FCPX + Apple App Store 2.0 - New App Subscription Model

Just a few days before WWDC 2016, Apple has revealed that there are some major changes coming to the various App Stores. (iOS, tvOS, watchOS, OS X)


One could argue that this has been a long time coming, especially with many software creators (e.g. Adobe) turning to subscription based models to keep their cash flows steady.

What this change ultimately means for general purpose "consumer" apps is unknown, although it does appear to give developers more options for how they would like to monetize their apps, which couldn't be a bad thing from their perspective. The better profit share splits being offered from Apple should appeal to developers as well. (From 70/30 to 85/15 split after 1 year of a customer's subscription)

The more interesting (worrisome?) question is what will happen with Apple's own Pro Apps like Final Cut Pro X, Compressor, Motion 5, Logic Pro X? On one hand, its kind of mind blowing that with all the updates and improvements to Final Cut Pro X since it's 2011 debut, that Apple hasn't charged for a single update.

Could this change bring a new monthly charge to get the next version of Final Cut Pro X? Or perhaps not a full blown subscription, but will this simply put in place a method for Apple to charge an upgrade fee when there is a significant update to FCPX? Both are somewhat plausible, although the latter seems to be more so, in my opinion.


With a new update of Final Cut Pro X rumored to be coming some time next week during WWDC 2016, it would stand to reason that any changes to the way it's being priced and sold will be revealed at that point as well. I personally doubt that Apple will start charging a subscription price for any of the Pro App's, simply because they have no track record of doing that in the past, and its relatively "small potatoes" in the grand scheme of their vast business.

I've always thought of Apple's hardware as being "the cars" that they sell and their software as being "the road" on which you can "drive" the car on. Basically, they stand to make more money, more often if they have a good ecosystem (highway system?) of software on which to run their very profitable hardware on.

Also, while the Final Cut Pro X user base continues to grow as more people come to understand its power, it's still hasn't completely shaken the stigma it unfairly earned when it debuted back in 2011. It seems that it would be in the best interest of Apple to continue to make it readily accessible to the masses at its incredible one time price, and it will continue to permeate slowly outwards to the Youtubers, students, bitter FCP7 die hards, old-timer AVID fogey's, anti-subscription Premiere users, and to the masses of other post production professionals who may now be willing to give it another chance.

Who knows, maybe you'll even be able to get an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription through the Apple App store before you know it? Stranger things have happened...


Updated: Final Cut Pro X 10.2.3 (Motion 5 & Compressor too!)

Apple has released Final Cut Pro X version 10.2.3, Motion version 5.2.3, and Compressor version 4.2.2. Sadly, this is another "maintenance" (bug fix) style update and doesn't introduce many "features" to the Final Cut Pro X ecosystem.

The upside to this rather underwhelming update is that the timing of it seems to point to the likelihood of a "feature" update to be coming out around NAB 2016 time, in April. This was the case last year,  just in time to "WOW!" everyone at the most important film and video trade show in the world.

While this software is already fantastic, and fully capable of almost all workflows and scenarios you can throw at it, there are still so many directions Apple could be headed towards as far as improvements and feature implementation in the next update.

FCPX 10.3?

Some popular requests amongst the FCPX community are audio improvements, including a proper mixer and more integration with Roles, true round-tripping with Motion 5, a more robust keyframe editor, true background rendering, etc. The list is somewhere between very long, and endless!

I think all of those previously mentioned features would be fantastic, much needed additions, although I'd equally like to see a few "How is this not already in FCPX?" kind of features added. For example, you can copy and past attributes between clips, but there is no way to remove attributes at this point, besides manually going through and deleting all the effects off the clip. What an epic time waste!

I can understand the challenges of adding new features to an application from scratch, and greatly appreciated the addition of Paste Attributes, but why would it have been released without some way to remove attributes to go along with it? it just seems kind of crazy...or maybe just half assed?

Another seemingly simple one is that currently FCPX is the only editing application that doesn't feature a scrolling timeline. The playhead simply starts sliding down the timeline after you press PLAY, and continues off the edge of the screen, leaving you guessing where you are in the project. Even other Apple apps feature this basic "DUH!" functionality, such as Logic X and the "amateur" focused iMovie! Yes, even the one for your iPad and iPhone... This one seems pretty inexcusable going on 5 years after the initial release of FCPX. Maybe just a toggle switch to turn this function on and off, if for some reason Apple really thinks its better in it's current way?

You've got to wonder what's taking so long for these "low hanging fruit" type of fixes to be dealt with by Apple, especially when they go 6 long months between mere "bug fix" updates...but hopefully all this "under the hood" work can allow them to start adding in real features more frequently, and continue progressing the application forward.


