Apple recently released Final Cut Pro X to the masses which received a wave of criticism for the new interface and the removal of important features such as reading from tapes and multi-cam editing. However, Apple could have done a lot to curb the criticism early on.
Not Discontinuing Final Cut Pro 7
Final Cut Pro X can’t import projects from older versions of Final Cut Pro which is huge for editors who revisit projects years from now. Unfortunately that feature won’t come due to the fundamental changes in how each program reads, writes and renders data.
While users will balk over the lack of importing older projects, the wound could have been smaller by making FCP 7 available to those who bought FCP X. Apple made the same move when iMovie debuted in ’08 by keeping the previous version available for those who criticized the new interface and lack of features.
Keep in mind there was some user backlash against the new direction iMovie was going but Apple quelled most fears by giving users an option to see how the Software developed with penalizing them for not wanting to upgrade.
When Apple previews or hints at a new upgrade in the OS X family, it’s typically a big deal. Steve Jobs, Schiller and the rest of the Apple crew are on hand at events to give consumers and developers a preview of the next version of OS X followed by Betas, Developer builds and extensive walkthroughs on Apple.com. To not know a new version of OS X is coming if you’re a Mac user is borderline ignorance due to how much time Apple spends on promoting future releases but with FCP X, the program was thrust in to the editing community with little fanfare.
FCP X has been a long time coming and very few hints were dropped about a possible release date or what would be upgraded. Instead, we received a preview at NAB which was so self-contained that bloggers and journalists had little information to work with. If Apple had spent more time preparing FCP users about the dramatic and radical changes coming in FCP X, a lot of editors could prepare by purchasing older copies of the program and plotting upgrade timelines. Instead you’re stuck with a buy-to-try scheme through the Mac App Store.