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Apple updates Final Cut Pro X with requested features, offers free trial

Apple on Tuesday issued a major update for its recently refreshed Final Cut Pro X video editing software, adding features like Xsan and Rich XML support after users expressed dissatisfaction with the newly rebuilt software.

The free update to version 10.0.1 was revealed by Apple in a special page devoted to it its official website. The page highlights new features in the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, including media stems export, Rich XML support, and projects and events on Xsan.

Commenting on the update with Jim Dalrymple of The Loop on Tuesday, Richard Townhill, senior director of applications marketing at Apple, said the features were added after the company received feedback from its users.

"We listened to the pros and have taken their top feature requests and put them in this update," Townhill said.

The full list of features of the new update, which is available free to those who have already purchased Final Cut Pro X, are described by Apple:

  • Media Stems Export: Traditional, track-based editing systems require you to constantly rearrange and disable tracks to export audio and video stems. With the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, flexible metadata removes the burden of track management. Use the new Roles tag to label clips — dialogue, effects, music, and more — then export a single multitrack file or separate stems based on your tags. You can even apply Roles to video clips and graphics for a powerful new way to deliver separate files for versioning and localization.

  • Rich XML Support: Now you can import and export Final Cut Pro X project and Event information via a rich XML format. XML interchange enables a wide range of third-party workflows, including high-end visual effects, color grading, and media asset management. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, Square Box System’s CatDV, and many other third-party applications will offer XML-based workflows with Final Cut Pro X.

  • Projects and Events on Xsan: Create and edit your Final Cut Pro X projects and Events on Xsan. Ideal for multi-user workflows, you can import media through Final Cut Pro X and place it directly on the SAN. Multiple users can access the same source media, and each editor can create separate projects and Events on the SAN. Users can then edit from any system attached to the SAN, making it easy to move between computers and continue working.

  • Custom Starting Timecode: Set the start time of your project to a custom timecode value to accommodate color bars and tone, or to meet broadcast delivery specifications.

Final Cut 1

  • Full-screen view in Lion: Use every inch of your display when working in Final Cut Pro X. And easily navigate to other applications with a swipe.

  • One-step Transitions on Connected Clips: Add a transition to a connected clip or between multiple connected clips without manually creating a secondary storyline.

  • GPU-accelerated export: Harness the power of the GPU on your graphics card to speed up foreground export.

  • New Theme: Tribute: Access the new Tribute theme, with four animated titles and a matching transition.

  • Camera Import SDK: Camera manufacturers can use the Camera Import SDK to write plug-ins for importing media from a wide range of cameras. For example, Sony is updating their XDCAM EX plug-in to support native import directly into Final Cut Pro X.

Apple has also promised two new features coming in "early 2012:" multicam editing and broadcast-quality video monitoring. No additional details on those features were provided.

In addition, a new free trial of the software is now available from the official Final Cut Pro X site. Users must enter their name and e-mail address and to be allowed to try the software for 30 days.

Final Cut 2


Apple also issued an update for Compressor on Tuesday, addressing the following:
  • Updates the bitrates in Cellular settings for HTTP Live Streaming.
  • Fixes an issue with accessing QuickTime Export Component settings in Final Cut Pro X.
  • Fixes an issue in which This Computer cluster does not appear when system is configured in Chinese.
  • Resolves stability issues when launching Soundtrack Pro after Compressor 4 is installed.

Apple's updates come after the company faced user backlash over the new Final Cut Pro X, released in June. The software was quickly met with condemnation from a group of outspoken professionals who believe the new product is vastly inferior to its predecessor.

Apple made a quick transition to Final Cut Pro X, declaring Final Cut Studio, Express and Server — which included Final Cut Pro 7 — as "end of life" products once the latest version was released. AppleInsider first reported in May of 2010 that Apple planned to widen the appeal of Final Cut Pro with features geared toward "prosumers" and more advanced home users.

Faced with growing complaints, Apple resumed sales of the previous, $999 version of Final Cut Studio earlier this month. Orders have only been taken over the phone, and Apple has said it has a "limited quantity" of the end-of-life product. The company has also provided refunds to some dissatisfied customers.

User discontent over Final Cut Pro X proved to be a gain for rival Adobe and its own video editing software for Mac OS X. The company revealed earlier this month that sales of its Mac video editing products saw a 45 percent boost following the release of Final Cut Pro X.