On Tuesday, Apple gave a preview of the all new version of Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X. This version was rewritten from from the ground-up and has a brand new user interface. When I first saw the interface, I have to admit that I was a bit concerned because it looks a lot like the new iMovie that was very unpopular. But they said this is a professional program for professional editors. The new version has a host of new features starting with the import process. In Final Cut Pro X, you can now stabilize shots, color correct, detect people in shots, detect the types of shots and automatically clean-up audio all as you import your footage, you can also edit as you import. This is going to save a lot of time and will let the editor spend more time being creative and less time fixing footage. The new version of Final Cut also supports playback up to 4K and most importantly Final Cut Pro X renders in the background, so no more waiting to render to playback which is a huge time saver. You can also add keywords to clips or parts of clips to make finding that perfect shot easy to find with a quick search and it prevents audio and video from going out of sync which is another huge nuisance. The timeline also lets you slide clips without colliding with the other clips and they have a built-in inline precision editor to easily ripple and roll the clip’s in and out points. You can also audition clips to non-destructively try a clip in the timeline before adding it and you can merge clips to simply the timeline and make rearranging easier.
This new version makes many processes simpler than they used to be, for example, cleaning up audio used to be a multi-step process and involved sending to Soundtrack Pro and using several tools and equalizing, but now it can be done as you import the clips. I’m sure you still could do it the old way, but this makes it much easier. Like I said when I saw the iMovie-esque interface I was worried that they dumbed Final Cut down for more consumer use, but it has all the power-features the last version did and then some.
Final Cut Pro X will be released in June in the Mac App store $299. They said to stay tuned for the rest of the suite. I hope they release new versions of the rest of the sutie (Soundtrack Pro, Motion, Livetype, DVD Studio and Compressor) I think they will cost less than Final Cut Pro and they will be sold individually and hopefully as a suite also and hopefully for less than the current price of $1,000. Even though I like the Mac App Store a lot, for major software like Final Cut, I still would prefer to have actual media to install from especially if it is still 50 GB of content. But this new price of $299 for Final Cut Pro gives people access to a great non-linear editor which is all a lot of people need for a lot less without having to drop $1,000 for the whole suite. It also gives them more features than the $199 Final Cut Express the same is true about other consumer and prosumer editing systems, so, people who don’t need Motion and Soundtrack can get a professional video editing program for $300 which is great! There are still a lot of questions about the rest of the suite, upgrading, bundling, education discount and more but I think this is a great new way to edit.