Steve Jobs: “Final Cut Pro is Alive and Well”

February 26, 2010

Recent firings by Apple have sent many video professionals into a frenzy, leading many to speculate that Apple has plans to sell off it’s Final Cut Studio suite of applications… perhaps even with an announcement around NAB. Needless to say anyone who uses Final Cut on a regular basis is rightfully terrified by these rumors.

Good news everyone… there’s no need to worry. Responding to a Mac Soda request for comment, regarding the state of Final Cut Pro, Steve Jobs said the following…

No worries. FCP is alive and well.

Sent from my iPhone

Hopefully this will put to rest this issue once and for all. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again… Final Cut Studio is alive and well, and Apple has no intentions of leaving this market.

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52 Responses to “Steve Jobs: “Final Cut Pro is Alive and Well””

  1. Chribbe said

    Sounds nice. Heard anything else? Sources?

    Could Apple be going to NAB this year? I know they don´t have a booth but could they get one this late?


  2. He should of said …No worries. FCP is alive and well…and we are working on FCS4 with 64bit…comming out soon…..

  3. ….and it will blow you all away……

  4. digital dream/films said :
    and we are working on FCS4 with 64bit…comming out soon…..

    Even if they are working on Studio 4, it’s probably in the extremely early stages and won’t see the light of day for a LONG time yet. What was it, 7 months ago the last big update came? Another one won’t hit for awhile.

    It’d be like if Adobe released CS5 this coming June 2010 and come Jan 1st 2011 BAM they drop CS6. It ain’t gonna happen.

  5. they should have had it ready for snow lepoard….what bulls shit……don’t get me worng,I love fcs….but it’s getting reallllllllll old.

  6. and cs4 is getting real young looking….soon it will be the……..u know the best.

    ps I hope not.

  7. I wish steve jobs would read some of the posts and give us some real hope….other then …… “Final Cut Pro is Alive and Well”….what the f…k that mean?

  8. I people who are Alive and Well”….but they can’t talk or walk…but they are Alive and Well”….come on give us more info

  9. Chribbe said

    I think that the rewrite of FCP wasn´t ready to be released with Snow Leopard so they had to release FCP as a minor upgrade (7.0). Just look at the pricedrop; why did they lower the price? Just because it didn´t have as many features like a normal upgrade. Next version will most likely have a normal pricepoint.

    Hope they are ready to launch at NAB with a release before end of summer.

    I would so like to hear more if anyone knows something.

  10. …that would be nice!…..what do you think mike?

  11. FCP has the best reputation in editing circles. But Adobe come with CS5 soon and it is 64 bits. I have tested it with 5 tracks of RED movie without problems.
    So Apple will soon have to upgrade FCP, otherwise it is only the old who uses FCP :-)

  12. Bill said

    As many already know, the problem is that Final Cut Pro is written using C and Apple’s “Carbon” API, but Apple decided that “Carbon” will not be expanded to support 64-bit and will in fact be deprecated going forward.

    That means to become a full 64-bit app, Final Cut Pro must be in effect REWRITTEN in Objective C to use the “Cocoa” ABI.

    Any programmer here knows that to more or less rewrite an app the size of FCP AND perform the equivalent of changing it from C to C++ is going to be no trivial task, either in terms of development time or testing.

  13. well…that means were fucked…you won’t see fcp 64bic for at lest 2 more years…if ever!!!!!

  14. princetondem said

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Laying off 40 employees attached to FCP can’t be good news no matter how you spin it. It’ll take more than “alive and well” to restore my believe that Apple cares about its pro users – Mac Pro update, anyone?

  15. yeah, keep updating the mac pro,….and never upgrade fcs….this sucks….cs5 may be the one……what do you all think…… I love fcs…but what the f…’s getting older & older..

  16. ribdog said

    Why is everone so suprised. Apple made more money from iphone ap’s last quarter (that they didn’t have to write any code for) than they have made in the history of FCP.
    As a business decision does it make sense to spend the money to employ people to write FCP code?
    Serious think about it.
    FCP me loved you long time, but now we just occasional friend ok.

  17. Fasrad said

    FCP may be alive and well, but I’ve heard that the next release will be aimed at consumers, not pro’s. Basically it will be an iMovie-ish interface with most of the pro features stripped clean. The future is hobbyist camcorder owners.

  18. that’s bullshit…..who told you you steve jobs…

  19. Fasrad said

    No, it wasn’t Steve Jobs or Tim Cook. But there are other people who work at Apple who are not happy with the new direction in the FCP group.

