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Old September 15th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #1
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Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

I have given FCP X the benefit of the doubt for almost three months now. I bought it almost the second it went live. In the beginning even though I knew it had some major issues and missing features I jumped in and started to learn the software. Early on I was really impressed with just how easy certain editing tasks were and loved the ability to just dump in footage from my 7d and go. Unfortunately, after having used it for 3 months...I have slowly started to realize that it is just not filling my needs as a pro grade NLE.

All of this came to a head last night when FCP X 86'd an entire edit I had been working on for a week. All that work, editing, color correcting, tweaking...GONE!!! It happened as a result of a combination of bugs and new features in FCP X. As I was editing along I selected every clip in my edit to make a move in the timeline. While all clips were selected I managed to hit the delete key. That was a mistake on my own part. Unfortunately, when I hit undo instead of bringing everything back to where it was...the application crashed, and since one of the new features in FCP X is that I no longer have to go through the 'hassle' of saving my work...FCP X did manage to save before quitting...and thus...the entire edit was lost. No hope of reverting to a prior save...nothing.

Now, I had already been seriously considering moving on to Premiere as I have been really researching the suite and really like what I see. It is the best of what I like in FCP X, but without what I can't stand. This was just the straw that broke the camels back. So today I emailed customer service and requested a refund for FCP X which they issued no questions asked.

Perhaps in the future when this new software has evolved and grown into what I think it has the potential to be I may come back, but for now...I have to move on.

For those that may jump the gun and say I made a rash decision and am throwing the baby out with the bath water please understand, there were a number of other issues and reasons that were already pushing me to make this decision and I am by no means a FCP X 'hater'. I love Apple products and will closely watch FCP X as it evolves. Right now, however, for my business and my clients it just simply doesn't cut it.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Perhaps when you move to Premier or whatever you'll carry this lesson with you.

Clearly you weren't backing up images of your drives. Remember back to that decision NOT to enable Time Machine and mirror the state of your drives? In retrospect, not such a smart move, perhaps.

You are now in the same place that many, many, many of us have been in over many years. We do things over and over again feeling "safe" until the moment we lose something important, then we realize that we've been working without a net for a long time.

Lost work has happened to me over the years with MS Word. With Pagemaker. With Filemaker Pro. And yes, it's happened to me with FCP where losing an hours worth of non-"autosaved" work came a hair's breath from causing me to fail on a show delivery to a client.

So far it hasn't happened to me with FCP-X but I've built workflow habits so that I'm ready for it if it ever does. The current version of Premier, or Vegas might be rock solid and NEVER crash for all I know. But that's NO guarantee that in some future update they won't. Software changes. Just like FCP did.

And I'll bet that while Premier and Vegas aren't changing to a more modern architecture right now - they will have to soon. Look at Windows 8. Looks pretty iOS like to me. I wonder how all that old code underneath those legacy programs will operate in the stripped down cloud centric world that appears to be coming on fast?

You're blaming the program and that's fine. It didn't save you from your admitted mistakes. I'm sorry about that. It sucks.

The point is, that there is NO foolproof system of guaranteeing that you won't do exactly what you did. Make a mistake, compounded by another mistake - that results in disaster.

So the lesson is that when you move to Premier don't make that same mistake again. Save image files of critical work. Turn Time Machine ON (or spring for a Time Capsule) Think about and develope the MOST foolproof redundant workflow you can. It's more important every month as your business grows.

In my seminar work, I remember a hotel crew guy laughing at me when I had a wireless mic on the presenter - ALSO took a feed from house sound, AND then took the time to setting up a tall mic stand with a stick mic under a room speaker during coverage of an important presentation. In the first 15 minutes a "pulled from a new sealed package" battery failed in my wireless mic (first time for THAT in my career!), the FOH guy hit some sub group switch that killed my board feed, and that stupid EV-635 A on the tall stand under the house speaker saved me from having to refund a couple of grand for that day's shoot - and many more thousands in follow up work from clients he referred to me based on that project.

Equipment is just a tool. It's how you weild it that matters.

Sorry for your hassle. My advice is don't forget the lesson. That's a thousand times more valuable than your frustration and lost work.

FWIW.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Bill,

You are absolutely correct in your posting. I have been wondering when NOT using time machine would come back to bite me in the arse...and this would be that time. It is a hard lesson learned for sure. As for the switch to Premiere this was just the issue that pushed me over the edge that I was already heading for. Either way I appreciate your insite and assessment of the situation. I will most definitely take your advise and get time machine running on my system so as to hopefully prevent future repeats.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

This is a big problem with FCP X. There is no good reason that the multiple backup restore system of FCP7 has been dropped for the single autosave system of FCP X. They could have done the autosave system with timed backups just for incidents described.

