Apple Computer Inc. on Wednesday announced that
DVD Studio Pro 2.0, the company’s professional level DVD mastering solution will start shipping August 18. DVD Studio contains several new features and has been “rebuilt from the ground up” for Mac OS X using Cocoa, according to Apple.
Among the new features in this release is a new user interface, which Apple says will make it easier for users of other applications like Final Cut Pro and the consumer level iDVD to quickly start using DVD Studio Pro.
Apple says the changes in the new version will allow more people to make the switch to a professional application easier than it was before because the application scales with you as you learn.
“One of the great things about DVD Studio Pro 2.0 is that it takes all of the complicated tasks you can do and allows people to discover them gradually,” Brian Schmidt, Product Manager for DVD Studio Pro, told MacCentral.
In making DVD Studio Pro more accessible to the prosumer market through the price point and usability, Apple negated the need for a third product in its DVD line-up. In its DVD products Apple offers iDVD for the consumers and DVD Studio Pro for the professionals; for its movie-making customers, Apple offers three products: iMovie, its consumer-level application; Final Cut Express, a mid-range product; and Final Cut Pro for the professional user.
“The line from iDVD to this product is probably the most natural for Apple’s iApps to pro apps,” said Rob Schoeben, vice president of Applications Marketing at Apple. “What we’ve chosen to do with DVD Studio Pro is have a product that grows with you instead of having three separate products. It scales really well from prosumer up to the professional level, but it does it in a way the application becomes richer instead of stepping into another product.”
DVD Studio Pro adds new fully customizable templates and a library of styles, buttons and backgrounds. 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.
Another big change is the price: DVD Studio Pro is available for ordering today for $499, half the cost of its predecessor, which sold for $999. Upgrades from previous versions cost $199.
“We wanted to bring the professional capabilities of DVD Studio Pro to a larger audience; having an accessible price will help people discover how great this product is,” said Schoeben.
Apple expects to see the software hit store shelves on August 18.