Apple launches Final Cut Pro X 10.1

Apple FCP X Libraries
More flexible: the new Libraries feature in FCP 10.1 improves media management. Picture: Apple.

Apple has released an update to its pro video editing application, Final Cut Pro X, to version 10.1.

The new release is timed to co-incide with the new Mac Pro workstation, which has now gone on sale. But, as well as upgrades to support the new computer, FCP 10.1 adds a range of improvements in media management, editing , and multi-camera controls.

4K features

Apple is dividing up its list of new features into two: those that support 4K video – and largely rely on the horsepower and functions of the new Mac Pro – and those of more general interest to video editors and film makers.

Support for 4K includes Apple’s 4K ProRes, and Final Cut Pro X supports up to 16 streams on the new Mac Pro. But the software can also work with Sony’s XAVC, RED’s REDCODE RAW and other 4K formats. The software is optimised to make use of a Mac Pro’s dual graphics cards to apply grades, filters and effects.

Final Cut Pro X also adds 4K monitoring, which was not supported on earlier versions. Final Cut Pro can output 4K via Thunderbolt I/O devices, but it also supports monitoring over HDMI, which is built in to the new Mac Pro. Video export is also speeded up.

Media management

Apple has created a new media management tool, called Libraries, to replace the previous FCP system of separate Projects and Events.

Apple says that this makes media organisation easier, for example by allowing editors to group all media and project files by job, or by client. Users can also move media between drives or locations using the Mac’s Finder, rather than solely from within FCP X. Apple has written a knowledge base article setting out how Libraries work, and how to upgrade to them, as well as a media management white paper.

The new Libraries system removes some of the inflexibility of older versions of FCP X, and in particular, makes it easier for editors, sound producers or colourists to collaborate on a project and to share media.

Editing improvements

Other improvements in FCP 10.1 include better retiming for clips, intelligent stabilisation to correct unwanted movements in shots – even, Apple says, on pans and zooms, via a feature called InertiaCam – and improved through and split edits.

Multicam support is improved too, with the ability to add just audio, or video, to the timeline, and to detach audio from a multi-cam clip; this is a change that will benefit not just editors working on multi-camera projects but also those using second system sound, for example on a DSLR.

In addition, there is support for additional, non-4K formats, notably AVCHD. FCP 10.1 costs $299.99, or £199, from the Mac App Store. The new application requires OS 10.9, Mavericks, to run.