Apple revolutionizes video editing with Final Cut Pro X

Apple today announced Final Cut Pro X
icon, a revolutionary new version of the world’s most popular pro video editing software which completely reinvents video editing with a Magnetic Timeline that lets you edit on a flexible, trackless canvas; Content Auto-Analysis that categorizes your content upon import by shot type, media and people; and background rendering that allows you to work without interruption. Built on a modern 64-bit architecture, Final Cut Pro X is available from the Mac App Store for $299.99.

Final Cut Pro X
icon is the biggest advance in Pro video editing since the original Final Cut Pro,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in the press release. “We have shown it to many of the world’s best Pro editors, and their jaws have dropped.”

“I’m blown away by what Apple has done with Final Cut Pro,” said Angus Wall, Academy Award-winning film editor, in the release. “Final Cut Pro X
icon is incredibly modern and fast, but most importantly it lets you focus on telling your story in the most creative way, while it actively manages all of the technical details.”

At the heart of Final Cut Pro X
icon is the Magnetic Timeline, a trackless approach to editing your footage that lets you add and arrange clips wherever you want them, while other clips instantly slide out of the way. You can use Clip Connections to link primary story clips to other elements like titles and sound effects, so they stay in perfect sync when you move them. You can even combine related story elements into a Compound Clip that can be edited as a single clip. The groundbreaking new Auditions feature lets you swap between a collection of clips to instantly compare alternate takes.

Content Auto-Analysis scans your media on import and tags your content with useful information. Final Cut Pro X
icon then uses that information to dynamically organize your clips into Smart Collections, so you can easily find the clips you want by close up, medium and wide shots as well as media type and the number of people in the shot. You can also tag parts of clips with Range-based keywords to add custom search criteria to your media.

Completely rebuilt from the ground up, Final Cut Pro X
icon is a 64-bit app that takes full advantage of the latest Mac hardware and software so you never have to wait for the next edit, even if you’re working with 4K video. Final Cut Pro X
icon uses multi-threaded processing and the GPU on your graphics card for blazing fast background rendering and superb real-time playback performance. Additionally, a ColorSync-managed color pipeline ensures color consistency from import to output.

Final Cut Pro X
icon also includes powerful tools for audio editing and color correction, and is complemented by two companion apps, Motion 5 for professional motion graphics and Compressor 4 for advanced media encoding, available from the Mac App Store for $49.99 each.

Final Cut Pro X
icon is available today for $299.99 from the Mac App Store. Motion 5
icon and Compressor 4
icon are available today for $49.99 each from the Mac App Store.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Remove the sharp objects and string up the suicide nets around the Avid and Adobe headquarters.


    1. Indeed. I thought it was a typo. Even at $2,999, it’s still a bargain! Especially when you can legally install it on other workstations for “free”.

      Wow. Secondary education (high school) TV production is seriously going to take a leap going forward. I only had access to Sony Saticon tube cameras and a reel-to-reel recorder… No, that’s not a indication of my age! I had access to a Beta camera and portable deck! 😉

    2. After playing with FCPX for an hour, I actually had the thought to go back to Avid… while it’s still on sale.

      No… can’t go back to Avid. I’ll continue to get my real work done on FCP 7, and play with FCPX occasionally. It should be good for new projects from Canon DSLR files. I’ll still have to export it back to use my 3rd party plug-ins.

  1. Color is integrated which is much better. You didn’t like round-tripping did you? Now you can see everything in context while you color.

    Downloading now. Can’t believe I’ll be using it before 9am pacific.

  2. 35+ years of experience writing software that everyone else can only drool over and try to copy is exactly the edge that Apple has over the entire industry.

    Apple is the world’s best software company that is always evolving, improving and reinventing the game. That is key to all it’s products.

    There is no substitute for experience and expertise.

  3. BAD NEWS: I have a 2 year old, Mac Pro 2 x 2.8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 6 Gigs of memory and I can’t download FCP X from the app store because my Mac Pro isn’t good enough!

    I have an ATI Radeon HD 2600. What about all those iMac editing stations when they cant upgrade either? Nice timing, right before the new Mac Pros to be released.

    1. FCP X should work on your machine. And you can upgrade the graphics on your Mac Pro, too, to get more performance.

      Or you can use FCP X as an excuse to get a new Mac Pro. That seems to be where you are headed. Enjoy!

    1. I’ve just checked the UK prices as well.

      Basically the whole lot is £200.00 plus VAT (£180 + (2 x £30)) at £240.00.

      Which is the cost of Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business 2011.

  4. Looks exciting…quick question please – does Final Cut Pro X still support iChat Theater (essential as I produce content remotely this way) and also, can’t wait to see the better voice narration tools, VO Tool in FCP 7 was very basic.

    Any feedback on this yet guys?

  5. It looks good and the price is right but I will wait for training manuals to hit stores before buying this. This download-only way of distributing the software is great for convenience but not ideal for anyone wanting a manual and tutorial books to go with these complicated applications.

  6. I understand why that new Color app by VMWARE waited. Color has been transformed. I think there will be some interesting apps to mingle with the new Final Cut.

  7. Calling all Real Editors-Wealth Warning….take a wander over to Apple discussions and Creative Cow discussions, save your money, it’s lost many of the ‘pro’ features of FCP7. Mind you I cannot imagine any MDN readers being real editors….

