Apple Attempts To Address Final Cut Pro X Concerns

It has only been about one week since Apple released Final Cut Pro X, but the response has been fast and furious: many professional editors have found it totally inadequate for their needs, and some surmise it will never become the industry standard that Final Cut 7 was, regardless of how many updates it receives.

Apple has finally issued an official response in the form of a FAQ page. But does it sufficiently address the concerns of industry professionals?

As with most PR-speak, Apple’s statement does not really acknowledge any of the withering criticism that the product has received. It begins by establishing that Final Cut Pro X “has impressed many pro editors, and it has also generated a lot of discussion in the pro video community.” Indeed!

The company then answers questions in different categories, such as “Import,” “Editing,” “Media Management,” “Export” and “Purchase” (i.e. the licensing system). The FAQ establishes a timeline of a number of features that are missing from Final Cut Pro X, including multicam editing, exporting XML, as well as OMF, AAF, and EDLs.

But just as interesting as what Apple has explained is what Apple has left out. For example, it is made clear that Final Cut Pro X will never be able to import Final Cut Pro 7 projects:

Final Cut Pro X features new and redesigned audio effects, video effects, and color grading tools. Because of these changes, there is no way to “translate” or bring in old projects without changing or losing data. But if you’re already working with Final Cut Pro 7, you can continue to do so after installing Final Cut Pro X, and Final Cut Pro 7 will work with Mac OS X Lion.

That’s all well and good, but to my knowledge (and please correct me if I’m wrong), Final Cut Pro 7 is still not officially available for purchase from Apple, so that solution is of limited value. Why Apple does not continue to support Final Cut Pro 7 until Final Cut Pro X is more up to snuff is totally beyond my comprehension, as it would do a lot to quiet the raging waters.

Mostly, the answers here promise that missing features are on the way, or explain that they were not really missing and describe how to access them. Several of the answers also rely on using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0, which is a costly add-on for a $300 product.

Taken together, these responses read similarly to David Pogue’s follow-up post about the matter last week. But like Pogue’s post, I don’t know that this will help Apple’s cause. In fact, if I had to make a prediction, I’d say that the tone and content of the FAQ may inflame tensions even more.

Discuss: Again, I know many of you use NLEs for a living. Do you find Apple’s response sufficient? Will this be enough for you to make the plunge into Final Cut Pro X?

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