Top 4 FCP X Training YouTube Channels


With the release of Final Cut Pro X, the industry was shaken up and also put people in a compromising position: either embrace the new editing paradigm, or go to the other A-list NLEs. Three years later, a large group of professionals have embraced the editing software and have gone out of their way to help others understand it as well as they do. From the many discussions I have had with editors seeking training, many have said that YouTube should be the last place to look for professional training when you want to learn a new software. There is a lot of bad information out there, and if people don’t research properly, they may end up learning a technique or two that actually does more harm than help. However, there are certified and working professionals who offer high quality training on YouTube… if you look hard enough. In my search, I’ve come across a handful of individuals on YouTube who offer Final Cut Pro X training that have allowed me to look at it in a brand new light. I will provide you with a list of four channels that provide excellent FCP X training.

MacBreak Studio

This channel hosts weekly videos exploring how to get the best of Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5. Hosted by Ripple Training founders, Mark Spencer and Steve Martin, you will receive a wealth of knowledge that you can use right away on your projects. In my personal opinion, this show is what Videocopilot is to the After Effects community, but aimed at the FCP/Motion community. Many of their videos show you how to work faster and efficiently in FCP X by taking advantage of what is under the hood. They also feature intricate Motion tutorials to showcase how capable the program is when compared to other motion graphics applications. Below is an example of how FCP X users can master the Range selection tool.

I highly recommend you subscribe to this channel if you want to get more out of Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro X. You won’t regret it.


Run by Master trainer John Lynn, GeniusDV provides training for not only Final Cut Pro X, but Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro. What I like about this channel is that Jon runs through the basics of using Final Cut Pro X in a quick fashion that leaves me with more information than I originally had. The pacing and tonality in his voice allows you to learn how to use a function of Final Cut Pro X in minutes. In this video example, he shows you how to take two video clips and create an interesting face off composite.

Overall, I believe his channel is great if you need fast and efficient training on learning the basics of FCP X.

Dan Allen Films

Hosted by award winning UK filmmaker, Dan Allen, this channel provides tutorials on Final Cut Pro X from an independent filmmaking perspective. Many of his tutorials explain the ins and outs of Final Cut and Motion, but he also provides methods for getting your edits out of Final Cut Pro to send to other applications such as After Effects. Aside from workflow tutorials, Dan has done reviews on third party applications and plugins for FCP X such as those from Noise Industries and more. In this tutorial below, Dan explains how to replace clips you would send out for VFX back into FCP X.

Although Dan is young, he is a very wise and experienced filmmaker who shouldn’t be overlooked. He has a strong following with over 25,000 subscribers. Hitting the subscribe button on his page will pay off in the long run.

Web Video Chefs

Hosted by industry veterans Amani Chanel and Chip Dazard, Web Video Chefs is a strong source for editors to turn to, not only for Final Cut Pro X, but for mobile video and other video related items. On this channel, you can learn how to import various types of media into FCP X, edit mobile phone video with FCP X, and much more. I’ve picked up valuable FCP X shortcuts and tips by watching Chip and Amani’s tutorials, and I didn’t hesitate to hit the subscribe button once I saw more. The best part about Web Video Chefs is that Chip is a certified FCP X trainer, and Amani is a multi-year veteran in photojournalism and producing, so you know you will get the best tips available. In this video tutorial below, Chip shows us how to import Sony XDCam media into FCP X.

Those are four of the strongest YouTube channels to learn FCP X. Of course, there are more out there, but these channels demonstrate that you can find quality, professional training on YouTube if you know who to look for. All these channels are just a subscription away. I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to stay creative.

Steve Jobs Takes on a College Student

Poor Chelsea Kate Isaacs was applying her journalism training when she contacted Steve Jobs about the lack of responsiveness of Apple’s media relations department.  The Long Island University journalism student decided to write an article after her repeated calls and voicemails to the media department concerning the use of iPads in academic settings (which the tablet was originally used for).  Seems innocuous, right?  All Ms. Isaacs needed was someone to say how great the iPad is for students.  But no one did, and she got herself a better story.

