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Final Cut Pro X: closing the gap

Final Cut has always been a professional application, but it looks like the latest version of Apple’s video editing software is opening up it’s features and tools to a much broader audience.

The new version is called Final Cut X (as in ten) and was first announced and demoed last month  during a big meetup by the Final Cut User Group in Las Vegas. It has been rebuilt from the ground up to support 64bit and, at first glance, looks like a grown-up version of the latest iMovie. It will be shipping in june and pricing is set at $299 (problably €299 for us Europeans).

When it comes to “look and feel” the gap between iMovie and
Final Cut has become really narrow.

Losing the pro look, making the pro feel more accessible

So, is Apple trying to make professional video editing more accessible or is the new layout just a more efficient workspace? I think a lot of pro users will miss the classic, grey, pro look at first. Personally, I don’t give a damn how the software looks, as long as it lets me do my editing in an efficient and intuitive way. Final Cut Pro X comes with a bunch of new features: things like a magnetic time line, compounding sequences to declutter your time line, auditioning multiple sequence options inside your timeline, background rendering and some great new tagging options will, I think, give editors a more efficient workflow and cut down on editing time. On the other hand, non-pro users will get the hang of the software way more easily and, combined with the fair price, have a larger set of tools at their disposal.

What about the studio?

It isn’t quite clear yet whether Apple revamped the entire Studio suite. I’m pretty sure DVD Studio Pro isn’t going to make it to this new version (just like iDVD didn’t in the iLife suite). But what about Motion and Soundtrack Pro? Will all programs be sold separately via the Mac App Store? Will there still be a physical box in stores? All of these questions will probably be answered when Final Cut Pro X launches. One thing’s for sure: the new “easier” look and feel and increase in features have made Final Cut Express completely redundant. Another app bites the dust.

Check back in about a month for my first impressions.