Final Cut Pro X To Get New And Missing Features Every Six Months



Final Cut Pro X might now finally be available for purchase on the Mac App Store for a lower price than ever, but for some video professionals, it has not been worth the wait: a pretty update that sadly jettisons many of the features that they depend on. There may be hope on the horizon, though: Apple has reportedly claimed that Final Cut Pro X will be getting some of these missing features in future updates.

According to a video production blogger who spoke to Apple a future update of Final Cut Pro X will get the ability to import Final Cut Pro 6 and 7 projects, as well as gain a replacement for the current XML workflow and multicam editing support.

Apparently, the plan is to update Final Cut Pro X substantially twice a year through the Mac App Store. There are still many missing features left to address though, and video professionals seem to be revolting. Can Apple patch Final Cut Pro X in time to appease them and, if so, why didn’t they hold off release to begin with?

  • Chris Cooper

    I thought it looked great until the reviews came in. I was hoping for a solid upgrade from Express 4, but I mainly need multi-cam. So until that gets added, I’m gonna hold off.

  • Geof Abruzzi

    If Apple had official called it something like “FCPX: Preview Release”, kept FCS3 in the store, and officially published a list of which features would be available in the final release, then the complaints would be much more muted. No one who makes a living with this software is going to bet their livelihood on unofficial rumors that this or that feature is coming back. We are all beginning to research and plan our migration to a competing platform.


  • CharliK

    You say “why didn’t they just wait to release it”. Well say they did. Then they would be dissed for taking so long to do an update. And some of the issues won’t be revealed until folks use it due to the wide variety of set ups that can exist. This is just a fact of life when it comes to software. 

    Most pro houses haven’t ditched their FCS3, their Adobe or whatever in part because we have projects underway and no one is dumb enough to switch over in the middle of something. So while the kinks get worked out on FCPX we will keep using the older stuff just as we have for a while. 

  • CharliK

    “We are all”. Speak learn to speak only for yourself. We are not ALL doing anything. Just you are. 

    Even with a few ‘this is crap’ reviews there are dozens more folks that haven’t said anything and could be staying or going.

  • RF

    Ok, I’ll rephrase.  “Every single professional video editor I have spoken with, or exchanged emails with.”

  • Geof Abruzzi

    The problem is not just the product, it’s Apple’s tight lipped approach.  I refuse to stake my future income on rumors.

  • dagamer34

    It’s not as if because FCPX has been released, your copy of FCS3 has suddenly stopped working. You can continue with your current production workflow for many years until you and your team have decided that FCPX will work well for you.

  • H. Kolind

    I’ve read a fair few reviews from people who’ve had the software for testing over the last week, and despite a lot of shortcoming in terms of backwards compatibility and lack of a dedicated sound and color-grading application one thing that I’ve noticed is that a lot of them puts a lot of focus on FCPX being faster, more intuitive and puts a lot of fun back into editing.
    I think Apple might have focused on bringing what they feel is a foundation to built on for the next 10 years. Just like FCP wasn’t really ready to handle projects like a full feature until ver. 4, FCPX seems to need some updates either from Apple or from 3rd parties to add missing features. The way Automatic Duck already does with the OMF export in FCPX (too bad it costs more than the program itself).
    And unlike previous versions of FCP, it is an option to have both FCP7 and FCPX installed at the same time. Focus on telling your stories, and choose the right tool for the job.
    Apple is doing the same with tape-based workflow as they did with the modem, the floppy drive etc. and it’s a painful process for some (myself included – I would have preferred the backwards compatibility).

  • Stuart Otterson

    That’s better RF.

  • Jay Floyd

    This release was a very un Apple like bungle.  They tend to shove their customers around a bit — this was a bit too far.  They needed to be VERY clear in advance of the pro limitations of this supposedly ‘pro’ product. 

  • Stuart Otterson

    I think that pretty much hits the nail on the head @lucascott:disqus 

    People need to imagine the critics, but instead of them complaining about this and that being missing in FCPX, them complaining that Apple is taking forever, that FCP is out of date, that they should just get something out there and add features on later.

