Apple Says Multicam Support is "Top Priority" in FCP X and More

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It's been three days since Apple released Final Cut Pro X, a complete redesign of its flagship video editing suite. Early reaction has been mixed at best, with users giving poor marks to the software on the Mac App Store and in reviews. Even Conan O'Brien poked fun at the new release.

Apple seems to be addressing concerns through David Pogue's column at the New York Times, assisting David with an extensive Q&A covering what's missing from Final Cut Pro X and giving some workarounds as well. One of the biggest complaints in FCP X was the lack of multicamera editing. Apple promises many more features and fixes, and notes that adding multicam is a "top priority":

Complaint: There’s no multicamera editing. In the old FCP, you could import the footage from various cameras that covered an event (say, a concert) from different angles simultaneously, and then easily cut back and forth between them while editing. It was a star feature of Final Cut, and it’s gone from FCP X.

Answer: Apple intends to restore this feature in an update, calling it “a top priority.” Until it does, here’s a stopgap facsimile of multicam editing: If you drag two clips into parallel timeline tracks, you can choose Clip->Synchronize Clips. By comparing their audio tracks, the program aligns the clips exactly. Now, each time you select a piece of the upper video track and press the V key (“disable”), you are effectively cutting to what’s on the lower video track.

The Q&A goes on for quite a while, and those FCPX users who have concerns would do well to give it a read.

Before the software came out, Final Cut Pro guru Larry Jordan warned against adopting Final Cut Pro X too quickly:

Whenever you've got something which is that big a re-write, stuff gets changed, stuff gets left out, stuff gets added later because they can't get it all re-written and I guarantee you that on day one when the dot zero release ships it will not be ready for professional use.

His advice seems especially prescient in the aftermath of the Final Cut Pro X launch.

Top Rated Comments

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119 months ago

are you saying apple should devote tens of thousands of developer hours to prevent an uproar? makes bad business sense to me.


You don't run a business, do you. Typically, preventing uproars among your customer base is a good idea.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago

It's always the pros who complain the most, as they are used to certain workflows and they have made huge investments in money and time to adapt to them. Any amount of change will make them angry, and it makes sense.

However, I don't think FCP X really lacks anything that will prevent you from making the same great edits as before. I'm not a pro so I can't say this for sure

With all due respect, you have no idea what you are talking about. No one is saying they can't make edits with FCPX. Editors need to get their audio to sound people (via OMF export) and their picture to conform/vfx/DI (via EDLs). Once everything is done, it's output to tape. All of these tools are essential to the feature film and broadcast TV workflows, have existed in FCP for a long time and now are not part of FCPX. Apple previewed FCPX at NAB and assured people they weren't abandoning that market yet they have chosen to devote programming resources to making Export to Facebook functions. That's what people are upset about.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago

When I heard that Randy Ubillos was redesigning Final Cut Pro I knew that we were headed for disaster. This loser has ruined this wonderful editing tool. It's dumbed down to be nothing than a glorified version of iMovie. Shame on Apple for letting this happen. Oh, did I mention that you most likely have to buy either a new video card or new MacPro to run it.

If I'm not mistaken Randy Ubillos helped develop the early versions of Adobe Premiere before creating the original Final Cut Pro. He's lead the development of Final Cut from 1-7 and now X. So it's not he was dropped into Final Cut Pro out of the blue. Things that people liked about Final Cut Pro 7 can be attributed to him as project leader just as things people don't like about Final Cut Pro X can be attributed to him. Given his knowledge of all things Final Cut, hopefully he's the one to quickly address the issue he's created.

That said, I'm curious why Final Cut Pro X was released now. It just seems like a rushed release. It was released before 10.6.8, which the release notes highly recommend, it was released before Lion, which will reportedly also be very beneficial both performance and feature-wise, and now they are reportedly pushing hard to get an update out to enable multicam support among other missing features. Given all this, would it really have hurt them to have waited 2 months and ship after Lion? That way some of these missing features could have been included at launch. It's not like they made public promises that they have to launch now.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago
Apple's treatment of Pro users has been rather shocking in the past 12 months: discontinuing XServes, depreciating Java without any announcement that Oracle will be picking up future development for weeks, and now FCPX.

Apple have lost touch. No wonder Apple never succeeded in anything but the consumer market. They simply don't understand. Their secrecy has gone too far.

Quite simply, Apple cannot be trusted when it comes to the Pro market.

Apple fail at communications once again; Apple should release an official statement rather than a 3rd party. The comments on his page are interesting.. and they aren't impressed. Pogue does not use FCPX professionally so his review of the product can be taken with a grain of salt. His long article of never ending work arounds comes over as fan-boi-ish.

For example ( his comment ):
Well, yes and no. MUCH of the vitriol about Final Cut began the day of its release--when nobody had actually USED it yet! THAT is a "kneejerk" reaction. (I suspect that most of the commenters here have not used it yet, either.)

Much of the negative comments are constructive and consistent, by people who know what an editing tool should offer. Pogue doesn't use the tool professionally, so he is in no position to review or criticize the feedback.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago

Why wouldn't users already have FCP7? Who is right now in the market for 7? This wasn't out of no where, for once Apple gave us a preview of the new pro app. Any users not on 7 should've seen the new interface as it was demoed at NAB and gone out and bought the Studio then. You snooze, you loose.


Are you a teenager? Do you work in the pro video industry, for a corporation? Say, at a broadcaster? Maybe you're familiar with the notion that corporations prepare budgets months in advance, and have stringent purchasing cycles? Crazy notion, but people actually buy copies of Final Cut Studio EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. Some companies have HUNDREDS of FInal Cut workstations, and if they want to buy ten more, today, that work JUST like all the others, they have NO WAY to do that today. THIS is why keeping the older version of Studio available for sale is important, and the pro users are pissed off. It's not that FCPX is lacking features. It's that the version that worked fine for people CAN NO LONGER BE HAD. Trust me, many of Apple's large broadcast customers are VERY ticked off right now, and for good reason. Apple could have VERY easily handled this in a much, much better fashion.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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119 months ago

By far and away the thing that's killing the user base is that they stopped selling Final Cut Studio on the same day that they released a very, very hobbled version of the "upgrade" (which as we know is a whole new application, missing a huge number of features FInal Cut users rely on).

I think we will see them back-peddle, and they re-release Final Cut Studio in the next couple of weeks. If not, well, I think most pro users will move away from the package and move to Avid or Adobe.


I think most pro users are rational enough not to spend thousands of dollars on a new package just to spite Apple, if they have working versions of FC7 that are still perfectly usable. "A few weeks" is a very short timeline; I think, as Larry Jordan has said, the real evaluation on the new software is months away. Apple has clearly indicated that they are aggressively pursuing updates to make the program pro-ready. This is the direction they are pursuing, and they will make it work.

That said, they can't wait a year to have these upgrades up. When Conan dishes niche software like that (and the clip was hilarious), you know Apple has a serious image problem with the release. There are no "soft launches" with Apple anymore. You can't take a year to get it right, there is too much scrutiny.

Apple's price for success. I'd be interested to be a fly on the wall of a team meeting that Jobs visits this morning after Conan's segment went viral.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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