Final Cut Pro X

July 5th, 2011

Some people out there, knowing I’m an Apple user/Final Cut editor for 8 years among other things, might be interested in what I think about Final Cut Pro X.

Summary:  I don’t know enough languages to string together a proper insult to counter the slap in the face that this software gave me.

I wouldn’t have been so shocked if it was called iMovie Advanced or Final Cut Express.  But Pro?  PRO?  What we have here is an iMovie for iMovie editors who want to get slightly more serious about things.  The only people who will be making a living off FCP X’s features are vloggers in the YouTube Partners program.  Phillip DeFranco even said FCPX is just about the best thing ever—so proof positive that FCP X is a load of crap.

If you read FCPX’s official FAQ, practically every answer they give is ‘you can do that with another program’, ‘here’s a 5 step process that used to be one step’, or ‘that feature is coming’.

Some good quotes so far:

#thecrankycutter “[It's] as if Apple said,”FCP has become a broadcast industry standard. How can we keep that from ever happening again?”

“I can’t think of an Apple product launch which has spun more wildly out of control than this one. Apple did not just blow this launch, they went out of their way to alienate their key customer base.”

Jim Jannard- “Apple can fix this situation very easily… all they have to do is communicate what they are going to do with this app. If they don’t, many will jump ship. Once they do, it will be hard to get them back. I am the ultimate Apple fan. But this app signals a big change in philosophy. It doesn’t have to be that way… but somebody better say something pretty quickly.”

And probably be favorite, which can’t be summed up in any better way:

“Final Cut Pro X is an abortion.”


It’s really not worth it for me to dissect FCPX and point out the many, many missing features (my most missed are capture from video devices [my intensity card], tracks, and my most important: the Media Manager.)  FCPX isn’t about what it’s missing.  FCPX is a fundamental change in the target audience and therefore the editing philosophy.  A former Apple developer watched the same thing happen to his baby, Shake, just a little while ago.  Apple got the people hooked on their HARDWARE using software bait.  When Shake was discontinued (And yes, I still mourn the death of Shake-and simultaneously Color is taking the same route), Nuke for Mac was conveniently waiting- at 10 times the price.  (lo and behold—Adobe and Avid are both doing half-off switcher sales to fill Apple’s pro power vacuum).  They don’t care if Ron Brinkmann’s estimated 10,000 ‘pro’ editors go mass exodus to Adobe and Avid, as Ron said—the consumer market for the amateur editors of the YouTube generation is an order of magnitude more profitable than catering to the small, often very picky professional market.

‘And back then the same questions were being asked as now – “Doesn’t Apple care about the high-end professional market?”

In a word, no.  Not really.’

This may sound sappy considering the obvious VALVe-obsession I maintain (the uncontainable outflowing of that obsession being Outside Aperture), but Apple could really learn things from VALVe as a business.  Sure, VALVe didn’t recently pass Microsoft in quarterly earnings etc like Apple—VALVe doesn’t make $1000+ computers.   But VALVe consistently outputs quality stuff and listens to their fans, even if it takes a while to do.  In short, Apple fanboys might be a particularly rabid species, but will likely cower at any real confrontation—but VALVe fans will kill for their company.  VALVe’s been training us to kill for a decade now by never failing us, and according to some Senators, by creating wanton murder simulators.

So, yeah, you could say I await my moment of schadenfreude if Apple says sorry, and my moment of glee if Apple re-institutes features we were all expecting them to have kept in the first place (considering they first demoed it at  NAB 2011′s FCPUG Super Meet), but I’m not holding my breath.  Maybe it’s time for me to learn Premiere, despite how much I despise Adobe through After Effects alone.  (Did I mention my first editing jobs were on Premiere 6.0?)

In the mean time, I’m seriously considering making a return request and getting my $300 back, but my 1-star App Store review has been filed along with a few paragraphs of hate.

If you would like to surf my wave of FCPX hatred, head down to the PG forums for epic rant time.

Petition here

(7,249 signatures as of this post.  Using crude guesstimate math, at the old Final Cut Studio price that’s $7 million in lost revenue that repeats on every release.)

I don\’t have a title for this

FCPX bugs


There is light at the end of this tunnel though, if you’re a massive optimist:

#jefferyharrell In five years, we may say the best thing Apple ever did for commercial post was to f*** us all right in the eye.

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