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Apple releases Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 on Mac App Store

Apple on Tuesday released Final Cut Pro X, which it touted a "revolutionary new version" of the video editing software, for $299.99 on the Mac App Store, along with Motion 5 and Compressor 4 for $49.99 each.

Final Cut Pro X (iTunes link) features a "Magnetic Timeline" that lets users edit on a flexible, trackless canvas. It also boasts "Content Auto-Analysis" that categorizes content upon import by shot type, media and people.

New background rendering also allows users to work without interruption. The software, available only on the Mac App Store in Mac OS X, is built on a modern 64-bit architecture.

"Final Cut Pro X is the biggest advance in Pro video editing since the original Final Cut Pro," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. "We have shown it to many of the world’s best Pro editors, and their jaws have dropped."

Final Cut Pro X's "Magnetic Timeline" is a trackless approach to editing footage. It allows users to add and arrange clips wherever they want them, while other clips instantly slide out of the way.

"Clip Connections" can be used to link primary story clips to other elements like titles and sound effects, so they stay in perfect sync when they are moved. Related story elements can be combined into a "Compound Clip" that can be edited as a single clip.

The new "Auditions" feature also allows users to swap between a collection of clips to instantly compare alternate takes.

"Content Auto-Analysis" will scan media on import and tag content with useful information. Final Cut Pro X then uses that information to dynamically organize clips into "Smart Collections," so the clips can easily be discovered by close up, medium and wide shots as well as media type and the number of people in the shot. Parts of clips can also be tagged with Range-based keywords to add custom search criteria to media.

Completely rebuilt from the ground up, Final Cut Pro X is a 64-bit app that takes full advantage of the latest Mac hardware and software, and even provides performance enhancements with 4K video. Final Cut Pro X uses multi-threaded processing and the GPU for faster background rendering and real-time playback performance. Additionally, a ColorSync-managed color pipeline ensures color consistency from import to output.

Final Cut 2

Final Cut Pro X also includes tools for audio editing and color correction, and is complemented by two companion apps, Motion 5 for professional motion graphics and Compressor 4 for advanced media encoding, available from the Mac App Store for $49.99 each.

"I’m blown away by what Apple has done with Final Cut Pro, said Angus Wall, Academy Award-winning film editor. "Final Cut Pro X is incredibly modern and fast, but most importantly it lets you focus on telling your story in the most creative way, while it actively manages all of the technical details."

Final Cut 3


  • Application
    • 64-bit architecture to take advantage of more than 4GB of RAM
    • Background rendering using GPU and CPU
    • ColorSync-managed color pipeline
    • High-precision floating-point render in linear-light color space
    • Uses Grand Central Dispatch to tap into all available processors
    • Full-screen, real-time preview playback of SD, HD, 2K, and 4K media on main screen or an attached LED Cinema Display
    • Customizable keyboard
    • Full Unicode support

