Final Cut Pro X 10.1.4
Tuesday, 02 December 2014
The 10.1.4 update appeared on December 2nd 2014. It was a maintenance release, not a feature update. As well as the usual bug fixes, Apple added very useful import and export features in the form of MXF handling through the separate Pro Video Formats 2.0 installer.
Both should be available in the Updates pane of the App Store application. You can download MXF support directly from Apple as well.
Ripple Training's MXF introduction and how it works in Final Cut Pro X:
Need MXF export but don't want to update Final Cut Pro X?
If you are in the middle of a project it is inadvisable to update Final Cut Pro X, but you can still produce MXF files if you have Compressor or Motion. Apple's Final Cut Pro X, Compressor & Motion MXF FAQ mentions that you can use Apple's new Pro Video Formats 2.0 MXF export with versions of Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor.
For AVC-Intra you can choose between 720p, 1080i and 1080p, 50Mbit/s and 100Mbit/s. You can also choose between 2 and 16 even numbers of audio channels at either 16 or 24 bits. You can also start timecode at the native value or force it to start at 10 hours or 1 hour.
As well as MXF working in Apple's ProApps, you can also use QuickTime Player 7 to open and play MXF files:
MXF is a wrapper format for different codecs, so you'll find that in some cases although you can export a flavour of MXF, you won't be able to import it back into Final Cut or play it using QuickTime Player 7:
AVC intra HD formats and IMX SD format show as greyed out in the import window. Uncompressed either doesn't export properly or play back properly.
Final Cut Pro X is now UK DPP-compliant
Since October 1 UK broadcasters have required that programmes be submitted as files - not on HD tape. The format they chose MXF OP1a with specific metadata which is known as the AS-11 standard. Alex Snelling (who wrote the standard work on Final Cut Pro X 10.1 Library workflows) has written a new document on how to prepare programmes for broadcast using Final Cut Pro X.
Download it from the 10dot1 website. The same page also includes specialised Compressor presets that aid AS-11 export.
This is good news for Final Cut Pro X users outside the UK because the AS-11 delivery standard was created in conjunction with the US-based Advanced Media Workflow Association. This means there is a good chance this standard will be adopted elsewhere in the world.
Don't forget that although recent updates haven't caused too many problems, it is best not to update Final Cut while in the middle of a project.
CoreMelt reported that all their plugins work with 10.1.4.
Philip Johnston reports that MXF AVC Long GOP files from Panasonic cameras now work with Final Cut Pro X, but XAVC-L footage from Sony's PXW-X70 didn't work.
It is rare that Apple Motion isn't updated at the same time as Final Cut Pro X. This implies that Final Cut's effects and compositing didn't changed between 10.1.3 and 10.1.4.
It is odd also that the ProApps team didn't update the UI to match OS X Yosemite - unlike Pages, Keynote and Numbers.
A little bit more 'Pro'
With this maintenance release Apple added a feature that is useful for broadcasters, but not any other features for the wider constituency of Final Cut editors. In July 2014 I compared 10.X with Final Cut Classic using graphs showing which markets each update supported. The last major update was 10.1.2:
Here's where 10.1.4 fits into this progression:
As I said in July, it looks like the next major version of Final Cut will shore up the middle markets: those using Final Cut Pro X for important and/or paid work and people working in smaller production companies. As well as features that demonstrate OS X Yosemite continuity and extension capabilities alongside Apple's replacement for iPhone and Aperture.