Apple shows off new Final Cut Pro

Professional video editing is something of a magical mystery tour, to borrow a phrase from The Beatles, and the few times I’ve experienced a pro in action with something like Final Cut Pro, I’m in awe at the skills and experience needed. I’m a virgin in terms of video editing; even though I do it on an almost daily basis, I haven’t graduated from iMovie yet.

Published: Sat 23 Apr 2011, 11:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:04 PM

In fact, I don’t even touch much of the power and capability available in Apple’s consumer video editing application. The workflow is typically very simple: import the video, drag clips into the project, trim beginning and end, add a title and transitions, export, done. I guess in a very simplified way that’s what the pros do as well, although with a lot more complexity involved in each step.

Final Cut Pro, in case you didn’t know, is Apple’s high-end professional video editing suite. It consists of the main Final Cut application as well as a number of other applications like Compressor, Motion and others. And with Final Cut, Apple is actually a really big player in motion pictures, TV and advertising. According to Wikipedia, in 2007, almost half of the professional video editing market in the US was Final Cut Pro, which gives Apple a very powerful and influential position. So it’s clear that when a new Final Cut version comes around, there is a lot of interest around the world.

Actually, Final Cut Pro started its life as KeyGrip in a company called Macromedia, Apple acquired KeyGrip from Macromedia including the team that was working on the product and in 1999 Final Cut Pro was officially introduced. It’s been used on major motion pictures, including The Social Network and 300, TV shows, commercials and much more. And, would you believe it, Final Cut even won a Primetime Emmy Engineering Award for its impact on the television industry in 2002.

Now Apple has announced its plans to release the next version of Final Cut Pro in a few months exclusively through its online Mac App Store. Apple’s chief architect for video software, Randy Buillos, showed off the X version of Final Cut Pro at NAB in Las Vegas recently. Scheduled to ship in June, a line of welcome additions are set for Final Cut Pro X, including 64-bit support (which will let the application use more than 4GB of RAM), multi-core processor optimisation, rendering in the background, and much more.

The price has also dropped to $299 but it’s not clear whether that is just the Final Cut application or if that is the new price for the suite. In either case, professional video editors across the globe are going to pay close attention to what’s being announced about the new Final Cut Pro over the next few months. With regards to my video editing, I’d better start using more of what iMovie can do before I put in time to learn Final Cut. Anything else would just be a huge waste of time and money.

Magnus Nystedt talks and writes about technology as much as he can. Follow him on Twitter as @mnystedt for the latest on consumer technology in the Middle East.

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