With persistence that will serve her well, Ms. Isaacs skipped the middlemen and wrote directly to Steve Jobs to inquire about the lack of response.  She writes:

“Mr. Jobs, I humbly ask why Apple is so wonderfully attentive to the needs of students, whether it be with the latest, greatest invention or the company’s helpful customer service line, and yet, ironically, the media relations department fails to answer any of my questions which are, as I have repeatedly told them, essential to my academic performance.”

She went on to tell Jobs that while a lack of response from the media department might cost her a grade, it could cost a “journalist in the professional world” their job.  She thanked him.  And Jobs decided to email Ms. Isaacs back.

“Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry.”  Fair enough, right?

Ever-persistent, Ms. Isaacs wrote back to tell him that she didn’t want Apple to help her get a good grade.  She just wanted to know why the media relations team didn’t respond to media requests. Again, she got a reply:

“We have over 300 million users and we can’t respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry.”  Ms. Isaacs got desperate, thinking about that looming deadline and told Jobs that she was a user, and she did in fact have a problem.  This is the best part, and what has made a relatively minor exchange into news fodder.

“Please leave us alone.”  No “sorry” this time, sister.  Dumbfounded, Ms. Isaacs says that her article can (and has been at this point) be written and that she expects her grade to be lower because of the lack of quote from Apple.

But, as always, Jobs has his supporters.  TechRepublic’s Toni Bowers, says, “She [Isaacs] was being sarcastic by nature of the very wording of the email. She was inherently criticizing a perceived shortcoming in the way the man’s company is run. Her email was snarky so why should his response be any less so? And really, did she expect the CEO of a multinational company with over $42 billion in annuals sales to go scold his PR department for not taking the time to have a thoughtful conversation with a student trying to ace journalism 101?”

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Netflix Thriving: Thank you iPad

Netflix has been a phenomenal success, and the by mail/instant watch site continues go grow, enjoying the “sweet spot of its growth phase.”  A newly released app for the newly released iPad is helping push growth, and editions for the iPhone and iPod Touch are eagerly awaited.

Heath Terry, analyst with investment bank FBR Capital, reported that Netflix was outperforming expectations.  He says, “We continue to believe that Netflix is in the sweet spot of its growth phase: closing rental stores and expanding streaming options are driving significant subscriber growth, while the impact of rising content costs is more than offset by declining fulfillment costs.”  Further, the apps “should drive meaningful incremental subscriber growth, lower churn, and lower subscription acquisition costs.”

The app, which Dan Ackerman of CNET calls “one of the best reasons we can think of to sign on to Apple’s new device,”  allows you to stream television shows and movies directly from Netflix to your iPad. As part of your regular Netflix account, you can watch an unlimited amount of content on the Watch Instantly list and watch on your computer, television, or iPad and resume watching where you left off even if you switch devices.

You can browse through your options and update your Queue from your iPad, making it easy to get what you want, when you want.  The best part?  It’s free.  The second best part? It will soon be available for iPhone and Touch users.  One more last best part?  The new 1.02 version allows for video out so you can output videos with a Dock Connector, making it even more versatile and user-oriented.

A Netflix membership begins at $4.99 a month, and with that, you get unlimited streaming on Watch Instantly.  Add a few bucks and you get a few more videos.  No more late fees and an incredible selection of movies and TV shows.

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Is Apple Facing Legal Trouble?

Steve Jobs and the rest of the folks at Apple have seemingly created a stranglehold on the smartphone and tablet app market, and the Feds are reportedly “days away” from launching an antitrust investigation against the tech giant.  At issue is Apple’s refusal to allow Flash and development tools from other platforms in the App Store, which Apple announced in an update of its iPhone developers agreement last month.  Apparently, the US Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice are in the process of deciding who will take charge of the case and taking steps to see what type of action is appropriate.

Apple claims that disallowing Flash and other platforms which would allow developers to create apps that could move from one device to another – say from Apple to Android – is in the best interest of consumers.  The use of third-party tools, Apple says, will help create inferior apps.  Steve Jobs went so far as to issue an open letter, criticizing Adobe:

“Flash was created during the PC era–for PCs and mice.  New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.”


