Apple did launch a new program called Final Cut Pro X. It is not an update of a Final Cut Pro. It is a completely new application with supposedly new paradigm of editing. However I’m not going to write here much about the program itself. I have not used it, and unless the circumstances force me to do it, I don’t intend to.
Judging from various responses on forums like Creative Cow, DVInfo and RedUser, the professionals who require collaborative workflows are hugely disappointed by the limitations of the beta version that Apple decided to sell for $299. No EDL/XML/OMF import or export, no importing of projects from previous versions of FCP, no video monitoring, no tape ingest except Firewire, etc., etc. Reviews on AppStore tell it all – either fives or ones. Community is definitely divided over this release. Apple certainly did stir controversy, although judging from their damage control mode, this is not exactly what they had in mind.
A number of people have already decided to either “go back to Avid” or to try out other options, of which Premiere is one of the more often mentioned. It makes me happy in a way, and it also makes me sad. On one hand it’s nice to see that professionals decided to try out my favorite editing application (most seem to find it quite satisfying), and on the other it is sad to see the hubris of Apple killing excellent coloring tool, similarly like they killed Shake a few years ago. Or even worse, because Shake had 2 years of support after it was officially EOLed, while Color has disappeared immediately upon this release. Sad.
Also, I wonder what will Adobe be aspiring to now, once the main competitor is gone? Perhaps there are some features from FCPX that could be integrated into the application, like tags and keywords for media management, better scopes, compound clips, “audition” – versioning of edits with different time span. Or perhaps FCPX is indeed a totally new paradigm, even though Vegas users tend to disagree. Perhaps Color Correction interface could be streamlined, like in Avid for example. Perhaps some kind of collaboration database like Unity could be created, which would not fail repeatedly like the silently withdrawn Version Cue, which was a good concept but poor execution?
Certainly there is constantly place for improvement, and I am curious what CS6 will bring us next year. As of now, Adobe must be really happy to see that pros are taking even more interest in their much under appreciated application, and Avid must be really glad to have some of their users back. It is a time of uncertainty, but certainly time of opportunity for the brave.
And this actually is exciting.