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"I used it for ten minutes and it's the worst interface ever."
June 23, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Final Cut Pro backlash. Two months ago, Apple previewed the new 64-bit version of its popular professional video editing application, completely re-written and re-designed with loads of new, revolutionary features, an iMovie-like interface, and a deep price cut. Excitement and anticipation abounded. On Tuesday, it was released, and the excitement has been completely reversed. Unfortunately, as Apple typically does with all-new products, they left out a lot of features that users particularly needed (including backwards compatibility), and simultaneously killed the previous version, causing an unprecedented amount of confusion and anger in a matter of hours. Many people felt left in the lurch, others felt that Apple had abandoned the pro market without telling anyone, and still others prescribed patience.
posted by fungible (193 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like John Gruber's take on this, as I like his take on most things Apple.
posted by killdevil at 6:32 PM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


My usual RSS feeds have been very interesting to read today. Backlash seems like a slightly bland word for the reaction. It will be very interesting to see how Apple deals with this, since they have so utterly and completely destroyed functions that people need to do their jobs.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:33 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Realistically, the previous version still works, so it's up to the individual whether they want to wait for FCP to improve or switch applications. Vent, get it out of your system and then make a good business decision based on your business.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 PM on June 23, 2011


I'll be curious to see how this all plays out. When I first heard about the price cut, I was pretty excited, but now I'm going wait and see.
posted by brundlefly at 6:43 PM on June 23, 2011


I don't know if "killed" is exactly right. You can still use the old one, just not buy new copies of it.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:43 PM on June 23, 2011


You can still use the old one, just not buy new copies of it.

If there's a new version out there, Apple users must, by law and ancient custom, use it within 12 hours or die.
posted by DU at 6:45 PM on June 23, 2011 [60 favorites]


Yeah, I was all excited for this until the news of missing features started hitting. We were intending on trying it out in our office, but lack of multiclips killed that idea but quick. We'll see how it pans out, but as it stands right now FCPX is in no way an acceptable professional app.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:46 PM on June 23, 2011


I made the switch from Avid to Final Cut 10 years ago. In that time I have cut hundreds of commercials and several feature films on Final Cut Pro. My entire livelihood is based on knowing this one program, and I do pretty well. It only took me one look at the screenshots to realize Apple has made a colossal mistake in regards to the professional market. Every editor I've talked to has felt the same. They have removed the "pro" from Final Cut Pro and thrown their hat in the amateur market. There is no way I will be upgrading and I cannot fathom any of the shops I work for "upgrading" to this GarageBand looking bubbly neutered bullshit. Maybe they'll make enough from casual users to justify it, but the professional world simply will not accept this. This is the Windows ME of the editing world. Time to dust off that Avid keyboard.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:47 PM on June 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


I don't know if "killed" is exactly right. You can still use the old one, just not buy new copies of it.

While DU's answer was somewhat hyperbolic, the actual instructions for installing both of them are, well, decidedly un-Apple like, and begin with:
1. To create a new partition of your hard disk, follow instructions in Partitioning a disk. The partition must be large enough to contain all the files required by the version of Mac OS X you are installing, the applications you install, and enough room for projects and media.
[.....]
posted by autopilot at 6:50 PM on June 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


If David Pogue gets a hard-on about something, I pretty much write it off. FCP just threw professionals under the bus.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:50 PM on June 23, 2011


I'm a fanboi and I do love the look of FCPX but the lack of EDL/XML export is baffling. It's not hard to implement. I suspect it has a lot to do with the use of CoreData as the backing storage, which is just staggeringly inoperable with anything else (trust me, I've tried it).

I totally understand the inability to import FCP7. It would be great to have it but I can't imagine how it could have been achieved in a meaningful way.

But making it impossible to use in a diversified workflow -- just wow.
posted by unSane at 6:51 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cannot collaborate with other editors. You can't simply hand off a project file to another editor who has the same media like you could with previous versions of FCP. All of your project organization is now globally contained in the application rather than in your project file. You would literally have to give that other editor your computer to open your project with all of your organization.

Wait, what? Is this...is this true? This can't be true.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:54 PM on June 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


My personal take on it is that I'm still kind of excited. I haven't tried it yet (NEVER buy software the first month of release) but I think it's high time somebody rethought the 25 year old Avid interface most NLE programs still use. Unfortunately it's pretty clear this is still beta- like software, and they bungled the release. I hope they fix it.
posted by fungible at 6:54 PM on June 23, 2011


It doesn't support EDLS???!?!?!? That's hilarious.

How the fuck are we supposed to work with Telecine?

Honestly we should have seen this coming when they mutilated the functionality of the time remap tool in the interest of giving people auto-eased ramps. I haven't eased a speed ramp since Final Cut 7 came out. I have to do that shit in After Effects because Johnny Wedding Video couldn't figure out how to operate splines.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:55 PM on June 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Since I am not personally affected by all of this, I get to just sit back and be amused by the reaction here. Apple/Steve have never cared much about backwards compatibility when it might get away of developing a better UX and new products unburdened by history. The iMac didn't come with a floppy drive, Mac OS X only ran old software under emulation, and now FCP X. It is likely that within the due course of time many of the features that are missing will return, I should think. But what is even more likely is that Apple/Steve could not care less about the (order of) 100,000 current users of FCP 7 if they think they can sell a million or two million copies of FCP X in the next few years. (Scale these numbers by an order of magnitude if necessary.)
posted by silby at 6:57 PM on June 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Complaining about lack of importing FCP 7 is dumb though, you never upgrade a project halfway through. If you're a pro you should know better.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:58 PM on June 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


They're thinking "old hammer, old projects; new hammer, new projects." Except the new hammer is a ponyweight and you can't share your nails with anyone else. On the other hand, all the kids will get FCPX and that will be what they edit all their youtube videos on, and when they get out of film school they'll be ready to go on FCPXV which will be pretty kick ass.

So it's going to be a sucky couple of years. I can see the strategic decision Apple made here, including cutting off sales of Studio (don't want anyone new to learn it), but it's really fucking annoying if you need to be building a goddamn house now.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:58 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


... except, of course, that they didn't take away your old hammer.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:00 PM on June 23, 2011


So it's going to be a sucky couple of years. I can see the strategic decision Apple made here, including cutting off sales of Studio (don't want anyone new to learn it), but it's really fucking annoying if you need to be building a goddamn house now

Sounds like a good plan until the next hot codec or camera comes out with a proprietary format, and FCS isn't upgraded to support it, and Avid is... and they lose their entire pro marketshare overnight.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:01 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Final Cut Pro was a very flexible program, which allowed users to use it in multiple ways. There were 3 to 6 ways to do any major function, which allowed users to personalize their editing experience with it.

It seems like FCPX has a single way it wants users to use it, and that way is completely non-standard operating practice, and doesn't allow users to keep doing the same things they've been doing for 11 years. It is one thing to add new functionality, or new ways to edit or use the software, but abandoning things like capturing or editing to tape, EDLs, XML export, OMF export, multiclips, tracks (!), the ability to separate windows and move them around across multiple monitors, the ability to maintain layers from Photoshop documents, etc. etc. means that current workflows have to be abandoned. Users wanted MORE, not LESS, and what FCPX offers is less in basic functionality. They've abandoned Color, which is one of the best color correction/grading applications out there - I can't even begin to get my head around what's happened here.

Final Cut exists as part of a larger professional ecosystem of many different programs from many different companies. They've taken software that existed in the middle of professional's day-to-day workflows and made it so it no longer works. You can't send audio out of FCPX to ProTools, you can't export an EDL, which can be a delivery requirement, etc. It's really unbelievable.

I both edit using Final Cut, and teach editing, and this is really a shock.
posted by MythMaker at 7:01 PM on June 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


*burns FCS2.dmg to a dvd
posted by nathancaswell at 7:05 PM on June 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Complaining about lack of importing FCP 7 is dumb though, you never upgrade a project halfway through. If you're a pro you should know better.

I hear you, but there are any number of reasons why someone would need to integrate an old project into a new project.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:09 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, trackless editing? What a fucking nightmare. Your mixer is going to expect dialog on track 1, alt dialog on track 2, atmos on track 3... without that... holy shit. How do you even set up the board?
posted by unSane at 7:09 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


So I literally found out about this yesterday because I don't follow shit that closely... I actually thought about posting it here but figured someone would do a better job than me.

What other insane shit have they done besides disable EDL support, lose multicam, lose the ability for you to manage your own media, eviscerate the preferences, and redesign the UI so it looks like GarageBand?

Does it have AJA support or was that a casualty of war also? Can I still output to a broadcast monitor for clients or do they expect me simply to burn a DVD in iDVD for Aunt Ginny?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:10 PM on June 23, 2011


they have so utterly and completely destroyed functions that people need to do their jobs.

I doubt Apple cares; as silby says, the money Apple's chasing is in consumer/youtube buyers, not in professionals. Maybe five years from now it'll be professionally usable, maybe not.
posted by hattifattener at 7:10 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hear you, but there are any number of reasons why someone would need to integrate an old project into a new project.

Yeah, fair enough.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:11 PM on June 23, 2011


Cannot collaborate with other editors. You can't simply hand off a project file to another editor who has the same media like you could with previous versions of FCP.

Apple did something similar with Aperture when it first launched by forcing photographers to import their images into .pkg files that would only work with Aperture and nothing else. Professional photographers balked and Apple ignored them until Adobe launched Lightroom and really started kicking their ass and then all of a sudden the import to .pkg became and option.

By that time it didn't matter and Lightroom is now the defacto workflow tool and Aperture is an app that should be end-of-life'd any day now. If Adobe is smart they will position Premiere as a replacement to FCP 7. At the very least I bet Avid is licking their chops.

I love Apple products but they can be some arrogant mofos.
posted by photoslob at 7:11 PM on June 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


If Adobe is smart they will position Premiere as a replacement to FCP 7.

This. God, I haven't used Premiere since 1998 or so. It's... gotten better, right?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:14 PM on June 23, 2011


It was a Carbon to Cocoa port. That's pretty much a rewrite.

Otherwise you would have been running your 32-bit FCP on your octocore 64-bit Xeon with 64GB of RAM until the cows come home.

It's going to be a rough 24 months so buckle up.
posted by Talez at 7:17 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This. God, I haven't used Premiere since 1998 or so. It's... gotten better, right?

I loaded up a then-recent copy a few years ago, and I thought the versions from the mid 90s were better.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:17 PM on June 23, 2011


In fact "Right-Clicking" has been completely removed from the entire application.

Reading these reviews is actually getting amusing
posted by nathancaswell at 7:17 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Indeed, Lightroom isn't perfect (and indeed is the most limited in actual photo editing capability of the RAW products I've used) but what keeps me running it all day every day is its relatively painless workflow management, from import to print/publish. I can get shit done. And, you know, that's how the money comes in.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:19 PM on June 23, 2011


Avid was based on an offline tape workflow, with the play and record windows. FCP was based on the Avid paradigm. I totally understand the desire to get away from this since most workflow is not tape based any more. When I use FCP 7 what I do is play everything into the timeline and then edit there so I am only ever really using one window. Film decks only ever had one window. So that's not a big deal. But the workflow really is.
posted by unSane at 7:21 PM on June 23, 2011


They also killed off Final Cut Server with zero warning. The web pages are even gone. I hope no companies invested any time or effort in actually using a product that Apple was selling hard a month ago. Although at this point, it's almost become a cliche so I don't know why anyone would buy anything from them on the enterprise side.
posted by smackfu at 7:21 PM on June 23, 2011


Wait, you can't capture video from tapes?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:21 PM on June 23, 2011


You can still use the old one, just not buy new copies of it.

And if your old license was per seat, and you want to hire any new employees... sorry.
posted by smackfu at 7:24 PM on June 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


Although at this point, it's almost become a cliche so I don't know why anyone would buy anything from them on the enterprise side.

Apple did the same thing with the XServe market - totally gone. Useless. That could have been some really nice stuff, but noooo.
posted by odinsdream at 7:27 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Down the road, when Apple goes to running on ARM only, you will not be able to run the current version and any previous work will be stranded on a dead platform. I know a few people who have kept OS 9 apps running on legacy hardware because they couldn't replace some third party hardware that they needed, it's a pretty fragile existence.

