One of Apple's top selling pieces of software just got upgraded and we're of course talking about Final Cut Pro which has jumped from 7 to X (for 10). Apple has upgraded just about every aspect of Final Cut Pro from the UI to video file format support and a lot of the underlying technology. It's not all good news though, but click on through for all of the details.
The most obvious changes have been done to the UI which has been given a complete overhaul, although many of the changes here are also impacting the way that Final Cut Pro X works. Apple has tried to simplify the user interaction while retaining the professional features that Final Cut has been known for. It's really hard to describe in words all the changes that have taken place here and we'd suggest that you head over to Apple's website and check out the demo videos that will give you a much better idea of how much have changed.
Of course Apple has improved the performance as well with native 64-bit support (requires OSX to be in 64-bit mode), better GPU support, background processing, support for Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and AVX to mention a few things. On top of that we're also finally getting support for a wide range of consumer HD video formats such as AVCHD and various H.264 formats used by DSLR cameras. On the professional end of things Apple has added support for editing 4K video, although this also requires matching hardware. Another great new addition is file-based import from memory cards, a simple yet useful feature.
This time around there won't be a retail boxed version as Apple has decided to sell it exclusively via its Mac App Store, which seems like something of an odd decision by Apple. That said, as long as you have a fast enough internet connection, this shouldn't prove to be a huge issue, unless of course you have a very low monthly download limit. In as much as we're for downloadable software, for something like this it just seems strange that there isn't a retail box version. On the other hand, for consumers this means that a single license is good on multiple machines, something which wasn't the case before, but this doesn't apply to business.
Final Cut Pro X is available now for US$299.99 although Apple is offering Motion 5 and Compress 4 for an additional US$49.99 each, although not everyone need these features and it's possible that this is the reason Apple decided to have them as separate packages. There won't be a consumer "Express" version either, so if you're not happy with iMovie you're looking at splurging out quite a bit to get your hands on something better.