Apple releases major Final Cut Pro X update; debuts free 30-day full version trial

“Apple today is releasing its first major update to Final Cut Pro X with new features it says professional customers have been asking for, along with a new trial version users can try out for free,” Josh Lowensohn reports for CNET.

“Among the biggest new feature to be added as part of a software update that will go out to users this morning is support for XML,” Lowensohn reports. “This adds the option to both import and export projects in the XML format, meaning users can take XML formatted projects from Final Cut Pro 7 and other non linear editing software and work on them in Final Cut Pro X.”

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, that should have been included in the initial release.

Lowensohn reports, “Besides the feature updates, Apple is continuing its efforts to entice potential upgrader hold-outs with a free trial of the software and a guide to ease the transitions for Final Cut Pro 7 users.”

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Lowensohn reports, “That free trial gives users a full version of the software in download form from Apple, which will work for 30-days from the time it’s first launched. Apple offers a similar free trial for its Aperture photo management and editing software, which is also aimed at professionals.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The free Final Cut Pro X 30-day trial is here.

Related articles:
Film editor: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is flexible, powerful, incredibly innovative software – September 12, 2011
Gartenberg on Final Cut Pro X: Why Apple dares to change your apps – July 17, 2011
IT Enquirer reviews Apple’s Final Cut Pro X: Very much a professional’s tool – July 8, 2011
Apple to allow additional Final Cut Pro 7 enterprise licenses; FCP X improvements coming soon – July 7, 2011
Former Avid employee on Final Cut Pro X: Only Apple seems capable of pushing boundaries – July 5, 2011
Why Apple built Final Cut Pro X – July 1, 2011
PC Magazine: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X makes serious leaps and bounds past its predecessor – June 30, 2011
Shake product designer explains Apple and Final Cut Pro X – June 29, 2011
Apple answers Final Cut Pro X questions; promises multicam editing and more – June 29, 2011 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. wow.. finally. Funny, last word Apple stated XML import was not even possible.

    Imagine the sh*tstorm, bad blood, bad PR and lost customers they would have avoided if they put this out as their first version.

    1. Ultimately that was the only thing really wrong with it.

      Sure there were lots of trade-offs, but X points the way forward. We’ll all get there eventually, if we can just make sure we can move older projects onto the new system (sure most people would start using FCPX with totally new projects, but you just can’t leave all the old stuff behind).

      1. The only thing wrong?!? Your requirements must be pretty simple and not involve things like multicam, audio sweetening, SFX, Red support or anything else that requires multi-user workflows for that matter.

        Hats off to you. But I do. And for me and everyone I work with this just doesn’t help. Bandaid on a bullet wound…

        1. I’m getting a little sick of people talking about MultiCam like it is some sort of requirement to do pro-level work. That feature wasn’t even introduced until FC 5, and outside of making a music video, has very little real usefulness. I mean, yeah.. it’s cool, but its limitations make it not worthwhile for most types of video work.

          1. …you mean outside of music, sports, studio sitcom, soap, documentary, and any one-time action (e.g., explosions), multi-cam has very little real usefulness?


            1. Sorry, that’s BS. As I said the multi-cam feature is only 2 versions old, and as far as I know, every single one of these genres existed and thrived long before said feature existed. It is nice in some regards, though it has some frustrating limitations, but it is in know way a requirement to perform these tasks at a professional level.

              “Outside of music” – nope I covered that, and it is useful there, though again not necessary – “sports” nobody I know working in the professional sportscasting industry is using FCP of any iteration on their editing trucks, so the point is moot. “studio sitcom, soap, documentary”, using multi-cam on these types of edits is massive overkill, and more than a little lazy. Making precise edits on the timeline is ultimately quicker and is still the preferred method in professional circles. “one-time action (e.g. explosions)”, sure MC could be useful there, but honestly FCPX’s method of auto-syncing multiple cameras is probably just as if not more useful.

          2. Agree with strangermode. I loved the concept of multicam at first…but when I found out it only works with ONE file format! Either I gotta spend time putting things in one format or hope I own all of the same camera…then I was shiz out of luck. Whats the work around…have everything synced on your timeline. It doesn’t cause too many problems and the only thing you really miss is the quick cut you can do with multi-cam. Oh…and compound clip in FCP X is pretty awesome…and has seen much more use then freakin multi-cam for me.

          3. @ strangermode

            I’m getting sick of one editor telling another editor that feature X is not necessary, no TRUE pro uses it and btw “you have no idea and your workflow sucks”

            Truth is FCX left a lot out. Some of it’s back, but it’s still not ready for primetime in my workflow.

