Final Cut Pro X: Troubling or just transitional?

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Reviewers and video professionals apparently aren’t as enthusiastic about Final Cut Pro X as I was on the day of its release. Of course, I’m not a video pro, but that doesn’t mean the venom aimed at FCP X is necessarily justified.

The New York Times‘ David Pogue, using info supplied by Apple itself, posted a Q&A Thursday addressing many complaints emailed him regarding his mostly positive review of FCP X. Pogue contends that many of the shortcomings editors are finding in the new pro video editing software from Apple are either issues that the company plans to address with updates or are features that were introduced via third-party plugins and drivers, which will probably be addressed in the same way again, once people have spent some time with the software.

Pogue’s column doesn’t address every complaint, and as you can see in the video below, the issue has grown big enough that Conan O’Brien skewered it on his show Thursday night. But Apple clearly seems dedicated to making FCP X a more full-featured product, with lots of planned additions in later updates, including multi-camera support, one of the most noteworthy omissions from the latest version.

Here’s the thing: In a time when minor aesthetic updates to Facebook’s home page are greeted with petitions that attract thousands of users, is it any surprise that a radically different Final Cut Pro would be met with resistance? Final Cut Pro is an essential tool for many, and one they use every day. Not many liked Office 2007 when it came out either, and many complaints were the same, with users citing an inability to do things or find features.

Apple seems committed to listening to user feedback, and it has always iterated its software products with one eye to addressing outstanding issues, including through iOS and OS X updates. Also, Final Cut Pro 7 isn’t being banished from use. I still know many professional video editors working for large media companies that are now two versions behind, in fact, and so aren’t terribly concerned about what the newest version has or doesn’t have to offer. But I’d love to hear from other video professionals what they think about FCP X. Is this just a case of users requiring an adjustment period for a new product that doesn’t look all that familiar, or is it an example of Apple dropping the ball in a much more serious way?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRzLP0FJ82I&feature=player_embedded]

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