It’s been a rocky few years for Apple when it comes to professional users, thanks to failures like the rebooted Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X that drove many people away. Lately, the company has been trying to fix that with products like the iMac Pro (and the still promised the return of a more traditional Mac Pro sometime down the line) and a steady stream of updates for its pro applications.
The latest Final Cut Pro update looks to continue that momentum, adding two major new features to the video editing applications: an integrated closed caption tool and the introduction of a new video format called ProRes RAW that offers users the best of both the compressed ProRes format and true lossless RAW video.
With the new update, Final Cut Pro now lets users import and edit closed captions for their videos without needing a separate application for it. Apple’s implementation lets captions work with the existing magnetic timeline in Final Cut, and users are able to connect captions to audio or video clips. Just like when you connect separate audio to video, the two clips are linked, making it easy to move around segments of your video without losing the associated captions. Apple is supporting two major formats for captions with the update: CEA-608 (which is used in broadcasts in US / Mexico / Canada) and iTT (coincidentally, what iTunes movies use for captioning).
The other major update is the introduction (and support for) the new ProRes RAW format, which Apple views as a sort of bridge between the company’s existing ProRes formats and full RAW. ProRes Raw lets users combine sensor data from RAW with the space and processor savings of a compressed ProRes file, retaining the ease of use of the compressed format (especially for laptop editors) without necessarily sacrificing all the benefits of RAW video. For now, the company is partnering with Atomos (its Sumo 19 and Shogun recorders will be getting firmware updates to support ProRes RAW) and DJI, which will be selling a ProRes RAW-compatible Zenmuse X7 camera and Inspire 2 drone later this spring.
The Final Cut Pro update is expected to roll out to users next week on April 9th. Like Apple’s other Final Cut updates, version 10.4.1 will continue to be a free update for existing customers.