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Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 12:40 pm PT (03:40 pm ET)

Macworld: Apple announces Final Cut Express HD

Apple today announced Final Cut Express HD, a major upgrade of its advanced video editing application for video enthusiasts, students and aspiring filmmakers that makes it easy to capture, edit and output High Definition Video (HDV) using all the powerful features of Final Cut Express.

Apple continues its aggressive position in the industry by delivering a complete line of HD video editing solutions including iMovie HD, Final Cut Express HD and Final Cut Pro HD. Priced at $299, Final Cut Express HD also includes LiveType for HD-quality animated text and graphics and Soundtrack for custom musical scores.

"2005 is the year of High Definition Video, and Final Cut Express now delivers stunning real-time HD editing and advanced titling and soundtrack creation tools to customers at the same affordable price,” said Sina Tamaddon, Apple’s senior vice president of Applications.

Final Cut Express HD users can now capture professional-quality HDV over a single FireWire cable, without requiring any additional software or hardware. Whether it’s with DV or HDV content, the RT Extreme engine in Final Cut Express HD allows users to instantly preview effects, filters, transition and multi-stream composites in real time, without rendering. Final Cut Express HD also supports Digital Cinema Desktop, a feature that enables HD and DV preview monitoring on a primary or secondary Apple Cinema Display.

With LiveType, Final Cut Express HD users can add sophisticated, HD-quality animated text and motion graphics to videos quickly and easily. LiveType includes 27 animated LiveFonts, 150 pre-configured effects and a variety of customizable templates, backgrounds, textures and objects that can be added to any Final Cut Express HD project. Final Cut Express HD also supports direct timeline file placement from Motion, Apple's high-performance, real-time motion graphics design program for a smooth, integrated workflow.

Final Cut Express HD includes powerful sound editing tools including 99 audio tracks, real-time volume and audio filter adjustment and a voice-over tool. Additionally, Final Cut Express HD now includes Soundtrack, Apple's music creation software that allows any user to easily compose high-quality musical scores for their video without prior musical training. With more than 4,000 royalty-free, professionally-recorded instrument loops and sound effects, Soundtrack allows users to see their video as they compose, automatically matches audio loops regardless of tempo and key and provides real-time arranging and mixing. Soundtrack also supports Final Cut Express HD score markers for perfect video-to-soundtrack synchronization.

iMovie users can now step up to Final Cut Express more easily than ever. iMovie projects can be imported directly into Final Cut Express HD with all of their effects, transitions and audio levels intact. iMovie users can utilize the advanced functions of Final Cut Express HD to enhance their videos with more powerful effects, video layer compositing, dynamic text and graphics and custom music.

Final Cut Express HD offers a professional editing environment with a customizable user interface, real-time compositing and effects, 99 video tracks, cutting-edge tools for titling, color correction and audio, and flexible output options. Whether their final project is output back to a DV or HDV device for direct playback through a home theater system, saved as a QuickTime movie for distribution over the web or exported to iDVD or DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut Express HD users can easily produce professional-looking results. All of the projects and skills learned in Final Cut Express HD are also directly transferable to Final Cut Pro HD, making it a smooth transition to professional video production.

Pricing & Availability

Final Cut Express HD will be available in February for a suggested retail price of $299 (US) with an upgrade price of $99 (US) for current Final Cut Express customers. Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Express HD can be found at Apple's Final Cut Express HD product page.