Apple’s FCPX FAQ: No Final Cut Pro 7 Import

Apple published answers to several common questions about the just released Final Cut Pro X late on Tuesday, including whether or not Final Cut Pro X will ever be able to import Final Cut Pro 7 projects. The answer to that is “no,” although the company’s responses to a few other questions will sting pro video editors a little less.

Final Cut Pro XApple answers Final Cut Pro X questions

According to Apple, the changes in Final Cut Pro X make it impossible to import older video editing projects without serious problems thanks to a new project architecture, redesigned audio and video effects, and new color grading features.

Apple stated:

Because of these changes, there is no way to “translate” or bring in old projects without changing or losing data. But if you’re already working with Final Cut Pro 7, you can continue to do so after installing Final Cut Pro X, and Final Cut Pro 7 will work with Mac OS X Lion. You can also import your media files from previous versions into Final Cut Pro X.

Video from Final Cut Pro 7, however, can be imported, along with video from a growing list of cameras and other devices. Some import plug-ins will need to be updated for the new version of FCP, and for now RED camera users will need to use REDCINE-X to convert RED RAW files to ProRes.

Tape-based editing workflows are supported, but not to the same level as Final Cut Pro 7. According to Apple, “Final Cut Pro X is designed for modern file-based workflows.”

External monitors are supported — at least from Apple’s perspective. Since Macs already support multiple monitors, Apple said users can place windows on more than one display.

The real problem, however, is that Final Cut Pro X currently doesn’t support the external video monitors editors rely on daily. According to Apple, it has been working with third-party developers to add that support, and AJA has beta drivers for its Kona card available now.

Final Cut Pro X doesn’t support XML export yet, but that’s on the way:

We know how important XML export is to our developers and our users, and we expect to add this functionality to Final Cut Pro X. We will release a set of APIs in the next few weeks so that third-party developers can access the next-generation XML in Final Cut Pro X.

Apple also said that Final Cut Pro X supports saving multiple versions of projects, many of the keyboard shortcuts from FCP7 are the same in FCPX, third-party plug-ins need to be updated for 64-bit support, users can set scratch disk locations, and project sharing is supported.

Not all of Apple’s answers regarding Final Cut Pro X will make video editors happy, but having clear answers will make it easier for them to decide whether or not they should upgrade. Since Final Cut Pro 7 is supported in OS X Lion — due out next month — at least some editors will wait to upgrade to Final Cut Pro X until the next major update is released.