Trouble capturing in Final Cut Pro and converting DV to .MOV

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iphonerules, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. iphonerules macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007
    I have a MacBook Pro I bought just under 3 years ago. Still using Panther and Final Cut Pro 4.5. Was working great until just recently. Suddenly I lost the ability to capture from Final Cut. Strangely, I can output video to the camera just fine. I can also capture just fine using iMovie. I think some software update killed Final Cut capture. (This happened previously when I tried to update to Tiger but the same version of Final Cut 4.5.)

    I reformatted my harddrive re-installed the OS and updates and Final Cut. Still can't capture.

    So, I know what you are saying--just capture using iMovie. Well, trouble is, once I capture in iMovie I end upw ith media in .dv format and FInal Cut won'r read it. The other day I managed to convert it to .mov and then import it to Final Cut. But today I tried again with another file and either I can't remember what I did last time, or else it isn't working this time. In any event, it's a timeconsuming, multi-step conversion. It used to be a simple matter to capture media; now it's a nightmare.

    I will probably upgrade to MacBook Pro and latest OS and Final Cut in early next year--but any ideas how I can get by in the meantime?

    Thank you!
  2. iJED DV macrumors member

    iJED DV

    Jun 21, 2006
    QuickTime Pro and/or MPEG Streamclip can conver .dv files to .mov

    What specifically happens when you try to capture the video in Final Cut Pro? Is the screen just black?
  3. iphonerules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007
    Final Cut freezes

    about 7 to 8 minutes into the capture. They are 28-minute long tapes I am reading in. I've read in more than 150 tapes o.k. in the past. But now they all freeze up, as I say, about 7 to 8 minutes in. Picture stays on capture screen but frozen; however the tape continues to play in the camera just fine. And iMovie captures the tape just fne. Dubbing house also verified tape is fine; even a duplicate tape or tapes that read in in the past no longer go the whole way through. The camera was serviced a few weeks ago and seems to be working fine. I have plenty of space available on my hard drive. Maybe I missed a setting when I re-installed Final Cut? Or some kind of OS or FCP update hosed it???????????

    What settings do you use in QuickTime Pro to convert DV to .mov, at full-quality--no compression? I do own QuickTime pro but so far everything I've tried seems to want to compress the video.

    Or--should I be using a different format other than .mov. What is the best format to convert .dv to for reading into FCP? mp4? Mov? etc.?

    Thank you!!!
  4. iJED DV macrumors member

    iJED DV

    Jun 21, 2006
    Interestingly enough, newer versions of FCP can import .dv files. I used to have 4.5 and thought it could as well.

    It sounds like when you're capturing, FCP is detecting dropped frames in the video. Does it give you any kind of warning? Does the video freeze at the same points every time? Are you having FCP control the deck/camera that is playing the tape? Are you capturing to an external hard drive? Have you tried connecting to a different firewire port or connect using a different firewire cable?

    QT will export the file from .dv to .mov which will cause the program to re-analyze the file and how it will look, hence the export indicator after you set up. You are right, though, you want to minimize the compression, so you may want to used an Uncompressed or TIFF codec. Animation can also be a good one. Also, make sure that it's exporting in the highest quality as well.

    MP4 is one of the most compressed file types, and it actually strips away a lot of information from the video even though it may still look good. It's used mostly for internet video.

    Hope that helps a little.
  5. alex1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    I had some similar problems before. I think I threw out my preference folder for FCP and then it worked again. Reinstalling does nothing since it see's the folder and doesn't over write the file. Since you formated the HDD, it might be something else though. ??? Tried a different Firewire cable? if they get kinked, they can have intermitten problems. That happened to me as well.
  6. iphonerules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007

    Thank you for the suggestions. But I saw several posting on Creeative Cow (doing a Google search for 'Final Cut freezes during capture') and I discovered it is a known issue with the Quicktime 7.3.1 update. Many people are reporting this, that Final Cut freezes 5 or so minutes in. The solution people have mentioned so far is to re-install the OS and not do the Quciktiem update.
  7. alex1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    Ouch! I thought apple was doing better than that. Well it's a good thing to not to update until you have to. I discovered that in PC land running Adobe Premier 1.
  8. fhturner macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    Solution that doesn't require OS reinstall

    If you'd rather not reinstall everything (I sure as hell didn't!), you might try what worked for me. Here's what I posted on the Apple Discussion Forums:

    While upgrading FCP to the latest version should fix the problem (since it seems to only be older FCE/FCP4/4.5/HD that are affected), I have been able to get capturing to work again, even on a 10.4.11 system. My video system is a G5/2.3DP w/ 10.4.11 & FCP4.5. I can verify that QuickTime 7.3 is solely to blame for this problem. So, downgrading to QT7.2 is what you want to do...a little easier said than done. I had no success w/ the receipt "trickery" listed above, or on Apple's page:

