Final Cut Pro X draws mixed reactions from users, professionals

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Apple's latest Final Cut Pro release has drawn sharply polarized reactions, with some users lauding the upgrade, while others have condemned it as unfit for professional use.



The Cupertino, Calif., company released Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 on Tuesday, touting it as a "revolutionary new version" that "completely reinvents video editing." However, that complete reinvention may have backfired, as numerous early adopters of the program have complained that missing features, lack of compatibility with Final Cut Pro 7 and bugs have crippled the software.



Currently, 278 of the 578 ratings for the $299 software on the Mac App Store are 1 star ratings, while 143 of the ratings are 5 star ratings. The application current has an average rating of 2 1/2 stars. Motion 5 has fared better with an average rating of 4 stars from 67 ratings, while Compressor has a 3 star rating with just 30 responses.



Customer Reviews of Final Cut Pro X temporarily disappeared from the Mac App Store on Wednesday, prompting speculation that Apple was censoring negative comments, but the reviews were back up within hours.



The current "Most Helpful" reviews are skewed toward negative feedback. "I love the idea of 64bit editing and all of the other features, but the basics for pros are gone," Kevin Lewis wrote in a 2 star review. "The interface is big and chunky like iMove," wrote user Fraize, adding that the program is buggy and "blew up" within 20 minutes of working on a project.







Other reviews compared Final Cut Pro X to Windows Vista, calling it "no longer a professional application," while others took issue with the lack of backward compatibility with Final Cut Pro 7. "I run my business on FCP and my first impression of the new app is that it is horrible," wrote user dangerousdan, though the reviewer admitted that they "will learn to love it."



Reviews outside of the Mac App Store have take notice of the improvements to and streamlining of the software, while still criticizing Final Cut Pro X's missing or limited features. John Gruber of Daring Fireball compared the release to the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X: "a true ground-up rewrite with the intention of laying a solid foundation for the long-term future, but, in the short term, lots of missing features and frustrating changes compared to what current users were accustomed to."



Gruber adds that the Final Cut Pro transition has been more jarring, since the Mac OS transition was a "years-long transition." According to a person familiar with the matter, Apple designated Final Cut Express, Server and Studio as "end of life" as of June 21.



"Great design, like great music, is almost always foreign at first, if not disturbingly strange," David Leitner wrote for Filmmaker Magazine. "You have to spend time with it. But if it is great, and if you invest your attention, it will change the way you look at the world. After using FCP X for a week, Premiere Pro looks to me like the past."







"At version 1 Final Cut Pro X won?t support some professional workflows, but for other professional workflows it will be more than capable," post production professional Philip Hodgetts wrote on his site. Using Final Cut Pro X to cut together a story, I?m struck by how fast it is to achieve a result, as if everything was designed to get a result a quickly as possible."



Hodgetts wrote that, based on his talks with company representatives, Apple is hard at work at adding features missing in the initial release. "During my direct briefing, the Apple folk made it abundantly clear that the ecosystem was very important to them," he said.



According to Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, many of the world's best Pro editors had their jaws drop when shown Final Cut Pro X. "I?m blown away by what Apple has done with Final Cut Pro,? Apple quoted Academy Award-winning film editor Angus Wall as saying. Apple privately demoed the software to a small group of industry professionals, who reportedly pronounced the upgrade "spectacular."



AppleInsider reported last year that Apple planned to widen Final Cut Pro's appeal to include more prosumer and advanced home users. Apple reportedly responded with a comment, reassuring users that the next version of Final Cut is would be "awesome" and pro customers would "love it."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 248
    quambquamb Posts: 143member
    Mixed reactions??? It is completely unusable for many "professionals" - I'm dumbfounded why basic functionality such as omf/xml compatibility has been pulled. It's a slap in the face, perhaps a wake up call that Apple have simply moved on to wallmart grazing prosumer market.
  • Reply 2 of 248
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quamb View Post


    Mixed reactions??? It is completely unusable for many "professionals" - I'm dumbfounded why basic functionality such as omf/xml compatibility has been pulled. It's a slap in the face, perhaps a wake up call that Apple have simply moved on to wallmart grazing prosumer market.



    And how many users need OMF export? Not many according to Phil Hodgetts



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phil Hodgetts


    It?s definitely not ready for broadcast work at v1. Nor was FCP 1-3. And the % of Apple?s 2 million installs of Final Cut Pro that need OMF is probably less than 50,000 or .0025%. OMF is desperately needed which is why Apple worked with Automatic Duck to get this ready yesterday.




    There's a lot of hand wringing going on by the 5% vocal minority that depends on a feature. Therein lies the rub. FCPX is NOT iMovie Pro. It has a lot of functionality but in its current version one needs to understand what it is and what it isn't.



    OMF/XML/EDL isn't there yet so if that's your workflow ..you must wait.

