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Old July 30th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #136
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So, kinda sad. I wish this had been a better release. I'm AMAZED that there's no update to DVDSP. That boggles my mind.
What's truly sad, is that at any point since OS X was released Apple could have easily dominated the personal computing market simply because it is, without question, the most robust, well thought-out operating system ever put into the consumers hands. Period.

Back when XP was confounding the entire IT community with a barrage of near-daily internet-based vulnerabilities and using MS Office almost required having a technical degree just to get simple things done, Apple was in a near-perfect position to pounce on Windows weaknesses and deliver a stable, state of the art OS coupled with hardware that *at-the-time* was drastically different than Win-Tel/AMD systems. In fact, many industry analysts had surmised that the "G" systems could easily be positioned to start replacing windows hardware and applications across the board, and all it would take was forward motion from Apple. Instead Steve Jobs focused on iTunes and then the iPod, both which saved a cash-strapped Apple.

Today we have a similar situation: At any point in the past 4 years FCP and then FCS could have easily been beefed-up with literally hundreds of line-item fixes and have been given industry-leading capabilities, such as Blu-Ray, the replacement for Shake (which was supposed to be Phenomenon), a more robust media management environment - the list is endless.

At NAB '07 most of us who attended were shocked that FCS2 wasn't going to come with Blu-Ray, especially since Adobe *was* adding it. Also shocking was that Edius, Vegas, Premiere Pro, Avid and even a now-dead version of Pinnacle were shipping with newer, drag-n-drop broadcast-format codec capabilities. Yet FCP was still requiring transcoding these same formats.

Apple has always been arrogant in it's decisions about who to add - or take away - from both it's hardware and software offerings, rather than listening to it's user-base. And there's no excuse NOT to pay attention to the thousands who've asked and even prodded for additional core services and to ramp-up core tools to be more competitive. Not only have those wishes and requests been denied but Apple is going completely the other way: applications are being removed, not added.

No Phenomenon after ramping up expectations in published white-papers and even press releases? Ridiculous. No fixing of Media Manager and other line-items? Lazy. Absolutely NO updates and no Blu-Ray for DVDSP4? Inexcusable.

Up until just last week it could have been considered complete conjecture as to why Apple was - and wasn't - doing some very key things to the FC suite. Now that the latest version is out Apple has finally laid their cards on the table and the writing is on the wall: Final Cut Studio is being slowly ramped-down. I've seen this type of slow-death happen too many times to not recognize this pattern all over again.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #137
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I can't decide if I should update either....
My recommendations for anyone considering FCS "3":

- If you already have FCS2 there's no compelling reason to spend the "minor" upgrade cost. FCS2 is in point of fact the best sub-$2000 NLE suites around, Period.

Instead, supplement FCS2's capabilities by A) Upgrading your encoding engine to Episode Pro; B) Supplement your DVD/BR authoring by making replication-standard disks ( DVDAfterEdit, and now BluStreak ) or; C) Add some plug-ins and filters from companies like Noise Industries (FxFactory Pro) and extend your editing toolkit.

- If you're an FC Express user used to the Final Cut interface and want to move up to the Pro version get a copy of FCS2 wherever you can before they're all gone; there's no need to be forced into an "Intel only" machine just to get FCS "3".

- If you don't have any professional NLE suite and are going to stay on the Mac platform I'd strongly suggest looking at Adobe Production Premium. Unlike Apple, Adobe is most definitely ramping up it's suite offerings and capabilities and by the time CS5 is announced you'll see a feature-set that will outpace Final Cut studio by leaps and bounds.

There's more coming on the horizon from other companies making NLE suites for the Mac; what Apple hasn't and won't do others have and will very soon.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #138
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My recommendations for anyone considering FCS "3":

- If you already have FCS2 there's no compelling reason to spend the "minor" upgrade cost. FCS2 is in point of fact the best sub-$2000 NLE suites around, Period.

Instead, supplement FCS2's capabilities by A) Upgrading your encoding engine to Episode Pro; B) Supplement your DVD/BR authoring by making replication-standard disks ( DVDAfterEdit, and now BluStreak ) or; C) Add some plug-ins and filters from companies like Noise Industries (FxFactory Pro) and extend your editing toolkit.

- If you're an FC Express user used to the Final Cut interface and want to move up to the Pro version get a copy of FCS2 wherever you can before they're all gone; there's no need to be forced into an "Intel only" machine just to get FCS "3".

- If you don't have any professional NLE suite and are going to stay on the Mac platform I'd strongly suggest looking at Adobe Production Premium. Unlike Apple, Adobe is most definitely ramping up it's suite offerings and capabilities and by the time CS5 is announced you'll see a feature-set that will outpace Final Cut studio by leaps and bounds.

