Each week, I sit down to edit an episode of blip on blip. Each episode is 4-5 minutes and covers the inner workings of blip and teases out to a show the office is watching.
We needed to upgrade for a few reasons, so we bit the bullet and got a copy of FCP X for the office when it came out on Tuesday. Yesterday morning, I cut together a simple video to kick the tires on the new software.
It’s unquestionably a complete rewrite of the software that introduces a few (some say too many) new paradigms. Gruber has a good roundup of the pulse. Many software plugins and hardware cards and devices don’t work with the new version. Some do, like my old pals at Automatic Duck. If you watch their demo video of Pro Export FCP 5.0, a piece of software that allows you export AAF and OMF files to other programs like ProTools for final mixdown, you’ll notice that the workflow is not as smooth as their previous plugins. One has to drag the FCP X Project into a separate program; previously, this was done through a “File -> Export”-type action. I’m assuming the rewrite of FCP X also blew away all of their previous plugin architecture and APIs.
FCP is an integral part of many editors workflows. Those that make their living editing probably won’t need the upgrade. Hell, some editors I’ve met still have a carefully-balanced and controlled FCP 18.104.22.168.2.3.1 that they only using between the hours of 10am and 2pm GMT. As with any professional setup, those who require consistency don’t upgrade the same hour the software is released. For now, FCP X is the new plaything that guys and gals editing in low-pressure situations will use (me). I scoff when reading a review that says it “doesn’t work with my Black Magic/AJA cards” or “none of my 3rd part effects appear.” Real editors should have expected that (or worse), known about it before hand or just don’t have time to write that review.
The backlash seems a bit abrupt. No one in the world has had time to cut a project of meaningful significance. Everything being published right now is merely an initial reaction.
I want to believe that this is a step forward. I trust professional software makers to make the right decisions and break some traditions. It hurts now, but we’ll look back in a month and realize how we ever lived with such that old cluttered piece of shit that we developed brain/muscle-memory for. Eventually, all of the missing plugins and support will get rolled back into FCP X. That’s even easier with the App Store. Once it’s ready, it’ll be on your machine in a matter of minutes. Plugins will come back. Hardware support will come back. It will be done right and reliably.
I’ll check back in a month to see if my thoughts right now were on the money, or if I hate it.