Final Cut Pro X ‘backlash’ coming from competitors scared to death over Apple’s $299 price tag?

By SteveJack

I’ve often wondered if the outcry we hear about things like iPhone antennas comes from actual users or *gasp* from Apple’s competitors who would naturally benefit if the general public were sufficiently confused.

It’s not that difficult to place an idea into the media and then watch the echo chamber ratchet it up to ridiculous levels.

After the ludicrous “Antennagate” stories finally died down, I pulled my iPhone 4 out of my pocket and looked at it. What I saw was only the most reliable and receptive iPhone I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned them all). As usual, a mountain was made out of a molehill.

So, I have to wonder where the “backlash” over Final Cut Pro X is coming from? Keep in mind that Final Cut Pro X carries an amazingly low $299 price, especially compared to competitor’s now quite old-fashioned-looking and performing offerings.

Advertisement: Students, parents and Faculty save up to $200 on a new Mac.

Is all the noise we’re hearing today really coming from Final Cut Pro users who still have their previous Final Cut version(s) and already know how to properly and rationally submit feedback to Apple?

Or is it coming from non-Final Cut Pro users who see the $299 writing on the wall and realize that they’ll soon very likely have to learn something dramatically new and different from outside their comfort zone? Apple’s previous Final Cut Pro versions have not stopped working, nor has Apple stopped work on FCP X – in fact, they’ve just started working with a paradigm-shifing, extremely strong and powerful foundation upon which to build. Have a minute of patience, please. I heard the same sort of whining when we went from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X and some had to be dragged kicking and screaming. People stopped crying over Mac OS 9 in short order, too.

Or who perhaps some editors feel a little bit threatened that “non-pro” users will be able to edit so well for so little? And/or perhaps it’s coming from Apple’s now price-demolished competition who simply cannot crunch their numbers and make them come out profitably if Apple is going to offer Final Cut Pro X for $299?

All it takes to give something a 1-star Mac App Store review is to purchase the app. If the Acme Editing and Overpriced Annual Service Contract Company felt threatened enough, I wonder how many copies and what kind of reviews they’d give to Final Cut Pro X? Gin up a bunch of them and the “news reports” about Final Cut Pro X would certainly mention how many one-star reviews it received, right? It might even make FCP’s Wikipedia entry (it has). So easy to do. Much easier than creating a compelling product at a ridiculously low price that offers professional-level editing tools to so many, that’s for sure.

I really have to wonder exactly who’s really “outraged” over Final Cut Pro X and why. I can’t prove anything, but I’ve seen enough in the past to have strong suspicions today.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section. (He also has over 16 years of professional linear and non-linear editing experience. – MDN Ed., June 25, 11:15am EDT)

Related articles:
Conan blasts Apple’s new Final Cut Pro X (with video) – June 24, 2011
Answers to the unanswered questions about Apple’s new Final Cut Pro X – June 23, 2011
‘Professional’ video editors freak out over Final Cut Pro X – June 23, 2011
Apple revolutionizes video editing with Final Cut Pro X – June 21, 2011

131 Comments

    1. Final Cut X is garbage…pure and simple…apple said eff the pros, we’ll give it to consumer market, and leave us all stranded. My editing company is switching over to Premier despite the “price-tag” because of the compatibility, and lack of codex on FCX. The interface is for a dad filming is kid on an iphone, not for someone using 5D or the Red. Sorry to say, but they cut themselves out of the industry.

  1. None of your hypothesis is true SJ. The hyped up complaints against FCP X were fanned by Conan because Color made his hair look more gingery than usual.

  2. real production people in Television, etc. will never upgrade their workflow to Final Cut Pro X on the first day of release. Editors in the middle of a project would never, never, never, never risk upgrading in the middle of a project.

    I don’t believe this backlash story for a second.