    Little wonder Apple decided to just get something out there with the core selling points, rather than Steve Jobs putting up with more emails complaining about how Apple has been rumoured to axe FCP. *rolls eyes*

    Anyway I like to compare it to OSX, it was brought out with the main features and such, didn’t have certain bells and whistles but it did its main task and got better at it every version upgrade. And this could be the case for FCPX, rolling out updates through the Mac App Store bringing certain things people want out. I think this was along the lines of what @f4c5916375d62f64e64bda024bdad734:disqus was saying.

    Besides can anyone prove this isn’t just a case of a vocal minority? Seem to me this will be yet another case of a vocal minority spelling doom and gloom, Apple addresses the issues as planned on their schedule and terms and this is all forgotten. A year later and the great exodus to Adobe Premier hasn’t materialised and as usual the complainers hide their face not willing to eat humble pie.

  • CharliK

    “vocal minority”

    Pretty much nails it for all things folks post bash this or that Apple thing. The Death Grip, for example, was painted as a major design flaw. Turns out it was maybe 1% of iphone users in the US and 1/10th of 1% of non US users. 90% of which said ATT sucked no matter what phone they used. But no one considered that it was an ATT issue, of course it was Apple’s big mistake. 

    It is a known psychological game that those with a beef will scream and yell every chance they can about it. However those that are happy rarely even whisper a word, especially online. And it is also a well known game that the blogs etc will repeat and magnify all those complaints because it gets them far more hits than the praise does.

  • CharliK

    Why do you think all the pro houses are hanging onto their current systems. It’s because they too don’t stake their income on rumors. In many cases, we pros don’t ditch the old system until the next new system is out. And often we hang onto the disks and serial numbers even after the system is no longer installed. Heck in my shop it’s very common for us to clone the now frozen and out of use system so we can get everything back to where we left off a lot easier. Especially now that there are ways to do it onto a high capacity SD card. 

  • CharliK

    Of course you fail to define ‘every single’. It means something different when we find out that you have talked to only 20 editors. 

    Whereas I speak to or exchange emails with easily 200 editors a month. 90% of which use FCS for all or at least 50% of their editing. None of which have an issue with this update and are excited about it. But they are also smart enough to know that it’s not going to be 100% perfect out the gate. Which is why they aren’t trashing their old systems. Any more than they will be trashing Snow Leopard when Lion comes out. Especially the folks that are using Maya etc. Just as they are finishing FCS3 started projects in that version regardless of the lack of importing at the moment, they will finish current projects under Snow Leopard and keep it around as a back up until they feel Lion is stable and well supported by the needed softwares

  • Brian Johnson

    A $299 piece of software is enough to “bet your livelihood?”

  • Ash Smith

    RF can add me to his list. I love FCS3 but want faster speeds, background rendering, access to more than 4gb of RAM. I’m actively considering switching to Avid or Adobe. And that after nearly 10 years of FCP. 

  • Greg Innes

    I have been using both Avid and FCP for years, both have their pro’s and cons, but what seems to be missing from the threads here is that companies and people alike build workflows around gear and their capabilities.  The “give Apple slack for releasing something shitty” is bullocks. This release is a complete slap in the face to its loyal customers in the PRO world, is going to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths for a long time.  Editors are often attached to their GUIs and often do not have time to relearn apps from the ground up when they are working on deadlines and charging people by the hour.  They have stripped fundamental tools that we all use daily as professionals, but it seems that my dad now has the best tools around to make me a YouTube clip of his vacation.  If that is who Apple wants to appease, then take their “PRO” app and shove it up their arse.  They dropped the ball and they should pay for it by loosing every inch of ground they have gained on Avid.

  • keith chia

    does anyone think that apple is doing this to counter piracy? isnt it more difficult to update an application if it is a pirated copy?

  • Stuart Otterson

    If Avid and FCP stuck to their GUI what would happen is that somebody else would make an alternative UI that would steadily take the market share from the both of them. Apple would rather be the ones making a change rather than the ones catching up on some upstart.

    As it stands making it easier for new people, as well as pricing it attractively in the same procumer market as FCE once held will attract a new generation of talent, which is more valuable to Apple than the current generation of users.

