Aug 172014

Over the last weeks we migrated one of our post production customers from Mac OS X Snow Leopard to OS X Mavericks and from Final Cut Pro 7 to Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014. Furthermore we added a flow:rage as their central video storage to simply their workflows as they used to share their projects from Mac to Mac. However as they still had to access their old projects we also installed Final Cut Pro 7 on Mavericks. In theory Final Cut Pro 7 is still somewhat supported however there are some glitches here and there. This is the story about one such glitch that makes Final Cut Pro 7 almost unusable for our customer…


After we finished the migration the cutters reported dropped frames in Final Cut Pro 7. Over time we were able to nail the problems down to projects that were opened over the network from a different Mac. If the projects were located on the flow:rage everything was working great. Based on that we tested the throughput of the hard disks and the network, checked the CPU and memory usage, used different network protocols and examined all logs on both the client and the server. However we couldn’t find the source of the problem!

We then tried to reproduce the problem at several other customers that still use Final Cut Pro 7 and to our surprise we could do so sometimes. What that means is that there can be problems with Final Cut Pro 7 on Mavericks if you try to edit over the network from Mac to Mac. This is especially true if there is a lot of traffic on the corresponding network interface. We never had any problems with projects stored on flow:rage storage system. In the end we suggested the customer to copy all projects to either the flow:rage or the local disk. No further dropped frames where reported.

I think the problem is a combination of a high kernel task utilisation caused by the network traffic, the fact that Final Cut Pro 7 was not extensively tested by Apple and some change in the VFS layer. For me it’s not worth to invest more time to further diagnose the problem. If you have any further hints please leave a comment.

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