Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

If you are running with FCPX you will know all too well every time they update from one version to another it tells you that “If you update this library it will no longer work with any previous version of FCPX”.

I think this is appalling as I recently updated my studio iMac to OS 10.14.6 and FCPX to 10.4.7 avoiding installing OS Catalina.

I knew by doing this that all my libraries would need updated though to this date I do not understand why we need to go through this process time and again. Its making FCPX very archive unfriendly.

My second iMac running FCPX 10.4.6 was also updated not realising the problems it would cause due to Apple falling out with NVIDIA. My NVIDIA Cuda drivers no longer work with the new FCPX and I had to restore it back to 10.4.6

To compound my problems I have a hard drive that will no longer work with 10.4.6 that my son uses so he is forced to now use 10.4.7 on my own setup.

I did back up his FCPX hard drive to a second 8TB “G” RAID drive but that has gone faulty leaving me with no second working system on FCPX 10.4.6

This is the second and last G RAID Thunderbolt drive to fail on me this year and I will never buy any more G RAID drives as they are appalling.

As things stand I have backed up my sons FCPX library to another 16TB Lacie drive and works fine on my system.

I have been using FCPX on my 27″ iMacs for about 3-4 years with no great problems. One uses a Radeon graphics card while the older one uses the NVIDIA card. The main problems with iMacs are virtually no upgrade ability for swapping graphics cards as they are almost impossible to get into without breaking the front magnetic glass case.

Apple iMacs are great until you need to update anything like the lack of memory in the Macintosh HD drive or graphics card. Memory can usually be accessed via a small port on the back of them.

This obsession of Apple making everything fit nicely in a smooth aluminium non upgradible box with a “choose before you buy attitude” ie. Choose your HD and graphics card in advance is becoming a joke.

The best laugh is the SD card slot on the back of the iMac who’s bright idea was this, certainly not someone who uses the iMac for serious video or photographic work.

“Why should you need to update all your library’s every time you update your software”. One reader tells me I am on the wrong platform as the PC is far easier and far more upgradable. Yes I will give him marks for upgradable but easier ?

Sadly I do think Apple has lost its way since the early days of Final Cut Studio, a platform made for professionals and worked flawlessly.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

4 thoughts on “How Apple FCPX have destroyed the meaning of the word Archive

  1. My experience with Apple is now 17 years and with IMac seven years. This constant upgrading of OS with drastic consequences for the user is nothing but large scale cheating. This archive problem with FCP is also something that is upsetting. I’ve been using FCP since FCP3.0 and am now on FCPX but my archives are in a mess because of the time and care required to preserve them. Apple/Macs are completely user unfriendly at one level. It’s really frustrating that something you trust should let you down so often.

  2. You are on the wrong platform 🙂 Windows hardware is both cheaper and better – and hardware upgrades are easy. I built my own PC Workstation and many do this to ensure their machine is just right for them.

  3. As a user for over 20 years of Final Cut and afterwards FCX (Mac Pro, iMac 27″, Macbook Pro) I’m now looking into an alternative for Mac:: an AMD Threadripprer-based 16-core machine that costs half of a comparable Mac and that has the latest architecture (PCie 4.0 based etc.) with BlackMagic DaVinci resolve instead of FCX. Apple products, as with their iPhones, are overpriced x2 for their value and the time they were leading technology is long gone. Things are changing. Even Intel has lost its leading edge to AMD. FCX is and remains an amateur program, it was forced to video professionals but now they have alternatives. Much better and cheaper.

  4. Interesting to read, I feel your pain.

    I went to Mac about 12 years ago after horrendous issues with Avid on a PC. Filmed a documentary in Belarus and post was a complete nightmare. I moved to Mac and FCP7 and it was the biggest relief ever.

    I currently have a Mac Pro 5.1 Mid 2010 and had contemplated moving to PC or a Hackintosh. However, upgraded the GPU to a Radeon RX5800 and it’s like my Mac Pro has had a new lease of life, it’s like a new machine again. Granted, I use SSDs RAIDs and plenty RAM, but at least I have that option which you can’t do on the iMac.

    I’d seriously advise caution with a move to Windoze imho. 😉

    The new Mac Pro IS expensive, but the engineering is superb. If it lasts as long as my old Mac Pro then it’s well worth the money.

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