How can I give Final Cut Pro as a gift?
January 11, 2012 7:26 PM   Subscribe

I want to give someone a copy of Final Cut Pro X as a gift. But since there's no physical package anymore, I can't figure out how to do it, and I'm feeling pretty dumb. I thought maybe an iTunes Gift Certificate, but says "iTunes Gift Cards and Certificates can be redeemed for songs, albums, audiobooks, videos, and games on the iTunes Store. They cannot be used to buy Apple products." Help?

There's a different gift card option called the "Apple Gift Card," but for the Apple Gift Card options, it only lists buying things from the physical Apple Store or buying things online from "the Apple Online Store," and as far as I can tell that only means's store (which doesn't carry Final Cut Pro--the buy link is for buying it from the App Store).

There are also what seem to be App-Store-only gift cards, but the highest denomination I can find for those is $50--and I worry, because often there's a limit as to how many gift cards you can use in one transaction. And does Final Cut Pro, which is sold through the App Store, count as an App technically? Or do they separate "Apps" vs. "Apple products" somehow, like that quote above?

Anyway, I have unexpectedly stumbled into an entirely new experience for me, the information elsewhere is conflicting, and I am all at sea. Please tow me to shore!
posted by theatro to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Can you just give him a generic Visa gift card? Maybe wrap it up in a printout of the packaging or something to make it obvious what your intentions are?
posted by Lyn Never at 7:35 PM on January 11, 2012

According to this on the Apple Support Communities site, iTunes Gift Cards can be applied to Mac Store purchases.

If this holds true, buy as many iTunes cards as you need to give him to get Final Cut Pro. There's no limit that I've ever hit on redeeming cards on the store. All redeemed cards go into a pool of funds and then you can purchase whatever you need, so it should be fine.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:50 PM on January 11, 2012

Sorry for the derail, but this might be important info:

Did the person explicitly *ask* for Final Cut X? Because ask any serious editor what they think of this new version and you are guaranteed to hear words like "disaster," "horrible" and "ruined." Apparently it's massively dumbed-down for average casual users and has thus been made unusable for serious editing.

posted by drjimmy11 at 7:54 PM on January 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

An iTunes gift card can most definitely be used for Mac App Store apps. Apple, in fact, gave 100$ iTunes gift cards to purchasers of Macs over the summer with the intent that the money be used to buy new apps for the new computer.
posted by jeffch at 8:21 PM on January 11, 2012

Listen to drjimmy11 first.

If yes, then you can do exactly this. Target was running a special on iTunes gift cards a couple of weeks before the release of FCPX (15% off, which was a great deal). I purchased three $100 cards, and one $50 card. When you go into iTunes or the App Store, you just apply those cards toward your balance, and buy whatever you want - music, movies, apps for your phone, or apps for your desktop. All good, no worries.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:34 AM on January 12, 2012

Also, FCP X isn't horrible, exactly. If they have done non-linear editing anytime in the last 10 years, the interface and methods are not at all how people are trained to edit. Can you adjust and use it as a new tool? Certainly. It takes time and re-learning. But for most professional editors (myself included) there aren't enough benefits to learning an entirely new system that is still missing many tools and options that were available in the earlier version of FCP. Other than increased rendering power, and some more editable format options (still not all), FCP X isn't a step forward in editing. 2 more years down the line, it is quite possible that it will be a formidable tool.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:40 AM on January 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

To make it easier without requiring you to ask: Are they pro or advanced amateur users of Final Cut already? Probably best to get them something else. Are they iMovie users looking to level up? FCX is probably OK.

This article should give you a brief overview of the controversy, as well as the alternatives (FC7 or Adobe Premier.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:06 PM on January 12, 2012

Here's a quick 90 second video review:

Conan O'Brien Editors: Apple Final Cut Pro X Is Easy To Use
posted by caclwmr4 at 8:47 PM on January 12, 2012

iTunes gift card(s) it is! Thanks, I feel much better.

I don't feel quite as sanguine about FCPX now, though, and your point on that is well-taken. I'll talk to my fellow conspirators in the gift-giving and see what else we might do. I suppose this is one reason to feel better that we're giving her gift cards instead of the product--she might want to buy something else entirely!
posted by theatro at 5:15 AM on January 13, 2012

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