What if anything does FCPX mean for the future of Aperture?


If you follow what goes on in the general world of technology or even Apple you've probably read by now that Final Cut Pro X has been released by Apple. With this new release Apple has remained its flagship editing software from the ground up and already its causing quite a stir. So what has this got to do with Aperture I hear you ask? Not much directly, but it could have a big impact in the future.

First let me talk quickly about how FCPX does affect Aperture users. If you are a DSLR shooter who also shoots video, FCPX now works much better with files from such cameras. Much better. It also lets you see your Aperture library much like iMovie does so if you want to access stills you can do it directly without having to export them first. I'm not sure if this applies to any video you might have in Aperture also, as I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I'm guessing it does as iMovie does.

Another cool feature is that FCPX now features a built in ken burns effect. Combined with the built in library browser it makes it a cinch to do fancy slideshows. And before you mention Aperture's slideshow module, FCPX is substantially more responsive. Aperture's slideshow module is a little on the slugs side (I'm being chartable here!)

FCPX now uses a library structure much like Aperture, for better or for worse (most people are going with worse at this stage) and FCP shows up in the media section of the finder and open and save dialog boxes.

What I think is truly interesting about this release, and how it affects Aperture users is that the interface seems to be the new de-facto pro user interface. Both FCPX and Motion both share the new scheme and I suspect that future versions of Aperture probably will too. There are lots of things to like about it, in particular the dark color scheme. There are however a few unpleasant aspects too. Motion for example uses that horrible cross hatch background that features on the iPad. I thought I was seeing things at first. Sorry, but this has no place in a professional application. Hopefully if this is the UI scheme for the next version of Aperture this won't make it to it.

The other thing that I don't like about it is the somewhat arbitrary button placement. Buttons seem to be placed at the far corners of the interface and they bring elements in and out from the various sides. It takes a bit of getting used to and doesn't seem intuitive at all.Final Cut Pro X was a ground up re-write to bring it into the cocoa world and make it 64bit. Aperture has already undergone that process so we won't have to deal with that upheaval but I do strongly suspect that the next version will look a lot like FCPX.