Unfortunately for pro users Apple's long term vision is all about selling consumer level products to consumers. They may keep putting out their tower computers for a while but eventually the impracticality of keeping two platforms going when one of them makes a billion times more than the other will mean the old OS will either be sidelined or put on life support. The other problem is you're smart and innovative and work at Apple you want to work on the cool new stuff not the old junk, because that's where money and opportunity will be. So even if they keep OSX on Intel going for a while, it's not going to be a first class product.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:29 PM on June 23, 2011


As much as I am addicted to OS X, it wouldn't take much to have me exploring Linux at this point.
posted by unSane at 7:34 PM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


The whole "just keep your editing system time capsuled with FCS2 or 3" idea doesn't work in this field. Are there people out there on FCP 4.0? What do they do for RED workflow? What do they do with Phantom? How do they interface with After Effects? There are new cameras and technologies that come out constantly. A NLE needs to be updated to keep up with them or else it is useless. Everyone wants to shoot on the new toy. How many jobs are you guys getting now that were shot on Alexa? Everyone wants to use it, it's the hot new thing.

You can't just be like, so don't upgrade. It doesn't work like that. Anyone remember when the HVX came out and we were all using P2 import? What happens when something else comes out and Apple doesn't fold that import tool into FCS3? You're fucked is what.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:35 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, Apple decides that one Quark in the world isn't enough... Avid must be popping the champagne corks. They're now all but assured a monopoly.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:37 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, you can't capture video from tapes?

You can capture video from any Firewire capable deck, but only streaming. You can't recapture the footage through a batch capture, and you can't make EDLs.

Amusingly to me, this is the feature I miss the least. Tapeless is pretty much already standard, and anything you need from a tape you'd probably capture at full-res anyways, because storage is cheap. Thus EDLs are unnecessary.

This is definitely the future. However it's pretty clear a lot of people are still pretty dependent on those missing features for now.
posted by fungible at 7:38 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that Pogue seemingly rewrote the first few paragraphs of that column in place: "they pointed out various flaws with the program after an earlier version of this column was posted online on Wednesday." I guess the paper version is still official over there.

He has an update elsewhere on the Times site: Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X
posted by smackfu at 7:38 PM on June 23, 2011


Avid must be popping the champagne corks. They're now all but assured a monopoly.

It may seem that way, but don't forget... Apple could buy both Avid and Adobe tomorrow using its pocket change.
posted by fungible at 7:40 PM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


EDLs are unnecessary.

Unless you're trying to work with a high end telecine facility. Or are they supposed to do a color session on the entire film, at $5000/hour and we work at 2k?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:41 PM on June 23, 2011


So yeah, this is a good example of what is wrong with lots of tech media. There were positive reviews by tech writers who don't know shit about anything. Did Gizmodo do an "unboxing photo" set of them getting their early press copy?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:43 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The iMac didn't come with a floppy drive, Mac OS X only ran old software under emulation


This is not at all like dropping the floppy drive, or the emulation. This is more like dropping support for any floppy disk, even when you have a workable external. Baffling.

This is a bad decision in the sense that you're just burning your users after you spent the better half of the 2000's building a user base with a decent, respectable product. Sure, FCP was never perfect, but it was reliable for the pro-am and pro market. The past 4 years have seen little to no real advancement in program design, just an increasing lack of compatibility with newer tech. At least the old version still worked with both somewhat recent and older equipment you'd find in most production houses.

Ok, so FCP's list of issues was getting larger. It was time for a rebuild from the ground up. Fine. No problem here. But I did not expect to have it turn out like this. But why, why piss off so many users like this? How does this release do anything but give the product a bad rep for years? I've already heard a few editor friends of mine take their Intel Mac Pros and just run Windows and Sony Vegas (for example) on them, rather than deal with this situation, until Apple gets its head out of it's ass. And these people are/were fans of the hardware and software for video editing professionally.

They have burned a lot of bridges here. Even if they fix this in a year, it'll take a couple years after that to get FCP's reputation back as a reliable program to invest in. This didn't need to happen.

This is not about just one piece of software. Apple made a "pro" version of software that is so "not pro", it's causing long-time users to change operating systems entirely. This does not bode well for the future, with a post-Steve Jobs Apple looming ahead eventually.

I originally was a Windows guy in the early 90's. One of the things that drew me to Apple was the great pro audio and video software and reliable (compared to Windows) platform. From the late 90's on, I was a dedicated Mac user. When I had big projects, I could trust a Mac to get me through with the least hassle possible. If this is a sign of more crap to come, it looks like that is going to change.

Who made this decision? John Sculley?
posted by chambers at 7:43 PM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


So yeah, this is a good example of what is wrong with lots of tech media.

In this particular case, Pogue should have been clear that he was reviewing it from the perspective of a step-up from iMovie, not as an actual pro editing tool. That's why he got so much flak.
posted by smackfu at 7:47 PM on June 23, 2011


Primary video and audio are "always synched" because we're too dumb to sync shit on our own and the -frame indicators were a "constant headache".

What happens if you want to use the audio from one clip under the video from another. God this is such a disaster.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:49 PM on June 23, 2011


Wow, I thought $1800/hr for transfer in Chicago was expensive! Who in NYC is getting $5K an hour?
posted by higginba at 7:49 PM on June 23, 2011


...I don't understand why Pogue wrote that follow-up though. Try to reconcile these statements: "I wrote my review from the perspective of an advanced amateur; I’m not a professional editor." vs. "But in this post, I’m going to address the concerns of professional video editors, one by one." People should know when they are out of their depth.
posted by smackfu at 7:50 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


While Final Cut Pro X works just fine with a second computer monitor — you just choose Window -> Show Events on Second Display (or Window -> Show Viewer on Second Display) — there are complaints that it can’t connect to an external video monitor (TV), which pros feel offers better color fidelity.

What a fucking apologist hack. Yeah, we've got a crazy feeling that a broadcast monitor offers better color.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:51 PM on June 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


Was wondering if this was going to end up here. I played around with a friend's deck for just about two days. It's truly iMovie Pro in every sense of the label. Yes, I see where they want to help Grandma (pick your image, Johnny Wedding Guy, Hobby RC Filmographer, Guy With Camera) create videos more intuitively in a digital frontier. I get that. Sell alot more $299's that way. It also feels rushed, though, because it's missing half of the functionality that FCP 7 had and they're already saying "Ohh we're working on implementing that soon, don't worry."

Okay, back up, full disclosure: Former professional Avid editor, offline and online, taught most of my freakin film !Q#%)( school Avid when we first got our Xpress's way back when.

If you don't know, Avid was (is) the gold standard of Hollywood(tm) film and TV production. They were in there at the right place at the right time and they basically have a lock on the industry. After they wisely bought ProTools, they kind of leveraged out the audio post market too, but I digress..

So, anyway, FCP was like this annoying gnat in my ear that started buzzing somewhere around '01. '02 maybe? Started seeing all the press for it as an alternative indie/hobbyist NLE system. Hey, an NLE on an Apple, that'll be neat. And it was kind of cute, but it was very hobby-ish. I kept cutting away on my Media Composer....

'04, '05, I'm out of the business, but I'm still consulting here and there, and I'm seeing more and more Indie filmmakers posting ads for FC editors. And I'm like, huh, so I'll look at the software again. And you know what, it was more polished. Still not an Avid, but I could see more work getting done on it.

Now, '06, I clearly remember, that's when I about went on purely emotional outburst in my old school's equipment lab saying "You did WHAT?! You dumped ALL your AVID decks for FCP decks? What if any of your !#()%*!# film students want to become an editor when they grow the !#()% up?!" ... blank stares. "Hey, we're indie, man!" Shaking my head.. !

But shit, 2007 comes around, and the trades have even MORE lines looking for FCP editors. It was pretty cheap to put a decent FC rig together, Avid is having a time trying to divest themselves of being a hardware+software platform into a software platform, you know, so they make more inroads.

Anyway, enough old man story time, I'm literally stunned by how botched this release is. It makes MobileMe look like a brilliant release by comparison. And I guarantee you, the Avid guys (who are now all software, and holy shit, you can get a full Media Composer install for under $2000!!) are dancing in the fuckin' streets. Dancing in the fuckin' streets, their competitor -- at least, who they were wrong losing market share to, -- has gone and shit all over their own product.

Avid was pretty brilliant, too, been getting mails for months upon the lead up to this saying "Hey, want to step up to a better NLE? If you're a FC owner, trade up to Avid MC for like 60% off. That deal's done, btw, expired pre FCP X launch.

Amazing... just amazing how they destroyed any professional use of that product.
posted by cavalier at 7:54 PM on June 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


Who in NYC is getting $5K an hour?

I'm not a producer so I don't know the numbers for sure, but I'd imagine that the high end places like The Mill, or Company 3 charge upwards of $3,000/hour if they're not cutting you a deal... and once you factor in scan times, transcoding fees, etc you could easily push $5k/hour.

The fact is, it's just not practical to say "tape is dead" yet. You can't scan and color 5 hours worth of negative for a :30.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:55 PM on June 23, 2011


Professional editors should (1) learn to tell what’s really missing from what’s just been moved around, (2) recognize that there’s no obligation to switch from the old program yet, (3) monitor the progress of FCP X and its ecosystem, and especially (4) be willing to consider that a radical new design may be unfamiliar, but may, in the long term, actually be better.

This guy has no idea what he's talking about. Literally, none.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:57 PM on June 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've spent too much time talking to people about this lately, but whatever.

I think the release was badly handled, and they could have avoided a lot of this by waiting a couple of months and getting at least some more features in. I think the App Store release means the end of two-year version cycles, though, so you should see lots of additions very soon.

The most urgent missing features (mostly multicam) will be in there very shortly. Apple has apparently said as much. People are complaining about lack of XML export, which isn't true, there are XML files, just a new format (which is good, because the old Final Cut XML format was pretty messy, I should know, I've written a lot of code to parse and generate it).

Now, the news of Python scripting built in (although not enabled yet) is very exciting, that'll both fix the EDL problem, and open up a bunch of other possibilities.

Capture from and master to tape isn't actually a huge deal. As I'm writing this, I'm doing a big batch capture from HDCAM SR tape, and I'm doing it in BlackMagic Design's Media Express instead of FCP, because it's easier to do there. Media Express is free.

I spent about an hour chatting with one of the developers of FCPX at NAB after the unveiling, and I'm convinced they're doing this right. They apparently threw away two rewrites from scratch before doing this one, and from what I can see, the architecture is awesome. We get:
  • Fully 64-bit application
  • Blazing speed (it's a lot faster to work with than FCP7)
  • Complete color management (this is a huge deal, since it's been broken in FCP since the beginning)
  • Full 32-bit image pipeline (to go with your color management, old FCP used to drop to 8-bit rendering if you for instance dared to want to render some RGB graphics into your timeline)
  • Background renders and format conversion
  • The first major rethink of the editing interface and workflow in what, 15 years? (This is a good thing, really. Although people will need to get used to it.)
  • Automatic clip metadata, with stuff that amounts to a magical little editing assistant in your computer
The point is that FCP is an editing application. In my work I tend to use FCP7 for a bunch of stuff beyond editing, but I think it's 100% correct to focus on the editing experience first when you're rewriting an editing app.

So, I think they kind of botched the release, but I also think this is going to be huge. Give it a few months to stabilize and get the most essential missing features back in.

It's pretty amazing how people think that just because the feature isn't there right now, it can never ever be added back in, or that just because it's not like Avid or old FCP, it won't ever work for "professionals", whatever the hell that is (I might be one).
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:59 PM on June 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


nathancaswell: "Primary video and audio are "always synched" because we're too dumb to sync shit on our own and the -frame indicators were a "constant headache".

What happens if you want to use the audio from one clip under the video from another. God this is such a disaster
"

I can tell you're very well informed from looking at the screenshots of this program you said you'll never update to.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:04 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's pretty amazing how people think that just because the feature isn't there right now, it can never ever be added back in, or that just because it's not like Avid or old FCP, it won't ever work for "professionals", whatever the hell that is

We're pissed because they are selling us a big, wiggly Larvae, and are selling it to us with the promise (c'mon, trust us...) of it one day being a Butterfly.

This whole thing is making me miss the old NewTek Toaster and Toaster Flyer systems I used to use.

/Star Wipe

to

/Kiki windowshade pull

to

/I miss that.
posted by chambers at 8:06 PM on June 23, 2011


Give it a few months to stabilize and get the most essential missing features back in.

