Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Final Cut Pro X.
Q: Does it overwrite Final Cut Pro 7?
A: No. All of the Final Cut Studio applications are moved to a Final Cut Studio folder in your Applications directory.
Q: Can I still purchase Final Cut Studio if I need it?
A: Not directly from Apple. I'm sure third-party resellers still have it in stock, but probably not for very long.
Q: Is there Motion and audio content like in previous versions?
A: Yes, but it is not installed by default. You need to launch Final Cut Pro X and go to Final Cut Pro > Download Additional Content.
IMPORTANT: Even if you don't need the content, I recommend doing this so that you have access to Final Cut Pro X's codecs.
Q: Should I also buy Compressor 4?
A: I would recommend it because Export to QuickTime Movie only offers a handful of codecs and options. To have control over the files you are exporting from FCPX, you definitely need Compressor 4.
Q: What about the other apps like Color, Cinema Tools and DVD Studio Pro?
A: They may come later but don't hold your breath. DVD Studio Pro is almost certainly dead.
Q: Will it work on my Mac?
A: Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 require OpenCL-compatible graphics cards (not to be confused with OpenGL) and the Mac App Store will prevent you from purchasing it if you don't have the correct card. Apple has provided a list of cards that are not compatible.
However, HardMac is reporting that it does work on supposedly unsupported systems if you purchase it on a supported system and transfer it across. I would not recommend doing this in mission-critical or production environments though.
Q: Can I install it on more than one computer?
A: You can install it on up to five systems. All systems must be 64-bit Intel and running OS X 10.6.7 or higher. To install it on the target system, launch the Mac App Store, go to the Purchased tab and click the Install button next to each item.
(Note: some people are reporting that the Mac App Store is "forgetting" their purchase of FCPX)
Q: Can I open old Final Cut Pro projects in FCPX?
A: Not directly. You can import FCP 7 XML files via 7toX but be aware that not everything can be transferred across.
Q: Can I import or export XML?
A: Yes, in FCPX 10.0.1 or higher. Note that XML does not contain all of the contents of a project or event so it is not considered a suitable backup or replacement.
Q: Can I export EDLs or marker lists?
Q: Can I import layered Photoshop files?
A: Yes, in FCPX 10.0.3 or higher.
Q: Can I capture from tape?
A: Yes, but only through Firewire, which limits it to DV, HDV and DVCPROHD capture. It's very basic and there's no way to customize it so I would recommend using another application to capture from tape.
Q: Can I output to tape?
Q: Can I use my old Final Cut Pro 7 plugins in Final Cut Pro X?
Q. Can I export a QuickTime movie with chapter markers?
A: No, but we have a workaround here.
Q: Does Final Cut Pro X have native R3D or XDCAM support?
Q: Can FCPX work natively with H.264 and DVCPROHD from P2 cards?
Q: How do I change where my render files are stored?
A: Render files are stored in the project directory so you need to move the project to a different drive. To do this, click the film strip icon in the bottom left corner to open up the Project Library, then drag the project to another drive. Only HFS+ drives will be displayed in this list - you cannot copy to Xsan, AFP, NFS or SMB volumes. (Thanks to Shamol Majumder for the tip)
Q: How do I reconnect media?
A: Go to File > Import > Files and browse for the original media files. If the files are already in the project, they will be reconnected.
There are two caveats: firstly, there is no way to reconnect to a different file (such as if you were replacing a temp VFX shot with the finished one) and secondly, it will always copy the file to your Final Cut Events folder even if you tell it not to. The latter would appear to be a bug.
Update: FCPX 10.0.3 now has a Reconnect function.
Q: Can I export a reference (non-self-contained) QuickTime movie?
Q: Can I output to a broadcast monitor?
A: FCPX 10.0.3 has a broadcast output feature however this is currently considered beta quality.
Q: How do I output OMFs / AAFs to Pro Tools?
A: Purchase Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP.
Update: Automatic Duck has now closed its doors and users are reporting that Pro Export FCP does not work with FCPX 10.0.3. One alternative is X2Pro which offers AAF output from FCPX.
Q: Can you split the interface across multiple monitors?
A: To a limited extent. In the Window menu there are two options: Show Events on Second Display and Show Viewer on Second Display.
Q: Is there an Autosave Vault?
A: FCPX saves all changes as you make them and autosave now replaces the regular save function. However, there is no autosave vault where you can go back to a previous version, only a single project backup that occurs every 15 minutes (with FCPX 10.0.3 and higher).
To regain autosave vault functionality and the ability to revert to a previous version in case of project corruption or undesired changes, use Pro Versioner.
Q: Is there an audio mixer?
A: No. There is no mixer and no way to keyframe audio in realtime.
