Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server are the next logical step in Apple's bid to become the HD video editing solution of choice for everyone from the freelance editor to the broadcast news monolith.
Sporting a new feature set and several core technologies acquired in recent purchases, Final Cut Studio 2 appears to have made the huge jump from professional also ran to serious contender. Time will tell if Apple can make a major dent in the emerging HD broadcast arena, but from a workflow standpoint, most of the previous barriers and limitations have been addressed.
Final Cut Server is an exciting new cross-platform offering that will allow users with massive asset collections to manage them on multiple machines across a network, and even do basic editing and export. Talk about a much needed addition to the Final Cut Family. And its ability to serve single files to multiple workstations (ala Avid's Unity system) is sure to shake up the purchasing plans of large corporate customers planning multiple FCS seats. At US$999 it could turn out to be a stroke of genius.
The new color correction and manipulation program - simply called Color - is a very nice addition and the much improved integration between applications in the suite is huge. Apple has made it incredibly easy to hop from program to program, treating your projects and clips quickly and completely. Compressor 3 sports export settings for all the latest toys including Apple TV, the iPod and mobile phones.
There are many new features in Final Cut Studio 2 at a very compelling price point. Apple has taken a huge step toward becoming the quintessential editing solution for just about every serious, budget conscious video outlet.
(Rob Parker contributed to this post)