Is Final Cut Pro X a professional app?

Almost certainly. There is essentially no reason to believe otherwise.

I’ve seen speculation that FCP X won’t support EDL/XML/OMF export, won’t support professional video I/O interfaces, won’t support third-party plug-ins, won’t work well with large projects, no longer supports three-point editing, and even that new automation features won’t be possible to disable.

Why are so few people willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt here? After all, it would be unusual for a new and ostensibly improved version of an application to drop all sorts of critical features that previous versions had.

The skepticism toward FCP X makes little sense based on the actual content of Apple’s announcement. It only makes sense if you went into the announcement with a preexisting conception that Apple was pulling back from the pro market. A lot of people clearly did precisely that. But where did such a preconception come from?

As far as I can see, the primary evidence for the notion that Apple was pulling back from the pro video market is that there had been no really major new release of Final Cut Pro since 2007. But there were always two ways to explain that:

  1. Apple was de-emphasizing the pro video market or
  2. Apple was quietly working on a major, ground up overhaul of Final Cut Pro.

We now know definitively that the latter was the case.

It makes no sense to evaluate what we know about FCP X within the context of a mental model of Apple retreating from pro video, when the mere existence of FCP X removes the primary evidence for the validity of that model.

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4 Responses to Is Final Cut Pro X a professional app?

  1. says:

    The anxiety is over FCP-X’s shared DNA, pedigree, heritage, what-have-you with ZOMG iMovie. The world’s coming to an end, the sky’s falling in! because Apple dare create a new GUI and editing paradigm that showed up first in a surprisingly powerful, realtime, fast, and freaking joyful to use ‘consumer’ product, though it probably was developed in concert with or maybe just part of the overall, “This is what Editing should look and feel like” strategy internal to Apple.

    It’s a bit like what we find in nature. A shared body-plan with similar functionality spread across different beasts.

    iMovie is what comes out of that bodyplan on the ‘consumer’ end and FCP-X is what comes out of that plan on the ‘pro’ end. But just because they share similar DNA doesn’t mean they are exactly the same beast.

    I’m really excited about FCP-X, I embrace change and don’t fear it, unlike a lot of posts I’ve seen from deer-in-headlights editors out there on other forums.

    So long as there’s little downside and plenty of upside, I think we’ll be happy.


  2. simon.u says:

    I could be wrong but it seems to me that rather than FCPX having been developed for a while in the shadows, hidden away behind the release of iMovie 11, it’s much more likely that Apple saw there was no way they could bring the old FCP into the 21st century (I’m guessing QuickTime was a large part of that problem), and they responded to Steve Jobs’ demand for an “awesome” new FCP by rushing out an only mildly enhanced iMovie.

    Of course, it could be the other way around, but from looking at how little FCPX seems to have advanced from iMovie 11 in real terms, that’s pretty unlikely. Also it’s quite telling that Randy Ubillos and the team tried to maintain the pretence of “the new Final Cut” rather than admit that FCPX is part of the same development path is iMovie.

    But hey, what do any of us really know?!

    I have to say, from having got familiar with iMovie 11 over the last couple of days, I am liking the new editing paradigm, so really I’m not complaining. It’s just a little worrying that Apple have resorted to such blatant smoke and mirrors rather than front with the truth of the situation. I hope very much it doesn’t mean that they’ve got serious problems to hide! But then it’s Apple after all, and if they really want to get something done, it simply gets done.

  3. Pingback: Nice Dissolve Blog | What is FCP X’s relationship to iMovie?

  4. Pete says:

    Given Apple aren’t short of a few quid/dollars and the ferocious defence of their image / brand across their range of products I find it hard to believe that FCPX was an afterthought. As if they forgot about their pro market and thought “christ who lost FCP8….lets bodge out iMove..they will never know the difference” I believe this is a long term strategy as Apple see video editing evolving…and a nostalgic bit.. back in the day i bought my G4 and iMovie 1 was free I loved it, I then got FCP 1 loved it too, but I kept thinking i missed the sheer elegance of iMove as an application

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