Thursday, April 21, 2022

Open Letter to Apple About Final Cut Pro

Alex Gollner:

On Tuesday 19th April 2022, a group of over 100 people in TV and film production worldwide sent an open letter to Tim Cook of Apple about Final Cut Pro.

They used the letter ask Apple to publicly stand by the use of Final Cut Pro - Apple’s video editing application for professionals - in TV and film industries worldwide.

It wasn’t a criticism of the Apple team developing and marketing Final Cut Pro. They have worked very hard for over a decade on making Final Cut Pro better and better. This open letter is aimed at the executives who set the priorities of the Final Cut Pro development team and the Apple managers whose policies limit the public marketing of Final Cut Pro to a couple of website updates a year and some mentions in Apple keynotes about how much faster Apple hardware is getting.

Via John Gruber (tweet):

In other words, these Final Cut Pro-using professionals are asking Apple to do whatever it takes to make Final Cut Pro more popular in the industry. That it’s so seldom used — to name one example, it’s not on Netflix’s list of approved products for their own commissioned productions — is proof that something has gone deeply awry.

Scott Simmons:

There is no doubt that Final Cut Pro has come a long way since it’s introduction many years ago. We’ve seen an architecture change with Libraries, multicam added, a new XML format, an interface redesign, machine learning features, in-app tracking, workflow extensions and even dropping the “X” for the name. Just looking over the release notes shows a long list of features, updates and bug fixes that goes back years. But the flip side of this is the argument that the Apple team working on Final Cut Pro is moving too slowly and not keeping up with competitors. It took over a decade to get the very basic feature of dupe detection. Rumor has it there is a Roles-based audio mixer somewhere in the FCP code but it hasn’t been turned on yet (who knows if that is even true or if it will be … rumor!).

John Doty:

When Apple botched the transition to FCP-X ten years ago, it scared off the pros using its predecessor. I think it is now by far the best and most efficient editing software available. But, I also hesitate to tell peers how much I love it. It has a stigma to this day.

That letter is a seriously mixed bag. On the one hand, they’re dead right about functionality missing from FCP. On the other, they’re pushing for a reseller channel which is absurd and gives one pause about the rest of their arguments.

Adobe’s Premiere Pro is by far the dominant post production software for most professionals. Collaboration is the big reason I hear.

Josh Centers:

I think Apple knows exactly what they’re doing. YouTube content is a much larger potential market than traditional media and is easier to support. User-created content is the future.

Look at it from Apple’s perspective. Would you rather be in a market that serves hundreds of demanding customers and compete with Adobe, Avid, and DaVinci? Or would you rather be the best affordable product for millions of low-stress YouTubers?


Update (2022-04-27): Christina Warren (via Alex Gollner):

From the sampling of people/channels/workflows I know, [Apple’s share of the YouTube market is] nearly zero. Maybe iMovie is stronger (I doubt it), but at this point, every editor I know uses Premeire or DaVinci Resolve, even if they personally like FCP.

Update (2022-05-19): Peter Wiggins:

Over a hundred credited editors added their names to the letter and it got a very public delivery. Well, now Apple has officially replied and we have printed the full response below.


While we believe we have plans in place to help address your important feature requests, we also recognize the need to build on those efforts and work alongside you to help support your film and TV projects and keep you posted on important updates.

Via John Gruber:

That Apple responded at all is the story.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

"YouTube content is a much larger potential market than traditional media"

YouTubers are also largely using DaVinci and Premiere, so I don't understand that point.

Also, from my experience small customers are more demanding than big ones.

I would not be surprised if FCP is next on the chopping board.

*cackles and continues knitting in Aperture User*

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