Apple answers Final Cut Pro X questions; promises multicam editing and more

Apple has posted “Final Cut Pro X – Answers to common questions,” which states, verbatim:

Final Cut Pro X is a breakthrough in nonlinear video editing. The application has impressed many pro editors, and it has also generated a lot of discussion in the pro video community. We know people have questions about the new features in Final Cut Pro X and how it compares with previous versions of Final Cut Pro. Here are the answers to the most common questions we’ve heard.


Can I import projects from Final Cut Pro 7 into Final Cut Pro X?
Final Cut Pro X includes an all-new project architecture structured around a trackless timeline and connected clips. In addition, Final Cut Pro X features new and redesigned audio effects, video effects, and color grading tools. Because of these changes, there is no way to “translate” or bring in old projects without changing or losing data. But if you’re already working with Final Cut Pro 7, you can continue to do so after installing Final Cut Pro X, and Final Cut Pro 7 will work with Mac OS X Lion. You can also import your media files from previous versions into Final Cut Pro X.

Can I import my video directly into Final Cut Pro X as I could in Final Cut Pro 7?
Yes. Final Cut Pro X allows you to import video from a wide range of devices, including many AVCHD-based cameras and DSLR cameras. You can find a list of supported cameras here: The list will grow as we continue to test and qualify new cameras.

Some camera manufacturers will need to update their import plug-ins to work with the new 64-bit architecture of Final Cut Pro, and we are working with them to provide these updates as quickly as possible. Until then, you can use your camera manufacturer’s import software to convert video for Final Cut Pro X.

For example, Sony offers an XDCAM Transfer application that allows you to convert XDCAM video without transcoding so it can be imported into Final Cut Pro X. You can find more information here: If you are working with RED cameras, you can use the free RED software REDCINE-X, designed to transcode RED RAW video to ProRes for use in Final Cut Pro X:


Can I edit my tape-based workflow with Final Cut Pro X?
Yes, in a limited manner. Final Cut Pro X is designed for modern file-based workflows and does not include all the tape capture and output features that were built into Final Cut Pro 7. Final Cut Pro X does support FireWire import for DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO HD, and HDV. In addition, companies like AJA and Blackmagic offer free deck control software that allows you to capture from tape and output to tape.

Does Final Cut Pro X support multicam editing?
Not yet, but it will. Multicam editing is an important and popular feature, and we will provide great multicam support in the next major release. Until then, Final Cut Pro X offers some basic support with automatic clip synchronization, which allows you to sync multiple video and audio clips using audio waveforms, creating a Compound Clip that can be used for simple multicam workflows.

Does Final Cut Pro X support external monitors?
Yes. If you have a second computer monitor connected to your Mac, Final Cut Pro X gives you options to display the interface across multiple monitors. For example, you can place a single window — such as the Viewer or the Event Browser — on the second monitor, while leaving the other windows on your primary monitor. Like previous versions, Final Cut Pro X relies on third-party devices to support external video monitoring. We’ve been working with third-party developers in our beta program to create drivers for Final Cut Pro X, and AJA has already posted beta drivers for its popular Kona card:

Can I save different versions of my project?
Yes. Final Cut Pro X automatically saves your project during the editing process, so you never lose your work. If you want to save a version of your project, with or without duplicate media, select it in the Project Library and choose File > Duplicate Project.

Are keyboard shortcuts in Final Cut Pro X different from those in Final Cut Pro 7?
Many keyboard shortcuts for navigation, start/end marking, and tools are the same in Final Cut Pro X and Final Cut Pro 7. Some keyboard shortcuts have changed to support new features. Final Cut Pro X offers powerful keyboard customization, and you can view and modify keyboard shortcuts at any time by choosing Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize.

Can I use my third-party plug-ins in Final Cut Pro X?
You’ll be able to use them as soon as they are updated. Because Final Cut Pro X has a modern 64-bit architecture, third-party plug-ins must be 64-bit too. Final Cut Pro X already supports 64-bit Audio Units plug-ins. For motion graphics, third-party developers can build effects, titles, transitions, and generators as templates in Motion 5 for use directly in Final Cut Pro X. Developers can also build 64-bit FxPlug 2 plug-ins for Motion 5, and integrate those plug-ins into templates that can be used in Final Cut Pro X. These templates, together with any associated FxPlug 2 plug-ins, will work in Final Cut Pro X even if Motion is not installed on the computer.

Media Management

Can I specify a scratch disk location?
Yes. When you import media, you can specify the Event and the drive where you’d like to put it. You can also specify where you’d like to put your project. In Final Cut Pro X, a project and its rendered media always travel together in the same folder, so it’s easy to move projects between different hard drives and computers.