You're saying this to Apple right? Through your time machine, telling them to wait instead of releasing it too soon and alienating their installed users?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:06 PM on June 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm sure most of the negativity is because people were so excited after the NAB keynote. The keynote focused on all the little and big problems that were fixed by the new version. Then the software is actually released.... and they find can't actually use it to do their jobs. Ouch.
posted by smackfu at 8:07 PM on June 23, 2011


Now, the news of Python scripting built in (although not enabled yet) is very exciting, that'll both fix the EDL problem, and open up a bunch of other possibilities.

So we just have to get every Telecine house and Flame artist in the country open to the idea of this new, yet-unenabled Python solution, then actually implement it in the software and we should be all set!

This despite the fact that XML has been around for years and I've talked to post houses trying to get around the way that FCP currently botches speed changes in EDLs and I've asked them if I could give them an XML and they've just blankly been like "what the fuck is an XML? Give me an EDL."

I can tell you're very well informed from looking at the screenshots of this program you said you'll never update to.

Nice.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:09 PM on June 23, 2011


As much as I'd love the idea of advancing NLE (non linear editing, sorry) into the next generation, as much as I'd love a complete digital workflow, etc, those are all neat conceptual things -- but this affects production going on today. Tomorrow. If they had called it "SuperOmegaCutter" and talked about it being a next gen editorial system, I could enjoy watching it grow. To your point, Joakim, yes, background rendering or faster rendering = yay. But I don't think the majority of the "pro" FCP users were looking to get their whole game changed. Shouldn't be called FCP, or shouldn't have been released this soon ahead of features like multicam and EDL (multicam! FFS!) missing.

A joke I keep hearing is they went from 7-X so they could fall back to 8 when the shitstorm overpowers them. Your mention of the guy saying they went through two versions kind of shoots that theory, though..

And I'm probably a luddite by this point, well, hell I'm not on a Steenbeck table, but I'm reminded of a quote I'll promptly butcher.. "I know Avid. Avid is a good product. This, this is not Avid." (Statement void in amateur/non online sensitive/home use)
posted by cavalier at 8:09 PM on June 23, 2011


nathancaswell: "Now, the news of Python scripting built in (although not enabled yet) is very exciting, that'll both fix the EDL problem, and open up a bunch of other possibilities.

So we just have to get every Telecine house and Flame artist in the country open to the idea of this new, yet-unenabled Python solution, then actually implement it in the software and we should be all set!

This despite the fact that XML has been around for years and I've talked to post houses trying to get around the way that FCP currently botches speed changes in EDLs and I've asked them if I could give them an XML and they've just blankly been like "what the fuck is an XML? Give me an EDL."
"

You completely misunderstand. The Python scripting will let anyone write a small script to export EDLs, or old FCP XML, or whatever. So people can keep accepting whatever files they used to. Yeah, someone will need to program it, but if no one else will, I'll happily do it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:12 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


someone will need to program it, but if no one else will, I'll happily do it.

you should work for Apple then
posted by nathancaswell at 8:12 PM on June 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


chambers: "This whole thing is making me miss the old NewTek Toaster and Toaster Flyer systems I used to use.

/Star Wipe

to

/Kiki windowshade pull

to

/I miss that
"

Which reminds me, the coolest thing at NAB this year was probably Kiki Stockhammer still hawking NewTek products.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:13 PM on June 23, 2011


nathancaswell: "someone will need to program it, but if no one else will, I'll happily do it.

you should work for Apple then
"

Maybe, but I'm way too happy making movies, using, amongst a lot of other things, their products.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:14 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unsane: As much as I am addicted to OS X, it wouldn't take much to have me exploring Linux at this point.

So... what's the pro video editing world look like over on Linux, these days? I'm just curious.
posted by pts at 8:15 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


KIKI STOCKHAMMER WAS HAWKING NEWTEK PRODUCTS?!

(goes back in time, sets self on fire for wondering about attending NAB then cancelling)

God. An Amiga 2000 and a video board and you had a $20,000 or so switching/video system. Amazing thing, that Toaster.
posted by cavalier at 8:16 PM on June 23, 2011


pts: "Unsane: As much as I am addicted to OS X, it wouldn't take much to have me exploring Linux at this point.

So... what's the pro video editing world look like over on Linux, these days? I'm just curious
"

Nonexistent. But a lot of color correction systems and the like are on Linux. None of them are free, though.

By the way, someone said it was a shame they abandoned Color, since it was "one of the best CC systems". Compared to what? It was low end even when it was called Final Touch, before Apple bought it, and the only thing it had going for it was price. Now that Resolve on the Mac is 999 dollars, and there's even a free version, Color is a dead end. It makes perfect sense to drop it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:18 PM on June 23, 2011


cavalier: "KIKI STOCKHAMMER WAS HAWKING NEWTEK PRODUCTS?!

(goes back in time, sets self on fire for wondering about attending NAB then cancelling)
"

Oh yeah, she doesn't even look like she's aged much since those ads in Amiga World. Ah, those were the days.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:21 PM on June 23, 2011


I edit video on Linux every day using Autodesk software, but it's the farthest thing in the world from cheap.
posted by higginba at 8:22 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right. To Linux, everyone! The next time a shop calls me up and tries to book me, I'll be sure to confirm that they have a Linux system with GNUditor installed, or whatever the fuck.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:24 PM on June 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


nathancaswell: "Right. To Linux, everyone! The next time a shop calls me up and tries to book me, I'll be sure to confirm that they have a Linux system with GNUditor installed, or whatever the fuck"

It'd probably be good if you calmed down a little and tried to contribute constructively to the thread instead of just lashing out at anything, sputtering "PREPOSTEROUS" and "OUTRAGEOUS" at anything you disagree with.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:25 PM on June 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


So... what's the pro video editing world look like over on Linux, these days? I'm just curious.
posted by pts


Come on now. It's like during election season when a voter says "if X is elected I'm leaving the country". 99 percent will never follow through.

I'm moving to Linux is something said out of frustration. Don't take them serious, much less actually call them out on it.
posted by justgary at 8:30 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here you go guys: the future. It might not support EDLs, but it can do OGG VORBIS and it has an "Oil Painting" video effect filter.

(This actually is, I believe, the "top" video editor on Linux)
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:33 PM on June 23, 2011


You know what really sucks? Avid. They probably are gloating now. I get the feeling they'll regret it in a couple of years, but right now, they are on top, and their application (MC5) SUCKS BALLS. I've been using it 15 years and I hate it hate it hate it.

This is like when Andrew Breitbart was right about Weiner. GRRRRRR
posted by fungible at 8:34 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Threeway Handshake: "Here you go guys: the future. It might not support EDLs, but it can do OGG VORBIS and it has an "Oil Painting" video effect filter.

(This actually is, I believe, the "top" video editor on Linux
"

Free video editing software on Linux does pretty much suck, but not because of Cinelerra, which is and has always been total shit. Kino and PiTiVi are probably closer to the state of the art, although both are more suitable for comparing to iMovie and such.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:37 PM on June 23, 2011


It'd probably be good if you calmed down a little and tried to contribute constructively to the thread instead of just lashing out at anything, sputtering "PREPOSTEROUS" and "OUTRAGEOUS" at anything you disagree with.

Rather than personally argue with you, which you seem intent on doing, I've instead elected to sign up for the free trial of Avid Media Composer 5 and brush up on my Avid skills. Cheers.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:47 PM on June 23, 2011


nathancaswell: "It'd probably be good if you calmed down a little and tried to contribute constructively to the thread instead of just lashing out at anything, sputtering "PREPOSTEROUS" and "OUTRAGEOUS" at anything you disagree with.

Rather than personally argue with you, which you seem intent on doing, I've instead elected to sign up for the free trial of Avid Media Composer 5 and brush up on my Avid skills. Cheers
"

Good for you! (I don't mean that sarcastically.) That's definitely a lot more productive. If Avid MC is the tool best suited to your needs, then I would be a fool to tell you not to use it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:50 PM on June 23, 2011


Oh, hi! Greetings from the server market! Good to see that we have more company here at the Shelter For Apple's Abandoned Professional Market. Frankly, I'm surprised that they even still sell workstations, much less applications to run on them. I guess the big problem here is that Final Cut isn't primarily used on iOS.
posted by indubitable at 9:03 PM on June 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can tell you're very well informed from looking at the screenshots of this program you said you'll never update to.

So, do you not believe in the validity of reviews at a conceptual level? Sure, just because every bit of information released about this software suggests a massive fuckup and loss of function, but people should throw down $300 anyway before they can say that it was a massive fuckup and loss of function?
posted by kafziel at 9:19 PM on June 23, 2011


kafziel: "I can tell you're very well informed from looking at the screenshots of this program you said you'll never update to.

So, do you not believe in the validity of reviews at a conceptual level? Sure, just because every bit of information released about this software suggests a massive fuckup and loss of function, but people should throw down $300 anyway before they can say that it was a massive fuckup and loss of function
"

Not at all. I was commenting on a specific complaint that's actually a non-issue, said complaint coming from someone who earlier in the thread said he had taken "one look at the screenshots" and would never upgrade. If he had for instance watched a video of the program in action, or taken the time to ask someone who had used it, he would have known that this wasn't actually a problem.

Other problems and lacks of functionality have no bearing on this specific issue.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:22 PM on June 23, 2011


I believe I read just earlier this week in one industry rag or another that even the NEXT planned Avid release wasn't going to be 64-bit. 'Course I'm almost exclusively a camera guy, and I'll be delighted to be wrong. Still, I'm sure glad I took that sweetheart deal on Sony Vegas a couple of months ago (tried Premiere a couple of years back and couldn't stomach it).
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 9:24 PM on June 23, 2011


Plan and simple, calling the product Final Cut Pro X was disingenuous.

I don't believe that these features are merely missing, sadly. I believe that these features (with the exception of Multicam, which I can't imagine not being supported sooner or later) are indicative of a change in direction, away from an already crowded, competitive, and rapidly evolving market, and towards strengthening the Apple-centric universe of content delivery and consumption.

Look at what FCPX is - it's a wonderful tool for producing content for iOS devices and the web. Look at what FCPX isn't - compatible in any way, shape, or form with pre-existing workflows or SMPTE standards.

FCS 3 was a hodgepodge of different software designed by different companies, all relying on a 12-year old 32-bit framework for media management and convoluted procedures for roundtripping content amongst the applications. Likewise, the AV Foundation framework used in iOS, Lion, and, indeed, FCPX and QTX, and is hardware-optimized for very specific formats (in stark contrast to, say, Flash). And at the same time, Apple has very little incentive to drive content away from an iTunes-centric cycle of media consumption.

Apple is battling for web supremacy, now - with Google dropping H.264 support for Chrome, Apple reluctant to add WebM support for Safari, and Adobe struggling to keep Flash alive in an HTML5 / iOS-compatible world... I mean, Apple is trying to do away with every sort of non-cloud-based format, be it a DVD for your software installation, a Blu-Ray for your Apple TV, a cd for your... anything, and, apparently, a tape to traffic your spot or submit your film. Apple wants your TV to come through the internet, your music on the cloud, your movies rentable on iTunes, and they want to endorse content that will drive their eco-system.

If Apple releases DVD Studio Pro 5, I'll eat my shoe. I'll be equally surprised if they don't EOL Color either, there's no use in continuing to support standards for an industry you're ultimately competing with. Avid, Blackmagic, Autodesk, Iridas, and so forth can concern themselves with that... if they'll even run on Lion.

And, to that end, why even make Mac Pros anymore? All they do is provide pesky choices. With an iMac and Thunderbolt, you have your display built right-in and your graphics card options quite limited - Apple can "automatically gamma correct" whatever they want, so long as it looks best on an Apple device.
posted by bxyldy at 9:28 PM on June 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't think Avid will really win out here. Their solutions exist in an entirely different stratosphere than Final Cut. People like my roommate (and many of my co-workers) owe their careers to Final Cut Pro -- when the barrier to entry for the profession drops from $25,000 to $500, a lot of new and exciting opportunities open up. Odds are, you've seen some of my roommate's films. Odds are also good that you've seen a film/show that was directed/edited by somebody who cut their teeth on FCP in their spare time (which encompasses basically any editor under the age of 35).