Fortunately I haven't had this problem with X although I have had crashes that erased the last couple of steps. Actually I have had this same problem with FCP 7 when I had the project backups set to every half hour which was a preference left over from my G4 days. Sometimes a half hour had a lot of good work in it. It wasn't until getting an 8-core Pro that the auto back ups didn't cause slowdowns in 7 so I set it to every five minutes.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 12:06 AM   #5
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

William,

I totally I agree. While some like the idea of not having to manually save their sessions etc, I have always enjoyed having the choice. I save then I need to, usually diligently when working in FCP 7. I agree that this feature did not have to be completely overhauled. Auto saving with the option to recall recent saves would be much more ideal, but alas this is not the case. Until this happened, as Bill mentioned above, I never felt the need to use Time Machine. Of course this changes things, and I now see its value, but its almost as if I HAVE to use it now due to changes like this and I am not a big fan of that.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 06:18 AM   #6
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Does OSX Lion solve this issue in FCP X with the new versioning feature? I can see myself very easily making the same mistake that Matt made, so I'm wondering if I should upgrade to Lion and set this up. Bill is this what you're referring to when you mentioned turning on Time Machine? Or is the versioning feature separate from Time Machine?
Quote:
Apple - Auto Save and Versions - Every edit and rewrite. Saved.

Versions
See every step you took ... With an interface similar to that of Time Machine, Versions shows you the current document next to a cascade of previous versions.

Compare, copy, and share.
Click the timeline to see how your work looked at any given time in previous versions. Click a version to see it in its entirety. Copy and paste between versions or revert to an earlier version of the document ...
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Old September 16th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

No, versioning does not work in Lion with FCPX, it's a glaring oversight on Apples part, FCPX doesn't seem to be very Lion friendly at all at the moment.

The autosave feature in FCPX was clearly designed for versioning.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #8
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

I have just had FCP X crash my entire machine - yes, the "you are now going to have to push the silver button" thing. I reopen and it's completely removed any knowledge of my project - the other projects are there but my entire project is just GONE! I have time machine running, but what do I reinstall from time machine to get my project back? Anyone?

I must say - I'm loving the performance of FCP X, and the tagging of clips. Also in part magnetic timeline (for some things it's not great) but I am finding X to be soooooo incredibly full of bugs. It crashes my newish, well hopped up Mac Pro all the time, forgets to render clips and then freezes them - especially retiming with optical flow, and sometimes the color board totally crashes the whole program. I really do wish Apple would release an update!!
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Old September 16th, 2011, 10:46 AM   #9
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Everyone, please make sure you notify Apple of the importance of versioning or autosave. My own hunch is that versioning itself has some issues which is why it may not be implemented in FCPX or some other non Apple programs.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #10
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

I've lost minor edits in FCP X too and I too bought adobe premiere, but despite autosave being turned on in premiere pro, I lost major work when it crashed. So long and short of it, software sucks, build in as much redundancy as you can with backups, and in my case I still hit ctrl-s regularly since I don't trust the autosave feature.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #11
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Auto Save can be a dangerous security blanket. I think it was FCP4 or early version of 5 that had a deadly auto save bug that would stop working, cause a crash after hours of work and there'd be no auto saves to go back to.

I think the important concept behind versioning behind handled in the OS Lion is that there's be uniformity for both the user and the developers. I think there are bugs in how it's working in Lion which has resulted in some developers working around it until the bugs are fixed. I suspect at some point FCPX will support versioning though. In theory, anything written for OSX would support it including Premiere Pro I'd think.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #12
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Chris,

Despite your crash issue in Premiere as well, how do you like it after the switch? Did you use FCP 7 prior to FCP X and overall are you pleased after making the transition? Everything I am hearing from others that have made the switch coupled with my own research seems to hint that the change from FCP 7 to Premiere is a relatively smooth one. With FCP X, I certainly liked some of the time saver features and its simplicity in some ways, but in others I just felt so limited compared to FCP 7. Adobe seems to me to be similar to FCP 7 in that the suite still has that deep level of control that FCP 7 had, but without the hassle of still having to transcode all of my footage. That to me is the perfect compromise.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #13
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Premiere is a relatively easy switch, you can set the keyboard to FCP mapping, there are a few gotchas but certainly an easier transition than FCPX.

I'm editing on both at the moment, but I prefer the look and feel of FCPX and for my work it's certainly faster, I do hope they can iron out the major issues soon though.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 05:58 PM   #14
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Everyone, please make sure you notify Apple of the importance of versioning or autosave. My own hunch is that versioning itself has some issues which is why it may not be implemented in FCPX or some other non Apple programs.
How do you do this Craig?
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Old September 16th, 2011, 08:53 PM   #15
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Re: Saying goodbye to FCP X...for now...

Quite frankly the ability to play all sorts of formats in either Premier or FCPX hasn't impressed me terribly. The slow downs and dead stops with h264 footage when applying filters frustrates me and I end up transcoding everything. For me Premier is a decent (and powerful) program but is still behind FCP7 in terms of interface, other people like it but I think many would prefer a reved up FCP7.
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