        1. Totally agree Final cut Pro X is crap and any one who likes it could only be making amateur videos, seriously i think its more likely the competition got a job at apple to help sabotage the program LOL i dont think this but seriously this reporter is really not the brightest

  3. I’ve been a MDN reader and commenter for years (see previous username Macslut before you went to WordPress).

    I’ve been a Final Cut user since before it was publicly available. Even used it when it was being developed at Macromedia.

    I downloaded FCPX on day one. I’m migrating over to it, starting with small personal projects first and should be fully migrated soon.

    However, there are significant problems with FCPX that seriously affect Pro users. I’ve only pointed out a couple here on MDN (just Import and Export).

    Why are people being vocal?

    Because Apple and others listen, and we have very valid complaints.

    If you’d got a studio set up with a variety of template projects that can’t be used in FCPX despite it’s ability to import iMovie projects, you’re head is probably throbbing once you’ve downloaded the non-trial and discovered this or any of the other Pro-user issues.

    Hopefully, the vocal response will get Apple moving sooner rather than later on some of these issues, and influence how they handle upgrades in the future.

    1. You are not going to speed up or slow down Apple.

      Apple will release updates when they are ready.

      All you’re going to accomplish is trashing Final Cut Pro’s reputation.

      1. Sorry, but the new FCPX is incredible. Avid users will have to switch and learn it because it is probably going to really dominate the entire market. Now, even budding editors and amateur directors have access to a PRO level tool for $299.00. It really gets no better than this. First Aperture discounted on App Store and now FCPX. We are entering into a golden age of super powerful pro apps. Wannabees should fear. Brick and mortar and software packaging and distribution companies should also fear. Software is back. The killer app of this decade? The App Store.

        1. totally agreed. I would wager that 99% of all the whiners are Avid or Adobe people scared to death of the “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING” nature of a $300 pro editing package. so keep using your old software and quit griping. meanwhile, the rest of us will glory in Apple’s brilliance and master this new, outstanding software suite.

          1. Nope…not all. For example I’ve use Final Cut Express because I don’t need a full featured pro app, but something more than iMovie. Having no “Express” option at a lower price point simply sucks. Seems others using FCE are not happy either.

          2. But Apple already HAD iMovie … which is for someone who wants to do an easy, quick edit.

            Why dumb-down final cut, when you already have a dumbed down video editing program?!?!?!

            Now they basically have two versions of iMovie, both for amateures… but one that has a few additional features and tweaks.

        2. You don’t really know what you’re talking about, do you? In order for Final Cut Pro to dominate the pro market it needs a pro set of features. Final Cut X doesn’t cater to professionals, rather to prosumers. Pros don’t want consumerized crap. It isn’t bitching for the sake of bitching and it isn’t Media Composer users and Premier users being “worried.”
          What a silly statement. If you truly knew what you were talking about you would know no one choses an exclusive editor. You use whatever tools will do the job the most efficiently. Final Cut is merely a screwdriver in a toolbox. And FCPX is NOT a tool which can compete with Media Composer and Premier. The only reason to use it now is its price point.

          A little background on me: I am an Apple fanboy, I’ve used Final Cut Pro since version 3, and I spend my time in the pro world of video work. Most of the complaints are valid, but some are very knee-jerk. As much as I love Apple and back their decisions, this one is a flop.

          1. Correct Chase. But with an addendum. Production house will NOT BE switching to FCPX anytime soon. They wouldn’t anyway. But the COMPLETE lack of pro features almost makes this a non starter. Unlike when InDesign came out lacking features but offering compelling new ones FCP’s competitors are neither standing still nor shit canning pro features.

            Multicam is a biggie. So is non centralized media storage and logging. Thee are many others but those are the biggest for me. I frequently work with 10 or more cameras on a shoot and work with 3 or more people in post. Not being able to import PSD layers separately is another huge deficiency. Anyone who thinks tedious work arounds for workflows honed over the past 5-10 years is feasible has never had to work on a deadline. Or charged $250 per hour for post production work. These are features most home users neither know nor care about. For professionals they can be deal breakers.

