Adobe Media Encoder won't put chapter markers in H264 Video

So this is something that has annoyed me for some time, and has really been annoying me of late, so I have been trying workaround.

So basically the issue is that you can create Chapter Markers in Adobe Premiere Pro in your sequence, which are ostensibly for use in Adobe Encore, but that program stopped with CS6, and after my last hard drive bailed after the El Capitan Update I don't even have it installed on my current hard drive.

Anyway, back in the day with Final Cut Pro 7 I could export a video with chapter markers and compress an H264 video with chapter markers using compressor. It would make Apple Compatible m4v files instead of a normal mp4 files, but chapter markers would work in most programs and show up on the web in most cases.

Unfortunately Adobe Media Encorder won't do this, as it only makes straight mp4 files, and since Encore is a dead program, the Chapter Markers in Premiere Pro are pretty much useless.

After much searching, and seeing all the ways people were making chapter markers (most of which are really a pain the ass, and don't use standard formatting for either the text file, or the timcode), I went back to basically my old way of doing this.

This is to export my video as a ProRES video which includes chapter markers, and then use HandBrake to encode it with Chapter Markers. Now not only this take longer, but also take up more hard drive space, but at least the chapter markers work!

And while m4v is a subset of mp4, it does play in most players including directly in Firefox, though doesn't show the chapters markers, but at least it plays fine. And I am OK with my chapters only working on Macs, because at least they will show for most people looking at my reel.

Macnn Feature Thief article on Final Cut Pro, iMovie and iDVD

William Gallagher and Charles Martin have an interesting article on Apple and it's changes to it's video lineup. It goes into iMovie, Final Cut Pro and iDVD, and how Apple upgraded the first 2 with less features, but slowly made better versions.

My biggest complaint with the article would be on who they polled as they say that most of the people who were angry over Apple's switch from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X have moved back X (with a cursory mention of Premiere Pro as an alternative).

Personally being a professional editor, I did give the initial Final Cut Pro X a try, and hated it. And got a refund and have not gone back. There are some features that I do really like in X (especially it's handling of Meta Data), but since I edit complicated graphics heavy shows, it is the timeline that is the deal breaker for me, and it is the fundamental feature of X, so no matter how many updates they do, the timeline is too unorganized and broken for it to make sense for a 15 track highly organized video project.

And of all the editors that I know, I have only heard of one that has gone back to X and really likes it now. And while features are starting to make their move to Premiere Pro, there have only been a few instances I have heard of big houses moving to X. Most of the big houses I know that were basically all Final Cut Pro have moved to AVID at the studios insistence (kick backs?!??!), while most commercial houses have moved to Premiere Pro for it's fidelity with graphics.

I just don't see Final Cut Pro X as a viable solution, and with Apple's history of dropping software, I don't trust Apple to keep it going anyway!
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Used Premiere Pro's Capture for the first time yesterday

I was handed a DVCAM tape yesterday and work was going to rent a DVCAM deck to capture. I said I would do it myself since I have a Sony DS-20 in my office. I used to use it all the time, but it mostly gathers dust now, so it was good to give it a run, and I decided to try it out with Premiere Pro.

Now I knew that Premiere had a very simple capture engine that would work with HDV or DV, so I decided to give it a try. It has very few settings, just which capture setting, then you can set in's and outs, change clip and tape names and capture a clip or a tape. The problem is that the tape was old, and it kept failing on the capture, and it doesn't seem to have a setting to automatically break up clips when there is a break in timecode. After many many attempts that failed, I gave up and switched to Final Cut Pro 7.

Final Cut Pro 7 still has a much more powerful capture engine, and will in fact break up a capture if you set it to, so you get clips around the breaks, but surprisingly it managed to capture the whole 1 hour and 50 minutes in one go, not making any breaks.

So honestly I am glad Final Cut Pro 7 still runs on Yosemite, as it does still have some uses. Looks like I will need to keep a backup of this system state before the next OS which will likely break Final Cut Pro 7 completely so I can still capture DV easily if need be.

Larry Jordan on why Final Cut Pro 7 editors should consider Adobe Premiere Pro CC and some of my thoughts

Larry Jordan has a very informative and in depth article on why Final Cut Pro 7 Editors should consider Premiere Pro.

I long ago made the switch on my personal system, and am starting to see companies move away from Final Cut Pro 7.

I know that Trailer Park made the move fully to AVID Media Composer for all of it's bays, but they have graphics departments, so you basically are only cutting graphics into your edit there. And I have heard rumored that it is the studios forcing many companies to move to AVID. I actually wonder if they are getting kickbacks or if it is just older people more familiar with AVID? It is a rock solid system, but it seems so dated compared to Premiere Pro which I would say is a much more modern editing software.

As for Direct Response Beach Body made the move to Premiere Pro, which to me only makes sense for Graphics Heavy projects. Especially with a fast video card.

Chris Hocking at Late Nite Films on Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro CC and Avid Media Composer

Chris Hocking at Late Nite Films has an awesome article, where he goes into not only the best things about AVID and Premiere Pro, but also his first attempt at using FCP X. And his is the first article that makes me interested in taking a look again at FCP X, though maybe once they fix audio issues.

And I still say that for graphics heavy projects, even longform (at least 28:30 Direct Response), I think Premiere Pro with a proper video card can easily outdo AVID, which is still archaic in how it deals with Alphas (and importing them) even if it is the king of media management. And those same projects would be a mess in FCP X without the ability to have tracks for organization.

I mean my current sequence has 18 tracks of video going all organized into different layers.

Is Inside Llewelyn Davis the last film to be cut on Final Cut Pro 7? And my thoughts...

Non-Linear Post has an article on how they used Final Cut Pro 7 to cut Inside Llewelyn Davis. It also mentions how they plan on moving to Premiere Pro in the future. It is actually really sad to think that Final Cut Pro 7 was working well as a feature editing program, and has since been killed, and replaced with the abomination known as Final Cut Pro X.

Final Cut Pro 7 really could have been the future of editing, but Apple killed it. Yes some of the power of Final Cut Pro X would have been amazing added to Final Cut Pro 8, but instead they tried to redesign editing. And while some features are great, many are a mess. The timeline for example. Anything with lots of graphics with Alphas is a mess in non organizable timeline as is audio that can't be organized. Maybe someday I will have to learn Final Cut Pro X (I did spend 2 weeks with it when it was first released), but for now the future is AVID and Premiere Pro.

The depressing thing is that the studios are forcing AVID on people, and AVID still feels ancient. It feels like it did when I first tried it. And it still feels that slow, and when cutting a 30 minute piece filled with graphics and overlays it is so incredibly slow, with render times that will kill you. And it's graphics importing, is so slow and such a pain, and the whole AMA thing is still buggy. Honestly Premiere Pro does so much better at playing any form of video in it's timeline.

I would much prefer that Premiere Pro takeover, as many editors chose Final Cut Pro 7 over AVID to begin with, and it was really taking over, but now we have to go back to the program that's new features are longer than 27 character filenames? WTF!

AbelCine on home to import Sony F5/F55 Footage into FCP 7, AVID and Premiere Pro

AbelCine has a great article on importing footage from a Sony F5 or F55 into the 3 leading NLE's.

Yes Final Cut Pro 7 runs in OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Yes I upgraded to Mavericks and ran Final Cut Pro 7 last night, and yes it runs and plays back. Haven't done extensive testing, but it does seem to work. And it has to have been on purpose as even After Effects CC had an update to make it work right in Mavericks, but Final Cut Pro 7 without an update still seems to work.

Oliver Peters on how FCP 7 makes a great companion to FCP X

Oliver Peters has an interesting article on how he uses Final Cut pro 7 as a companion to Final Cut Pro X to make up for it's missing features.

Personally I see it as indictment of FCP X. As a program is pretty broken if you have to use an older EOL version of itself to support many high end features, especially when said program could not work on the next OS X Mavericks!

10 Things Final Cut Pro 7 Switchers Should know about Premiere Pro CC (Video)

Here is the link for the video from at Vimeo. And here is the link at

10 Things Final Cut 7 Switchers Should Know about Premiere Pro CC from on Vimeo.


Ryan E. Walters on why he has moved to Premiere Pro and not FCP X

Ryan E. Walters has a good article on why he has moved to Premiere Pro from Final Cut Pro 7 and not FCP X, even though he gave it a good try.

10 New Premiere Pro CC Features Final Cut Pro Editors will Love blog has a great post on the 10 new Premiere Pro CC features that a Final Cut Pro 7 Editor will Love. This is a must read!