Can I share projects with other editors?
Yes. You have several options for sharing projects. You can hand over just the project file, and the recipient can reconnect the project to his or her own copies of the Event. Or you can send the complete project and Event as a package to another editor. Final Cut Pro X includes options for duplicating, moving, and consolidating projects and associated media to streamline sharing between editors.

Can I store media in locations other than my system drive?
Yes. Turning off the “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder” option leaves the imported files where they are currently located. You can also move the project and associated media at any point during the editing process by dragging the project to another mounted hard drive within the Project Library.

Can I hide Events that I am not working on?
Yes. You can hide Events in Final Cut Pro X by moving them out of the Final Cut Events folder. In the Finder, navigate to the /Users/username/Movies folder and create a new folder. Then move the Events you are not using out of the Final Cut Events folder and into your new folder. The moved Events will no longer appear in Final Cut Pro X. If your Events are located on an external drive, you can move the Events to a new folder on that drive, or you can simply unmount the drive.


Can Final Cut Pro X export XML?
Not yet, but we know how important XML export is to our developers and our users, and we expect to add this functionality to Final Cut Pro X. We will release a set of APIs in the next few weeks so that third-party developers can access the next-generation XML in Final Cut Pro X.

Does Final Cut Pro X support OMF, AAF, and EDLs?
Not yet. When the APIs for XML export are available, third-party developers will be able to create tools to support OMF, AAF, EDL, and other exchange formats. We have already worked with Automatic Duck to allow you to export OMF and AAF from Final Cut Pro X using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0. More information is available on the Automatic Duck website:

Can I send my project to a sound editing application such as Pro Tools?
Yes; you can export your project in OMF or AAF format using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0. More information is available on the Automatic Duck website:

Does Final Cut Pro X allow you to assign audio tracks for export?
Not yet. An update this summer will allow you to use metadata tags to categorize your audio clips by type and export them directly from Final Cut Pro X.

Can I customize my export settings?
Yes. Compressor 4, available from the Mac App Store for $49.99, allows you to create a wide variety of custom export settings that you can use in Final Cut Pro X. The most popular export options and formats, including ProRes and H.264, are already built into Final Cut Pro X.


Can I purchase a volume license?
Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, and Compressor 4 Commercial and Education Volume Licensing will be available soon via the Apple Online Store for quantities of 20 or more. After purchasing, customers will receive redemption codes they can use to download the applications from the Mac App Store.

Source: Apple Inc.

More information and download links via Apple’s Mac App Store:

Final Cut Pro X
• Compressor 4
• Motion 5

MacDailyNews Take: Nothing Apple has done with Final Cut Pro X should surprise anyone who’s been paying the least bit of attention at any time over the last 35 years and especially the last fourteen.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple, 1997

For those satisfied with the status quo:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

Related articles: petition demands that Apple not change Final Cut Pro – June 27, 2011
Final Cut Pro X ‘backlash’ coming from competitors scared to death over Apple’s $299 price tag? – June 24, 2011
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


    1. LOL. MDN’s take sounds like an urgent need to burst into his favourite mantra to reassure himself the Apple RDF is still in place. This would be a good site if not for the rabid sycophancy.

      1. It is something of an antidote to the all too common chicken little-on-caffeine sites, isn’t it? (Admittedly, glass half-empty sorts need someplace to go where they’ll feel comfortable, too.)

      2. Ooooo… wow the trolls are loosing traction quickly.

        I would have guessed at least another day before they ran out of facts and pulled out the “RDF” and call us mindless sycophants (oh excuse me, this is a new variant “rabid sycophants” mama’s little boy must have learned to use a thesaurus)

      3. Seriously MDN, I like this place. But keep your comments to industries you understand, like cell phones and tablet computers.

        Isn’t iMovie enough for everyone?

  1. In being the ultimate shill for Steve Jobs, MDN has managed to play right into the hands of the hated Adobe.

    Just because Steve says “from now on you will do it this way” doesn’t mean that’s what we will do. As long as there are choices, WE will make them for ourselves. Not Steve Jobs.

    1. “As long as there are choices, WE will make them for ourselves.”

      And every single Mac or Apple software user, indeed makes that choice – Loud and clear. The numbers keep growing and the standard keeps getting higher and higher and higher every day and every year.

    2. Something about Steve telling a group of high-end video editors that “they wouldn’t be driving product direction anymore” didn’t sit right with me.