As far as I can tell, Avid has not left the world of Television, which is profoundly expensive and backward-looking. TV people are some of the most technologically conservative folks that I've ever met. (I routinely need to remind our "tape" people that H.264 MP4 files should not be created by playing out MPEG2 assets into our "live" MPEG4 encoders in realtime, and had to yell at one of our engineers for ripping out an entire rack of Cat5e cable, and replacing it with *shielded* Cat6 "to improve the signal." This was in the past week. The world of video is still going to take some time to catch up to the world of IT. They're not luddites....they're just very set in their ways, and skeptical of new developments. To be fair, the TV and motion picture industries have had more than their fair share of "the next big things" that never really pan out)

Oh, and "TV money" is very different from "IT money." In my world of IT, $10,000 is a fairly big purchase. In the world of television, that doesn't pay for a camera lens, much less the widget that allows you to focus the lens (I'm not kidding). This is why Avid can charge $25k+ per seat, and call it a bargain. Independent filmmaking literally has no place in the world of Avid, Thompson, and Grass Valley. (And, yes. These companies still dominate a lot of live workflows — Apple has never been competitive in live/newsroom/sports environments.)

Like I said....TV studios have lots of money to burn. Apple may have just lost themselves the pro-pro segment, but they'll have plenty of loyalists and budding professionals that will stick around. I can 100% sympathize with the design decisions made with FCP X, and welcome the death of the tape-based workflow with open arms. Apple are pretty much the only player in the game who are looking forward, and there's something to be said for that.

That being said... Apple's core weaknesses are bubbling to the surface here. Final Cut Pro X in its current form should have been a public beta. Apple could have saved themselves a lot of negative PR by actually field-testing one of their products with actual professionals for once. Industry input would have been very valuable here. Although, as I alluded to earlier, "professionals" will often react poorly to new paradigms for bad reasons; however, they'll also be able to point out that studios have millions invested in EDL-based workflows that cannot simply be tossed out overnight. It's unlikely the my facility will ever be able to support FCPX until it has some kind of EDL support. It's simply not worth tossing out our multimillion dollar investment in our EDL-based ingest, browsing, and server systems.

Adobe kept Lightroom in public beta for years before releasing it as a commercial product. Frankly, the original versions sucked (as did Apple's Aperture at the time). Once they got their act together and fixed the problems in the early betas, they released a commercial product that virtually revolutionized the photography industry. They didn't catch flack for this, because the product was launched alongside Photoshop, was priced competitively, and they took the time to actually polish off the product before releasing it. Derail: Like FCP7, Photoshop is very powerful, but is starting to become obviously long in the tooth. FCPX should have been released for free as a beta, alongside a hypothetical FCP 8.

That said, I also don't buy the argument that FCPX's usability improvements are "amateurish." FCP X is missing features, but many of the new features that improve workflow and usability are certainly welcome in a professional environment, and can just as easily be ignored if desired. Macs are often derided as being "toys," although those of us who have been using them for decades know that Apple's design philosophy allows creative professionals to focus on the actual art of creating, rather than obsessing over nitty-gritty technical details.

As a professional, let me be the first to say: Fuck the SMPTE standards. Fuck EDLs. Fuck the $300,000 cameras. Fuck the backward ways that we continue to do things that were developed around technologies that have been dead for decades. One only needs to look at the H264 licensing debacle to see how blind, stupid, and backwards the industry is (despite employing the very smart people who developed H264).

However, backwards compatibility is important, as is the ability to plan for the future. Apple should have come forward, released a beta of FCP X, and said "Listen, guys. Tape is dead. We'll support EDLs until 2013, but be prepared to transition to a file-based workflow that doesn't revolve around tape paradigms. Here's the formats we'll be using. They're open to anyone. It's time to move forward." I can see there being a lot of acceptance for that sort of move. But, blindsiding the entire industry by dropping support for its most widely-used product, and entirely killing the main file interchange format in use? That's impressively stupid.

Thus is the paradox of Apple. They're not perfect. Those of us who have been on the Apple bandwagon are certainly no strangers to the frustration of the company's insane development/release cycle (or, you know, how they kind of forgot that they were a computer company during the past year or two, while they poured every resource they had into iOS.) However, they also make products that are miles away from the competition in spite of themselves. Final Cut Pro X is Not Good for a professional production environment. However, try finding an NLE that will allow you to produce, edit, and color-correct a film-quality feature-length film for $300, with minimal training or experience on the editing system itself. Nobody else is doing it, or really even coming close to it.

...and there's my love/hate story.
posted by schmod at 9:40 PM on June 23, 2011 [19 favorites]


I have produced 10 movies. 7.5 were edited on a Final Cut Pro system. 2.5 were edited on an Avid system. Also produced a bunch of web-content and commercials that were edited in Final Cut Pro.

As far as I can tell, and as far as my editor friends can tell, the current version of FCPX makes it basically impossible to edit a feature film and then push it through the other steps of a professional post-production pipeline.

That is a problem for a product with "pro" in its name.

It doesn't bother me too much personally, as it just means that I won't be buying FCPX. The problem will come when FCP7 doesn't support new video formats or other changes in post-production pipelines.

Avid systems have been getting better and cheaper every year. When I first started, we were using FCP because Avid was out of our price range. Now I suspect we'll be using Avid for future films, because it's price competitive and I don't have to worry about their dedication to the pro market.
posted by kcalder at 9:45 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


hey Schmod - when you finally get a job, I'd like to you see you say fuck you to all those standards that professionals have to live by. Independent film making is great, and I'm happy you can afford FCP in order to live your film making dreams, but as an actual professional the reason that FCP in general and very specifically this new upgrade is driving us working editors crazy is that we have standards that are part of our job and we need to be able to work with OTHER professionals (sound mixers, colorists, assistants, paper work doers, etc.) and therefore using something akin to imovie is all kinds of ridiculous. ALSO the biggest issue, have you ever heard of the phrase "frame fucking"? Try sitting with a producer a foot behind you frame fucking a tease for 5 hours with no goddamn tracks. WTF?
posted by Unred at 9:49 PM on June 23, 2011


even the NEXT planned Avid release wasn't going to be 64-bit

Well, it hardly matters now, does it? A 32-bit program that works is a hell of a lot better than a 64-bit version of My First Video Editor. (Okay, to be fair, maybe it's more "My Second Video Editor", after iMovie.)

Apple just gave the professional editing market back to Avid, after spending several hard years introducing competition into the market and winning customers. It's too bad, because it was a segment that needed competition — I worked at video production house back when FCP first started to be taken seriously. They were an all-Avid shop, had been since they moved from tape, and it was clear that Avid had gotten fat and lazy. Apple lit a fire under Avid, and it was fun to watch one person after another realize how much they could do with FCP for a fraction of the cost of an Avid setup.

For them to throw that away... it's just more evidence that Apple is no longer a particularly interesting company, as far as I'm concerned. I watched them fight their way back from the edge of irrelevance in the mid 90s, and it was a hell of a comeback. For a while there, when they seemingly had a chip on their shoulder and a desire to be taken seriously as a real computer company, it was hard not to root for them.

They put together a great operating system, both on the desktop and as a server, a great hardware lineup (starting with the 2x2 consumer/professional x laptop/desktop matrix, which I still think was brilliant, and building from there), and some very cool software. But they're throwing it all away in order to go further into the shiny bourgeois trinket market. Profitable, apparently, but not very interesting.

There was a point, not too long ago, when I think you could argue with a straight face that Apple really had an edge over Windows, not just as a bare operating system but as an ecosystem, in terms of handling media. If you had to put a date on it, I think 2004/05 was probably the zenith; Apple had OS 10.4, which had evolved organically from previous OS X releases, Microsoft was still sucking wind with XP SP2; Apple had consistent, in-house software stacks for music, video editing, and in 2005 digital photography management.

A lot of that advantage seems to be gone, or being pissed away. Most photographers I know have already switched from Aperture to Lightroom. Windows 7 is a fine OS, much as it pains me to say it; the only thing OS X has to its credit now are architectural: the Unix underpinnings and a claim to be an open system, and Apple seems keen to get rid of the latter as quickly as it can. (Apple's UI, which was once sort of the crown jewel, is now a bit of a joke since it gets changed with each version, seemingly for the hell of it.)

I'm sure whatever their strategy is, it'll probably make Uncle Steve lots of money. But I'm no longer interested in what they're turning out.

Pity there's no good Linux video editor yet.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:15 PM on June 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


@Unred

I work in television, and am gainfully employed. I'm allowed to critique and criticize my own industry.

I'm a systems engineer, and understand the importance of having things work together. It is literally the essence of my job. I agree that Apple fucked things up royally in that regard with FCP X. There is no question about it.

Workflows need to be flexible and interchangeable. Open standards FTW.

What I don't agree with is that every standard in the books has been written for a tape-centric world that simply does not exist anymore. New standards do not need to be based around existing standards, as long as a clear migration path is provided. It's foolish to regard any standard as "sacred," which is something that I've seen a lot of since beginning work in the industry. In IT, we sort of accept that things are going to change every few years; usually for the better. We do our best to adapt and evolve, even when the changes come out of left-field, and are very much revolutionary (seriously -- who would have predicted Amazon's EC2 being successful, or server-side javascript ever being practical). In Television, I get the distinct impression that some of my colleagues expected to be able to coast for another 50 years after we made the transition to a (still tape-centric) file-based workflow.

Whether you want them to or not, independent filmmakers are increasingly able to produce studio-quality products on a shoestring budget. Studios should be freaking out over this, and also trying to cultivate/capture the best new talent. The days of "TV money" are quickly coming to a close.

Frame fuckers are a symptom, if not the very root of these problems.

And, also. FCP X has been out for, what...a few days? Although I can criticize the presence/lack of some file interchange formats, I don't think there's been enough time to form a strong opinion about some of the new editing paradigms introduced, much less become indignant about them.

Chill out, bro.
posted by schmod at 10:40 PM on June 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am completely out of my depth here but I just want to say to a bunch of you that you do some really damn interesting and cool-sounding stuff.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:44 PM on June 23, 2011 [14 favorites]


I don't see Avid and Adobe wringing their hands and cackling maniacally here. Let's assume this is as big a screwup as everyone is saying it is (though I'm not yet convinced it is) and everyone abandons Apple for Avid/Adobe/whoever. If Apple is serious about holding on to the rapidly contracting professional video post market, they could just buy Avid (market cap US$696.98M) and/or Adobe (market cap US$15.36B) with their $65.8 billion cash hoard. Or the pocket change in Steve Jobs' sofa for that matter.
posted by Scoo at 11:09 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a lesson....NEVER EVER TRUST Apple with software... they'll f**** it up and you'll have no options.
posted by coust at 11:28 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a rank amateur. I find iMovie quite a bit too limiting for me. I bought Final Cut Express and couldn't wrap my head around the arbitrary-feeling paradigms. Final Cut Pro X looks right up my alley. I like not being set in a particular video input format that's based on a tape standard. I like the idea of not having fixed 'tracks' of audio, allowing me to just assemble stuff. I like the single video window. So thanks, Apple, and sorry, pros. I think I'll be buying a copy to edit videos of my kids.
posted by zsazsa at 12:02 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Realistically, the previous version still works, so it's up to the individual whether they want to wait for FCP to improve or switch applications.
Not if you want to install it (legally) on new machines. And apparently the new version isn't backwards compatible, so you're completely screwed if you need more machines.

Very weird. They'll probably re-release the old version at some point. But Apple is a consumer company. The money they make selling to professionals is probably less then what they think they can make selling this to 'prosumers' who just know that 'professionals' use Final-Cut so it must be what they need. But if all pros stop using it then that won't really work, right?

The thing is, a professional who actually makes their money using software is going to learn it. It doesn't matter if the UI is clunky or not. There's a huge difference between someone why has an incentive to learn software and someone who doesn't. In the second case, the UI really needs to be simple to use if you want people to use it. In the second case, you want the interface to be fast after you've learned it.
Unfortunately for pro users Apple's long term vision is all about selling consumer level products to consumers. They may keep putting out their tower computers for a while but eventually the impracticality of keeping two platforms going when one of them makes a billion times more than the other will mean the old OS will either be sidelined or put on life support. The other problem is you're smart and innovative and work at Apple you want to work on the cool new stuff not the old junk, because that's where money and opportunity will be. So even if they keep OSX on Intel going for a while, it's not going to be a first class product.
Yup. Mac == Apple II. They kept it going for a long time, but eventually, it went away. On the other hand, a brand new windows box can run an MS-DOS program from 1982 just fine (assuming it doesn't require goofy hardware like EGA graphics or a gravis ultrasound or something)
It may seem that way, but don't forget... Apple could buy both Avid and Adobe tomorrow using its pocket change.
Except they obviously don't even want the market.
posted by delmoi at 12:48 AM on June 24, 2011


I like John Gruber's take on this, as I like his take on most things Apple.

