Apple adding Color to prod'n software tools

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Apple on Sunday unveiled Final Cut Studio 2, a major upgrade to its production software bundle that includes a new version of Final Cut Pro and introduced a color-correction software tool, Color.

Offering a price tag of $1,299 for the bundle, Apple looks poised to be a big topic this week at National Association of Broadcasters Convention.

Proclaiming that Final Cut Pro has democratized the editing process, Rob Schoeben, vp applications product marketing at Apple, said of Color, "We wanted to do for color grading what we did for editing."

He said color-grading systems can cost upward of $100,000, noting, "That is so not OK."

Color actually is based on desktop color-correction technology developed by Silicon Color; all Silicon Color technology and intellectual property, including Final Touch color-correction software, was sold to Apple last year. Since then, many had been anticipating Apple's entry into the color-correction market.

Also making news was Final Cut Pro 6, which introduced ProRes 422, which Apple described as a new format that offers "uncompressed HD-quality at SD file sizes" with "lossless compression."

In addition to Final Cut Pro 6 and Color, the Final Cut Studio bundle also includes Motion 3, a new version of Apple's motion-graphics software; Soundtrack Pro 2, a new version of its audio-editing application; Compressor 3, an encoding tool; and DVD Studio Pro 4.2.

Apple also addressed media asset management and workflow for post and broadcast with the introduction of Final Cut Server, a scalable server application that works with Final Cut Studio 2.

Apple hopes to ship Final Cut Server in the summer; Final Cut Studio is scheduled for release next month.
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