Possible fix for Importing FCP 7 projects into Premiere Pro

This post at Creative Cow has a possible fix for importing an FCP 7 Project into Premiere Pro. And it is to import the media first and let Premier build the Cache and then import the XML! Smart.

USC moving from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro

According to a new PDF case study from Adobe, USC is giving up on FCP and teaching Premiere Pro. And not Final Cut Pro X. Nice. While Adobe is a full suite of apps, I think this kind kicks sand in the face of all those saying how FCP X is ready for professional usage.

Coen's move from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro for next film

No film school is covering this.

Seems inevitable since they edit their own stuff, and FCP 7 is dead and and I would not want to edit a feature on the FCP X timeline.

Jonny Elwyn on switching from FCP 7 to AVID Media Composer 6.5

Jonny Elwyn at Toolbox has a great article on making the switch from FCP 7 to AVID Media Composer 6.5.

Larry Jordan on why FCP X is ready for Proffesional Use


Larry Jordan has an article on my Final Cut Pro X is ready and in fact being used for Professional work.

Now I did try and use FCP X right from the start with lessons, and I don't think it is a professional program at all. Yes it might be faster to teach to someone with no previous editing knowledge as Larry says, but that is because it forces you to edit in a very specific way, and for me not a way that I find faster or better at all. And yes I am biased by all the horridness of Apple's launch of FCP X and killing of the Final Cut Pro 7 suite, and that may bias me, but I also think that Larry making his living doing Final Cut Pro lessons may bias him.

And I hate how no one ever talks about the things that Final Cut Pro 7 is not setup to do, like working in a multi-user environment on an X-Serve or Edit Share. He does mention it is not that good at going to Pro Tools, which is a deal breaker, but also the inability to organize tracks makes for a mess of a timeline when I often use 15-20 tracks on a commercial, all for different elements or graphics to keep it organized, and to have that all haphazardly put randomly into the timeline is insane and a mess, and not at all professional!

Now I do love the ability to mark clips by keywords and make it all easily searchable, but that could have easily been ported into a Final Cut Pro 8 and made it a really powerful 64 bit editing system instead of a mixture of 64 bit tech with iMovie conventions.

Even with all the additions I still see Final Cut Pro X as a mess and not-professional. It has too much wrong with it, and has so many weird bugs (see previous posts on Red Giant software and FCP X), and I just don't see the magnetic timeline as being professional in a commercial environment or any graphics heavy environment where timeline organization is more important that clip organization, which I am perfectly capable of organizing myself.

FX Factory Updated to 4.0 now with Premiere CS6 Support


Noise Industries has upgraded the FxFactory to 4.0 and added Premiere Pro CS 6 Support. I have a ton of their compatible and free plug ins, but don't actually own this suite (always thought it was a tad expensive), but this gives me one more reason, as I have moved from any version of Final Cut and now prefer Premiere Pro (though I of course still have Media Composer which works with very few plug ins).

StudioDaily on using Premiere Pro CS6 on SNL

StudioDaily has an awesome article on how they are using Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 on SNL. They were in Final Cut Pro and decided to move to Premiere Pro, especially because of the workflow with After Effects.

Still I am surprised it is all Mac, but they obviously had Macs for Final Cut. So far I am impressed with CS6, but there have been some stability issues for me, especially with CUDA, though hopefully that last NVIDIA update fixed that. I would think PC's would be faster and more stable, though I do still love my Mac. They had just better make a really kick ass MacPro really damn soon!

CoreMelt releases free ActiveText for Premiere Pro


CoreMelt has released the free ActiveText plug in for creating text with pre-animated templates, no keyframes.

I am not too much of a fan of templated effects, but you really can't argue with free.

iChat theater has issues, but is still a wonderful solution that Adobe and AVID need to implement

I know, I know iChat theater is old technology and has been out since Final Cut Pro 7 was was released, but it is still awesome tech. If you have a web camera or iSight you can share what you are viewing in Final Cut Pro 7 using iChat (or messages in Mountain Lion) and you can hear the person on either end and see Timecode as well. It has it's issues (audio often drops out and you have to restart the computer to get it back, and often it is hard to get the chat to actually start), but overall it works very well and allows for remote monitoring of an edit.

Sure you can share your screen with Skype, but that shared the whole screen, timeline and all, and the video is small. iChat theater allows you to share just what is playing back from Final Cut Pro. It is awesome for editors who like to work at home, and producers who like to do the same. And it works very well overall.

The problem is that Final Cut Pro 7 is EOL and will never be updated again, and is really showing it's age. Sure many companies have such an investment that they are still using it before the go with AVID (though I prefer Premiere Pro, if only it were more stable). And neither Premier Pro or Media Composer have anything like it.

iChat theater and Final Cut Pro 7 is an elegant solution to a problem that is very relevant today (editors working remotely), and a new solution needs to be implemented in AVID and Premiere Pro.

I wonder if it could be done via a plug in like BlackMagic or AJA, as if it was going out via video to Messages or Skype or a proprietary messaging program? The thing is it is such a great piece of software that the competitors need it (even if FCP X doesn't have it anymore either).

Working from home means companies need less edit bays, editors get more sanity from not driving, and it is better for the environment not having to drive, so someone please come up with a solution and fast!

Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 Does Open in Mountain Lion

I did have some weird error messages saying it would not open, but it seems to open and work.
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PVC Part 2 of Making the Switch from FCP to AVID Media Composer

The Pro Video Coalition Cut.N.Colro by Steve Hullfish has released part 2 of making the switch from FCP 7 to AVID.

This talks about SmartTools (Avid's concession to an FCP like Timeline) and keyboard controls as well as the Pen tool for Audio rubberbanding.

PVC on Making the Switch from FCP to AVID Media Composer

Steve Hullfish of Cut.N.Color at The Pro Video Coaltion has part of an article on Making the Switch to FCP 7 from Avid Media Composer.

it talks about using JKL and IO which are the same, and then how AVID shows you what speed it is playing back, and the differences in keyboard shortcuts with normal tools, such as zoom.

Biscardi Creative FCP to CS6 Part 3

Biscardi Creative has posted part 3 of it's switch to CS6 from Final Cut Pro 7. A good read with interesting points.

•Because of Native editing, they their render time is basically down to realtime render, so a 30 minute show has around a 30 minute render! That is a huge change!

•It requires more setup before hand, and it is smart to organize everything before import.

•Still using FCP 7 for videotape ingest!

•Use Davinci Resolve for grading, though it does not support all the files that Premiere Pro does, so a flattened ProRes Quicktime file is created from final timeline and use resolve's scene detect tool!

There is of course more, and this is a must read for switchers!

Larry Jordan on Adobe Prelude

Larry Jordan has an excellent article on the new Adobe Prelude CS6 for ingesting and logging footage.

I knew it was for logging and even cutting a rough assembly, but didn't realize it could export to either Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro 7. Very cool.

And it sounds like the biggest issue is the lack of ProRES presets for Media Encorder, which I always found odd, but not hard to create for oneself.

Larry also offers a complete 2 hour tutorial on how to use Prelude at his site.

PVC on 10 things Final Cut Pro Editors may miss in Premiere Pro CS6

Scott Simmons over at the Pro Video Coalition has a list of 10 things Final Cut Pro editors might miss in Premiere Pro 6.

The biggest here for me is selective past and remove attributes which I use all the time in FCP and it will be an adjustment for sure.

Still all livable changes, just have to get used to it.

AVID Media Composer for Final Cut Editors from DigitalFilms

DigitalFilms on AVID Media Composer for Final Cut Pro Editors. And must read for any recent switcher to let you know about the features you need to look into to really become an expert in AVID.

Phillip Bloom on moving from FCP 7 to Premiere Pro 6

Camerman and editor Phillip Bloom has a quick little article on moving from FCP 7 to Premiere Pro CS6 and why.

Sounds like the non-CUDA acceleration is pretty damn good, though as I have said I keep wishing for more NVIDIA on the mac, but it looks less and less likely to happen every day.

David Lawrence first time Premiere Pro 6 impressions from an FCP User

David Lawrence has an excellent article over at Creative Cow.

He really sums it up in a Creative Cow Forum Post.
Believe the hype, the Conan boys are right. It really is Adobe's Final Cut Pro 8.
Though later says:

Is Premiere Pro 6 Adobe's Final Cut Pro 8? If you ask me, the answer is no. It's something different and potentially better. Is there room for improvement? You bet. If you miss certain features, let 'em know. They're listening.

