at the moment I'm no convinced.

    Motion integration in particular seems to have almost disappeared... though it does leave motion as a standalone bargain at 25 quid.

    FCPx is gonna need a tutorial course purchase before I can work out if I stick with it or go back to FCP7.

    1. GraemeH


      this is very good- and a good price too- comes with sample files etc.

      it certainly gets your head into the FCPX gear.

    2. Adam T

      Very important to read the release notes

      Apple documentation was never clearer

      1. GraemeH


        try this

        1. Adam T

          splendid :)

          you know it's bad when you need help finding help...

  3. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Any product with "Pro" in the name is never for professional use

    I thought everyone knew that?

    1. Tchou


      MacBook Pro for instance?

  4. sebacoustic

    Final Cut Pro

    Final Cut Pro.

    But it's neither "final" nor "pro".


  5. Zohso

    Not for Pros?

    I hate posts like this. Unfortunately for companies, like Apple, who strive to build a good product, people tend to read snippets of information like, "Final Cut Pro X 'not actually for pros'." And then they tell their friends and so on.

    Not backwards compatible? Boohoo. Then don't upgrade. I'm an engineer using a $3k program called SolidWorks Premium. Guess what, each year they come out with a new and improved version. But they don't force me to upgrade. I do when I'm at a point to upgrade. I've prepared my files, etc.

    To say that a piece of software is "not for pros" because of it's lack of backwards compatibility with an archaic outdated version of it's former self is maligned and misinformed. Check your facts and stop spreading this nonsense.

    If a company wants to make a better product, they should be able to. But guess what kind of coding power it will take to not only give us the next gen software package, BUT keep it backwards compatible with software from years ago. That's asking way too much. Don't upgrade. It's really just that simple.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Actual users are complaining and are being explicit

      Complaints include many items other than backward compatibility: (from

      - Missing features: OMF, EDL, XML, Multicam, export options, RED RAW, third-party hardware support, etc. I expect some of those to become available through upgrades. I am afraid that we will have to pay extra for individual features (or buy them in packages), especially proprietary codecs that involve license costs. This is a common strategy with Store apps, and wouldn't be beyond Apple. Can you imagine? 100$ for RED RAW support, 75$ for OMF export, etc... by the time you're set up, FCP X cost you 900$ or so. That would explain why Apple is selling FCP X for 300$. Or maybe I'm just paranoid. But then again, it might be a good thing for those that don't need everything.

      - You can't import legacy FCP 7 projects. Sure you can retain your FCP 7 install, but I would have liked to transition one of my current projects to FCP X, in order to learn it in my free time.

      - I don't like the inability to save a project where you want. I usually save my project in a Dropbox folder, so I can work from the office or home; media files remain in local copies. I'll have to go back to carrying around an external hard disk every day (which will have to contain both project an event folders).

      - You can't customize the interface, other than sending either the Event Library or Viewer to the second monitor.

      On the upgrade comment - it's *NOT* an upgrade, the previous installation of FCP remains intact so you can continue to edit your old material with that.

      1. NotTellinYou
        Thumb Down

        Let me understand you...

        "You can't import legacy FCP 7 projects. Sure you can retain your FCP 7 install, but I would have liked to transition one of my current projects to FCP X, in order to learn it in my free time."

        Seriously? You want Apple to invest months of work and months more of testing to provide for an import and the best rational you can come up with is "in order to learn it in my free time"?


        1. Lennart Sorensen

          You failed to.

          Maybe the reason isn't the best, but it certainly is a mandatory feature of any new version of a product. This is why all products (except FCP X apparently) has it.

          If you cut off your existing customer base, you are committing suicide. Why should anyone ever trust you again?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @Zohso - You don't seem to know much about software

      or maybe you haven't read the article. Users are not requiring backward compatibility with older software, all they want is to be able to open data files and projects created with older versions of that software. Changing file formats without providing a way of converting data is plain wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Version migration is risky

        For some complex applications, e.g. CAD/BIM, it's quite sensible to finish projects in the version they were started with. This means holding onto multiple versions of the applications, but this is a small price to pay.

        The problem is that moving files between major upgrades will *always* contain an element of risk. The more complex the application content, the greater the risk. A single, critical error can cost more than the entire project is worth. I currently have 4 versions of one application for that reason (because projects can run on for years).

