∞ Apple releases major update to Final Cut Pro X, release demo version

Apple on Tuesday released a major new version of Final Cut Pro X, the first update to the company’s professional video application since it was released in late June.

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 focuses on implementing the top user requested features into the application to help professionals get their work done more efficiently.

“We got a lot of feedback from our professional users,” Richard Townhill, Apple’s senior director applications marketing, told The Loop. “We listened to the pros and have taken their top feature requests and put them in this update.”

Final Cut Pro now has Xsan support, which includes projects and events. With Xsan support, users can access the same source media while creating separate projects on the SAN. Of course, this means that users can edit from any system attached to the SAN.

The new version also includes support for Rich XML import and export. XML interchange gives users access to third-party workflows like high-end visual effects, color grading and media asset management. This includes products like Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and Square Box System’s CatDV.

Apple brought Media Stems support to Final Cut Pro X, but they took it a step further than what you may be used to. When you export stems, you are basically splitting the media into separate files like dialogue, effects, music, etc. You have to mute all of the tracks you don’t want in the stem and them bounce the file out. Obviously, this means that you have to make multiple passes in order to export all of the necessary stems.

Final Cut Pro X introduces the concept of Roles, which allows you to tag tracks based on the stems you want to export. Once all of your tracks are labeled, you can make one pass and export all of the stems at the same time.

You can export a single multitrack file or separate audio stems based on your tags. You can also apply Roles to video clips and graphics giving you a new way to export separate files for versioning and localization, according to Apple.

Apple added a few other features to Final Cut Pro X too, like Custom Starting Timecode, GPU-accelerated export, Camera Import SDK and full-screen view in Lion.

Of course, when Apple first released Final Cut Pro X, some users were not happy with the changes, but Apple said they were listening.

“We have very vocal customers and they told us what they think was missing,” said Townhill. “What we’re doing today is answering those concerns.”

Even with some vocal users complaining early on, Apple said they have not seen customers leaving the platform since Final Cut Pro X was released.

Creative Strategies President and market analyst Tim Bajarin said this release is likely to make Final Cut Pro much more interesting to a broader audience. Bajarin also points to the significant price drop of Final Cut Pro X as a major factor in its success.

Final Cut Pro X introduced many new features like a Magnetic Timeline that lets you edit on a flexible, trackless canvas; Content Auto-Analysis that categorizes your content upon import by shot type, media and people; and background rendering.

“We’ve got a modern architecture, and this is the foundation for the next 10 years,” said Townhill.

In addition to all the new features, Apple is releasing a demo version of Final Cut Pro X today, so all users can try it out.

“We are giving people the opportunity to see for themselves how powerful, amazing and revolutionary Final Cut Pro is,” said Townhill. “No app takes advantage of Lion and the Mac the way Final Cut Pro X does.”



  • https://twitter.com/#!/danielhedlund Daniel Hedlund

    This is what’s great about Apple, when they screw up they typically fix it to  most people’s satisfaction. 

    • http://www.lonseidman.com lonseidman

      And Apple’s very good at dragging their users along as they innovate.  Sometimes before the customers might be ready for that innovation :).

      • http://www.multiplexcomic.com/ Gordon McAlpin

        :) I agree with your sentiment for the most part, but I think this is a case where all of these features should have been in the .0 release in the first place — and almost certainly the two features they announced for the early 2012 update, as well.

    • budakhan

      They aren’t fixing it fast enough. It looks like there will be years of development before it gets close to the usability of FCS.

      • John

        you mean “close to the power of FCS” — i like FCP7, but i’d hardly say “usability” was its strength

  • John David

    There will still be some issues for those needing to export to video tape, but these changes certainly address most of the concerns that the pro market voiced when this was first released.

    There also will be folks that want to be able to open projects that were created in the earlier versions of Final Cut, to those people, keep your old version installed until you have finished with those files.

    A very good & welcomed .1 release!

    • http://www.jphotog.com Hrunga Zmuda

      The problem with importing older project files is that for an educational institution like ours, where the historical value of what we shot in years past are still important and relevant. We continually go back to older projects and reuse the same assets over and over.

