Apple product managers address complains over Final Cut Pro X

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
With many of Apple's professional video editing customers up in arms over this week's major revamp of Final Cut, several Final Cut Pro X project managers recently made themselves available to address some of the more prominent concerns surrounding the new software.



Introduced Tuesday as a "revolutionary new version" that "completely reinvents video editing," Apple's $299 Final Cut Pro X stands as a ground-up re-write of the company's industry-leading professional video editing suite Final Cut Studio, targeted at both professionals and advanced consumers, or so-called "prosumers."



In doing so, Apple is laying a solid foundation for the future of video editing on the Mac but starting from scratch has translated to several missing features, incompatibilities with earlier versions of the software, and frustrating changes that have led some in video editing circles to unofficially coin the release "iMovie Pro."



Broadly speaking, response to the software has been mixed, with many iMovie users lauding the upgrade as a more powerful and capable version of the company's consumer-oriented offering, while several of those who make a living off the software are condemning it as unfit for professional use.



In its first public attempt to address some of these concerns, Apple made available to the New York Times a handful of Final Cut Pro X product managers who openly addressed the softwares "missing features," which they believe fall into three primary categories: features that are actually there and have just been moved around, features that Apple intends to restore and features that require a third-party (non-Apple) add-on or plug-in.



For instance, a popular gripe with Final Cut Pro X is its inability to import footage from multiple cameras and jump between those feeds while editing. Project managers for the software acknowledged that multicamera editing was indeed a critical feature of Final Cut Studio and said they plan to restore this feature in an update, calling it ?a top priority.?



Another complaint centers around a lack of direct support for RED digital cameras, which are favorite among filmmakers who want to record incredibly high-resolution video directly to a hard drive. Apple similarly claims that it plans to re-instate this feature and is working with RED to create a plug-in that will deliver native support. In the meantime, it recommends that professionals set their RED cameras to capture video in the QuickTime format, which Final Cut Pro X can import.



Apple also plans to restore the ability to assign audio tracks with a future update to Final Cut Pro X, but in the meantime recommends that editors purchase a $200 utility called Automatic Duck Pro Export 5.0 to create and manage audio tracks automatically when they export to ProTools.



Meanwhile, Apple says that its untrue that editors can't set custom frame rates or frame dimensions with the new software. It maintains that options for both exist when creating a new project via the Import dialog box. And it adds that editors can also change the frame rate or size during export if they're willing to pay an extra $50 for the new version of Compressor also released Tuesday.







It's also untrue that editors can't specify import locations, Apple says. In the Import dialog box, there?s reportedly an option called ?Copy files to Final Cut Events folder" that will leave imported files where they are when deselected.



Still, Apple concedes that some complaints will likely go unrectified. For instance, Final Cut Pro X can't import old Final Cut Pro projects and there's reportedly no plans to address the matter. Instead, editors will need to keep both programs -- Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X-- on their hard drive, and edit the old projects in the old program.



After consulting with the Apple project manager's, the Time's David Pogue concluded that "Apple has followed the typical Apple sequence" with Final Cut Pro X, which is to "(1) throw out something that?s popular and comfortable but increasingly ancient, (2) replace it with something that?s slick and modern and forward-looking and incomplete, (3) spend another year finishing it up, restoring missing pieces."



A full list concerns regarding Final Cut Pro X and the responses from Apple product managers can be seen here. Readers may also be interested in checking out a response to Pogue's piece authored by video professional Richard Harrington.



For what its worth, in May of 2010 -- a full year before the debut of Final Cut Pro X -- AppleInsider issued a lengthy report titled "Apple scaling Final Cut Studio apps to fit prosumers," in which it exclusively revealed that the company's Final Cut Studio suite of video post production apps was "getting a significant makeover to better target the software to the mainstream of Apple's customer base rather than high end professionals."



