updated 09:15 am EST, Thu November 15, 2007
Final Cut Express 4 ships
Apple has released Final Cut Express 4, the latest version of its video editing package. The software is based on the more elaborate Final Cut Pro 6, and features several upgrades such as support for new AVCHD cameras. The centerpiece of the software though is the Open Format Timeline, which allows users to place DV, HDV and AVCHD videos on the same continuum, rearranging in real-time. Clips are then automatically scaled, cropped and adjusted for framerate, with the initial clip serving as a template. Resolution is limited to 720p or 1080i.
Express now also allows users to import iMovie '08 projects, which can be enhanced through Final Cut's extra features. Among these are 50 new FxPlug filters, such as Soft Focus, Vignette and Light Rays, with more being available from third-party developers. New for creating animated titles is LiveType 2, which taps into a library of stock fonts, textures and effects. Finally, audio can be pushed to maximum volume with minimum distortion through Soft Normalize and Gain controls. Express requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later, as well as an Intel Mac if using AVCHD, and/or up to 1GB of hard drive space with the LiveType stock content. The program is $199 fresh or $99 as an upgrade from earlier versions.