Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Final Cut Pro X

Yesterday Apple released an update to its Final Cut Pro video editing software, taking it to version 10 (or X, since that’s cooler). Pretty soon early adopters began venting their frustration over changes and omissions from the program compared to the previous version.
Final Cut Pro X runs on Intel Macs running Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later and is currently available for download from the Mac App Store for $299.99, with Motion 5 and Compressor 4 available for $49.99.
But it seems that a lot of the early adopters are unhappy. In the Mac App Store, Final Cut Pro X has three stars and the titles of the three reviews will give you an idea of what people are saying:
‘Incredibly disappointed!’
‘Extremely buggy , overly simplistic’
It’s just as bad in the Apple discussion forum. The two most popular threads over there now are:
  • Clam Down…Apple says missing features coming soon.
Two things seem to be at play here.
First is that people (who claim to be pros) have jumped into a new application of day one (many drawn in it seems by the promise of improvements offered by the new 64-bit architecture and GPU accelerated rendering) and tried to carry forward projects from the previous version (Final Cut Pro 7) to the new application only to run into problems. This seems like a dumb move to me, but I guess instant availability from the Mac App Store makes it easier for people to pull the trigger quickly on $300 software. What’s worth remembering is that installing Final Cut Pro X
Secondly, Apple seems to have removed stuff, moved stuff, and hidden other stuff from a well-established pro tool. moving/hiding/removing stuff in a pro tool is something that a software maker does at its own risk (look at the mess that Adobe has allowed a tool like Photoshop to become), so in many ways Apple’s committed a cardinal sin by messing around with Final Cut Pro too much.
Lesson: Don’t be in such a rush to spend $300 on software before knowing if it does what you want it to do.