Apple should create and provide a free XML extraction tool that can look into a Final Cut Pro 7 project file and export an FCP7 XML of the selected sequences
The internet has been abuzz with what is finally officially official: Final Cut Pro 7 (and your old Final Cut Studio apps) will not run on your Mac after you update to the upcoming MacOS High Sierra. This should be a surprise to exactly no one as an application last updated around 2009 and subsequently replaced by another product of the same name could never be expected to run forever.
One question is what do Final Cut Pro 7 users do now?
The easy answer is to move to another NLE. Final Cut Pro X is the Apple path forward though it’s an entirely different NLE that, while very powerful, requires re-learing a lot of old habits. And some of those things are for the better. Adobe Premiere Pro CC is the lateral move that provides an interface similar to FCP7 while adding tons of modern features and cross-platform compatibility. Avid Media Composer is the Hollywood industry standard that can edit anything you throw at it and provided a free version you can try and see if it’s for you.
Those are the big three NLEs but there’s still a lot more choices that include DaVinci Resolve which features an ever growing set of advanced editing tools or MAGIX Vegas Pro if you want to move to PC and really think different.
Another easy answer is to freeze a Mac workstation that is currently launching and running Final Cut Pro 7 and never update that OS beyond what is working now. That could be a bit of a financial investment depending on your situation as you’d most likely want a new Mac that is upgradable into the future. An eBay or local classified search could find such a freezable workstation as well.
Those are the easy answers to the obvious question. But another, equally important one is this:
What should Apple do now that Final Cut Pro 7 won’t move forward?
The easy answer to this question is Apple shouldn’t do anything more than inform users that FCP7 won’t launch on the upcoming OS. And they have done just that with a letter to some registered FCP7 owners.
But, believe it or not, there is still a lot of editing that is happening on FCP7.
I honestly think there’s more that we realize and while it might be hard for many of us to believe there’s a number of reasons for this. A working FCP7 workflow and infrastructure that gets the job done means there’s little financial incentive to update hardware and retrain editors. Years and years of legacy projects that still have to updated means it will take time and money to move to another platform (that’s the case with some of the FCP7 that I still encounter). And a fear to move to another tools means you’ve got an editor who just doesn’t want to leave the familiar.
Apple should create and provide a free XML extraction tool that can look into a Final Cut Pro 7 project file and export an FCP7 XML of the selected sequences. Even if it only exported one sequence at a time the post-production community would take it.
If there is some internal reason Apple couldn’t create such a tool then they should bless a third party developer to create such an app and give them the access to reach into an FCP7 project file. Intelligent Assistance is the obvious choice here as they know more about FCP XMLs than anyone in the business.
A FCP7 project XML extraction utility is the answer for those of us that might need access to an FCP7 edit in a High Sierra future. I have to admit though my gut tells me that a lot of people who think they might need this tool will end up not ever needing it (myself included) but there are those who will. Charging a modest price for such a utility isn’t out of the question as most editors needing to get back to an FCP7 edit in the future will probably be billing for that need.
So we, the former and current Final Cut Pro 7 post-production community at large, ask you Apple, to please create, provide or allow to be created some kind of XML extraction utility for Final Cut Pro 7 project files. You post-production customers will appreciate it.