Technology

Apple puts older Final Cut Pro back on sale

Final Cut Pro X
Image caption Many professional editors complained that Final Cut Pro X lacked essential features

Apple has put an older version of its Final Cut video editing software on sale, after complaints that its replacement was not good enough for professional work.

Final Cut Studio, which includes Final Cut Pro 7 is available for £834 through the company's telephone sales line.

Its recently introduced Final Cut Pro X received mixed reviews, with editors criticising the removal of key features

Apple has said it is simply clearing stock of the old software.

However, many in the editing world have taken it as a sign that the company is finally responding to the criticism.

"It's really good news all round. I don't know what people would have done over the next year otherwise," said Ben Franklin, head of post production at London-based Spectrecom.

"Final Cut Pro X just doesn't seem to fit within the way we work, so we have to make the decision, do we stick with it or do we look elsewhere like Avid or Adobe Premiere Pro."

It is understood that major production houses and some broadcasters have also lobbied Apple directly about the current version.

Unprofessional?

Among the criticisms levelled at Final Cut Pro X were its inability to communicate with some professional edit suite equipment, and incompatibility with certain file formats from older versions of the software.

On the Mac app store, the product received almost as many one star reviews as five star.

"Can't conform frame rates. Can't confirm/set pixel aspect ratio. We make TV ads, and this is unusable for our workflow," wrote Jonathan Flek.

Image caption Reviews of Final Cut Pro X on the Apple App store were mixed

"So many essential functions missing for production, it is staggering," added Dermot Faloon.

But a user called Severedfingers said: "Far from dumbing down... in my opinion the software is now significantly more advanced in the way it handles the timeline."

The £199 download has consistently proved to be one of the best selling items on the App store, suggesting that Apple was expanding Final Cut's audience to include some consumer and so-called "prosumer" customers.

In a statement, an Apple spokesperson told BBC News: "As we've done before with many end-of-life software products, we have a limited quantity of Final Cut Studio still available through Apple telesales to customers who need them for ongoing projects."

Spectrecom's Ben Franklin was not convinced by that explanation.

"I don't know, prior to this if they have ever gone back on anything," he said.

When BBC News contacted Apple's telesales department, it was told that the end date of Final Cut Studio availability was unknown.

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