 I am so looking forward to Premiere CS6, and do hope it is an FCP 7 replacement, though that also makes me wish for more NVIDIA CUDA cards for the Mac, or it looks like editing is going to move all PC in the future.


AVID Symphony Upgrade from FCP for $999

Videoguys no have a crossgrade from FCP 7 to AVID Symphony for $999! Yes not Media Composer but Symphony! And it is also $999 to upgrade from Media Composer!

Symphony adds Advanced Color Correction and Universal Mastering, which allows you to play out a timeline to any frame rate or size!

Philip Hodgets getting FCP 7 to FCP x

FCP X has a video from the LA Final Cut Pro User Group on bringing FCP 7 projects to FCP X with 7tox.

Magic Bullet Denoiser 2 Released!

This was announced by Red Giant today. After losing the technology license behind Magic Bullet Denoiser they had to pull it earlier this year from their site, and promised a ground up re-write, and this is it, and even better it is a free upgrade.

Here is a list of features:

  • We’ve developed Magic Bullet Denoiser II from scratch (completely new code) to bring you the quality of Denoiser 1, but with more stability. Red Giant owns this code 100% – which means the product is not going anywhere.
  • We have spent lots of time developing the default settings for Denoiser II to give you the best possible look as soon as you apply. There’s is always room to tweak setting, but often you won’t need to.
  • Currently Denoiser II is only available for After Effects, but it will support multiple host apps in the future (readTHIS FAQ for more info).
  • Denoiser II is a Free Update for all Denoiser 1 and Magic Bullet Suite users. I repeat: If you already owned a license of Denoiser or bought the Magic Bullet Suite after Denoiser was discontinued, you get Denoiser II for FREE.
If you own it, or the Magic Bullet Suite, download it here. If you are new to the program, you can buy it here.

I love Denoiser, and used it extensively on my latest the Misadventures of Bear short, but did find it a bit buggy, so I can’t wait to try out the new version and see what it can really do.

PHYX releases Defocus for FCP, Motion and After Effects

Creative Cow has the press release on this new defocus tool that works with Noise Industries FX Factory.

Some Features are

  • Chroma Aberration – Editors can simulate chroma aberration – the imbalance of RGB color channels that can occur with camera lenses.
  • Fast Defocus – This effect can be used to simulate ‘bokeh,’ or out-of-focus lens effects. Editors can create depth of field with the use of a depth mask, rack-focus effects, and more.
  • Pan / Tilt – A popular effect used in many motion pictures and music videos, users can create a tilt-shift setup for still and motion picture cameras, with smooth, defocused gradients.
  • Vignette Vision – With two effects options, editors can defocus either the outer edge or the center of the image. Defocusing the outer edge simulates POV shots, vintage lenses and more. Defocusing the center of the image allows editors to censor images, create hallucinations, etc.

You can read all about it at Noise Industries Site.

Bunim/Murray drops Final Cut Pro for AVID

Arstechnica is reporting that, that top reality show producer and long time Final Cut Pro proponent Bunim/Murray has dropped final Cut Pro and is moving back to AVID media composer.

Due to the large volume of media generated by our reality shows, we needed to re-evaluate our editing and storage solutions. At the same time, we were looking for a partner who would understand our long-term needs,

Basically FCP X is not good enough, and FCP 7 is old and gettiing long in the tooth, and with AVID now being 64 bit, they felt the need to make the move.

Did Apple have a completed 64 Bit Final Cut Pro 8 that they scrapped?

MacGasm is reporting on a video of Richard Harrington that FCP.CO reported on and posted the video which has subsequently been removed.

Harrington said in the video:

"There was a Final Cut 8 and it was 64bit and it was done and they looked at it and said 'This is not what we want to do, this is evolutionary, this is not revolutionary' and they killed it."

If this is true I am totally disgusted. If it is true, Apple should have released the 64 Bit Final Cut Pro 8, and also released Final Cut Pro X as something else, probably iMovie Pro and then done what they could to implement some of the new technology as add ons to Final Cut Pro 8. They would have had a huge hit on their hands, and could have revolutionized editing, but instead they have killed Final Cut Pro as a professional editing program and made FCP X a completely consumer program. Sure it has some great technology, but it will never become a standard even if it does have some good new ideas, because it does not work as well or efficiently as Final Cut Pro 7.

I still can’t figure out why they did this to begin with. A new program that is a revolution is fine, but you should not throw out an industry standard program because you have a new idea.

Scott Simons at the EditBlog on PVC comparing Premiere Pro and FCP 7's Timelines


This is really a must read for all switchers from Final Cut Pro 7 to Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, as it gives a full rundown of the similarities and differences in the 2 different timelines!

Automatic Duck Plugs Ins are FREE!


I honestly thought with them moving to Adobe that the old plug ins were gone for good, but it seems not as
Automatic Duck has released all their old plug ins for FREE!

I already owned Pro Import AE 5.0, which allows you to import either Final Cut Pro 7 or AVID Media Composer sequences into After Effects. You use Free XML exporter for FCP and it works almost perfectly. A must have.

Pro Export FCP 5.0 is for FCP X and is to allow OMF export.

Pro Export FCP 4.0 lets you export either OMF or AAF from FCP to AVID, and I previously owned this.

And their is Pro Import FCP 2.0 which allows you to import an AVID sequence into Final Cut Pro.

And they are all FREE. So download them now. Sure they will not be updated again, but free is a huge price drop!

DaVinci Resolve 8.1 FCPX Support

that DaVinci Resolve 8.1 now has support for FCP X and conforms and roundtrips. So you can now do a full color out of FCP X, though you audio is still going to be hard to conform without tracks.

You can even move an FCP 7 edit to FXP X using resolve, which is pretty huge. Now they need to add Premiere Pro support!

The Provideo Coalition is reporting

More FCP Feedback

Well with all the rumors that Tim Cook is actually listening to customers I decided to leave Final Cut Pro feedback with Apple once again. I asked them to rename FCP X into iMovie Pro and release a true 64 bit FCP 8 (along with a new Color and Soundtrack Pro) with all it’s previous functionality and some of the added features of FCP X. They can even put the magnetic Timeline in, as long as it can be turned off!

I doubt it will make any difference, but it sure would be nice to have FCP 8 truly 64 bit with all it’s functionality, bug fixes and new features that make it the premiere editing system out there. And Tim Cook could make that change, even if he in all likelihood wont.

FCP.CO shows off DVcreators new FCP 7 Plug ins is showing off DVcreators 3 new film looks FXScript plug ins for Final Cut Pro 7 created by the great Graeme Nattress. The effects look great and are only $35 dollars, which is good as they don’t work with FCP X or anything besides FCP 7, which is EOL.filmstyles_fcp_dvcreators
Check out the filter FilmStyles at DVcreators.

Inexpensive enough that people may still get them for FCP 7, but they had better add Premiere Pro support soon!

Digital Rebelion on 18 Features Premiere needs to borrow from FCP 7

Digital Rebellion has an excellent article on 18 features that Premiere Pro must lift from Final Cut Pro, some of which I have covered extensively (like showing clip duplication in the timeline) and others I had not even realized, but all I agree with are necessary for Premiere Pro to really replace Final Cut Pro.
Though I doubt you will ever be able to open multiple projects as you can’t in After Effects either (only import projects into each other). Still it would be nice!

FilmRiot is Premiere better than FCP

Film Riot has a a good video podcast on is Premiere Pro better than Final Cut Pro, and basically it comes down to that yes it is. It can open Final Cut Pro projects, and is really damn fast. And one of my favorites, is the After Effects integration, which really is incredible. Check out this video below.


Biscardi Creative on Premiere and AVID with Davinci Resolve

Biscardi Creative has an interesting article on workarounds to use Adobe Premiere Pro and AVID Media Composer with Davinci Resolve which is currently made to work with Final Cut Pro 7.

It looks like there is no easy solution right now, as Resolve reads Premiere’s XML, but not all of it’s media is compatible, and you need a $500 plug in to make it work with AVID. Otherwise you basically need to export a quicktime and use scene detection to make a grade (so no dissolves).
Not an ideal solution for sure.

FCP Studio 3 Back for Sale

MacRumors is reporting that Apple has quietly put Final Cut Pro Studio 3 back for sale, though they are not making it easy.
You have to call 800-MY-APPLE and ask for part number MB642Z/A for $999, not through the physical stores or the internet, but at least, if true you no longer have to pay outrageous prices on E-Bay for a copy.
Took them long enough. And it should never have stopped being for sale, but this is arrogant apple so…

digitalfilms on FCP X Roadblocks

digitalfilms has an excellent article on FCP X roadblocks. I agree with all of them, but one particularly as it is my favorite tool in FCP.

