Jun 22, 2010

Digital Rebellions' Final Cut Studio Maintenance Pack review

Digital Rebellions’ Final Cut Studio Maintenance Pack

Ever since Final Cut Studio 2 was released its popularity has grown leaps and bounds.  It is the de-facto standard for Mac-based video editors worldwide and is often first thought of when somebody says, "video editing", simply because it's popularity gives it such presence to outsiders.

But as those who've been using Final Cut for a while know, and those who are new to the suite quickly learn, Final Cut is anything but trouble-free and 100% stable.  In fact, it can be quite buggy at times when not properly managed and, it lacks it's own built-in set of management tools more commonly found in suites such as Avid that help keep things in place and stable.  I have personally spent literally hundreds of hours painfully troubleshooting very obtuse and difficult problems associated with FCS that seemed to have no end - and no clear source either, often to be stuck with the no-win scenario of having to save everything, wipe my hard-disk clean and physically reinstall the entire FCS suite - and my OS to boot!

For years the entire FCS user-base has been collectively "screaming" at Apple to give the Final Cut suite a much-needed facelift both internally to have more robust media management and self-healing tools to fix those annoying and often project-killing problems that rear their ugly head at the most inconvenient moment possible.  But as of April 2010 Apple has yet to respond to those requests and FCS trudges forward with nary a critical system update in sight.

But fear not, all you FCS users no longer have to toil endlessly trying to fix a broken project or fix an anonymous resurfacing problem in your install, now you've got some serious help on your side and at your disposal:  Digital Rebellions FCS Maintenance Pack.

While this toolkit does offer utilities that specifically address elements of FCS it also works on the general OS parameters and the user interface as well, so it's more like a combination pack of OS tuneup combined with FCS tweaks and helpers, a real "swiss army knife" of useful software utilities.

Got a project that won't open anymore?  FCSMP can fix that.  Have a quicktime file that's become corrupted?  FCSMP can fix that too.  How about a way to store all those hard-won personal preferences you've setup in Final Cut, or a way to manage all those plug-ins you have or give the entire FC suite a thorough cleaning and tuneup? FCSMP can do all that and much more with ease and reliability.  If you've ever dealt with Compressor deciding that it's just not going to work anymore or, actually causing a clip to become corrupted you know what a total time-killer that can be or how devastating it is to a mission-critical project.  FCSMP can fix that too - and regain your lost sequences!

In truth, there's just far too many things that the FCS Maintenance Pack is capable of to list individually, so visiting the Digital Rebellion site is worthwhile reading, so rather than try and write about them all take a look at this screenshot of the available tools - many of which have sub-tools too:


This is "must-have" software for any FCS editor regardless of experience or platform.  If you've spent weeks working on a big project all to have it come crashing down because the project file becomes corrupted or just one teeny-tiny single clip won't render anymore - or worse disappears from the timeline - then using FCSMP can pay for itself by using it just one time.  And that's no exaggeration.

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