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DMN Interview: Final Cut Pro Updated

Shake, DVD Studio also optimized for G5 By Charlie White
Richard Kerris, Senior Director of Pro Applications Product Marketing for AppleRichard Kerris, Senior Director of Pro Applications Product Marketing for Apple, spoke with DMN’s Charlie White about the company’s new updates to its pro applications line. In this exclusive interview, Kerris explains how the new version 4.1 of Final Cut Pro will see significant speed gains when used with the company’s new Power Mac G5.

DMN: There’s some big news today. Big things happening?

Kerris: Three big new releases for our Final Cut, DVD Studio Pro and Shake product lines – all about optimization using G5.

DMN: How is this optimization going to help Final Cut Pro?

Kerris: Users are going to see a big impact. Now, using Final Cut Pro 4.1 they’re going to be able to do things that have never been done on a computer before -- for example, seven simultaneous streams of full-quality, uncompressed SD video, in real time without the use of additional hardware except for a RAID unit to pipe all that data through. But you don’t need external hardware, anything like that. You can deal with seven streams, uncompressed, in real time.

DMN: Without dropping any frames?

Kerris: Without dropping any frames.

DMN: That’s spectacular.

Kerris: That is. Yeah, that’s totally revolutionary.

DMN: How many streams could you do before the optimization?

Kerris: Between two and four, depending on what kinds of things you were pushing through the system, and how many effects you were putting on there, things like that. So this is a huge jump.

DMN: It sounds like a 2x jump.

Kerris: About that, yes. And we have a lot of information on the Web site talking about what tests we use, the configurations, all that kind of stuff. People can see all the details there.

DMN: Are you releasing this right now?

Kerris: Anybody who has the current versions of these products will see Software Update pop up, saying, “Do you want to get these new versions?” And the great thing is, there’s no additional charge for our current customers.

DMN: So people can just download the upgrade from the Apple Web site?

Kerris: Yes. If they have any one of these products and they’re using Software Update, it will pop up. If not, if they go to apple.com they’ll see one of the blocks down the page talking about our optimized version. They can click on that and it’ll take them right to the pages, depending on which app they have, to download.

DMN: Can you help us understand what was done to optimize this? For people who aren’t software code writers, this all seems very complicated. Could you could tell us what was done to make this so much faster?

Kerris: As people know, the G5 is just a fast machine right out of the gate. So everything that’s running on a G5 today is just running very fast. But to really take advantage of the architecture of the machine, the gigahertz pipes, the faster processors, and the Velocity Engine, etc., takes a little bit of work. And the great thing is, the tools to do that work come on every single Mac. All our development tools – there are profiling tools, that are called CHUD [Computer Hardware Understanding Developer] -- those things will take a look at how you manage your memory, how you manage the data that you’re putting through the system, things like that. And so when you perform that stuff on your code, you’ll find areas where you can take advantage of these enormously fat pipes to push more data through than ever before. So by doing that, you’re just going to increase your performance, in some cases, many, many times. So that’s really all that was done, is using our own tools, that are available to every single developer, free of charge. You can increase the performance of the product.

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Related Keywords:Richard Kerris, Senior Director of Pro Applications Product Marketing, Apple, DMN, Charlie White, updates, Final Cut Pro 4, pro applications line, exclusive interview, version 4.1, speed gains, G5 computers

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