Final Cut Studio

Final Cut Studio is a substantial update to Apple’s professional-level postproduction software bundle. Apple has packaged updated versions of its flagship video-editing application, Final Cut Pro 5; its DVD-authoring program, DVD Studio Pro 4; and its motion-graphics app, Motion 2; with its newly created professional audio editor, Soundtrack Pro. Each product can also be purchased separately.

This package is more than a simple bundle of stand-alone applications. All the applications are interconnected, and their features complement each other nicely. Final Cut Studio is a very attractive and worthwhile buy, especially at $1,299 for the full retail box (compared with $2,096 if you purchase the applications separately), $699 for an upgrade from Final Cut Pro 4, and $499 for an upgrade from the Production Suite (a bundle containing Motion 1.0, Final Cut HD, and DVD Studio Pro 3).

Everything about Final Cut Studio is big; even its box. Inside, you will find nine DVD installation discs with over 4GB of software programs and an additional 41GB of program media, templates, and tutorials. Final Cut Studio allows you to install supplemental support media—including LiveType fonts, DVD templates, and Soundtrack Pro loops—on nonboot drives, something you couldn’t do with Final Cut Pro 4 (   ; September 2003 ). This is essential for PowerBook users and anyone with a boot drive smaller than 80GB.

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