What Versions of Software Do I Like?

By now, you’ve probably read that I am not a fan of upgrading as soon as new software is released. The reasons for this can be found in the Color 1.0.3 release of a couple weeks ago, which broke Color’s support for XDCAM video, or the OS X 10.5.6 release which had problems when trying to install via Software Update.

Still, not upgrading immediately is not the same as not upgrading.

I was talking with a client yesterday who was finishing a major project using Final Cut Pro 6.0.0 – which I find to be a very buggy version of the software.

So, here are the software versions I’m using for my own editing. Keep in mind that your needs may be different. I’m doing most of my deadline-based editing on a MacBook Pro and most of my writing on a G-5.

Operating System

I’m still running OS X 10.4.11. For me, it is faster and more stable than 10.5. Also, if you are on a G-5, or G-4 laptop, 10.4 will be MUCH faster than 10.5.

If you have a newer system that came with OS X 10.5 pre-installed, be sure you are running at least 10.5.4 or later. While the jury is still out on 10.5.6, I don’t know of any serious problems with either 10.5.4 or 10.5.5.


QuickTime upgrades have been a series of disasters. Especially with QuickTime, avoid updating when new versions are released. Waiting at least 90 days after an upgrade is always good advice.

I stayed with QT 7.4.5 until about a week ago. At which time, I upgraded both QuickTime and Final Cut. I’m now at QuickTime 7.5.5.

Note: Keep in mind that at its heart, Final Cut Pro is a QuickTime editor. Never upgrade QuickTime without upgrading Final Cut Pro at the same time. They are joined at the hip. Updating QuickTime by itself is probably the fastest way I know to make sure FCP won’t work.

Final Cut Studio

I’m a fan of Final Cut Studio 2. While FCP hasn’t changed that much in operation, the new Soundtrack Pro 2, Compressor 3, and Motion 3 more than make up for it.

Since I was updating to QuickTime 7.5.5, I also updated to Final Cut 6.0.5 — this is the ProApps 2008-5 release. However, that release also broke Color. So I waited until Apple had a fix for Color before doing the upgrade.

Note: Versions of Final Cut Pro that I do NOT like include: 5.0.0, 5.0.1, 5.0.3, 5.1.0, 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.1.3, 6.0.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, and 6.0.3.

So, my system is:
OS 10.4.11
QT 7.5.5
FCP 6.0.5

Remember, no client has ever cared what version of Final Cut you are using. If your system is running smoothly, if all the video formats you want to edit are supported, or if you are in the middle of a project, there’s probably no benefit to upgrading.

As always, let me know what you think.

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