Will Apple Split Up Final Cut Studio and Sell the Components a la Carte?
Since Apple showed a new version of Final Cut Pro behind closed doors, the internets have been flooded with all manner of speculation as to what is so groundbreaking about the latest update to FCP. Idle speculation alert -- if you're not a Final Cut-based editor or you simply don't care about what could be, feel free to skip this post -- we'll get proper news soon enough. But because there are a lot of FCP editors out there -- and because so many folks are throwing ideas at the wall -- I thought I'd share a few of the ideas floating about.
From Scott Simmons at PVC (links below):
One very strong rumor floating around is that FCPx is missing the Viewer window. If that’s true then it begs the question of how will an editor audition and mark footage for inclusion in the editing timeline? And it further brings up the question of the 3-point editing paradigm itself. Will FCPx do away with 3-point editing?
Indeed, those who have seen the new version seem to have had their minds blown. If Apple isn't fundamentally changing the 3-point, Canvas/Viewer/Timeline editing interface, it's hard to believe folks would have such strong reactions. After all, we expect a long overdue visual refresh to match the rest of Apple's apps. Thunderbolt suport, GPU acceleration -- significant features, to be sure, but also expected. So maybe those rumors that Apple was dumbing down FCS to match iMovie have credence in the sense that iMovie has already done away with the source/viewer approach. One more rumor, as suggested in the title:
Apple will split up Final Cut Studio and dramatically reduce the prices (50% chance). If Aperture is any guide, Apple break the FCPS apps into their individual parts and sell them from $79 to $99 each. Apple is moving away from complex bundles and integrated solutions (iWork and iLife have already been decoupled). At the same time, they are lowering the prices across the board. The reality is, Apple is playing a different game… one that Sony, Avid and Adobe can’t play. They are building a platform.
This piece, by Alex Lindsay (linked below), also asks what would happen if Apple lowered the initial price of Final Cut Pro but added in-app purchasing. This would mean the basic app price could remain low while charging customers for plugins like SmoothCam. Given Apple's focus on simplicity, I would be very surprised if they did this. Where do you draw the line in this situation? Ship the app with a fast-forward button but charge for a rewind one?
Time will tell which of these rumors are true -- I gave you the "idle speculation" warning up front -- but if you want more for now, check out the links below.
Links (all ProVideo Coalition):