Much to love

I heart XI’ve been loving my Final Cut Pro X for 2 1/2 years now, and I literally use it every day.

I use it personally, and professionally. I use it so much, I think my dreams now occur in their own magnetic timeline.

It takes me a little more work to get my material onto my Mac, but in the end, the editing process is so fast and streamlined, that it makes up for the extra time to ingest.

I work for a daily local lifestyle show in Seattle. Our media is all ingested onto our Sony XD News server. We’ve been shooting on HDcam tape since 2003, and we aren’t likely to change since it’s such a large capital outlay, but I have a path where I can pull my footage off the server as mxf xdcam 35 files, and use XDcam Transfer to re-wrap the footage into Quicktime files that come right into FCPX.

The best part, is that I’ve removed the optical disc from my 17″ MBP, and replaced it with an SSD. I now have a 240gb SSD with my OS, and a 1tb internal drive that holds my media, and I can load it up with hours and hours of footage. I don’t need an elaborate raid array, or even an extrenal drive with my media. It’s all in my lap. I can edit in my office, at my desk, in the break room, down the street at the coffee shop, or in my jammies at home. Personally, I think all future Macbook Pros should have a slot to insert an extra SSD.

For me, the FCPX debate comes down to two things: workflow and work. If it’s too hard to get the material in and out of FCPX, it can become a deal breaker. Need an XML export? Audio for Pro Tools? Files for color correction? There are ways to do it, but it can be a little tricky.

I do everything on my laptop, from basic color correction to audio mixing, so my workflow is good.

As for the work, I find FCPX very tactile and intuitive, and it lets me make creative decisions with a minimum of fuss about how to execute the edits. The use of metadata and keywords makes media management in the browser very fast. Between the keyboard and my trackpad, I can navigate and execute edits with great dexterity. There are sniggley issues that I run into that still frustrate me, but overall it’s a fast, responsive application that lets me be creative. It’s like touch typing for video.

I recommend FCPX to people all the time. You should know that the first time you open up the app, there is a LOT to get used to. It took me a number of days to retrain my fingers and my mind to get around the app. Now, when I go back to my old regular platform, it feels so sluggish and old.

I’ve been spoiled, and I hope I never need to go back.

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