Final Cut Pro X was by all accounts supposed to be a monumental upgrade and a significant step forward for video editing. Well, that's how Apple at least described it in the months before FCP X hit the market.
But things haven't exactly gone as planned. Final Cut Pro X has been utterly lambasted by video professionals who are quick to point out a litany of missing features and usability issues. Even Conan O'Brien took some time to poke some fun at the negative reaction to FCP X. Apple for its part has indicated that it will be issuing updates frequently but that hasn't done much to the quell the discontent.
Indeed, most Final Cut Pro 7 users are quick to call FCP X a giant step backwards while many are referring to it as an iMovie pro type of app. Now to be fair, FCP X at $299 is undeniably a solid deal for even serious amateurs and it's not as if FCP X is a total dud. It's just a dud if you happen to be a professional video editor. And that, in a nutshell, is sort of how Apple operates. While it certainly appreciates the passion of the professional video editing community, it's no secret that Apple would much rather appeal to a broader user-base of amateurs than a small minority of professionals.
And those professionals, many of whom have livelihoods that depend on Final Cut Pro 7, are understandably pissed off and they're not shy about letting their feelings known. All one has to do is go to the iTunes page for FCP X to see an astounding number of 1-star reviews accompanied by a plethora of negative and critical comments about Apple's completely rewritten video editing software.
Apple has attempted to quell the dismay by addressing some of the more common concerns and misconceptions about FCP X. Ultimately, though, professionals on the whole seem to unanimously agree that FCP X is simply not a professional video editing app.
Highlighting just how bad things have gotten, Apple this week began offering refunds to users unhappy with their purchase. Now if you know Apple, they're dead serious when it comes to their money, so actually issuing refunds to video professionals who feel they've been duped is no small thing.
One example of an Apple email to a disappointed purchaser reads as follows:
"Moving forward, I understand that you are not satisfied with the app 'Final Cut Pro.' I can certainly appreciate you would like a refund, and I would be more than happy to help you out with this today. In five to seven business days, a credit of £179.99 should be posted to the credit card that appears on the receipt for that purchase.
P"lease note that this is a one time exception because the iTunes Terms and Conditions state that all sales are final."
While Apple does, from time to time, offer refunds for accidental purchases software that doesn't work, offering users a refund for an app that user's are disappointed in seems unprecedented. Even more so when the product in question is Apple developed software.
One other email a user received, and first relayed by NextWeb, reads:
"Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding your email, as we have been receiving higher volumes than usual. This is certainly not the customary time for a response and your understanding is greatly appreciated.
"I'm sorry to hear that the apps 'Compressor' and 'Final Cut Pro' you purchased on the Mac App Store is not functioning as expected. I know how special your purchases are and I regret for the inconvenience caused. I will try my best to resolve this issue.
"[Name Redacted], at your request, I have refunded the apps and in five to seven business days, a credit of $380.08 should be posted to the Visa card that appears on the receipt for that purchase.
"If you have any questions, concerns, or need any additional assistance with this matter, please do not hesitate to reply to this email. Thank you for being an iTunes Store customer. Apple appreciates your business."
In the latest piece of FCP news, Apple put up an FCP X FAQ page addressing many of the more common complaints such as the current lack of multi-cam editing support and the inability to import FCP 7 clips into FCP X.
While Apple certainly expected some negative reaction from the FCP X release, it's hard to imagine that they were prepared for the complete onslaught of criticism. It's very similar to the reaction following Apple's transition from iMovie 6 to the current iMovie. In this instance, however, things are much more heated because, as I mentioned earlier, people's livelihoods are tied up in FCP.
This story, "Apple Offers Refunds for Unhappy Final Cut Pro X Users" was originally published by Network World.