Unless you’ve been living on Mars you’ll already know FCPX 10.0.3 has been released this week. It was another free update but also another huge update fixing many niggles, very noticeable performance improvements and stability but importantly it made good on Apple’s promise to provide Multicam and Broadcast monitoring features to FCPX early in 2012.

The reason for this post is to question why Multicam is so important to seemingly so many people. I have to confess I rarely use multicam, when I say rarely I mean, I can’t remember the last time I used it at all during production. It’s not a feature that I use nor is it a feature I see as a must have so I found the furore surrounding its omission perplexing when FCPX was released.

I’m sure when Apple drew up the initial release spec for FCPX they will have thought about what to include and what to leave out quite carefully. I mean it’s obvious who Apple were aiming the initial release of FCPX at (single editors and small companies ) and the types of project they’d be most likely to be working on. It’s unlikely that a huge multi camera productions would be high on the agenda for these users and companies so again why the level of vitriol thrown at Apple for leaving this feature out and now why the level of praise for re-instating it?

It is all very bizarre as looking at comments on Twitter (#FCPX) shows most people are delighted and it’s almost as though now that FCPX has the “Pro” feature of Multicam that now people feel able to embrace FCPX in a way they didn’t allow themselves to before. The Multicam implementation in FCPX is by far the best implementation of multicam I have ever seen in a NLE. It even renders proxies of footage used as camera angles to ensure your HDDs aren’t murdered when you use more than a couple of streams of a possible 64. It’s a great piece of engineering but it doesn’t explain the mass change of hear with respect to FCPX.

My impression is that some (actually a lot of) people need assurance from the software’s feature set and need certain key features to be present in order to feel that it is a professional level tool even if they may never use the functions or at best have a quick fiddle with it. Whatever the reason FCPX and Apple seem to have been cut the slack they most certainly deserve and can concentrate on rolling out more features and I also hope the new found positivity towards FCPX will result in many more people will discover its delights unafraid what their “friends” or colleagues might say. If adding Multicam has allowed people to feel differently about the software then that’s a good thing as it will only be a good thing as it’ll attract more 3rd party developers, personally I would have preferred improved audio editing tools and a round-trip to Motion but that can wait until the next release.

I confidently predict that FCPX has a bright future and in eighteen months to two years, given the rapid development shown so far, will be the NLE that the others will be judged against. In that period the trackless paradigm will no longer be new or strange it will be accepted as perfectly normal and any workflow or performance issues caused by the new way of thinking will have been addressed making the competition look utterly old school. The puck will eventually catch up to where FCPX has been skating.