      It’s one thing to say that the product may take off in a different direction, and that Apple would stay in touch and work with the high-end video editors, but it’s another to just shut the door on them.

      No one likes to be shut out in their profession.

      1. “It’s one thing to say that the product may take off in a different direction…”

        This pretty much sounds like exactly what happened. If Apple issued these answers, they’re obviously also “in touch and work(ing) with the video editors”. But telling high-end editors that they’re no longer driving the bus sounds pretty honest and realistic to me.

        It also is not the same thing as shutting them out of their profession.

      2. “It’s one thing to say that the product may take off in a different direction…”

        This pretty much sounds like exactly what happened. If Apple issued these answers, they’re obviously also “in touch and work(ing) with the video editors”. But telling high-end editors that they’re no longer driving the bus sounds pretty honest and realistic to me.

        It also is not the same thing as shutting them out of their profession.

        But, maybe the door that shut, is the door to professional obscurity? They might want to start looking at the door that just opened.

      3. Don’t be so naive, John. In the 30 past years I’ve been in the commercial arts I’ve had my cheese moved more times than I can count. My advice to is quit whining, and instead be the first, fastest, and strongest in adapting to the change. Otherwise you will be steamrolled. I mean this in the kindest way.

    3. Lemmings all around. When a company treats its best customers with such arrogance as to say “we don’t care what you want or what you need you will do it our way” it’s time to say to that company that they are wrong. It will be interesting to see if this attitude survives in the post-Jobs era.

      1. Apparently you are not EAL. The FAQ says over and over “we realize this is important to you.” RTFM.

        Who would you go to: Microsoft, Adobe? Yeah, that’s the ticket. You have a real grasp of reality.

        Apple haters are just as much lemmings as those they condemn. They just blindly go the opposite way for the sake of going the opposite way.

        1. DM: I don’t know what “EAL” or “RTFM” means. I clicked your link and was warned that it was a phishing site. So, WTF would I care what you think?

  2. Wonderful take! This is why I read MDN!

    Steve also said (Stanford):

    “death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.”

  3. I like how when the answer to the question is “no”, they answer in the affirmative.

    a d they left off a question…
    Question: “Does FCP X not not make we want to not continue to not switch to a different platform altogether.

    Answer: Yes. Soon within the foreseeable future (aka-when we’re ready to admit we were wrong) FCP X WILL not not make younot want to not continue to not switch to a different platform altogether.

    So, is that a yes?

  4. In retrospect, it seems the only real mistake Apple made was in releasing FCPX before it was completely ready. Had they waited to release until these features (multi cam) were included, the version might have been better received.

    But, that’s water under the bridge. Products evolve. Software improves (unless your Microsoft, then it just gets a new dress but the body stays the same.)

  5. Encouraging words.
    I’m hoping for the day this will be a fully usable product for all editors. It’s just that a lot of editors can’t use it today. And needed missing features are vaporware until delivered.

    I’m not encouraged when I get an email like this from a plug-in vendor.

    “Q: Will PluralEyes support FCP X?
    A: As with any new host release, we intend to support FCP X as soon as we can, but the technical information that we need to do so has not been released yet. In the meantime, the engineering team has begun the process of analyzing FCP X.

    Q: I see other plug-ins are supporting FCP X already. Why aren’t you?
    A: There are several different developer kits. One of those has been released and is being used to update some plug-ins. The one we need has not been made available to us.

    Q: I need PluralEyes for FCP X! Can’t you do something?
    A: We’re doing everything we can think of. If you would like to make your wishes known to Apple, they provide a page where you are invited to give feedback about Final Cut Pro.”

    Apple should have released all needed specs to existing plug-in vendors ahead of FCX release, to make the process seamless for all.

  6. After speaking with two full-time editors I know, the consensus is that there’s nothing wrong with the app itself, but a BIG problem with the name: anything having the balls to call itself “pro” should be that – intended for professionals. And FCPX ain’t there yet, not by a long shot.

    I really hope that Logic Studio doesn’t get a similar downsizing in its next update; the now non-proprietary Pro Tools may get a lot of new adherents if it does.

  7. the only thing i see people bitching about, that DOES have merit…
    not being able to import old FCP7 projects.
    but it looks like you can import the FCP7 media.
    I bet there WILL be some conversion software out there.

    1. “the only thing i see people bitching about, that DOES have merit…not being able to import old FCP7 projects.”

      At this point, I agree. Prior to the release of the FAQ, the other real issue was the lack of communication regarding specific pro features.

      “but it looks like you can import the FCP7 media.”