Track tool. This plays a huge part in how I edit and something I really loved in FCP over Media Composer. I use it to move clips downstream to open a space on the timeline to work. If I want to do the same in FCP X, I either have to insert a placeholder (essentially the OLD Avid way of working) or select a number of clips (also the OLD Avid way). Not very effective when you have an hour-long timeline. Another reason to use the track tool is to select all the clips to the right in order to apply common effects.

I really don’t get these people that are fervently defending FCP X.

I know I have said this before, but to me it is not just incomplete, and you can’t call it a beta( because if it was a beta they would still be supporting FCP 7, while they worked out the kinks of FCP X), it is actually broken. The basic paradigm of the timeline that you cannot organize is broken. Some of the new features could be interesting and powerful, but as additional features, not as the only features. And I never want a timeline that I cannot organize unless it is has zero graphics or overlays, and even then I like to organize my tracks.

And while I could see a usefulness to being able to scrub where the mouse head is, like the AVID timeline, it should be able to turn off and on (I know you can turn it off in FCP X, but then you can’t scrub in clips in the viewer either, which doesn’t work).

And what exactly does Apple want us to do on jobs where we need a FCP 7 license? I am on one right now? How do we get one? E-bay, they are going for much more than $1000, and you don’t even know how legal they are?!?!

Apple's Abandonement of the Pro Market

Apple's abandonment of Professionals is obvious to me.

If they were planning on supporting professionals they could have done what they did with OS X. Release FCP X as a beta, while also continuing to support FCP 7 for a time, and especially keep it available. And keep adding features to X until it was at par with 7 and then kill 7, with a definite timetable. They did it with OSX, so they could have done it here, but they are aiming for Prosumers and have abandoned the pro market completely.

All the people saying how great FCP X is, well I am glad you like it, but it is not, and will never be a professional app. Sure you can edit amazing things with it, and use it’s new very powerful features to make an incredible product or movie or whatever you are editing, but you can do that with any tool, it is just not a professional editing program and from what I see, never will be.

Rob TInworth's 10 years with FCP

This video is well worth checking out, I knew what was coming, but still enjoyed it.
Rob Tinworth’s 10 years with FCP a retrospective at

Oliver Peters at DigitalFilms has an article on FCPX

You can read his post at his blog. I find a lot of what he is saying a little too positive on Apple’s turn from Niche market leader to completely consumer product, but he does have some really great things to say that go along pretty much how I feel about FCP X and what apple has done to it’s own market.
Unfortunately by releasing FCP X in the way it was done, Apple has destroyed the existing ecosystem built around FCP and all developers start at square one again. Some are happy for the new opportunities and others express concern. By ignoring legacy support and releasing a product with many gaps, Apple has alienated many high-end professionals. You can argue all you want that these users constitute an insignificant niche, but for developers, it’s these users who will pay thousands of dollars for capture cards, accessories and plug-in packages.

The danger of re-inventing the wheel

I have nearly four decades of experience in broadcast operations, production and post, with most of it in editing. I’ve gone through numerous transitions and along the way operated, reviewed or been associated with well over two dozen different edit platforms. One of the things I’ve seen in that time is that non-standard workflows and interfaces eventually return to accepted concepts. After all, editing tools are built on over 100 years of post production practices.

For me, FCP X simply is NOT faster nor easier, just DIFFERENT – precisely because Apple has radically changed the way an editor organizes the information and works in the timeline. I will freely admit that my nonlinear days started with Avid and I first disliked moving to FCP. Now, after eight years of mostly non-stop experience with Final Cut Pro/Final Cut Studio, FCP 7 has grown to be my preferred editing tool – warts and all. It’s incredibly versatile, but that level of user control was dropped from FCP X.

I use the timeline as much as a scratch pad as the location for a final assembly. Place multiple clips onto top tracks and preview them as one option versus another. Or build little sub-sequences at the back of the timeline and then copy & paste these into the place I want. Work rough and then clean things up. FCP 7  and Media Composer give me that freedom and precision. FCP X does not. Of course, some of this is handled through Audition clips in FCP X, but that requires that you know and select the possible options first and then combine them into an Audition clip, which can be cut onto the timeline for previewing. To me, this requires more work than I go through in all other NLEs.

My ideal NLE would likely be a mash-up between Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid Media Composer, augmented by the performance features of FCP X and Premiere Pro. It’s difficult to predict the future where Apple is concerned, so I don’t want to discount the possibility of FCP X picking up steam with my customers. If that’s true, then I’ll be there ahead of them; however, today, FCP X is the wrong tool for my projects and those of my clients.

Take the Precision Editor, as an example. This highly-promoted feature is little more than a toy in my view. Trimming in FCP X is much weaker than in FCP 7 and that version wasn’t anywhere close to having the trimming control of Media Composer. Asymmetrical trimming in FCP X is virtually non-existent. The basics, like trimming L-cuts, haven’t been properly implemented. For instance, split edits (L-cuts, J-cuts) are only based on trimming audio track in-points in FCP X, instead of either audio or video as in most other NLEs.

It’s these and many other little things throughout FCP X that will hinder its adoption by the upper tier of users. That has a cascading effect. In a film school, why adopt FCP X for your students, when they’ll encounter Avid Media Composer as the tool of choice out in the “real world”? If you teach a digital media curriculum, whose graduates are destined to work in the corporate and web arena, then isn’t Adobe Create Suite better suited? What Apple has in effect done – by rebooting Final Cut as FCP X – is to pull the rug out from under its own advances earned over twelve years of FCP development. They’ve handed an extraordinary gift to competitors who can better service these smaller, but still important, market segments.

Sorry, i Know that was a lot to quote, but all of that I find right on target.

Editing Software on Lion

So I am checking Editing Software Compatibility of Mac OS X Lion.

As Apple Said Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 does open fine in Lion, though it does ask me to register, though the button to register is grayed out.

The Demo of AVID Media Composer 5.5.2 boots and runs just fine.

Adobe Premiere Pro 5.5 I am having issues with. and it won’t start. Adobe claims it should run fine, so I am going to try and re-install and see what happens. It is weird as After Effects and Photoshop work fine, but just Premiere won’t boot.

The Edit Blog at PVC has 100 Questions answered about FCPX

The Article has some good answers and also says some interesting things that I believe to be true.

In its current state I would not use FCPX in a professional, client heavy environment. At this time I don’t consider it an FCP7 replacement as it lacks so many features that I’ve come to rely on. It’s a brand new piece of software so it will take years to mature into the full featured application that FCP7 is ... that is if Apple chooses to add back a lot of the features missing from FCP7. At this point in time I don’t know when / if it could replace FCP7 (or Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premiere Pro).

23) Do you think Apple is moving away from the Pro Video market towards the wider prosumer market with FCPX.

Most definitely.


51) Does your knowledge of FC7 help or get in the way of learning FC10?

That’s a great question. I’d almost say it gets in the way as FCP7 uses long established editing paradigms that work very well. In some aspects FCPX is trying to reinvent the wheel. Where there are some great things in FCPX there’s other instances where, IMHO, the wheel doesn’t really need to be reinvented because it works so well.


63) how does the magnetic timeline handle a music video where the main audio should be locked permanently?

My music video testing has found that I would create a synchronized clip with the master audio to place in the primary storyline and then connect all my angles to it via Connect to Primary Storyline. In theory that should keep them all in sync. Truth be told the inability to really lock a clip in place and lack of multiclips / group clips would make me look elsewhere for music video editing.


77) Worthwhile building new edit suite around FCPX or still shrink-wrapped FCPStudio 7… etc?

Personally I would never build an edit suite around a single NLE so I certainly don’t feel the current release of FCPX is enough to build an entire edit suite around. As one tool in that suite yes but the only tool? Not in its current form and probably not for a long while. Plus, if Apple is going to rely on 3rd parties to supply many of the pro-workflow tools that we need for FCPX then the final cost is going to end up well above $299 to run FCPX in a professional / broadcast environment.


83) What’s your favorite new feature, and new disappointment?

Favorite new features are the many different background processes from rendering to transcoding to media management. Auditions is another strong new feature. Disappointment is the Magnetic Timeline and single Viewer that changes between source clips and the timeline.

The rest has some interesting points, and tells how to do may good things, but these are things that really stand out to me about what is wrong with the software.