If Steve Jobs started raping babies on the stage of Macworld, John Gruber would find some way to explain why baby-raping was what we as a society needed, and we ought to embrace the marvellous new paradigm Steve was offering it. Gruber's take on anything to do with Apple is utterly predictable, in a "giving comfort to the true believer" kind of way.

Still, he gave us markdown, so I'll give him a hug for that.
posted by rodgerd at 1:40 AM on June 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


Just how many editors are there on MeFi?!
posted by archagon at 1:40 AM on June 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


I hate markdown.
posted by delmoi at 1:55 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


the FCP X haters really need to relax for a while. If it doesn't do what you need it to do today, then just wait until the next version. As anyone who has used FCP at all will know the previous versions were was broken in more ways than it was possible to describe. I've used FCP since version 1 (and other systems before that), and has been painfully obvious for a while that the ancient creaking foundations just couldn't support any more building on top of them. A re-write was the only thing to do.

The new timeline paradigm of FCP X makes a LOT more sense than the old one. Use it for a bit and you will realise. Honestly.

Sometimes someone has to be bold and break with tradition and a certain amount of backwards compatibility in order to move forward, and that's what's happening here. I'm sure that the next release will find ways to import and export to traditional timeline based systems for instance. If you need it to integrate into that old UMatic 3-tape suite then just don't upgrade until it can handle EDLs.

This absolutely isn't a sign of the death of Final Cut. If Apple had released a couple more versions based on that creaking old code base it would have slowly strangled itself. Boldly investing in a complete re-write where things that have always been fundamentally fucked up (like colour management) are finally fixed is a big statement that Apple wants to move FCP into the future. The only thing that could kill it is the suffocating indignation of hundred thousand grumpy editors who take one look at it and get huffy that it doesn't work in the same way that they learned 15 years ago.

The main failure here is that Apple didn't approach this in a more constructive and collaborative way. They should have launched this saying "this is version 1, yes we know it doesn't do everything that you need for professional workflows, but we think this way of working is truly much better and we'd like you to try it out and let us know what you need to integrate this into your systems". Instead I get the feeling that marketing people who don't really understand how to sell into a professional rather than consumer market just pitched it in the same way they would a consumer product.
posted by silence at 2:44 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Steve Jobs started raping babies on the stage of Macworld, John Gruber would find some way to explain why baby-raping was what we as a society needed, and we ought to embrace the marvellous new paradigm Steve was offering it. Gruber's take on anything to do with Apple is utterly predictable, in a "giving comfort to the true believer" kind of way.

Actually, Gruber regularly calls out Apple when they don't do things well or right. When Apple set up the 30% cut for magazines, John Gruber issued a pretty fair critique. People who read his site know he's a lot more objective than non-frequent readers give him credit for. His critics are upset because he isn't writing as if he works for Paul Thurrott's SuperSite (or for, say, Metafilter).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:54 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually, Gruber regularly calls out Apple when they don't do things well or right.

Amen. In fact, here's his followup on the FCPX brouhaha:

Anticipating Apple’s Response to the Final Cut Pro X Release
posted by Baldons at 2:58 AM on June 24, 2011


Seems like Apple really should keep the "Here's some cool stuff we just finished making; SURPRISE!" shtick to the consumer market, where it works very well. People can have fun speculating about how many pixels/cores/amazing new interface paradigms the iPhone 5 will ship with without worrying that something they rely on for a living is going to be discontinued without adequate replacement when it does. I don't see how failing to publish roadmaps and work with customers helps Apple at all with professionals.

NOT APPLE-IST NOTE: I read this whole thread on my iPod Touch
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:55 AM on June 24, 2011




And of course, even Hitler has a few problems with it. The resignation at the end of the clip really resonates.
posted by fungible at 6:00 AM on June 24, 2011


Oh shit, that was the wrong one. There's more than one! I liked this one.
posted by fungible at 6:02 AM on June 24, 2011


You can still use the old one, just not buy new copies of it.

Is it clear that the previous version of FCP will run cleanly on Lion? With no hiccups?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:03 AM on June 24, 2011


Fucking links. I mean this one.
posted by fungible at 6:04 AM on June 24, 2011


Amen. In fact, here's his followup on the FCPX brouhaha:

Well, that linked piece is certainly right that Apple does have a habit lately of fucking up, waiting a week or two to respond with absolute silence until then, and then finally backpedaling. So.... that's good?
posted by smackfu at 6:09 AM on June 24, 2011


The recent shifts in Apple direction regarding IT professionals (leaving the rackmount server market) and this change in regards to professional users does seem a bit odd until you realize that while things like xserves and FCP installs might be individually profitable the return on invest seeking the enterprise and professional market might not be a good business decision.

Yes Apple is making crazy amounts of money and has a ridiculous market capitalization but the basic strategy of Apple in the current Jobs era is to provide a limited number of products done well and aimed at the amateur/consumer market. This single minded devotion to a limited product line when many of it's competitors have become entangled in a huge number of markets seems to have been rewarded by market forces.

This change to FCP seems to be made in order to increase accessibility for the amateur and student market rather than being focused on the much smaller professional product. Should it be branded as something other than Pro? It certainly sounds like it but it also seems like the price point and UI upgrades will make it popular among the enthusiast market which is often more profitable than selling fewer licenses to professionals.

I imagine they'll make some very compelling academic licensing in order to keep a stranglehold on upcoming students much like Microsoft basically gives away it's products to schools. You don't have to have the best product on the market place if schools are raising a new crop of users all the time.

As to the actually merits or flaws of the application itself, I'm not in that industry and I am sympathetic to people who just had their upgrade path nuked underneath their feet but honestly I suspect that type of shit will become more and more commonplace all the time as companies like Apple focus most if not all their resources on high end consumer goods and the potential high profitablity of those systems and platforms.
posted by vuron at 6:39 AM on June 24, 2011


delmoi: "Very weird. They'll probably re-release the old version at some point. But Apple is a consumer company. The money they make selling to professionals is probably less then what they think they can make selling this to 'prosumers' who just know that 'professionals' use Final-Cut so it must be what they need. But if all pros stop using it then that won't really work, right? "

The beautiful thing about Final Cut 7 is that it's powerful without being too intimidating. If you understand the bare basics of video editing, you can hack together a timeline pretty quickly. Slowly, you're able to incorporate some of the program's more advanced features as you acquire a larger skill-set. There's definitely something to be said about a product that supports both newbies and seasoned professionals.

To draw a parallel, it's insane that Photoshop still doesn't include a way to draw a dotted line without creating a custom brush. Sure, an experienced user can do it, and a n00b can RTFM, but these sorts of UI decisions seem to be intimidating for the sake of being intimidating. Apple know better than this.

I *think* that FCP X attempts to preserve this, while doing a bit more to accommodate new users, by making frequently-used tasks (ie. noise reduction) a heck of a lot more accessible to inexperienced users. Ultimately, though, some of the "power tools" got left out of the first release, and people are justifiably upset, and expressing outrage over some of the other new features, which they viewed as having come at the expense of the tools that they needed (I don't necessarily agree with this, but the source of their anger is understandable). If Apple can get (good) scripting support bolted on quickly, and add in backward compatibility, a lot of these complaints will start to go away.

If you need it to integrate into that old UMatic 3-tape suite then just don't upgrade until it can handle EDLs.

As I alluded to earlier, we do need EDLs. However, EDLs are used by a whole lot more than ancient videocassette systems. We need them to provide integration with our huge, expensive, and thoroughly modern video server system. If you're doing work that involves lots of HD, any uncompressed HD, super-quick turnarounds, limited bandwidth, a proxy-based workflow, or any combination of the above, you're going to need an EDL or equivalent.

Compatibility is the key.
posted by schmod at 6:41 AM on June 24, 2011


Two interesting issues here..

One, is that even apple has green/n00b/stupid enough engineers to think an entire re-write is the right way to go. It's well established in software engineering circles that it is rarely, if ever, a good idea to re-write something from scratch.

Secondly, that Apple's philosophy viz msft is that msft will strive their hardest for OS/API backwards compatibility, Apple not so much.
posted by k5.user at 6:55 AM on June 24, 2011


If Steve Jobs started raping babies on the stage of Macworld, John Gruber would find some way to explain why baby-raping was what we as a society needed, and we ought to embrace the marvellous new paradigm Steve was offering it.

I guess that's an easier way to think about it than actually coming up with counter arguments to Gruber's articles.
posted by Scoo at 6:56 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Switching from Carbon to Cocoa, and from 32bit to 64bit, and from primitive scheduling to GCD, is one of those times when it is a good idea to rewrite something from scratch.

I can't WAIT until they do it with iTunes.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:02 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't see how FCPX would be appealing for serious students, however. The whole point of being a student editor would be learning how to use professional tools. Assuming that FCPX's "new paradigm" will not be catching on now, if ever, then that makes FCPX a dead-end for the educational market. I cannot imagine my old film school being too eager to make this switch any time soon, but then again, they mostly taught AVID.

FCPX is probably fine for tiny shoots where people are literally shooting with their DSLRs and Zoom H4ns. However, even now that I've written that out, I realize that that's not true, because without multicam support, even something as basic as shooting a concert with three clap-synched Rebel T2is is beyond the capabilities of FCPX as it stands.

UNGH. WHO AT APPLE THOUGHT THIS PRODUCT WAS READY FOR LAUNCH.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:04 AM on June 24, 2011


Also, the next time I hand in substandard work with giant holes in it, I'll refer to those giant holes as "third party opportunities".
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:08 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


About 2 weeks ago I was cutting a Powerade spot and the creative director asked me what system I was working on. I told him Final Cut Pro and he seemed a little surprised and the producer chimed in that "everyone uses Final Cut Pro these days." I laughed and said I hadn't touched an Avid in 10 years and we had a brief conversation about how long I thought I'd have to work on one before I felt fast enough again. I see my trial of Media Composer has finished downloading. Guess I'll find out.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:09 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


As much as I'd love the idea of advancing NLE (non linear editing, sorry) into the next generation, as much as I'd love a complete digital workflow, etc, those are all neat conceptual things -- but this affects production going on today.

Really? Today? You installed it today?
posted by eriko at 7:09 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not a video editor here, so I find this whole thing FASCINATING. But I'm not all that surprised at all that Apple has seemingly decided to make a product more consumer-oriented (big price drop, pro features left out for the moment) - that seems very much like the direction the company has been moving for quite a while now.

[I] had to yell at one of our engineers for ripping out an entire rack of Cat5e cable, and replacing it with *shielded* Cat6

I'm not a systems engineer, but I *am* in the IT world on the software side of things - why is it a bad thing to replace Cat5e with Cat6?
posted by antifuse at 7:10 AM on June 24, 2011


actually coming up with counter arguments to Gruber's articles.

Gruber's blog is mostly just links to negative Android news with a Nelson Muntz style "Ha Ha!"
posted by smackfu at 7:13 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it clear that the previous version of FCP will run cleanly on Lion? With no hiccups

Is it clear that you don't have to installed Lion the moment it comes out, that you'll be able to run 10.5 for a couple of years while you either transition to a bug-and-feature fixed version of FCPX or to a competing product?

If you are a pro and you instantly upgrade any of your core tools or systems the moment an update comes out, you are a professional idiot.
posted by eriko at 7:15 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would normally agree with you, eriko. I am very conservative about tool-switching and upgrading, myself. However, I have noticed a general trend amongst Apple users where they really do keep up with the very latest thing. It's different.

I think that Apple is moving away from the "pro" side of things and not just here. Think about the Xserves. While they were "replaced" with Mac Pro Server, an Apple-loving friend says that they just aren't the same kind of beast, more pro-sumer than pro. I'm not sure if I should believe him.
posted by adipocere at 7:26 AM on June 24, 2011


This is also part of larger story: the ongoing contraction of the video post industry.
posted by Scoo at 7:34 AM on June 24, 2011


antifuse: cat 5e will run gigabit ethernet, as will cat 6.. So why rip out and replace if there isn't a problem, and you are running gig-e ? Is there that much interference from the current cables that you're seeing network degradation ?
posted by k5.user at 7:36 AM on June 24, 2011


why is it a bad thing to replace Cat5e with Cat6?

Because it costs something - money, manpower and downtime. It also got in the way of solving whatever the real problem was.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:46 AM on June 24, 2011


It's pretty amazing how people think that just because the feature isn't there right now
They think that because Apple botched the marketing and publicity around this release in the hugest possible way. This hand-down-software-from-on-high approach works in the consumer space, but when you try it with pros you get results like this thread.