    Apple wants the hipster kids, the ones who don’t need to convert these tape things they’ve never heard of. The generation that uploads their footage online, the Vimeo generation. They represent the future of video and once Apple has them they can sell even more devices to consume the online media.

    That’s not to justify the professionals being belittled, but merely to put into perspective what I reckon is Apple’s thinking. You don’t have to like it, after all that’s what Avid is there for isn’t it? The alternative. Apple meanwhile will continue to make money, with or without you on board, because they know precisely what they’re doing.

  • sportyguy209

    I doubt it.

    It is my understanding that any app from the App Store can be installed on multiple machines as long as you are an administrator on said machines. While it’s a bargain for one user now, installing the application on multiple machines for the price of one app has got to be a delight for many businesses.

    Affordability and the ability to utilize more than one copy legally should be a huge incentive not to pirate the software.

    Or, am I missing something?

  • Tommy Duncan

    I’ve been editing for broadcast for over 10 years on both Avid and FCP.  I’m upset by this upgrade, but not really surprised. 

    If you can’t export in a meaningful format to a colour grader or audio editor, if workgroup functionality has been slashed and there is no multicam support – you’re in trouble in my world. Simply put – it is not a professional grade editing application.

     I work for a major broadcaster and the only staff that are exited about this release are the online / web department that shoot, edit and upload content to the various websites. All other editors are disappointed and some have ALREADY purchased Media Composer software for their private edit suites.I believe that Apple will no longer service the people who make a living editing, instead they will train their guns on the Generation YouTube. Makes sense for them I guess. More revenue to be earnt = happy shareholders. But for me it’s the end of the line with Apple. It’s been a great ride.

  • MegaGorgo

    An unmitigated piece of crap? Not the program but the program and the planned major fixes every6 months are. And the idiots at Apple including the chief moron,  Good lord.  MultiCam not in release 1?   They have zombies coding in Cupertino now??   I’ve been editing for 3 decades on all sorts of machines. FCP 7 has considerable limitations but is still very useful. I do most of my editing on it.   FCP X lacks much and is not on my shopping list. It reminds me of when I saw a demos of Premiere in 1995 at NAB.  Said to myself, won’t touch that for at least 2 years because it will take them that long to get it right. 
    I don’t think anyone will be wanting to buy this for at least 6 months if not longer, especially if you are in a facility with multiple workstations.  Right now people I know have x’d out upgrades from their budgets,   If you want somthing that works well and fast right now, Avid or PremierePro should be one’s choice. Funny enough I picked up an Avid 4.5 box last summer for 700 bucks on a lark plus I wanted to get back into editing Avid. Turned out to be a pretty good choice.

  • Bill Kimzey

    The problem with that, though, is that it really is time for Final Cut 7 to be updated – to work with new shooting codecs, to take advantage of 64-bit, to be much more about metadata.  Editors do need to move on, but X doesn’t give them a place to go, unfortunately, because of what it lacks.

    Nothing stands still.  FCP7 indeed has stopped working in a number of serious ways because of developing workflows.  I can think of a number of places where X would be the perfect tool.  But it is not for the pro editor.  So, at this point, Apple does not have a pro editing tool, and what it may in the future have, is speculation.  Apple have not publicly spoken.

    The outcry is precisely because 7 IS no longer working, and X DOESN’T work where 7 DID.

  • zarac

    well, you’re not saying anything about FCPX.
    FCS was a great professional editing suite and FCPX is definitely not the successor.
    i say WAS because apple has EOL-ed it, so no more support.

    you say you know around 200 editors who have no issues with FCPX. so they probably don’t need the missing features?

    with FCPX it is impossible to:
    1. get the xml out of the system (eg. for DaVinci grading), and no support for serious in-application grading (only preview quality, no AJA or Blackmagic support)
    2. export OMF to sound finishers (with pathetic excuse for in-app sound editing)

    i can’t think of any professional use without the need for grading and sound finishing.

  • CharliK

    Actually they do need those things and more. their lack of issue is because they had better expectations than many others. They did their homework and they knew the release would not be perfect. They aren’t upset because they got what they figured they would. And they knew before Apple said it that in time those features would be available one way or another. In the meantime they are learning the new UI etc, as they planned from when they first saw the previews.