The much anticipated release of Final Cut Pro X was released yesterday. With an all new redesign built on 64-bit architecture, many new features and the low price of $349.99 available now to download from the Mac App Store, the Apple hype o-meter has been at 11 but as consumers and professionals are getting there hands on the new Final Cut Pro it’s receiving excellent and not so excellent reviews.
Final Cut Pro X was redeveloped from the ground up, the redesign of the interface is dramatically different now resembling iMovie on steroids. One of the first things you’ll notice when coming from Final Cut Pro 7 to X is that there is only one viewer, other notable changes to the interface is the new media manager and timeline.
The most important feature which everybody is talking about is the performance. Being built from the ground up to run with 64-bit architecture, Final Cut Pro runs much faster, Final Cut has dropped the need to manually render so you are now able to preview effects and over lays right a way without the waiting for preview renders. This feature alone is going to save a lot users countless hours of time.
Native support for h.264 which is a commonly used compression format for DSLR video.
Automatic audio syncing, when using a camera it’s common to use an external microphone whether it’s just plugged into the external microphone port or more professionally using an external audio capturing device, this feature allows users to automatic sync the external audio with video by looking at the audio captured by the camera with out the need for a clapper.
Magnetic timeline, basically what it does, when you delete a clip in the timeline instead of leaving a blank space like it does in Final Cut Pro 7 the timeline closes the cap with the trailing clip, this prevents problems like unintentional caps in the timeline or clips hiding 4 or 5 min down the timeline.
With Final Cut Pro X just coming on the market yesterday there are already plenty of videos on Youtube allowing you to get a taste. From all the videos I watched the consensus I was getting was that users are blown a way by the new design and the new feature set. But as I started read forums or even just look at the reviews on Apples own Mac App Store a lot of people aren’t happy.
On the Australian Mac App Store there are 27 reviews, 14 of which are ratings of one to two stars. When you look at the United States Mac App Store there are 658 reviews, 312 of which are one star ratings, only 169 people have rated it 5 stars and the rest of the 177 people have voted it between two to four stars. The reviews did go missing for a short while but later returned which people began to speculate if Apple was censoring the reviews.
Basically people are unhappy because key features are missing, its buggy and unable to open Project files from old versions of Final Cut Pro.
At the moment it seems Apple has made Final Cut Pro more friendly for users wanting to upgrade from iMovie with the redesigned interface closely resembling iMovie and a lower price point, but where has this left professionals. Well apple has said they have new features coming soon and that they will be releasing updates every 6 months, but the question is, has Apple made a product that can be used by someone who wants a little bit more but is also able to scale up to the need of big studios? Time will tell but I think the development team does realise Final Cut is used by a lot of professionals and will be listening closely to what they’re saying. At the end of the day, Apple is a hardware company and Apple for a long time has realised that software is what attracts people to the their hardware.