            And I have projects that are over 6 years old that clients occasionally want revisited and reworked. Just about everyone in the business has this happen. With no upgrade path I will now need to keep an old copy of FCP7 on a workstation for just such occasions.

            And before you think we’re primadonnas you should know that at least half of my clients (tv stations, etc) require EDL export, as well as print to tape. And more than a few require you to do the editing and post production work using their tools. Meaning Avid, Vegas, etc. If they don’t switch to X and choose something else (which they will if X doesn’t fix these PROBLEMS quickly enough) then I will have to also switch. David Pogue’s work arounds for multicam editing are a complete joke. Even if the did come directly from Apple.

        3. I am a professional editor. Most of my plugins are in Final Cut 7. I used to use one editing software. Now i am using 2. I started using Premiere Pro CS5 because of their Mercury Engine which allows me to keep editing instead of having to render each clip. I was hoping Final Cut Pro X would allow me to go back to using 1 program. Sadly its not incredible, we will not have to switch and learn it. Avid still dominates the high end market of editors and Permiere Pro CS5 is better than final cut pro x. Its Mercury Engine is (keyword) fast! Final Cut Pro X background rendering causes the software to run slow. The whole idea that Apple is taking Manual tasks such as organizing folders and bins and sequence or the fact that you can’t turn off the magnetic time line annoys me. I am not a rookie. I hate imovie. Film shoots aren’t just events.. scenes aren’t just events. Calling things events shows the disconnect apple has with its core audience. Adobe CS6 is rumored to have closed captioning built in.. Now this is a feature that actually helps professionals insted of us spending 1000 dollars on a closed captioning house so we can get a project ready for broadcast we can do it right from the editing program. that is something a professional would want. Not a slick magnetic time line… The reason why the program is 299 is because its not worth 1000 dollars. Plain and simple.. Even if they can fix this program to compete with Avid and Premiere Pro by the time the editors have jumped shit which they are doing is massive amounts right now… there would be no reason to go back.

          Apple is hedging their bets on consumers becoming prosumers. However, one thing they failed to think bout is the cult like environment of hollywood. Once the industry has moved on tradition sets in…

          At this point Apple has to reassess the situation and rebound in a very dramatic way.

      2. Hell hath no fury like an evangelist scorned. I have no stake in FCPX (hell, I didn’t know people were up in arms about this until yesterday), and what follows is not about its awesomeness or its weaknesses.

        MrEdofCourse wrote a rational comment explaining why he (and/or others) are vocally complaining about it, and your reply basically tells him to shut his trap and don’t complain because it’s damaging the product and Apple’s reputation.

        By that logic you should just shut up about the all of Apple’s competitors, because you aren’t complaining or providing useful feedback, you’re ridiculing them from what you’ve seen or read, but probably never actually tried (which we often accuse Apple haters of doing), as MrEdofCourse at least has as part of his work.

          1. There’s feedback, and then there’s venting. As long as the venting isn’t hyperbolic, it’s as legitimate a way as any to get grievances heard.

            Whether one uses one or both ways to get the word back to Apple (or any company) depends on 1) the severity of the perceived problem to the customer, and 2) Apple’s (or their customer service reps’) response to it, if any.

            Take the (overblown) iPhone 4 antenna issue. A lot of people were pissed off not because of the issue itself, but because 1) unlike a lot of other phones with similar issues, this one occurred when holding it naturally (yes, naturally–I hold it like that, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads at the time showed that particular hold); 1a) people rightly expect Apple gear to “just work” under normal use, and 2) Steve Jobs’ response (he’s never denied it) of “Just don’t hold it that way” was unbelievably arrogant and dismissive.

          2. Sorry but sometime’s you’re just too pissed off at what appears to be Apple’s lack of commitment to pros and their livelihoods to do anything but storm the palace gates.

