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Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 11:40 am PT (02:40 pm ET)

Final Cut Studio Universal apps won\'t be sold separately

Apple will no longer offer its Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion, and DVD Studio Pro audio and video applications as standalone products, and come March will choose instead to sell them exclusively as part of the $1299 Final Cut Studio production suite.

The company began informing its resellers of the change this week and also said it has stopped accepting new orders for the current versions of Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion, and DVD Studio Pro. "The individual applications in Final Cut Studio will only be available as part of the suite," the company wrote in a memo.

In February, Apple will begin taking orders for a universal version of Final Cut Studio called "Final Cut Studio Universal," which will ship in March for $1299. The company also appears that it will continue to market a PowerPC-only version of the suite under the name "Final Cut Studio 1.1."

The move to an all-or-nothing bundle will mean that new customers will have to fork over a pretty penny for the complete audio and video production suite. However, owners of the current versions of either DVD Studio Pro, Motion, and Soundtrack Pro will be eligible to upgrade to the entire $1299 Final Cut Studio for just $199. Final Cut Pro 5.0 owners will be able to take Apple up on the same "fulfillment" upgrade offer for just $99.

Customers who already own a copy of the the current Final Cut Studio can update to the universal version of the suite through a $49 "Final Cut Studio 1.1 Crossgrade Fulfillment" upgrade. Information on how to obtain this and the aforementioned upgrades should begin appearing on Apple's Web site in early February.

Contacts close to Apple have suggested that fulfillment upgrades may only be available through snail mail, requiring the customer to supply all install discs from the software which they are upgrading.

Apple will also offer $49 crossgrade upgrades for its other Pro applications, Aperture and Logic Pro 7.1. For users of Logic Express 7.1, the upgrade will cost only $29.

There is so far no word on plans for Shake, Apple's $2999 advanced digital compositing software.