Apple, please create an XML utility to provide access to old Final Cut Pro 7 Classic projects

FCP7 is dead with the new MacOS ships so a simple utility to extract an XML from a FCP7 projects seems an easy route to go

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.


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Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn’t really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production and Graphic Design he was in one of the early graduating classes at the Watkins Film School in Nashville, Tennessee. During that time at Watkins he discovered editing. While most of his classmates in film school wanted to be directors, Scott saw real career opportunities in post production and took a job as an assistant editor after completing film school. In 1999, Scott took the leap into freelancing and in 2007 accepted a position as an editor at Filmworkers – Nashville. In 2005 Scott created The Editblog a website dedicated to all things editing and post-production which is now housed here at PVC. Someday he hopes to edit on a beach with a touch screen device, a wireless hard drive and a Red Stripe.

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24 Comments on "Apple, please create an XML utility to provide access to old Final Cut Pro 7 Classic projects"

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Andy Field
Andy Field

Actually Automatic Duck has some great free translators from most of the big NLE’s But Hey, Adobe – why don’t you do this – Most FCP7 editors and aficionados made the switch to Premiere, not FCP7……Adobe could create that automatically import and FCP7 project application and grab some new faithful fans.

Stuart Blake
Stuart Blake

Oh puh-leeeeeeze!
Spend a whopping TEN BUCKS for XtoCC and just STOP WHINING already! For anyone with half a brain and actually MAKING MONEY editing this is a complete NON-issue. Sorry if I can’t muster ay compassion for doofus luddites that still can’t (literally!) get with the program. Why the **** could someone like that even be interested in updating their OS to begin with?? Makes absolutely ZERO sense, it’s just another bs excuse to lament like a 12 year old.

Guess I’m not PRO enough. *facepalm*

Scott Simmons

I do have XtoCC but it won’t work without an XML to convert as it can’t extract an XML from a FCP7 project so if you need something out of an FCP7 project a few years into the future and can’t launch FCP7 you can’t get the XML to convert. Thanks for that entertaining comment though.

Stuart Blake
Stuart Blake

Sorry, but if you’re too obtuse to simply EXPORT XMLs from potential old projects (who the **** even has 6+ year old projects he has to jump into again??) then, once again, PITY is the last thing you can expect from any sentient, clear minded being. Cry me a river.

Stuart Blake
Stuart Blake

But yeah… let’s put the responsibility in APPLE’S hands, right? We’re not grown up enough to take responsibility for ourselves. I forgot. 🙄

Scott Simmons

There are a lot of editors who have to dig into multi-year old projects on a regular basis. Those editors are making money. I guess an editor could open their old FCP7 projects and export XMLs of all the edits but that could be hundreds and thousands of sequence exports so that’s not really feasible for many. Especially those making money.

Stuart Blake
Stuart Blake
Then… DON’T… UPDATE. 🤦🏼‍♂️ If you’re stuck in the last decade anyway, why do you even CARE if you have the latest OS or not??! It’s just such NONSENSE. Trying to make others responsible for your own shortcomings. And yeah, really like the little “YOU don’t make money” insinuation. I have two Emmy’s and A BAFTA, how bout you? Oh right. Every non-self-impostant editor worth their salt knew this day was coming. The writing was CLEARLY on the wall. So maybe try replacing your underlying ‘shame on Apple!’ to ‘shame on the editor who did not see this coming and… Read more »
Scott Simmons

Two Emmys and a BAFTA? Congrats. You must be a really great editor. I’d love to see a link to your work.

Stuart Blake
Stuart Blake

I never said they were for editing. And as much as I can appreciate a shoddy diversion tactic as much as the next, my work isn’t what this is about, so irrelevant. Nice try tho. 👍🏼

Scott Simmons

Ok wow cool, you must be very talented then. If they aren’t for editing then what are they for?

Stuart Blake
Stuart Blake

Like I said… nice try. Clearly you’ve run out of any REAL or RELEVANT arguments. Good luck with that.

Scott Simmons
Scott Simmons

Not really much to argue. I’m just impressed with your awards and your post-production savvy so I’d love to know more about your background and your work that’s all. I love to know more about those I have conversations with.

Richard Hart
Richard Hart

I looked him on IMDB. His Oscar was for “Trolls”, the Emmy was for “Anger Management” and the BAFTA was for “Boyhood”.

Scott Simmons

***rimshot***

Fernando Luis Mangino Lajous
Fernando Luis Mangino Lajous

There IS A SOLUTION since FCP X v10.0.3, 7toX, now known as SendToX, and you can find hot in Mac AppStore.

Scott Simmons

Again… these tools like 7toX or anything like that requires an XML out of FCP7 to work. So they aren’t a solution if a few years from now a client rolls in asking for something from an old FCP7 project and you can’t boot FCP7 to get that XML out.

Fernando Luis Mangino Lajous
Fernando Luis Mangino Lajous

So, start geting all your XML files out now and keep them with your FCP 7 projects.

Scott Simmons

Easier said than done when you might have an archive of hundreds of FCP7 projects with perhaps thousands of potential timelines.

J V
I truly agree. FCP7 is the past. But editors and producers who use it in a daily basis are not the past. Apple stabbed us and does nothing for remedy. There should be some kind of continuation from FCP7 to FCPX since the very first second. But they never implemented such transition. They just treated professionals as idiots: “We know better than you what you really need”, was their motto since FCPX launch. But it is hardly the case in any business specially in B2B industries. The matter is not if X is better or worse than 7. The matter… Read more »
Fernando Luis Mangino Lajous
Fernando Luis Mangino Lajous

There IS A SOLUTION since FCP X v10.0.3, 7toX, now known as SendToX, and you can find hot in Mac AppStore.

Larry S
Juggling a fine balance between OS and app compatibility has always been a challenge and Apple moving from FCP Studio 7 to the ‘iMovie Pro’ model didn’t help matters. I stayed with Snow Leopard until it became much too old to support and wound up upgrading to Mavericks which still supported the original QuickTime OS integration. As most of my work can be handled in Adobe CC, I bought a used 15″ MacBook Pro (2.7GHz i7, 16GB, 2xUSB3, Thunderbolt, Firewire 800, SD Card reader) and put a 1TB Samsung EVO SSD in it which I partitioned to 250GB Mavericks boot… Read more »
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