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November 21st, 2013

Final Cut Pro XIt took a while, but cooler heads are now prevailing in the discussion about whether or not professionals in film, TV, video, and the Web should continue with Apple on its Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) journey. In one of the best recent round-ups of opinion, Mac Daily News had a month-long thread in its forum about FCPX that was so productive, so informative, that one forum reader (“reader”)  felt obliged to say, “What a relief to have [this] conversation without name calling or political thread-jacking!”

There is one big difference in the current discussion compared to last year’s: Leaving FCPX no longer means ditching Apple hardware (the new Mac Pro that media mavens are drooling over, the mighty MacBook Pro rental). It began as (almost) a Mac vs. Windows thing, but with the improvements to Adobe Premiere and other competing products it has become more of a software battle on OS X territory. That’s a bit better for Apple’s bottom line, but still leaves a lot to fight for.

Entertainment professionals speak out

One pro TV editor who “used FCP extensively for many years” at a national TV production company says there are 30 editing suites there, and FCP X is not running on any of them. He says some users moved to Avid (on Mac and PC), others to Premiere, as the omission of OMF export (Open Media Framework) from FCPX for the first year sent “a clear signal to pro users” that they were no longer the target demographic. This editor concludes that “Apple chose to make FCPX into a semi-pro” product (emphasis in original). Is the eventual target the iOS user?

Pro editors, confirms another “reader”, are now using Adobe Premiere CC (or 6), Avid Media Composer 7, and even FCP 7 (which can handle the 1080HD format). As FCPX is to software like the iMac is to hardware, one editor is certain that Apple does not want to “support the pro user.” She says this is “understandable, looking at [Apple’s] evolution direction.” Understanding, however, only goes so far—in this case, not that far. “I can still work on FCP 7,” one comments, “but how much longer? 1-2 years, I think.”

Slow Death or Revival?

Perhaps some of the most distressing news for FCPX (all of which you can get from an ongoing FCPX forum at CreativeCOW) comes from the editing suite rental companies. A manager of one such firm reports that, among the freelance editors over the past year, “By far the least used app is FCPX,” while Adobe Premiere is picking up fans fast. Checking his logs reveals that FCPX “has been used 3 times in 2 years [and mostly] for very small jobs.” This manager minces no words: “It was dead on arrival and is still dead.”

No matter which editing software you need, CRE Rentals has the latest PC, Mac computer rental to get your project done. We have served entertainment clients for over 30 years and are an experienced technology rental provider. Give us a call today at 1-877-266-7725 or contact us to learn more about our rentals and services.

One Response to “Final Cut Pro X Limps Along”

  1. larry pitkin Says:

    hey children – Apple will drop FCPX shortly. they don’t want to waste time on software for 30 people. FCPX’s problem is that it is not designed for shared users. this is how the tv and film industry work. I’m glad you are all put putting with FCPX, but it won’t be around in 3 years.

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