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Breaking News: Final Cut Pro 7 is still dead!

December  2012 / 12 2 Comments

Gotta say, I agree with this post regarding Final Cut Pro 7. I just finished a job with it and, sadly, it wasn’t up to the task.

Admittedly, I’d over-estimated it, recommending against transcoding footage from a C300 (which poor old FCP7 insists is XDCAM HD422) when the client indicated that storage space was limited. I know we could’ve transcoded to proxies, but the initial tests with a few clips showed no performance hit and I figured it would preclude pernickety re-linking come Online Time. However, when trying to deal with an hour-long timeline and gazillions of clips, FCP7 continually freaked out.

And I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not just dead, it’s bean dead for nearly two years (if you count from the FCPX announcement rather than the release). That’s a long time not to have replaced it. Sure, you can say it works as well as it ever did, but we’re not using the media we always did. We’re hiring the latest cameras, using the latest codecs, so, in real terms, Final Cut Pro 7 does not work as well as it always did.

There’s also the dead bug problem. All software has bugs, but I’ve always been able to live with them because you knew that somewhere, someone was working to fix them. There were enough examples of updates that addressed that specific bug that you’d been ranting about, and it was like letting out a piss that had been getting painful.

The instant Final Cut Pro X was announced, though, you knew that no one was lifting a finger for version 7. It would crash and you’d get the standard ‘Final Cut Pro quit unexpectedly. Do you want to send a report to Apple?’ and it seemed like a joke. Did these reports now go in a killfile? Maybe the best ones got read out at the Infinite Loop Christmas party. “Quieten down: this one’s a belter. ‘Crashed while dragging keyframes on a .png that was’ — get this! — ‘12,238 by 9,496!’ Ahahahahaha!”

Whatever. They certainly weren’t helping to improve the software. The problem you’re having? You’ll have it forever. That was the thing, for me, that really made Final Cut 7 really feel dead.

And yet I still hear people saying, “I suppose I’d better think about where to go next.” Mr. Ostertag is right though, the day’s getting late for that kind of talk.

For me, Avid’s been a constant throughout my career, so it’s there for the broadcast jobs. When I get the chance I use Final Cut Pro X because it’s already the best way cut shots together, in my opinion, and has the scope to go stratospheric with its new paradigm in the way that the track timelines can only tinker themselves better as far as I can see. I still mean to give Premiere a serious go, though. Hell, I’ve bought it, and a FCPX-shy director I work with is making noises about using it for a feature next year, so I’ll start mucking about as soon as I get a chance.

But I’d be happy to abandon Final Cut Pro 7 forever, frankly. I only relented and installed it on my iMac because the deadline for the job I mentioned at the start was bearing down and I needed to take it home if I was ever to see my wife. I had hoped to keep it just on my old MacbookPro, and only for those times I needed to convert an old project. I didn’t want it on a new machine.

That’s not that I didn’t love it. I did. I loved my father, but I don’t want him exhumed. He’s dead, and so is FCP7. Better face it.



  • yer aud da would be proud of you
    merry christmas x

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