The full text of Jobs’s letter is published by CNET, and available for reading here.

The FTC and Department of Justice may be looking into this to see if Apple’s behavior is “anticompetitive.”

It is important to note that none of this means that the feds are going to come crashing in on Apple’s Cupertino operations and start confiscating things and interrogating employees (though that may be on Jason Chen’s wish list).  It does mean that the two government agencies are deciding who will lead a possible investigation, if they will take action, and what that action, if any, will be.  It could be as simple as questioning Apple about their business practices or it could involve an antitrust trial.

How will they decide?  Jason Schultz, co-director of the University of California at Berkley’s Samuelson Law, Technology, & Public Policy Clinic, says:

“It is the attempt to use power in one market–smartphone/tablet applications–to control other software markets, much like Microsoft used its power in the operating system and office software markets to try to control the browser market.  Just as OEMs would have been foolish to refuse to do business with Microsoft, most smartphone/tablet application makers would be foolish to refuse to do business with Apple if they hope to survive. Thus, this could be a basis for FTC/DOJ inquiry.”

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The iPad’s First Month

If you were the first in line to grab an iPad because you’re a huge fan of the iPhone, you might now be noticing a difference between the Apple devices.  It’s not the size of the screen, it’s the size of the app prices.  Distimo, an analytics company devoted to the app market, recently released their report for April.  Their numbers show that iPad apps are more expensive than their iPhone counterparts by almost 25 percent.  Why the price hike?  And what else does Distimo have to say?

The April numbers are of particular interest to developers, marketers, and app buyers because it is the first time that Distimo has analyzed figures for the much-hyped iPad.  They found, among other things, that the average app for the iPad costs $4.67; that’s 22.2 percent higher than the average iPhone app price of $3.82.  Much of this is probably due to the current wealth of iPhone apps – number at over 184,000 – and the not-so-fully stocked iPad store.   Distimo found that on April 12, there were 2654 iPad apps; only two weeks later, there were 3437.  The relative shortage of apps may mean that developers feel they can charge more at present.

So what are iPad users paying more for at the app store?  The biggest sellers are entertainment and games apps.  Thirty-two percent of the apps sold are games, but the most expensive are medical and finance related apps.  These sell for an average of $42.11 and $18.48 respectively.  The iPhone’s figures for the same categories: $10.74 and $5.74 respectively.  This is a whopping difference, and one that may start to equalize as the iPad’s shiny newness wears off a bit and more apps are added to the mix.

Apple reported that the iPad sold more than one million units within four weeks of its launch – about half the time that it took the iPhone to reach that milestone.  Users have uploaded 12 million apps for their new tablets, and 1.5 million books from the new iBookstore.

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Two per Customer? Forever?

Has Apple limited customers to purchasing only two iPads?   It’s not news that Apple is currently limiting customers to two iPads.  Understandable as they are creating frenzy-quality demand among Apple fans.  But have they gone one step further and limited people for life? It seems absurd, but it is rumored that Apple is actually restricting customers to an undisclosed number of iPads for life.  Can they do that?  We’ll see in a few years, but they are trying.

Apparently, a medical student was trying to purchase iPads for people overseas.  There were plenty in stock at his local Apple store, and he’d been there before to pick up his two iPad limit.  According to his blog, Protocol Snow, he was told by Apple that he had reached his lifetime limit for iPads.  When he asked what the lifetime limit is, he was told by an Apple employee, “All I can say is that you have reached your lifetime of iPads and will not be allowed to buy any more.”  He writes:

When Apple delayed the international iPad launch by a month, early adopters worldwide started to panic. Since my nearby Apple store initially had plenty of stock, I offered to purchase and ship iPads internationally for members of the NeoGAF gaming forum. I was doing this as a favor, unlike hoarders who were unloading iPads on eBay to cash in on the $150+ markup. Instead, my asking prices were very reasonable, just enough to cover all the tax, international express shipping, and Paypal fees with a little left over for unexpected costs.

