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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Final Cut Pro...ish

In the past 5 years Apple’s Final Cut Pro quickly became an industry standard for those of us who work in the media field. It had relatively inexpensive start-up costs, was easy to learn, but had the depth needed for professionals. This past June, Apple released its latest version of the software, “FCP X.” When I first heard about the release and saw some of the screen shots I was like a kid at Christmas, anxiously waiting to get my hands on the next gift that Apple would bestow on the editing world.

To make a long story short, after month-and-a-half, countless blogs posts and a petition to Apple, Apple just announced that it is “re-releasing” Final Cut Studio 3 for purchase, a product that when “FCP X” was released was removed from the shelves. That’s the good news, the not so good news is that if you would like to purchase the “old” Final Cut you have to call 1-800-MY-APPLE to place your order, it is still the same price of $999 it was before the release of “FCP X,” and supplies are limited.

So why the change of heart Apple? Was it the outrage, and abandonment felt by the professional editing community the world over...maybe. Or could it have something to do with the new CEO Apple recently welcomed into office? Whatever the case may be it is most likely that they started to get hit where it really hurt...their wallet. When the new software was first released and the negative reviews started to flood in, post-production companies, including Firelight, began to really think about whether or not they would use the software that Apple marketed as the next generation of professional editing software, which it clearly wasn’t. Final Cut’s biggest competitor, AVID, who had been loosing many
of its users to Apple, jumped at the opportunity and are offering their latest version of Media Composer at more than 50% off, and all you have to get the price reduction is, offer up a valid Final Cut serial number, talk about a slap in the face.

So Final cut users have a huge decision ahead of them: Do you “upgrade” to FCP X, and reinvest thousands of dollars in an edit system that doesn’t really work the way it should? Do you stay with Final Cut 7, a system you know and love, but is quickly becoming outdated and eventually will not be supported by Apple? Or do you jump ship to AVID. Yes you would have to reinvest, and learn a different way of editing, but it is a system that in the past few years has really begun to listen what editors want, and updating their features but keeping the same work-flow used by editors for years.

The future of Final Cut Pro is still unclear, but as Final Cut user I am glad to see that the editing system I first started to edit on, and work with everyday is not completely obsolete...not yet anyway.

Now with all of this being said, I have to admit I have not had much experience with the new software. But it looks like the fine folks at the Conan O’Brian Show on TBS can’t say enough about it.

I know not everyone reading this is familiar with the software but we would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

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