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Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade

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Jenny Hicks
Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:36:10 am

I have been reading the comments re FCP 7 and the Lion OS 10.7 upgrade.
I am faced with a decision now whether to do the next project on my FCP 7 with snow leopard or to upgrade. Am not interested in relearning FCP X. Do these compatibility issues remain problematic for you all or have they been sorted out. My instinct is to stick to the old system but there is the opportunity to upgrade c/o the production.... And then again there is always AVID. ADVICE PLEASE.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:43:24 am

Do you run software that will benefit from Lion? Final Cut 7 gets no benefit from Lion, just potential grief as posters on this forum have reported. And Lion will eventually break FCP7.

So unless there is other software that must run under Lion, my advice is to turn off all software updates and stick to the working SL system you now have. If anything breaks FCP7, Apple will not be releasing any fixes.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Nov 29, 2011 at 9:22:19 pm

+1 to what Michael said. I think he's exactly right.

Unless you have some reason you have to upgrade to Lion, I'd avoid it. FCP7 is a dead platform - meaning that Apple is not investing anymore time patching, bug checking, and updating the software. If Lion 10.7.3 or 10.7.4 or whatever breaks FCP7 then that's it. Since it's working on 10.6.8 (and all your plugins work) then stay there. If there's some software you need to run under 10.7 (Adobe, or FCPX, or ) then you'll have to take your chances. But if not, stick with 10.6.8.


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Jenny Hicks
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Nov 30, 2011 at 2:30:04 pm

Thanks chaps, and F.Yealls.I

This from the FCP guru on the ground in Cape Town...

'... I am running FCP 7 on Lion, I have not had any issues myself as I follow the following good practices. Always keep all drives to a maximum of 80% full try and keep the start up disk to 60%. Run disk utility at least once a month...'

He is also already a very happy FCPX convert.
I myself am deliberating still, leaning towards AVID, as I already know it more or less... and learning FCPX is potentially making my life more complicated than it needs to be right now.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Nov 30, 2011 at 8:20:49 pm

It is always important to get sample groups bigger than one person. You Guru friend has reason to run Lion and it moving to FCPX so when FCP7 breaks it may not matter.

Search this forum for the results others have had with Lion OS upgrades.


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Adam N. Greene
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Dec 1, 2011 at 3:32:09 pm

Wouldn't the soon-to-be death of MobileMe's services be a reason we are FORCED to upgrade to Lion?

If you have iDevices that hold Address Book contacts, iCal calendars, and other syncable items, those (at least so I've read) will only be able to still exist for users by using iCloud. And since iCloud appears to only work on Lion, what options are there? For filmmakers still using both FCP7 (out of necessity) and iDevice services, it feels like the Lion cornering you against a cliff -- bad news if you keeping inching back, [seemingly] bad news if you make the move forward.

Perhaps I haven't found the right thread yet, but am I incorrect in this assessment? What is the best plan of action (with a single system if possible) if you want to:

- continue to sync contacts, ical, and others between iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro (or other main)
- continue using FCP7
- use FCPX
- keep your projects working, clients happy, checkbook unneeded

If relevant, my personal setup includes:
- 2009 MacBook Pro 17", 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM (runs 10.6.8)
- 2007 Mac Pro, 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, 7 GB RAM (runs 10.5.8)

Thanks!

-Apple Certified Trainer / Pro-


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:32:52 pm

@Adam

Lion is not necessary for calendar/contact if using iDevices. Convenient? Yes. Necessary? No. You can just as easily use Google services or Micro$oft exchange for the items you need. Granted it's not as easy a solution.

Or you pickup a spare computer that is upgradable to Lion and you leave your production machine on 10.6.8 running FCP7.


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Heather Parker
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 12, 2012 at 3:41:20 am

Hi Adam -

I have a similar background/situation. It's March... What did you decide to do?

Thanks,
Heather

17" MacBookPro (OS 10.6.8, Processor 2.8 GH Intel Core 2 Duo) with FCP7.

Just upgraded to iphone 4S and ran into all the upgrades... from Mobile Me to Cloud = upgrade to Lion = upgrade to FCSX.... = $1000 or so. I've only upgraded my phone so far.


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Adam N. Greene
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 12, 2012 at 2:40:56 pm

Hi Heather,

I actually haven't done anything about it yet. I decided to wait and see if a 10.6.9 update comes out with iCloud capability. I read some threads on that possibility a while back (not sure where those URLs are now). Moving to a different service like Google, or buying lots of new gear, is not a decision we enjoy having to choose between, and neither is really an option at this point.

If the rumored 10.6.9 with iCloud capability does not emerge within a month or so, we will be upgrading to 10.7 on what machines we can and hope for the best. Though I am beginning to doubt they will, I am really hoping that Apple comes out with a solution for people like you and me, since the incompatibility is just a total slap in the face to loyal users of Apple equipment and services. We're a small business, and from our perspective we don't have a dedicated individual to solve/handle this problem like a big company might, so it means interrupting everything we are doing to focus on this, and it is disappointing to see the lack of support or empathy from our primary computing vendor.