Larry Jordan is sticking with FCP

Today Larry Jordan has a new article, where he talks about why he is sticking with FCP for now, and waiting for new features.

I personally disagree. Apple had a mature and powerful editing program that could have been updated and have had some of the great new features added to it, but instead they decided to make a new less powerful program geared at making editing ‘easier’. The thing is they are engineers and have no idea what editing is really about, and have instead made a program that I don’t think will ever be right for a professional editor. The magnetic timeline alone proves this to me, because they no longer think that organization is important, and it is one of the most important things!

Larry Jordan has a nice post on Accountability

Larry Jordan has a good blog post on how Apple is not accountable to anyone for the disaster of it’s Final Cut Pro X release.

And it really is true. No is accountable, and Apple would hold everyone accountable if things were revered. Nvidia made one mistake and look they have not been in a mac since, and we the users are punished by Apple for it (having to put our ATI cards back in for major upgrades and then re-install the NVIDIA drivers).

I am knee deep into learning Premier Pro (after trying, but giving up on FCP X) and am pretty impressed by many features (especially the XML export being able to do the whole project with all sequences), but can’t see why this was even necessary! I can see that Apple might have wanted to cement their lead in the future, but not at the expense of their entire installed user base who are going to bad mouth the hell out of their new product until they make something useful.

And why buy Color, just to kill it a few years later? Or why kill Shake? Why did they not spin off their entire pro-division like they did with FileMaker Pro? Make a business unit that is answerable to it’s base. and needs to make a product that it’s customers want!

I am left shaking my head.

Studio Daily has an excellent review of Final Cut Pro X

I have to say I am starting to get burnout on FCP X disaster, but Studio Daily has a good review that covers some of my problems.

iMovie on Steroids? MaybeAfter using FCPX for a few weeks I still believe what many initially thought upon first seeing FCPX back in April: This is just the first version of a new application and in this form is essentially iMovie on steroids. There are just too many things that Final Cut Pro 7 users will be missing when they really dig into FCPX. It's not that we won't be able to make cool effects and pretty video, it's just that we'll do it in a much different way without some tools that we now take for granted. Word from people who are smarter than I am say that FCPX isn't built off of current iMovie code. I still find that hard to believe, as the similarities are striking. If they aren't based on the same code then Apple made a very conscious, very clear and very targeted decision to copy an awful lot of what's in iMovie now. Some of it is actually for the better but a lot of it is for the worse.


•No More Dual-Monitors: Also gone is the more traditional FCP7-like Viewer/Canvas two-monitor layout. The viewing window changes to the timeline or the clip events depending on what you’re doing. In my time with the new software, I have come to really, really miss that two window layout.


There is the option of importing from tape, but that's only from a tape-based camera and only via FireWire. Why Apple included only FireWire camera support is perplexing. It seems downright silly to rewrite FireWire tape support for FCPX and not include something like multi-clipping, especially when it feels like you approach something close to multi-clips when you use the new Synchronize Clips feature and have it sync multiple camera angles. Sure, the resources for FireWire support might be vastly different than support for third-party I/O hardware (which isn’t supported out of the box) but FireWire support for DV and HDV? Really? When Apple, and an entire industry, is moving away from FireWire?


When media comes into FCPX it must be associated with an Event or dropped into a new Event created upon import. Forget about project-based media; everything here is based on Events. In fact, all the media you’ve ever imported is available all the time. This feature alone can be totally amazing and/or insanely frustrating; I experienced both feelings when using FCPX. There are definitely times I don't want media from other projects available, especially in a professional environment, where you can have hundreds of hours of media from different clients on your media drive. Conceptually, it’s an interesting idea for the right environment but in practice FCPX desperately needs some type of "Event Media Mounting Manager" to keep unrelated media from intruding on an unrelated project. You can physically move the media in the Mac Finder to hide it from FCPX but isn’t this an application for the future? That seems really antiquated.


This type of project setup, and the more structured way FCPX stores and tracks media, reminds me very much of Avid Media Composer. Media Composer has always been great at both media management and mixing formats. Avid's often been chastised by FCP users for it's structured, less free-flowing way of working, but Apple is doing something very similar now in FCPX.


The timeline has done away with video and audio tracks as we know them and therefore, it’s a very free form way of working. The magnetic timeline means clips move out of the way where clip collisions might have happened in FCP7. This new, freer way of editing will suit some; others it will not. I like quite a lot of what Apple is trying to do to make editing faster and better, but there are other things in FCPX that really don’t make the overall editing experience any faster or better. You really have to try it yourself, which makes it rather frustrating that there isn’t a free demo available.


My fear is this free-form timeline will lead to some real sloppy jobs coming in the door if FCPX catches on.

And summing up

The new Media management in FCPX may seem to offer more options to editors, but it actually uses a very rigid, specific way to store clips, renders and projects. If you were a sloppy editor in FCP7, then you’ll be fine in FCPX, at first. But if you don’t really understand how FCPX organizes your media you might be in for some trouble if files get moved and drives get shuffled.

I hate how there’s no real dedicated Viewer window when I skim those source clips.I hate how imprecise much of the actual editing process has become in the magnetic timeline.

And finally

How much real-world editor feedback did Apple really get before this came to market? Even though some very high profile editors got a chance to evaluate it before the release, I'm more inclined to think it was designed by a bunch of engineers who don’t actually edit for a living. Either way, it just feels unfinished. I won’t be implementing it with my paying clients as of this version, and probably not for a few versions to come. But I’ll happily bang out home movies with it.

And yes he also does have good stuff to say, but it is the negative to me that is the most telling. This is not a pro app, and the way it is built I don’t think it will ever be. Sure kids who have never edited might love it, but forcing editors to work in one way that is not proven to be better is not necessarily a better way, just different, and for this different, I am not sure I agree.

Alex4D writes about a secret FCP X meeting in London

Alex Gollner also known as Alex 4D has a blog post summarizing a supposed Apple Pro briefing on FCP X in London.

Personally Apple needs to come out and just say this stuff if it is true, and tell people what will be paid and what is coming, and give a timeline.

And anyway I think it may be too little too late. Apple has screwed this release completely. Any program that cannot open it’s previous versions files should not be called the same thing. If it is not iMovie code (which I don’t believe) then call it iEdit Pro,

Here are some point from the meeting:

1. FCP XML in/out is coming via 3rd party soon…no FCP 6/7 support project support coming ever it seems…

2. Ability to buy FCP7 licenses for enterprise deployments coming in the next few weeks…

3. FCPX EDL import/export coming soon…

4. FCPX AJA plugins coming soon for tape capture and layback…capture straight into FCPX bins.

5. XSAN support for FCPX coming in the next few weeks…

6. FCPX Broadcast video output via #Blackmagic & @AJAVideo coming soon…

7. Additional codec support for FCPX via 3rd Parties coming soon…

8. Customizable sequence TC in FCPX for master exports coming soon…

9. Some FCPX updates will be free some will cost…


conigs Do they have any kind of timeframe for “soon”? Am I safe in guessing in 2011?aPostEngineer within a few weeks for some updates i.e. XSAN up to a few months for 3rd party developers to get their heads around the API.gigarafa what about the rest of the suite? Color, dvd studio etc?aPostEngineer they have unfortunately reached their EOL and will not be developed any more..

So Color and DVD Studio are officially dead as well.

Helmut Kobler has an excellent article on being a Final Cuttter moving to Premiere Pro

Helmut’s article is mostly on the switch and what Premiere does and doesn’t offer, but also talks about the whole FCP X Fiasco.

Yes, well before all of Apple's recent shenanigans, I started to sense that Final Cut, along with all of Apple's professional apps and gear, was slowly being strangled to death. Here are a few of the harbingers of doom that caught my eye over recent years:

• Apple took nearly 2.5 years to upgrade Final Cut Studio from version 2 to 3 (and v.3 was only a moderate upgrade at that). Until then, updates had come at a much more aggressive pace.
  • Apple cancelled the popular Shake, promising to replace it with a new tool that never came.

• Apple got lazy with its Logic Pro app as well, letting development creep along with an upgrade about every two years.

• Apple stopped updating the Pro page on its web site long ago. There hasn't been a new item posted in almost two years:

  • Apple took more than a year to fix a glaring Final Cut 7 bug that made its Close Gap command unreliable. To break a core Timeline feature like Close Gap and not fix it for 14 months was offensive and inexcusable.

• Apple cancelled its Xserve RAID then its Xserve hardware.