        I think it's a shame Apple didn't provide a forward migration route for current projects, but it isn't a big deal either. I suspect they have released this version a bit early (for people champing at the bit for 64-bit software) and some of the niceties will follow in due course. It sounds to me like this version has completely gutted the earlier one, which is a risky (but essential) step in software development.

      2. Zohso


        I have not clue how you're able to discern my level of software knowledge from a single post, but we'll go with it for now. Just as I don't know if you are mentally challenged.

        As I stated in my post: Just don't upgrade. Like a poster said after me, "It's actually a risky move to switch platforms (eg FCP 7 to FCP X) within a project." And I used the analogy of my use of SolidWorks, too expensive to buy the latest version every year, to show that I don't change platforms with that either. Too many headaches associated with it. Same with Adobe Illustrator. They add new functionality with every release. And sometimes, my old CS2 files simply don't look quite right in my new CS5 version.

        Understand software... pft.

        1. Lennart Sorensen

          You just don't get it do you.

          New versions of software should at least give you the choice of moving to a new version on a given project if you want to.

          Solidworks can always read old projects in new versions. That's how essentially all software upgrades work. Apparently Apple has forgotten. They might as well have given it a new name given it is a new product with nothing to do with the old one at all, other than the general idea of what it is to be used for.

          So solidworks is backwards compatible, FCP X is not. I can't even think of another product where that has ever happened. It would be commercial suicide for any company to release a new version that can't open files from previous versions. You don't need to be able to save in previous formats (although often you can), but you do very much need to be able to load from previous formats.

    3. J 3

      @Not for Pros?

      Some engineers could use reading skills classes! Or didn't you read the whole article. See posts above about missing "pro" features in the new version for a hint...

      1. Zohso


        see my comment from "Anonymous Coward" above. You fit into the same category as they do.

    4. Trib

      Its more that....

      While I'm sure you would be happy to get a new version of SolidWorks that wouldn't open your previous Solidworks projects, there is more than that as to why people are complaining.

      'Pro' video editing applications support features like video output to a video monitor (because compuer monitors aren't an accurate display of video content) and also support EDL (basic timecode edit lists) and most 'pro' application support Multicam editing. All of these features are missing in the new FCP-X, but are in FCP7.

    5. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Not for Pros?

      "Not backwards compatible? Boohoo. Then don't upgrade. I'm an engineer using a $3k program called SolidWorks Premium. Guess what, each year they come out with a new and improved version. But they don't force me to upgrade. I do when I'm at a point to upgrade. I've prepared my files, etc"

      On the contrary, Apple are very good at finding ways to force you to upgrade. Besides, how would you prepare your files when FCPX seems to offer no way to read the old ones?

      "To say that a piece of software is "not for pros" because of it's lack of backwards compatibility with an archaic outdated version of it's former self is maligned and misinformed. Check your facts and stop spreading this nonsense."

      Try explaining that to a production house that has projects created in older versions of FCP that took 1000s of man hours to create.

      Also, we aren't talking about compatibility with "archaic" software. We are talking about compatibility with the previous version. No one is expecting compatibility with the really old versions.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      A lack of backward compatibility is more or less never forgivable. It is even less professional when the task itself has not changed. Video editing is still video editing and the same formats are still out there. How much could it cost to do the job properly? It's not like Apple are short of cash. This amounts to telling people to piss off and take their business somewhere else. I, for one, hope they do.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May I recommend


    Anything to do away with the myth that if you work in film/media you HAVE to have Apple

    1. blamblamblam
      Thumb Up

      thank you sir

      Oooh, interesting - thank you sir, haven't used Lightworks since 1992, will check it out...

      1. Sean Baggaley 1

        So your "alternative" to an Apple application...

        ... is to suggest a *Windows* one?

        Thanks, but I think I'll pass. FCX ticks all the boxes on my own list, so I'll go with that. (And I'm very interested in Motion. Especially at that price.)

        1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

          My Understanding Of...

          ...Final Cut is that it is a film editing program. Although so many movies are made in video these days.

          I have been using Sony Vegas almost since they bought Sonic Foundry. I switched from Adobe Premire, another film editor, because Vegas talked the language of video, a language i had already been using for 30 years.

        2. MrCheese

          Then enjoy your mugging

          If you're going to write off alternatives because they're not on the "right" platform then you deserve the daylight robbery Apple appear to be inflicting on you

  7. Rob Davis

    3rd party conversion for FC7 backwards compatibility may happen - as it did with Adobe Audition

    Suite Spot Studios based in Australia provide a collection of conversion tools, some at cheap prices such as the Adobe Audition .ses to .sesx converter, for $20.

