Apple Final Cut Pro X Announced, Aims at a New Market

Apple isn’t exhibiting at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) conference in Las Vegas, but it’s certainly making its presence known. As was rumored, Apple took the stage at a Final Cut Pro meet-up last night to unveil the upcoming version of the editing program, now called Final Cut Pro X.

The upcoming version includes many worthwhile improvements, such as instant background rendering and the ability to edit footage while it’s being imported. It’s also 64-bit and completely rebuilt.

Some features, however, signal that Apple is aiming at a less sophisticated audience, and have upset hard-core users. Final Cut Pro X has an interface similar to iMovie and includes people detection, the ability to skim a clip by moving a mouse over it, and auto image stabilization.

“So Apple has turned Final Cut into iMovie Pro. Is this a step forward?” asked Thomas Moser (@megamoze). “I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid (Apple Juice?) on FCP X yet. Pro users seem to be gaining iMovie Pro, but loosing [sic] a suite,” tweeted Doug Luberts (@dougluberts).

The biggest indication that Apple is aiming at a less professional audience is the price. Final Cut Pro X will sell for $299 in the Mac App Store, starting in June. It will replace Final Cut Pro Express, which sells for $199. The program will integrate Soundtrack and Color, which were part of Final Cut Pro Studio, and it seems likely that there won’t be a Final Cut Pro Studio after June.

While there were dissenters, the overwhelming majority of tweets were positive. Most seem intrigued by the speed and features of the new Final Cut. For those just entering online video, or who don’t have time to learn a professional suite, this seems like a strong move, offering the power of a top-level editor without the price tag.


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  1. Since Apple discovered the power of numbers, they churned out hardware for the general public. Stands to reason they do it with software too. If FC Pro X works as easy as iMovie, it will be a huge success. Loads of entrepreneurs would love a powerful application that is easy to use while producing professional looking videos.
    Personally, I didn’t like Final Cut Express very much because it was cumbersome in quite a few ways. If this is more flexible, it will be a winner.

    Posted by RudolfB | April 20, 2011, 12:12 pm
  2. Sounds like it will be “cool.” But it also sounds like it might be a win for prosumers and a loss for professionals. Guess we’ll have to wait and see… maybe it’s just a new prosumer tool, and they have plans to keep the whole suite we love. Not holding my breath yet, though. Apple has done some silly things in the past, in my opinion… why not this?

    Posted by Nathan Weaver | April 21, 2011, 5:34 pm
  3. I see a lot of bitching about this update, but what it really boils down to is “pros” want to keep this program as a mystifying entity, just out of reach to the average consumer. I’m a heavy FCP user, and I see this as a positive step. the interface, mixed with 64 bit control…it’s only going to make my job easier. So why complain? Unless…you think someone will figure it out, making you less of a pro.

    Posted by Adam | April 22, 2011, 5:21 pm
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