• Coming Soon: Final Cut Pro X

    At NAB 2011, Apple demonstrated the much-anticipated new version of Final Cut Pro, named Final Cut Pro X (pronounced "10", not "ex"). The new version will ship in June for $US299.

    Here are some key features of FCPX:

    - 64-bit, completely rebuilt from the ground up.
    - Resolution-independent playback system.
    - Grand Central Dispatch allows scalable performance using all available CPU cores, with background rendering.
    - There is no longer a fixed number of tracks in the timeline - tracks come and go as needed in different sections of the timeline.
    - Improved media management.
    - "People Detection" & "Shot Detection" (e.g. face recognition, framing recognition). These can be used to automatically create smart collections of clips.
    - Options to automatically tweak media on ingest, e.g. Auto color balance, noise removal.
    - Option to automatically analyse audio waveforms, to synch different clips or audio sources together.
    - "Clip Connections" create relationships between clips that need to stay together, e.g. secondary audio to go with primary image/audio.
    - "Magnetic Timeline" dynamically moves objects in the timeline to maintain order and avoid trim collisions.
    - "Compound Clips" collapse multiple edited clips into a single clip for simplicity (a bit like nested sequences but simpler).
    - "Inline Precision Editor" for fine editing adjustments in the timeline.
    - "Auditioning" makes it much easier to try different shots, edits, etc. in the timeline.
    - Add tags/keywords to specific parts of a clip.

    As for the interface... yes, it does look a bit like "iMovie Pro". Some iMovie-esque features are included, such as the familiar clip scrubbing. However there is no reason to think FCP has been "dumbed down". The NAB presentation was squarely aimed at the professional film and broadcast markets, and those in attendance appear to have been impressed.

    At this stage official details are scant, and Apple is yet to announce anything about the suite as a whole. There are many unanswered questions (e.g. exactly what is happening to Color?). If you can't wait for official details, head on over to MacRumours.com for some lively speculation. You'll find comments ranging from highly insightful to hilariously pompous, angry and ill-informed.
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