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Apple Pro Apps – Save Those Updaters!

A quick word of warning: if you see updates to Apple’s Pro Apps (Final Cut Studio, Aperture, and the like), download them and squirrel them away somewhere safe, even if you’re in the middle of a project and unwilling to update anything. Updaters vanish when new major versions come out.

I had a machine running FCP 5.0.4 because it was in the middle of a project. I had two other machines running FCP 5.1.4, but the most up-to-date FCP 5 updater I had saved was FCP 5.1.2. Once Final Cut Studio 2, including FCP 6.0 came out, the FCP 5.x updaters suddenly became unfindable. Even existing links on Apple’s site that purported to point specifically to FCP 5.1.4 wound up redirected to the catch-all FCP 6 / FCS 2 updates page.

A quick back-and-forth with Apple support staff confirmed that the 5.1.4 had become “nonexistent”. Like a Soviet apparatchik fallen out of favor, the FCP 5.1.4 updater had been quietly erased from the official record, never to be seen again… “after all, we now have Final Cut Studio 2, so there is no need for any of that old stuff anymore, is there, comrade?”

Fortunately, I was able to migrate my FCP project and all its plugins successfully to FCP 6.0.2 (mind you, I had full SuperDuper! backups of the OS X 10.4.8 / FCP 5.0.4 system, just in case; I also tested project import on a separate 10.4.11 / FCP 6.0.2 system beforehand, so it wasn’t a leap in the dark), so I didn’t suffer any serious consequences.

Others on the Cutter-Talk discussion list weren’t so lucky–they had FCP 5.1.4 projects to work on, no working copy of FCP 5.1.4 installed, and no 5.1.4 updaters to apply to fresh FCP 5.1.1 installations using the installation disks.

I also have Aperture, which I obtained as a downloaded version–no CD or DVD to fall back on. Whenever I see a new version of Aperture come out, I grab the disk image and save it off (my purchased serial number for 1.5.1 works on the 1.5.6 demo, as long as I erase the old Aperture before installing the demo. I found this out directly after a beta device driver corrupted my system, requiring an Archive & Install of a fresh OS, and thus the need to reinstall Aperture). That way, I’ll still have the .dmg available when Aperture goes to version 2.0 and my serial # won’t work without paying an upgrade fee.


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PVC Staff
Adam Wilt has been working off and on in film and video for the past thirty years, while paying the bills writing software for animation, automation, broadcast graphics, and real-time control for companies including Abekas,…

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