Apple Releases New Final Cut Pro Video Editing Software

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple released Final Cut Pro X today, the latest version of its professional video editing software program.

The new offering is a complete 64-bit overhaul of the software but maintains many of the abilities of the Final Cut Studio suite that debuted in 2007.

Final Cut Pro X costs $299.99 and will only be available to customers through the Mac App Store.

Apple said the software "completely reinvents video editing with a Magnetic Timeline that lets you edit on a flexible, trackless canvas; Content Auto-Analysis that categorizes your content upon import by shot type, media and people; and background rendering that allows you to work without interruption."

Some new features include the iMovie tool that detects when are people in shots and if the shots are close-up, medium, or wide-angle. A "skimming," mouse-over feature that lets users preview clips is also part of the package.

The software requires Macs with Intel Core 2 Duo processors or better, at least 2GB of memory and an OpenCL-compatible graphics system with at least 256MB of video memory, running Mac OS X 10.6.7.

Two accessory programs — Motion 5 for professional motion graphics and Compressor 4 for media encoding — are also available for $49.99 each.

Final Cut 7 and the $199 junior version, Final Cut Express, are no longer for sale but an install of Final Cut Pro X will not delete the previous version allowing both to work side-by-side.

One notable change to the software is its Magnetic Timeline feature that was a sore point for users of the old program because of clips getting out of sync. The new software reportedly fixes the problem.

A report in USA Today said, “If you're a veteran Final Cut Pro user, you'll need to spend a few days learning a new way around the timeline. But once that's behind you, the editing process will go by so much faster, you'll be glad you made the effort.”