‘Professional’ video editors freak out over Final Cut Pro X

“In 10 years of writing Times columns, I’ve never encountered anything quite like this,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “In Thursday’s paper, I reviewed Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, a professional video-editing program. It’s not an update of the existing Final Cut, which is by far the most popular such program; it’s completely new and radically redesigned. It looks different, its strengths are different — and after one day of using it, many professional video editors are running through the streets with pitchforks.”

“In this column, I’m going to address the concerns of professional video editors, one by one,” Pogue reports.

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.

Complaint: You can’t specify import locations. “When you import video files, FCP X puts them all into your User-> Movies folder, like iMovie does. Ridiculous,” says one reader in an e-mail.
Answer: Again, not true. In the Import dialog box, there’s an option called “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder.” If you turn it off, Final Cut leaves the imported files where they are.

Many more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
With Final Cut Pro X debut, Apple discontinues Final Cut Express, Studio, and Server – June 22, 2011
Apple revolutionizes video editing with Final Cut Pro X – June 21, 2011


  1. it’s been several years since Microsoft switched their flagship product MS Office from the popular and mostly useful interface to that now bastardized POS version that is mainly icon based gibberish. The new Office front end is horrible, difficult to understand and downright frustrating. It boggles the mind trying to figure out what the hell they were thinking. It’s been several years as I’ve said, and it still sucks!
    While I do feel your pain (as a non FCP user), I’m pretty confident that Apple will make it right (not like the dancing monkey co. product) Apple is not known for shooting themselves in the foot ( during the last decade).

  2. So a bunch of people that wanted a new version of FCP but didn’t want anything to change are complaining.

    Just use the old version and shut up. Actually, use Adobe Premier on OS9 and STFU.

    Apple should have just changed the version number and left the software alone. We’d probably be reading a bunch of “amazing reviews” by the same douche bags complaining now.

  3. Does no one remember the hew and cry from editors who had to learn FC 1?
    Oh my god… “It doesn’t do this like Avid or that like Avid” ad-nauseum. Then people learned and became far more efficient. It wasn’t until Walter Murch cut “Cold Mountain” that the bitching stopped.

    It kills me to read things like “I cant open my old project in it” or worse “I can’t switch mid-project to the new software”… who the hell does that with half a brain?

    Use FCP7 while learning the new software, Apple will continue to update and add features at THE REQUEST OF THE EDITING COMMUNITY, just like they have done in the past. Man, I am embarrassed for my film and fx editing community. I didn’t think we were that stodgy!

  4. Allow me to repost from the end of an earlier thread something which few probably got to see.

    Here’s an analogy to help non-editors understand what has happened.

    Let’s say the new iPhone 5 comes out with perfect call clarity, never drops a call, will work at twice the distance from a cell tower than any other phone… and has a couple new snazzy apps.

    However, over half of your favorite apps will no longer work on iPhone 5. Your contact list cannot be imported. When you do manually re-enter contacts, you can’t put in as much information. They’ve eliminated the camera, GPS, and several other features. For some reason, it won’t even call all the area codes. It does seem to cost less, but needed stuff you’ve gotten used to is either gone… seemingly forever… or works totally different.

    Apple says this will be eventually worked out… but, you can no longer buy any earlier iPhones that have the capabilities you need.
    But hey… it’s now easier for more people to use, it costs less, and your calls sound better.

    How many iPhone users/buyers might be upset with that?

    1. Here’s a response to a poorly consided analogy for non-editors.
      When you first started learning final cut, if you came from a different app did you stop using that old app?
      Did you just delete all your old Avid or Media 100 or Premiere apps and jump in feet first? Was it a perfect experience as you made the transition?
      FCPX will evolve, features missing today will be added quickly with, more than likely little to no charge. Young editors coming up will also probably eat your lunch.

      1. Yes!
        I did stop using Avid immediatly. Final Cut Pro 1 used industry conventions, and was a painless and enjoyable transition.

        And I fully expect (and encourage) young editors to eat my lunch, as I did to my predecessors. It’s the way of things. However, they aren’t going to do it with the present version of “iMovie Pro”.

  5. I’m a luddite who still uses the easy iMovie HD in preference to the newer one.

    I tried FCE but never really took to it, so maybe FCPX is the way forward, particularly at the must-have price point.

