So the rumored Final Cut Pro X has been announced. Like everyone else, I have more questions than Apple gave answers. The additions are pretty slick. I personally am a huge fan of long awaited additions like a true open timeline (but this has been a “feature” since FCP4, so is it really open?) and 64bit. FCP can finally use the computer that I’m installing it on! Some people have been scared off by some of the more consumer additions like Smart Collections, Ken Burns Effect, Match Grade, Automatic Audio Clean Up and Magnetic Timeline, just to name a few. But I look at this list and find that there’s quite a few things that I use 3rd party plug-ins for (ie, Pluraleyes) and it’s nice to see Apple address some of the shortcomings. Yes I admit, I have used iMovie to make slideshows with the Ken Burns effect. Editing wedding videos, you know. Personally, I really dig the darker interface. I’ve been working in Color’s dark gray confines for years and it really is better on the eyes.
But like all Apple presentations, it was more about what they DIDN’T say. Can I still print a tape? What about Color? Will my plug-ins still work?
I heard one rumor swirling around that it’s no longer based on Quicktime. It’s now Core Video. What’s that? And that XML is no longer supported. It’s now SQL Lite. Whaaa?
A shipping date of June and a price of $299 means 2 things to me. One, I will buy it in June! Two, I won’t use it until October at the earliest. I’m sorry. The big shops can’t handle a huge change like this. I need at least 6 months of testing and I need to consult with all my vendors before I consider something like this in a shared environment. Going from one point update to another is one thing. Going from a full version to another is another thing. But this is a completely new app. It’s more akin to completely switching NLE platforms. And come to think of it, if Apple screws this one up, shops will switch to Avid or Premiere.
I’m not at NAB, so I can’t really give a great review. So here are some of the best I’ve come across so far:
FreshDV (Sneek Peek Video)
Larry Jordan writes a great level-headed review, as he was one of the few that got to preview FCPX a few months ago in Cupertino
MacRumors reiterates that what was shown at NAB was a version of FCPX from February, and that in fact, the app “has moved significantly forward since that time”
My Twitter feed also exploded with video professionals both excited and scared. The truth is, no one knows at this point. Apple as usual, is tight lipped. I think it comes down to the type of person you are. Are you entrenched in your way of working and you won’t change for anything? Or are you open to new ideas and workflows? I guess we’ll just have to wait until June…