Did Apple wait too long to fix Final Cut Pro X?

“This week, FCP X took another step towards becoming a credible replacement for the previous version. The 10.0.3 update, available free to existing users, includes two of the mission critical features promised last year. With multicam editing and broadcast video monitoring, post-production specialists may begin to feel more comfortable about upgrading. There are also significant improvements to the Chroma Key feature, and other essential enhancements,” Gene Steinberg writes for TechNightOwl. “There also appears to be an increase in third-party support. For example, FCP 7’s XML 1.1 enhancement brings with it more tools for video editors. The 7xX app, a $9.99 download from Intelligent Assistance, exploits XML to import FCP 7 projects into FCP X. That appears to remove at least one key objection from the existing user base.”

“The low price of FCP X and its add-ons make it possible for more and more students and others entering the industry to acquire professional tools to help perfect their skills. In the end, Apple might actually build a much larger user base, and those users will, of course, continue to buy the most powerful Macs to handle video editing chores,” Steinberg writes. “There’s even third-party support for Thunderbird peripherals, meaning that you won’t need to drag a Mac Pro with you on a remote shoot. A MacBook Pro may be just fine.”

Steinberg writes, “All in all, despite taking a short-term hit, maybe Apple’s long-term plans will be vindicated. But it would have helped if they had done the right thing on the very first day, making sure that loyal customers knew what was happening and what to expect before they were struck with an unpleasant surprise.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple significantly updates Final Cut Pro X – January 31, 2012
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
Change.org 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. DEFINITELY no

      Apple did make a bold mistake.
      A marketing error. It would have been perhaps better to offer a LAST upgraded Final Cut 8… but it is not too LATE to evolve the FINAL CUT PRO X… wrong.

      1. Creating an upgrade to FCP7 would have wasted resources which needed to concentrate on the new technology. It would have take longer to get FCPX where it needed to be if half the team were bug fixing/upgrading old stuff.

    2. No, because Apple announced that they will add needed features like half year ago.

      Everyone who had common sense waited for this new update. There was no reason to immediately go away to Avid or Adobe software.

    3. False premise. FCP X was never broken.

      A lot of adobe and avid fans screaming bloody murder (and complaining about missing features that are actually in there already) does not indicate that the product is broken.

      1. when will you people listen to the objections of people who use FCP everyday. If a feature that we need often is buried six levels deep or is now a substandard shadow of its former self (like color correction or audio sweetening) or doesn’t exist (like a clip viewer, massive file management, Multi user editing, etc.) it’s not a matter of simply relearning a new interface. These features, their level of professional output and their placement were important and well thought out. We are not whining because they have made it more difficult on many levels to achieve the desired results.

        If you don’t know what a waveform monitor is or how to use it then you shouldn’t talk about those who need it. Apple has made editing more accessible to the masses and that’s a good thing. But in the process the have taken away (or buried) high level tools that are necessary to produce high end content. Just because your home movies and graduation videos now look and sound slicker and more polished than before doesn’t mean that they are the same quality or level of sophistication as what an experienced pro would produce with a more robust tool. By the same token just because you can’t tell the difference doesn’t mean there is one. Or many in this case.

        Aldus Pagemaker didn’t create artists anymore than MS Word created good writers. But it sure made people think that anyone could do these things as well as a trained and seasoned pro. I’ve seen so many poorly finished shows over the past few years that I’ve all but stopped watching. Audio levels all over the place. Blown out video. Quality gas gone down. And products like these tend to lower the bar because everything thinks they’re as good as the veterans even though they are clueless as to what the end result should look or sound like.

        People didn’t jump to other products out of spite. Those that left did so because FCP 7 could no longer keep up and we were promised it would. The new app is a step (or 20) backwards. Forwards in a few ways but overall backwards. X might be ready in a few years but that is a long time to wait when you’ve already been waiting since 2007.

  1. Apple probably should have had this stuff in the inital release, but since the stuff is NOW there and it is amazingly better than the old stuff, people will now move their 7 studios to X.

  2. “Thunderbird peripherals?” I had no idea Ford got into the I/O device business.

    Seriously, it’s so typical of the tech press to show such a lack of understanding of software development. Did they really expect Apple to be able to wave a magic wand, and ship a product that’s completely redesigned from the ground up, with every single feature a product that has been on the market for 12+ years had?

    Arguably, Apple shouldn’t have apparently killed Final Cut Pro 7 so soon, but that’s kind of their way. They did it with the iMac with no floppy drives, the original iPhone shipped without a lot of features other smart phones based on older software platforms had offered for years, and the list goes on. Eventually, the iMac’s feature set provided to be the right way, and iPhone got 3rd-party apps, and lots of new features over time. Why bloggers and tech press miss this pattern, I don’t know.

