Yesterday Apple released their new Final Cut Pro X software. I don’t normally do video editing related stuff in my comics because it’s a very specialized field, but it’s something that relates to my work/hobbies so I couldn’t not. Unlike the forward-thinking scenarios of the floppy and Intel chips, Apple thought a bit too forward and at the same time forgot to think of others. Namely the P’s in FCP. I read in a pro video blog that they talked to Apple and Apple basically said that they’re aware of what’s missing, they’re working on it and plan on having more frequent updates to their software from now on.

After the demo a couple months ago we were all super excited for the new features, but of course assuming that they would merely supplement what we’re used to doing already. Actually it was more intended to supplant our old way of editing with a new philosophy driven from the iMovie software.

I still haven’t got my hands on it, but from the sound of it Apple designed the software for iMovie users to transition to (the first window when launching it asks if you want to import an iMovie project). There are some very very key features missing which I won’t bore you with the specifics of, but their omission effectively makes it impossible for many professional post production houses to use it as their primary software.

The most compelling argument against this “out with the old, in with the new” philosophy is that professional applications are about choice. It’s something I’ve had to explain when telling people that Final Cut Pro doesn’t capture video like iMovie does and separate shots into clips for you. In Photoshop you can do several things in dozens of ways and how it’s used it a very personal style thing. But so far FCP X seems to be “my way or the high way” which is pissing people off.

Also, a comparison I haven’t seen made yet is that FCP X’s new file management system is actually very much like AVID’s. Because traditionally you’ve had to organize all your files on your own, but when using AVID you just import and let the software worry about organizing everything, and you know to never go digging into the files it creates lest you mess everything up. This is what FCP X’s system is like, just like how iTunes and iPhoto can organize your music and photos for you. But again, lack of choice and flexibility is the problem here.

If you made it this far then you’re probably an editor because otherwise you’d be asleep or on another web page by now. I still want to get my hands on FCP X, but it looks like it won’t be until Apple gets some sense slapped into them and they get the version up to 1.5 or something.

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