∞ 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.”