This week, Apple sent notices to registered users of Final Cut Studio 3 (which includes Final Cut Pro 7, DVD Studio Pro, SoundTrack Pro and other apps) that it will not be supported – meaning the software won’t run – in the next version of the Mac operating system called “High Sierra.”
NOTE: You may not have gotten this notice if, like me, your email address changed after you initially registered the software.
Some websites trumpeted this as the “Death of Final Cut Pro 7.” But, truthfully, FCP 7 died five years ago; back when Final Cut Pro X was released. However, like all truly useful software, many of us have continued to use it long after its official demise.
Final Cut is what got me started in this business. First introduced in the Spring of 1999, I started using it in 2002 with version 1.2. That’s back when it was still called “Final Cut,” the “Pro” was added years later. Since that first release, Final Cut has gone through multiple changes with an entirely new industry springing up around it.
The world we work in today bears almost no resemblance to editing prior to 1990. Then, shooting video required cameras attached to technical support trucks, while editing required massive video tape machines costing a quarter-of-a-million dollars apiece. Film required shooting expensive film stock then using razor blades and glue to edit the finished product. Neither technology was cheap, easily accessible to beginners, or spontaneous.
The introduction of DV cameras and Final Cut changed the world – expanding video creation in areas that no one predicted. Video shooting and editing is now taught daily in elementary schools. Tens of thousands of college students are eagerly pursuing media careers. And the world has shifted from print to video – seemingly overnight.
Now the lack of support for Final Cut Studio doesn’t mean that any existing copies of the software will stop working. It just means that you won’t be able to upgrade to the latest version of the macOS and still run the software you love.
Specifically, you need to hang on to older hardware, running an older OS, for any editing for which you want to use FCP 7. This also rules out using more recent codecs or plug-ins.
On the plus side, there are plenty of alternatives to the program that started it all – Final Cut 7: there’s Apple Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Avid Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve; to name the four most popular professional programs. But there’s also iMovie and Clips, both of which run on your phone!
Take a minute to think about that: Over the last twenty years, video has moved from large mobile trucks to smaller DV cameras to cell phones. This doesn’t mean that professional tools have died, but, just as the consumer video market exploded with the advent of DV cameras, it has done so again with cell phone video. You only need to glance at any social media post to realize the impact video has on the everyday life of each of us today.
Still, this week seems a good time to reflect on the impact one software program has had on the lives of so many – from movie goers to film makers to the countless developers of utilities and plugins that supported it to… well, just about all of us.
When Final Cut was first released, Apple’s advertising slogan was “Think Different.” We did – and the world changed because of it. Final Cut is dead – yet Final Cut lives on; and video is more essential to our lives than ever before.
As always, I’m interested in your comments.
40 Responses to Apple Ends All Support for Final Cut Pro 7Newer Comments →
I haven’t used Final Cut Pro 7 in quite a while, but I use DVD Studio Pro all the time. Might just buy an old Mac Mini and keep a compatible OS on it. Bummer to have to switch between computers to master a DVD, but doesn’t sound like there is much of a choice at this point.
Could not agree more with you about DVD Studio Pro. DVD’s are still requested in my business every day. Any thought that DVD’s are going away any time soon is misguided. I can only hope that Apple does something about this in an upcoming FCPX release but I’m not holding my breath. A truly integrated product that has at least the features of DVD Studio Pro is what is truly needed.
Switched from FCP 7 the day FCPX came out. I knew it was time to move to the future. I did keep FCP 7 and DVD Studio on an older Mac Pro that can’t be upgraded to the latest. I still make DVD’s for clients and wanted to have the ability to continue that in case DVD Studio stops working on my latest Mac’s. People sure hate change sometimes!! BTW, I have never regretted moving to FCPX!
I created a separate partition on my boot hard drive with El Capitan (10.11.6) installed on which FCP 7 and DVDSP4 will run for precisely this reason. Making DVDs is still a very important part of my workflow.
Hi! This is the light of hope. How did you do it? Is there a tutorial for installing a second starter system for my macbookPro Retina (2013)? It runs on Sierra 10.12.6 and my shelves are full of HDs with FCP7 projects and footage like my old brain is. Where can I find the description to run two systems? Would be pleased to get help!
Here you go:
Thanks so much!