      This is probably the straw that will break the back for us in the long-haul. Fortunately, Apple allowed us to recently buy seven copies of FinalCut Studio 3 for $399. That will keep us going for as long as OS X supports that version.

      I’ll be trying FCPX with my DSLR files, but for the regular video people, it’s simply not an option and likely won’t ever be if they don’t come up with a way to migrate assets from previous projects. We might as well go with Avid or Premier Pro. And that’s too bad. The innovations in FCPX are significant.

      • LouB

        Your old assets can easily be imported to FCPX.  You will lose the bin info but the assets can still be used very easily.  Now with the new XML support you should be able to import your bins and your timelines from older projects.  But you should start doing the conversions now because we have no idea how much longer FCP will be functional.

      • Dan

        This doesn’t make sense- you don’t lose the ability to use any of your assets, only the project structures. Unless you need to re-export all those previous productions exactly the same way, you can archive everything and it will all still be there. Final Cut Studio will continue to work for the foreseeable future, as will the hardware you have used it on up to now. I’m measuring that in years. If there ever comes a time when it won’t, virtualization software like VMWare Fusion, Parallels or Virtual Box has your back.

        The conventional wisdom going forward has been hang on to FCP7 for those legacy projects if you have to revisit them, otherwise start new projects with FCPX. That’s how a professional deals with significant upgrades.

        These indignant jokers who threw away 10 years of using Final Cut and immediately ran to software like Premiere just because they offered a discount, were never really professional anyway. That’s how flighty consumers act.

      • Anonymous

        life is evolution. evolve or die.

    • Chris ONeal

      For people needing to export to tape, this product will never be for them. Apple has made it very clear that tape and optical media is not in their game plan. And rightfully so. 

      • John David

        While I agree with your take on video, at least for my work, I disagree about optical media. Most of my clients are not corporate & depend on DVD or Blue-Ray delivery.

        Although I agree with you that Apple is not concerned with either, as there has been no new DVD Studio Pro version released nor does any Blue-ray support seem to be forthcoming as well, there are many pro users who still deliver & depend on these optical media platforms because that is what our customers need.

        The end for optical media is at hand, but not for awhile yet.

        • Martin S Taylor

          I’m sure the end for optical media is coming, but I’m not sure how. My clients are students, and I sell them DVDs. On-line distribution is perfectly feasible, but studens would just copy the file to each other – not out of malice, just laziness – and my profits would vanish. (Sure they can copy DVDs, but it’s a minor hassle.)

  • CM Harrington

    Has anyone actually tried to bring in a FCP7 project into FCPX? How about round-trip? Personally, I don’t use XSAN, so that matters little to me, but I bet those that dropped bajillions of dollars on it are happy. 

    This version probably isn’t enough to get people to come back, but if they keep this up, those still on FCP7 will feel good about upgrading. 

    • Dan

      I had two weddings that I was editing and brought all the assets into FCPX. I didn’t try to import the project as such. It took a bit to reorganize and reorient myself, but it was fairly quick and painless. Only part of one project was complicated in a way that couldn’t be reconstituted in FCPX (one wedding’s ceremony was a 3 camera shoot that I had already finished in FCP7). I’m sure Apple is hard at work on adding multicam support, and simply won’t release until they consider it as close to perfect as can be.

      • CM Harrington

        Indeed, they are working hard on Multicam, and they expect it to be released “early 2012″, so I’m thinking Jan/Feb.

  • Jemaleddin

    I’m curious – how are they releasing this demo version? As a download from apple.com? Or are they finally allowing time-limited demos in the Mac App Store?

  • budakhan

    I’m not touching Final Cut anymore. I’ve been an FCP editor for almost 10 years. For the past three months I’ve been cutting on Premiere and I’m happy as a clam.

    • Dan

      Well that’s just dumb.

      • LouB

        its not dumb.  I feel just as abandoned by Apple.  I have been using Premiere for 3 months as well and am thoroughly impressed by the feature set. FCP7 is really showing its age at this point.     Apple does have a long way to go to get back in the good graces of the Pro market.  Releasing new MacPro towers would be a good step!!!  I have to say that I have looked longingly at some of the features of X.  

        • CM Harrington

          Apple can’t release new towers until the Xeon chips are available. Look at Intel’s roadmap, and you’ll see they’re scheduled for later this year. Shortly thereafter, you’ll see new Pro machines.