      Well ya, you can import virtually any audio/video in any video editor (transcoding may be needed). This was always a given. It’s not what anyone was complaining about.

      “I bet there WILL be some conversion software out there.”

      There already is. Unfortunately it’s to go from FCP to other software.

      Apple is really screwing up here because while yes, the core structures of the apps are totally different and importing projects wouldn’t map 100% to the new structure, that doesn’t mean that a transition path could not be built.

      Here’s a simple solution:
      1) Take the FCP binary and package it up for the App Store. Sell it for whatever price (it really doesn’t matter to pros). It’s only about 25% the size of FCPX.

      2) Create an add-on that’s FCP Exporter and sell that for whatever price (it doesn’t matter to pros). Have the exporter take the project and save it out in a format where all the media assets are organized, and placed in a FCPX timeline based on where they exist on the timeline in FCP. The exporter doesn’t need to get all of the transitions and everything right. It just needs to get us most of the way there. Providing a rough cut with the assets would be easy with the new structure, and while not a perfect solution, it does get most pros most of the way there.

  8. This is a lot like the transition from Max OS 9 to Mac OSX. It is a big pain for professionals who have invested a lot of time and money in the platform. But hey, if Apple didn’t bite the bullet, we’d all still be stuck on Windows XP.

    For small projects use X – it is awesome for rip-o-matics and will actually get you out of the office on time, with 64 bit rendering. For big projects and final things, use FCP. Transition over time. Stop complaining.

      1. yeah stop complaining, with your-your-your-your stoopit established workflows and working media management systems.

        Get off that land and on to that reservation and stop complaining.
        Get on that boat from Africa to America and stop complaining.
        Get into that oven and stop complaining.

        Christ! all people do is effin’ complain!

        1. Well said btaylor.
          The delicious irony of course is that whenever one comes across the fanboy chorus of ‘Shut up’ and the ‘Stop complaining’, one is left with the indelible image of the clones in Apple’s classic 1984 advert – transfixed by their master dictating what they will and will not use.

          The guy who upsets and infuriates them the most… is the guy arriving with the mallet.

          1. “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

            Stop whining local TV spot editors.

            Real professional editors understand and wield the power of the simple cut – which FCP X does perfectly well, thanks.

            1. ‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses… so I wont ask and give them a horse with its legs cut off’ – Steve Jobs

        2. People asking you to stop complaining about your FCX woes can’t even come close to any kind of comparison regarding the wrongs of slavery and the holocaust (or complaints about them!). What kind of ass are you?

          1. I know that, YOU know that, THEY know that, WE know that but how else would this thread have gotten this long!! I’ll take your answer overthe air, thx for taking my call.

    1. @dddd,

      “This is a lot like the transition from Max OS 9 to Mac OSX. ”

      No, it’s nothing like that at all. Imagine if when OS X came out, OS 9 was not available any more. Imagine also that none of your apps or content….no documents, no email, none of your work at all could be brought over to OS X.

      If anything, it’s more like the transition from Apple II to Mac. Wherein no thought was given to the transition until it was far too late. “Just keep using the Apple II”, was not a suitable answer, and many schools and other users went PC instead.

      OS X was an incredibly smooth transition. Betas and preview were available for developers and even consumers far in advance. IT managers had *years* to plan the transition before OS X was the default OS on Macs, and even then, you could still boot in OS 9 or run OS 9 on top of OS X. Heck, OS 9 was developed specifically as a transition OS so developers could develop universal binaries for OS 9 and OS X before OS X was even fully launched.

      FCPX *is* awesome. I love it. Some of the pro features that are missing I can do without or get by until they’re implemented.

      However, it’s a huge problem for studios that have a library of existing FCP projects they’ve had over the years which can’t be brought into FCPX. Like the transition from Apple II to PC, many of these pros will transition from FCP to Adobe or Avid.

  9. “Previously Apple has offered existing users an upgrade path at a discount. Now, Apple is not offering them shit and delivering what will end up being a more expensive total package that is less capable…”

    This doesn’t even make sense. The cost of the new package is the same as the previous upgrade cost. Upgrade users did get a discount – the same one they would have had otherwise. But everyone else got the same discount too.

  10. This does not get over the SHOCKING FACT that Apple currently has NO PROFESSIONAL VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE to sell to its business clients… many of whom have invested huge amounts in the product and whose livelihoods are dependent upon its availability.

    The equivalent is Adobe immediately EOLing Photoshop and all its licences and henceforth telling its professional customer base to buy Elements 9 instead.

    This monumental Apple F.U. is WORSE that Microsoft’s Vista!

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