Within hours, Apple issued a comment dismissing the report.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 221
    Without multi-camera editing, it's useless to me. I'll wait.
  • Reply 2 of 221
    Your article just restates David Pogues article. Richard Harrington has posted a full and thoughtful reply;



    http://www.richardharringtonblog.com...x_response.php



    Why would Apple's Product Managers interact with a non-editor to defend this product? Did he ask them how it compares to Premiere Pro, Media Composer or Vegas?



    I have a hard time seeing Stephen Bayes defending this release...
  • Reply 3 of 221
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:

    For instance, a popular gripe with Final Cut Pro X is its inability to import footage from multiple cameras and jump between those feeds while editing. Project managers for the software acknowledged that multicamera editing was indeed a critical feature of Final Cut Studio and said they plan to restore this feature in an update, calling it ?a top priority.?



    Sounds like they didn't do their homework. Is Apple caring too little for the professional? Consumerism is great because you can sell lots of stuff but it sure seems to mess up lots of good things.
  • Reply 4 of 221
    That Pogue's comment regarding Apple's method summed it up perfectly. It is a well known fact people just need to understand Apple MO. Mind, people rarely change. We are not in the 1880s any more but I understand the frustration. Still, there are choices and one of them is to wait.
  • Reply 5 of 221
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,012member
    I agree with the 'regurgitated' content charge. AI, try calling Apple personally for an interview at least once. If nothing else, you could ask them to comment on the David Pogue article.



    Support your articles with original research or just post a link. You are two steps away from outright plagiarism.
  • Reply 6 of 221
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    Sounds like they didn't do their homework. Is Apple caring too little for the professional? Consumerism is great because you can sell lots of stuff but it sure seems to mess up lots of good things.



    There is VERY little money in the "professional" market, and they are totally fickle.



    Apple is doing the right thing to concentrate on the consumer market. The enterprise is a waste of resources.
  • Reply 7 of 221
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    After consulting with the Apple project manager's, the Time's David Pogue concluded that "Apple has followed the typical Apple sequence" with Final Cut Pro X, which is to "(1) throw out something that?s popular and comfortable but increasingly ancient, (2) replace it with something that?s slick and modern and forward-looking and incomplete, (3) spend another year finishing it up, restoring missing pieces."



    Pogue is correct.



    Apple did the same thing with iMovie.
  • Reply 8 of 221
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    If history tells us anything, it's 'Avoid Apple Products That Receive Complete UI Makeovers Or An 'X' In Their Name'.



    iMovie '08, QuickTime X (though Lion's is bringing features back. QuickTime 7 is still essential, but it's better), and Final Cut Studio X.
  • Reply 9 of 221
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    I think the value of speaking with David Pogue (a non-editor) is that he is not as emotionally attached to what he feels FCP must absolutely do. He can look at the fact that Apple totally rebuilt and restructure the foundation of FCP X. And is willing to understand that more is to come.



    Many in the editing community are unwilling to be quite this open minded about the situation. Which is their choice. They want what they want and they want it now. Which is understandable.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by edm81363 View Post


    Your article just restates David Pogues article. Richard Harrington has posted a full and thoughtful reply;



    http://www.richardharringtonblog.com...x_response.php



    Why would Apple's Product Managers interact with a non-editor to defend this product? Did he ask them how it compares to Premiere Pro, Media Composer or Vegas?



    I have a hard time seeing Stephen Bayes defending this release...



  • Reply 10 of 221
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    There is VERY little money in the "professional" market, and they are totally fickle.



    Apple is doing the right thing to concentrate on the consumer market. The enterprise is a waste of resources.



    I'm sure Apple agrees with you. What a darn shame.
  • Reply 11 of 221
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    There is VERY little money in the "professional" market, and they are totally fickle.



    Apple is doing the right thing to concentrate on the consumer market. The enterprise is a waste of resources.



    Out of all the complaints, the most ridiculous and unsupportable is that the new version is "not for professionals."



    A few old geezers that are afraid of doing anything new or stopping their addiction to magnetic tape (of all things), are making a lot of sounds that it isn't for "professionals" because it removes their ancient workflows from the equation. The majority of professionals using the old Final Cut will move to the new one with no problems at all. The majority of professionals don't even use tape.



