Here is a summary of what’s new in version 10.1.4:
Apple also released the Pro Video Formats 2.0 software update, which provides native support for importing, editing, and exporting MXF files with Final Cut Pro X. While FCP X already supported import of MXF files from video cameras, this update extends the format support to a broader range of files and workflows.
For more information about the new MXF support, read: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT6423
Immediately after the release, my email lit up with people worrying that the limited new features in this update indicated a lack of interest by Apple in the application. Editors are an impatient bunch.
Keep in mind that this is Apple’s fifth free release in the past 12 months. The 10.1.2 update – which included significant enhancements to libraries, real-time LUT support, OS X Yosemite compatibility, ProRes 4444 XQ, and more – was less than six months ago.
Expanding on the bullet points above, the FCP X 10.1.4 release features key performance improvements including resolving an issue with automatic library backups; I’ve heard about that from a number of users. In addition, the new update introduces support for the AVC-LongG format. A relatively new format from Panasonic, AVC-LongG is part of the AVC Ultra family and provides high quality, high efficiency recording at smaller file sizes. It is being integrated into a number of Panasonic’s pro cameras and video recording devices, which are popular with broadcasters.
NOTE: AVC-LongG support is one of those features that you need if you own Panasonic gear and don’t care about in the least if you don’t.
This brings me to Apple’s Pro Video Formats 2.0 update. This provides native support for import, editing, and export of the increasingly popular Material eXchange Format (MXF). MXF is heavily used in pro video environments for editing, file delivery, and archiving. It’s specified as a delivery standard for European broadcasters, and it’s used as the audio and video packaging format for Digital Cinema Package (DCP).
While many US editors work with ProRes, the new MXF support is a significant upgrade for the video editors and facilities who work with that format. Many of these users are in Europe, where MXF is a delivery standard.
In the past, similar MXF support in FCP (Final Cut Pro 7 or Final Cut Pro X) required the purchase of expensive third-party plug-ins. MXF support is now built directly into not only Final Cut, but also Motion and Compressor and other media tools via today’s update, so editors can work seamlessly with other video products and platforms.
Our industry is evolving at an incredible pace. All of us have our own wish list for Final Cut. Mine includes better collaboration support for small groups, improved audio mixing, better integration between FCP, Motion, and Logic, and improved speed and performance for Compressor. I’m sure your list is equally long and demanding.
None of these requests will surprise Apple. They are continuing to add staff to the Final Cut team and continue to aggressively improve the product. This was “only” a dot.dot.x release – principally bug fixes and performance improvements – with continued support for new codecs, cameras and workflows. It wasn’t intended as a major release.
There will be much more to come. Apple is not turning their back on the application, but releasing new updates and upgrades essentially every few weeks.
The recent growth of Premiere Pro and rapid development cycles from Adobe are an excellent incentive for Apple to keep pace. Competition is a wonderful thing.
Look at where we are today. Look at where we were a couple of years ago. The difference is pretty amazing.
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