Apple offers new vid-editing software

Cyberbiz Brief

The first major update in 18 months to Apple’s Final Cut Pro video-editing software debuted over the weekend.

Apple launched Final Cut’s Version 4.0 at a series of events, demos and speakers in its stores, particularly at its New York flagship in SoHo and Los Angeles flagship at the Grove.

The company says the program, which last had a major overhaul in December 2001, has undergone more than 300 changes. Among the major additions are a titling program, technology that applies most special effects in real time, better trimming and editing tools and a soundtrack creation program. Company also has thrown in its Cinema Tools package, formerly a $999 add-on, for free.

Final Cut will continue to cost $999. It has made a major impact on the nonlinear editing business since it first debuted, eating into markets long dominated by Avid, particularly at the low end. Many indie film- and documakers have turned to Final Cut as an inexpensive and powerful tool to help get their projects made.

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Final Cut Pro also has made a few inroads in major studio projects as when Stephen Soderbergh used it to edit his “Full Fron-tal” project. Walter Murch is reportedly using the program to edit “Cold Mountain,” and some broadcast newsrooms use the program for editing stories.

Avid has responded with its own low-end Express DV program, which it will upgrade into a pro version later this year that will cost $1,695 and can be paired with a hardware accelerator box that costs another $1,695. Avid continues to make powerful editing suites of hardware and software that cost as much as $75,000 or more.