    Anyway, nice to see them rolling out updates with new features as promised. As long as they keep those updates coming, all this “Chicken Little” noise will fade. Of course, the haters will insist that the updates with new features are only a result of the apparent public outcry. It won’t occur to them that software projects evolve, and it takes time to do that. Must be a great job to be an analyst or tech blogger. You don’t have to know what you are taking about. You just have to publish controversial articles with provocative headlines to generate web traffic and resulting ad sales. There’s no accountability.

  3. I dont think apple plans to cut themselves out of the pro market. This update responds to what the people really wanted in the program. their getting out waveform monitoring to broadcast monitors….which is defiantly a pro item. It might take another year before its what we want. I would like to see a different file system and not this event stuff. And as far as importing tape…this is the way i see it. Every new camera that records to disk instead of tape has to make their own import function in Final Cut and the FCP makers probably just shifted that functionality to the beta tape developers and other tape developers instead of handling that. It sucks for us. But at the same time. I just spend 300 on something that use to cost 1000. And if i only spend 200 bucks more for a tape functionality for that…i still save 500. And honestly, if I am buying a beta tape deck…maybe they should choke up the import functionality much like Canon and Sony do with their data-driven cameras.

  4. Apple did right to release it without multicam. Since then we work with FCPX every day and we love it. We would not have missed one single day. They only should have communicated in a better way from the very beginning telling before the complains came in that some missing features will follow later. FCPX is a magic software redefining the entire workflow. Thanks Apple.

    1. They did tell everyone this, no one listened. Apple has always been good about improving things with updates but it seems some people have the memory of the goldfish and can’t remember that.

  5. Apple has done this kind of thing several times. Get rid of floppy drives. Waaaaaahhhhhhh. Apple Sucks. Get rid of SCSI. Waaaaaaahhhhhh. Apple Sucks. The iPhone doesn’t have a keyboard. Waaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. Apple sucks.

    FCP7 was getting long in the tooth, and need upgrading to fully utilize the power of the Mac these days. Maybe they rushed it to the market, many pros loved it and found workarounds. Even Pogue thought that the detractors were full of it.

    1. Uh yeah… David Pogue even admitted that not only was he not an editor of any sophistication but that he had absolutely NO CLUE what pro editors needed or even what the hell we weeeeeferring to when mentioning problems. He had to read off of Apple’s sheet when addressing the outrage and eventually backed off because of his self professed ignorance. There aren’t work arounds for most of the problems. You’re as bad Pogue was except you don’t even know it.

  6. It seems like Apple was too quick about cutting legacy support. After a complete rewrite, a tough transition is unavoidable. Apple should have let users continue to purchase licenses for FCP 7 for about a year or two, then start aggressively cutting support for FCP 7 after Final Cut Pro X became a credible replacement. That would have made the transition much easier for FCP loyal users.

  7. Apple certainly created a furore by immediately chopping Pro 7 when Pro X was announced. That generated massive publicity for sure but not of the most desirable variety. As all disaster enquiries conclude; lessons must be learned and applied.

    For me as an amateur I am very happy with Pro X and can’t wait to try out the multicam synch. I really like Pro X.

    Even so I have read reports and opinions today complaining that professional editors still cannot do their work because of timeline issues that revolve around music timing and synch and poor colour control.

  8. This is an example of how Apple’s lack of communication with the outside world hurt it. All it would have taken was for Apple to come out and say, “Here’s our new FCP product, but we know it’s missing a few important features at this point. Because this is a grown-up rewrite of FCP, we weren’t able to get all of the features in that we wanted right away. We will be adding them over the next few months, but we wanted you to see where FCP is going and be able to start using it.”

    1. Yeah. That’s called a beta version. They should have given it away. Updated fc7 to 64 bit with a minor update the way they did with logic. A mid version update. Then people would have time to get excited. Wouldn’t have had as much to fear or bitch about. We could still be in final cut x beta. Happily waiting to purchase the fully realized vision for the product.

    2. That’s statement contains a lot of childish handholding. They told folks that all of these new features would be coming. If people couldn’t make the leap of logic to wait for these features, then thats not Apple’s fault.

      1. They told everyone those features would be coming after the fact. They may have had good intentions and ultimately a good product, but only delivered on both of those after the uproar. The fact is, I want to stay with Apple. We know they are a revolutionary company and they create revolutionary software, but no one likes a revolution when its your neck on the line. I for one really did want someone to hold my hand on the way to the chopping block.

        1. FN-Illinois RIGHT! Your product is dead in the water if my deadlines can’t be met.

          Apple has the hardware I wanted to use. They had the software I needed. Now I’m in limbo.

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