Apple Releases Final Cut Pro X 10.1

Today, Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.1 — probably the most significant update since Final Cut’s initial release. (In case you are wondering, my vote for second most significant update is version 10.0.3.) This new version sports hundreds of new features, both large and small, and some very exciting improvements.

The update is free and available on the Mac App store. However, it requires OS X Mavericks to run. Plus, it requires updating all existing FCP X Events and Projects.

If you are in the middle of a big project – DON’T UPGRADE!! Finish the project, then upgrade.

When you do, there is a lot to look forward to:


I like this new version for its speed, media management, and the improvements to the editing process. As with all updates to any editing software, never update in the middle of a project. But, when you update, you’ll be glad you did.

Updating events and projects needs to be approached with caution, but, once you understand how it works, updating is straight-forward.

Here’s a detailed look at what to expect in the new version.


(Click image to view larger version.)

While I haven’t done any formal performance testing, I was surprised by how smooth and quick the application felt as I was creating my latest Final Cut Pro X training — and I was running it on a 2010 iMac!

NOTE: More RAM helps. There is a big difference in Final Cut’s performance between running on 4 GB of RAM and 16 GB of RAM. FCP X will use as much RAM as you can give it; though, if you are on a limited budget, 16 GB is RAM is fine. Also, always store media to a second drive; don’t use the boot drive.

And, before you ask, no, I haven’t run this on a Mac Pro – new or old. Like I said, even on an older iMac, the software feels very smooth.


Better performance is always good, especially as we step up into larger frame sizes, but the biggest change is media management. Judging from my email and the most popular articles on my website, media management drives most people nuts. And not just Final Cut, media management for any video editing software is confusing to many people.

Apple thought they fixed it with their initial concept of Events and Projects. But there was still confusion, and quitting Final Cut just to move events in and out of the app was a mess.

In this version, Apple replaced Events and Projects with Libraries. The old Event Library is gone, replaced by the Libraries pane. Libraries contain Media, Events and Projects. Events are now more like folders, or bins, which store stuff. Projects are now stored in Events. With a single keystroke, we can now create instant “Snapshots” of a project to serve as a reference for a particular point in the edit.

You can open, close, and backup Libraries without ever quitting Final Cut. And, the old limit of about 2,000 clips per event has been significantly expanded. A Library is a “bundle,” similar to Keynote. A Bundle acts like a single file, but stores all your media and other elements inside itself. This means it is very easy to backup, move, or copy entire libraries.

The only downside – and it’s a big one – is that all current Events and Libraries need to be updated before they can be used in Final Cut 10.1. However, media files are fine and don’t require updating.

NOTE: I’ve written a separate blog that details media management in the new version. Read it here.

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Before you upgrade your editing system, watch this short eight-minute video that explains what you need to know about upgrading Events and Projects.

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NOTE: The excellent utility from Intelligent Assistant, “Event Manager X” can be a help in upgrading Events and Projects. Even better, the folks at Intelligent Assistance are now offering this utility for free. To learn more, visit:

I really like the new media management. It is faster, safer, easier and better… once you get through the update process. However, updating is a one-time-only procedure which is straight-forward – just watch my video first.

NOTE: Apple also has a white paper that describes this process as well. To learn more, visit:


There are lots of new features, some big and some small, that make using the program a lot more fun.

(Click image to view larger version.)

The list goes on:

There’s a lot in the new version – and we’ll be talking about it for a long while to come.


The latest version of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X does not deliver world peace. Nor does it fulfill every editor’s wish list. But Apple has done a solid job of adding features that we can use in our projects every day to make our edits go faster, easier and with a bit more fun.

And, as soon as you are between projects, I recommend you upgrade. The faster performance and new media management, alone, make the upgrade worthwhile.


I just completed all-new training on this version of Final Cut Pro X. To see the first 15 movies – which will give you a Quick Start into the application – visit my YouTube channel.

To download your own copy of my Final Cut Pro X training, please visit our store.

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79 Responses to Apple Releases Final Cut Pro X 10.1

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  1. Pingback: Blogs | Final Cut Pro X

  2. Paul says:

    Hi Larry.

    Thanks For your excellent article about Final Cut Pro X 10.1

    I was wondering if it is now possible to sync clips directly into the timeline (instead of the event browser) since all the event and project files are contained in the same library…?

    Many thanks!

