Well, the “It’s not a pro app!” freak-outs have started. The only real surprises for me, in terms of feature omissions, are support for video I/O cards and XML exporting. I expected those things to be there from day one, and they’re not.
But I don’t buy that this isn’t a pro app. To me, this looks a lot more like a pro app that was pushed out the door with features still missing than like a consumer app. It has DPX/OpenEXR exporting, 4K support, and credible video scopes… these are not ‘consumer’ features. Plus, there’s the extensive metadata/tagging stuff, which seems designed for large, complex projects.
Why would Apple do this, instead of waiting and doing a more feature-complete release later? Well, the key to answering that question is to look at who this release is useful to: it’s seriously useful to anyone who does work in formats FCP 7 doesn’t support natively, and who doesn’t need offline/online editing. Among other folks, this includes most DSLR shooters, who are a pretty big market. Apple presumably figured it was worth getting something out there for these folks ASAP.
The real issue here is that Apple is sufficiently secretive about its decision making process that they’re probably not just going to come out and say this; they’re going to let people freak out for, probably, months, before missing features start quietly showing up in updates.
If this seems hard to swallow, consider that we’re talking about the same company that, in 2007, shipped a new smartphone platform that didn’t support third-party apps, copy and paste, and other features that people thought should be taken for granted, without so much as a word about future plans to fill in those gaps. People freaked out. But things turned out pretty well for the iPhone in the long run.
FCP X seems to provide a strong technical foundation, and some long overdue rethinking of the standard non-linear editing user interface conventions. Apple has a history of starting off with simplified products and building on them incrementally. Being annoyed by the fact that FCP X isn’t useful (to you) today is perfectly reasonable; personally I was hoping it would solve a couple of problems for us that it doesn’t solve yet. But writing off Apple in the pro video editing market is premature.