  20. well if that is true…..I better start looking at cs4-5 very seriously…but what about all the plug ins i paid for fcp…wow…i mean 3000.00 ….ps hey mike what the hell do you got to say about this….i mean it is your site…c/on talk to us…

  21. here’s an article i just read….

    What is Apple doing with Final Cut Pro?
    We were talking a couple of night ago and discussing how various of the NLE developers are dealing with the Carbon/Cocoa transition. But before I get to that a disclaimer and some background.

    Disclaimer: I have no inside knowledge. If I did it would almost certainly be under NDA and therefore would not be shared. Everything I post here is based on publicly available knowledge, if not that commonly known. (Depends on how much you care about code and most people don’t.) So, I present data points, interpretation and extrapolation: in plain English, guesswork, but intelligent guesswork! PLEASE DO NOT CONSIDER THESE RAMBLING “RUMORS” OR HAVING ANY INSIDE KNOWLEDGE. THEY DO NOT AND ARE NOT RUMORS.

    Final Cut Pro, like most software developed originally for OS 9, is built on a type of code called (for short) Carbon. The Carbon APIs (Application Programming Interface – the building blocks of code) allowed Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Media Composer and thousands of other applications to make the transition from OS 9 to OS X “reasonably painlessly”. (Meaning, hard but not impossible). Carbon code runs just fine on OS X and is no less efficient in and of itself than the more modern Cocoa code.

    So-called Cocoa code is the native language for OS X. It is built almost completely on NeXTstep, which Apple acquired when they acquired NeXT (and Steve Jobs) as a replacement for OS 9. Now, originally Apple said (at the 2006 WWDC) that there would be 64 bit versions of the Carbon APIs. This would have meant that Final Cut Pro, Media Composer, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, et al. would be able to move to 64 bit versions without major rewrite. And so it was good.

    Until a year later. At WWDC in July 2007 Apple reversed that decision and said that any application that wants to go to 64 bit would have to be rewritten to Cocoa. Much gnashing of teeth in the ProApps camp and at Avid and Adobe. Not only can’t they go to 64 bit without rewriting but Final Cut Pro cannot start to use OS X technologies like Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL until that rewrite is done.

    I’m much less familiar with Adobe’s code but the current version of Premiere Pro was ported to OS X in the modern code era and is almost certainly Cocoa where it hits the OS X road. It is highly likely that the majority of the code is in a format that is common to both platforms with mostly interface-specific code for each platform.

    That’s also likely with the Media Composer code but I have reason to believe that Avid have been progressively rewriting functional blocks of code from Carbon to Cocoa over the last several releases (since mid 2007 probably)!

    Most of the ProApps are already written in Cocoa: Soundtrack Pro, Motion, DVD Studio Pro (when it was based on Spruce not Astate’s code) and Compressor. These are already in a form that makes it relatively easy to move forward to take advantage of modern OS X technologies.

    Not so Final Cut Pro. Now we do know that most of what has been added to Final Cut Pro in recent versions has been written in Cocoa. Apple’s Xcode development tool allows a mixture of code types in the one application. I’m uncertain whether Multicam is written in Cocoa but I’d expect it to be. HDV Log and Capture; Log and Transfer; Share, Master Templates etc are clearly also written in Cocoa. (The main evidence is that the interface is using the “ProApps Kit” interface used in Motion, Soundtrack Pro et al.)

    So to the question that started the post: “Are Apple rewriting parts of the code as they go?” I think the answer is yes.

    One really strong piece of evidence is the new Speed Change tools in Final Cut Pro 7. The new interface is ProApps kit, not Final Cut Pro’s interface elements, which by itself suggests new Cocoa code. What is stronger evidence is that speed changes in XML files give different results when imported to Final Cut Pro 6 than they do when imported to Final Cut Pro 7. This is very strong evidence that new code is involved. (The old code would give the same result even with a new interface.)

    One would have to extrapolate that the new Marker functions (with their new interface) has also been given new code but that’s much less certain as the Marker interface still shows the original Final Cut Pro interface style with new elements added. (Compare the Speed Change dialog and Marker dialog to see the difference.)

    The rewrite to Cocoa, even assuming they don’t make fundamental changes* is very time consuming and a lot of hard work to rewrite and test. That there is evidence in the current release of work already complete strongly suggests that the team is hard at work doing what’s necessary to bring Final Cut Pro into the modern Cocoa OS X code era. But don’t expect to see a converted release any time soon. There’s a lot of work that the QuickTime team has to do to add functionality to the underlying QTKit API (The modern QuickTime API for programmers) that an updated Final Cut Pro needs. Right now there’s no support for QuickTime metadata in QTKit, for example.