What's worse, is that they already know how to do this properly. They have carried off a number of hugely complicated platform and toolchain transitions for developers in the past, and they've been among the best in the industry at doing it.

They're in the middle of a relatively minor one right now -- from Xcode 3 (an IDE that has lineage back into the 1990s) to Xcode 4 (the all-new iTunes-esque environment). And by god are they hand-holding developers through it. There are videos and books explaining the new interfaces and how to use them, there are Q&A sessions, and there was an epic beta program. Even now you can still download and use Xcode 3 if required.

If they'd taken the same approach with FCPX, they'd be taking the users with them. Instead the users feel shoved around, and that's not gonna fly.
posted by bonaldi at 7:51 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


However, I have noticed a general trend amongst Apple users where they really do keep up with the very latest thing.

The fact that they're doing it on Apple hardware doesn't make it any less idiotic. Particularly given Apple's past history of turning out half-baked versions from time to time, you'd have to have a pretty short memory to think that was a good idea. Hell, I remember when it was established wisdom that nobody with a brain upgraded to even-numbered versions of MacOS, especially dot-zero versions. (I literally don't know anybody who installed OS 9.0; everyone waited for 9.1, because it sucked that much.)

Incidentally, many of my Apple machines are still running 10.5.8.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:53 AM on June 24, 2011


If it doesn't do what you need it to do today, then just wait until the next version.

This is so crazy-insane I don't understand it. I'm not a video editor, but if a new version of Word came out that didn't offer, say, the option to save my file and send it to someone, do you think my boss would accept "Sorry boss, can't get that documentation out until Microsoft adds that feature back into the software." as an excuse?

No, we'd be immediately replacing it with alternative software.
posted by odinsdream at 7:56 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is it clear that the previous version of FCP will run cleanly on Lion? With no hiccups

Is it clear that you don't have to installed Lion the moment it comes out...


Is it clear that I asked a simple question that had nothing to do with upgrading the OS immediately? Geez.

Of course, one can stay on 10.6 and keep running FCP 7. However, eventually an OS upgrade becomes preferable for many reasons. And, if Apple doesn't bring FCP X up to where the pros want it, feature wise, it would be good to know whether FCP 7 can, in fact, run in 10.7.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:59 AM on June 24, 2011


They should have launched this saying "this is version 1, yes we know it doesn't do everything that you need for professional workflows, but we think this way of working is truly much better and we'd like you to try it out and let us know what you need to integrate this into your systems".

The key missing part here is "And you can continue to purchase the previous edition and install it alongside the new one."
posted by odinsdream at 8:00 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


The key missing part here is "And you can continue to purchase the previous edition and install it alongside the new one."

This is the company that took the arrow keys off the keyboard when they introduced a mouse, and took away the floppy drive when they introduced USB. Customer choice or ease of use is not the goal.
posted by kafziel at 8:05 AM on June 24, 2011


Of course, one can stay on 10.6 and keep running FCP 7. However, eventually an OS upgrade becomes preferable for many reasons.

And when that upgrade does eventually happen, will users choose the company that just forced them to stay out of date?

I know of companies that were using Mac OS 9 well into the second half of the 2000s just so they could keep Quark Publishing System running. When the finally absolutely had to upgrade, do you think they bought Quark again? Nope, they went to InDesign.
posted by bonaldi at 8:11 AM on June 24, 2011


Welp, I'm wondering if 10.7 will continue to support the 32-bit QTKit framework at all, in addition to the new AV Framework. As it stands with Snow Leopard, QTX spawns 32-bit QTKit-based processes to permit playback of non-AV Framework supported codecs. I'd hate to see QTKit go away completely, but I wouldn't put it past Apple, seeing as they're phasing everything 32-bit out, anyway - but no QTKit would mean no FCP 7, no AE, no Smoke, no Nuke... unless they all go for libquicktime or ffmpeg or something... (I'm not sure how the last three run on other platforms). Unless they're able to build up AV Framework, which I'm sure, eventually, they'll figure out a way to do.

Anyway, I'm not a developer, but I'd love for someone who knows more about this to weigh in.
posted by bxyldy at 8:34 AM on June 24, 2011


^ meant to say AV Foundation, not AV Framework.
posted by bxyldy at 8:37 AM on June 24, 2011




One, is that even apple has green/n00b/stupid enough engineers to think an entire re-write is the right way to go. It's well established in software engineering circles that it is rarely, if ever, a good idea to re-write something from scratch.

But Apple has had huge success with what you call the "green/n00b/stupid" strategy of starting from scratch. Pretty much the entire company's turnaround, starting with the gamble of throwing out OS9 in favor of OSX, is due to their willingness to drop features they see as part of the past (see the floppy disk), to focus on the future instead of on backwards compatibility (avoiding the Microsoft problem of having to continue to support decades-old engineering decisions) to start from scratch if they feel they need to (see iOS), and even to jettison whole categories of customer if they're not profitable enough (see XServe.)

So far these gambles have paid off pretty damn well for them. Every time they pull something like this there's an uproar, followed by predictions of doom for the company, followed almost always by them making boatloads of money.

The danger is that someday they're going to get so cocky from all these successful rewrite-from-scratch moments that they really are going to throw out the baby with the bathwater on a significant product. (The one I really fear is if they ever try to throw out OSX and replace it with a desktop iOS.) Maybe FCPX is an example of this; I don't know.

They have to be aware that they risk losing the true professional market with this release. They may have planned on it. Because they're equally aware that the amateur, wannabee-pro, and semi-pro market is much, much larger than the true professional market. And they're probably counting on the fact that today's wannabee is tomorrow's professional, and that a lot of the expensive pro-level facilities that people need these complicated pro-level features to work with will be obsolete sooner or later. And if they can make it sooner rather than later by forcing the issue like this, so much the better for them; it'll just makes everyone else look further behind.

Customer choice or ease of use is not the goal.

I half agree: customer choice is not their goal. Ease of use is their primary goal, which they often accomplish, like it or not, by reducing customer choice. This is a perfect example -- the whole point of the FCPX rewrite seems to have been to make it easier to use, partly by jettisoning the UI metaphors that date back to the days when film editing still meant using sprockets and a razor blade.
posted by ook at 8:51 AM on June 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Apple pulled a dick move, and that's OK, because they're always right. After all, they made the iPhone and the iPod. Disagree? Well Final Cut's not for you anyway" (I paraphrase slightly, but not much from Macworld.

And seriously, this "Apple Rollls" bullshit that Gruber is so very pleased with himself for writing? It needs to die. Hopefully iTunes will roll over it and crush it with its bloated mass
posted by bonaldi at 8:52 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure FCPX can qualify as "Boldly investing in a complete re-write..." since it's obviously built on the iMovie editing paradigm. Apple didn't re-write FCP from the ground up. They re-wrote iMovie from the ground up, and they did a fantastic job. Unfortunately turning iMovie into a more robust editing app was not what Final Cut Pro users wanted or needed. It really feels like they threw out the baby with the bathwater.

If I'm going to learn an editing application from scratch, why not just learn Avid?
posted by bstreep at 8:56 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because it costs something - money, manpower and downtime. It also got in the way of solving whatever the real problem was.

Fair enough - I had just assumed that the cat6 was meant to be a solution to a problem, and that it was somehow inferior to cat5e or something (I think I may have misread it in the original context of schmod's quite long post :)). Looking back at the original context, replacing it to "improve the signal" is quite silly indeed. :)
posted by antifuse at 9:10 AM on June 24, 2011


As much as I'd love the idea of advancing NLE (non linear editing, sorry) into the next generation, as much as I'd love a complete digital workflow, etc, those are all neat conceptual things -- but this affects production going on today.

Really? Today? You installed it today?

Hey there -- I understand your concern and I'm going to try to clarify my use of the term production there. I wholly get where you're coming from -- production systems, mission critical, etc, throwing a new version on there, explosions, no good -- anyhow, I get that.

My use of the term production there was referencing fim/TV production, i.e. the whole project, not necessarily a post house's main system today. It would be ridiculous to have a post house change versions/hardware the first day of release, we agree on that, but if you are talking about a post producer looking to plan out the schedules for their next two productions, you now realize that FCP may not be there for you anymore because Apple has shown they are not interested in supporting you. Yes, FCP 7 still works right now, but if you need to post a project with a Red camera or whatever NewFangled Codec (or maybe not new, say ,the past 3 years) you can no longer consider FCP as your go to equipment for the future. You have to take FCP out of your roadmap, and depending on how much you have invested in FCP, this can greatly affect your costs and your production time.

So that is what I was referring to -- did that help clarify? Because we agree that throwing "New Stuff" onto a mission critical system is "Very Bad." I wasn't using production in that sense.
posted by cavalier at 9:28 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems like the FCPX defenders are missing the point here when it comes to professional uses.

1) An editorial system is just part of a much bigger production and post-production pipeline. It's not even close to the most expensive part, or the most technically complicated part.

2) FCP had got to the point where it was a pretty good fit in most web, tv, animation, documentary, and feature film pipelines.

3) FCP X in its current incarnation is a terrible fit for almost every production/post-production pipeline I'm aware of.

4) From what I can tell FCP 7 is no longer for sale, and no longer being supported.

5) When things change in the production/post-production pipeline, they often require changes in the editorial system. Support for new video formats is the most common issue, but there are plenty of other issues.

6) Until the launch of FCPX, I (and most other professionals I know) were under the impression that Apple cared about the professional video/film post-production market and would continue to support new formats for FCP.

7) Now it looks like Apple will support new formats in FCPX, but leave FCP7 to become abandonware.

The problem is that for people with a FCP post-production infrastructure there is now a scary race happening. What will happen first? Will FCPX become usable in a professional post-production pipeline by adding back in all the features that were we removed? Will FCP 7 become unusable for a post-production pipeline because the rest of the pipeline moved to new formats and technologies that FCP 7 no longer supports?

Personally, I don't want to take the bet that Apple will fix FCPX quickly enough. I will use AVID for future feature films, unless I am confident that our current FCP7 pipeline will work. I will not be investing in any new FCP (7 or X) systems.

So for the people saying we can still keep using FCP 7, you are sort of missing the point. We're not talking about spreadsheet software here.
posted by kcalder at 9:30 AM on June 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm moving to Linux is something said out of frustration. Don't take them serious, much less actually call them out on it.

I think it's interesting that you can read minds like that.

I guess I know the idle impulse you're talking about, the curiosity about the other side of the fence, the niggling annoyance that makes you ticked off at your vendor, but you won't really leave the platform because of the basic utility equation.

But I'll bet everybody who's ever used something else has a threshold. Here's mine: if the day ever comes where I can't install whatever I please on OS X without going through bullshit iOS shenanigans, I will in fact ditch OS X for Linux, fast and hard, and there is not an ounce of bluff or bluster in that statement.

Last fall I was arguing I didn't think Apple would ever do that. Things like this FCPX launch and the killing of the XServe make me think it's possible -- maybe even likely -- that I was wrong, so I find myself looking over the fence more often these days.
posted by weston at 9:48 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, am I misreading apple.com, or is it actually impossible to get Final Cut Pro now except through the Mac App Store? I seem to recall hearing a lot of "That will never happen" when that was launched.
posted by kafziel at 9:51 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have been making a living as an editor since 1982. I started with straight cuts on tape and have operated high end Grass Valley and CMX edit systems. I embraced the move to digital (first tape and then NLE). I spent 10 years in Detroit, working on national spots that ran virtually everywhere, including the Superbowl. I've worked on Avid MC, Nitris, Adrenaline, DS, Symphony, Smoke, Premier, and FCP. A couple of years ago I got laid off and I've been working in a different mode. I do a lot of shooting and editing my own own stuff for clients. What this looks like to me is a paradigm shift. Advances in technology are breaking down the traditional production/post production pipeline. The work is changing and as professional editors we need to change with it or die. I have trained a lot of editors over the years and I always told them not to get married to the gear. Don't get too attached to the traditional process, either.
posted by DaddyNewt at 9:52 AM on June 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


coming at it as an amateur, i'm excited about the new app. i don't really get the outrage from the pro angle. even if this were a FCP update, it's not as if the pro services would change it all out overnight. my impression is that apple is putting out this new system--and it has to come out at some point for it to become more developed over time--and then letting a lot of the deeper pro stuff be added on by people who are experts on that particular element. for the sake of affordability and usability, i think it's pretty cool that particular elements can be bought as they are needed by those who actually need them, rather than trying to fit every little pony into a costly and complicated package. that motion and compressor are out simultaneously as add-ons seems to model that idea.

in one review, i read that the titles you can create with the app are so nice that filmmakers will have to do something even better to stand apart from something amateurs can do at home. makes me wonder how much of the protest has to do with lowering the cost of availability. i think apple's thing is more about lowering barriers to doing a lot of this stuff, making it easier for someone to translate a vision into a work; but there are still a lot of people who benefit by having those barriers in place.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:02 AM on June 24, 2011


my impression is that apple is putting out this new system--and it has to come out at some point for it to become more developed over time--and then letting a lot of the deeper pro stuff be added on by people who are experts on that particular element.

