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We've been expecting it for a while, Apple have released a free update to Final Cut Pro X. New features are included and some features announced for the future.

Phew, everybody take a deep breath now and let out a sigh of relief as the first update to FCPX is now available, Motion and Compressor get updated as well. Guess there won't be a FCPXI on the horizon either looking at the version numbering system.

Apple have hit some of the big criticisms of FCPX head on. The headlining new features are Media Stems Export, support of XML and Xsan compatibility. All the updates are available from the Mac App Store.

Let's take a look at the new features, starting with Final Cut Pro X

Export audio and video stems as a single multitrack QuickTime movie or as separate files using Roles
Import and export XML to support third-party workflows
Place Projects and Events on Xsan to improve collaboration between editors
Set custom starting timecode for your projects
Add transitions to connected clips in a single step
Enable full-screen view in OS X Lion
Speed up delivery with GPU-accelerated export
Access the new Tribute theme, with four animated titles and a matching transition

This update also improves overall stability and performance, and addresses the following issues:
Adds the ability to import DSLR video from Aperture and iPhoto libraries through the Photos Browser
Adds the ability to eject camera cards while Final Cut Pro X is open
Adds the ability to always use the startup volume or Time Machine volumes for media storage
Improves audio syncing performance and ability to sync different frame sizes and frame rates
Fixes an issue in which alpha channels in transitions were not properly preserved
Resolves an issue that could cause titles to accidentally move in the timeline
Improves the quality of video retiming when applying slow motion or when working with interlaced video
Fixes an issue in which custom ICC color profiles affected the image in the Viewer
Improves the performance and reliability of automatic saving

Coming in Early 2012

Multicam Editing
Broadcast Quality Output  -  Nice to see Apple being specific about upcoming features



The use of Roles is huge, and guess what, there are people already out there slamming it, some people will never get it. Apple have this to say about Media Stems Export

"Traditional, track-based editing systems require you to constantly rearrange and disable tracks to export audio and video stems. With the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, flexible metadata removes the burden of track management. Use the new Roles tag to label clips — dialogue, effects, music, and more — then export a single multitrack file or separate stems based on your tags. You can even apply Roles to video clips and graphics for a powerful new way to deliver separate files for versioning and localization."

To put this into a real world situation, imagine you are editing a programme that requires deliverable versions in three languages. You can now tag all the voiceover and graphics per language, have them all in the timeline at once and keep on editing. Just have on what you need . If the client wants changes, you will only have to change one project. The uses for this feature will grow once editors understand how flexible it can be. We are also very curious to discover what a multitrack QuickTime file output will look like.

The other big new feature is the XML support:

"Now you can import and export Final Cut Pro X project and Event information via a rich XML format. XML interchange enables a wide range of third-party workflows, including high-end visual effects, color grading, and media asset management. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve, Square Box System’s CatDV, and many other third-party applications will offer XML-based workflows with Final Cut Pro X."

Although people have started to report it's not a way to get FCP7 projects into FCPX, this opens up the much demanded exchange of data with other applications. CatDV, Resolve and Smoke have been demoed already. Should you want to dig deeper into the new Final Cut Pro X XML format, Apple have produced an extensive document for bedtime reading.

Onto the new version of Motion 5.0.1 which mainly fixes stability and improves performance.

Adds support for dual displays
Fixes an issue with the import and playback of multichannel audio
Resolves a stability issue when navigating to keyframes at a negative time
Fixes an issue with incorrect text positioning when the Inspector is open
Provides for the correct kerning between characters when applying adjustments
Resolves stability issues when entering an empty string in a title while in Draft mode

And finally stability and performance fixes for Compressor 4.0.1

Updates the bitrates in Cellular settings for HTTP Live Streaming
Fixes an issue with accessing QuickTime Export Component settings in FCPX
Fixes an issue in which This Compressor cluster does not appear when system is configured in Chinese
Resolves stability issues when launching Soundtrack Pro after Compressor 4 is installed

Larry Jordan got to meet with Apple this morning and he has some more information including the news about CatDV integration and exporting to Smoke on his blog.

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