    Adobe dropped support for the old .ses format (in since CoolEditPro over 10 years ago) in their radio industry standard audio editor, Audition, when they released version CS5.5 for Windows and on Mac for the first time. There was an initial uproar:

    And then the announcement of the aforementioned 3rd-party converter quelled all the dissonant voices. And works very well it does too.

    So to those unhappy with the discontinued support for older formats: don't speak too soon. Apple can either hire these guys to provide a tool to do the conversion, or, open source the format to allow anyone to have a go. I expect the former.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Apple actually reported the response from previous FCP professionals

    "“We have shown it to many of the world’s best Pro editors, and their jaws have dropped.”

    This can be interpreted in a couple of ways...

  9. wolfmeister


    yes, the fcp experts have spent ages smugly telling anyone who finds something crappy in fcp7: "You are making a fuss for nothing. It'snot that fcp7 is crap at doing many things in realtime; it's simply that YOU need to work out the workarounds and fixes and cludges", and it's all about the 'experts' ability to do workarounds, making them a sort of secret society almost.

    now the shoe is on the other foot, and the 'pros' are screeching from the rafters the EXACT same complaints they previously sneered at. You gotta laugh

    i can't see why they are so het up, this is the first release. Give it time. Also i think everything is changing. We're pushing towards more web video and web & tv gradually merging. card/disk based cams taking over, etc.

  10. mrh2

    Simple suggestion...

    ...why not leave the older versions installed? Most Apple software - for example iWork &iLife - will happily sit alongside older versions of itself.

    Maybe these 'Pros' don't realise there's no need to uninstall/overwrite their existing software just in case they need to go back to an older project?

    1. Mark Serlin

      Re:Simple suggestion

      There's a problem with that, long-term, in that the previous versions will one day (one day soon? Lion?) be incompatible with the OS. I have this situation with 60-odd projects written in VisualStudio6, and another 20-odd in VC8.

      VC8 is kind enough to perfectly convert VC6 projects if you want to move up to the newer IDE & compiler (well worth it BTW) but it's way more convenient to fire up VC6 for a quick fix on an old project.

      All of which was fine until I had to get Win7 and guess what - VC6 just won't run on Win7, and several upgrades are now required to each of these legacy projects.

      So now I either *have* to convert them all or run a virtual machine with WinXP so I can use VC6... it's a hassle any way round. I wish now I'd kept my old WinXP box - but then I don't get the choice about that kind of thing :(

      1. Peter Kay

        Visual C++ 6 does work in Windows 7

        It's fine on this system and has built projects without issue. The only problem I've found so far is when using the Intel compiler plugin (part of the project using VC6 uses the MS compiler, part uses Icc) when I tend to run the IDE as admin, because the ICC setup hasn't poked the necessary parts of the registry/whatever to enable the plugin option for all users.

        The one problem I have found is that certain older projects have a dependence on an old SDK (in this case, the XP SP2 SDK). The latest version of the platform SDK drops a few features, and the XP SP2 CD is only obtainable via CD from Microsoft (it is not downloadable). If you still have it lying around, don't chuck it away..

        1. Lallabalalla

          You're lucky then! Or I'm unlucky....

          VC6 just randomly crashes out on my win7 box, but then it is a cheapo Dell thing, maybe that has something to do with it.

  11. wolfmeister


    perhaps the plan is to release app upgrades to add-on required pro features? after all why include them all when additional pro-user specific features can be bought and added-on almost like plugins?

    could be the way they intend to go (?), I'd be down with that, cos it makes alot of sense to do it that way. NOT paying for features you DON'T need and then being able to buy additional features as cheap add-ons would be awesome

    1. Ammaross Danan


      "...and then being able to buy additional features as cheap add-ons would be awesome"

      Now if only Apple sold anything at a "cheap" price.... C'mon, these are the 100% markup people.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No big deal

    This is just a bunch of overworked pros whinging because some stuff has changed. Give them time, they'll settle down and enjoy getting to grips with the new version.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      The whole reason FCP is so popular is the price. It has been a tenth of the price of some other pro video editing suites.

  13. GraemeH
    Thumb Up

    Using it to day for paid 'Pro' work

    well i'm a 'pro' and i'm using FCP X today, for paid production work.

    It's defiantly early days for it, and you defiantly need some structured training and patience if your coming from a Final Cut Pro background.