  2. Try it … It is the future…Of that there is no doubt… But die hards will have to be brought to the fold kicking and screaming…. In 2 years this will be the standard by which all other editors are judged… If we have learned nothing in the past few years… Apple leads… The rest follow … I am NOT a fanboy… Just an observant realist.

    1. Yes, this IS the way of the future, but we WILL kick and scream if the features we NEED are not there and they kill the only other solution.

      All the problems would have been avoided if they didn’t kill FC7. Apparently they did get the message and brought FC7 back on a limited basis, but lots of damage was done to Apple’s reputation in the pro fields.

    2. An observant realist with no knowlege of the industry obviously. NO filmmaker who produces anything longer that you pay to see in the theaters, on cable or DVD will ever use this NLE in it’s current incarnation. Color grading, audio, multicam, file magenent, etc tools ALL suck in the app and only one person can work on a project at a time. End of story.

      Michael Jackson’s King Kong had over 100,000 separate sound files. Get the picture? Apple doesn’t. Or more appropriately, they do. They just don’t care anymore because they are after the home user and 1 man shops. That’s it. That’s all. Hello Avid…

      1. I question your own knowledge, for a handful of reasons.

        1 – Peter Jackson did King Kong, not Michael Jackson.

        2 – Very few major filmmakers were editing on FCP7. In fact, the only serious, well known guy using it was Walter Murch.

        3 – There are plenty of audio tools in FCP X, you just aren’t paying attention.

        4 – Multicam is overrated and only has niche applications.

        5 – Color grading has always been handled in outside applications at a pro level. The program Color was a recent addition to the Final Cut Studio suite, and hadn’t really gained any traction. Most colorists are still using the same tools they were 3 years ago, and those tools are not made by Apple.

        6 – Your ‘Hello Avid’ comment solidifies you as a troll who has not spent more than a few minutes inside of FCP X.

        Further, it amazes me that folks of your ilk who don’t like the first iteration of X feel that somehow FCP 7 suddenly became less capable.

        But yes, by all means switch over to Avid, and start trolling those forums.

        1. Slow your roll.

          2 – The fact that few feature (let’s not say “major”) films are primarily cut using FCP has everything to do with sponsorship agreements between Hollywood studios and software developers, and less to do with capabilities. FCP7 *could* be used to edit a feature, *was* used to edit some features, and *MANY* contracted specialty shots & sequences are assembled using FCP, even when the feature it’s going into isn’t. The fact is FCPX cannot do what FCP7 could.

          4 – See my response above regarding multicam.

          5 – Pro color grading *is* done in other apps. Until today, there was no way in FCPX to send an edit TO those other apps. The chorus of “there’s nothing wrong with it” has quickly changed to “okay, there was something HUGE wrong with it but NOW there’s nothing wrong with it.”

          And FCP 7 became inaccessible the day FCPX was released, not less capable. People invested in the app HEAVILY on the premise that it would be advanced along with the HW & SW platforms.. to 64-bit, multiprocessing, etc. Apple instead said it would not advance the product, would immediately discontinue sales of the current product, and would not make the replacement product compatible. Leave your investment behind and start again.

          1. kind of some good points actually – like the investment in FCP 7- not sure why Apple needed to totally reinvent the wheel with really the same NLE paradigm anyways – Apple wanted a pro/prosumer tool that was easily downloaded and managed like any little “app” and that is FCP X – an app – not necessarily a solution for big projects – but let’s give it a shot first and see how capable it really is before going back to Avid which has a list of shortcomings too numerous to even begin, like we all want to use a hardware lock key again!

          2. Slow YOUR Roll,

            2 – Regardless of the logistics behind it, the fact remains that FCP never had a major foothold in studio backed features. To those contractors who do speciality shots in FCP7, guess what? They still can. More on that to follow.

            4 – see my response to your response

            5 – The focus of this story, and by extension the comment I was replying to, deals with the update to FCPX which addresses the XML issue. Able Archer’s commentary is based on some false assumption that the editor – colorist workflow continues to be compromised within FCP X. This is not the case.

            Apparently, you haven’t been paying close enough attention, as Apple did decide to continue to sell and support FCP 7 for the foreseeable future. At certain point, X will receive updates (such as this one) that will close the gap. Once said gap is closed, 7 will be discontinued. However, as of right now FCP 7 is not inaccessible in the slightest.