• Apple started taking longer and longer to release Mac Pro workstations, and absolutely phoned in the latest upgrade last July. 511 days in the making, the newest Mac Pro was one of the most un-inspired hardware upgrades I've ever seen from Apple.

• Apple pulled out of industry trade events like NAB.

• Multiple rumors (and confirmation of rumors) of significant layoffs in the Pro Apps division.

• Multiple rumors that Apple was trying to sell off its Pro Apps division.

Take just a few of these and maybe they don't add up to anything. But take all of them together, and it's a real sign of Apple's low-to-non-existent priority for professional media. Yes, the writing has been on the wall for quite a while, and by 2010, I reluctantly began to read it. Late last year, I started to look at the two clear alternatives to Final Cut....

The rest of the article has some excellent reasons why he moved to Premiere, and documents the differences and similarities, and really gives a good idea of why to try out Premiere Pro, it really is a must read!

Techvessel has an interview with a former Avid Employee on FCP X

This is an interesting article at Techvessel on Final Cut Pro X. I still don’t think that Apple is really thinking they have the new professional paradigm. I tend to think they are using the cache of the Final Cut Pro name to try to sell to Prosumers, but the article dose have some interesting points.
It’s hard to say exactly what Apple’s strategy was with their release of FCPX. Its announcement at the NAB convention seems to suggest that they were trying to get professional editors excited about FCPX, yet the lack of support and backwards compatibility with FCP7 shows either a disconnect, or outright disregard for the realities of being a professional editor.  

This release feels similar to their previous iMovie reboot. In that case, I think Apple could afford to be more aggressive with abandoning the previous version of iMovie and starting from scratch.  Many iMovie users probably don’t use it on a daily basis, so throwing out their previous experience with an older version and starting over really wasn’t that big of a deal.

For *professional* editors, this is an entirely different scenario. Pro editors use their software of choice all day, every day. They become masters at shortcuts and UI tricks to make them effective. If you’ve never seen a *good* professional editor at work, I can tell you it’s amazing. The speed and precision in which they work is staggering. They can do this because they’ve spent countless hours training on and mastering their tools. That’s why it’s unreasonable to expect that Pros would jump on board with FCPX on day one.


What happens if you’re currently on a project using FCP7, and you need to bring some new people on board to help finish the project? You’d better hope they already have a copy of the software, since now you can’t buy FCP7 any longer. I’m not sure what you do in that scenario. I think it’s these kinds of issues that show a lack of respect for the Pro editor that has gotten the community so riled up.


The bigger concern I would have if I were at Avid would be that it appears Apple is again trying to leapfrog their competition with a new paradigm for video editing. Avid’s interface was already showing its age, and now it’s only going to appear more antiquated in the eyes of young editors growing up on FCPX. Maybe Avid doesn’t necessarily see that as a big deal – they have their loyal users who aren’t going to switch and they know it. Remember also that Avid doesn’t make their money from the editor software alone – they also have big enterprise server systems that manage large amounts of media and also do things like big newsroom automation systems. These are things that Apple are not likely to compete with. However, in all those kinds of systems, the lynchpin is the Editor, and if none of the younger editors know how to use, or don’t care to learn Avid, that’s a big long-term problem.

As I said I don’t fully agree, as I don’t see FCP X really taking off in the condition it is in, and I believe some of it’s basic paradigms are so flawed (the magnetic timeline being one) that I don’t see this being the choice for young editors if they actually expect to work in a professional environment.

Premiere Pro Needed Feature

So far I am enjoying learning Premiere Pro, in fact much more than I thought I would, but one feature I really miss is iChat theater.

The ability to cut remotely and show your cut and see the producer and let them see you was an amazing addition by Apple, and something that really needs to be added into Premiere to bring it on par with Final Cut Pro 7.

Looks like Premiere is how I am going

Looks like I am going with Premiere Pro. It is fast and responsive, though I have had some random crashes, but it was on sequences that I had imported via XML from Final Cut Pro 7.

The thing is the CUDA support with the NVIDIA card is unbelievably fast, and the integration with After Effects plug-ins makes it so usefull.

iMovie and FCPX were originally built as a companion to Final Cut Pro

Again Macrumors has a great article on the origins of iMovie 08, which became Final Cut Pro X.

Ubillos returned from vacation and found that Final Cut wasn't ideal for organizing raw footage. From that experience, First Cut was born which would let you import your raw footage and quickly skip through, organizing and building a rough edit. The intention originally was to then export to Final Cut Pro. At some point, Apple officially latched onto the project and turned it into the new iMovie '08.

No wonder so many features seem shoehorned, it was meant to just create quick rough cuts, not to be the whole editor!

My request for a refund from Apple

So here is what I wrote to apple in my request for a refund for Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4.
I am writing you about my orders for Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4. Order numbers M3NT1XYK15, M3NT1XYK7J and M3NT1XYLSB. I want to get a refund on these because the products do not function as advertised. Today you released a FAQ on Final Cut Pro X and it’s very first entry states that I cannot open Final Cut Pro 7 projects into Final Cut Pro X (it should not be named that, what if Adobe had made Photoshop CS5 not able to open any previous Photoshop docs when it became 64 bit) and as a professional editor, that is a good 75 percent of my business, working on variations of old projects and fixing projects for other people. Without this features the program is useless to me and the FAQ says it will never happen. If this FAQ had been out when the app was released I would not have purchased any of these 3 apps. Honestly I can say I am furious! I have already paid money for Ripple Training, and have also upgraded AUtomatic Duck, and since every statement after FCP X came out was that features were coming I expected that opening FCP 7 projects would be the first priority, but since it will never happen I must get an editing suite that can open FCP 7 sequences like Premiere Pro or Media Composer with Automatic Duck (which as I said I already own).

I also never saw any documentation that said that the magnetic timeline could not be turned off and that you can’t assign tracks. I work on 28:30 long infomercials often with 20 tracks of video and must put different graphics on different tracks in order to organize so that any editor can open it and understand it, with the magnetic timeline I might be able to make a sequence that looks the same visually, but it would not be organized so any editor could see it or so that I could easily turn texted on and off. This is another reason that this suite is not usefull to me.

As for Motion, I only got it to edit effects within FCP X, and to me it does not vastly improve over the previous motion. I don’t notice any major speed increases, and I see it as a downgrade since it is missing the send to features in FCP X that made it a good companion to final cut pro.

And Compressor 4 is not even 64 bit, and I am fine with having Q-master seperate, and since it won’t get video sent from Final Cut Pro 7, it is useless to me.

Please refund my money ASAP because these apps do not do as advertised, and you have only made these shortcomings aware as of today. I tried to learn and use FCP X, and did the ripple training, but found it is not at all a replacement for FCP 7, and instead feels like a consumer downgrade.

Two Articles on FCPX mirroring my thoughts

Richard Harrington has written another article on Final Cut Pro X, entitled The Final Straw that was FCP, It is a response to all the bull that people are putting out there against people critical of FCPX. And he gives the 10 reasons he thinks people are leaving FCP and moving to AVID and Premiere Pro and I tend to agree with him.

The release of Final Cut Pro X was the defining moment for many. In my line of work, I get to interface with a lot of video editors and other video professionals. I have spoken at numerous user groups and conferences. As a forum leader and podcaster for Creative COW, I have been hearing complaints for years. I also get to sit in edit suites with clients. The waiting for transcode on import as well as the 32-bit nature of Final Cut Pro 7 has caused a lot of impatient waiting in edit suites around the globe.Final Cut Pro X was supposed to fix this. At least that was the belief most held. It would be “awesome” we were told. I guess that can mean different things.People are not breaking up with Apple because of what Final Cut Pro X is. They are ending their relationship because their fears have been confirmed. I present to you a summary of the issues that have people freaked out. Please pass this list on to anyone who asks you what the big deal is. These are my 10 reasons that people are switching. These are just opinions. Opinions formed by my interactions with many and my professional experiences and connections.

This is a must read article, and all his reasons are spot on.

Richard also links to the second article from OneRiver Media on
Is the Trust for Apple Gone for Good, and I would have to say that it is.

In the blink of an eye, the release of Final Cut Pro X has caused a ripple in the Matrix so huge, I’m not sure Neo could even fix this catastrophe. But it’s much more than good software gone astray, it’s deeper than infrastructure changes; it’s about the loss of trust, faith and even livelihoods.