That said, we are still very much Apple people, and have appreciated their technology and assistance in other areas. It helps us do the work we love and make our clients happy. I do hope Apple takes comments like mine and others similar seriously, since I want to believe in the products and company I am both using and recommending to staff, clients, students, and crew. OS transitions, how ever important and groundbreaking, should be made to be painless and easy, and better research should be done by their team about how to satisfy not just the existing mass customer base, but customers with real and specific concerns like you and me.

Good luck with your upgrade process.


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Heather Parker
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 12, 2012 at 3:57:45 pm

Hi Adam -

Thanks for the clear and thoughtful reply. Not what I wanted to hear, ;-) but helpful.
I will continue to ponder, and am in the same boat.

Question:

I know there is some limited functionality in FCSX for tape input. I'm a digital user too, but have old unfinished personal projects on tape... So, in your opinion.. would you just digitize those now, even if I'm not working on them just yet?

By the way, I'll send you something at your company website to review....

Thank you again,
Heather


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Adam N. Greene
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 12, 2012 at 6:14:59 pm

We have undergone a massive digitizing effort for all our tape based media, and are still not done, but will do it all eventually. We are still obviously keeping tapes, but digitizing just seems the prudent thing to do at this time for us. The best backup solution is via LTO tape decks if you want to preserve the data guaranteed for 30+ years, but the decks can be expensive and overkill for some projects. LTO tapes once you have a deck are not so bad for the price, but access data can be slow.

Another affordable option is to buy bare hard drives (which up until the Thai floods were the best deal in town), and then use them in combination with an external bare hard drive mount like the Voyager (sold by MacSales.com; I do not represent them). This has been a good option so long as you do proper maintenance on the shelved drives by running them at least once every 3-6 months.

At GLM we use a Drobo Pro as primary storage and live accessible backup, and the bare hard drives as a second backup.


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Rebecca Haimowitz
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Dec 27, 2012 at 10:34:09 pm

The end of this thread perfectly summed up the issue I'm having - I wonder if anyone found a solution yet!

I currently use FCP6 and OS 10.6.8

I could stay with this operating system and be fine - BUT I have all these problems now with iCloud and my iCal is a mess. They can't sync because I'm not on the newest operating system.

But if I upgrade my operating system, do I also have to upgrade to FCP 7? And if I do that- will I run into problems? I rely on FCP for a living, so I can't risk having it not work with my operating system.

What to do?!?!?!

Any advice would be appreciated. I definitely will not upgrade either until I am sure things will run smoothly.

Thanks,
Rebecca


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Adam N. Greene
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Dec 27, 2012 at 11:32:18 pm

Hi Rebecca,

First of all, you can never be 100% sure on an upgrade and how smooth it will be. When it leaves Apple and becomes a user machine it is unpredictable to a degree, due to everything from how often and hard you run the computer, to your web activity, to your third party software, to your hardware upgrades, etc. It does take a level of research just like you are doing to make an informed decision--research on other filmmakers doing similar processes with similar software on similar machines. Then there's an ounce of good luck you need.

I don't know how old your mac is (hardware), but you should really look hard at biting the bullet and getting at least up to FCP7 (if that's even possible at this point; see my revised assessment below*). So many advantages over FCP6 it's silly--if your computer will run it FCP7 is a fantastic upgrade. I too relied heavily on FCP7, and have many many projects in the FCP7 format. I have been increasingly getting used to using FCPX since it has come a long way since the initial release, and there are products you can use to convert 7 projects to X projects. FCPX is crawling out of the muck, but FCP7 will over time definitely drown, so part of your staying in business will be future-proofing yourself as much as possible.

Currently, I'm using a mac book pro that started out on Leopard and gradually got upgraded to Lion 10.7.4. I'm sitting on the latest update to 10.7.5 due to possible software glitches I could encounter, and am not looking to go to 10.8 mountain lion yet, also for 3rd party software reasons. Maybe nothing bad would happen, but I haven't accepted the risk yet, for the same reasons you are describing.

If I were in your shoes, after exhausting sites like this and the googles, and speaking with the folks at Apple, I would make a decision to either commit to the upgrade (make at least 2 backups; I like doing 1 time machine and 2 cloned drives), or commit to buying something new. You can only hang on to the past so long before you are operating so slowly you can't sustain your business compared to the updated competition. If you were told you could have a guaranteed way to upgrade without it destroying your FCP6/7 lifestyle, but it would cost around $1000, would you do it? That's basically buying a MacBook Air or Mac Mini with monitor, using it to test all this stuff, all the while keeping your older machine non-upgraded/non-updated, and thus still fully functional for your FCP classic work.

*From a few minutes spent googling, it looks like you are going to spend between $1000-$1500 buying FCS3/FCP7, either upgrade or new. Reason is it is not being produced anymore, and that means it is worth more. For that money you could buy a new computer, FCPX, 7toX, Compressor 4 and Motion 5. Then you could try the FCP6 on the new machine, if you really want/need to still use a dying product.

