Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple updates Final Cut Pro X with Magnetic Timeline, redesigned UI for new MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Apple's flagship professional video editing software, Final Cut Pro X, has been updated to take advantage of the forthcoming MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, offering users the ability to more easily scrub through clips and have quick shortcuts presented dynamically.

Though the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros do not ship for a few weeks, Final Cut Pro X has an update out now on the Mac App Store to prepare for the new notebooks. Version 10.3 is a free update for existing users, or $299.99 for new customers.

Updates to Motion 5.3 and Compressor 4.3 are also available, and are also free for existing users. New customers can buy those for $49.99 each.

Final Cut Pro X 10.3 features a new Magnetic Timeline that allows users to understand their film at a glance. It presents a customizable arrangement and color coding of audio clips based on type or "role" —  including dialogue, music and effects.

The Touch Bar allows new MacBook Pro users in Final Cut Pro X to create and assign roles and give each one a unique color. Editors can also drag their finger to instantly rearrange the vertical layout of their timeline or highlight specific audio roles while editing.

The new Final Cut update will also let Touch Bar users instantly switch between editing tools, adjust audio levels, and tap into commands for trimming and playback. It will also display a color-coded interactive overview of the entire timeline, allowing suers to navigate their project more easily.

Final Cut Pro X 10.3 also boasts a redesigned, streamlines interface to optimize screen space. A darker, flat look places focus on the content itself.

Customizable workspaces allow users to adjust window arrangements for different tasks, including organizing, editing and color grading, even across multiple monitors.

In another feature specific to the new MacBook Pro, Final Cut Pro X 10.3 will take advantage of its wide color Retina display. That enables users to import, edit, and deliver video in standard Rec. 601 and Rec. 709 color spaces, or in wide gamut Rec. 2020 color space.

Additional features in Final Cut Pro 10.3, according to Apple, include:

  • Flow transition creates invisibly smooth jump cuts
  • Remove Attributes allows users to easily delete or reuse select effects across multiple clips
  • Timecode overlay effect and generator allow users to edit with a large view of source timecode
  • Support for ProRes MXF, Panasonic V-Log and export of AVC-Intra
  • Direct video output via Thunderbolt 3 enables high-quality video monitoring on an external display with a single cable

"This is our biggest update to Final Cut Pro X since we completely redesigned it five years ago," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Apps Product Marketing. "The new version features a sleek interface and adds powerful new editing features that go far beyond what's possible with traditional, track-based video editing apps; and integration with the revolutionary Touch Bar gives professional video editors a whole new way to interact with Final Cut Pro X."

Motion 5.3 has also been updated with a new interface with support for wide color workflows and 3D text enhancements that improve the performance and realism of 3D titles.

A new Align To behavior lets users easily connect separate objects to create advanced animations, and Touch Bar support provides easy access to a wide range of interactive tools on the new MacBook Pro.

Compressor 4.3 also has a new dark look to match Final Cut Pro X and Motion. Enhancements to iTunes Store Package creation let users easily browse, verify and compress packages so they can be delivered to the iTunes Store faster and fully compliant.

Wide color support ensures end-to-end color fidelity when delivering files in standard and wide color spaces, and Touch Bar support simplifies common tasks like setting up batches and adding markers on the new MacBook Pro.

Stay tuned to AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide over the next few weeks, where we'll be offering exclusive discounts on Apple's new MacBook Pros.