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September 2014
Issue: July 1, 2011

Editor's Letter: The FCP X reaction

By: Randi Altman
I have been doing this job for more years than I care to admit, and in all that time I have never seen a reaction to a new product release like the one that has occurred with Apple’s Final Cut Pro X.

There was that sneak peek at NAB, chatter about its lack of professional tools, but once the software and its details were made available on the app store, the Twitterverse exploded with a giant cannonball of hate, and it was directed right at Apple’s headquarters.

The day FCP X was released, Apple took FCP 7 off the market, and an entire segment of professional editors suddenly felt abandoned. While even the haters had to admit there are some cool tools within the newly-designed FCP, to them it didn’t matter because they no longer felt Apple had a  product that was for them. While there is promise of some pro needs coming in the future from Apple and plug-in makers, will it be too late for some?

I truly believe some Apple lovers, and there are many, are willing to wait and see what happens while continuing to deliver jobs with FCP 7, but there are others who are already making the change, like these two from the Twitterverse.

From @Billjv: “It is finished. Goodbye, Final Cut Pro. Hello Adobe Premiere CS 5.5!! #fcpx @AdobePremiere” Here is another from @MikeHalper: “Just bought Avid Media Composer 5.5. Must decide if Premiere CS 5.5 or MC 5.5 will be software of choice. Goodbye #FCP #FCPX #Apple #FAIL”

Some pro users kept an open mind until having the product in hand. Max Nova of NYC’s Shellac was one. He thought that maybe this was people fighting change, but after downloading and trying out FCP X, he had this to say. “I own a professional post production company, I direct and edit, and I’m absolutely stunned by the utter uselessness of FCP X. I want my money back.” Apple has started giving refunds, so Nova will get his wish.

AlphaDogs’ Terry Curren looked at the bigger picture, while still acknowledging the lack of pro features. “In five years, this will seem to be another genius move on Steve Jobs’ part and will have contributed even more to the next generation for which video will be just another form of literacy. In the meantime, it will increase Apple sales, and high-end users who need the tools now will move to Avid or Adobe.”

At press time, Apple did answer some questions on their site (www. apple.com/finalcutpro/faq), but for the most part they have not directly addressed users concerns...I truly hope, and expect, that to change soon. Prior to the release of FCP X, Apple’s user base was outspoken in their love for the product. They just want an explanation and a glimmer of hope that Final Cut will once again, help them deliver pro jobs.