    I've been using FCP for over 10 years commercially (since version 1.5).

    FCP has always depended on 3rd party hardware and software venders for it's scalability and it's early day form them too.

    FCP X seemed like a nightmare when i first opened it yesterday- but I'm beginning to love it.

    Final Cut Studio 3 will still be used for most of my work for the time-being, but i don't know of anyone who was expecting like for like with FCP7, not for the first version of FCPX.

    1. Chris 3

      It does sound like the iMovie transition

      iMovie HD was a good old fashioned linear editing app. iMovie '08 was a 'What the hell' moment as the entire way you worked was thrown out of the Window, iMovie '09 returned most of the capabilities that went missing in the previous version, but still in a form that would make anyone familiar with the traditional approaches really disorientated.

      I had to buy my first ever Missing Manual to get my head around iMovie '09 It's bloodyt powerful, but even now I still find myself fighting it and not quite getting my head around the new way of doing things.

      1. GraemeH

        best tool for the job- is the one you know how to use

        I have never used iMove on a mac, but i have on an iPad quite a good experience-

        ive heard some great things about the current imovie too, from some experienced FCP users, the commercially released film 'Tarnation' was made with imovie 3 as i remember.

        I started editing with film , then tape based analogue linear editing, then used a few dodgy but hugely expensive NLE before moving to FCP around 1999/2000 even with sticking to the same app there was always things to learn and get to grips with technically but it's just a tool.

        11 years down the line with FCP i'm still learning new things- depending on what type of project i'm working on. Hardware, Codecs and delivery formats change a lot too

        Creatively editing is the same on any platform-they transfer over from app to app fine, the only difference is the technical skills you need to keep your kit running.

        There are so many great online training courses around these days like the ones on Lynda or Ripple- it often pays to give them a watch even if you think you know the application.

  14. Jonathan White


    @11.39 AC

    Your response to a request for a more professional product is to suggest the beta version of an open source project? Seriously??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Errr yes, yes it is

      Kings Speech (including an Oscar nomination for best film editing), Pulp Fiction, Shutter Island.

      Good enough for them, good enough for anyone. It is only beta because they have just released the code but it is a fully developed product and has been worked on for over 20 years. They announced their intention to release the source and now they have done. They have been reviewing code (and still are) to make sure it doesn't fall foul of any software licenses which would give someone the right to sue if they released it. Just because it's open source doesn't mean it isn't a fully featured professional product.

      Try doing some research before commenting.

      1. MD Rackham

        Sorry, but...

        Those films *were* edited on Lightworks, but the original Lightworks, not the current open source beta product. The original commercial Lightworks product had an excellent reputation with professional film editors, but failed in the marketplace under the onslaught of Avid, which had their television/corporate/news customers to help finance the (quite successful) hard sell to film editors. Avid also offered better lease terms to middlemen than Lightworks.

        Which all led to Lightworks becoming an open source project. But it has had to be pretty much completely rewritten to work with modern hardware and OS's. I haven't looked in several months, but the last time I did look it was still in the "promising but too incomplete to use on a real project" phase.

        I certainly do wish the Lightworks project success, but it's not here yet.

        1. Goat Jam

          Lightworks on OSX and Linux

          is mooted to be coming late this year.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Neill Mitchell

      Why not?

      >>Your response to a request for a more professional product is to suggest the beta version of an >>open source project? Seriously??

      If it does the job then why not? Sounds like it based on an established product that's been widely used by studios. Certainly not a FAIL.

      Sounds like typical anti Open Source snobbery to me. Give it a go, you never know it might actually be quite good. If it's crap then you've only lost a couple of hours. That's what OS is all about.

  15. james4765

    Editors are cranky old farts...

    And I am one of them. There are some glaring issues (No DVD Studio? Really?!) but anyone who starts a commercial editing project on software that was just released is a HUGE idiot. I'm looking forward to the upgrade (holding off until 10.6.8 comes out like the recent tech bulletin recommended) but all my current projects are in FCP 7, and will stay there. I have some toy projects I will be doing in FCP X as soon as I get it, but anyone who is doing for-pay work on brand new software... I feel for their clients, and hope to steal them away.

    If this was Adobe, or Avid, or Joe's Software Haus, there wouldn't be one tenth the butthurt about the software. But everyone is primed to kvetch about Apple. We'll likely see an entire software ecology built up around the new release, addressing shortcomings and adding features. Calling it a failure the day it was released is.. very typical of people who complain about Apple.

