First watch the keynote.
I was going to write a bunch of thoughts about this presentation here, but I think my friend Matt over at Gawker summed it up quite nicely, even if he’s a little more hateful about it than I am.
Some quick thoughts:
Though I will wait for more info about the final release, Apple is still not addressing a few of my major concerns with Final Cut as a tool. One, the trim mode sucks. I live in trim mode. It’s my bread and butter. Not having one that works as seamlessly as the Avid’s is a huge bummer. Where I have one tool in Media Composer, I have 6 in Final Cut. Something is wrong with that. This thing they demoed is not a solution.
Two, I like being able to edit from sequences since it is a good way to organize selects or thematically similar items or even just to cut in work from other edits. Sure, I have the “Edit with Sequence Contents” key (and thank Jobs for that), but I’d like to be able to switch back and forth from my source sequence to my edit sequence. I don’t need to have thirty sequences open all at once, just two. Tabbed sequences are nice, sure, but I find I often end up making mistakes because I am working in the wrong tab in a rush.
Three, user settings. USER SETTINGS USER SETTINGS USER SETTINGS. I wish Apple would get this right. It would be so easy. I have a HIGHLY customized keyboard map that matches my Avid keys (also highly customized) so I can easily switch back and forth. I also have custom bin views, window layouts, button layouts, and effects preferences. It would be great if FCP would save all of that in one settings folder, like the Avid does, so I can easily switch back and forth between different edit bays in different offices on different coasts and get up and running with my highly tweaked set up ready to go easy-peasy. This might be my second biggest gripe with FCP.
Four, I’d like to be able to work in the same project as another editor at the same time on a network, and not have to maintain separate projects. With Media Composer, I can work in the same project with as many other people who can connect to the same Unity partitions or whatever at the same time. As long as we don’t need to save to the same bin, it’s fine. I wish I could do that with Final Cut too.
Ultimately, the listed changes range from interesting and useful (background rendering, 64-bit support) to big old meh (labeling sections of clips). Will it drive me away from Final Cut? No. It still does a lot of things well, like handling a bazillion different file formats and sizes all at once, applying effects (but not titles, the title tool sucks balls), and, uh, actually, those two things are it. I prefer Media Composer, but Final Cut has its place. Will I be purchasing this upgrade? Absolutely, but you’ll have to pry the Avid from my cold, dead hands.