Addition through acquisition

Apple added to its arsenal of video editing tools this week with Monday’s purchase of Silicon Color. The San Diego company makes FinalTouch, color-correction software aimed at film and video editors working on the Mac. Specifically, Silicon Color offers three products: FinalTouch SD for standard-definition formats like DV-CAM or Digi-Beta ($995), FinalTouch HD for HD QuickTime media ($4,995), and FinalTouch 2K for 2K DPX and Cineon files (systems starting at $24,995).

Apple hasn’t announced its plans for the FinalTouch product line—news of the purchase broke not through Apple, but via an announcement on Silicon Color’s Web site. However, it doesn’t exactly require a leap in logic to conclude that the technology behind FinalTouch is likely to find its way into a future version of Apple’s Final Cut suite. After all, the history behind the tools that make up the video-editing, motion graphics, and audio production suite is one of additions and enhancements through acquisitions.

Consider this abridged history: LiveType, Final Cut’s titling feature came from Prismo Graphics’s India Titler, which Apple bought in 2002. Cinema Tools, originally a $999 stand-alone product before its integration into Final Cut Pro, has its roots in Focal Point Systems’ Film Logic—Apple snapped up Focal Point in April 2001. And that’s not even considering products such as Shake, DVD Studio Pro, and Logic, which came to Apple by way of Nothing Real, Astarte, and Emagic, respectively.

Apple has a long history of recognizing great third-party digital-video products, using the huge piles of cash at its disposal to bring those technologies in-house, and handing things over to its talented video-editing software team for a seamless integration into the company’s offerings. Makes sense when you think about it—after all, Final Cut itself started life as a Macromedia product before Apple bought it back in the late ’90s.

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