If you’re reading this, you’re probably a fan of Final Cut Pro. And while new features have been added this year (tracking changes, voice isolation) there have been no revolutionary changes to how the app works. If you learned how to use the app last year, you don’t need to re-learn it this year, and it doesn’t look like much has changed. So… does it matter that there hasn’t been a great deal of visible progress? It’s complicated, so let’s dig in.
The lack of promotion and feature growth (and FCP still has room to grow) can cause the market to shift further away from it to NLEs like Resolve. Additionally, Apple's attitude my hurt plugin developers and they may continue to shift emphasis to other NLEs further hampering feature additions from third-party developers.
I understand the developers of FCP Command Post are working on BRAW support and Sony GyroData support for FCP. Still, they're concerned that without Apple's approval for them to be offered in the Mac App Store may kill those projects.
If if Apple isn't doing direct marketing their support (or lack thereof) for third-party developers is a serious concern. It may well make more sense for Apple to rely on third-party FCP promotion but that still requires Apple's involvement.
Additionally, third party development drives up the cost of ownership and also may require multiple purchases of those third-party apps in some cases for collaborative work.
There are really only a handful of new features I'd like to see in FCP. However, what's disconcerting is that there are numerous bugs dating back to the original release that have never been fixed (sub-1-frame black, RAM leaks, etc). And if such bugs are systemic due to the software design, then there should be an official explanation of why they can't be eliminated. Add to this the half-measures that have never been followed up on. For example, adding audio roles without continuing that into the development of a functional mixer.
I agree that I don't think there's a ton of missing features keeping FCP from being a professional level, widely used editing app. I do think there are keyframe bugs (among other old bugs that Oliver mentioned) that should have been fixed by now, but every app has bugs that don't necessarily keep us from using them. I still think the biggest drawback to FCP being used more is that it has been designed to be such an insular editor. Although there are workarounds (mentioned in some great articles on this very website), FCP is really designed to be used by a small number of editors working on a single computer. The modular design of FCP, getting plugins to make it the editor you need it to be, can be very cumbersome for projects that require multiple editors over multiple systems requiring a great deal more prep than other editors typically need. At this point, I really wonder if we're not forcing FCP to be something it's really not meant to be, or needs to be?
"At this point, I really wonder if we're not forcing FCP to be something it's really not meant to be, or needs to be?"
I think that's a good point. I would tend to view it this way, too. Given the success FCP has had in new media circles - especially YouTube (which often presents very professional content) - why should Apple jump through hoops trying to pull in 1-5% of potential users?