Opinion: Final Cut Pro user-community founder weighs in on Final Cut Pro X

MacVideo by Gary Adcock

Questions remain about the upcoming release

More than 1700 enthusiastic Final Cut users got some welcome news from Apple Tuesday night, when the company previewed Final Cut Pro X at the NAB 2011 Final Cut Pro Users Group SuperMeet. As one of those 1,700 Final Cut users in attendance, I liked a lot of what I saw -- though after having a while to process the news, I still think a number of questions remain about the upcoming release.

As one of the founding members of the Final Cut user community, I've spent many years attending NAB user group meetings -- from the sweltering room that started it all to last night's packed auditorium--and they've always been charged events; this year was even more so. The tension was palpable as people milled around waiting to get a seat and, when they were released, the mad rush to the front of the room was not unlike the swarm for Apple's (sadly, now defunct) Final Cut Pro training sessions at NAB.

Both Final Cut Pro video architect Peter Steinauer and Randy Ubillos, Apple's chief architect for video applications, were on-hand to give us a peek at Final Cut Pro X. To kick off the night's presentation, Steinauer spoke the words every editor in that room was dying to hear: The venerable editing tool had been rewritten from scratch to support 64-bit architecture, finally releasing it from 4GB RAM virtualization limit of the 32-bit architecture.

Apple has also added support for Grand Central Dispatch--the multi-core optimization process introduced in Snow Leopard--to rid the app of those pesky rendering progress bars and frame-size limitations. Rendering is now done almost completely in the background, and the timeline supports resolution-independent footage up to 4K in size. Users will additionally get access to the OS-level ColorSync for color management -- which, fingers crossed, will squash the QuickTime gamma issues that have plagued the Final Cut software for years. read more...

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