            Make no mistake. I use Apple products when they are the best tool available. I will switch when they are not. Stop drinking the Kool Aid from the moat, MDN. Pros are pissed. We were promised an upgrade so that we could keep using theyre products to help us make a living. They renegged. I’m still at the wait and see stage. I can continue using FCP7 for awhile yet. But I can’t wait forever. If my next capture devices arent supported I will be switching. We’ll see how they support 7 going forward…

      3. MacDailyNews, Your silence is deafening. This thread is preposterous. I read MDN religiously, but in this case, I cant believe the blind defense of this Apple Blunder.. BLINDLY even caring about Final Cut Pro X reputation, or defending Apples speed to respond. And it makes obvious that MDN staff has no idea of what a professional needs in BROADCAST video. The Decisions it takes to plan a suite. to Budget, and trust that APPLE will support your investment in the future. Apple better remember one thing. WE graphics experts kept APPLE alive in the 90’s when their stock was $6/share, and Apple was hanging on by a thread… WE bought OVERPRICED computers when there were options. We watched many graphics companies abandon the Mac Platform for PC. Well, this FCP X release is a slap in the face to us loyal PROS. There are PLENTY of Options. The Computing power is basically on the same level, PC or MAC, (yes, Mac OS is better)… The point being, the LAST people you need to piss off are the loyal PROS who command the Creative AIRWAVES and can say NICE THINGS or BAD THINGS… Graphics Pros MADE APPLE COOL. We have to be able to tell our clients that we have the BEST and can GET THE JOB DONE. SO APPLE gives us the BEST or will be a cheezy phone company…gadget company at best. I see MDN doing a cover up and crapping their pants. This is NEWS. I just Googled over 500 articles about this vs 2 in MDN. You should be all over this debacle.
        THIS IS A break in the FOUNDATION of APPLE.. Maybe JOBS was asleep at the Wheel.. I’m tired of the “PROP APPLE” game. I do not need to pay top dollar for ANYTHING Apple. There are PLENTY of competitors. THEY picked the perfect VOCAL audience to piss off with this rather queer release. Anyone giving this release anything more than a 1 star is obviously not a broadcast pro. Funny, If those “enthusiasts” who like FCPX ever progress in their careers, they will find they need more than FINAL CUT PRO X…
        This release is Behind the curve, and leaves APPLE with no 64bit solution for TRUE production houses, Colleges, small businesses, HUGE networks, studios, more. Tired of blindly praising Jobs and CO. Just watch. I bet you see the biggest apology ever from APPLE. If not, then APPLE looses much of their entire PRO creative community. Take Note Apple and MDN, It take years to build trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

      4. You speak of “reputation” as if Apple were some Middle School girl going through puberty. Calling Apple names does not harm Apple’s reputation. Apple is consistently called names by lots of people and has been called names consistently ever since the dawn of the Apple computer company. And Apple’s reputation cannot be harmed by that.

        Instead, Apple has harmed the reputation by deciding to refuse to update Final Cut Pro. What Apple did was to modify iMovie and call it a professional application, giving it the name of Final Cut Pro X.

        And the professionals who actually edit video are all shocked at the result. Gone is the ability to import from tape—something that has always been a given and will be a part of everyone’s workflow until everyone’s cameras are all upgraded to whatever it is that iMovie Pro will import. Also gone is the ability to work with RED Cine files, or any professional film gear. Gone is Color. Gone is Motion. Gone is the professional suite integration. Gone is the _reason_ to make Final Cut Pro the center of a multiple purchase of Mac Pros to outfit a high-end edit facility.

        The industry will simply move on, bypassing the usable tool that Final Cut Studio had become, leaving the Macromedia code in the dust. Instead, the video wedding crowd will use it as iMovie Plus, which is what Apple actually released.

        I will say that Apple doesn’t understand the film and television world and did not learn anything I tried to tell Apple back in the late 1990s. At the time, I was working at a big television network and they had a shootout between professional video editing applications. I called up a contact at Apple and told them that they needed to get in there. They placed a Mac with Final Cut in the “shootout” room and then didn’t include anyone to demonstrate the application.