  3. Paul says:

    I found a cool keyboard shortcut that I hadn’t heard of before.

    Hold the Control key and the Down Arrow key at the same time while in FCPX. [Control Key, not the Apple Key.] Brings up all your libraries! Kinda cool!

    Also check out Final Cut Library Manager—what a great little add on program!


  4. LV says:

    FCP X will use as much RAM as you can give it….It this a true statement? Some servers can use up to 768 GB of ram, will Final Cut Pro X actually use that amount? Or even 32 GB?

    • LarryJ says:


      My statement is essentially true. The most RAM that I know of in a Mac is 128 GB in the new Mac Pro using an OWC upgrade. (I don’t know any Mac that can take 768 GB of RAM.)

      That being said, FCP X uses RAM as a media cache to speed file access and editing. If, for instance, your total project media was only a few GB, then only a portion of your RAM would be used – as the rest wasn’t needed. On the other hand, if you have lots of clips spanning lots of GB, then FCP will load as much of your media into RAM as it can.

      So, in essence, the more RAM you have, the more media can be cached and the less time is wasted accessing files from the hard disk.


  5. William T says:

    I have been working on a project in version 10.0.8 for the last year and am nearing completion. I want to be able to use some plug-ins and animate a map for my project. Promaps does not work on 10.0.8.

    Are there other options out there for 10.0.8? Or do I need to complete all editing I am going to do on the current project, with the exception of plug-in work and then upgrade to 10.1 so I can add maps and other effects?

    • William:

      When you are THIS CLOSE to the end of a project, I am VERY reluctant to recommend upgrading.

      What I recommend, instead, is to use a different computer system – or a friend – to create your maps, export them as video clips and add them to your current project until it is done.

      After you wrap the project, then upgrade.

      or…. you could look for maps via stock footage. I know has a variety of maps that may work.


  6. Deanna says:

    HELP! I’m having a major melt down! I did my Mac operating system upgrade and I did not get any warnings about having issues with my Final Cut Pro, I’m in the middle or was in the middle of 2 projects for clients, now after opening Final Cut Pro and clicking update my drives, all of my files seem to be there but NO project files and when I got to one of my drives the Project Files are no longer even on that drive, on the other drive the only folders are “my old final cut events and projects” I’m not a software guru, I’m in tears at the amount of hours I spend on these projects and both were 98% done! Can you please help me recover my projects, there has to be a way! I did a system back up before opening Final Cut Pro but one of my projects was on a different hard drive and that is the one that now just says “Final Cut External Media”, all projects and events are no longer on this drive. Just upgraded to 10.9.5 OSX.

    • LarryJ says:

      First, for EVERYONE reading this – NEVER, NEVER, NEVER upgrade anything when you are close to finishing a project. NEVER.

      Now, Deanna, let’s see if we can figure this out.

      What version of Final Cut were you running before this? FCP 7 requires an XML export to run in FCP X.

      FCP X 10.0.x will update your projects. This video can help if you upgraded from FCP X 10.0 to 10.1.x:

      If that doesn’t solve the problem, we need more details, like what versions of the OS and FCP X were you running before and what versions are you running now?


  7. Deanna says:

    Unfortunately I didn’t see the warning before hand and I was not trying to upgrade my final cut pro x, I was updating my operating system to 10.9.5. I was and still am on final cut pro x but now my projects are not showing up or most of them anyways, one project decided to open up and I can’t figure out how to close it and open anything else, it’s a nightmare! I’m going to watch your video now, thanks 🙂

  8. Deanna says:

    Thanks, I do not understand this at all. I didn’t make a back up all of my files before I started this update process, this is a total nightmare! Apple should warn you before doing an operating system update, actually it should be required that you do it in the store or with a huge warning about your professional programs!

  9. Deanna says:

    Thanks Larry, I am calling them tomorrow!!! On one of my hard drives the update created the folder called My old Final cut projects and events but on the other hard drive it did not. I may have to call Seagate to see if they can help me find those missing folders, they are probably still on the drive somewhere! Wow what a lesson learned, I want to punch a wall so bad but that will just hurt so I won’t 🙂

  10. Patrick Flaherty says:

    Don’t know if this is similar but I just got a FCPx project from another editor in my office which was edited on a Mac pro with older Os and earlier version of FCPx and when I went to open it on my latest Mac w latest FCPx it was not visible on hd out of frustration I just went to update projects and it appeared

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