        • Dan

          Ok, maybe dumb is a harsh word. How about unprofessional?

          Professionals have always had to deal with significant upgrades and changes, it’s the nature of the beast. What they don’t do is throw everything out, then jump ship to the first platform that waves a 90% off coupon in your face to try to get your business. If no one was buying their software before, there was a reason why.

          FCP7 was showing it’s age, but it wasn’t dead. Neither is the hardware it can be used on. A real pro would finish up his projects on the old stuff, archive them, then move on to learning the new, much better stuff. The old tools are still right there, in a drawer, if he needs to go back and touch something up.

          The new Mac Pros are waiting for Intel to officially release the hardware that powers them.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lig-Riv/100000846401146 Lig Riv

            Well, you’re definitely right – a real professional would do just what you said. Except that the “new, much better stuff” isn’t FCPX, it’s Premiere Pro :D

          • Anonymous

            You are probably right but then it’s just your own opinion because you will look downright silly if you say FCPX is better now you are using Premiere Pro with a hefty discount.

          • Gary

            Dan, you’re hurting your case by overstating it. Reasonable people can disagree about the best option at this point and the fact that someone disagrees with you doesn’t make him or her unprofessional. And yes, it’s true that people have to deal with major changes from time to time, but they prefer to deal with vendors who take into account their practical needs. If anyone has been unprofessional in this whole affair, it’s Apple, which has implicitly at least partially acknowledged this by reversing themselves putting FCS back on the market. I’m a heavy Apple user (in more than one sense, alas), but I don’t worship them as infallible.

          • Dan

            It’s not a ‘disagrees with me’ proposition. There are generally agreed-upon actions that are classified as “professional”, and some that are not. Throwing a fit and tossing out everything you’ve done for the last 10 years because you somehow felt snubbed is firmly in the “unprofessional” category. That’s just how it is. I backed off from simply calling it “dumb”, be happy with that. :)

            Apple has acted like a software developer, which is my primary professional career. At some point, when architectures have changed so significantly as to require software go in a completely new direction, companies have a choice. Continue bolting on new features and wire up the struts that hold it together, as rickety and unwieldy as they may become, or start with a fresh base that is sleek and modern. Apple has shown for over a decade, that they are willing to start fresh when it’s required. That’s exactly what has happened here, and it is a sound decision.

            About the only thing to be critical of is the decision to pull FCS when FCPX was released. However, Apple more than anyone else knows exactly what their sales figures were, and were probably as surprised as anyone that all of a sudden, all these people were complaining about not being able to buy the previous version. Regardless, they put it back on the shelf, so buy away to your heart’s content. Existing installations never stopped working though, and won’t for the foreseeable future.

            I would bet that the sales have not been enough to warrant the mass freak-out, though.

          • Gary

            Two quick points: First, if you consider throwing out everything you’ve done for 10 years to be unprofessional, that would seem to apply to Apple’s own actions. On the other hand, switching to Premier, which allowed them for the most part to keep working on their old projects rather than abandoning them was apparently, by your own standards, the proper professional response. , Second, I work for a software development firm that has more than once introduced radically new software. But it has never handled a transition in the user-hostile way Apple did and has always made the transition as easy as possible for clients. Of course, that’s nothing unusual; it’s standard professional practice in software development. Which makes Apple’s actions all the more surprising.

          • Gary

            Two quick points: First, if you consider throwing out everything you’ve done for 10 years to be unprofessional, that would seem to apply to Apple’s own actions. On the other hand, switching to Premier, which allowed them for the most part to keep working on their old projects rather than abandoning them was apparently, by your own standards, the proper professional response. , Second, I work for a software development firm that has more than once introduced radically new software. But it has never handled a transition in the user-hostile way Apple did and has always made the transition as easy as possible for clients. Of course, that’s nothing unusual; it’s standard professional practice in software development. Which makes Apple’s actions all the more surprising.

          • Dan

            Gary, why would these users have to switch to Premiere to continue working on their old FCP projects, otherwise be forced to abandon them?

