iDebacle: How Apple’s FCP X Took the ‘Pro’ Out of Final Cut Pro

Editors Guild by Lawrence Jordan

If you’re an editor working with Apple’s Final Cut Pro, you’re probably well aware of the controversy and debate surrounding its latest release, which the company has dubbed Final Cut Pro X. If you haven’t heard about all the drama, pull up a chair and, in this temporary departure from the normal Tech Tips format, I’ll fill you in on how Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his minions in Cupertino seemingly tried to pull a fast one on an entire industry in an effort to make the craft of editing easier and more accessible to a new generation of media creators.

In the Beginning…
Although it never caught on to the extent of Avid’s Media Composer, Final Cut Pro was originally seen by many as an affordable alternative to Avid, which is far and away the most widely used editing system among professional film and television editors. Yes, Apple recruited its champions in Hollywood and cut huge swaths in the commercial and music video worlds, but to many members of our community, it was never seen as anything more than a neat app to play with at home.

However, there was a new generation of editors emerging who loved Final Cut. It was affordable, accessible and it seamlessly integrated with the Mac operating system (most of the time). These eager newcomers flocked to the software en masse, helping Apple give Avid and others a serious shellacking in the marketplace and, indirectly, helping Avid editors by forcing the company to become more open, lower its prices and step up its game in general.

By 2011, there had been a three-year gap between major FCP software releases. Users had been asking for new features and updates. They waited patiently but growing increasingly restless.
Then, last April, the day had finally come. At an event called the “SuperMeet” coinciding with the annual NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) conference in Las Vegas, Apple announced it would officially take the wraps off the highly anticipated new release of Final Cut Pro. read more...

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