There's more coming on the horizon from other companies making NLE suites for the Mac; what Apple hasn't and won't do others have and will very soon.
See I don't agree with this at all. The upgrade price is peanuts compared to what you get with this update. People are so used to Apple blowing them away with huge updates that they are kind of a little spoiled. On the surface this may not look like a huge update but the stuff they added was pretty complex stuff. As a developer as well as a designer I can tell you productivity stuff is not easy to code. Apple must have spent a lot of time putting these updates together. There is a lot here under the hood that doesn't sit there doing jumping jacks that says "look at me I'm special". There is a lot of stability and productivity stuff here that makes FCP even more of a solid platform. Me personally I'm all for that but then again this is all about opinions isn't it. I personally want a company to focus on stability and making their core product better instead of just throwing in fanfare to make people go ooh and aah.

There are two ways to develop software like this.
A. Leave the core application the way it is and add cool in your face new features. This work well at getting people excited and helps draw in new people because of the fanfare. It doesn't really help the hardcore editors however who never use half that stuff and just want a solid stable platform. Adobe CS4 is a good example of this. They added a lot of cool stuff but they left the program very unstable. CS4 is also a major resource hog because it isn't built very well. If you got the horse power it will treat you well but if you don't well then you know what will happen.
B. Focus on the core application and leave out the flashy stuff. Usually the more professional applications like Shake, Avid, Combustion will go this way. They focus on the work flow and stability and cater to those that just want to do what they do.

Some of you think Apple spending more of a focus means the end is near but I just don't see it that way. I think it is more of a view that FCP is now a mature standard and a large group of people wanted to see that standard updated with some work flow enhancements. I for one am very happy about this update and the $299.00 is nothing for what we get here. Heck the 3D shadows and reflections in Motion are worth the price alone. Really how much do you people want for $299.00?
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Old July 30th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #139
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>No fixing of Media Manager and other line-items? Lazy.

Robert,
As of the FCP7 release, what parts of Media Manager are not working for you specifically? I'm not talking about how it might (would) be better if it were completely rewritten with a real media database underpinning that tracks all project media by reel, timecode and metadata, nor am I talking about the advantages we'd gain if they added real world features like allowing pause and resume of MM routines and full recovery from expected and unexpected process interruption. Ahem ... no, I'm not talking about that. But simply as it is, what isn't working for you now that speed settings, subclips and nests are being properly handled?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:21 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Apple must have spent a lot of time putting these updates together. There is a lot here under the hood that doesn't sit there doing jumping jacks that says "look at me I'm special". There is a lot of stability and productivity stuff here that makes FCP even more of a solid platform.

Heck the 3D shadows and reflections in Motion are worth the price alone. Really how much do you people want for $299.00?
I believe apple developers worked on this upgrade for about 2 years, if not, still a lot of time has gone into this upgrade, a lot of the system and application upgrades have much more under the bonnet, this includes the new FCS. I find it much more stable to run the various applications and in addition the new suite, offers powerful new features, dramatically improved performance, and tighter integration with all applications within FCPS. It is indeed a well worth upgrade and it should run even better under Snow Leopard.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:51 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Chris Leffler View Post
I can't decide if I should update either. I was possibly looking into what people above have done with getting a FCP 3 serial for cheap like $50 and then buying the upgrade for $300. Will this really work?
it did work for me.
As I'm a cameraman, not an editor, I tried to spend as little as possible when buying fcs as I won't be using it that much. I bought a version of fc3 for about 50$ a while ago. Then ordere the upgrade online from apple.
If you get a ligit serial number when you buy the old fc you are good to go.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 01:07 AM   #142
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Compressor seems to still be acting a bit weird.
Just the fact that the white "welcome box" where it says Compressor and your license number never goes away. It just stays on top of all the other windows every time I start Compressor. It´s obviously a bug, anyone else experience this?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 01:58 AM   #143
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Compressor seems to still be acting a bit weird.
Just the fact that the white "welcome box" where it says Compressor and your license number never goes away. It just stays on top of all the other windows every time I start Compressor. It´s obviously a bug, anyone else experience this?
Here too.

And the color spindle rolling and rolling long seconds until the app respond.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 02:00 AM   #144
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PS I´m running FCS on my Macbook Pro, 2,5ghz (old model). I haven´t installed it on the Mac Pro yet
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Old July 31st, 2009, 02:06 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Joachim Hoge View Post
Compressor seems to still be acting a bit weird.
Just the fact that the white "welcome box" where it says Compressor and your license number never goes away. It just stays on top of all the other windows every time I start Compressor. It´s obviously a bug, anyone else experience this?
I had that with FCS 2 but it disappeared with the update.

That are the bugs Apple finally needs to fix.

Everyone can say what they want but I think the general consensus is that this is a very, very poor update two years after the release of FSC 2. I will however reserve further judgement because I truly believe FCS will get a major update once Snow Leopard is unleashed.

