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Unlike previous versions of Final Cut Pro, Final Cut X is a digital download from the App Store. When you purchase the application it is automatically downloaded and an alias is placed in your dock. If you had a previous version of Final Cut Studio, those icons are removed, but don't worry. The applications are not deleted; they are just relocated into a new folder in your Applications folder. You can keep and use both the new version of Final Cut Pro and the legacy versions of the applications on the same machine.
Let's take a look at some of the best practices to do this. Inside your Applications folder you'll notice this new folder is labeled Final Cut Studio. All of your legacy applications are located in this folder. Now you can use both the new version and the old versions of the application on the same machine. The limitation is if you keep the Final Cut Studio applications in this new folder, is that round-tripping won't work between the old applications.
If you want to continue to be able to round-trip between Final Cut Pro 7 and say Soundtrack Pro or Color you'll need to move them to the top level of the Applications folder and move the new versions of the applications in their own folders. The first thing you should do is create a new folder for Final Cut Pro X and its sister applications. Label this folder FCPX, hold down the Command key, and click on the Final Cut Pro X folder you just created, so you can drag the new versions of the applications into that folder.
Drag Final Cut Pro X into the folder. In some cases you may need to type your password and copy the application from the root level into the new Final Cut Pro X folder. Do the same thing with Compressor and with Motion. Once the copy is done, go ahead and close the folder and locate the original Final Cut Studio folder. Drag these applications out of the folder and drop them to the root level of the Applications folder.
Depending on your system configuration, you may or may not be copying these items out of the folder. They may simply be moved to the top level. Once the files are moved or in the case of a copy, you can go ahead and delete the Final Cut Studio folder by hitting Command+Delete. Again you may need to enter your password. Now depending on which application you're going to use most Final Cut Pro X or Final Cut Pro 7, simply remove the aliases from the dock, and simply place the aliases of the applications you wish to use back into the dock.
Now remember, you cannot have both of Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X aliases in your dock. Because they both have the same name this could confuse the operating system and while you think you may be launching 7, you might be launching X or vice versa. In addition to not being able to have both applications in the dock, you cannot run both applications at the same time. If Final Cut Pro 7 is already running and you attempt to launch Final Cut Pro X, you'll get a warning dialog.
Now that Final Cut Pro 7 is running let's go ahead and launch Final Cut Pro X. When launching Final Cut Pro X after you launch Final Cut Pro 7, you'll see a dialog box that will give you one of two choices. To continue to use Final Cut Pro X you need to quit the previous version or you'll need to quit Final Cut Pro X. Let's Command+Tab over to Final Cut Pro 7, simply quit the application, and you'll notice that you can now go directly into editing in Final Cut Pro X.
Another thing to make note of, is that due to the new project architecture there is no way to translate or bring in old projects from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X. However, you may use the same media that you used in previous versions of Final Cut Pro in Final Cut Pro X. Also keep in mind that round-tripping only works between the Final Cut Studio 3 applications or the Final Cut Pro X applications. If you had any third-party plug-ins installed in Final Cut Studio 3, those will not work in the new versions of Final Cut Pro X because it uses a new architecture called FxPlug 2.
The great thing about having both versions of the application on your system is you can migrate to the new version at your own pace or continue to use both. Remember, you're the editor. Final Cut Pro 7 or Final Cut Pro X are just tools, and this workflow allows you to use the right tool for the job.
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