    It'd be like calling the iPhone a failure because it didn't have copy-paste. Oh, wait, they added that.

  16. Ian Davies

    @AC re. Lightworks

    Slight problem; Windows only. Better luck next time.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I refer you to my first post

      Why must those in media use Apple? What is the justification other than it's shiny and more expensive. It certainly isn't that a windows PC isn't capable of doing exactly the same things and more and quite often much cheaper too. I'm sure there would be something similar on linux which would be cheaper still but those in the 'creative' industries still insist on wasting money on Apple kit cos 'it's just better' when in reality it isn't. That is just their perception of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Why must I use Apple?

        I don't have to use Apple, quite right. But 3 years back when I evaluated all the packages available and what suited my business in the cold light of day Final Cut Pro came out head and shoulders above the others for my business and workflow. FCP of course is Apple only which meant I had to shell out (the old edit suite needed replacing anyway).

        So yes I had to pay the Apple Tax, but it more than paid for itself in the workflow improvements over my old Windows/Adobe setup.

        I don't care what the software runs on. Apple/Amstrad/Whatever. I do care that the software works for me. And FCP has been doing superbly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Then I congratulate you

          on being able to think for yourself and taking the trouble to find out about the options available before settling on a solution that does what you need it to. However most in the industry do not and they always go for Apple because 'they have to', 'it's what everyone uses' and 'it's just better'.

  17. R Cox


    I was kind of distressed when I saw APerture included a facebook and flickr button. I think there is value in applications targeted to different needs. iPhoto for the snapshop crowd, Aperture for the value minded pro, and PhotoShop for the professional that can afford it in terms of time and money. If Apple focuses primarily on the consumer market, products like Aperture and Final Cut are going to be diluted into products that are not useful to the professional.

    1. Hugh McIntyre

      Re: Aperture

      Aperture is a completely different product than Photoshop. Instead, it competes with Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom/Aperture are for managing catalogs of large numbers of photos with limited edits, but often editing multiple photos at once. Photoshop then gets relegated to only the difficult edits to single images.

      Now personally I use Lightroom instead of Aperture, plus Photoshop, but even Lightroom has "export to Flickr" now. And this is a reasonable and useful feature if you like to publish photo sets on Flickr.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really a surprise

    given that Quicktime X is currently missing huge chunks of the Quicktime 7 featureset. I haven't seen any in-depth analysis of FCP X yet, but I'm willing to bet that the ground-up rewrite is along the same lines

    1. GraemeH

      QT X never going to get QT 7 features

      QT X was never intended to get the feature set of QT 7

      QT was the heart of AV on the mac a big 'AV event engine' driving iMovie, FCP, iTunes .... but has been replaced by Core Audio, Core Video & Core Image and now AV Foundation for these applications.

      FCP 7 needed QT 7 (not QTX) to run, but FCP X doesn't use QT at all for it's processing.

      So QT X as far as the OS and Apple is concerned is missing nothing.

      not to say that i don't love 'Classic QT' still a great tool

      but your right FCP X will gain features over the next couple of years, some of these will be created by the vast array of 3rd party hardware/software developers that already produce kit for FCP and be with us within a few weeks/months.

  19. Mark Dowling

    Probable Jobs response to emailed complaints?

    "Get over it"

    1. Levente Szileszky
      Thumb Down

      RE: Probable Jobs response to emailed complaints?

      "Just avoid holding it in that way."

      1. Goat Jam

        Just redo your projects

        Not that big of a deal.

  20. xperroni

    Problem, fanbois?

    Apple sticks it to their user base with an "upgrade" that completely disregards users' needs and/or requests!

    In other news, the sea is wet.

    Honestly, this kind of occurrence is hardly news anymore. People should just make up their minds on whether they want to get stuff done, or indulge in Apple's "experience" and damn if (when) critical features are suddenly pulled from under their feet.

  21. Stephen Macken

    Dear Apple...

    Thank you very much for FCPX.



  22. Stephen Macken

    FCPX - Because 'Pro' users never...

    ... use more than one screen

    ... output to a monitor

    ... care where media is stored

    ... output to tape

    ... use SDI

    ... capture from tape

    ... open old projects

    ... use other software

    ... shoot multi-camera

    ... use xml import/export

    ... use external hardware

    ... use omf export

    ... use EDLs

    ... batch recapture from tape

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Paid Options

      Perhaps a few of these will be paid for options - you know, say $50 for multi camera support...

