A few weeks back upon my initial test run with FCPX I posted an article titled FCPX Not Quite Ready for Primetime. Well after weeks of dabbling with it I finally decided to go all out on a paid gig with a deadline. After all how can I really know what it is made of if it isn’t tested under real working conditions. This particular project was shot with two cameras; the Panasonic AF100, and the Canon 7D. Since FCP does background rendering with a wide variety of file types I thought this would be perfect for a real run. To my pleasant surprise FCPX background redered both the .mts and .mov files seamlessly. Next I logged in all my clips using keywords and favorites. The favorites function is amazing. Simply by setting in and out points and hitting “F” on the keyboard, your clip is highlighted and available for selected viewing. Next I started placing clips on the timeline and started working with the magnetic features which is as good as advertised. It’s also so different from the previous versions of FCP that it requires that you forget almost everything your learned. By the end of a long day one I shut it down and looked forward to day two.
As I started to get more into the edit, I realized that I was getting a constant spinning wheel. I had this issue on day one but I assumed it was because of the background rendering. All the background rendering was now finished so I wasn’t sure why I was getting this problem. I have a new MacBook Pro with a 2.2GHZ Quad core 7200 RPM and all the bells and whistles. So I moved my project to the External drive yet the problem persisted. Next I wanted to find my logged files using a keyword search. To my grave disappointment the keyword search does not include keywords you enter in it’s searches. It only gives results for filenames, and meta data. Come on guys! Increasingly I started to long for my reliable FCP7 sitting on my dock longingly waiting for me to come back to her faithful arms, but I persisted… I needed to give FCPX a fair chance.
After hours of editing which consisted of waiting for the spinning wheel to stop turning as much as it consisted of actual editing I was ready to shut it down. But I knew that I would lose two full days work with a project that is due in two days so I stuck with it. It was only when I tried to find a previous version of my edit that I broke down and threw my arms in the air. You see in FCP7 if you realize that an error was made hours earlier or you lost something you thought you had you would go to your Autosave Vault to pull up a saved version, copy and Paste in the current edit, problem solved. However FCPX doesn’t keep autosaves. The workaround requires that you keep duplicating the project if you want to keep earlier versions. Even in FCP7 I got into the habit of duplicating timelines at the start of each day just as an additional but not necessary step. Constantly duplicating projects, or “Events” as a necessary step is such a workflow killer and a hack workaround that I just lost it. Goodbye FCPX.
I went from sheer excitement (Final Cut Pro Is Here!), to disappointment (FCPX Not Quite Ready for Primetime), to vile contempt in this posting “FCPX – Not Even Ready For Daytime”. This “upgrade” should not have seen the light of day. In my opinion Apple should have focused on incorporating the magnetic timeline into FCP7. Just that little addition would have thrilled us all! Instead they give us this. #FAIL!
As I rise at this ungodly hour of 5:30 AM I am invigorated by the shedding of my cloak of denial over the promise of FCPX, I am relieved that I can take it off my dock and commit to the my old reliable beauty FCP 7. Another reason for being up so damn early is I wasted two days of editing on FCPX and my project is due tomorrow so I will need as much time as I can get. I am glad that my first love FCP7 is there for me during tough times like this.