Some might suggest that Apple's flatterers have spent the last decade deriding this exact mentality whenever it crops up in the Windows or Linux environments, and particularly on Android, while singing the virtues of how Apple only ever releases finished, full-featured products.
posted by kafziel at 10:07 AM on June 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


If I were a FCP user it's comments like this that would be getting my blood boiling:

No solution in sight. Plenty of video-editing companies still traffic in EDL files, but Apple thinks these crude files should be retired.

OK, ultimately it's Apple's software and they can do what they want but trying to tell professionals what's "crude" and "should be retired" must feel like a twist of the knife for people who depend on the software for their livelihood.
posted by NeonSurge at 10:09 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some might suggest that Apple's flatterers have spent the last decade deriding this exact mentality whenever it crops up in the Windows or Linux environments, and particularly on Android, while singing the virtues of how Apple only ever releases finished, full-featured products.

the fact that the iphone has apps that add a whole lot of functionality not built into the ios itself doesn't really mean that the iphone is not finished or fully featured. i thought one of the great things on the horizon of software was that we would be able to create custom applications by buying the foundation and then paying premium on only the extra features we need, at the level of complexity we require.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:20 AM on June 24, 2011


There is an enormous difference between an iPhone and where FCP fit into the lives of professionals.

There is nothing revolutionary - at least, nothing revolutionary in a good way - about Apple taking out needed features and leaving others to script in fixes to replace what had worked in previous versions of FCP.

If Apple was at all serious about making FCP a modular application, then they would have prepared a professional module, with professional features, in time for launch. It's just that simple. Apple has gained nothing by pissing people off in this way.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:28 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


odinsdream: "This is so crazy-insane I don't understand it. I'm not a video editor, but if a new version of Word came out that didn't offer, say, the option to save my file and send it to someone, do you think my boss would accept "Sorry boss, can't get that documentation out until Microsoft adds that feature back into the software." as an excuse?

No, we'd be immediately replacing it with alternative software.
"

Wasn't "We'll just keep using the old version" basically what happened with Windows XP users when Vista came along? As I remember, Microsoft even had to extend the support period for XP because people refused to switch to Vista.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:31 AM on June 24, 2011


To day nothing of lawyers' longtime use of WordPerfect. People use what they use and they need what they need, upgrade cycles be damned.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:38 AM on June 24, 2011


Up to a point. They can only use WP because Microsoft has such a commitment to backwards support. Otherwise they would doing their lawyering on a Pentium desktop.
posted by smackfu at 10:45 AM on June 24, 2011



Wasn't "We'll just keep using the old version" basically what happened with Windows XP users when Vista came along? As I remember, Microsoft even had to extend the support period for XP because people refused to switch to Vista.


Yes, it's exactly like the XP/Vista switch, and Microsoft made the right move to extend support for XP, continue selling it beyond their original plans, and offer downgrade rights to XP from Vista.
posted by odinsdream at 10:54 AM on June 24, 2011


On Tuesday Apple demonstrated to its customers why proprietary software is a bad thing. "It was a tough decision," said Uncle Steve, "but it's time to promote an ecosystem that doesn't revolve around vendor lock-in and gatekeeping. What? They're actually buying it?"
posted by howlingmonkey at 10:57 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


For me, the more interesting thing came from the comments in Pogue's Complaint/Answer post:
HIGHLIGHT: Also, how much help did Apple provide for this follow-up?
David Pogue: And ALL of my information in this post came from Apple. As I've said, I am not a professional video editor. So I collected the gripes of many, many editors who had blogged or written to me about the deficiencies, and asked Apple to address each one. I have confirmed everything that was in my power to confirm (menu commands, third-party offerings, features in the program, etc.) Where I wasn't able to confirm, I wrote "Apple says" or "Apple intends."

I don't know if there's anything explicitly wrong with what he did, but this really puts Pogue in the position of little more than a mouth-piece for Apple. Were there questions he asked that Apple didn't respond to?

By starting the Complaints with, "It’s only fair, however, to separate what’s really missing from knee-jerk 'It’s so different!' hysteria," there's also the implication that the Answer sections actually addressed the Complaints. For example,

Complaint: You can’t freely organize your media files. “There is no way to customize the organization of the project media,” gripes one blogger.

Answer: You can customize the organization freely if you’re willing to understand the new keyword tagging system. Dragging a clip into a folder essentially applies a new keyword to it.


Are tags actually a valid substitute for folder organization? I don't work with FCP, but I can imagine a situation where I want to move an entire folder onto a network drive and tags maybe wouldn't do much good.

I never liked Pogue, but this feels over the line.
posted by SAC at 10:59 AM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


MelroseMac's home page says that Avid has extended their move-up deal for former FCP users until July 1. They are completely sold out of FCP 7, though.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:02 AM on June 24, 2011


Welp, I finally got my money back. Took them a couple of days, "due to unexpected large volume of requests." I'll bet.

Really, the main reason why I have a Mac Pro is because of FCP - I mean, don't get me wrong, I love OS X, but the price of the hardware and degree to which I can use my workstation in a professional pipeline will dictate my future investments.

In my experience, a good graphics card and a good system with CentOS beats the crap out of both OS X and Windows, in terms of performance (for what I do - compositing with Nuke, 3D in Houdini). Never thought I'd have to consider Blender as a viable alternative editing platform :)

(I'm sure something serious will crop up, linux-wise, in the wake of FCPX)
posted by bxyldy at 11:13 AM on June 24, 2011


I don't know if there's anything explicitly wrong with what he did, but this really puts Pogue in the position of little more than a mouth-piece for Apple. Were there questions he asked that Apple didn't respond to?

Wow, I did think he sounded way too confident in those answers. Every single answer should have said "Apple says." He basically used himself as his second source to turn these responses into facts, despite him not being qualified to do that.
posted by smackfu at 11:26 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, am I misreading apple.com, or is it actually impossible to get Final Cut Pro now except through the Mac App Store? I seem to recall hearing a lot of "That will never happen" when that was launched.

Those strawman hits just keep coming. The "that will never happen" strawman is about Apple forcing all Mac software, specifically from third-parties, to be sold through the Mac App Store in order to take the 30% cut. And whatever FCP X's numerous faults and liabilities, that's not what is happening here (nor does it suggest such a thing is coming). It would really be a lot easier to give serious consideration to criticism from certain people who wouldn't stoop to using Apple's products, without their continuous stream of bad faith argumentation and blatantly uninformed commentary.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:34 AM on June 24, 2011


It is a blunder to remove a socket set from the market, and replace it with crescent wrench, when it doesn't fit all the bolts out there. I would have excitedly tried your new fangled Beta Release. But don't pull the socket set from the shelves, to force new-fangled sales.
posted by schmattakid at 12:21 PM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Otherwise they would doing their lawyering on a Pentium desktop.

I have heard tales of law firms doing exactly this, actually.
posted by antifuse at 1:01 PM on June 24, 2011


Or if not law firms, *lawyer's offices* any way :)
posted by antifuse at 1:01 PM on June 24, 2011


antifuse: "[I] had to yell at one of our engineers for ripping out an entire rack of Cat5e cable, and replacing it with *shielded* Cat6

I'm not a systems engineer, but I *am* in the IT world on the software side of things - why is it a bad thing to replace Cat5e with Cat6?
"

*Shielded* Cat6. The entire point of ethernet cable is that it doesn't need to be shielded. We were only running 100Mbps, and had no packet loss or CRC issues, and the entire point of digital communications is that the "better signal" thing is (almost) never an issue. Cat5e is more than adequate for most GigE applications.
posted by schmod at 1:33 PM on June 24, 2011


They rolled back on their framework restrictions for iOS. They rolled back on the price matching requirement for subscriptions from third parties so it's possible that after another episode of discontent from customers and developers they will sell FCP 7 again, and support it. But for now, go to download a software patch, click download, now equals redirect to new software!
posted by juiceCake at 2:29 PM on June 24, 2011


Wow, they really did that! FCP7 updater download link forwards to FCPX page. So now if I lose my install and have to reinstall from my discs, I'm screwed. Great. And meanwhile I can't export audio to do a mix, do a multi-cam session, or even open any of the hundreds of projects I have going in 7.

just wow.
posted by gallois at 3:37 PM on June 24, 2011


Wasn't "We'll just keep using the old version" basically what happened with Windows XP users when Vista came along? As I remember, Microsoft even had to extend the support period for XP because people refused to switch to Vista.
The difference is that Vista did everything XP did, it just annoyed people with the UAC. But personally, vista never bothered me. I actually liked the UAC.
I'm moving to Linux is something said out of frustration. Don't take them serious, much less actually call them out on it.
Actually I've personally been running Ubuntu 11.04 on a separate system and I have to say I'm actually kind of shocked at how beautiful and smooth it is. Last month I decided to install it in a VM to play around with CouchDB, and it was really nice to use, but according to the installer my VM didn't have the hardware needed to use "Unity" which is their new GPU enabled UI.

But just recently I decided to try bitcoin mining and built a new system. I have to say, honestly, I'm kind of shocked at just how smooth it is. I've been playing around with Linux since the late 90s. It's always been fun in a "lets play around with config files for an hour" kind of way if you're into that. But if you're not it's painful in a "lets play around with config files for an hour" kind of way.

The system is a bit unusual. It has four graphics cards and zero hard drives. And it took me a while to get everything working (It boots of USB). But had I had a single (or double) graphics cards and a regular hard drive it wouldn't have been an issue. The system looks gorgeous. An "ordinary user" would have no trouble using it as a desktop system.
posted by delmoi at 4:39 PM on June 24, 2011


Wasn't "We'll just keep using the old version" basically what happened with Windows XP users when Vista came along? As I remember, Microsoft even had to extend the support period for XP because people refused to switch to Vista.

And all of the sudden, you're still running Windows 98 and 2000, nobody can buy new hardware because nobody is willing to learn XP or Win7 (and there are no drivers to install XP/2k on new desktops), and the servers have literally never been patched, because the industry is so endemically afraid of change. This is what more or less happened when my predecessor got his job, before I took over for him. There are still vestiges of it that I'm trying to squash out. I removed our last Windows 95 machine in February.

It's fine to skip a version or two (we'll be skipping FCP X, we skipped vista, and honestly, I'd have skipped one or two recent Ubuntu releases if we used that on our desktops). However, sticking behind much more than that sets up a really crappy situation down the road. Instead of several small transitions, you're being forced to make giant leaps once a crisis arrives that forces you to upgrade to what's current.
posted by schmod at 4:56 PM on June 24, 2011


Steve Martin at Ripple has written a fairly in-depth overview of the new fcp with a ton of screenshots, arriving at much the same conclusion as most people here; professionals will take a wait and see attitude.
posted by gallois at 5:57 PM on June 24, 2011


Shouldn't Steve Martin be playing banjo or something?
posted by hippybear at 6:06 PM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


King Tut!
posted by gallois at 6:11 PM on June 24, 2011


"If you lose your install". FCP & FCS used to cost real money. So what do you think - realistically - young folks with no money did? That's right, bittorrent to the rescue. Now that price is $300 plus $50 etc. Peanuts. And you know what? People still got it on bittorrent. Now the idea is "try before you buy". Either way, if you are making your living from FCP, you can afford to buy it. No legitimate shop or editor is going to resort to bittorrent... if they can buy it instead. And there's the rub. Apple has decided that all they are selling now is the new stuff. So, what do you do if for one reason or another you need the old stuff? That's right, bittorrent. Fret not, there's legacy software going back to the 80's all lovingly exchanged on the net. Whatever the problems editors have these days, it's not with the availability of legacy software - as long as they are free-lancers.
posted by VikingSword at 2:03 AM on June 25, 2011


One thing I haven't seen mentioned much in all of this is the influence and vision of Randy Ubillos. He is a massively important figure in the NLE world - he created the first versions of Adobe Premier, followed by Macromedia Keygrip, and has been in charge of FCP development since day one. To think that he'd completely lose the plot (no matter what calls for iOSification come from up above) is absurd.
posted by timshel at 4:35 AM on June 25, 2011


If Apple does come out with a FCPX plug-in store, I will be fucking dancing in the streets. I make fantastic plug-ins but marketing them is a colossal pain in the ass, and selling more than one of them is always a joke because piracy is rampant. So, yes, please, take 30%, give me a marketing platform and make it so easy to buy and install my plug-ins that piracy falls by the wayside due to laziness. (Right now, however, with no 3rd party support at all, FCPX is kind of a black hole, and no one is going to buy anything for FCP7 anymore either. So there is this holding of breath...)
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:50 AM on June 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Harrell's review.
posted by juiceCake at 7:30 AM on June 25, 2011


People still got it on bittorrent.

