What might we expect for Final Cut Pro X in the year 2013?
FCP X will be two years old in June. I think we will see Final Cut Pro X version 10.1 in 2013.
Here are some of my reasons.
1) I think a two year full point upgrade cycle for FCP X in 2013 is more likely than a three year upgrade cycle in 2014. If that proves to be true, Final Cut Pro X could be updated to version 10.1 sometime around the second half of 2013, maybe with a sneak peak in the Spring around NAB.
2) There are only two more incremental numerical updates left for Final Cut Pro X 10.0, – 08 and 09. We had five FCPX updates in 2012. After the next two updates, 08 and 09, it’s on to number 10.1.
3) Apple doesn’t have the luxury of a leisurely release schedule for FCPX. It has to stay aggressive and at the forefront of modern NLE applications. Avid and Premiere are formidable competitors.
Some people question having to pay the full price of $299 for Final Cut Pro X in the App store for version 10.1. Previous upgrades for one version of Final Cut Pro to the next full point upgrade were discounted from the full price. Currently there is no way to get a discounted price on an upgrade for an app you previously bought from the App Store.
To be fair to current customers, some of the App store developers offer a discount when they introduce a new full point upgrade in the App Store. For example, Screenflow went from version 3 to version 4 and had a discount of about 50% for a few days. And 1Password has announced the new App store version, V4, will be free to existing V3 customers. Their new V4 iOS version is on sale for over 50% off.
I see no reason why Apple can’t introduce Final Cut Pro X version 10.1 with the same kind of discount for a week or so. Or Apple can change the App store rules to include an upgrade path for existing customers of a given app. This is something App Store developers and customers have been requesting for quite a while.
But even if Apple doesn’t provide a discount or upgrade path, I don’t have a problem paying $299 every two years, or $150 per year, for a full point upgrade version of Final Cut Pro X. An individual can install one copy of Final Cut Pro X “…on each of the Mac Computer(s) that you own or control” according to current App Store Terms and Conditions. So if you own or control more than one Mac, you can install FCPX on each machine and only pay for the FCPX app once.
What kind of new features can we expect to see in Final Cut Pro X version 10.1? There are three categories.
The first category would be to add back missing features that FCP7 had (audio mixer, multiple scopes windows open at the same time, custom recallable window layouts). I expect the FCPX team will continue to return missing features that are much better versions than previous incarnations (like they did with multicam, persistent selections and Share).
The second category would be to add features that FCP never had but are an industry standard – A Scrolling Timeline:
where the Timeline scrolls behind a stationary Playhead. I have a hard time believing that a new 64 bit application built from the ground up with modern foundations and leveraging all processors and unlimited memory still has a playhead that scrolls off the screen when it gets to the end of the Timeline. Motion 5 has one. Every NLE and DAW has one. Why not FCPX?
Watch the movie below to see it in action. This movie’s been viewed over 6,700 times.
And the third category would be unique FCP X features that no one has (like the introduction of the skimmer or the magnetic timeline) – where the puck is going, magic NLE features. Whatever the Final Cut Pro X team has up their sleeves, these are the features that will justify a full point upgrade.
2013 could prove to be quite an exciting time for FCPX users with future updates, new powerful iMacs already here and a new Mac Pro in “later” 2013. As a professional user and proponent of Final Cut Pro X, I maintain a master list of Final Cut Pro X feature requests here. Let’s see how many Final Cut Pro X requests Apple crosses of the list in 2013.
Learn More Final Cut Pro X:
- FCP (X) Column
- 10 Quick Final Cut Pro X Tips
- Workflow for Importing Media contents to Final Cut Pro X
- Perfect setup for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
- Types of Apple ProRes Codec for Final Cut Pro X
- Workflow: Importing Sony XDCAM recordings to FCP X on Mac
- Convert Canon XF100 MXF to ProRes 422 for FCP X editing
- Encode Panasonic P2 MXF for FCP X importing and editing