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Apple Lowers Price Of Next-Gen Final Cut

The company also upgraded its Logic Studio audio production suite with more than 200 added features.

Apple on Thursday released an upgrade of Final Cut Studio and lowered the price of the video production suite by $300.

In addition, Apple introduced a new version of audio production suite Logic Studio, which did not get a price cut, but is packed with more than 200 new features.

The latest version of Final Cut Studio has more than 100 new features and at $999 costs 23% less than the previous release that sold for $1,299. The suite features Final Cut Pro 7 and includes new versions of Final Cut Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Color, and Compressor.

Final Cut Pro 7 includes new versions of Apple's ProRes codecs that support low-bandwidth editing for mobile devices, general-purpose editing, and high-quality visual effects. The release also allows users to continue working on projects while encoding is done in the background and the sequence exported to YouTube, MobileMe, an iPhone, an iPod, Apple TV, DVD, or Blu-ray.

Apple also has added collaboration features for sharing Final Cut timelines or individual source clips with Apple iChat users, even if they don't have a copy of Final Cut Pro. Other features include tools to change clip speed more easily, alpha transitions to create effects using moving mattes, and native support for AVC-Intra, a type of video coding developed by Panasonic and used in the company's high-definition broadcast products.

Upgrades for Final Cut Studio users cost $299. Apple also released version 1.5 of Final Cut Server, an asset management and automation tool for Studio. Server comes with an unlimited client license and is priced the same as Final Cut Studio.

Logic Studio includes major upgrades to Logic Pro and MainStage. Logic Pro 9 features new Amp Designer and Pedalboard plug-ins that provide more realistic virtual guitar amps and stompbox effects for creating custom guitar rigs.

In addition, a set of Flex Time tools makes it easier and faster to manipulate the timing and tempo of audio.

The MainStage 2 live performance application includes playback and loopback plug-ins to provide backing tracks and real-time loop recording for performing on stage.

Logic Studio also includes Soundtrack Pro 3, with multi-track audio tools for video production and Compressor 3.5 for encoding in a variety of formats.

Logic Studio is priced at $499, with upgrades available for $199. Logic Express, a trimmed-down version for people who don't need all the features in Logic Studio, is scheduled to be available in August for $199.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on application delivery. Download the report here (registration required).

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