      Despite the critisim of the article's generalisation, perhaps, out of the box on day 1, it is indeed not a product for "professionals" but has the potential to be so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      only 50% of that list is true

      best check your facts first

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Beta Version

        It's hard to believe this new release is anything other than a Beta version that has been rushed out. I'm hoping Apple pull their fingers out for their own sakes because if they are going to forsake backwards compatibility then there's nothing to stop users like me jumping to Adobe or Avid instead.

        If Adobe can manage the transition to 64 bit without cutting off users then Apple have no excuse.

        Those who earn money with the software might be best to be patient before upgrading to see what the next revision brings.

  23. GraemeH

    constructive corrections


    -You can use Dual Screens.

    -Output to a monitor will be supported with 3rd party hardware (as usual)

    -Basic capture over firewire, for dv/hdv sources. is supported (more of a 'capture now')

    -you can choose where your media is stored on a project by project bases (good new feature)

    -you can choose where your project is stored on on a project by project bases

    -other tape formats Analogue and Digital formats that used SDI will be supported with 3rd party hardware, this has always been the case e.g. AJA, Blackmagic & Matrox.

    - yes you can use other software, plug ins are already available (not sure what he is getting at here)

    - use external hardware um of course you can! but you can't plug your fridge into it

    this software will over a short amount of time be as scalable as FCP 7 - but it doesn't replace FCP7 yet

    1. Stephen Macken

      Constructive corrections corrections...

      Dual Screens -

      "No raw display on a second monitor."

      Monitor -

      "No true video output. According to an AJA Video Systems PDF on using their Kona cards with FCPX what you see on your external display is a "preview" version of your video. Not a true video signal that you can use for color correction or confidence viewing in front of a client. Simply cannnot have a professional video editing application without true video output."

      Capture -

      "No support for Capture from Tape (outside of Firewire) or Edit to Tape. DV/HDV is is not now, never has been, and will never be, a broadcast format."

      Other formats will be supported -

      "Sorry, that is not a correction, that is an opinion and not much use to professional users now."


      "There is no way to customize the organization of the project media. "Events" are nice for home movies, home photos and such, but organzation is clunky at best for a professional video editing environment, whether that's working in your home or in a facility.

      Media keeps wanting to copy itself to the local drive. We have over 60TB of media in our facility, we could not possibly copy that much to a local computer.

      No directory structure when media is offline. When media is offline you simply get a red screen with an exclamation point. There is no "Reconnect Media" function or any other function that will tell you where the media is supposed to be. With previous versions you were presented the original media path. Since this is based on iMovie, it expects that everything lives internally."

      Software -

      "No integration with DVDSP, SP, Motion, Color and even Photoshop, layered files are flattened by FCPX."

      Hardware -

      "See above"

      If it can't replace FCP7 yet then why release it... it is nothing more than iMovie Pro.

      Thanks, Apple for screwing a very loyal user base of professionals in favour of the more lucrative pro-sumer market. Avid and Adobe are only too happy and willing to provide solutions for the broadcast market. Professionals have never had a problem paying large amounts of money for products that support our industry, we understand that the market is small. We would rather pay well for a product that serves us well than be offered cheap tricks that don't serve our needs.

      1. GraemeH

        do your research

        3rd party software and hardware manufactures are not all going to roll over and die, SDI capture is always done with 3rd party hardware and software. Broadcast monitoring is done the same way.

        I've had some good chats with Blackmagic and AJA they are working on this stuff and releasing betas for Tape capture and monitoring.

        we have well over 100TB of rushes and programmes- they do not need to be copied to your local hard drive- best read the manual and check your preferences.

        no one should be under the impression that they can start up a production house with FCP X or move their production house to FCP X this week. wait until the software / hardware infrastructure around and within FCP X matures to your needs.

        we always choose the best tool for the job, be that FCP, Avid or Smoke it's only a tool- choose the best one for you, but you should get to grips with what feature sets are in actually place and when you use supporting hardware.

        It's going to be at least 6 months before anyone can make a serious dissuasion over FCP X and it's scalability and compatibility for large scale/long term implementations.

        Until then we still have FCP (7), Avid, Smoke After Effects

        If someone wants to make key decisions for a production house based on not actually knowing the feature set of an app, how it works or how 3rd party Hardware will integrate with it , with one days experience/trial- then i'm not sure they would be classed as a 'Pro' or a 'Realist'.

