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Apple says it'll update Final Cut Pro X to allay critics

June 30, 2011 |  7:39 pm

Apple Apple is promising updates to Final Cut Pro X, an attempt to blunt criticism from professional editors upset over features left out from the new app.

Final Cut Pro X -- the latest version of Apple’s popular video editing software -- “has impressed many pro editors, and it has also generated a lot of discussion in the pro video community,” the company wrote in a FAQ published online Wednesday.

Apple promises several updates that will bring back features found in older versions of Final Cut Pro, including the ability to edit video from multiple cameras at the same time.

“We will provide great multicam support in the next major release,” Apple said, but didn’t specify a time frame.

Final Cut Pro X, which was built from the ground up as a new application, has drawn criticism from professional video editors who say the new software is a toned-down version that doesn’t suit their needs. Professionals have compared the new app to iMovie, an editing software with fewer options that is used mainly by amateurs, even going so far as to call it iMovie Pro.

“This is no longer a professional application,” commenter Hectorsierra wrote in a review posted on Apple’s website. “This is a Final Cut Express meets iMovie!! I'm so disappointed that I want to cry!! :("

Apple released Final Cut Pro X last week on its Mac App Store, offering the software as a digital download for $299.99 -- for the first time, an on-disc hard copy of Final Cut is not available to purchase.

As the Technology blog reported last week, users who previously wanted Final Cut Pro had to shell out about $1,000 for the video editing application and a bundle of other programs called Final Cut Studio.

In its FAQ, Apple said users will also soon be able to export in XML, a key tool for professionals because the format allows the sharing of data between divergent applications.

Although Apple’s FAQ promises some updates, they don't include one highly sought-after feature: the ability to import complete project files from previous versions of Final Cut.

Because Final Cut Pro X contains “new and redesigned audio effects, video effects, and color grading tools,” users won’t be able to import projects from earlier versions “without changing or losing data.” However, Apple says, it is possible to import media files from previous versions into a new project file in Final Cut Pro X.

Apple did note that those who buy Final Cut Pro X will still have another option: using older versions of Final Cut.

“If you’re already working with Final Cut Pro 7, you can continue to do so after installing Final Cut Pro X, and Final Cut Pro 7 will work with Mac OS X Lion,” Apple said.

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-- Andrew Khouri

Photo: An Apple logo seen through raindrops on a window outside the flagship Apple Store in New York. Credit: Mike Segar / Reuters

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