    1. Steady on Robbo, I am in the TV industry and yes I agree Apple need to communicate better what developments are ahead yet in the near term for FCP X.

      That said, even in Gary Adcock’s (Creative Cow) definitive review so far – it says: “Gary goes beyond his own knee-jerk reaction to this latest release of Final Cut, to get under the hood of FCP X, and he likes a lot of what he sees.”

      Seeing one guy’s whinge of trying to finish a Post Edit in DAYS and being shocked at the feature set lacking in FCP X (Believe it or not) to finish his project – tells me editors over there or not, some people have delusions of their own grandeur…


      1. Hi Dean, I too work in the industry and here is the current MIA features…

        1. I can’t import my old projects.. which means I will always need a copy of my FCP 7 on my machine “just in case” (my clients often require me to dig out and tweak old work).
        2. No EDL import.
        3. No XML import.
        4. No playout/edit to tape.
        5. No ability to customise window layout.
        6. I don’t seem to be able to se any of my old plug-ins.
        7. I here it can’t playout over HD-SDI?
        8. What happened to ProRes LT?
        9. Unless I am missing something it insists on doing something with my imported XDCAM EX footage, rather than working with it natively.
        10. Can’t choose scratch disc etc locations.
        11. Can’t choose start timecode.

        Personally I couldn’t give a toss right now, my comments were in response to the rabid posts about how Apple just revolutionised video editing. Russia had a revolution, look where they are now. Revolution is not always a forward motion. Since Apple practices the unsubtle art of ‘deafening silence’ it would be easy to assume that the above features will not be appearing any time soon. Of course, I am sure one of the plug-in devs will be right along to empty your wallet of an extra few $$$.

        1. Fair cop Robbo,

          I almost expected old Projects to not migrate. There will come a time where you will just need to do a clean and full export of your timelines with associated media and make the cut off.

          XDCAM support is not in it yet, I would suggest using Sony’s Log and Transfer App first.

          As for the rest of your points, they are valid and I think Randy U and his talented cohorts at Apple will need to shine a light in the post production world pretty quickly as to where they are heading with all this…

          But, I do see the potential, FCP X feels very much like a 1.0 type product right now.

        2. If XML and tape export are lost 4ever, then I don’t see the point of upgrading. One of my biggest projects involves localising and subtitling a TV series out of the US. I distribute to 20 countries in various formats. All my subs come in as XML’s which get laid over the video. I deliver DVCAM to several countries. Even if FCPX took on just those two features, re-making my project for FCPX (which has currently 50 episodes in it) would be a right PIA.
          But I can see it looks a nice software and I am sure it will attract many new users, it’s a shame that Apple should treat it’s very loyal professional user base with such silence. If anything the silence is more revealing about their real intentions.

        3. robbo,
          I’m with you on your points. I’ll add a couple.

          12. Won’t send video/audio to my $1K Blackmagic Design graphics card.
          13. Some common keystrokes have been changed. Will take remapping keys to get them back.

          I want to believe… but right now my reaction is “New Coke”.

        4. It seems far closer to iMovie than to Final Cut 7. I’ll call it “iMovie Pro” for now. Without EDL and XML support and tape-out, etc. we won’t be using FCPX in our facility (other than experimentation) anytime soon. My hope is that features will be added either in future updates or third parties. Very elegant interface. Just not up to snuff yet. Maybe a “Final Cut Studio X” will address all the missing features? If there will be such a thing. My bet is that there will be.

  8. FCP X is a sea-change for video editing. I’ve used Final Cut since version 1.0, and this version has the same excitement has the first version. I can hardly wait to take ’10’ for a good cut n’ run!

    Big Congratulations to Randy Ubillos and the rest of the FCP Team.


    (Happy Summer Solstice!)

  9. Apple description say Compressor now allows you to burn DVDs and BluRay. Not sure of they mean preparation of the video in the right format or actual burning as well.

  10. What Happened to DVD Studio. and Soundtrack Pro. ? i for one Can not Down Load it. i Prefer to Buy The Software in the Store then install it. Thanks Apple. Hello Adobe Premiere Pro ?

    1. Looks like Soundtrack Pro features and ingrained into the core FCP X product.

      As good as the products are, many editors I have dealt with on FCP 7 could not be bothered round tripping to these products. Apple is smart trying to integrate them frankly into the core product…

      …as long as they work properly.

  11. I am reading a lot of people’s harsh comments on the new FCP and just feel its a little misguided. Apple has changed the way we interact with the world with the iphone and the ipad. I know a lot of people get scared because apple is so secret, and the future is so unknown with them…but time and time again they usually don’t steer you wrong. Basically, Apple has an idea in mind…you dont know the idea until it finally comes to full fruition. The best proof is the ipad. And that still has a long time before we realize it’s full potential. So, if they get rid of a feature…its probably not because they want to go prosumer, they probably have a very good reason. Remember, the same developer that developed FCP X, also developed Final Cut 1.0

    1. Just because Apple has hit some home runs, they are not all knowing. I don’t blindly buy everything they sell (glossy screens for one).

      I started non-linear editing with an AVID system. When FCP 1.0 came out, it was an intuitive, easy switch.
      FCPX is only going to be intuitive to iMovie users (prosumers).

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.