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Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple releases Final Cut and Pro apps for Intel Macs

Making good on a commitment to its professional customers, Apple Computer on Wednesday rolled out Final Cut Studio 5.1, which includes Universal binaries of its "Pro" applications that will run at native speeds on the company's new Intel Macs.

The $1299 professional software suite includes Universal copies of Final Cut Pro 5, Soundtrack Pro, Motion 2 and DVD Studio Pro 4, meaning they run natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs.

Customers who own Final Cut Pro 1, Final Cut Pro 2, or Final Cut Pro 3 may upgrade to Final Cut Studio 5.1 for the reduced cost of $699. Final Cut Pro 5 license holders may pay $99 to upgrade to the entire suite of Pro apps, while those who already own the bundle for PowerPC Macs can trade their discs in with a $49 payment to receive the new Universal version.

Earlier this year, AppleInsider reported that Apple would no longer offer its Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion, and DVD Studio Pro audio and video applications as standalone products, and instead would sell them exclusively as part of the $1299 Final Cut Studio suite. As a result, Apple customers who own the current versions of either DVD Studio Pro, Motion, and Soundtrack Pro will be eligible to upgrade to the entire $1299 Final Cut Studio 5.1 for just $199.

As of press time, Apple had yet to release the Universal version of Final Cut Express HD — a slimmed down version of the video editing application.

A note on the Apple Store Web site reads: "The next feature release of Final Cut Express will be a Universal application, which will run natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Mac computers."