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NEWS MARCH 14, 2001
Apple To Ship Final Cut Pro 2
New version gets realtime editing, no OS X support

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

Apple today announced it plans to ship Final Cut Pro 2 March 19. Final Cut Pro is Apple's digital video editing application, a direct competitor of Adobe Premiere. According to Apple, version 2.0 offers realtime editing and compositing features for realtime cards like the Matrox RTMac, which has also just been announced. (See separate story.)

Oddly, Final Cut Pro will not run on OS X, even in Classic mode, according to Apple's specs. (Apple's technical specs report simply that FCP 2 is not "certified" to run under OS X Classic.) Apple's Web site does say the company is working on an OS X version, but no further details were available.

With Final Cut Pro 2, realtime editing and compositing functions are integrated into the application, so the same version will run with or without a realtime card. By adding a supported realtime processing card, video editors can instantly perform wipes, dissolves and 2D motion graphics effects. The first card to support Final Cut Proís realtime architecture is the RTMac card from Matrox, which provides realtime broadcast-quality transitions and effects and uncompressed, 32-bit, animated graphics in a dual-stream, native-DV editing environment. The RTMac card had been announced at last year's NAB convention in Las Vegas.

Final Cut Pro 2 takes advantage of the new Power Mac G4 and PowerBook G4 lines and the new QuickTime 5 architecture to deliver gains in video editing speed. According to Apple, on compute-intensive operations, Final Cut Pro 2 is up to 30 percent faster on G4 systems and 70 percent faster on dual-processor G4 systems, when compared to the previous generationís performance on similarly configured systems.

With Final Cut Pro 2, video editors can work with all popular video formats, from Digital Video, to Beta SP, to High Definition (HD); edit using a professional three-point editing model, including "JKL" keyboard-control shortcuts, drag and drop functionality and trim-on-the-fly video for fast synching of video and audio; simultaneously output to a computer monitor, an NTSC or PAL TV monitor, a VCR or a camera; consolidate, move and reconnect media with new media management tools; work efficiently between online and offline systems using Final Cut Proís Edit Decision List (EDL) import/export function; convert projects to the most popular Web-based formats using Cleaner 5EZ; export audio that is compatible with industry standard mixing and finishing systems using OMF audio export; use the included Peak DV with VST plugins to perform audio editing functions, such as eliminating unwanted audio noise or changing clip duration without changing pitch; utilize subframe audio editing to 1/100th of a frame; combine up to 99 layers of video, audio, text and graphics; open and nest multiple sequences and programs; and create special effects using Final Cut Proís built-in FX scripting language or hundreds of supported Adobe After Effectís plugins.

From within Final Cut Pro, users can invoke DVD Studio Proís compression engine to encode their edited video sequences into MPEG-2. Using DVD Studio Pro, they can author navigation menus, preview disk operation in real time and burn DVDs using the Power Mac G4ís new SuperDrive for playback on consumer DVD players.

Final Cut Pro 2 will be available beginning March 19 for $999. Existing users can upgrade to the new version of Final Cut Pro for $249. Final Cut Pro 2 requires Mac OS 9.1, a Macintosh with a 300 MHz or faster PowerPC G3 or G4 processor, QuickTime 5, 192 MB of RAM (256MB of RAM for realtime processing) and 20 MB of available disk space for installation. For more information, visit http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro.

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