It seems like FCPX 10.0.3 just came out, bringing with it a host of new or renewed features including multicam, media relinking, layered photoshop file support, batch file renaming, and broadcast monitoring [Beta]. As well, it brought improvements to XML, colour correction, choma keying, and overall performance and stability.
But the biggest change, I think, might be the attitude towards the software. I’ve seen lots of articles from people openly hostile towards the original release who’ve been converted, or at the very least their stance has softened. Scott Simmons, who I’ve had several back and forths with on Twitter, wrote a great piece for Studio Daily about the current state of FCPX
The key point here in Scott’s article,
"...part of the argument against FCPX was its lack of certain core functions that editors have always relied on. Now that many of them are back the questions to ask about moving to FCPX is less about editing features and more about editing philosophy."
Quoth the internet, "THIS". The reason I've been so frustrated to understand much of the reaction to FCPX, is that it seems most people's attitude was that ANY change to the way things are currently done means that it was no longer "Pro".
Well, to quote the ever-readable Philip Hodgetts of Intelligent Assistance,
"The first problem with making major improvements is that it will involve change and we know that no one likes change: they want things to get better but never change!"
I'm not going to go down this path too far, but to conclude this point, I've hear many people complain since the launch of FCPX that Apple is trying to "tell them now to edit". Well, sure... they're proposing ideas that differ from the way things are currently done. But as someone who's been editing since the first NLEs surfaced, I have to say, I don't remember being asked how I wanted to edit back then either!
In the end, there are two ways to look at Apple as a company investing into FCPX:
The first is that Apple is a company where editing software contributes basically nothing to their bottom line; their livelihood doesn’t depend on it’s success, so why should we expect them to take it seriously.
The second, is that Apple is a company where editing software contributes basically nothing to their bottom line; their livelihood doesn’t depend on it’s success, so they have the freedom to take chances that other companies that live or die on their software’s success cannot.
AVID isn’t going to do anything to rock the boat with their core user base. Those users have their rut and dammit don’t screw with my interface or command keys! This gives AVID very little room to maneuver in terms of innovating. All they can do is make “the faster horse”.
Apple is willing to throw away core ideas and start over- and that’s where real innovation begins.
Wait... wasn’t this article about 10.0.4?
Ok. Thanks for letting me vent...
Let’s take a look at Apple’s FCPX release schedule since the product first launched, with days between each update listed after-
10.0.0 - Jun 21, 2011
10.0.1 - Sep 20, 2011 [91 DAYS]
10.0.2 - Nov 16, 2011 [57 DAYS]
10.0.3 - Jan 31, 2012 [76 DAYS]
The smartest way to predict what Apple is going to do is look for patterns in their process. We don’t have a lot of data to work with yet, but so far the update release cycle has been 10.0.1 [Feature Update], 10.0.2 [Bug Fix], 10.0.3 [Feature Update]. If we take that as gospel, we should expect to see FCPX 10.0.4 approximately 2 months after the release of 10.0.3. The other thing to keep in mind is that with all but 1 of these updates, Apple releases on a Tuesday.
With that in mind, the earliest prospective date for 10.0.4 will be Tuesday, March 27th.
Now, this takes for granted that 10.0.4 will follow pattern and be all about bug fixes. Should that be the case, expect to see no new “feature” functionality. That said, I think we could still see further enhancements to FCPX’s XML [further expanding the hooks 3rd parties can use for cross-software compatibility] and added work on the CoreMediaIO Broadcast monitoring support.
However, we’re still in early days here, and it’s clear the FCPX development team has set itself aggressive goals for the software’s development. So we might see another large scale release with 10.0.4. Should that be the case, we could expect it no later than 3 months after the release of 10.0.3, or by Tuesday, May 1st.
Should 10.0.4 be a bigger update, I think the areas we might see some big changes are :
- Audio mixing and improvement of the implementation of Roles
- Improved multi-user and SAN support
Richard Taylor has posted an extensive list of improvements he’d like to see on his site FCPX.TV. He’s already had to ace 9 items with the release of 10.0.3. I imagine a lot more will be gone before the end of the year.
As with anything theorizing about Apple's plans, it's always a crap shoot. They act like this, until they do that! Though I didn't publish my predictions anywhere, I was within 2 week of my outside prediction of the 10.0.3 release date. Let's see how I fare this time...
NEXT: my own take on ROLES. The core idea is great, but I think they need to work on presentation.