  6. I’ve scanned the comments here and everyone who isn’t a professional editor might want to read the comments for David Pogue’s original article at the Times. There are a lot of pros chiming in giving a more complete insight into how FCPX (as it stands) will affect their business. There’s also a respectful and sober discussion going on over there, so I recommend it for anyone who really wants to understand the concern. It’s about livelihood, not interface changes. (I’ll tell you this: I’m a pro, so I can learn the new interface about about a solid day. I’ve dabbled the past couple days and I’m almost there. That isn’t even close to the problem.)

  7. You can not spin this into a good release. FCPX falls quite short for PROS it was intended for!

    Some of the shortcomings of FCPX is immediately recognized as soon as you launch it the first time, like No import of FCP7 projects (but you can import iMovie project, this may tell you something). A few other missing features take a few more minutes like no viewer window, no custom layouts, no external monitoring (pros need to see video on an actual TV/monitor), no multi-cam (pros use more than ONE camera), little support for tape (pros STILL use tape), little in advanced Blu-ray support (pros STILL NEED to deliver in HD on an optical disc), lack of XML workflow, lack of OMF export (pros need the ability to work in other applications like Pro Tools), no EDL export (may sound old fashioned but some pros STILL need this) and no multiple tracks in timeline.


    1. In addition to the iMovie import, another amateurish feature is the “CNN iReport” selection.
      Who is going to use that?

      If you already work in news, you’re going to send video directly to your own station/network.
      If you are a freelance reporter, you will want more than one client… especially the more watched (better paying) networks. MSNBC has about 30% more viewers, and FNC has around 300% more viewers than CNN.*

      *Cable News Rating for 6/21/11

  8. No matter how many years film editors have spent learning to use Final Cut Pro, it is simply not realistic to expect Apple to keep the program working in exactly the same way forever. Everything changes eventually. Professional editors who take the time to learn how to use FinalCut Pro X and then don’t like it may have valid criticisms. But right now, everybody’s just whining because the new version is different. But guess what? Shit happens! Learn to use the new version and then tell us what you think.

    1. I would have to guess that most pros are ready to learn the new, better, different. I know I am. The problem comes when the supposedly new/better is hobbled.

      It’s kind of like the Air Force waiting on an updated jet fighter… and then getting a new, state-of-the-art, machine gun equipped, business jet instead. It’s a great plane, but there’s no place to attach the missiles.

      If Apple had just added 64 bit memory access, background rendering, and maybe a couple more little nice things to FCP7… they could have sold boatloads of FCP8, even at $1000 a pop.

  9. That’s fine that Apple wants to change the video editing world but don’t string pros along who make their living with your software while you’re dong it. This really comes down to crappy communication from Apple and handling expectations.

    Let’s rewind back to FCP 6, about 4 years ago. That was really the last major revision of FCP. 2 years ago, FCP 7 comes out , essentially unchanged from the previous version and the word on the street is “OK that’s cool… Apple must be really hard at work refining FCP and giving it the treatment it deserves—with all the new tech in the latest version of OS X, like grand central, open cl, etc All the rumors certainly pointed that way. After all it’s no small feat to convert all that legacy code. What pros got instead was a souped up iMovie.

    Premiere has been 64-bit over over a year now and does essentially everything the old FCP does but does it much faster. Why would pros waste more time, waiting for Apple (and waiting for the render bar in the old FCP) when there’s great solutions that do everything they need now?

    So when people say FCP 7 still works whie they wait is true, the question is a) when will it stop working and b) how much longer do pros have to wait for a version that fills in some of the slack? The point is, pros are sick of waiting on Apple. You can’t even buy FCP anymore and since you can even open old FCP projects in it, it’s like the past 11 years haven’t even existed. AT least with on Mac OS X, Apple give you Classic.

  10. A good portion of my business is going into old projects, making some changes, and reoutputting. I am constantly going back to old projects from 5-6-7 years ago and editing them. Apple is telling me that this huge part of my business they don’t care about. Photoshop can open PSD files from 1988, what the hell is Apple thinking cutting off everything I’ve done in FCP since 2000? Looks like choosing FCP over Avid back in the day was a big mistake. First time I’ve ever felt this way about Apple, ever.

  11. I have just purchased the new Funal Cut Pro X.
    I have 2 gripes.
    1. I have 2 Sony HD Camcorders, 1 works fine the other not only crashes FCP X every time I plug it in, it will crash the program if I put the SD card in the slot of my iMac or if I copy the files from the SD Card into the Root of any drive on my computer.
    2. Apple releases a new program that changes the paradigm, shipps the program and says go forth and teach your self. Where are the training materials (help file does not count)?

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