            Apple made it very clear, FCPX represents a different editing process and the project file formats are simply incompatible. The way your media assets are cataloged is different. The timelines are managed differently. That’s just how it is. There would apparently be big money in a third party developing a working conversion tool, but that hasn’t happened.

            The correct way to deal with the situation is finish up your old projects in FCP7, and start new projects in FCPX. You will always be able to go back and re-open those prior projects, just the same as how you opened them 4 months ago. Apple took no hostile actions toward their users, all the hostility came from the users themselves because they didn’t take the time to learn what the software does.

    • John David

      Seems like one of my earlier comments has been lost, so I am reposting it.

      I’m glad you found something else that you like to work with in Premiere. Just remember…

      To all you folks who ran back to Adobe Premiere, guess you forgot the time when Adobe totally ABANDONED it & their users!Competition is great for all of us, we all benefit from it, just remember  the facts as they happened!

      • John David

        My bad, sorry. It was on the bottom in the  Load More Comments drop down menu

  • Anonymous

    I can’t seem to find any of the details mentioned here on the Final Cut Pro X website. Does anyone have a link to a more comprehensive list of what’s been added to this update?

  • John David

    I’m glad you found an alternative that you like to work with. Just remember…

    To all you folks who ran back to Adobe Premiere, guess you forgot or didn’t know about the time when Adobe totally ABANDONED it & their users!

    Competition is healthy & benefits us all. Just be aware of the facts!

    • Anonymous

      Indeed, but Adobe had not been aggressively going after the pro market for the previous decade when they made the switch. Premiere was never anything more than a prosumer program, and it was when they dumped it to go all in with Premiere Pro that they set their sights on the rest of the industry.

      Apple seem to have done it the other way around.

      • John David

        Agreed, however Apple hasn’t abandoned their users in any way, shape or form the way Adobe did. The fact that Premiere was more a prosumer app at that time is irrelevant, at least to me. 

        Just be wary of any developer who’s done this before!

  • http://www.facebook.com/robbieelliott Robert Elliott Simmons

    If apple can just make a 64bit version of Color (sorry color grading options within both FCP7 and FCPX standalone apps are inadequate)

    • CM Harrington

      It would be lovely, but in the meantime, Resolve is pretty sweet, and IMHO, has a far better interface.

  • http://twitter.com/ajit Ajit Anthony Prem
  • Trevor Casterline

    I agree that competition is good for the users. Unfortunately, Apple is so successful they can afford to snub their users…

    FCP7 had a ton of features that many people liked (Multiclip support, in-app streaming via iChat, adding DVD chapter markers, ability to save versions, and the ability to organize your media as you see fit… just to name a few). These features only enhanced the product – and lots of people relied on them. Despite the need for progress which I will grant, Apple could have held on to some of these features without alienating their base…

    One size does not fit all – and it would have been nice if Apple acknowledged this in their “Pro” software line.

  • MACMAN147

    Am I missing something or is anybody else having problems updating? How do I get it the updated version? Don’t see anything on App Store or website. HELP!!!

    • Simonbl

      Okay, I’m not the only one that saw this reported as being released already. The link provided above says ‘Available 2012′. It’s not available yet. Jeez, reporters must come cheap these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lig-Riv/100000846401146 Lig Riv

    Well, you’re definitely right – a real professional would do just what you said. Except that the “new, much better stuff” isn’t FCPX, it’s Premiere Pro :D

  • http://www.acid-product.co.uk Ian Davies

    Anyone still bitching about FCPX and whining that Apple have dropped the ball should watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwF9J1_aYzI

    Someone who actually knows what he’s talking about, showing what FCPX can actually do.

  • NeverTell

    Apple is going to loose this arrogant gamble with it’s base. I’m a longtime fan of apple, but I will NOT buy any software that I can’t get on physical media. If I buy something I want to actually GET something I can hold in my hand. This download crap is nonsense, and you are basically just renting it from apple. Or at the very least, you are tethered to them. What about those of us that live in the vast areas of the U.S. that have NO broadband, only very limited net? If I can’t buy software that can be mailed to me, I can’t buy it, period.

  • Editor

    Rightfully so? Says who? (Well, you) Such a relatively simple thing to do if you’re already setting up the import from tape. Apple needs to stop deciding what their users want to do, we’re not children.