But switching non-linear editing applications is only part of the problem, and in some cases, only a small problem by comparison. There are many people that have devoted the last ten years in direct relation to Final Cut Pro, and as a result of Final Cut Pro X, are going through a major life/career change. These include certified Final Cut Pro trainers, value added resellers, user group organizations, third party software/plugin developers, and many more. There are many people that are questioning their livelihood because of this radical shift that Final Cut Pro X has taken. I wonder if Apple knew they were going to directly cause such an issue, or if all they were looking at was nothing but their bottom-line. To me, it shows an enormous amount of arrogance, ignorance, and selfishness from Apple, which is not the Apple I once knew.

and finally

So all of this begs the big question, “Can Apple be trusted from here on out?” For me, I will no longer buy any kind of pro app from Apple for my facility, knowing their EOL history is very strong—even if an updated Final Cut Studio 3 (based on FCP7) was released. It amazes me that all of my favorite pro apps from Apple are all EOL’ed. Literally.  For me personally, I no longer care about FCPX or even FCP7 updates. I’ve already started passing up articles on FCPX how-to’s or work-arounds, as I will not be using FCPX in my facility, and since FCP7 is EOL’ed.Because I’m switching to Avid Media Composer, all I care about at this juncture is integrating my current hardware and software with it, and what else I need to change or buy in order to make that happen. It’s a domino effect really, and all because of a 2.5-star, $299 downloadable app from the App Store. Seriously, that $299 app is costing me thousands of dollars, but luckily, none of it is going to the App Store. Just keep making powerful desktops, Apple, so I don’t cut my ties from you completely.rant

This is another must read article and really is much of what I have to say on the subject, though in the future i will talking more about individual features and what I do and don’t like about them.

Apple has put back the FCP Studio 3 Downloads

Richard Harrington pointed this out, and I do think it is a positive, but literally the least that Apple could do!

The updates are available at
Apple. So you can download and archive the updates or FCP Studio 3, which is a good idea, since the program has been end of lifed!

FCP Producer is pushing a web petition

FCP Producer is pushing the web petition to get us a 64 bit FCP 8. I have signed, but as of now there are only 147 signatures though!

Apple recently introduced a completely new version of Final Cut Pro that immediately replaced the previous one. Although modern and revolutionary in many ways, this new version X lacks at least 10 main features required by any professional who uses Final Cut on TV studios, Feature Film editing, Production and Post-Production houses. In order to keep expanding the numbers of Final Cut Pro editing suites on these places we request that the Final Cut Pro 7 application should be temporally available for free as a download to all of those who bought Final Cut Pro X, while these 10 features are not addressed in the X release. They are: Add ability to import and export XML files natively;Add ability to import previous Final Cut Pro projects natively;Add ability to export OMF files natively;Add ability to change a project’s frame rate after it’s been created; Add ability to read and write projects stored on an network or SAN volumes; Add ability to switch the Final Cut Pro X layout to a more traditional 2-monitor setup; Add ability to preview true video signal, independent from the 2-monitor setup; Add support for Multicam editing; Add support from capturing and recording to tape, not only via capture now but also via batch capture and print to tape natively; Add support for importing image sequence files such as DPX and OpenEXR;

Some very true facts.

Planet 5D rings in on FCP X

Planet 5D has a good article on the whole FCP X fiasco, though to me they are still a little too positive on the whole thing, while I am basically thinking this program will never be for pros!

Apple/Steve Jobs also realize that there will be a group of editors who leave and go to Adobe Premiere Pro or over to Avid – but they believe that the video editing market is going to be huge in the future and they have positioned iMovie to be the basic editor – and FCPX is the pro editor (which by the way imports iMovie assets – get the hint?).They will sell tons of copies of FCPX in the next 10 years and are not afraid to lose a few old fans along the way. They would have sold even more if they were to have gotten ownership from the editing community instead of taking it away. They’re going to have to go into major recovery mode or they’re going to lose a big hunk of the community – bigger than they were willing to lose in the first place.But I still believe that in the long run, in a year or so, FCPX will rock. I’m certainly using it now and will continue to explore and learn from those who have tutorials ready (more on that shortly too).

I still just don’t believe it can ever get as good as people think it will, too many fundamental problems!

It was to be a companion to FCP

If this article at MacRumors is to be believed what became iMovie 08 and later FCP X was supposed to be an app to quickly make rough cuts that would export to finishing in FCP. I wish that was all it was!

From that experience, First Cut was born which would let you import your raw footage and quickly skip through, organizing and building a rough edit. The intention originally was to then export to Final Cut Pro. At some point, Apple officially latched onto the project and turned it into the new iMovie '08.

I just wish it had stayed that way!

High Definition has an article on FCP X

At times I find the article to be too positive, but it does have some choice things to say.

Which brings us on to the timeline – another massive bone-of-contention in the FCP community.  The notion of tracks has completely disappeared, principally because of the new ‘magnetic timeline’. Instead of FCP 7’s old ‘Clip Collision...’ message that either drove you mad, or was a useful warning (depending on your point-of-view) clips now move themselves out of the way – essentially creating new tracks as they go. There is no track routing so, for instance, you can’t control where your audio goes when you insert a clip. This is pretty horrible – for example, if you want to mute your sound effects you need to hunt through the timeline and disable each one individually, rather than just muting the track you put them all on – you can’t even rely on them being where you last saw them, as editing in the magnetic timeline may have moved them somewhere else. I’m not sure that the benefits of losing the Clip Collision dialog outweigh the problems the magnetic timeline causes though Apple says it’s working on a solution – I suspect this may just be a way of assigning audio to output tracks which won’t solve the layout problem I’ve just described. They also claim that Automatic Duck Pro Export will allow you to create and assign output tracks as a workaround, but I’m not sure that’s true…Editing is a little weird too, if you are used to the standard 3 point edit paradigm. It sort of still exists, but only as the illegitimate offspring of iMovie and FCP.


It feels, somehow, like Apple have taken the iMovie code and grafted three point editing onto it. I can see the point of the magnetic timeline, and it’s arguably better than a tracked timeline, but there was no need to replace the FCP 7 three (and four) point paradigm. FCP X’s implementation isn’t better – it seems to be a bit of a mess.


At the moment, you can’t set the start timecode of the timeline, so the usual broadcast requirement of programme material starting at 10:00:00:00 isn’t possible. Similarly, audio track assignment is a real problem until Apple releases an update that solves the issue. You can’t use a broadcast monitor or audio PPMs until there is a professional I/O unit supported and you’ll need the Automatic Duck software to interface to ProTools/SADiE for audio work and, potentially, your finishing solution (if you don’t finish picture in FCP X)

And the final thoughts.

The funny thing is, if Apple had released this as a replacement for Final Cut Express (which has also been discontinued) then the reviews would be glowing. They could have continued to sell FCP 7, and then release a ‘Pro’ version, with all these problems solved, in a year or so. I would certainly be surprised if any of next year’s Oscar nominees will be cut on FCP X.

Personally I think I like the program less, but I do agree with most points, and the should have saved some of this tech for a true pro Final Cut Pro instead of making it completely prosumer.

Richard Harrington's Response to Dave Pogue

Here is another great article on the whole Final Cut Pro X fiasco. At his blog Richard Harrington responds on a point by point basis to Dave Pogue’s article on FCP X in the New York Times.

He really hits almost everything, so this article is a must read.

Well I guess he should know better then

A good friend informed me that Randy Ubillios actually worked on the original final cut pro while at Macromedia when it was called Key Grip, and before it was sold to Apple. So the man should know better and should know what people want in professional editing software. It just has to mean that they have given up on the professional market and only want the consumer market, in which case they should have made the program iMovie Pro and just end of lifed Final Cut Pro and killed the name off, since this program has nothing to do with Final Cut Pro 7.

What I think happened with Final Cut Pro x

What I think happened with Final Cut Pro X, though this is of course only my opinion.

Randy Ubillos created early versions of Premiere, which worked, but was too low end to do anything powerful, and never became huge like AVID. He was brought on by Apple to change iMovie, and his version was seen as a huge step backwards and Apple had to back track and re-release the previous version that had more features. People who were new to editing liked the simplicity of the new iMovie, but previous users didn't like it. Somehow that version of iMovie kept going and got more features, and Ubillos was given the task of updating final cut. I can only assume Steve Jobs liked what he did with iMovie, and got sold on his idea of making an iMovie Pro that would make it easier for everyone to edit.

