Today Apple came out with a new version of Final Cut Pro and while its been a long time coming, it has been met with mixed reviews. The overwhelming majority of them seem to be negative. Here’s what I think:
While a lot of the comments and complaints I’ve read are valid, I think we’re seeing a classic case of the “whining of the vocal minority” here. I mean, does the majority of the people who use FCP professionally really use all the features that are missing from this 1.0 release on a daily basis? Probably not.
I’ll bet you if you found a way to poll all of the people who use FCP on a daily or regular basis and asked them how many of them regularly require the ability to import/export OMFs, XMLs or EDLs or, you’d get an insanely low percentage of people. Yes, it should be there if this is to be considered a “pro” app… but I think all this hubbub is a little disproportionate to the amount of people who’d actually benefit from the inclusion of some of these features off the bat.
They’ll show up. But in the meantime lets not forget all the things this new version does infinitely better than the old FCP. I mean, a 12 core mac pro can damn near run a NASA shuttle mission by itself but couldn’t render a line of generated text over a layer of video… this was a big problem. This was a thing I, and a lot of editors use on a regular basis (and not XML exporting). It’s now fixed, along with a host of other nips and tucks that make this program really fly and actually put to use all the money people spent on their decked out macs - but for some reason people hate on the new version?!? I don’t get it.
No native RED support, or opening old FCP projects are both huge oversights I think, and certainly should have been there from day one. The lack of multicam is troubling, I’ll admit that, but again.. most people who use FCP don’t need that feature regularly… yeah I’ve read a few posts here and there about people who work on multicam shoots regularly but you can’t be serious if you think YOUR workflow is the most common one out there!
I can’t say with certainty but I’d imagine Apple did some sort of polling to find out what most of their users use on a regular basis and concentrated on porting that to FCPX first. And I (and just about everyone else I know) gave up hope on DVDSP long long ago (and moved on to Encore) so the whole non inclusion of that is a wash really. At least you can find the BluRay export option directly in FCP… thats a step in the right direction.
I say, lets see this for what it is: a radically new paradigm for editing that finally brings the software up to the level of the hardware. I’ve been poking around in it for several hours now and this thing zings. Granted I’m on a spankin new i7 iMac with an SSD and maxed out specs :) but still… It finally lets me use my hardware in a respectable way.
I read a post on a forum about how the “range based key-wording” is the feature at the crux of the paradigm shift with how you manage your media and I couldn’t agree more. To explain, what that feature does it is allows you to select any given range of a clip and apply keywords to it like “wide shot” or “funny shot of main character” or “favorite moment” without the need to apply that note to the entire clip. Furthermore, when you’ve applied all your notes, you can go back and search and organize your stuff based on the details of whats actually IN your clip, not what the filename is or any other systematic yet unhelpful criteria. Its helps me sort and manage whats in the content of the video I shot, not where its located on my hard drive or what the filename is… this is a good thing.
Its got some growing pains, but it’ll be enhanced and added to. And once 3rd party plugin support (a feature that just because of the whole 32 to 64 bit transition I never thought would be present anyway) comes in… and a few glaring omissions get added, people will forget about all this whining and wonder how they ever did without it.
Besides, most of this whining seems to be coming from people who 1) have an inability to understand the complexities of creating a stable rewrite of a piece of software as complex as Final Cut, 2) People who have an inflated ego when it comes to their personal preferences/workflow in the eyes of Apple, and 3) Impatient people.
I’ve seen it time and time again… Apple announces a new product… people hate on it… they get used it… they start to like it… Apple improves upon it… next thing you know it’s selling millions of units. It happened with the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac, OSX, … iMovie, the AppleTV… just about EVERYTHING (except the Apple HiFi. That sucked). Everyone always always always lambasts it, and a few months later the thing, whatever it is, is selling like hotcakes. FCPX will be no different.
Plus, for every single gripe you or anyone can give me, I can give you a counter point for a new feature that is better or makes my work easier than in FCP7. So simmadown everyone.