Actually, as with most Apple software on DVDs, you can install FCP7 on as many computers as you want (and it's even faster if you're using hard drive-based disk images.) All you need is a serial number, which can be found easily on the internet. The only restriction is that you couldn't have the same serial number working simultaneously on the same network.

Oh, and that it's illegal, too. That. But boy, did they make it easy. It's probably part of why it got so popular.
posted by fungible at 8:34 AM on June 25, 2011


But the version you install from the Apple DVD still won't contain the application updates that are no longer available from the Apple website.
posted by gallois at 12:07 PM on June 25, 2011


If you want to let Apple know how you feel there's this petition.
posted by DaddyNewt at 2:38 PM on June 25, 2011


I'm with Gruber: If Apple had made this the next version of Final Cut Express, it could have avoided all of this. Not sure why they didn't -- perhaps they didn't want to introduce a new version of Express, then replace it with Pro for some marketing reason?

I'm sure the situation will resolve itself, since this is really just standard Apple procedure for new/completely-rewritten products; leave out major features until they're done properly, and in the mean time, see what features are really essential and which people are just complaining about because they don't like change.

I guess they could have keep better support for the previous version of FCP, too. That would have gone a long way in reassuring people.

Perhaps the price should have been an indication that his was not a full-featured product.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 4:11 PM on June 25, 2011


Apple had been getting increasing pressure from FCP users about the way FCP was slipping in terms of it's competitors - even Avid Media Composer had better file-based support and multi-format editing capabilities. They needed to offer a new improved FCP, or at least promise that one was coming. Steve Jobs had even promised that the next version would be awesome

Apple could have avoided the huge negative backlash by at least continuing to make Final Cut Studio available while they did whatever they are planning to do with FCP X.

Some people have compared this to the transition between OS 9 and OS X, which is actually a stunning example of what this isn't. Mac users and developers had a really good idea what was coming with OS X (as they should it was in development for AGES) and when it did arrive there was a transition period - OS X had an OS 9 virtual machine built in, and OS 9 continued to be available and updated for quite a while.

The only way the OS 9/X switch would be the same would be if OS 9 users (and especially developers) had been lead to believe that OS X was a improved version, rather than a totally new system. And then, when OS X had launched, the previous OS 9 stuff was removed completely, almost as if it had never existed.
posted by sycophant at 5:19 PM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


There should be a law, whereby professional (and not) users of an application, particularly those whose livelihood depends upon said platform/application, are protected; in that the owner of said software is forced to handover the source code to the community who can then choose whether to continue development, provide open source/community support, and ultimately given the opportunity to continue to benefit from its use. This would seem like a fair path for all concerned - (speaking as someone who was left out in the cold when Quark bought mTropolis and then mothballed it).
posted by a non e mouse at 5:30 PM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


But Apple has had huge success with what you call the "green/n00b/stupid" strategy of starting from scratch. Pretty much the entire company's turnaround, starting with the gamble of throwing out OS9 in favor of OSX,

That's an... odd... perspective on history. I was working in the Mac world at the time OS8/9 happened, and Apple had almost killed themselves by "starting from scratch." OS8 was supposed to be MacOS NT, a microkernel-based pre-emptively multitasking operating system developed in-house with a compatability mode for OS7 style code, multiuser support, and maybe even the ability to run a Windows NT personality on the microkernal (I remember the slides at the show-and-tells quite vividly!). The whole thing collapsed into a confused, crapulent mess of failure that resulted in OS8 being nothing more than a mild rev of 7.5/6 while Apple flailed uselessly around.

OS X was Apple buying a proven operating system which, in the form of NeXTStep, had been around a good decade by then, based on even older Mach and Unix roots, and had been well-proven, albeit in a niche market. The only real risk was whether they could Macify the UI enough to make it palatable, and they did that in a very smart, low-risk way by releasing the NeXTStep-flavoured early versions of MacOS X in parallel with MacOS Classic for quite some time.
posted by rodgerd at 8:32 PM on June 25, 2011


Yeah. After the failure of the Copland project, the current NeXTstep-based OSX was a very cautious rewrite. They slipped a modern kernel under the old OS, gave it the thinnest of changes to allow it to still run as a library inside a task, and called it Carbon. Then they spent ten years whittling away at Carbon and replacing it with stuff written from a more modern perspective. It was very incremental; they really didn't want to alienate their few remaining customers.
posted by hattifattener at 10:14 PM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, fair enough on the underlying code, guys; I was concerned more with the effect on the end user, which was anything but incremental.
posted by ook at 4:59 AM on June 26, 2011


OS8 was supposed to be MacOS NT

To be fair, it also took NT a loooooong time to evolve into a good product, and Microsoft spent quite a bit of time flailing around themselves. In spite of the fact that we ended up with a pretty good kernel, NT also failed many of its original design goals.

Apple's ridiculous lack of focus didn't help either. Between 1995-96, Apple were actively developing Copland, MacOS "Classic", Taligent, A/UX, MkLinux, NewtonOS, and shortly thereafter, Rhapsody (which was the one that would eventually evolve into OS X, and was inexplicably ported to x86 around that time too, for some reason). If we go back 2 years to 1993, ProDOS and GS/OS were also still being developed. Oh, and Apple were also releasing servers that ran AIX at that time too.

That's almost an impressive case of institutional ADD.
posted by schmod at 8:30 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I've been using FCP X a bit and my impression is that it's a disruptive technology.

What I mean by that is that it so fundamentally re-imagines the process of editing that it's likely to become the dominant paradigm.

Clearly they have mishandled the launch - they should have just kept FCP 7 going until the end of 2011 at least while they added in the stuff that is apparently missing, but it's totally wrong to accuse this of being either iMovie Pro or Final Cut X Express.

I strongly suspect that the throwing of the toys out of the pram/stroller is because for anyone used to a two-window tape-metaphor editing app (Premier/Avid/FCP) with a track-based timeline, FCP X presents an enormously steep learning curve. It just feels... foreign. But it also feels like the future.

Anyone working with digital media knows that the play monitor tends to go unused for about 90% of the time and all the action is on the timeline and in the record monitor. FCP X basically reorients the entire editing process around the monitor and timeline.

The thing I was most reminded of was the first time I ever used a mac, having just come off computers with keyboards but no mice. I wanted to delete a file on the desktop and I could not for the life of me figure out the keystroke. Eventually someone took pity on me and showed me how to drag it to the trash. There's a lot of that kind of stuff in FCP X - it all makes sense but it's baffling until you get head round the metaphor.
posted by unSane at 8:42 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I strongly suspect that the throwing of the toys out of the pram/stroller is because for anyone used to a two-window tape-metaphor editing app (Premier/Avid/FCP) with a track-based timeline, FCP X presents an enormously steep learning curve. It just feels... foreign. But it also feels like the future.

I have no problem with Apple's marketing department pretending that this is an entirely new and "innovative" way of working with video. That's what marketing departments of every company say. Indeed, I don't even mind if applications take inspiration from other applications. Nothing lives in a vacuum. But FCP X has a lot of features that have been in other applications and some new ones that haven't been in other apps. Vegas (which is sadly not available on the Mac, has had a "magnetic timeline" of sorts for years. Premiere Pro and Vegas have had resolution independence for quite some time, etc.

List of similar features here: Features


Video heading in a new direction has been happening for quite some time Video professionals adapt all the time. It's great that Apple has rejoined the party and is contributing as well. But other applications that have some of these "new" features are also still workable in standard video production environments, particularly Avid and Premiere. FCP X is a massive disappointment in that regard. If Adobe, Avid, and Sony can do it, so should Apple. Perhaps they will release a proper version in time. Many editors hope so. They don't object to possible improvements or new ways of doing things but they do object to it in that it can't fit into a standard workflow at the same time.
posted by juiceCake at 2:51 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]




I wanted to delete a file on the desktop and I could not for the life of me figure out the keystroke. Eventually someone took pity on me and showed me how to drag it to the trash.

It's more like you switched operating systems, but it turned out that in the new version of the operating system you could no longer delete files.
posted by antifuse at 12:35 PM on June 29, 2011


There has been more response, quiet though it may be. You can download a patch now without being redirected to a marketing page for an incompatible video production application, but with the ability to download a patch.
posted by juiceCake at 1:22 PM on June 29, 2011


For those of you who are interested in transitioning or "switching" as the term goes, check this out. He'll being logging how a transition to Avid works as well. Buried in this thread for your convenience.
posted by juiceCake at 10:32 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Spot on.

While the release was bungled for what's currently called the 'pro' market, (FCP7 should still be available, new product should be branded differently = Final Cut Next, etc.), there seems to be a lot of complaining from folks who don't know how to use it.

I've been trying it out and am stunned, in a good way, for a variety of reasons:

1) as a test I imported a blu-ray rip of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Within seconds i was recutting, adding effects, multiple different audio tracks, many different kinds of edits = absurdly fast, all real-time, all rendering in the background, no slow-down noticed, (on a two-year old iMac w/only 4GB of ram).

2) New way of editing - at first the interface was a mystery - but really wanted to try it and so paid for video tutorials = once grasped the system flies. This is desktop publishing for the new digital video world. All those folks shooting video on their phones and still cameras = this is the tool for the them to create professional results.

It is disruptive. The whole concept of pro is melting down. So while it may make sense now for houses to switch to Adobe/Avid; have to say in the long-term this app feels like the future.

- - -
my background: 5 years of directing wacky family-friendly pie in the face comedies for the BBC; using non-linear editing systems for it must be at least 17 years now.
posted by jettloe at 4:33 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Adobe has responded with a discount Switcher program. They also have a page of information guiding those who are considering making the transition. Avid has extended their cross-grade program for FCP users to move to MediaComposer.
posted by juiceCake at 10:24 AM on July 2, 2011


Apparently one can use Motion to wrap FxPlugs into Effects which can then be used in FCPX which is really roundabout and annoying for everyone. I'm going to stand pat with my current 32bit release of FxAndy until they release a real 64bit API that I can compile to. And then it will kick ass. Although considering how shitty sales are, I will probably be in the hole for a couple months on buying FCPX and Motion. (God I hate marketing plug-ins. GOD.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:10 AM on July 2, 2011


The whole concept of pro is melting down. So while it may make sense now for houses to switch to Adobe/Avid; have to say in the long-term this app feels like the future.

Just like how iPhoto totally killed Photoshop?

There are always going to be different stops along the ease-of-use/power spectrum. There's the proverbial Black and Decker plastic drill for the homeowner who wants to hang some pictures, and there's the Hole Hawg.

I don't see any reason why video is immune to having multiple toolsets depending on how much handholding you want from the software versus how much control you want. If anything, the complexity of video tends to lend itself towards different products, because making video editing simple requires making a fair number of assumptions -- which might be generally fine, but wipe out the possibilities for doing something different in an edge case. That's the difference between a consumer and pro tool.

Also, what you're making smells like a "multidimensional chess" argument. I think it's a lot more believable that Apple just fucked up.

Apple is staffed by people and people make bad calls sometimes; especially when they start thinking that they know more than their customers do. So they made a bad call, and now they're taking heat for it. What they do at this point is up to them, but I see nothing to indicate that they've fundamentally altered the NLE landscape. I suspect that either they'll backtrack somehow, or they'll find themselves exiting the professional market. And maybe they're OK with that ... but even if they are, they still tripped pretty badly on their way out the door.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:19 PM on July 4, 2011


Just like how iPhoto totally killed Photoshop?

If your argument is iPhoto:Photoshop::FCPX:FCP7 then I'll just assume you haven't used it.

In fact for many digital photographers Lightroom has indeed supplanted Photoshop.
posted by unSane at 7:33 AM on July 5, 2011


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