What's the latest MacOS I can safely upgrade to which will run FCP 7 and DVD Studio Pro?

Posted by MetalGuru 
Any help would be most appreciated.

We still use DVD Studio Pro to author our replicated discs. I'm still running 10.6.8
I hold the minority view that FCP7 doesn't work perfectly on any OSX beyond Lion (10.7.5). Please read [www.lafcpug.org], and what it links to. This was my experience on my hardware. ("Work perfectly" means as perfectly as FCP7 can work.)

So my computer is now multi-boot. FCP7 runs on a Lion volume. Much else runs on a Mountain Lion volume. One program required later, so it's on a Sierra volume. Macs are nice because multi-boot is easy. What you run on one volume can get files from, and send files to, another volume. A working OSX volume, with considerable software, can be 15 GB or even smaller.

Whose editing work requires such frequent back and forth between programs that it's impractical when they don't all run on one volume?

So instead of fretting about being crippled by an upgrade, clone your known-to-work system and apply a modest OS upgrade to just that clone. If and when you're sure everything works on the new OS, you can erase the old system. Otherwise keep the old system for what needs it. You can proceed to clone the new system and take another modest OS upgrade step, as before, etc.

Cloning requires no more than Disk Utility (plus a defragger if you're making small volumes). Modest upgrade steps require that you have available the various OSX installers. These can either upgrade the OS, new over old, or install the new one afresh.

Upgrading new over old takes time, but no effort. A downside however is that FCP7 (among other programs) might not work well after such an upgrade, although they might work well if they were freshly installed on that new OS. Freshly installing FCP7 alone takes little effort. Digital Rebellion's free Preference Manager is a godsend. However, if you've lots of plugins the fresh install is more work.

Added wrinkle. Besides software, hardware might require a later operating system. I moved FCP7 from Snow Leopard to Lion because my eSATA card worked significantly faster with the latter. Do you have a reason to move FCP7 out of Snow Leopard?

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
Re: What's the latest MacOS I can safely upgrade to which will run FCP 7 and DVD Studio Pro?
October 27, 2016 03:14PM
Excellent post Dennis. Thanks.

Michael Horton
Thanks so much for your detailed reply. Can anyone help with DVD Studio Pro and later Mac OS compatibility?

It seems that getting a new Mac may nopt be a priority if DVD Studio Pro no longer works. DVD is our core business.
I second Dennis' post as POW.

Using the same double boot system, OS X 10.7 Lion for the older partition, FCP well-behaved as mentioned, and it's a wicked fast boot on an SSD partitioned for both old and new OS X installed in an early 2009 Model 4,1 8-core tower. I've lost a few games that resided on my 10.5 partition, lost in the 2015 fire. NBD. But the second partition is always one of the most recent. I just upgraded that volume to El Cap.

Okay, I bit the bullet and subscribed to Adobe CC-- they ran a 40% off sale for year one, so I went with it and have almost entirely migrated my FCP keyset to it. I call it the "Neotron_FCP_8" keyset." Due to upgrades in Premiere Pro, it really is approaching what we might consider Final Cut Pro 8. CC does not run supported under Lion anymore, so it's on El Cap.

Ironically, I can report that FCP7 runs pretty damn well on El Cap! And it remains sleeker than PPro CC. I just tweaked and exported a half hour talk show on it. Not a whimper. Pleasantly surprised.

But I also cut DONALD TRUMP FOR CLASS PRESIDENT on PPro-- this is a short version currently circulating:


DVD Studio Pro 4 also seems to run snappy, but I've done no operating tests under El Cap.

I will be interested to hear how Sierra runs FCP 7, but as many of you, I see a clear alternatives ahead in any event.

Best, as always.

Today's FCP 7 keytip:
Export your Project or sequence XML to Premiere Pro CC or Avid!
Rebuild your FCP 7 keys in Premiere Pro by hand- approx 85% restoration.
I can report that FCP 7.0.3 along with Compressor 3.5.3 and DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2. will install under Sierra. The procedure is strange. The .app files must be moved from a ghost Application folder to the working Application folder, but your serial number is accepted and the three programs appear normal.

From a .mov file, Compressor made .m2v and .ac3 files, and from these, DVD Studio Pro made a VIDEO.TS folder. So at this most basic level DVDSP "works" under the latest Mac operating system.

You must baby DVDSP in its new environment. For example, it crashed at the "Build" command, but worked OK at the "Build/Format" command. I have no idea how it will perform the more advanced DVD authoring functions. Plan to exercise great ingenuity, or else follow my conservative suggestions.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
Very helpful, Dennis. Methinks I stay at El Cap for a bit....

Best, as always.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm holding off on buying a new desktop - whenever they decide to announce them. I'm concerned about migrating DVD Studio Pro over in particular, and all the projects I created.

I'm not sure I'd have a clue about how to install it on Sierra, as per Dennis' post. Is there some sort of guide as to how to install on Sierra?

For editing, I guess I will move to FCX.
You will buy a new Mac computer and try to run DVD Studio Pro on it.
Question #1 is: what operating systems can the new computer run? Apple's official position is that you can't (or shouldn't) run any operating system earlier than whatever shipped on the machine. Not necessarily true. I ran Snow Leopard successfully on a Mac Pro that shipped with Mountain Lion and ran Mountain Lion successfully on a Macbook Pro that shipped with Yosemite. Sometimes the firmware on the new machine prevents operating system downgrade and sometimes not. It's bother to find out. I carried an external hard drive with a Mountain Lion volume to a friendly store selling the Yosemite MacBook Pro to see if it could boot it. You simply must try.

Question #2 is: can you install DVD Studio Pro on one or another new operating system? This question is hard to answer because it depends on what installer you have. This was thoroughly discussed here in 2013 and 2014. Follow the links within: [www.lafcpug.org]. Two weeks ago I installed DVD Studio Pro 4.2.2 on Sierra OSX 10.12 using the retail FinalCutStudio.mpkg from 2009. Now there is Sierra OSX 10.12.1. Who knows what will be with that? You simply must try.

Question #3 is: will DVD Studio Pro do all that you're used to its doing under the new operating system? Only you can answer this, and you can only do this by managing to install it on a sample volume with this or that operating system. You simply must try.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
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