    * Fundamental Changes. We’ve argued this instead of watching TV as well. Most of Final Cut Pro’s functionality is just fine. There’s not a lot to be gained by totally redesigning and redeveloping the Transition Editor, for example. There are, however, two areas that I think it would behove Apple well to rethink: Media Management and Metadata views. Media Management in Final Cut Pro is now reliable, except for a few edge cases (largely to do with dual system and merged clips). Whether or not to spend a lot of effort (and dollars) to improve it that last little bit for the relatively small customer base that would benefit is a management decision I’m glad I don’t have to make!

    I do think they need to do something more flexible with metadata support. Non-tape sources come complete with comprehensive metadata that Apple capture and insert into the media file. This support was added in my all-time favorite Final Cut Pro release – 5.1.2! Unfortunately the Bin interface has limited flexibility. While there are a lot of viewable columns there’s no way to add a column unless you’re the Apple engineer that does that! Other NLEs are much more flexible. Media Composer will add as many columns for whatever metadata you ask it to display. Not so Final Cut Pro where the only simple way to view QuickTime metadata in a QuickTime file is with my company’s miniME. (Go on, download it. The free demo lets you view all QuickTime metadata in a file and export it to an Excel spreadsheet. Buy it and you can remap the metadata into Final Cut Pro’s columns.)

    It takes years to make major transitions in software. QuickTime metadata support came in late 2006. With the advent of Log and Transfer, that support became valuable. So my informed guess is that a future release of Final Cut Pro will allow that metadata to be viewed and used in Final Cut Pro. It’s all there in the file and in any XML export. To me that suggests a foundation for some future construction.

    Like I said, nothing more than intelligent guesses. NOT RUMORS. NOT INSIDE INFORMATION. Just me joining dots and I’m bound to be wrong about half of it. I just don’t know which half!

  22. I don’t know what else I have to do to convince you all that Final Cut Pro isn’t going anywhere. Not only did my source tell me very specifically that it isn’t going anywhere and that an update is coming soon, but I got a conformation from STEVE JOBS. I thought that would be convincing enough, but I guess not. Stop this talk of switching to CS4 because Final Cut is not going anywhere, and an the team is hard at work on an update.

    REMEMBER: Companies fire employees all the time. That doesn’t mean that the whole division is going under, especially if the company’s CEO specifically says that that division is perfectly safe.

  23. alberg said

    So why did he fire the 40 people I understand were fired from this team? What was the purpose in that if the project is ‘alive and well’. While I consider Steve a great leader, clarifying his reasons for firing these employees and giving a roadmap for future FCP development would go a lot further than a lame “don’t worry” email.

  24. Lance said

    “Alive and well” – that’s what you call a non-denial denial.

    Sure it’s alive and well – people are using it, and they are selling it. His answer does not specifically state that they are NOT killing/selling off the division. His answer simply states the truth of the given moment – it speaks not at all to the future – which is everyone’s concern.

  25. BOY…now that is true……right… we need a better answer then that… future FCP development would be real nice…..

  26. …and like i said befor…I know people who are Alive and Well”….but they can’t talk or walk…but they are Alive and Well”….come on give us more info… future FCP development ….is it going to happen or not???????

  27. “….come on give us more info… future FCP development ….is it going to happen or not???????”

    Dear Lord, how many times do I need to answer this? Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT, ABOSOLUTELY POSITIVELY YES WITHOUT A FRACTION OF A DOUBT.


    well mike i love this site…but! remenber when you said………

    Listen up everyone! After a false alarm, I spoke with my source and got some things clarified. Here’s the deal: Major updates to Apple’s Pro Apps will be coming at WWDC this year. We’ve heard that there will be native RED and XDCAM support. There will be a major UI overhaul in Color. There will be a new Motion/Shake.

    On top of all that, there will be major speed enhancements. When I say major, I mean major, major, major. Apparently Final Cut Studio 3 running in Snow Leopard is unlike anything you’ve ever seen when it comes to professional video editing. Expect graph after graph at the keynote comparing the speed differences from FCS2 to FCS3. It will ship at the same time as Snow Leopard, as many of the new features will be reliant on what Snow Leopard has to offer.

    So there you go. Again, I am now absolutely positive that WWDC is the date. Sorry for the prior confusion and for getting your hopes up falsely. However, I’m sure this will be worth the wait… after all, speed is probably the single most important update FCS3 could bring.

  29. 64-Bit Optimization

    Future releases of Adobe Premiere® Pro and Adobe After Effects® software will no longer support 32-bit operating systems. Most PCs purchased since 2005 are already running 64-bit operating systems or can be upgraded. Mac OS X and Snow Leopard are already 64-bit capable.

    now…why can’t apple say something like that……adobe is going to be #1 very soon……ipod..ipad…iphone…..fcp is dying R.I.P……come on all….what do you think?????

