Apple recently gave a sneak peek to some very lucky folks at NAB of the upcoming release of Final Cut Pro, now dubbed Final Cut Pro X. The "X" seems appropriate as it looks like Final Cut has finally made it into the world of modern applications written for a mature, modern and cool-as-hell Operating System.
Which is to say that FCP will finally be able to do all those things like threading and taking advantage of multiple cores, using as much memory as you've got, background rendering and exporting, and simultaneous ingestion and editing.
Essentially, Final Cut Pro X is a complete, ground-up rewrite of the app, as well as rethinking of what a non-linear digital video editing application can and should be. Much like they did with iMovie — and likely drawing from many of its lessons — Apple has sought once again to redefine how we approach video editing. In fact, FCPX even looks like a mashup of the elder FCP and iMovie. It also looks to me like they've got a winner.
In addition to finally leveraging core OS components, the new FCP both removes the annoyances of yesteryear — things like the inability to use the application when you're performing an export (God, that was frustrating!) — and adds forward-thinking improvements like the addition of metadata for faces, places and tags, as well as a far better ability to deal with today's complex CODECs and cameras. It's very cool and makes me wish I still did video. Frankly, despite the fact that these days I am not making nor teaching video, I may buy Final Cut Pro X anyway, just to play with it. Yeah, it looks that cool.
It's also fairly reasonably priced at $299 (no more Final Cut Express, apparently), and available from, of all places, the Mac App Store. While I'm not quite yet a fan of the MAS, I am kind of excited at the prospect of being able to get FCPX on a whim with nothing more than a credit card and an Internet connection.
At any rate, even though I'm no longer a video guy, I'm so very happy to see one of my all-time favorite applications, Final Cut Pro, finally, after years of neglect, get the upgrade it so richly deserves. The actual video guys must be so psyched! Lucky bastards!