According to Daily Tech, it seems that this mysterious lifetime limit is being rather arbitrarily or at least vaguely enforced at Apple stores, not through other vendors, such as Best Buy.  There have been a handful of reports about customers being told they’d reached their limit, which may be an effort to reduce price gouging and huge markups for the new iPad.

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iPad Can’t Get Into College

Despite Apple wanting you to think otherwise, tablet computers are not new.  In fact, they’ve been around for a while, but their applications have been somewhat limited to specialized fields, including contracting, where people have to be in the field and need access to data.  But they are also very useful in educational settings.  Schools have been using them as e-readers long before Kindle was cool.  Ironically, school is where the iPad, the newest tablet computer, is running into trouble.

According to the Washington Post, both George Washington University and Princeton University have banned iPads.  If you’re thinking that it’s a “no cell phone in class” policy updated, that’s not quite the case.   It seems the iPad is a little too hot for the schools’ Wi-Fi systems to handle.  Princeton officials say that out of the 41 iPads on their campus, 22 caused DHCP client malfunctions, which affected other wireless devices around the college.  Cornell University experienced similar fallout after the iPhone was released, and IT director Steve Schuster says that Cornell is “working to ensure the iPad does not have devastating consequences to our network.”

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Such issues could be a blow to Apple, which has gone after the higher education market by highlighting the iPad’s portability and availability of e-books. But students may not be willing to pay $499–or more, depending on the type of iPad–if they still need a desktop or laptop computer to check course assignments or email. Some higher education insiders also worry there isn’t enough educational content available via the iBookstore application to eliminate expensive physical textbooks.”

The universities and others across the world don’t have enough bandwidth to meet the incredible demand.  Israel banned Apple’s new tablet completely and are confiscating them at their border crossings because the country cannot support the demand.  This may be a problem for students who bought iPads to use as electronic text books, but who may have to pony up the cash to buy the old paper editions instead.  That adds to their cost, as well as to the weight they’re carrying around.  The Washington Post suggests that students find out about their schools’ ability to handle iPads before they buy one.  The problem is being addressed – the world just wasn’t ready for the iPad quite yet.

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Apple’s Taking Over the World One App at a Time

While the iPad has received generally positive reviews and sales have been outstanding thus far, one major complaint of the new tablet, as well as the iPhone, is the lack of Flash.  The multimedia platform gives websites the capacity for greater interactivity, including videos, games, animation, and graphic-rich apps.  Up until now, Apple has been vague on why they haven’t allowed Flash on their most popular devices.  In the past, security issues have been blamed, as has Steve Jobs’ assertion that Flash would run too slowly.  Smartphone developers, though, found out why Apple has not included Flash technology: because Apple so says.

According to an article in PC World, “Now the truth is out: Developers can’t use these platforms not for any technical reasons, but because Steve Jobs and his lawyers say they may not — period.”  In their newly revised developer licensing agreement, Apple has limited applications to use of “Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs.  Applications must be originally written in Objective –C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs.”

What this means is that Flash and Java runtimes are locked out from the iPhone platform, as are technologies that translate foreign platforms into binaries for iPhone.  This puts the upcoming Adobe Flash CS5 and Novell MonoTouch out of the loop as well.  Adobe is rumored to be considering filling a lawsuit against Apple for anti-competitive actions.

The reaction from developers and the technology community alike (excluding Apple, presumably) is that this is taking already-strict and somewhat arbitrary regulations to a new level.  As PC World puts it, “Under the new rules, not only are the functionality and content of your app restricted, but the verylanguage in which it is written is subject to Apple’s veto.  This is a particularly Orwellian twist, considering iPhone apps are distributed as binary executables.”  And no one is able to tell the language in which the apps were written unless they looked at the original source code.  PC World adds, “Apple wants to be sure developers haven’t committed the thoughtcrime of using unsanctioned tools.”

