FCPX 10.1.4 – Why It’s a Good Thing
Version 10.1.4 of FCPX hit yesterday… and from what I can tell the general reaction was a mixture of disappointment/sadness/impatience… due to its not having perceptibly new tentpole features (and so close to Christmas too). Except for FCPX users that work in the Broadcast world, who I think all simultaneously pumped their fists. I think it’s a worthwhile maintenance update with the critical addition of native import/playback/export of the MXF format for higher profile clients.
MXF is a file format or container that for a very large segment of broadcasters is critical to workflow. As in, without it being supported directly there’s no uptake of FCPX, period. So even if you’re not using FCPX yourself, its complete inclusion in FCPX is a sure sign that Apple intends this application to be used in professional broadcast environments.
All this MXF goodness is likely a result of acquiring the good folks over at Hamburg Pro Media, which closed up shop mysteriously last summer. This used to be an expensive plugin that barred many broadcasters from getting into FCPX as a platform. Now it’s just a no-brainer and it means if you’re looking at the value proposition of learning FCPX as a platform for getting jobs in the broadcast market, your vista just got a whole lot wider. More on that here and here.
Now if you’re not one of these broadcast clients… guys, seriously, this is not the end of the world and it does not mean Apple has stopped caring about you and is going to stop innovating with this app.
As a person who has been lucky enough to peak behind the curtain and see how the sausage gets made, and has met the people on the FCPX team, and considers a lot of them friends… THOSE GUYS CARE. They are listening to you. They have not abandoned you.
The thing that was most difficult to me when I did my first stint and met the FCPX team for the first time was simply that I didn’t know how software development worked. Just because you want a particular feature doesn’t mean that it’s easy to implement… and just because you want a particular feature that used to be in another application (FCP7), it doesn’t mean that’s the way that feature should implemented moving forward.
The biggest thing I learned from working with those guys is that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know… and that things take time… and that the software was in good hands. The bottom line is this… if there’s something you really want to see implemented in FCPX, use the feedback form in the app and let Apple know. I know for a fact that they read those. If you think yesterday’s release was FCPX in its final form… you’re crazy. We’re going to have a special upcoming insider’s blog on how to give better feedback to Apple soon.
If you want my opinion… I think the FCPX team is just getting started and yesterday’s update was just a few bug fixes and some major fixes they knew they could address and deliver safely to certain customers while they’re busy working on bigger things. These are not educated guesses, these are knowing how the process goes.
So… all I can say to the FCPX users back home who are not happy about the lack of major new features in the latest update – keep calm, keep editing, and use the software in its current implementation… we’ll all be able to look back a few years from now and simply laugh about all the drama this kinda stuff caused.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This blog post contains the personal musings of FCPWORKS’ Workflow Architect, Sam Mestman. Sam’s also a regular writer for fcp.co and MovieMaker Magazine, teaches post workflow at RED’s REDucation classes, and is the founder and CEO of We Make Movies, a film collective in Los Angeles and Toronto which is dedicated to making the movie industry not suck. If you’ve got any FCP X questions or need some help putting together a system, drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @FCPWORKS.