Cinema Tools Bites the Dust with New macOS (updated)

The latest OS upgrade for Mac has disabled at least one useful tool in the Final Cut Studio Suite – Cinema Tools.

With each passing operating system update, we seem to wait with bated breath to find if Apple’s latest tinkering won’t somehow be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Final Cut 7 and friends. So far, we’ve been in the clear and macOS Sierra didn’t seem to pose as grave a threat as previous OS updates have with most of the upgrades being related to the iOS-ification of our Macs rather than making major changes under the hood. The good news seems to be that if you’ve upgraded to macOS Sierra you’re likely in the clear, barring the obvious exception of Motion, which fortunately has an affordable path to upgrade.

However, if you took advantage of the new OS upgrade to do a clean install of your Mac, you’ll find that there are a few things missing under the hood that kept some components of the Final Cut Studio suite humming along without issue. While we’re not done with the search yet, we can report that one relatively inconspicuous tool has bitten the dust: Cinema Tools. Introduced in 2002, Cinema Tools was initially a $1000 standalone application designed for tracking and managing digital intermediates for film assets. It also included a quick and easy tool for removing pulldown patterns and conforming frame rates on Quicktime files with Intra-frame codecs.

While most users will probably scratch their heads trying to remember if they have ever even heard of Cinema Tools let alone used it, many online editors, AEs, and Post PAs will sorely miss this little gadget. Granted, most of the features of Cinema Tools have been rendered obsolete by advancements in technology and the transition to digital filmmaking, and others can be easily accomplished in other tools nowadays, but nothing was quite as quick and effortless as Cinema Tools for certain tasks.

The question now remains what tools will be rendered unusable next for Final Cut Studio faithfuls? Despite being discontinued with the release of Final Cut Pro X in 2011, FCP7 continues to be the NLE of choice for many editors. Reasons vary, and while many will simply cite familiarity or speed in using the system, the fact remains that above all else, it just works. FCP X just doesn’t quite cut it for many of the fateful and while Adobe Premiere provides the nearest approximation to the old FCP toolset, many professionals are still put off by the Creative Cloud subscription pricing model.

UPDATED: The folks at have discovered the solution. Unlike previous OS iterations, Apple is no longer pushing the 2010 Pro Applications Update via software updates. You’ll need to manually download the update and install. Not a bad idea to keep this file logged away in a safe place.