Apple today announced that its professional DVD authoring package
DVD Studio Pro
will undergo a major overhaul with version 2.0, anticipated for release this August. The software has been “rebuilt from the ground up” for Mac OS X using Cocoa, and sports a new user interface and new features, according to Apple. What’s more, Apple will charge half as much as it has for the previous version.
The interface is simple enough that users of iDVD can make an easy transition, according to Apple, with the scalability and advanced features that professionals need, too. A new outline view has been incorporated, along with more thorough asset information and a timeline-based track editor.
The software adds new templates and a library of styles, buttons and backgrounds. The templates are fully customizable, a well. Drag and drop can be used to build menus, and context-sensitive drop palettes provide the ability to create and link to new tracks, build slideshows, and build chapter indexes. There’s also a new compositing engine that enables you to edit text, make changes to font styles and button graphics in the menu editor itself.
DVD Studio Pro 2 uses a time-based track editor that’s similar to what’s found in Final Cut Pro. It can add and manage chapter markers, 8 video angles, 8 audio tracks and 32 subtitle tracks straight from the timeline.
Compressor, the same batch transcoding tool that’s feature in Apple’s newly announced Final Cut Pro 4, offers support for batch and export to MPEG-2 for DVD, MPEG-4 for streaming media and any supported QuickTime format. Compressor supports watermarking, real time preview, and 30 filters and effects, and includes a new MPEG-2 software encoder that supports adjustable bit rate and one or two-pass VBR encoding.
Coming this August, DVD Studio Pro will carry a suggested retail price of US$499. And effective today, DVD Studio Pro 1.5 costs $499. Customers who purchase DVD Studio Pro 1.5 between now and when DVD Studio Pro 2 ships can upgrade for $29.95.