        1. Stephen Macken

          You seem to miss the point...

          Why produce an 'update/upgrade' to a product that requires the established professional user base to not buy it until it supports the functionality of the 'older' product, if it ever will; it makes no logical sense. FCPX is not an update/upgrade, it is a new product that has merged iMovie and Final Cut Express, call it iMovie Pro, if you will. It is most certainly NOT Final Cut Pro, not an update and most definitely not an upgrade.

          As a facility that uses Final Cut Pro in our workflow (along with Avid MC) we are annoyed with Apple calling their new product FCPX as it completely undermines the credibility of any post facility exclusively using FCP. FCPX has been positioned to appeal to the individual user who is using consumer/prosumer equipment, it is not aimed at post production facilities. Once upon a time, we sang the praises of FCP to our clients and fought an uphill battle to gain respect for Apple's emerging product in our broadcast market. Apple has completely destroyed that investment of time and energy. We will not be investing any time in the FCP argument going forward. Unlike some, we are in the fortunate position to have Avid MC in house too, as some clients could just not see FCP as a serious tool, no matter how hard we sold FCP to them.

          As a professional editor, I'm disappointed, as I had a preference for FCP, in spite of the fact that I have been instructing others how to use Avid professionally for some years now.

          I suppose it was inevitable. Apple is a consumer products company now, that's it. I wonder how many more revisions of the MacPro there will be before it disappears too.

  24. Stuart Duel

    Before; BEFORE?! You're living in the past Marg, quit living in the past!

    The original code base for FCP was written back before 1998 by Macromedia. For this type of software, where the technology surrounding it has advanced considerably, you'd have to say 13+ years is a pretty good run but you reach a point where it is too long in the tooth and you have to start over. Remember, this software was released before OS X was on the scene, so bear in mind the jump from OS 9 to OS X, Carbon to Cocoa, PPC to Intel and the jump from 32 to 64 bit (CPUs and the OS), so there would be all sorts of legacy crap gumming up the works after jumping through all those hoops. It was no doubt impractical, inefficient and/or impossible to bring the existing code base to 64bit goodness without further bogging it down.

    It should come as no surprise that it would, at some point, need to be completely rewritten from the ground up. It is also reasonable to expect, with such a major exercise, the release of this rewritten app would be missing a lot of features present in the previous version.

    Sure, sometimes you just want to slap someone at Apple. There's times where you think they're just doing things to deliberately piss people off. Sometimes they're so anal they risk disappearing up their own orifice. Keyed USB extension cables designed to ONLY connect with their own keyboards/mice comes to mind. But sometimes they do things, however inconvenient, because they simply have to. I think FPX falls into the latter.

    It's not like FCP has suddenly stopped working.

    If you're so keen to be on the bleeding edge, then you'll probably get a bit bloodied yourself. Me? I tend to sit back and wait for the dust to settle before venturing into the unknown. Maybe they will make a complete pigs breakfast of it, but it's a little early make that call.

    1. Adam T

      The price of progress

      "It's not like FCP has suddenly stopped working."

      Actually, it is, if you downloaded and ran FCPX without reading the installation notes (and you already have a previous Final Cut Studio install).

      I digress though. Out with the old and in with the new. A fine sentiment, but Apple have this habit of thinking they can change the way people do things overnight. That may be something they can get away with when dealing with the average sheep, sorry user, but it's not something you can do to a professional user base where the software is at the very core of users' businesses.

      The absolute MINIMUM they should have done, was provide a tool for converting FCP7 projects or xml to FCPX. They've already said such a tool will be forthcoming, but that's irrelevent - they should have held back on the release until the tool was ready. Instead, they've alienated half their users needlessly.

      3rd party hardware/plugins not working... doesn't that sound just like the Vista launch. Microsoft screwed up by not getting hardware manufacturers on board in time for release.

      "It is also reasonable to expect, with such a major exercise, the release of this rewritten app would be missing a lot of features present in the previous version."

      It's reasonable for something still in development; it's not reasonable for a 1.0 release. Even a Beta is essentially "All functionality present, with bugs". Not "Some functionality".

      Emperor's clothes. Apple are selling FCP in droves to the iMovie crowd, so I'm sure they don't give a shit what the Pro crowd think, since they're probably a teeny tiny percentage in the scheme of things.

