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NAB: Apple DVD Studio Pro 2.0 To Ship in August

Versions 2.0 and 1.5 see 50 percent price drop By Dave Nagel
Apple today previewed a forthcoming release of DVD Studio Pro. The new version--2.0--will be "a completely new DVD authoring product, rebuilt from the ground up with a breakthrough user interface and packed with innovative features that redefine professional DVD authoring," according to Apple. The new software was introduced at a press conference at the NAB 2003 convention in Las Vegas. It's expected to ship in August for half the price of previous releases--$499. (Apple has also announced new versions of Final Cut Pro and Shake. Please see separate news items for details.)

DVD Studio Pro 2.0 will include fully customizable templates, a new menu editor, timeline-based track editing, new user interface and a new software-based MPEG-2 encoder. Its new user interface is designed to get users of other Apple products, such as iDVD, up and running quickly. It includes a new outline view, enhanced asset information and the timeline-based track editor. The new timeline track-editing functionality is based on the timeline in Final Cut Pro, providing a linear view of clips, audio and other assets, with support for eight camera angles, eight audio tracks and 32 subtitle tracks.

DVD Studio Pro 2's new menu editor allows users to create menus by dragging and dropping content. It includes support for context-sensitive drop palettes for linking to new tracks and allows users to build slideshows and automatically build chapter indexes in one step. "A built-in compositing engine in DVD Studio Pro 2 allows users to edit text directly in the menu editor and make changes to font styles and button graphics without leaving the application," according to Apple.

The software also includes Compressor, a batch transcoding tool that comes bundled with DVD Studio Pro 2 and Final Cut Pro 4, which allows users to batch and export directly to multiple formats, including MPEG-2 for DVD or any supported QuickTime format. Compressor includes watermarking, real-time preview and 30 filters and effects.

DVD Studio Pro 2 is expected to ship in August for $499. Apple has also lowered the price of DVD Studio Pro 1.5 to $499. Those who purchase DVD Studio Pro 1.5 starting today will be eligible for an update to version 2.0 for $29.95. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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