    If you're heavy with tape...FCPX isn't the program for you



    If you've moved to file based capture and do most of your work on a workstation you can likely get FCPX working for you now.



    Incidentally there are plans to add missing features like Multicam and OMF/XML/EDL according to what Hodgetts and some others are saying.



    I think the hype was built a bit too much and many thought they'd be able to download and start running but clearly it's going to take some evolving here but the codebase with FCPX is new and likely up to the challenge.
  • Reply 3 of 248
    sennensennen Posts: 1,466member
    There are a lot of hissy-fits being thrown at the moment. If you think FCX doesn't support your workflow, keep using FCP 7. Apple probably erred in releasing it now, perhaps 6 months more development would have been better, but it's not the end of the world.
  • Reply 4 of 248
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    And how many users need OMF export? Not many according to Phil Hodgetts







    There's a lot of hand wringing going on by the 5% vocal minority that depends on a feature. Therein lies the rub. FCPX is NOT iMovie Pro. It has a lot of functionality but in its current version one needs to understand what it is and what it isn't.



    OMF/XML/EDL isn't there yet so if that's your workflow ..you must wait.

    If you're heavy with tape...FCPX isn't the program for you



    If you've moved to file based capture and do most of your work on a workstation you can likely get FCPX working for you now.



    Incidentally there are plans to add missing features like Multicam and OMF/XML/EDL according to what Hodgetts and some others are saying.



    I think the hype was built a bit too much and many thought they'd be able to download and start running but clearly it's going to take some evolving here but the codebase with FCPX is new and likely up to the challenge.





    The issue is that when you run a "pro" creative business you don't tell the client to lower their expectations of what you can work with. I have no problem calling FCPX a great piece of software in its early stage. But there is a HUGE part of its user base that it is "no longer for", and it is a slice that I didn't predict Apple would treat this way given how it likes to tout its use by editors, but clearly, Apple has once again shifted a pro app lower in the spectrum. Nothing wrong with that as a company. But you don't take away a camera person's Arriflex a hand them a Casio as a replacement and not expect the Casio to end up sitting in the closet.
  • Reply 5 of 248
    quambquamb Posts: 143member
    True, overtime perhaps a lot of the criticisms will be addressed. Though why should we apologise and make excuses for Apple? It'd be nice if places like this actually took hard, critical, editorial choices at times rather then simply being a mouthpiece for Apple...



    It's quite a blatant statement for Apple to release FCPX in it's current form.
  • Reply 6 of 248
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,614member
    The pro set is a tough crowd to please and there's nobody more conservative. It amazes me that apparently so many will condemn the software so quickly. It's clearly very different so it's it's gonna take a while. For some it will take years. I wonder how long the average reviewer has spent with the software.
  • Reply 7 of 248
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 529member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quamb View Post


    True, overtime perhaps a lot of the criticisms will be addressed. Though why should we apologise and make excuses for Apple? It'd be nice if places like this actually took hard, critical, editorial choices at times rather then simply being a mouthpiece for Apple...



    It's quite a blatant statement for Apple to release FCPX in it's current form.



    This upgrade was already significantly overdue. Delaying it for six months more or whatever risked market share - notably to Adobe, who are inexplicably gaining traction*.



    It was definitely better to get it out there so the majority of users for whom the currently missing features are not mission critical can get the benefit out of it. It also allows Apple to see which things they need to concentrate the most effort on adding to the App going forward, and discover any issues that have not come up in their testing and roll out updates to address them.



    *Yes, I still think Premiere Pro stinks out loud.
  • Reply 8 of 248
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quamb View Post


    Mixed reactions??? It is completely unusable for many "professionals" - I'm dumbfounded why basic functionality such as omf/xml compatibility has been pulled. It's a slap in the face, perhaps a wake up call that Apple have simply moved on to wallmart grazing prosumer market.





    They didn't "pull" the old version from existence. It is still there. This is just a new option for you. If you don't like it, probably you could wait until it improves.



    A mega-app like FCP needs to mature in the "ecosystem" for at least a year before it settles down. Start your clock now and wait a year. You'll probably get what you want.
  • Reply 9 of 248
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwik View Post


    They didn't "pull" the old version from existence. It is still there. This is just a new option for you. If you don't like it, probably you could wait until it improves.



    A mega-app like FCP needs to mature in the "ecosystem" for at least a year before it settles down. Start your clock now and wait a year. You'll probably get what you want.



    Agreed and this is likely the situation that Apple expects seeing as how FCPX and FCS can be on the same system.



    If you have a tapeless workflow and don't need to export for finishing then FCPX is workable right now. If you need tape, extensive device support and import/export stick with FCS until FCPX matures.
  • Reply 10 of 248
    frankiefrankie Posts: 373member
    So many whiners and complainers bitching and moaning. What a bunch of little babies.