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Old July 31st, 2009, 03:09 AM   #146
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If you took all of Robert Lane's ending sentences from this post and stuck them together, you'd you get something like this: "Apple's Final Cut Pro is Titanic and we're all headed for an iceberg."

This of course, is coming from someone who's knowledge I respect and is pretty damn articulate about post production. Misguided? No. Let down. Yes.
But I think we all were expecting the two years Apple had vested in development would have lead to a more stable product.

I'd give up all the new features for addressing the bugs.

Off the top of my head....

Apple, to my knowledge hasn't fixed the following in FCP:
1) 24p in a 29.97 timeline (it gives you repeated frames) [confirmed 7]
2) 1 frame transition bug [not confirmed]
3) Qmaster QuickCluster bug (can't use cluster with FCP only as QT Ref) [confirmed 7]
4) Qmaster QuickCluster incompatibility (it no longer works with Studio 2) [confirmed 7]
5) Missing Media Bug (Reconnect Media dialog for invisible media. Impossible to reconnect)
6) Render files - always need to re-render specific files
7) Scratch disk reset mayhem

Andy Mees: The media mangler still has many issues.
1) You still can destroy your entire project with media manager.
2) Creating Offline: Has anyone ever had their media connected correctly in their new project? I always have to reconnect and this function could be great. Especially with ProRes Proxy.
3) The interface needs to be rethought. If they modeled it after time machine, we'd be solid.

You bring up a good point also about some of the real world advantages to rethinking media manager.

Today, I had to repair permission just to burn a Blu-Ray DVD on a regular DVD disc.
It's frustrating when things don't work out of the box.

-C
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:01 AM   #147
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I have rarely had any issues with FCP6, even when using the media mangler. This new update doesn't seem worth spending the money on. I think even Apple has realised that it is a fairly minor update since the price drop reflects this.

I'm going to sit on the fence for a while and wait for a few bug updates to be released for it. I will be interested to here if the round trip workflow between FCP, Color and STP have been drastically improved.

In particular I would be really interested if all the issues with STP have been resolved. Never in my life have I come across such a buggy piece of software. I almost didn't finish a job once because of all the crashes and totally unexplainable file rendering issues (as in why the hell didn't my final outputted file sound anything at all like the one in the STP timeline?!)

If Soundtrack Pro was a person I'd have been put in jail for homicide a long time ago!
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:35 AM   #148
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Andy Mees: The media mangler still has many issues.
1) You still can destroy your entire project with media manager.
2) Creating Offline: Has anyone ever had their media connected correctly in their new project? I always have to reconnect and this function could be great. Especially with ProRes Proxy.
3) The interface needs to be rethought. If they modeled it after time machine, we'd be solid.



1) Destroy a project? Of course you can (I can do that without MM!)... but MM attributed destruction is really only after some kind of process interruption (intentional or otherwise) coupled together with a lack of understanding of what one is actually asking the MM to do. Thats why we need a rewrite. But not a "fix" per se, at least that's the way I see it.
2) Create offline? Yes absolutely. I've used MM's create offline process successfully many many times ... one always had to be extremely careful of speed changes, subclips or nests, but there has been significant changes made in this release, so I'm hopeful of significantly more stability in MM in this regard.
3) Time Machine? Might be useful to recover from a catastrophic failure but don't see how the MM could be modeled around it necessarily? Either way, we're talking about a "wouldn't it be nice if" rewrite again here.


I'm not immune to the mangler, but I guess I have been lucky. Perhaps I'm too cautious and should take more MM risks ... I certainly never "Move" anything, only "Copy", I never "Use Existing". That just seems sensible. This is not due to hard learnt knowledge of MM's failings, it's just basic IT savvy and common sense. We're dealing with important data here, and computers can and do fail no matter how sweetly we talk to them. As far as I can tell, and assuming that the release lives up to the expectations, then there is little left in MM that is "broken" ... but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better. Robert's doom and gloom mantra is wearing thin though. I appreciate he likes his BluRay and thinks the rest of us should stop what were doing and jump on his bandwagon, but some of us have broadcast TV to edit, and for many of us FCP is still very much the best tool for the job. And whilst I do fully appreciate that it has been a disappointing and lackluster upgrade to many (and for what its worth, I believe Apple were well aware long in advance of what the overall reaction would be if released as it is) it didn't just stop being any good because the upgrade didn't come with feature x, y or z.

