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Monday, January 03, 2011, 06:15 am PT (09:15 am ET)

Apple rumored to update Final Cut applications in March or April

Updated versions of Apple's Final Cut editing software are rumored to debut in the next few months in the form of an update said to be "substantial," but potentially lacking for "Pro" users.

French Apple website HardMac reported Monday that the entire Final Cut Studio, including Final Cut Pro, should receive an update in March or early April of 2011. It categorized the new software as a "substantial update when compared to the previous version," but cautioned that it may not bring new features expected by high-end "Pro" users.

"Two versions are already running at beta level, one for Snow Leopard, and one for Lion," the report said. "Some new features will only be available on Lion's version, due to the changes made on QuickTime layer."

The same site reported in September that the new version of Final Cut Studio has suffered setbacks in the development process. It was said that the scope of the project was reduced from its original, more ambitious plans.

The rumors have added support to an AppleInsider report from last May, which revealed that Apple was planning to scale final Cut Studio applications to fit the "prosumer" market. The significant software makeover was then expected to help the application suite better target the mainstream of Apple's customer base, rather than high-end professionals.

The report prompted Apple to quickly issue a statement in which it said the next version of Final Cut would be "awesome" and that pro customers would "love it."

In addition to Final Cut, HardMac also offered new rumors on the recently canceled Xserve hardware. Sources indicated to the site that among those unhappy about the change is Arthur D. Levinson, Genentech CEO and member of Apple's Board of Directors.

Apple announced in November that it would discontinue its rackmounted Xserve after Jan. 31, 2011. That change frustrated enterprise buyers, though many indicated they will stick with Apple hardware for their server needs.

Monday's report stated that "this storm is maybe not over" with regards to the Xserve controversy, but did not explicitly indicate any intention by Apple to change its mind.

Finally, the site also reported that Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs remains unimpressed with the high-definition Blu-ray disc format. Jobs allegedly "feels ashamed" that Apple is a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association, which he is rumored to believe looks "more like Mafia than anything else."

"He thinks that Blu-ray is the last physical media that will be used to distribute movies and videos," the report said. "The next generation will entirely be through direct download from online stores or platforms."

Jobs famously panned licensing issues associated with Blu-ray in a public statement made in 2008. The Apple CEO called the situation a "bag of hurt."