The most annoying thing about Apple to me is why when you up date your computer higher, that good programs, one has got used to no longer work. I can fully except you would not expect a new program to always work on a older computer but I do wish my old Final Cut Express 4 would work just as well as it dose now on my OS X 10.6.8 version. If I updated to the latest Mac.Apple are shooting their self in the foot for I will not purchase a new Mac for that reason. Call me an old stick in the mud if you like
I can appreciate why you are disgruntled.
The problem is that these applications are written for a 32-bit operating system, which requires CPUs that support 32-bit arithmetic. Newer CPUs have moved to 64-bit, which provides more speed and capability; but also means that 32-bit applications won’t work.
It not a nefarious plot by Apple, because the CPU chips are made by Intel, but the inexorable sweep of technology; like disappearing clutches in cars and the loss of rotary dial telephones.
Clutches didn’t disappear outside of America! Maybe our old software would still run on new machines if the computer industry was centred outside of America? It’s 2020 now, and I still need to use FCP7 to access old projects for clients on a regular basis, so I keep my 2009 macBookPro with 10.6.8 specifically for this purpose. And what’s more, I continue to use FCP7 for new projects. There is likely an extra transcoding process into ProRes using third party software before I can start, but what’s wrong with that? Rarely a problem. Apart from footage shot in an iPhone 11 with High Efficiency Video not de-activated….
Technology is a world-wide phenomena – almost all Windows computers are made outside the US. Major software companies are located outside the US.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with using older software. But, as you point out, there’s a trade off. You get to keep using software you know and trust, but you cut yourself off from new features and opportunities because you can’t upgrade your gear. HEVC and HEIC media is a perfect example.
I agree, keeping an older system around for the time you need it makes sense. I have a 2013 MacBook Pro I’m keeping for that very reason.
At some point, you’ll need to upgrade – the key is to do it on your schedule.
I really loved FCP7, but have easily (once I made the reluctant commitment) moved on to Premier Pro.
The only point now is being able to run FCP7 to edit older projects done on that software. THAT is a problem, and still comes up.
Right now the partition idea works. I even run Shake to do simple morphing.
As pros we will all need that “2nd old car” in the garage to make sure we are servicing clients with archived projects. My advice is plan for the future and maintenance the past.
Not to nitpick, but “Pro” was always part of the name at Apple. It was known as Final Cut only at Macromedia. 🙂
Larry, in my head, as I was reading your “In Memoriam” for FCP7, I could swear I heard Sarah Mclachlan’s “I Will Remember You” playing… 🙂
I like FCPX okay, but in some little ways, it still hasn’t caught up to things FCP7 did… I miss the audio rubber banding tool very much, for example. And like others have said, I keep an old system on the side, specifically to run DVDSP, so I don’t have to pay Adobe’s ransom, um, I mean, rent.
I have a specific question not addressed in your obit:Does this also mean Apple will delete their online supporting files and updaters used when loading FCS3 and FCP7 into, say, a freshly rebuilt old mac of the sort I’m using for DVDSP? Because that would be a drag.
“FCP7’s not dead: it just smells funny.”
I don’t think any support files will be deleted.
Do you think Final Cut X is next to go?
It is indeed a sad day that a great app such as final cut studio has been deemed unsuitable for High Sierra. It is not iMovie and I really had hoped that Apple would be sensible and allow through the use of “sandboxing” 32bit pro apps in a 64bit operating system.
It is foolish to have have 2 full operating systems, the trouble that causes, the updating and so on…It really would not have been that hard to sandbox pro apps into 64bit, I would have paid for the app, no question, to run 2 operating systems is silly.
But what is more confusing is the decision to retard hardware when it comes to Final Cut Pro, both in the old and the new versions, with Studio you were limited to a fixed GB of RAM due to it being 32bit, now in 64bit Apple has reversed this trend by limiting upgrading post purchase of hardware.
Not everyone can afford at the time of purchase a BTO=build to Order-maximum hardware, you start small and over time, as funds come in, upgrade the RAM, that is what I did with my previous generation mac laptop, easy, buy the RAM, open the slot, install and yay…
Now I want to throw the laptop out the window..8GB is so not enough, I would pay to have the RAM installed, hell I would pay 4 times Apple TAX to have this done, even at 4x it would be a bargain. I know that the days of post purchase RAM and hard drive upgrades are long gone..
Why should it be??? Where is the outrage by the community???
So, will DVD Studio Pro definitely fall over when High Sierra arrives and what’s recommended to replace it?
That’s what Apple indicates. And there is no direct replacement that I know of.