Apple’s been taking a lot of heat over its latest version of Final Cut Pro since it launched last week. Now, in just a few hours, more than 600 people — most identifying themselves as editors and filmmakers — have already signed a petition titled, “Final Cut Pro X is Not a Professional Application.”

The new program features an entirely new interface that critics have compared to the company’s iMovie application.

And that’s not a favorable comparison.

“We, both the editors and affected filmmakers who rely on Final Cut Pro as a crucial business tool, do so in the same way Photoshop, Maya, Pro Tools, and other industry-standard applications are relied on by leading post-production environments,” the petition says, accusing Apple of irresponsibly making a huge change to an industry standard. The undersigned say that this new “prosumer-grade” Final Cut Pro X could put them out of business.

A quick look at the Mac App Store shows that there are several features that professionals say are missing from the new version, such as the ability to import Final Cut Pro 7 projects into the application and several third-party modiciations aren’t compatible with the new system.

The backlash against the program even got its own two-minute (or so) segment on Conan O’Brien’s show Friday:

Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber says that the resistance to the Final Cut Pro X reminds him of similar uproar over Mac OS X, with one key difference. “(With) the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, Apple kept Mac OS 9 around for years,” Gruber wrote. “Whereas the previous — dare I say classic? — versions of Apple’s professional video software were discontinued upon yesterday’s release of the new versions.”

Those signing the petition have demanded that FCP 7 be reinstated immediately, that Final Cut Pro be restored under its new name and Final Cut Pro X be considered as a member of the iMovie family or a “prosumer” product. Barring all that, the group requests that the source code for FCP 7 be “auctioned or sold to a third-party by January 1, 2012.”

I admit that I’m no video editor, and so couldn’t identify many of the problems these professional are upset about, but I’d love to hear from you about the program.

Have you used the new Final Cut Pro X? What do you think?

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