Perspective: FCP X Revisited
Now that some time has passed, I thought it was necessary to revisit our “old nemesis” Final Cut Pro X (10.0). Everyone remembers how vehemently the pro editing community torched the release of this update back in June. My original review of the program was based off of my intitial dealings with it (the first 72 hours or so). My opinion was mixed. I appreciated some improvements (the background transcoding & rendering is outstanding), and was disappointed in what was left out (I still don’t know why they would eliminate simplistic code elements like EDL’s). All in all, I thought the program had potential, but still needed work.
So where do I stand today? I have to say that I am leaning more towards appreciating the pros of FCP X then I am towards bashing the cons. I know that there are a dozen reasons to hate on this program. But I feel like the editing community hates FCP X because they are contentious towards Apple’s arrogance, not because this is an inferior product. Let me explain.
Many critics of FCP X have complained about its simplicity. They have thrown around “it” phrases like “This is IMovie Pro”. That statement is flawed in many, many ways. Does FCP X simplify things? Yes, but why is that a bad thing? Why is simplifying a process a negative? The complexity and nuisances needed for pro editing exist in this program, but they are hidden underneath what seems to be a simplistic, consumer driven UI. Why did Apple do this? Simply put, they tried to corner both a consumer and professional market with one program. It’s risky, but it is what it is. I have a personal belief that most professional editors enjoy the complexity of traditional editing software because it provides job security. The more simplistic the software becomes, the more expendable they become. This principle was evident in the reaction to FCP X.
Quick Thoughts: The Resignation
A lot has already been written about this, so I will keep it brief:
- I don’t want to make presumptions about Mr. Jobs and his medical situation. It’s quite frankly, none of our business. But I will say that his resignation hit like a ton of bricks for me. The wording felt extremely deliberate.
- People will be whispering about the future of Apple, but that is nonsensical. Jobs has laid out a fantastic business model. The chances of Cook, or anyone else making any drastic changes in marketing, technology, or overall outlook are very, very low.
- What Apple will now lack is a face. When Jobs came out and spoke, love him or hate him, we waited with bated breath. Will Tim Cook be able to carry the torch? Heavy lies the crown Tim.
- Apple stock tumbling because of this announcement is a perfect microcosm of everything that is wrong with this country. Just saying.
Final Cut X: Step 3: Digging In & Analysis
OK, so I had an entire 8-hour day to dive into Final Cut Pro X (or FCP 10.0)
If you have been following the online chatter, FCP X is getting panned and lambasted…Big Time. I need to start off by saying that change is difficult. People do not embrace change easily or lightly. That makes launching a .0 version of a program very difficult. So I understand that there will be growing pains. But quite frankly, I’m not going to let Apple off that easy. I am not going to be able to summarize the entire program in this post, and in order to truly comprehend its full spectrum, you need to get your hands on it personally. But I will do my best to give you some things to ponder going in.
Part I: The Program (and UI)
Final Cut X: Step 2 - Hit the Ground Running?
First off, 33 minutes for DL, Brendan was closer then Creighton without going over.
I started to get my feet wet with the new software. I will reserve some time to get more acquainted before I give a true review of my thoughts, but here are a couple of quick observations.
- The “no rendering” promise looks like a real one, so that’s good.
- The UI change is vast, dramatic, and so far looks completely unnecessary. What was wrong with the FCP 7 interface?
- No OMF exporting for audio is a huge problem. Needs to be resolved in the first update.
- Have yet to figure out how I am going to view footage on an external color correct monitor. It shouldn’t take me time to discover if this is possible. So I’m not happy about that.
- So wait, there are events & projects? I am confused. Just bringing the term “Event” over from Imovie was a poor choice. It leads me to believe this isn’t a professional software.
- No scratch disks? So where exactly do my render files, waveform caches, etc. save to? Are they all part of my project file now?
I will bring more tidbits tomorrow and as I attempt to navigate the new terrain pf FCP X.
Oh and lastly, it is officially version 10.0 (which makes no sense).