Apple Releases Final Cut Pro X 10.1

Today, Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.1 — probably the most significant update since Final Cut’s initial release. (In case you are wondering, my vote for second most significant update is version 10.0.3.) This new version sports hundreds of new features, both large and small, and some very exciting improvements.

The update is free and available on the Mac App store. However, it requires OS X Mavericks to run. Plus, it requires updating all existing FCP X Events and Projects.

If you are in the middle of a big project – DON’T UPGRADE!! Finish the project, then upgrade.

When you do, there is a lot to look forward to:


I like this new version for its speed, media management, and the improvements to the editing process. As with all updates to any editing software, never update in the middle of a project. But, when you update, you’ll be glad you did.

Updating events and projects needs to be approached with caution, but, once you understand how it works, updating is straight-forward.

Here’s a detailed look at what to expect in the new version.


(Click image to view larger version.)

While I haven’t done any formal performance testing, I was surprised by how smooth and quick the application felt as I was creating my latest Final Cut Pro X training — and I was running it on a 2010 iMac!

NOTE: More RAM helps. There is a big difference in Final Cut’s performance between running on 4 GB of RAM and 16 GB of RAM. FCP X will use as much RAM as you can give it; though, if you are on a limited budget, 16 GB is RAM is fine. Also, always store media to a second drive; don’t use the boot drive.

And, before you ask, no, I haven’t run this on a Mac Pro – new or old. Like I said, even on an older iMac, the software feels very smooth.


Better performance is always good, especially as we step up into larger frame sizes, but the biggest change is media management. Judging from my email and the most popular articles on my website, media management drives most people nuts. And not just Final Cut, media management for any video editing software is confusing to many people.

Apple thought they fixed it with their initial concept of Events and Projects. But there was still confusion, and quitting Final Cut just to move events in and out of the app was a mess.

In this version, Apple replaced Events and Projects with Libraries. The old Event Library is gone, replaced by the Libraries pane. Libraries contain Media, Events and Projects. Events are now more like folders, or bins, which store stuff. Projects are now stored in Events. With a single keystroke, we can now create instant “Snapshots” of a project to serve as a reference for a particular point in the edit.

You can open, close, and backup Libraries without ever quitting Final Cut. And, the old limit of about 2,000 clips per event has been significantly expanded. A Library is a “bundle,” similar to Keynote. A Bundle acts like a single file, but stores all your media and other elements inside itself. This means it is very easy to backup, move, or copy entire libraries.

The only downside – and it’s a big one – is that all current Events and Libraries need to be updated before they can be used in Final Cut 10.1. However, media files are fine and don’t require updating.

NOTE: I’ve written a separate blog that details media management in the new version. Read it here.

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Before you upgrade your editing system, watch this short eight-minute video that explains what you need to know about upgrading Events and Projects.

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NOTE: The excellent utility from Intelligent Assistant, “Event Manager X” can be a help in upgrading Events and Projects. Even better, the folks at Intelligent Assistance are now offering this utility for free. To learn more, visit:

I really like the new media management. It is faster, safer, easier and better… once you get through the update process. However, updating is a one-time-only procedure which is straight-forward – just watch my video first.

NOTE: Apple also has a white paper that describes this process as well. To learn more, visit:


There are lots of new features, some big and some small, that make using the program a lot more fun.

(Click image to view larger version.)

The list goes on:

There’s a lot in the new version – and we’ll be talking about it for a long while to come.


The latest version of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X does not deliver world peace. Nor does it fulfill every editor’s wish list. But Apple has done a solid job of adding features that we can use in our projects every day to make our edits go faster, easier and with a bit more fun.

And, as soon as you are between projects, I recommend you upgrade. The faster performance and new media management, alone, make the upgrade worthwhile.


I just completed all-new training on this version of Final Cut Pro X. To see the first 15 movies – which will give you a Quick Start into the application – visit my YouTube channel.

To download your own copy of my Final Cut Pro X training, please visit our store.

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79 Responses to Apple Releases Final Cut Pro X 10.1

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  1. Deanna says:

    Hi Larry,

    I just want to say that you are AWESOME!!! I was so stresses, felt so alone with this overwhelming problem and I rewatched your video, though there are terms in there I do not understand which made it hard to duplicate the message, I was able to apply the one part about creating new folders and I was able to see my projects, even though I hit update all and kept updating, the projects never showed up so I think I will have to add them individually which will probably use up more space on my hard drive since there will be duplicates but at least I didn’t loose my work.. Crazy thing is that Final Cut saved “My Old FCP Projects and Events” on one drive but only saved “My Old Final Cut Events for the other drive and instead saved the Old final cut projects to “Movies” which I luckily stumbled across. In the Movies file, I found that the new FPCX saved the needed files, don’t know why it did that. Thanks again for being there at 2am to help! I don’t think I would have slept at all!

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