How Apple re-cut Final Cut Pro for the better

Macworld by Serenity Caldwell

It’s only been on the Mac App Store for a few days, but Final Cut Pro X has already stirred up a whole messy pot of controversy. Despite its status as the top paid and top grossing app in the store, the program has dropped to a measly two-and-a-half star user rating, with more than 200 one-star reviews. Professional editors by and large have mixed feelings on the software, and for good reason: Many key features from Final Cut Pro 7 are missing. You can’t import projects from previous versions. There’s no way (without paying a hefty sum on third-party plugins) to export audio to ProTools.

And yet, I couldn’t be happier about the new version of Final Cut.

Once again, Apple has stripped every non-essential bit from the video editing process and reinvented it from the ground up. The company did it in 1999 with the original Final Cut Pro, when the film industry believed a non-linear editor had to involve software and bulky hardware in a package that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Apple employee Randy Ubillos did it in 2007 with iMovie ’08, wanting a faster way to edit home movies. And now, Apple has taken a decade’s worth of knowledge and again asked the question: “How can we make this better?”

Remembering iMovie ’08

“What do you think of the new iMovie?” It was 2008. I was standing in front of an iMac in the Holyoke Apple Store, in the midst of a conversation with a man who I hoped would give me a job at the store helping customers learn how to use their computers. I had flown through most of the interview, but now he had just asked me the one question I didn’t think I could answer honestly. Because I hated the new iMovie. read more...

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