More "Death of Final Cut" Rumors

Posted on by Larry

Yesterday, MacRumors posted that “Final Cut Studio Update Scaled Back and Delayed.”

Naturally, this sent seismic tremors throughout the Final Cut community. (Personally, I’ve lost count of how many times one rumor site or another has cried that Final Cut is dying. This is, apparently, good for ratings.)

First, the blog post takes Apple to task for missing a rumored release date. This is like being blamed for not accomplishing something you never said you would do in the first place.

Second, it rehashes old rumors about layoffs on the development team. As we have discussed here in the past, the staff layoffs did occur, but they were not in development.

Third, it rehashes old rumors that Apple is turning FCP into a “prosumer” application. These were rebutted by Apple, no less, within days.

So, while it is exciting, I’m sure, to imagine that the sky is falling, more informed speculation leads us to entirely different conclusions.

Apple does not preannounce products. Apple does not, in almost all cases, comment on rumors. Apple has on several occasions reiterated its support for Final Cut Studio. Apple recently updated four of the applications in the suite — which, to me, indicates on-going development. You don’t update programs you are looking to kill.

Philip Hodgetts has written a detailed, and I think, essentially accurate account of what’s going on behind the scenes with Final Cut Studio.

Neither he, nor I, are privy to any Apple secrets. Philip is just very, very good at reading tea leaves.

You can read it here.


7 Responses to More "Death of Final Cut" Rumors

  1. Luke says:

    here’s my problem, though: here we are, more than a couple months removed from Adobe CS5 and the advent of Premiere Pro CS5… and nothing from Apple.

    lemme get this outta’ the way: i am an ardent Apple supporter. all i (and my wife) work on are Macs. i use a Mac Pro at the office, an iMac at home, a MBP on the road and my wife has her MB. we use Aperture for photo stuff. i use the Final Cut Suite for all video work.

    but dammit! i’ve been tooling around with Premiere Pro CS5 for a couple of weeks now and while it’s admittedly been a little difficult self/retraining, right now, it is killing FCP. i mean, really. the introduction of DSLR HD video has exposed the weaknesses of FCP, particularly editing in the native h.264 format. and 64-bit support in Premiere Pro vs. FCP’s non-64-bit compatibility?

    this is where Apple’s coyness and secrecy really vex me. it’s cute and clever and it works with new products like iPods and iPads and iPhones and physical, actual touchable products (like desktops and laptops). but with software? its absolutely frustrating to no end. one site i read said the next revision of FCS wouldn’t show up until 2013. over two years from now!! it was also painful when we were waiting on Aperture 3 to show up. we’d mucked around the betas of Lightroom and were blown away by it’s speed and efficiency, but absolutely no word from Apple re: Aperture until it showed up that it was available for purchase.

    /end rant on Apple

    • Larry says:


      I understand your frustration. For better or worse, Apple has decided that silence is the best option. I don’t work for Apple, nor do I represent them. In my periodic discussions with them, I’ve mentioned the dilemma that you illustrate — but I have no illusions that they will change.


  2. Don B says:

    Here’s a few thoughts on the latest negative buzz surrounding FCP:

    – Apple hasn’t done anything with FCP since v6. Forget v7 — it was malarkey, not an upgrade. What’s it been since 6, three years? They’ve done nothing.

    – In the meantime Avid and Adobe have aggressively pursued the editing market with huge efforts. What do they have that Apple doesn’t that Apple can’t keep up? If anything, the other two “A’s” have had it a lot worse since they had to entirely revamp their products, and in Avid’s case their company. Apple became the second largest capitalized firm in the world this year and have a boat load of cash. For such a large company, what is the resource they lack that they can’t compete?

    – Apple has become a “consumer electronics” company, obviously focused on these products, and the huge dollars being tapped there. If they’re not a computer company anymore does it make sense to commit to a much smaller market of video editors? FCP has served its purpose. The Mac has served its purpose. Has Steve and Apple moved on to the “next big thing.”

    – Apple killed LiveType, an excellent easy-to-use program, and Shake, and excellent “high end” program, with nothing of their feature sets remaining. Why wasn’t Shake integrated into Motion and LT into FCP or their features preserved in some other way? Because there’s no one around to do it?

    – Apple’s accountable to their stockholders. How much are they making on FCS and how much on iPhones/Pads/Pods? Yes, I know they sell computers when they sell FCS, but do those sales add up to a fraction of their “consumer electronics” revenue? How about on their planning horizons, what are they seeing there?

    – Remember Discreet Cleaner? It was the premier compression utility in its day, except it wasn’t updated for several years. Rumors started to fly. Finally, in the market for compression, I asked a Discreet rep at a trade show if the product was dead. “No,” he said, “not at all. It’s very much alive.” Not convinced I bought Squeeze. Cleaner? It never had another update. It was dead. Software companies often miss dates. They also lie … 🙁

    So what’s an editor with an expensive FCS setup and 5000 lines of FCS notes (including a lot taken at Larry Jordan seminars) to do? For me, it’s a great time to start learning Premier. I’ve been using After Effects, and I understand that the integration within CS is terrific. Adobe gives us the Mercury playback engine, DSLR support, a much more robust timeline and who knows what else. By the time Apple gets its FCS act together I’ll be well down the road on the Adobe products. Then, if they’re filling the bill, I won’t have to spend money on two suites — FCS and CS. By not competing, Apple is giving me time to explore, and possibly saving me money, too. So I’m not upset. I’m using this as an opportunity. If Apple’s plan is to slowly fade from the editing scene then so be it. Hopefully Larry Jordan will join us on the Adobe side — or someone like him will emerge over there 🙂

  3. Paul says:

    Holy moly folks. What is this: a Premier Pro ringer forum? Really, whether Final Cut gets an update this year or not, there are still only two editing programs out there worth salt: Avid and Final Cut. I’m not a Premiere Pro expert, but I’ve had to work with it, and just spent some time working with CS5. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Adobe has the market cornered when it comes to Photoshop and After Effects, but editing? I mean, really and truly, working on Premiere feels like editing with a souped-up iMovie. Editing isn’t all about the technological wizardry. Editing is storytelling, and professional editing is storytelling on a deadline. Both Final Cut and Avid allow this to happen. If you’ve got decent hardware, they work absolutely fine, and cutting, especially on Avid, could not be more simple or speedy.

    I just got off a Premiere project, on a “speedy” PC, 64bit nonsense, and I’ve got to tell you, working on a 32bit Mac with solid RAM, in both Avid and FCP, with nothing special in the processor department blew the doors off trying to cut through multiple tracks of video and audio on Premiere.

    As far as I’m concerned, the only thing both these expert programs need is background rendering. But you know as soon as that arrives, say goodbye to downtime, heading out for lunch, or even getting your ass out of the chair enough times for your health. They’ll be cutting editors legs off then; so maybe we needn’t beat the drums too loudly for it, frustrating as it may be between 7:45 am and 1, and 2 and 9…or 10, 11, and 12AM. No, I can wait for the updates. If the only things these programs provided was razors and tape, the job’d get done.

  4. Dustyn says:

    June 6, 2005. The famous transition to Intel keynote. Steve goes on stage and says,

    – “we don’t know how to build them with the future PowerPC road map.”

    -”…when we look at the future road maps projected out in mid-2006 and beyond,”

    -”…but the Intel road map in the future gives us…”

    Steve uses the word roadmap three times within 5 sentences.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Plain and simple.

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