The general consensus, even among developers who won’t be affected because they’re toeing Apple’s line, is that Apple has dominated the smartphone market so clearly that Steve Jobs can afford to dictate terms to developers and platforms, like Flash and Java.  And developers and platforms really can’t afford to say no.

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Wi-Fi Woes

Breaking news: the iPad is not perfect.  This may not come as a surprise to some, but many iPad users are finding out the hard way that it is true.  Apple has announced today what many iPad users have found: that there are some connectivity issues with some iPad Wi-Fi users.  Apple said on its technical support site, “Under certain conditions, iPad may not automatically rejoin a known Wi-Fi network after restart or waking from sleep.”

The problem is mainly due to third-party routers that have dual-band capability, Apple says, and you could have connectivity problems if you use the same network name for each network or use different security settings.  Apple tells people to create separate network names and make sure security settings are consistent.  The problem should be solved in this way.  Though it would work, it is not advisable to turn off your security settings.

How many iPad users has this affected?  About 10,000 customers have complained to the company, on tech forums, and blogs.  One aggravated customer wrote, “My iPad is having issues with maintaining a wifi connection. It usually drops every 10-20 minutes.  To resolve this, I go and turn off the wifi and turn it back on.  It’s frustrating and time consuming.  Another issue is that when it is connected, I have issues with playing video.  It’s either very slow or doesn’t load at all.”

Will this impact the iPad’s loft goal of hitting over 7 million units this year?  Industry analysts, like Tim Bajarin, don’t think so.  His company has been using the iPad with no problem, and he suggests that older routers may be at fault.  “You have some routers in place that go back ten years.  And there is no question that when you make a device in these quantities, you could have a modern chip that has problems, but these seem to be isolated incidents – it’s not an epidemic.  I’m certain Apple will do everything it can at the device level to address this.  Any first-generation product is going to have some glitches.”

And despite some anger and frustration, iPad users seem to agree.  One writes, “Well, I hope it is fixable as well, but let’s be honest, just about any brand-new device is going to have some issues. The cool thing about being some of the first to own it are the bragging rights. The not-so-cool thing is being the proverbial guinea pigs.”

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What Do You Need an iPad For?

Apple is not all that happy to hear this common question, but really, what do you need an iPad for?  As the New York Times points out in its piece, “Doing the iPad Math:  Utility + Price + Desire,” it can’t take a picture or make a phone call, and you’ll have to pay for apps and content to load onto it.  A young woman from San Francisco sums it up:  “If I was going to spend that much money to buy something, it would just be a computer, because it costs just as much and it can do more things.”  And, another common question: “Where am I supposed to use it? Am I supposed to use it on the bus — and get robbed?”

So where does that leave Apple?  With a colossal waste of time and hype?  Not so fast.  There will be buyers, and as the NYTimes points out, time is on Apple’s side.  Prices will come down, new apps will be developed.  And Apple will begin its projected $77 million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing people that they may not need an iPad but they do want an iPad.  Will this work?  It undoubtedly will for die-hard Apple fans like Ryan Kenney of New York, who says, “It’s a want, as opposed to a need.  You don’t really need it.  Between a smartphone and a laptop, that covers all the bases…But I’d wear their underwear if they made it.”

Apple is going to convince you – or spend $77 million trying – that you not only want an iPad, but yeah, you will discover that you need it.  Exactly their strategy with the iPhone.  No one needed an iPhone when it first entered the market in 2007.  But ask that same question today of users: how many of them have grown to not only love their devices, but to actually need them in their daily lives?   Time and those ad dollars have helped Apple conquer the smartphone market, and now some people can’t imagine living or doing business without one.

Besides Mr. Kenney, who is going to buy?  According to Eitan Muller, NYU professor of high-tech marketing, those who will buy “are technophiles – the phrase ‘leading edge technology’ sends goosebumps all over their skin.”  These people account for about 16 percent of the potential market, according to analysts.  “The main market is made up of pragmatists, and the same phrase sends them into convulsions.”  And has them clutching their wallets and keeping them shut for the present.

Apple is banking on those same pragmatists making iPad purchases so their new ambiguous device becomes a must-have mainstream gadget.

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