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Apple responds to Final Cut complaints via Pogue

David Pogue advises editors they should give Apple's new software some time

Apple's release of Final Cut Pro X earlier this week was hit by negative reviews and complaints from professional video editors, many calling it nothing more than iMovie Pro. New York Times's technology columnist, David Pogue, has fed back on Apple's answers to these complaints in a post.

Pogue, who explains that he recently reviewed Final Cut Pro X from the perspective of an advanced amateur as he is not a professional editor, said: "I found FCP X infinitely more powerful than iMovie, yet infinitely less intimidating than the old Final Cut."

After a consultation with Final Cut Pro X's product managers at Apple, Pogue addressed the concerns of the professional video editors in a question and answer style post.

"The "missing features" generally fall into three categories" Pogue explains: "Features that are actually there and have just been moved around, features that Apple intends to restore and features that require a third-party (non-Apple) add-on or plug-in." He provides answers for 17 professional video editors complaints about Final Cut Pro X, including the concern that there is no multicamera editing, sharing with other editors, organizational problems, custom frame rates and frame sizes, and RED camera support. A few of these concerns are answered below. Pogue's detailed article can be found here.

Multicamera editing - Apple apparently intends to restore this feature in an update, calling it "a top priority." Until it does, there is a workaround outlined by Pogue.

Project sharing - Pogue claims it is not true that you can't share a project with other editors in FCPX.

Customised organization of media files - "You can customize the organization freely if you're willing to understand the new keyword tagging system," claims Pogue.

Specifying import locations - It's not true that FCPX will only put files in your User > Movies folder. In the Import dialog box, there's an option called "Copy files to Final Cut Events folder." If you turn it off, Final Cut leaves the imported files where they are, explains Pogue.

Assigning audio tracks - Currently FCP X's 'trackless' design makes it impossible to assign audio tracks. Pogue claims Apple says it will restore this feature to FCP X and that in the meantime you can use a utility called Automatic Duck Pro Export 5.0.

RED digital cameras - Apple is working with RED to create a plug-in that will give native RED support to FCP X.

Some of the issues, detailed in our earlier story about criticisms of Final Cut Pro X, including the fact that there is no export to tape feature; the fact that FCP X users can't import their current Final Cut Pro 7 projects; and the fact that some critics are claiming that FCPX is no longer a professional product but rather "an upgrade of iMovie" are not addressed.

Pogue concludes that Apple has followed the typical Apple sequence of throwing out something that's popular but old and replacing it with something modern but incomplete, which it will then spend time finishing off. He advises professional editors that they should be "willing to consider that a radical new design may be unfamiliar, but may, in the long term, actually be better."

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