Monday, 31 August, 2009

Final Cut Pro 7 and Snow Leopard

Its been just over a month since Apple launched an upgrade to Final Cut Pro. The new Apple Final Cut Studio. Interestingly this not being called Final Cut Studio 3, but just the new Final Cut Studio. Final Cut Pro 6 has become Final Cut Pro 7.

Color, Cinema Tools, DVD Studio Pro, Motion and SoundTrack Pro have all been upgraded with many new features. Plenty of sites have reviewed new features in this upgrade. I plan on doing a review of features for PAL and especially film workflow as soon as I get my copy.

Then, a few days ago, Apple launched their new operating system Snow Leopard - MacOSX 10.6.

Should FCP 6 users do these upgrades? And upgrade to Snow Leopard and FCP 7?
Both or just one?

If you have FCP 6 running on a G5, or PowerBook, or G4-based iMac or MacMini. Any machine that is not an Intel Mac. You cannot run FCP 7 or Snow Leopard. Leopard and FCP 6 is the end of the road for these systems. Its a great time to buy a new Mac.

If you have an Intel Mac you can consider doing the FCP 7 upgrade. You could do a clean install of Snow Leopard first, then install FCP 7. Before you clean up, make sure you back up everything. And have your FCS2 or FCP 6 serial number handy. I you've lost it then you're out of luck. You need to buy the whole FCP 7 again.

If you use Kona cards, then you need to wait till they update their drivers. Blackmagic cards have updated drivers though.

If you don't want to risk Snow Leopard just yet, just do the FCP 7 install over FCP 6. Incidentally, even if you buy FCP 7 as an upgrade, the disks work as clean install as well. You just need your FCP 6 serial number handy. Its a good isea to write the FCP 6 number on the FCP 7 disks for the future.

And, bear in mind that FCP 7 does not include LiveType which has been dropped. So it may be a good idea to install that first from the FCP 6 disks, if you need LiveType badly. If you've never used LiveType, you may find some of its features in Motion now.

In general, how does one get Snow Leopard?

All new Macs will have Snow Leopard.

Most of us who use Leopard now, can buy Snow Leopard for under $ 30 so it should be about Rs 1500 in India. If you have Tiger, you have to buy the Mac Box Set which includes Snow Leopard and iLife and iWork - all for under $ 130 or about Rs 6500.

If you have a Mac bought after June 2009 you may qualify for an 'up-to-date program' which gets you Snow Leopard for under $ 10 about Rs 500.

Like in all OS upgrades, some applications will work with Snow Leopard and some will not.

Apple lists Snow Leopard incompatible software at their support site. If you use any of these for your business, you should not upgrade to Snow Leopard.

The good folks at Macintouch have compiled a list of Snow Leopard compatible software at their site.

If you are considering getting a new Mac, and if you have an app that shows up as incompatible with Leopard, you need to consider waiting till it becomes compatible or get an alternative to that app.

A bit of trivia on MacOSX

The operating just before Snow Leopard was Leopard or MacOSX 10.5.
Before that were
Tiger or MacOSX 10.4,
Panther or MacOSX 10.3
Jaguar - MacOSX 10.2.
As far as I remember, MacOSX 10.0 and 10.1 had no feline names, though I believe 10.1 was code-named Puma.

For those who have no idea what MacOSX is, go to the What is MacOSX page at Apple.


  1. 10.0 was cheetah

  2. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Is the SL DVD available in Mumbai or do we have to get it shipped from the online store?


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