    Final Cut Pro X is so totally *not* a "consumer" product in any way. Your just being ridiculous.
  • Reply 12 of 221
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Even OS X?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    If history tells us anything, it's 'Avoid Apple Products That Receive Complete UI Makeovers Or An 'X' In Their Name'.



  • Reply 13 of 221
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    LOL, I agree.



    You especially reveal your age if you say "I wanted to go back to Avid anyway".



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    A few old geezers that are afraid of doing anything new or stopping their addiction to magnetic tape (of all things), are making a lot of sounds that it isn't for "professionals" because it removes their ancient workflows from the equation. The majority of professionals using the old Final Cut will move to the new one with no problems at all. The majority of professionals don't even use tape.



  • Reply 14 of 221
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Even OS X?







    Wow. You got me there. Unless you want to go by Mac OS 10.0. THAT sucked. A lot. But hey, it got better.



    And iMovie '08? It became iMovie '09, which was good. And now iMovie '11, which is better.



    And QuickTime, as I said, is gaining its features back in Lion.



    So, I guess that DOES hold. Avoid the FIRST RELEASE of Apple products that receive UI makeovers or an X in their name. But they'll get better, we promise!
  • Reply 15 of 221
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Even OS X?



    A lot of people thought the early versions of OS X were not as good as OS 9.
  • Reply 16 of 221
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    In other words, Final Cut Pro X isn't ready for full production primetime now, but in a year, most people who are willing to stick it out will have adapted already.



    What I do argue is that if you have mission critical work, it's not as if your current version of Final Cut Studio has decided to implode on itself. By the time you will have carefully evaluated the software for your needs, more features will be added and then if critical feature X is missing, you should complain or move elsewhere.



    I do find it funny that people say they are going to "move elsewhere" almost ASAP. I mean, what is wrong with what you have now considering you've been using it for several years.



    This does point out however that what people fear most is change, but certainly there isn't a person who can't argue that the current interface of Final Cut is the way it should work forever.
  • Reply 17 of 221
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    So, I guess that DOES hold. Avoid the FIRST RELEASE of Apple products that receive UI makeovers or an X in their name. But they'll get better, we promise!



    It didn't sound like you were saying the first release. It sounded as if you were saying to avoid the X altogether.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    A lot of people thought the early versions of OS X were not as good as OS 9.



    Yes I do remember that. The transition to OS X was magnitudes more disruptive than going from FCP 7 to FCP X.
  • Reply 18 of 221
    Having used FCP for the past 6 years I was optimistic about this release despite the complaints. Just tried it out, and I really, really am not enjoying it. There is a learning curve and I'm just starting to find my way around, but honestly as a whole the interface and ultimately the workflow process just seems miles behind what was previously possible. It feels glossed up and dumbed down. I'm speaking on the prosumer level, not a true pro, not an imovie user. But had this been a release from another company I would not have paid much interest.



    I know it's a 1.0 release and will be updated, but it has a long way to go before I would chose this over FCP7.
  • Reply 19 of 221
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post






    Wow. You got me there. Unless you want to go by Mac OS 10.0. THAT sucked. A lot. But hey, it got better.



    And iMovie '08? It became iMovie '09, which was good. And now iMovie '11, which is better.



    And QuickTime, as I said, is gaining its features back in Lion.



    So, I guess that DOES hold. Avoid the FIRST RELEASE of Apple products that receive UI makeovers or an X in their name. But they'll get better, we promise!



    Well, at least expect to be imperfectly delighted if you completely dump your existing workflow for a completely new 1.0 product at release.



    Which is not the same thing as expecting the end of the world.
  • Reply 20 of 221
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Yes I do remember that. The transition to OS X was magnitudes more disruptive than going from FCP 7 to FCP X.



    I don't know anything about video editing, but as a software developer I recently had to change from Xcode 3 to Xcode 4 which has a whole new GUI.



    It took time (watching tutorial videos), and there are still a few menus I miss, but I'm glad I made the change now.
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