The thing is, Ubillos is obviously not an editor, and didn’t consult with any professional editors in the production of Final Cut Pro X, which is really iMovie 10, made to be 64 bit, and have some new Pro features like 4K support (and yet no Native RED support?!?!?!?!?). Steve must have gotten sold on Ubillos’s ideas of how he could revolutionize editing and how they could make it ‘easy’ for anyone to edit amazing high end videos, but Ubillos has no idea what a professional editor needs, he really only knows how to make a program easy for the masses, with some high end features.

This product should have been iMovie Pro and been for the masses!

I think Ubillos convinced Steve, and they call it Final Cut Pro to cash in on the cache in the name that they had built up over the years, even editing features. Everyone has now heard of Final Cut Pro, and they would cash in on that name and make a program for the average Joe, who would now think since they could use this program that they could even edit features, of course this ignores the fact that the program is so constrictive that almost no professional editors will use it, and with this feature set, it will never be used on another feature, or TV show, but it will be used for web delivery, which seems to be all it is suited for.

If Apple really wanted to revolutionize editing they should have also consulted with a high end professional editor, Walter Murch comes to mind. He and his first assistant Editor Sean Cullen were really the first editors to start using Final Cut Pro to edit features. They know what professional editors need, and what Final Cut needed to move from Final Cut Pro 7 to a 64 Bit Final Cut Pro 8. Including how to make it have better multi-user abilities and what high end features would make their lives easier, and every professional editor’s lives easier.

Now they still would have needed a good engineer to figure out new features they could add, but those would need to be run by the big editor, like Murch, to see if it is wanted or needed.

And even better would be to get some big TV editors that use Final Cut and a few commercial editors, and concert and music video editors, and talk to them all about what they needed to make Final Cut Pro even better!

And I don’t buy their excuse that it was a 64 Bit re-write, so they had to start from scratch, because I don’t even believe they started from scratch. They obviously started from iMovie, because while it doesn’t open final cut pro projects, it opens iMovie projects! And Adobe had to completely rewrite their entire suite for use on Macintosh 64 bit as of CS5 (CS4 on Windows), and they managed to do it with almost all the features, and in fact add new features. Sure you would have to get updated plug ins to work with 64 bit, but that is a small price to pay for amazing performance gains!

Now maybe Ubillos really does believe that his way is so much better than what any other program edits, but honestly I have never met any 2 editors who edit the same way, and forcing them to do it one very limited way is not a way to create better editors, but to hamstring editors. We like to edit how we edit, and have the tools that can conform to our ways.

If there way is so easy and so great, why am a third of a way through the Ripple Training Videos and still clueless and how to get the program to do many things? It is not easier, it is just another way, that I don’t think makes for as tight an edit as easily. Honestly if you have a new way to edit, why not add it on, as an additional method, instead of replacing all other methods?

I really do think Apple was ready to sacrifice their professional market to have bigger sales with more people. We already know that they will kill huge and successful programs, they killed Shake after all, and it was literally the standard for compositing for high end features, and was what they used on the Lord of the Rings! They bought it, released 2 versions, one at a high price, one at a low price, and then killed it, stealing some tech for other programs (notable Q-Master for Compressor). Though it seems they must have either thought the professional community would just follow them, even with out all the features they needed, after all why else did they show this at the Final Cut Pro user group meeting in Vegas during NAB 2011. That was for Pros, and some one obviously though that this would work for Pros. Ubillos must think his ways are so much better than what editors are doing, that he could do what he wanted and people would just do it, but I think that their market share will drop significantly in the editing world as Pro Editors pass on FCP X, and the cache of the name Final Cut Pro loses it’s luster.

In fact it may be too late for Final Cut Pro now completely. This release has so damaged their name that basically I the program might be done, as professional editors jump ship, either back to AVID or over to Premiere Pro, which will let them continue to use their AJA or Black Magic cards. And while FCP X will continue on, and may even do OK, it will never be as big as they want, as it is too expensive for the casual editor (and honestly more expensive than the Final Cut Pro Suite Upgrade would have been for most of us, as you basically have to have Motion and Compressor to have full Functionality with Final Cut Pro X and that puts it at $399 and the upgrade price was $299).

If they don’t do something soon, professional editors will leave in droves, and the sales after this version will not be what they wanted, so to make it worth developing, they will have to drop iMovie, and make this iMovie, free on every new computer and part of iLife so it will continue on, and probably get more powerful, but professional editors will have moved on.

More on Final Cut Pro X

Larry Jordan has written a scathing article about the new Final Cut Pro X, and it really echoes what I feel about the program.

In FCP X, Apple got some things amazingly right. But they also got key features amazingly wrong. And if they don’t change course, this software, which has significant potential, is going to spin further and further out of control. At which point, its feature set is irrelevant, its reputation will be set. We’ll be looking at another Mac Cube.

And what they need to do immediately

1. Immediately return Final Cut Studio (3) to the market. If it is not compatible with Lion (and I don’t know whether it is or not) label it so. But put it back on store shelves so consumers have the ability to work with the existing version until FCP X is ready for prime time.2. Fund the development of a conversion utility – either at Apple or thru a 3rd-party – and announce the development with a tentative release date.3. Publicly announce a road-map for FCP X that just covers the next 3-4 months. Apple needs to be in damage control mode and the best way to defuse the situation is to communicate. Answering the question: “What features will Apple add to FCP X, and when?” will go a long way to calming people down.

And his conclusion:

This launch has been compared to Coca-Cola launching New Coke – resulting in a humiliating loss of market share.With Final Cut Pro X, however, the situation is worse — with New Coke, only our ability to sip soda was affected. With Final Cut Pro X, we are talking losing livelihoods.

Thanks for getting this out there
Larry, I really appreciate you saying what needs to be said.

Final Cut Pro X

Wow, I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Apple has basically killed Final Cut Pro, my favorite editing program and the program that I make my living off of.

For years we have been waiting for a true 64 bit version of the program, but instead they kill the old suite including Color and Soundtrack, and released what is basically iMovie Pro.

Final Cut Pro X can’t open old Final Cut Pro sequences, only iMovie sequences.

It’s magnetic timeline doesn’t allow for any track organization. It doesn’t import or export XML so you can’t finish in anything else. The viewer window is gone, and has not been well replaced. It is not designed for dual monitors. The organization is awful. You basically have to do titles in Motion now, and it doesn’t even have a build int drop shadow!

You can do text in templates created in Motion, but have to go to Motion to do anything like you could previously.

It has no XML import and output, so you can’t leave the program to color correct, or finish in another program. In fact to get the Audio out, you have to buy a $500 Automatic Duck plug in, and you have no control over where all the clips go.

It also is not made for versioning, as it autosaves, and basically has one sequence per project, or event as they are now called, so you will have lots of Events.

The lack of Multi-Clip is insane, and sure it can sync audio to one track, but won’t work with multiple tracks.

The loss of a dedicated viewer monitor makes less room for organization, and means you see the audio waveform much smaller than you used to. Also if you want to move your Events to a second monitor, your scrubbing of the clips moves to, so it is very far away from what you are seeing in the one Viewer. This was not thought out well at all. And it really seems setup for a single monitor, sure you can move one segment to another monitor, but not how you want.

For organization, it is all geared toward keywording, which is great, but you lost so much of the old organization that you could do with tabs.

The new in Timeline Trim feature feels like old Premiere 4.2.1 where you had to A B roll clips, and is a huge step backwards.

The fact that you can’t make chapter markers for Quicktime movies and DVD’s is a huge step backwards!

The auto color matching works terribly, the clips come out looking pretty awful!

I tried it with Canon 60D raw H264 and it was as sluggish as can be, as though it can play it back it is basically a ProRES only app. Going back to AVID which converts everything, now you must convert to ProRES to get the real speed out of the program.

No drivers for AJA or Black Magic video cards!

The forced organization is not made for multiple drives.

There is no way to share projects without copying everything.

Even the Title safe is messed up, there is no centercut markers on it, and I often have to do an HD edit for 4:3 SD delivery!

Sure it is 64 bit and has some cool new features, but this program is a slap in the face.

Still, being able to scrub over effects and see them on your clip is very cool. I like the new customization, where you can set keys for even every menu control. Background rendering is cool, but the fact that while it is happening you can’t organize your project is not.

Time to move to AVID or the other 64 bit program Premiere Pro, which will work with Black Magic and AJA cards.

I don’t know what Apple was thinking, but they have completely alienated a user base they spent 10 years cultivating, and made a program that no professional editor can ever use!

So far my favorite article on this is the one by Richard Harrington which I have linked to. It really goes into much of the frustrations I feel, though not about the damn magnetic timeline.
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