  30. Chribbe said

    I feel the same way. Why can´t apple talk about the future of their pro products? I get why they don´t talk about iPhone/iPod/iPads. But our tools?

    Though, I believe FCP will be great in an upcoming version that will be a complete rewrite for Cocoa and everything in Snow Leopard. I have been waiting for this update since FCP4.5, getting tired of it. Just love FCP and the rest of FC Studio. Motion is great, Soundtrack is getting better (not good yet), Color is great but need Cocoa, Cinema Tools will imlpement great in FCP X.

    Please Apple, more info than alive and well.

    Anyone else got any sources?

  31. yes here….


    You know the drill. Someone at Apple coughs and suddenly the rumor mill is filled with frenzied statements that the doom of Final Cut Studio is at hand. “The Death of Final Cut” rumors have gotten to be as regular as spring floods or a plague of locusts.

    Recently two new variations on this theme have appeared: “Apple hasn’t updated Final Cut in [fill in number of hours / minutes / seconds since last release] therefore Apple must be killing it!” — and — “Final Cut doesn’t support all the new features in Snow Leopard, therefore Apple must be killing it!”

    Whisper this loudly in a worried tone at a crowded user group meeting and panic ensues.

    People, get a grip.

    Apple is in the midst – like many other large developers that start with the letter “A”– of a very thorny technical problem: in order for Final Cut Pro to take advantage of Snow Leopard features, it needs to be significantly rewritten. Not just a little; a lot.

    I’ve been told that Adobe took several years to rewrite Photoshop to support the Intel chip. Years! Why? Because millions and millions and millions of lines of code needed to change.

    The same problem exists with Final Cut Pro. It is a massive application, with tens of millions of lines of code needed to be changed. Apple needs to convert it from its old code (Carbon) to new code (Cocoa). And this doesn’t happen overnight. Not even over a long weekend.

    As Philip Hodgetts wrote in a recent blog:

    The rewrite [of Final Cut] to Cocoa, even assuming they don’t make fundamental changes [to the features of the software] is very time consuming and a lot of hard work to rewrite and test. That there is evidence in the current release of work already complete strongly suggests that the team is hard at work doing what’s necessary to bring Final Cut Pro into the modern Cocoa OS X code era. But don’t expect to see a converted release any time soon. There’s a lot of work that the QuickTime team [also] has to do to add functionality to the underlying QTKit API (The modern QuickTime API for programmers) that an updated Final Cut Pro needs. Right now there’s no support for QuickTime metadata in QTKit, for example.

    This means that even without adding new features, Apple has a massive, multi-year, multi-million dollar project on its hands.

    However, it is my hope that in addition to bringing Final Cut up to modern day specs, Apple also will take the time to add long-needed features to the application. I hope for improved stability, especially for longer projects involving thousands of clips, faster and more stable rendering using fetures in Snow Leopard, and a totally redesigned media manager providing better archiving options for tapeless media. Along with dozens of smaller tweaks that we’ve talked about endlessly in this newsletter.

    Apple probably won’t add all the features that all of us want. In many cases, we don’t agree among ourselves on which features qualify as “most important.”

    Personally, I have complete faith that Apple is currently working hard on improving Final Cut Pro (and Studio). I see NO evidence they are intending to let it die, or even lapse.

    However, they are in the midst of a very large undertaking that will take a while longer to complete. For this reason, I don’t expect any significant new versions of Final Cut Pro until late this year at the earliest. More likely, first quarter next year.

    Things may be quiet now at Apple. However, that doesn’t mean they are standing still. A delay is not the same as death. To me, silence means that Apple is working on it — but they have a very large amount of work to do.

  32. well…this is it…adobe wins over final cut…….apple you better do something…!!!!….ok I know… you don’t give a f….k…not with ipod,ipad,iphone and iwhat ever… this……….

    Adobe today announced that it will hold a launch event for Creative Suite 5 (CS5) on Monday, April 12th at 8:00 AM Pacific Time. While the company has yet to release many specific details on CS5 or disclose what will be covered during the launch event, users are invited to register for a video broadcast to be covered by Adobe TV.

    Adobe has shared relatively little about its plans for CS5, although it did reveal that Flash Professional CS5 will include tools to allow developers to build Flash-based applications and then export them in the standard .ipa format used for App Store applications. The technology was revealed last October along with a disclosure that several current App Store applications had been developed using a prerelease version of the software.

    The upcoming CS5 release will mark the first major update to the company’s flagship publishing applications since Creative Suite 4 was introduced in September 2008 and began shipping the following month.