Here's what's new in the updates:

Final Cut Pro X

What’s New in Version 10.2.3

• Customizable Default Effect lets you choose both a video and audio effect that is assigned to a keyboard shortcut

• 4K export preset to create video files for Apple devices

• Improves speed when opening libraries on a SAN

• Resolves an issue that could affect the timecode display in the Dashboard on OS X El Capitan

• Import Canon XF-AVC including video files from the Canon C300 Mark II

• Ability to share video to multiple YouTube accounts

• Resolves an issue in which a disabled video effect could appear as Missing Effect when opening the project or when sharing to Compressor

• Addresses an issue in which black frames could appear in imported iPhone video clips that were trimmed on iPhone

• Fixes an issue that could cause the playhead to jump ahead when editing short titles

• Fixes an issue that could cause the timeline to stop playback when switching views in the Browser

• Fixes an issue in which points on a Bezier shape could incorrectly switch from Linear to Smooth

• Fixes an issue in which some objects within Motion templates render with soft edges

• Adds iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and Apple TV (4th generation) to the Apple Devices compatibility list in the share window


What’s New in Version 5.2.3

• 4K export preset to create video files for Apple devices

• Improves stability when adding Photoshop files to a project

• Improves stability when searching in iTunes and photo libraries

• Improves stability when using the Undo command after ungrouping a parent group

• Correctly saves percentage-based parameters in the Checkerboard generator after closing and reopening a project

• Correctly saves the preview movie for Motion templates created in German, Japanese, and Chinese

• Fixes an issue in which points on a Bezier shape could incorrectly switch from Linear to Smooth

• Fixes an issue in which some objects within Motion templates render with soft edges

• Adds iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and Apple TV (4th generation) to the Apple Devices compatibility list in the share window


What’s New in Version 4.2.2

• 4K export preset to create video files for Apple devices

• Fixes an issue in which Closed Caption files could be incorrectly labeled as SDH subtitles when creating an iTunes Store Package

• Fixes an issue in which the Navigation window fails to display the source clip when the Preview Window is zoomed

• Launch screen displays correctly on OS X El Capitan

• Adds iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and Apple TV (4th generation) to the Apple Devices compatibility list

You can find the update in the app store now, or learn more about FCPX at Apple.com and the forums at fcp.co.

Also be sure to check out the Ripple Training guys (Steve Martin and Mark Spencer), where they produce the best educational content on FCPX, et al - just down the street from us in downtown Petaluma, CA.


Blackmagic Design - Davinci Resolve Update - 12.3 (12.3.1)

Blackmagic Design just released an update to DaVinci Resolve (12.3). There are a few nice tidbits included in this mostly refinement and bug fix update.

Some of the new features include:

  • Decode support for HEVC/H.265 QuickTime video in DaVinci Resolve Studio on Windows
  • Added Media Storage context menu option to directly add storage locations without opening Preferences on Mac and Windows
  • Ability to add Media Storage locations without restarting Resolve on Mac and Windows
  • Added support for reading Reel Names in OpenEXR media
  • Added decode support for Sony MPEG2 video files
  • Added support for ARRI RAW sharpness when using the ARRI Full Res Debayer
  • Added support for smaller font sizes on burn-ins
  • Added support for keyboard shortcut for loop on the Edit Page
  • Improved HEVC/H.265 decode performance on Mac in DaVinci Resolve Studio
  • Improved H.264 decode performance on Windows
  • Improved Varicam, MPEG4, AVC and AVC-Intra MXF decode performance on Mac and Windows
  • Improved compressed OpenEXR decode performance
  • Added support for RED SDK v6.1
  • General performance and stability improvements

Quick Thought

The one change that stands out to me most is correcting the inability to easy add media locations in Resolve. And once you've added it, you had to restart the entire application for them to take effect. This has been driving me crazy for a long time and I'm glad they fixed this relatively microscopic, yet massively annoying issue.

12.3.1 Update

UPDATE: One bug fix that was not actually fixed in the 12.3 update has now been squashed in a very minor (12.3.1) update today. This fixes the application stability when opening CinemaDNG files from by a camera or recorder device other than from Blackmagic cameras and recorders. Previously, CinemaDNG files from other third party recorders and cameras would possibly cause crashes in Resolve.

Download the update right now over at Blackmagic Design's support page, free of charge - per usual.


Instagram Adds Multi Account Support - FINALLY

Starting this week, you can quickly and easily switch between multiple accounts on Instagram! 🎉

Go to your profile settings to add an additional account. From there, tap your username at the top of your profile to switch between accounts. Once you have multiple accounts added, you’ll see your profile photo appear in places throughout the app so you can always tell which one you’re using at the moment.

To learn more, check out the Instagram Help Center.

Account switching will be available as part of Instagram version 7.15 for iOS and Android.
— Instagram Blog

Beginning this week Instagram will start to roll out one of the longest awaited features in the photo sharing platform's history: multiple account switching.

This is a godsend feature update for many users, (and more specifically businesses) who make heavy use of Instagram in their personal lives, as well as for marketing their businesses. Instagram has exploded in popularity over the past couple of years, especially in the brand marketing sector, and this will save the hassle of having to sign in and out different accounts while having to remember multiple logins and passwords.

Assuming you are running the latest version of Instagram (v7.15): 

  1. Simply go to the PROFILE page.
  2. Click the GEAR ICON in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down to the ADD ACCOUNT tab.
  4. Enter the username and password for the account you'd like to add.
  5. DONE!

Once you've done this, switching between accounts is easy - you just select the account you'd like to use from your profile page. Now we can quickly switch between our Elevate Visuals account, our personal accounts and our clients accounts for the social media content we create for them on a regular basis, with just a few taps.