  • Editing and Timeline
    • Magnetic Timeline automatically keeps material in sync, prevents clip collisions, and eliminates gaps.
    • Clip Connections keep secondary material in place while trimming and moving the Primary Storyline. Choose to hide or display Clip Connections in the timeline.
    • Compound Clips allow complex compositions to be simplified into a single clip.
    • Auditions combine multiple clips into a single clip to see alternative takes, color grades, or effects in context.
    • Duplicate a clip inside an Audition for comparison of different effects on the same clip
    • Edit while importing media in the background.
    • View material in Filmstrip or List view with a mini-filmstrip and metadata columns.
    • Skimming functionality enables fast viewing of large amounts of material.
    • Skimmable projects in Project Library enable viewing before loading.
    • Mix frame sizes, frame rates, and formats in the same timeline up to 4K in real time.
    • Edit at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, or 60 fps.
    • Create the correct project setting with the first edit.
    • Insert, Overwrite, Replace, Append, and Connect with keystroke or drag and drop.
    • Extend edit to Skimmer position.
    • Split edits with J and L cuts in the timeline.
    • Top and Tail in a single keystroke for news and documentary editing.
    • Direct access to iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, and Aperture through Media Browsers.
    • Timeline Index for timeline navigation and the selection of items based on text searches and other important metadata.
    • Position tool for moving and deleting media in the timeline and leaving gap.
    • Clip Markers that include to-do items that can be checked off when tasks are completed
    • Snapping to Playhead, Skimmer, Clips, and Markers.
    • Replace with Gap
    • Lift from Primary Storyline
    • Create Storyline to consolidate B-roll into a single unit
    • Insert Placeholder
    • Insert Gap
    • Numeric entry of precise clip durations
    • Blade tool for adding edits
    • High-quality, real-time vectorscopes, waveforms, and histograms
    • Record Audio tool for adding narration
    • Six Clip Appearance presets for timeline display
    • Multi-Touch gesture support
  • Trimming
    • Inline Precision Editor allows skimming of media around the edit before trimming.
    • Basic timeline trimming
    • Trim tool for advanced timeline trimming functions
    • Ripple and roll
    • Slip and slide
    • Lift and ripple delete
    • Dynamic 2-Up trimming with Show Detailed Trimming Feedback enabled
    • Keyboard and numeric moving and trimming
  • Effects
    • Shared Render Engine with Motion and Compressor
    • Add multiple effects and transitions within a range selection.
    • Multistream real-time effects in SD and HD formats
    • Alpha-channel support in real time
    • Integration with Motion for advanced motion graphics work
    • Use “Open in Motion” on any effect, modify in Motion, and save as new in Final Cut Pro.
    • Numeric and keyframe control for precise animation and effects
    • Copy and paste motion and effect attributes to multiple clips.
    • Access music, sound effects, transitions, filters, color looks, and generators through Media Browsers
    • Over 160 advanced 2D and 3D title templates
    • Over 90 high-quality transitions
    • Over 125 sophisticated animation templates with video drop zones created by a top Hollywood effects company
    • Over 110 filters, keys, blurs, and color looks
    • 28 backgrounds, elements, solids, and textures
    • Trim, crop, and Ken Burns effect
    • Distort tool with keyframes and onscreen controls
    • Transform tool with keyframes and onscreen controls
    • Stabilization effect in real time after background analysis
    • Rolling Shutter correction to improve DSLR video
    • Spatial Conform to make different aspect ratios fit into a project seamlessly
    • Retime tool for speed changes controlled in the timeline for entire clips or selected ranges
    • Rewind, Instant Replay, and Speed Ramp in a single click
    • Three Retime quality settings: normal, frame blending, and optical flow
    • Preserve audio pitch when changing speed
    • Find and Replace Title Text
    • Show Title/Action Safe Zones for positioning titles and effects
  • Audio
    • Subframe audio keyframing
    • Support for audio samples up to 192kHz
    • Real-time Mac OS X Audio Units and Logic plug-in effects included
    • Support for 64-bit third-party Audio Units plug-ins
    • Keyframable audio levels and effects
    • Adjust audio filters in real time during playback
    • 5.1 surround monitoring and keyframe control for panning
    • Preset animations for 5.1 surround panning such as Back to Front, Rotate, Create Space, and more
    • 10- or 31-parameter EQ built into each audio clip
    • Match Audio for smoothing out EQ from different microphones
    • Audio enhancements for volume normalization, background noise removal, and hum removal for both 50Hz and 60Hz
    • Audio analysis during import option to remove serious background noise and flag medium-level issues for enhancement