If we're doing wish lists by the way, here's mine (by no means complete):

surely easily do-able category
-----------------------------------
* Frame Jog Mode ... the ability to jog field by field.
* Quick Edit Mode ... the ability to lock focus to the viewer window when insert/overwrite editing etc
* Enhanced "Extend edit" command ... ability to extend edit when in "Ripple" mode.
* Virtual Patchbay ... for mapping audio tracks to multiple outputs simultaneously.
* Paste "before" playhead rather than "after" ... paste insert/overwrite currently only works as a three point edit with the sequence playhead as the record in, we should have the option to use the playhead as the record out
* Extended Title Safe Overlays ... capacity to show full 4:3 and 14:9 title and action safe guides when working in 16:9 canvas, plus capacity for showing center cross, and fully user adjustable guides regardless of aspect
* Slide Selection Tool ... expand Slide Tool to slide work on a multiple consecutive clip selection as a single item
* Easy Setup Manager ... add capacity to manage Easy Setups in the Audio/Video Settings window, plus expand the mangement features for this window to allow Enabling and Disabling of presets/setups without deletion
* Advanced Scaling Controls ... add a drop down menu to the “Always scale clips to sequence size” preference, with options for Off, Squeeze, Crop and Letterbox ... this single preference could govern both upscale and downscale (either that or separate controls for both are needed)


worth the effort category
------------------------------
* Advanced keyframe control. eg Ability to select individual or multiple keyframes for Cut/Copy/Paste, Ability to drag multiple keyframes, Abilty to Cut/Copy/Paste individual keyframe attributes
* Smart bins.
* Realtime feedback during capture. We need to be able to see current timecode from tape plus all relevant data about clip being captured, number of clips remaining to be captured (not including current capture), total duration of those remaining clips etc
* Ability to add markers and metadata during capture
* Advanced Paste / Remove Attributes control ... allow to paste / remove specific attributes of any group rather than the current all or nothing approach, this would include generating a list of all filters applied within the selection and allow to paste / remove any combination of those applied filters from the whole.
* Live scrubbing feature (skimming) ... please note this should not be a "revolutionary" new version of FCP big fanfare addition, it's no more than an extension of the current icon scrubbing capacity but deserves inclusion.
* Ability to collapse and expand nests within the timeline ie insert/delete additional tracks needed to display the nested sequence item
* Ability to toggle on/off realtime output of overlays to external video playback
* Background rendering in the timeline
* Ability to collapse and convert a selection of tracks in the timeline to a Multiclip or Multiclip Sequence ... this is just offering a method of graphically creating a Multiclip item
* Quick Take Tool ... a tool for switching between video tracks eg one can audition multiple clips in a given sequence position
* and can we please sort out the whole Auto Select / Track Patch / Sync Lock / Track Lock muddle ... it seems there is too much separation of function here which obstructs rather than empowers the user.


needs fixing category
-------------------------
* User contol over non-native playback modes .... eg when working in HD and setting video playback to DV then let the user determine whether they want that downconvert to be Squeezed, Cropped, Letterboxed, or just center cut with no resize (Off) ... currently the lack of control means users cannoyt configure the output to match their environment (or in other words, in todays widescreen world, it only works for users with 4:3 displays)
* Nesting. It works very well when you're careful, but on the whole its just too easy to create orphaned instances that don't refer to the supposed original ... its just not foolproof enough. (Not sure on this one ... it actually might be addressed in FCP7 as the new release states that nests now are "treated like a true master clip.")


big ticket wishful thinking category
------------------------------------------
* Media database, tracking all project media by reel, timecode and metadata
* Enhanced Media Manager tool, leveraging a full project media database substructure, allowing pause and resume of MM routines, plus full recovery from expected and unexpected process interuption
* Ability to add filters not just at the clip level, but also at track and sequence levels (without nesting)
* XDCAM proxy editing support with background or on demand autoconform to high res
* Open up FCP to Automator/Applescript


... oh yeah, and proper BluRay support. Not because I want or need it in the slightest, but because I want Robert to feel the love.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:51 AM   #149
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I've seen this type of slow-death happen too many times to not recognize this pattern all over again.
There do seem to be a few people who believe that Apple will eventually make FCS a much more cut down piece of software to appeal to the masses rather than professionals. The Pro Apps have always sold hardware, although I do have difficulty believing myself because there is already Final Cut Express. I doubt Express really takes much more development over FCP as I'm sure it uses exactly the same codebase.

If the Pro Apps went, then I'm sure the Mac Pro would also go as well.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:27 AM   #150
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The only thing I can say is the following:

If the Final Cut / Pro Tools team needed two years to come with such a poor update... what have they been doing in that time? Aperture, Logic, Shake... none of these apps was updated and I can't imagine they put them to work on iPhone software.

The only, most logical, thing I can come up with is that they have all been working on 64-bit version of the Pro Tools which will be major overhauls. And I wouldn't be suprised if those versions are free upgrades to the just released updates of Final Cut Pro and Logic.

I suggest we just wait and see what happens around the 23rd of september.

Speculation belongs in Area 51.
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