Update: There's been a little bit of confusion over this statement. I'm not saying you can't keyframe audio at all, just not in realtime while your timeline is playing.
Q: Does FCPX support Euphonix control surfaces?
No. This thread quotes an Avid representative:
"As of this moment, no - Apple has not integrated EuCon support into FCPX. They have the option to do so, but would need to do the work on their end to support EuCon. Whether or not that will happen is unknown - given the nature of FCPX, my guess is that it's intentionally been left out. "
Q: Can I run Final Cut Pro X and Final Cut Pro 7 at the same time?
A: No, FCP X detects that FCP 7 is running and asks you to quit.
Q: Can I park the playhead on an individual field?
A: Yes! This is a feature long overdue for FCP.
Q: Why do DV files imported from iMovie play without audio?
A: iMovie creates raw DV files without track information or other metadata. FCPX is expecting the files to contain information on the structure of tracks. To fix this, you must rewrap the .dv files as QuickTime movies. To do this, open them in QuickTime Player 7, go to File > Save As and choose the option to save as a self-contained movie.
Q: Why do I get an error message when I launch Final Cut Pro 7 saying it is incompatible with Motion 5?
A: After installing Motion 5, you need to launch Motion 4 and then close it again to make this error disappear.
Q: Can I open my old Motion projects in Motion 5?
A: Yes. You will be prompted to upgrade the project (not recommended) or open it as an untitled project (recommended) in order to save it under a different name.
Q: Are Motion and Compressor compatible with Final Cut Pro 7?
A: Neither Send to Motion nor Send to Compressor work with the newer versions, however they both function as independent applications so you can still use them separately.
You cannot embed Motion 5 projects on a Final Cut Pro 7 timeline (it displays a message about missing media, even if you only add generators to the project) but you can export a QuickTime movie and bring it into FCP7. Also note that Motion 5 projects are not compatible with Motion 4 and there is no way to downgrade them.
Q: Do I need to buy Motion 5 in order to use third-party plugins?
A: Although FxPlug 2.0 plugins use Motion's rendering engine, you do not need Motion 5 installed on the system in order to use them.
Q: Compressor looks almost the same. Has it changed?
A: The biggest change is that Qmaster is now integrated directly into Compressor.
Q: Is Compressor now 64-bit?
A: The background task that handles encoding is 64-bit but only for 64-bit codecs. The Compressor user interface is still 32-bit.
Q: Can I use the Send to Compressor command in FCPX to send to Compressor 3?
A: No, you need to purchase Compressor 4 to use this feature.
Q: How do I get Compressor 4 to use all of my processing cores?
A: Go to Apple Qmaster > Share This Computer. Tick the option for Share This Computer and select Services Only.
Then, when submitting a batch, tick the option for This Computer Plus.
Q: Are there are incompatibilities with Compressor 3.5 and Compressor 4?
A: Yes, you must disable Compressor 3.5 Quick Clusters before using Compressor 4 Quick Clusters otherwise batches will fail.
Q: What about Final Cut Server and Final Cut Express?
Q: Does Final Cut Pro X recognize Xsan, NFS, AFP and SMB volumes?
A: These volumes do not appear in the Event Library, however you can still import files from them by going to File > Import > Files.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to deselect the option to copy files to Final Cut Events folder otherwise all of the media will be copied to your local disk.
FCP X will then add a symbolic link to the remote media on your local hard drive. Be aware that render files will be stored in the same location as the project file. To move the project, drag it to another drive in the Project Library. This can only be an HFS+ drive so you cannot store it on an Xsan volume.
(thanks to Brian Summa for the clarification)
Update: FCPX still doesn't see SAN locations automatically but you can now use File > Add San Location to add one manually.
Q: Does Final Cut Pro X work with ExFAT volumes?
A: Apparently not, but the workaround for Xsan volumes listed above may solve the issue for people experiencing this problem.
(ExFAT is a new cross-platform file system that is much better than FAT32 for transferring files between Mac and PC.)
Q: Can I store projects or events on different drives?
A: Projects will be stored on the local disk by default. To change this, click the film canister icon in the bottom left corner to open up the Project Library. You can then drag the project to any supported drive in the list. (Thanks to Shamol Majumder for the tip.)
Events can be stored on external disks by going to File > Import > Files, selecting Create New Event and choosing the name of the disk under Save To. You can change the location of an existing event by going to File > Move Event.
Q: How do I get a refund on FCPX?
A: Use this form and select "The app didn't function as expected". Even though Apple's terms and conditions prohibit refunds, several people have managed to get them by using this form.
I will update this FAQ as more questions and answers become available.
Update: Apple has posted an official FAQ here. It has fewer answers than ours but gives a good indication of Apple's future roadmap.