      Apple computers are *not* for professionals anymore. Just accept it.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FCPX - the shiny new toy

    rendered with after effects and sony vegas pro, as long as apple doesn't break quicktime .mov file support again. What a joke, us quicktime users bitch and bitch about this and not a peep to admit apple changed their quicktime and broke .mov. But when it's the core application of "an industry standard" which has screwed the pooch, a thousand CCow complaints.

    The problem with apple is there's no feedback. A friggin disaster has to knock out their front windows to even get their attention.

  26. bazza Silver badge

    Is The Register selling tickets?

    Because I'm enjoying this show immensely!

    Just to stoke some flames, I think that a new version that can't read the previous version's files at all is crap software. Imagine telling a software developer that Apple's new dev tools won't import or compile their existing source code. I'm sure the dev would be justified in being furious.

    MS did a good thing (after complaints I imagine) with Office2k7 in producing a plugin for older versions to allow them to read the new file formats. That's the best possible philosophy when making big changes to a file format.

    Having lit that firework I shall now retire to a safe distance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you're enjoying this, you'll love this...

      Personally I think Apple have become a gadget company and are heading to only write apps for the consumer which is a much bigger market than professional editors but these editors are now left with aging software that no doubt will not run on newer hardware and more importantly can no longer get licenses. No doubt this will be reversed and Sir Steve will put it down to lay lines causing trouble with the website or something.

      Now there is nothing wrong with changing your business direction that but if you have a 10 seat editing suite running FCP and then the consumer FCPX which incidentally was shown at NAB (professional editors). I am in no way a professional editor but I can see tape is still widely used in professional services as it's still more reliable than storage that de-magnetizes over time, so it's

      FCPX may one day match FCP abilities no doubt with 3rd Party plugins but most professional editors will not wait and the slap in the face from Apple has shown so much disrespect for their "Pro" editors that Adobe will be quids in, especially as many have Premier when they bought After Effects, although many will return to the Daddy of Editors Media Composer but frankly Steve won't care as it's a fraction of the revenue of his overpriced gadgets and consumer software.

      Although Walter Murch, The Coen Brothers will no longer be able to use FCPX and I bet Pixar had something to say too, being owned by Sir Steve they would be using FCP. Maybe I'll send them the link to Lightworks.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    somewhere in the reg article

    .. was a post from someone who said they "will invest in ... Apple... in the blind faith..." ...

    I have no opinion on FCPX but that comment in itself says a lot about Apple users.

  28. Yves Kurisaki
    Thumb Up

    Journalism..who needs trusted sources anyway?

    My mate heard a guy in the pub say that his friend worked for a film editor once and his boss had said that he will stop using FCP because it's not pro enough. I think that's enough material right there to write an article about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The product is just out. El Reg have distilled the sentiment being felt and have included links to the forums where views are being expressed.

      Give them a few weeks and you might see a full, proper review. This was just a short article highlighting all did not seem well...

  29. Chads

    If the Pros don't like it they'll shop elsewhere

    A couple of professional editors post and get voted down? what's going on there?

    I've listen to most of the linked podcast and from the sound of it this release will not go into pro shops except for compatibility with incoming projects. There's just too much missing.

    I'm an FCE7 user (not a Pro) who's been thinking about upgrading to the full FCP. My problem now is that:

    - Multi camera tools have gone from FCPX. That was my primary reason to want to upgrade.

    - Even if I was prepared to take the risk and buy into FCP version 7, I can't because Apple have withdrawn it. This also means (for the 'you can always keep using FCP7' posters) that if you're an established FCP7 shop and you want to expand then you're stuffed because you can't buy any additional licences.

    When companies refused to migrate to Vista due to compatibility issues, MS allowed a 'downgrade' to XP. This FCPX situation is almost identical.

    This release will be good news for Adobe and Avid

  30. Magnus_Pym

    Ground up rewrite

    I'm in two minds about backwards compatibility. I like to be able run old files without a hitch but I am aware that software is built on rocky foundations and will start to crumble eventually (DOS extended memory and file name convention springs to mind). Apple seem a bit more willing to throw out the old stuff than other companies and the hardware is radically different to when it was first written. Probably in a version or two the benefits will really start to show.

  31. mike Banks

    I'm using it

    So far I'm very impressed at the speed that X runs at, make changes to colour on the fly just happen etc etc. True, it's early days and I can understand people's issues but I really like where this is heading and will be editing my second project on it this afternoon.

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