Rumour: Final Cut Pro overhauled, new release imminent

Good news for movie pros today: Apple is rumoured to be releasing a new version of Final Cut Pro this spring, with an ambitious overhaul that will see the biggest change "since the original version was created over 10 years ago." Apple has enlisted several film industry professionals to give their feedback and provide a helping hand in shaping the new version, according to TechCrunch.

The overhaul is expected to encompass everything, from the user interface to the underlying architecture. Final Cut Pro is still 32-bit only, limiting professionals wishing to work with very large files, so Apple could be making the jump to 64-bit with this release. Eyewitness reports vaguely describe the release as being "dramatic and ambitious," and Steve Jobs himself has said in emails to customers that the "next release will be awesome."

The Final Cut team has been hit by cuts from Apple, and according to insider reports, Randy Ubillos (responsible for the iMovie redesign) is now head of the team. In an email to a concerned customer, Steve Jobs crushed rumours that Apple is shifting its efforts away from Final Cut. "Folks who left were in support, not engineering," he said.

Fear has rippled through the tech community that Apple is neglecting the pro market in favour of the average consumer. In the past, Apple delayed Mac OS X Leopard to make sure the consumer-geared iPhone would be released on time. Owners of the recently discontinued Xserve were left without a practical upgrade solution, forcing IT professionals to come up with their own roadmaps. In the film industry, the widely popular Shake was discontinued without explanation, the same year Apple introduced the iPhone 3GS to rave reviews. It's easy to think that Apple doesn't care much for its professional audience anymore, so a Final Cut Pro overhaul might be needed at a time like this more than ever before.

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14 Comments

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I would consider a Mac product but Cost is still the biggest hurdle! I would much rather get Pro PC gear than a Mac since I can get a way better value for the price. I like Mac. Not anti-Mac or a fanboy. Just used computers long enough to know that platform choice is often determined by cost and availability. Most of the time it is cost that wins. The fact that Apple is no longer being committed to it's professional/developer base and killing product lines without warning also doesn't give me confidence about a possible future purchase since there's always the reality that what I purchased is going to be unsuppoted without warning. Apple leaned on it's fanboy and professional audience to get them to the point where they are now being a consumer gadget reseller only. Which is a shame.

Jose_49 said,
Can anyone tell me which is better: Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro? Seriously, someone who has used both...

Having done "pro" work with FCP in an office setting for interviews and promo content I can say that FCP had a nice workflow and was very manageable. (they have server software for it) but its vastly outdated and under utilizes Snow Leopards features. Premiere has a "newer" look/engine and integrates well with the other adobe software programs (example - anytime I need to fix an audio clip premiere auto exports it to another program (soundbooth), which then fixes it, saves the original and new file and overlays the new one automatically into premiere again, saving me at least 5 minutes of hassle.) I just switched to Premiere over the summer, where as I had been using FCP for 5+ years - so my option is somewhat biased since I have never really been on the fence about having to use one.

The other thing is what does the area you want to get in use? Even if your just getting into it you can search and find most people are still on outdate versions of FCP or avid, so consider that.

With that said I have no clue what kind of editing your trying to do or if your just considering using it for hobby work. If it's the latter just stick with imovie or its equivalent. If your just getting into it and want to think about it for real entry level work (weddings / events / etc) try using their basic versions and deciding for yourself. (lots of articles on the subject can go both ways, in which case read and then decide) *but* If its one thing I learned, it never hurts to know multiple suits in this kind of industry.

Final Cut Pro could really benefit from an overhaul. Its interface looks dated and the random crashes with absolutely no explanation whatsoever as to why aren't helping either.

Good News!
64bit will be a huge improvment, and a little GUI touch up wouldnt go a miss.
I just hope they wont screw up the interface too much, because everybody will have to learn the software all over again... -.-
I think Color could really use the upgrade.

As a video editor myself and someone that's basing his dissertation around Apple and pro consumers, i can say that this is needed. It's finally going to be 64bit and will actually utilise Apple's hardware. I hope they don't cop out and just made fcp 64bit, but i can't see them doing that.

It's still going to take a while for FCP to pass Avid. No matter what, no Avid editor will jump to FCP. Once they die off, FCP will eventually take over. I'd like to see Avid's response to this, even though MC 5 was a huge step up for them.

I can't wait to see what they have in-store for prores!

Good article that sums up what's been going on in the industry for the past year or so.

With that said, I've already switched to Premiere... It was a tough transition, but Apple really has let down its profession consumer base. Why buy a mac pro (dumb question in the first place) when it can't take advantage of all those cores at x64? Unless there is some grand major overall would I go back at this point. With the release of things like the app store for Snow Leopard you really can't hedge your bets with your livelihood.

Any other videographers out there, what do you think?

Matt Hardwick said,
Ooh, "rumour" in the title, for a story that is actually a rumour, a new leaf for neowin?

The part about "new release imminent" is the rumor, which can be said for nearly all mac articles posted... Speculation on the release is always going to be discussed. What Holey said.

Matt Hardwick said,

My point was that at least once a day there is a rumour or speculation or downright lie reported as fact on neowin

I noticed this as well. Lots of rumors or speculation being posted and its not just Apple products. Theses rumors end up being just that, rumors, most of the time. Like Apple making a smaller iPhone or an iPhone with a bigger screen.