  3. There still may be features that are available in FCP 7 that aren’t yet in FCP X (if I’m not mistaken, multi-cam support, for one). As it seems, though, the remaining feature disparity concerns perhaps no more than 2% of the FCP 7 user base. These have two choices: wait a bit more, or look elsewhere. The rest can safely jump in now. With the ability to import projects from other versions/products, everyone who has an elaborate workflow based around predefined templates (with clips, transitions, effects, etc) can now safely migrate and import all those projects.

    The biggest percentage of FCP 7 user base is represented by independent event videographers (“wedding documentarists”). Those who migrated to FCP X have been quite pleased by the amount of time and steps saved with the new more intuitive interface. Let us see what others say, but this baby still has a strong chance.

    Adobe may have seen a slight bump in their CS Production Pro sales, but I have a feeling that bump is now over.

    1. “Following this update, Apple will be releasing another that brings multicam editing and support for broadcast video monitors. However, that update isn’t expected until next year, (Apple Director of App Marketing) Richard Townhill said.

      1. And without that and a TON of other features needed for broadcast the market is dead in the water for FCP X. It would take too long to list everything that was pro before and is either missing now or just too laughably amateurish to even consider downgrading to this play thing.

        Apple screwed the pros on this one. And a slick interface won’t fix it. I and my team are in Waco right now winding up a shoot for a documentary. It would look and sound like sh@$ if it was posted in X. 8 person skeleton crew down here with $500k of equipment. Not a chance it will ever see X. If I can’t grade, sweeten and output as necessary it just wont happen. Sorry. The future looks great for X in the one man shops. Bleak everywhere else…

    2. FCP X has support for multiple cameras. Multi-cam is a feature, released in FCP 5 that takes multiple camera angles, displays them all at once in a single displays, and allows you to ‘live-cut’ between the angles while playing through the sequence. The result is single ‘multi-clip’ which contains your edits. It is handy in some situations, but it has some serious limitations.

      I just want to make certain we all know the difference, as to hear some people speak, FCP X can’t handle footage from more than one camera, which is patently absurd.

  4. I too think FCPX is the way forward and SHOCKED that Apple, of all companies, would have botched it’s introduction without a few caveats about it’s being a work-in-progress and supporting FCP 7 until FCPX could completely stand on it’s own two feet for pro users.

    There should also have been an interim 7.5 version that at least addressed memory issues. We are using FCP7 on a feature project now and there are still problems you have to live with. Be glad when we can go all 64 bit. Chomping at the bit really. And seeing as we’ve waited a lot already, well, I suppose it was asking too much in Version 1.0 to be on par with FCP 7, and beyond.

    It’s amusing to think of Apple on FCPX’s introduction holding it’s arms outstretched, it’s eyes closed, a wide toothy smile and going “Tada!” expecting universal acclaim and adulation was surprised to find rotten tomatoes, etc., being hurled in it’s direction. Let’s hope they learn from this.

      1. I don’t think arrogance is the correct adjective. They made a mistake.. certainly, everyone does. However, they quickly addressed and acknowledged the mistake. In recent weeks, they made FCP 7 available again, and now we are starting to see updates.

        I realize all of this took 8-10 weeks to come about, but in the corporate world, that’s blazingly fast.

  5. So they finally started fixing iMovie Pro Vista Edition. BTW- Adobe released a bundle of Photoshop & Premiere Elements 10 for the Mac today if you are a an orphaned Final Cut Express user. Price depends on what you already own.

    As for me, I’ll stick with Final Cut Pro for a little longer and see if Apple can make Chicken Salad out of iMovie Pro VE (Chicken Sh*t).

  6. I love FCP X from the first day on. Came here from Premiere Pro CS5. As I only have less than 100 soundfiles (King Kong deloaded) it is great since day one. Great that this is the software for the rest of us, not just the Hobbits and Gollums.

  7. Let’s face it. For professional users, Final Cut X s**ks. I have been using and selling Apple products for 4 decades. Specifically video since the 90′s. Adobe has a huge opportunity here. They have to focus on the Mac where the real Pro users are. If they don’t, they can kiss it goodbye, because Avid will eat their lunch. They have a pro base, and almost lost it when they insisted on Windows systems a few years back, now they can recapture it. For Pete’s sake, Apple, keep making improvements in the Mac Pro. We all don’t want to edit for YouTube on iPads. Adobe, if your smart and want the FCP market, focus on the Mac for a change. Do you remember where you got your start? That is where the creatives still want to be. Mac. i’d rather retire and milk cows than move to Windows.

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