April release of FCP 8

An expected up date of Final Cut Pro 8 is rumoured to be announced at NAB on 9-14 April.

It is over a year since Final Cut Pro’s last release and I have been hearing that the highly anticipated revamped release of Final Cut Pro is imminent.

Apparently, video editors were invited to Apple recently in order to preview the new version of FCP. Apple is said to still putting the finishing touches on “the biggest overhaul to Final Cut Pro since the original version was created over 10 years ago” and wanted pro user feedback.

One source described the new release as “encompassing everything from low level architectural changes to a complete redesign of the user interface. It’s most likely that the newest version will be 64 bit as that’s what users have clamoured for”.

Early reports from people who have seen the new Final Cut Pro say that the changes are “dramatic and ambitious” and should alleviate concerns that Apple has shifted its video editing focus from the professional to the consumer space.

The recent release this last week of the MacBook Pro with higher resolutions screens, increased battery life, a thin chassis, along with Thunderbolt – the new fast disk access from Intel that is exclusively Apple’s for the time being, all points to a continued emphasis from Apple on the Pro user market. Thunderbolt will be a boon to FCP users and professional users of the MacBook Pro. I Also expect that Thunderbolt will ship on the next versions of the iMac, and the Mac Pro.

A large part of the current Final Cut Studio suite (version 7) is still using Carbon code, but this is expected to change with the next release. It is likely that the entire suite will move to 64-bit processing, while taking full advantage of OS X’s Grand Central for full multi-processor support. OpenCL will bring a huge lift to Final Cut Pro’s rendering capabilities, finally leveraging Apple’s pro video card offerings. Apple may be able to push the envelope of Apple loss-less and 4:4:4 rendering abilities with Mac Pro towers right out of the box.

Perhaps the Final Cut suite could be available via the OS X App Store. However, I doubt if Apple is going to allow the suite to be broken up — selling Final Cut Pro, Motion, SoundTrack, etc… separately — or whether Apple will keep them together an a single bundled purchase. The hope is that these separate applications will all be integrated into the one Final Cut Pro interface, to avoid the switch back and forth from App to App – don’t hold your breath – but you never know.

As Steve Jobs said “buckle up.”

Last November, a Mac user emailed Jobs about the prospects for a 64-bit FCP update. Jobs cryptically responded, “Stay tuned and buckle up.”

A release date, while uncertain, and likely to coincide with the 2011 NAB conference scheduled to run from April 9 – 14, is only a release date – the actual shipping date could be some time after. My guess is that if the new FCP is so advanced, it will need some of the new facilities of the Lion OSX 10.7 system updates that are due later this year. So maybe the actual shipping date of Final Cut Studio will be after Lion’s release.

All in all, we have good news ahead, but don’t expect it for a few months.

Whatever the release, we at Videoeditoz will have copies of the new version of FCP and will be offering support and training soon after release.

We will keep you in touch and advise when we will be available to offer that training for those of you that want to come up to speed with the new features immediately.

“Stay tuned and buckle up.”

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