    Final Cut Pro: Restoring a DV device connection in QuickTime 7

    The QT 7.2 installer still didn't recognize my drive as supporting the 7.2 install. So, not relishing the task of Archive & Installing and then cherry-picking all of my supporting Library files, etc, I decided to play around w/ the actual component files for QuickTime. Using Pacifist, I was able to replace files in 2 locations and cure my capture problems. I can't guarantee yet that you won't run into any issues w/ this "hybrid" QT 7.2/7.3 setup, but it did cure the capture issue. Also, if you try to replace all of the QT files using Pacifist, you may run into a problem w/ SystemUIServer repeatedly crashing and causing the items on the right end of the menu bar to slowly blink on and off.

    So, here's what I made work for me (it's probably just one of the files that we'll be replacing, but I haven't narrowed it down that far yet!):

    1. Download the QT 7.2 installer from
    2. Download Pacifist from
    3. Use Pacifist to open the package file on the QuickTime 7.2 disk image
    4. Select the following 2 folders within Pacifist's window under "Contents of QuickTime720.pkg", and use the "Install Files to Default Locations" command under the File menu:

    5. Select to install w/ Admin privileges and give your password
    6. Restart your machine, and-- even though your system still thinks it has QuickTime 7.3.x-- you can now capture more than 5 minutes' worth in FCP!
    7. <Optional> Go to and tell 'em they've got a bug on their hands!

  9. iphonerules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007
    My God--You are Brilliant, Man!!

    Works like a charm. I can capture again. I'll never take that for granted again! :) What a relief!! I emailed Apple, too, as you suggested. You are a model citizen. THANK YOU!!!
  10. fhturner macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    You're welcome! :D I have not yet found any downsides to this hybrid system, but if I do, I'll make sure to post. I thought I maybe had a problem w/ iDVD '08 crashing while encoding using Professional Quality onto a dual-layer DVD, but that problem turned out to persist even after updating back to QT 7.3.1. Anyway, please let us know if you find any caveats.

  11. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    Below Sealevel
    Txs man, solution works great!


    @Fred/fhturner: great, many txs. This was driving me crazy.

    To all others,

    Solution as described works great. :) I have an iBook G4 and FCE2. Yeah, old stuff, but that doesn't matter, a cut is a cut.

    It was indeed the update QT 7.2->7.3. Reverting to 7.2 works fine. Shame on apple, I'll give them some feedback, I had this microsoft feeling :(

    Txs, Richard
  12. arxaaron macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008
    My capture problems trying to use Final Cut Pro HD 4.5 (or FC Express 2) after updating to 10.4.11 and QT 7.3.1 were REALLY bad. Not only would the DV input freeze after 4 to 7 minutes of a capture attempt, but the file write would totally lock up as well and continue writing gigabytes of nothing -- presumably until it filled the hard disk. Force quiting FCP and restarting Finder would do nothing to stop the file writing. The only way to get the file write stopped was a hard power down of the system. Thankfully the HFS+ journaled file system is hard to corrupt!

    So THANK YOU for this fix suggestion! It is working great for me!

    Prompted by this I used Pacifist to to fix yet another Apple update that BROKE my most critical app. Specifically, the 4.0.2 Pro Support package broke the interface responsiveness on FCP_HD 4.5 -- arrow key scrubbing and timeline edit actions would be fine for about the first 20 minutes after starting the program, then they would become progressively more sluggish as time went on until the wait states were so bad the program became unusable. I decided to take a chance and used Pacifist to "upgrade" back to the 3.0 Pro Support package for Panther and everything is working fine again (the 4.0 pro support, which didn't have this problem, could not be found on Apple's site).

    Apple will be getting an earful from me. Thanks for including the
    feedback URL.


  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Maybe it's about time to upgrade your version of Final Cut. Newer versions can work directly with DV files. Those DV files are a bit per bit copy of the tape and they include time code. You can also save your work back to DV tape ad not loose any quality. If cost is an issue consider Final Cut Express. Current Express version may have more features than your older Pro version.
  14. iphonerules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007
    Quicktime 7.4

    I'm waiting to update Final Cut until I buy my new Mac Book Pro--new machine, new OS, new FCP. Until then, staying on current version of FP.

    I see QuickTime 7.4 is now available? Dare I try that? Any known issues so far.

    By the way, I was also having some issue with compressor after upgrading to 7.3.

    Anyway, now that everyting is stable again, I think I'm going to avoid all updates until I get the new machine.
  15. Bogeyman macrumors newbie


    Jan 25, 2008
    D.C. metro area
    "By the way, I was also having some issue with compressor after upgrading to 7.3."

