updated 07:30 am EDT, Wed June 29, 2011
Apple FCPX FAQ talks big features in updates
Apple has quietly posted an FAQ for Final Cut Pro X to tackle the complaints and concerns in the wake of a controversial release. The answers more formally address questions to the media and make multiple promises of updates. Multicam editing is coming to a future Final Cut Pro update, something which Apple says it couldn't roll into a minor patch but had to come soon.
"Multicam editing is an important and popular feature, and we will provide great multicam support in the next major release," Apple says.
In the nearer term, a summer update will help export specific audio tracks through the use of metadata tags. XML export was just as important and would include a fresh set of APIs to access the current version of Final Cut Pro's XML code. Volume licensing would be available "soon" through the online Apple Store for anyone buying in batches of 20 or more, Apple adds, and will give users redemption codes.
Some features aren't expected to get updates. Apple justifies the absence of some tape features by arguing that FCPX is meant for "modern file-based workflows" and has only limited support for DV, DVCPRO, and HDV, leaving AJA and Blackmagic to offer deck control apps. As mentioned, import from FCP7 also wouldn't be possible without losing data, since much of the information would be altered or lost.
Other features, like certain forms of external data monitoring and camera importing, are partly dependent on drivers.
The FAQ won't necessarily please veteran editors, some of whom are considering either switching away or are being courted by companies like Adobe and Avid. Apple has nonetheless been hoping to assuage buyers and is issuing refunds as well as characterizing FCPX as a beginning of a process that should eventually have the best of both worlds.