    Just use the older version. No one is telling you you can't.



    99.9 percent of clients have no clue what you're using and honestly could care less if the end product looks good.



    Personally I think your'e an idiot to upgrade to new software the week it comes out anyways. I've never in my life upgraded to something new and there NOT been problems. Just like I won;t be upgrading to Lion until 6 months at least after it's released.



    I'll wait until the next release of FCP, or at least 6 months in, when they add the missing features and fix all the bugs, and all will be fine with the world.



    I mean are you gonna go back to Avid? Of course not. So just relax.
  • Reply 11 of 248
    sennensennen Posts: 1,466member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwik View Post


    They didn't "pull" the old version from existence. It is still there. This is just a new option for you. If you don't like it, probably you could wait until it improves.



    A mega-app like FCP needs to mature in the "ecosystem" for at least a year before it settles down. Start your clock now and wait a year. You'll probably get what you want.



    Rational thought is unwarranted whilst the baby and the bathwater are on their way out the window...
  • Reply 12 of 248
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    Rational thought is unwarranted whilst the baby and the bathwater are on their way out the window...



    I cheer them as they fly. Honestly I don't have a clue whether this is a great new version or a diabolical traducing of a much loved tool - I'm not its target audience. But as a developer I admire Apple for being willing to throw backwards compatibility out of the window and completely rewrite a product.



    Sometimes evolution is the right approach, sometimes revolution is required - Apple gets respect for being willing to do both, even if perhaps it sometimes chooses wrongly.
  • Reply 13 of 248
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post


    There are a lot of hissy-fits being thrown at the moment. If you think FCX doesn't support your workflow, keep using FCP 7. Apple probably erred in releasing it now, perhaps 6 months more development would have been better, but it's not the end of the world.



    No Software is going to be perfect from day one. And there comes a time when you need legit customer feedback to go any further. Apple is likely at that point. There's just too many different set ups for them to test the core on everything. So they get feedback from real users and get the big bugs out. Then they can move on and add the next feature set and so on. Way easier than releasing it all and trying to figure out where in the dozens of features the issue lies.



    True professionals never dump their old systems right and few to none switch in mid project. So the import issue isn't really an issue. Few folks anymore work with tape so that's not really a huge issue. Same it seems with the whole OMF if we are to believe Phil.



    Heck we'll spend the next six months just learning the ins and outs of the new version before we dare to use it for any projects, by which time there will probably be an easy dozen bug fixtures and probably 2 or 3 launched features. For now, I've used the new version for about 10 hours so far and I'm impressed with the power and where this version can go. Enough that I'm willing to keep going with it for a bit longer.
  • Reply 14 of 248
    jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quamb View Post


    Mixed reactions??? It is completely unusable for many "professionals" - I'm dumbfounded why basic functionality such as omf/xml compatibility has been pulled. It's a slap in the face, perhaps a wake up call that Apple have simply moved on to wallmart grazing prosumer market.



    That comment sums what's wrong with this whole attitude towards FCPX. You would be the person telling Henry Ford to build a faster horse.



    To label anyone who doesn't need OMF/XML support a 'Wallmart grazing prosumer' is elitist drivel.



    This is version 1.0 of a massive redesign intended to set FCP up for the next 10 years. To expect the refinement of FCP7 (yes, 7) at version 1.0 of the new architecture is absurd. Your crowd really ought to learn some patience and temper their reactions a little. I give you the benefit of believing you need OMF/XML etc. because it seems every man and his dog is suddenly a Hollywood editor at the moment.



    No 'Pro' would move all of his workflow to a completely untried piece of software 24 hours after its release. If your current setup is so wonderful, why do you even want a new FCP? The answer is because you always want better. Here comes the reality hit: if you want better, you need to go 64-bit and you need to re-engineer. Final Cup Pro 7 looked archaic and ran on an archaic architecture. In short, it had reached it's limits. Retooling for the future is painful. If you can't do it and don't want to use 1.0 FCPX, don't. Stick with FCP7 until FCPX is ready. I would have thought that should have been the plan all along!!



    Rating this software, which by all accounts brings huge speed increases, just 1 star on the MAS is just childish. The top-end video industry should be embarrassed by the completely over the top reaction to this release.
  • Reply 15 of 248
    quambquamb Posts: 143member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankie View Post


    So many whiners and complainers bitching and moaning. What a bunch of little babies.



    Just use the older version. No one is telling you you can't.



    99.9 percent of clients have no clue what you're using and honestly could care less if the end product looks good.



    Personally I think your'e an idiot to upgrade to new software the week it comes out anyways. I've never in my life upgraded to something new and there NOT been problems. Just like I won;t be upgrading to Lion until 6 months at least after it's released.



    I'll wait until the next release of FCP, or at least 6 months in, when they add the missing features and fix all the bugs, and all will be fine with the world.



