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15:21

Final Cut Pro X, it was good while it lasted.

This is the last in our series of MediaStorm producers responding to the new FCP X. If you missed them, you can check out Eric Maierson’s thoughts here, and Tim McLaughlin’s here.

FCP X, it was good while it lasted.

After working in FCP X for a week, I left on a Friday buoyed by the speed and efficiency at which the program runs. I had blazed through a weeks worth of work in just three days.

But on Monday morning, my work was gone.

I spent an hour on the phone with Apple. They asked me to run some tests. Several times I opened the project, made some changes, and closed it. Each time I reopened the file, it behaved differently.

Think Memento.

Sometimes the program “remembered” the changes correctly. Other times it reverted to a previously saved version. Other times it combined two previously saved versions to create a third!

The consultant on the phone sent my file to the engineers. He said they would analyze it and send me the prognosis in 48 hours. It’s over a week later, and I still haven’t heard back.

I’ve returned to FCP 7, but I can share my insights from a week of working with FCP X.

The Good

  • It’s speedy. I definitely noticed the difference in response time when I returned to FCP 7
  • Using keywords is a fast and easy way to organize your footage

The Bad

  • Synching more than two cameras using synching doesn’t work (I tried to synch three cameras with no luck. I also combined two cameras into a compound clip, and attempted to synch the third camera to this clip. Still, no luck)
  • FCP X crashes when editing multiple formats
  • Skimming is annoying when you don’t need it, and I didn’t find it very helpful when scanning for sound bites. You can, of course, just turn it off, but it would be great if you could actually use it to scan for bites.

And the Ugly

  • Being able to save your work is 101.

I believe it’s too early to predict the future, but after my experience I do not recommend using the program right now.


In summary: as much as we all really wanted to love FCP X, it’s not usable for us in its current iteration. We’ve all reverted back to FCP 7 for now. We’re hoping that updates will make the program work for us in the not-too-distant future, but we’re also starting to look at other possible solutions should we need to make a switch. Right now, it’s really too early to make a decision.

We’d love to hear thoughts and impressions from all of you – are you making the switch, or sticking with FCP 7, or switching to an entirely new system? Let us know in the comments.

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