OK Tim, time to wake up and put out another mea-culpa of a professional product being overlooked.
Avid just announced that Media Composer | First is a free app. Can you edit and export in 4K, no. But it still has a very good feature set for people wanting to edit SD video with a subset product of professionals.
Here once again is an opportunity for Apple to gain back lost market share. Sure iMovie is available for free, but can it compete with Media Composer. In a very simple word, No.
Apple still has not addressed the problem - a complete lack of a professional video editing suite. We understand that you want to believe that Final Cut Pro X is a professional product - but we beg to differ.
Even on your website you state: "A seamless jump from iMovie", with two monitors showing the two products side-by-side. That's not really a selling point for a professional product. Basically what you're stating is the FCPX is iMovie with added features. Again, not the best way to sell a professional product. So let's call it what it really is - iMovie Pro.
In the rush to release iMovie Pro, Apple once again removed features and focused more on taking that shite-black interface from iMovie and adding as many FCP features in that they could.
We loved FCP versions 4-7. Those were professional video editing apps. They didn't try to tell the editor what to do, they just did what they were asked to do. No questions, no deciding that you really didn't want to do A, you wanted to do B instead. iMovie Pro is missing the one thing that would prove what a piece of shite it really is; Clippy the paperclip.
And then there is the "X". The ubiquitous '10' that has to be included in all Apple software products. The fact that marketing sat around and once again wasted time deciding to jump from 7 to 10 and ignore 8 and 9 just show where priorities are at the company. *The first time being Quicktime X (also an inferior product to what it replaced).
With history as our guide, Apple has gone from being in an arms race with Avid Media Composer to being a footnote shared with Adobe Premiere. Up until, and including FCP7, Apple and Avid were neck-to-neck in features. To most video editors, this was Mac vs PC, Coke vs Pepsi. And then came 'New Coke'. Instead of finally creating a 64bit version of FCP7 with additional features, they came out with an upgraded version of iMovie with fewer features than the product it was supposed to replace.
Apple had already started to piss away any good will and hopes for better software that the industry had given it when they discontinued Shake with nothing to replace it. Even though rumors flew about a kick-arse replacement, Apple released nothing.
Shake is an entirely separate article, but in short, Apple took an incredibly great product that was widely used in the industry decided to get rid of it. Being node-based instead of timeline-based, Shake was intimidating and took effort to learn. But once you became familiar with nodes, it was one of the most powerful compositing tools on the market. And at the price of $499 US they could have owned the market for years to come. Instead they tried to move some of the features over to Motion and FCP, but the power was gone. What did get moved over no longer had the flexibility that Shake had.
It's probably too late to regain the industry hold you once had with FCP & Shake, so we won't hold our breath. What we can hope for is that you will take this and the Mac Amateur as lessons to learn from. Sometimes it's more important to add great features instead of focusing on making it pretty. And if you think that taking features away is an improvement; please find the highest window you can and jump our of it.
Tim, the truly best thing you can do now is rename Final Cut X to iMovie Pro Studio, because that's all it is.
Rest in peace Final Cut Pro - you were loved.