  33. hey mike…final cut is alive and well…yeah…bull shit..I tell you if it was not for the plug ins for fcp… that i paid a lottttt of money for…i would buy cs5 NOW….and a lot of others are going to go with cs5..

  34. Chribbe said

    Better hope Apple got some really great stuff in pipeline to keep up with Adobe on this. Right now, it´s a joke.

    There are so many things in FCS that needs to be fixed. Realtime? uhh… Audio? RGB? DPX? you all know the rest.

    We need a editing software that is for the future. Right know FCP is so 90´s.
    Tape ingest?

    Apple, push for digital delivery in HD.

  35. Chribbe said

    Wow, today Apple sent out updates to FCS!!! They are working hard. Look at that list of fixes…. not.

  36. well…it’s better then nothing…at least it’s something…..and the best is on it’s way…fcs4…… you like me now mike?

  37. ribdog said

    Apple are not at this years NAB. Every other major editing vendor is there. Apple has more money than all of these companies combined but is still not there.
    Also there is a FCPUG event at NAB (Which is awesome) go look at the list of sponsors for the event. Apple is no where to be seen. It is truly amazing and a sign of things to come. FCP is not needed any more to sell Mac hardware. The sun may not have set on FCP but is slowly getting dark.

  38. Chribbe said

    I´m shure Apple hasn´t dropped FCP development. But it´s taking a bit too long, or they are too quiet. Since these are professional tools Apple should communicate the future a bit better so we can plan our investment better. Right now Adobe is talking up CS5 for the may release, good i think. Now I know i need to budget for CS5 this summer. With Apple you don´t know. All the sudden they release something and expect people to buy there products. Ok with the consumer products but not with professional ones. Just a hint that “FCS 4 is coming in 2010″ would be great. I don´t care if they go to NAB or not. Just some info would make my day. Like I said, I dont think Apple has dropped FCP. It´s just taking them a long time to write FCP in Cocoa. They can´t release it like Aperture, a brand new app that can get better every revision. Speed for example. FCP is speedy today and releasing a new cocoa FCP that is slower than FCP 7 is not going to go well. They need to optimize the cocoa FCP so much before it is let out. As a editor you don´t want to upgrade and find out that the upgrade is worse than before, though we are use to that too…

    Come on Apple, just a hint!

  39. FCP is not needed any more to sell Mac hardware.

    ..yes but… who would buy a mac pro…if not for final cut studio……I think big things are going to happen for fcs…the thing is WHEN???…..and like chribbe said a hint would be real GOOD!…….if anyone knows anything out there…please let us know……why don’t someone e-mail steve jobs…and ask for something better then……fc is alive and well…….how about WHEN…or if ever??

  40. Jean said

    If the above is not a hoax we just have to wait till wednesday to find out!

  41. steve said

    Nothing at NAB! CS5 with native DSLR editing….. maybe time to switch?!!!

  42. digital dream said

    A belated thank you to Philip Hodgetts… (WHAT’S HAPPENING TO FINAL CUT?) for the fine above article about final cut pro…

  43. thanks alot
    thank you very much

  44. John James said

    Why would Apple wish to continue in the high end media market? It’s products are for the masses, it has a huge success with iPhone iPad and now it’s laptops and Mac mini etc are storming ahead. To feed and water a high end editing solution that requires very expensive hardware and related ongoing support costs for a small market such as Film and TV does not make sense. IBM, HP and others have all entered this market and exited very quickly due to the fact that there is no profit in it. Even today companies in this space are looking to move away from expensive proprietary solutions from the media market leaders, as they try and survive in a market where their margins are eroded everyday by file sharing and the move of advertising to new delivery models. Apple would prefer to sell it’s professional hardware, where it can command a premium. Companies such as Adobe, Avid, TGV, Quantel etc only work and live in the media space – Apple is now a major consumer brand, it has already withdrawn it’s X-SAN products, FCP is just one release away from being a very home / student product. FCP release 8 will not move Apple’s share price one point higher – the next generation of iPad / iPhone will

  45. matt peet said

    I am a Big FCP fan. and I believe that apple would not stop making FCP because of the recognition it gives apple in the film industry. yes, cs5 is great. don’t get me wrong. but if it is heard that steve jobs said that FCP is alive and well, don’t read in between the lines. the 40 people that were fired were support staff not engineers so i hear. I believe that FCP will get an amazing upgrade sometime within the next year. and if it doesn’t i may very well switch to adobe. I will however wait until the next upgrade of FCP before I make that decision.

  46. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment on but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

  47. Nikita Katterjohn said

    Steve Jobs is such an inspiration

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