Best of luck with it,
-Adam

-Apple Certified Trainer / Pro-


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Rebecca Haimowitz
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Dec 28, 2012 at 2:06:07 pm

Hi Adam,

Thank you for the thorough response! My MacBook Pro is not very old. It's a 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i7 with 4GB 1067 Mhz DDR3

So I really don't think I should need to upgrade my computer - should I?

Also, I have a copy of FCP7 ready to use that a client lent me, so I don't need to purchase it new.

I honestly would be fine just using FCP7 on OS 10.6.8 OR upgrading to a higher OS - whatever makes sense. I am just so fearful of messing up a system that is working well now.

I suppose I could resign myself to not using iCloud and never synching my iPhone calendar with my computer's iCal - but it certainly is annoying.

What do you think is best?

Thank you!!!
Rebecca


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Al Bergstein
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:51:03 pm

Wondering what to do with my Mac Pro, which has 10.6.8 and Adobe CS 6 along with FCP 7. My gut feeling is that some sort of dual boot is an option. Buying a new drive, swapping out the "old" one and leaving it in limbo. The installing 10.7 or 8 on a new drive, This should work. Or backing up the old drive, doing a disk image and upgrading in place.

While I don't need 10.7 or 8, there is functionality I'd like to take advantage of. And I don't use FCP much anymore except when called upon to edit an older project. So it's not worth it for me to spend the effort in accidentally killing a perfectly workable setup.

Al


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Michael Gissing
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 9, 2013 at 11:16:09 pm

Dual boot is a good idea and can be done by partioning your system drive. David Roth Weiss did a tutorial on this.

http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1


It is never recommended to update an OS over the old one with FCP7.


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Al Bergstein
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 9, 2013 at 11:53:32 pm

Thanks. I'll give it a try. And yes, the last thing I want to do is give myself more work on fixing computers...

Al


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Rebecca Haimowitz
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 10, 2013 at 9:35:15 pm

I'm still confused.

I want to upgrade my OS so I can take advantage of iCloud. I also want to upgrade to FCP 7.
What's the best plan?

Thank you!


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Adam N. Greene
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 11, 2013 at 12:00:39 pm

Rebecca,

I don't think anyone on the Cow wants to make a definitive recommendation in the remote chance it does cause a problem that upsets your business. All I can suggest further is much of what I said in my longer post to you, with maybe one additional comment.

What's more important: your FCP7 projects and business, or iCloud / syncing? Obviously, your business.

If the no-syncing is so annoying it is disrupting your business, you have 3 options:
1. Buy a second system (most expensive, safest)
2. Backup your current system with time machine, cloned drive(s), or both, then upgrade (less expensive, good security and recourse to going back, time consuming)
3. Hold your breath, cross your fingers, and just upgrade (least expensive, least safe)

Based on your budget, time, and personal gut feeling, you need to make this decision. If you can't decide between those options, you have to forego iCloud for the time being. At the very least you should get on FCP7, which you should be fine to upgrade to from FCP6 on your i7 machine; if you're really worried make a backup of your system.

The harder truth here is that one day you will be forced to either keep up with Apple's OS to stay current with its latest software perks and commit to FCPX, OR live in the past with FCP classic and no more upgrading your systems, as the upgrade will eventually break FCP6/7 (OS code will no longer support it). If you have so many projects in FCP classic that you know you will have to go back to, and if you are not converting them into other more updated projects and softwares, you are going to HAVE to have a second machine anyway -- one you leave not upgraded. This is what we plan on in order to access older projects until we have a better option.

Good luck,
Adam

-Apple Certified Trainer / Pro-


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Rebecca Haimowitz
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 11, 2013 at 12:11:02 pm

THANK YOU, Adam.

This makes a lot of sense and I will probably just stay on the old OS for now until I'm able to get a second machine.

It's frustrating, but at least I know what I'm dealing with!


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Eddie Adams
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 11, 2013 at 10:19:38 pm

I may be a little late in the game, but what exactly are the compatibility issues you are worried about? I've been using FCP 7 on 10.7 for over a year now with no issues... but should I be concerned?


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Final Cut Pro 7 compatibility and the Mac Lion OS 10.7 upgrade
on Mar 11, 2013 at 10:25:40 pm

[Eddie Adams] "I may be a little late in the game, but what exactly are the compatibility issues you are worried about? I've been using FCP 7 on 10.7 for over a year now with no issues... but should I be concerned?"

The last fully supported OS for FCP 7 was 10.6.8. There is no longer any development for ensuring compatibility between FCP and newer OS versions. Any upgrade you perform now, you do so at your own risk. Apple does not support Legacy FCP. So if they release 10.9 this summer and it breaks compatibility with FCP then that's that.

People in this thread are advising the "upgraders" accordingly. What's it worth to have the latest iCloud features vs. a stable NLE. I am running FCP 7 on a 10.7.5 machine without problems. It should work. However, I've read stories on the COW of it not working for some (even 10.8 has had some quirks for FCPers).

Bottom line: Given that FCP 7 is no longer supported, then any upgrade you perform....yes, you should be concerned.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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