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Wednesday, April 14, 2004, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

New Apple software to take center stage at NAB

Apple Computer is expected to make several product announcements this Sunday when it hosts a "Moving pictures. Moving sound. Moving the industry." presentation at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas. In addition to professional software product updates, rumor has it that the company may debut a totally new software technology.

According to the usual suspects, Apple's announcements at the NAB 2004 conference will focus on advancements in professional video and sound software, rather than new hardware. Along with an already confirmed introduction of Shake 3.5, sources said to expect multiple "Pro" software updates, including a revised Final Cut Pro.

One of the most interesting rumors is that Apple plans to unfold a new technology into a new "Pro" application or extension of Final Cut Pro. Details are very vague, but over the last several months sources have described a software-based asset management system for video (and possibly sound) clips — a souped-up iPhoto of sorts, designed for Final Cut professionals working with video.

The software reportedly acts as a searchable, organized repository for the hundreds of clips that video editors are constantly importing and manipulating. Meanwhile, sources said that third-party companies also have several Final Cut Pro related announcements in store.

The presentation is set to take place at 11:00 a.m. PST at the Venetian Hotel and Casino Ballroom. Over the last several weeks Apple has sent out a limited number of invitations to the reserved seating event.

At last years NAB conference, Apple introduced new versions of Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Shake. In the many years that the company has participated in the conference, it has never used it as a venue to unveil new hardware offerings.