    • Over 1300 royalty-free sound effects included as a separate download
    • Individual audio channel control for enable/disable and configuration
    • Audio skimming with pitch preserved
    • Fade handles at the head and tail of each clip
    • Audio pan controls
    • Disable and solo controls
    • Audio waveform display in viewer and timeline
    • Logarithmic audio fades
    • More than 100 audio filters
    • “Show Reference Audio Waveforms” preference to see original waveform height when adjusting volume in the timeline
    • VU meters that expand as needed
  • Color Correction
    • Unique Color Board with controls for saturation, exposure, and color
    • Match Color for precise shot matching in one click
    • Balance Color instantly improves skin tones, removes color casts, and expands dynamic range of bright and dark regions of the image.
    • Keyframable masks with size, rotation, and softness adjustments
    • Adjust inside or outside of color mask
    • Unlimited numbers of color corrections per shot
    • Save and reuse color settings presets
    • 20 Color Board presets
    • Over 20 advanced color Looks in the Effects Browser
  • Supported Formats and I/O
    • Apple ProRes family, a 10-bit, full-width VBR codec that supports all major frame sizes and frame rates from ProRes Proxy to ProRes 4444
    • Resolutions supported up to 4K frame sizes
    • Background transcode original media to ProRes 422 or ProRes Proxy for better performance
    • Create Camera Archives from any folder of media for importing into Final Cut Pro.
    • Import Camera Archives from third-party video capture cards and software.
    • Import from Apple devices including iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad 2.
    • Import projects and Events from iMovie.
    • Sony IMX, XDCAM, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD, and XDCAM HD422 import supported with additional Sony software
    • FireWire device control for streaming capture for tape-based HDV, DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO HD
    • Export presets for Apple devices, including Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and Mac
    • Export presets for YouTube, Podcast Producer, Facebook, Vimeo, CNN iReport, and email
    • Export and burn DVD, AVCHD disc, and Blu-ray disc.2
    • Apple-designed menus for DVDs and animated menus for Blu-ray discs
    • Export as Image Sequence
    • Export as HTTP live streaming for Internet streaming to cellular, Wi-Fi, and broadband.
    • Export audio as AAC, AC3, AIFF, CAF, MP3, and WAVE files.
  • Native editing support for:
    • H.264 from GoPro and iFrame cameras
    • H.264 from DSLR cameras
    • Broadcast Wave Format
    • HDV
    • Panasonic AVC-Intra, including AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50
    • Sony IMX, XDCAM HD, XDCAM HD422, and XDCAM EX
    • JVC-created XDCAM EX
    • Canon XF MPEG-2; ingest supported with additional software
    • AVCHD, including Panasonic AVCCAM and Sony NXCAM
    • Uncompressed 8- and 10-bit SD and HD
    • Apple Intermediate Codec
    • Still images including PSD, BMP, GIF, RAW, JPEG, PNG, TGA, and TIFF
    • Compressed audio including AAC, AIFF, BWF, CAF, MP3, MP4, and WAV
  • Media Management
    • Content Auto-Analysis attaches useful metadata during import.
    • Range-based keywords for creating custom searchable metadata
    • Create Smart Collections for automatically organizing clips based on selected criteria.
    • Keyword Collection created by importing a folder of media
    • Mark ranges as Favorites or Rejects for sorting and sifting.
    • Media management tools for moving and copying media
    • Render file deletion per project
    • Move and Merge Events functions
    • Consolidate Project Media for moving media to another system
    • Extensive search, sort, and sift capabilities in the Event Browser
    • Transcode Media function allows a choice between optimizing to ProRes 422 or creating ProRes Proxy media in the background while editing.
    • Group clips by creation date, date imported, reel, scene, duration, or file type.
    • Group Events by year or by year and month.
    • Show date ranges in the Event Library.
    • Arrange clips by name, take, or duration.
    • Reveal clip in Finder or Event Browser.
    • Custom comment fields
    • Preference for connecting to proxy or original high-resolution media
    • Send-to-Compressor integration
    Final Cut 4

    System Requirements

    • Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better
    • 2GB of RAM (4GB of RAM recommended)
    • OpenCL-capable graphics card or
    • Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later
    • 256MB of VRAM
    • Display with 1280-by-768 resolution or higher
    • Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later
    • 2.4GB of disk space

    Pricing and Availability

    Final Cut Pro X is available today for $299.99 from the Mac App Store. Motion 5 and Compressor 4 are available today for $49.99 each from the Mac App Store. Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Pro X can be found at