    I've been using 7.3 for a couple of months now and no issues. However, I too feel the apprehension about doing updates, except my simpleton boss gets pissed when I don't do weekly updates. Even when nothing's wrong. Apple updates aren't always for the better. Just look what they did with the Lens Flare in FCP 6 and Motion 3! (Among other things.)
  16. murraymac macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2008
    great thanks

    just wanted to post a personal thanks to fhturner. i suddenly came across the same problem with FCE and after panicing that the raw tapes themselves were flawed, went through the troubleshooting process, figured out it was FCE and then searched around for a solution. I work alone, from home and so when my system stops working, all my workflow does and projects get quickly backed up, but where do you go for specific advice on editing software? When i worked in broadcast you had an army of engineers whose job it was to resolve such problems. I had had a similar problem last year after installing an update and thought i had learned my lesson (don't install all recommended updates) but got casual last week and installed one. So a huge thanks to Fred and curses to apple - a cynical part of me wonders if this is a conscious attempt to force users with older versions of FCE/FCP to upgrade?
  17. fhturner macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    QuickTime 7.4.5 seems to fix this

    Hey Everyone--

    Just wanted to post back that I've tried installing QuickTime 7.4.5, and the problem seems to have been eliminated in this version. I was able to capture several 15-20-minute clips. Can some of you try this as well to confirm? Would hate to have gotten lucky or have had something weird keep mine working and then claim erroneously that it is fixed! :D

  18. arxaaron macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008
    Thanks for giving the update a try, Fred! I've gotten a little gun shy about
    installing ANY Apple updates on my 10.4 production machines these days
    since Apple doesn't also provide an UNDO UPDATE package (and most of
    the changes seem to be geared toward infringing on our access rights with
    Destructive Restriction Mechanisms).

    Can you also let us know which update of 10.4.xx OS you tested with?
    I can't say for certain due to the timing of the QT/OS updates I installed,
    but some of my pro application issues seemed to be related to the 10.4.11
    update in conjunction with QT 7.4.1.

    Thanks again for the post!
    the new OS
    don't give you an easy
    REVERSE Good to
  19. fhturner macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    My video system is running 10.4.11. I "caught" the no-capture-longer-than-5-minutes bug after updating from QT 7.2 to 7.3. Now w/ the update from 7.4.1 or .2 (I forget) to 7.4.5, the bug seems to be gone.
  20. iphonerules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007
    All clear with QT 7.4 and FCP 4.5

    Just wanted to confirm that I upgraded to QT7.4 and have had no issues. I'm running FCP 4.5 on MAC OS 10.3.9

    (The jump from Quicktime 7.2 to 7.3 almost killed me. And I was very hesitant to try 7.4. But no issues at all in the weeks since I've upgraded.
  21. Dougedart macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    What's the latest???

    I had that problem with upgrading to QT7.3 and was able to get it back to 7.2 thanks to that detailed post above BUT I see where we might be able to now upgrade to Quicktime 7.4 (actually my software update is listing Quicktime 7.5 as the newest update) and the bug is this true? Can anybody confirm this? I am very leery about upgrading anything Quicktime since the last incident.

    Also can anyone direct me to a discussion about the new Imacs and FCP 4.5? I take it I'm screwed but I'm just wondering.
  22. fhturner macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    Yes, see my post above on 4/12 about QuickTime 7.4.5 solving the problem. I haven't tried 7.5, as there seems to have been a bunch of trouble reports about it. But I imagine the capture problem is still solved.

    As for the iMac, yep, you're pretty well out of luck there. New iMacs, being Intel-native, require a newer version of FCP (5.1, I think?).
  23. Dougedart macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008

    I saw your original post yet noticed nobody replied to say they had also upgraded to QT 7.4.5 with no problems. I'm still reluctant.

    Yeah I knew it! (about my FCP 4.5). Thanks for the feedback.

    Oh...this might be a dumb question but since we're (or we were) on the subject, is it naive of me to think my older FCP projects and files will open and work with the newer version of FCP???

  24. iphonerules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2007
    All clear with QuickTime 7.5 and FCP 4.5

    I am now using Quicktime 7.5 and FCP 4.5, with no capture issues.
  25. DrRock macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    While searching for help with a FCP issue, I found this thread. I know these posts are old, and they refer to older versions of FCP & QT, but I'm having the exact same problem with newer versions of each. I'm running FC Studio 2 and QT 7.6.4.

    I had the same problem with a DV footage capture. Still haven't determined if it's my camera or what, but the symptoms are exactly as described. I wonder if it's a QT issue a well.

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