        What they did not understand at the time and what they still don’t understand now is that, if you make a killer application (like Final Cut Pro was) you can sell hundreds and thousands of high-end Macs. I told them then, that if the network I worked at adopted Final Cut Pro, that the other two major networks would, too. And their affiliates would. And other countries’ networks would. And this would literally cause Apple’s market share in the computer market to ramp up dramatically.

        But what has happened at Apple is that they have decided that they are not a computer company, they are an appliance company. And appliances don’t need killer apps, they serve just one or two functions.

        In making this decision, Apple has done just what AT&T, Verizon, British Telecom, Rogers Cable, Comcast and other companies have done. They have besmirched their own reputation. The real reason why everyone is complaining so much is because nobody understands this paradigm shift at Apple. Apple has always been this really nice, friendly company that innovates and comes out with better and better products.

        So Apple’s reputation cannot really be trashed by complaints. There have always been complaints. But Apple’s reputation may be completely ruined by Apple. Everyone’s complaining because Apple has done this to itself.

  4. One thing I kept noticing over the last 4-5 months: commentaries on the Mac news sites were swamped with people first claiming to own a Mac/iPhone/iPad and then poo-pooing something and recommending a switch to Windows/Android.

    It happens far too often to not be orchestrated – just today (on MacNews.de) people complained about Final Cut X and that their collegues would all consider switching to Windows … yeah, right. As if Final Cut has suddenly stopped working, or the competition has a killer product hidden somewhere …

    1. Exactly. The second someone starts off with “I’ve been a Mac user forever but…”, or “I love my Mac, but…” I pretty much dismiss them as a troll.

      This need to validate their comments by listing their entire user history just reeks of “fake user” to me.

      1. FCP7 has not stopped working BUT:
        It has been static for about 2 years.
        It is limited to 4 gigs of RAM.
        It does not make use of multiple cores well (if at all)
        So…. Not a great situation.

        Similar to:
        SJ trying to convince developers that webapps were the way to go for iPhone.
        Apple ending the Xserve line.

        Imagine, if you can, the transition to intel without having Rosetta ready to go on day one.

        Apple has not officially announced future support for some key features they need, and they fear being left with no upgrade path.

  5. I’m sorry, nope. I love Apple and am a proud fanboy, but the new FCP really is missing some stuff that would make it “pro.” Though no reason to panic. They’ve already said they’ll be adding those features. The gripes are not JUST from competitors. That’s just a wee-bit silly.

  6. I don’t use FCP any version at all but I do agree with the overblown BS about the antenna. Specially from competitors whose products are affected in a similar way. That was pure BS. Good thing the consumers were smart enough to see through that.

  7. Me thinks we’re all defending this a bit too much. The software’s cheap, buy it if you like. Don’t like it, stick to the previous version or just move on. If Apple’s not crying over potential lost sales (potentially of some 200 pro customers worldwide over a decade maybe), why should we?

  8. I love most of my Apple stuff over more than 25 years. I have used Final Cut for years. I am by no means a pro but I do understand the complaints. There is no conspiracy to get users to switch. Geez what an idiotic comment! Typical of a fanboy rather than an adult . Apple is just a huge money making company it’s not your secret buddy. They will address some issues and not others just like any other company. They are in business to make money. They do it Steve’s way. If you like it fine if you don’t use someone else’s product. They will change things only if it benefits them. And that’s ok because they are a business. But please don’t get on here and carry on like Apple cares like your mom does because they do not!

    1. I stopped reading your comment after the first “fanboy” reference. Clearly you may have said it again, bit I’d stopped reading.

      Really, old chap, it’s the equivalent of Godwin’s law in any software/hardware debate. No matter how cogent your analysis it’s lost to me.

      Can the ad hominem, and maybe you’ll get listened to.

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