Foxvideo Productions

July 2013

"Out of Memory" FCP 7 error

One of the most common error messages with Final Cut Pro 7 is an "Out of Memory" error when rendering, my FCP system had 6Gb of RAM and I did occasionally get the OoM error, since upgrading the RAM to 12Gb I seem to have had the error on many more occasions - figure that one out!

I'm currently working on one of the biggest programs I've done, 9 months shooting with 3 months still to go, 1.5Tb of video files so far (backed up twice and with a Media Manager copy of the program so far) all for a 70 minute DVD to be ready in October, the program uses many stills and effects and I've been getting the OoM message on a regular basis as FCP 7 can only use up to a maximum of 2.5Gb RAM for the application with an additional 1.5Gb for other frameworks, libraries, and drivers.

One of the most common causes of the OoM message is still images in the timeline, any stills over 4000 pixels will cause problems and need to be resized, increasing the 'Still Cache' limit helps but never really solves the problem. During some downtime today I decided to have a look to see if I could get a little better memory performance from my FCP, let me make it clear this is a non scientific method and may or may not work for you - Use caution before attempting any of these and I'd strongly suggest you do a Carbon Copy or SuperDuper clone of your FCP hard drive before attempting them!

Sometime ago I found "Memory Booster - RAM Optimizer" on the App store, I think it was either on special offer or might have even been free for a limited time but it's still only $0.99 so won't break the bank. This App seems to work well, I had the OoM message a couple of days ago during a render - running the Memory Booster App (leaving the FCP project open) cleared out the RAM and then the sequence rendered without a problem, normally I'd have to close the program and then shutdown / restart to solve it.

When I start FCP 7 my Mac memory usage goes to around 2500 / 2600 Mb of RAM, you can see all the effects, filters and Master Templates loading so I thought 'thinning out' some of the effects I don't use might help. I cleaned out around 10 or so Master Templates, 40+ filters and plugs I've collected over the years but hardly ever use and many of the FCP project settings templates I never use (all backed up to another drive in case I need to re-install any of them), now when I start FCP it's using around 1600 / 1700 Mb of RAM - a big difference. FCP now seems to load faster, I've opened the big program and all seems well, I'll just have to see now if I get the OoM message as often as I was, Yes I know FCPX would solve the problem but I've been there and, after reading an item on Philip Johnston's blog HDWarrior recently about complex timelines, I'm glad I went with FCP 7 on this project.


I filmed a 'One off' type of event last night, no chance of going back to re-shoot. I got back home and popped the SD card with 5Gb of data on it into the Mac……NOTHING! That horrible lower stomach feeling started, had I lost everything? I use a card reader plugged into my Dell monitor to transfer data, thinking it might be the monitor USB I tried again using a Mac USB port - STILL NOTHING! By this time I was really starting to panic, I took the card out and put it back in the camera (JVC HM700) and all my stuff was on there. Back to the Mac, I tried a different SD card in the reader - still nothing, so then I tried another card reader and the card was 'seen' and transferred the data without any problems, time for a large Scotch with a huge sigh of relief!

Oxenhall Project

This has taken around 9 months and nearly 1Tb of files so far with another 3 months still to go to produce the final result. 100 years ago the Onslow Estate in Oxenhall was auctioned off into lots, many of the tenants bought their properties and still have descendants living in those properties. This Heritage Lottery funded DVD is to show some of the current residents, trades and farming methods in Oxenhall today. This preview for the DVD is for the exhibition being held in Oxenhall in July.