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Friday, January 07, 2005, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

Apple discontinues standalone Soundtrack audio software (Updated)

As anticipation runs high just prior to mac daddy of Macintosh trade shows, Apple has reportedly discontinued one of its latest audio applications.

With just a few days remaining before Apple kicks-off the annual Macworld trade show in San Francisco, sources close to the company have informed AppleInsider that the standalone version of its Soundtrack music composition software has been discontinued.

Effective last week, the company reportedly told its distribution partners that all variants of the Soundtrack application and license bundles are "End-of Life" (EOL), and no further orders would be accepted.

Apple's channel partners were also told that all backlog for the product had been cancelled and no automatic order conversion would be offered — implying that no single product replacement is in the works.

As a standalone application, Soundtrack is a relatively new Apple product that has only been available for purchase for about 18 months. In July of 2003 Apple announced the royalty-free music production tool would be available as its own software application for $299. Previously the software was available only through versions of Final Cut Pro 4, Apple's video editing software.

By the time Soundtrack had been upgraded to version 1.2, the software had dropped in price to $199. And while concrete evidence is lacking, sources speculate that the application was one of Apple's least popular products, delivering little if any to the company's bottom line.

Rumor has it that Apple may have dismantled the application in favor of distributing its technologies through existing, more popular, Apple software applications such as GarageBand and Logic Pro. The company is widely expected to debut a new version of its consumer-oriented GarageBand software next week, which will include support for its rumored self-branded 'Asteroid' audio breakout box.

Separately, sources also anticipate that the company will soon release an update to its industry leading professional grade audio production tool, Logic Pro 7. The update, which is expected to debut prior to the National Association Music Merchants show during the third week of January, will reportedly update the application to version 7.1.

Update: MacNN notes that Apple has removed all mention of the Soundtrack application from the Apple Store and that the product is no longer available for purchase.