    I mean are you gonna go back to Avid? Of course not. So just relax.





    The flood of rants about notifications, cut and paste, antennagate etc over the years I've ignored. It's nonsense that happens on friggen phones, the stuff of mega-nerds that actually never bothers me, or anyone I know in "real life"...



    Though in this case, here at work, people are a little dumbfounded by this FCP release. And I'd say many of us have legitimate, career based, reasons for "bitching and moaning" .
  • Reply 16 of 248
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    I'm viewing this from a distance. Video isn't my specialty. But reading such polar opposite opinions about FCX, this all strikes me as a great object lesson in why bloatware wins out in the market. Some people don't care about new features (no matter how revolutionary) nearly as much as they care about the loss of one or two functions they've gotten used to.
  • Reply 17 of 248
    quambquamb Posts: 143member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post


    That comment sums what's wrong with this whole attitude towards FCPX. You would be the person telling Henry Ford to build a faster horse.



    To label anyone who doesn't need OMF/XML support a 'Wallmart grazing prosumer' is elitist drivel.



    This is version 1.0 of a massive redesign intended to set FCP up for the next 10 years. To expect the refinement of FCP7 (yes, 7) at version 1.0 of the new architecture is absurd. Your crowd really ought to learn some patience and temper their reactions a little. I give you the benefit of believing you need OMF/XML etc. because it seems every man and his dog is suddenly a Hollywood editor at the moment.



    No 'Pro' would move all of his workflow to a completely untried piece of software 24 hours after its release. If your current setup is so wonderful, why do you even want a new FCP? The answer is because you always want better. Here comes the reality hit: if you want better, you need to go 64-bit and you need to re-engineer. Final Cup Pro 7 looked archaic and ran on an archaic architecture. In short, it had reached it's limits. Retooling for the future is painful. If you can't do it and don't want to use 1.0 FCPX, don't. Stick with FCP7 until FCPX is ready. I would have thought that should have been the plan all along!!



    Rating this software, which by all accounts brings huge speed increases, just 1 star on the MAS is just childish. The top-end video industry should be embarrassed by the completely over the top reaction to this release.



    Agreed. No doubt this is a knee-jerk response. Sure we can wait to see it evolve, re-add features and what not. Though why is is not okay to complain about what's missing now, on release? Be vocal?



    Could you imagine the uproar that would happen if the next iOS didn't support existing-feature-x?



    And this isn't about users wary of change, or ways to re-evaluate their processes... in fact I love radical changes to software, it's enjoyable learning the ropes and figuring out a better way of doing things with new tech/UI elements. But here it's not that, but Apple stripping away basic industry-standard features.
  • Reply 18 of 248
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwik View Post


    They didn't "pull" the old version from existence. It is still there. This is just a new option for you. If you don't like it, probably you could wait until it improves.



    A mega-app like FCP needs to mature in the "ecosystem" for at least a year before it settles down. Start your clock now and wait a year. You'll probably get what you want.





    Well, no. If you run a business off of an editing workstation you won't be waiting a year for the missing features, that you need, to come back.



    As far as using a previous version, first of all THAT needs some work. And I have no doubt that it will not function after several minor and one major system update before 2013. So just as Apple was looking ahead in coding this program, pro editors will look ahead to their future, starting, maybe, now.



    The hobbyists will wait a year for the dust to settle.
  • Reply 19 of 248
    jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quamb View Post


    Agreed. No doubt this is a knee-jerk response. Sure we can wait to see it evolve, re-add features and what not. Though why is is not okay to complain about what's missing now, on release? Be vocal?



    Could you imagine the uproar that would happen if the next iOS didn't support existing-feature-x?



    And this isn't about users wary of change, or ways to re-evaluate their processes... in fact I love radical changes to software, it's enjoyable learning the ropes and figuring out a better way of doing things with new tech/UI elements. But here it's not that, but Apple stripping away basic industry-standard features.



    Being vocal is great, rating a good app 1 star en masse is pathetic. Rate it 3 stars and say why.



    It's not fair to compare this to iOS. If Apple completely redesigned the phone for some quantum processor (yes, I made that up) in the future then maybe it would have to be completely reengineered and miss some features at release. If you can see the medium/long-term benefits then you have patience with the developers. Also, iOS is used by 100m people. FCP just is simply a more niche piece of software with more specialist requirements.



    I'm just asking for some even-handed reasoning and some patience.
  • Reply 20 of 248
    With all the whining, best if we collect all these whiners' name for the HOF of crybabies and future 'I told you so'. Any pro worth their salt wouldn't jump to things they are not completely familiar with on it's first outings. There are choices nowadays and nobody forces you to abandon what you're comfortable with for the sake of something new. Much better if these legitimate early adopters channel your concerns through proper route i.e. feedback form etc.



    It's a version 1.0 for fk sake.
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