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Apple's new Final Cut Pro X to hit the Mac App Store [Video]

April 13, 2011 |  6:30 pm


Apple announced Final Cut Pro X, a major update of video-editing software used widely by filmmakers, journalists and video professionals alike, at an event in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, but on Wednesday, the tech giant offered little information.

The announcement came in a presentation at the National Assn. of Broadcasters trade show in Las Vegas. Peter Steinauer, Final Cut Pro's video architect, and Randy Ubillos, Apple's chief architect for video applications, showed off the new software in front of a crowd of video professionals, according to multiple reports online.

But on Wednesday, Apple hadn't updated its website with any information on Final Cut Pro X, and company officials weren't available for comment either.

People in attendance at the event, however, have reported on the new software themselves, posting cellphone photos to Facebook and videos to Twitter of Steinauer and Ubillos offering a preview of Final Cut Pro X.

At the event, Steinauer and Ubillos said Final Cut Pro X was rebuilt from the current version, which is based off the first iteration of Final Cut, which was released in 1999, according to a report from Gary Adcock, a Chicago-based film and television consultant, published by PC World magazine.

The two also said Final Cut Pro X would be released in June for download from the Mac App Store at a price of $299, PC World reported.

A drop to $299 for Final Cut Pro is dramatic. Currently, Final Cut Pro is available only in Apple's Final Cut Studio package, which sells for $999.99 and includes Motion 4 for graphics and animation, Soundtrack Pro 3 for audio editing, Color 1.5 for color correction and Compressor 3.5 and DVD Studio Pro 4, which allow users to create versions of finished videos for digital delivery or DVDs.

Reports on the Final Cut Pro X preview haven't made mention as to whether or not the other Final Cut Studio software would receive updates too.

Final Cut Pro's major competitors could end up far and away more expensive when compared with a $299 price.

A new copy of Avid's Media Composer 5.5 video-editing software, also a very popular platform, sells for between $2,295 and $2,495. Adobe's Premiere Pro 5.5 software can be bought for $799, or subscribed to at a cost of $39 per month.

Final Cut Pro X will be the first 64-bit version of the software that can use as many as eight separate processor cores (on computers that have that many) and take advantage of more than 4GB of RAM. The current release of Final Cut Pro is built on Apple's 32-bit architecture and was restricted to using a maximum of 4 GB of RAM, PC World said.

The update should allow editors to shorten the time they spend editing video projects using Final Cut, as would a widely reported feature -- background rendering, which allows files to adapt to changes made while an edit is still taking place. Currently, Final Cut users have to stop their editing and wait for rendering to complete before continuing.

Final Cut Pro X will also feature automatic audio cleanup, advanced color correction tools, new people detection, the ability to decipher and sort shorts based on type (wide shot, close-up, etc.), automatic audio cleanup and "range-based keywording," which gives editors the ability to tag selected clips of video with keywords so they can easily find and sort files, according to PC World.

And the new software also will include a feature that will prevent audio and video tracks from falling out of sync with one another, according to a video of the event posted by Twitter user, director and editor Rob Imbs, which can be seen below.


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Photo: Randy Ubillos, Apple's chief architect for video applications, shows off Final Cut Pro X before a crowd at the National Assn. of Broadcasters trade show in Las Vegas on April 12, 2011. Credit: Rob Imbs via TwitVid.