April 17, 2005


LAS VEGAS - Apple made a number of announcements at NAB, including updates to Final Cut Pro that bring multicam editing to the tool; a new version of its Motion graphics tool; and a brand new audio editing and effects application called SoundtrackPro.

Apple began its NAB event with a tour of its new Tiger operating system. The OS adds 200 new features, including support for 64-bit applications, and incorporates the new QuickTime 7, which lays the ground work for HD and new media applications. QuickTime 7 supports H.264, a next generation MPEG open standard that scales video from cell phone quality all the way up to HD. HD quality video, essentially, can be played back at SD rates of just 8.5mbps.

Final Cut Pro 5 FCP 5 is now capable of handling numerous formats, including DV, uncompressed SD, IMX, native HDV, DVCPro HD, and uncompressed HD. The new version offers hundreds of realtime effects and transitions. Its Dynamic RT Extreme feature allows the host computer to makes sure the highest possible preview quality is always available.

Version 5 offers offers multichannel audio (24-channels I/O) at 24-bit, 96kHz resolution. Its multicam editing features allow users to edit on the fly, group up to 128 sources, and playback/preview 16 sources simultaneously. Realtime effects can be scrubbed both forwards and backwards.

Motion 2 was also introduced, offering motion graphics ranging from 8- to 32-bit. The Replicator tool allows for pattern-based design and over 150 Replicator presets are included. Basic 3D rotation has been added to Motion, as has MIDI behaviors, which allows effects/animation changes to be triggered from an external MIDI device. Tighter integration with After Effects has been added to the tool as well.

And on the audio side, Apple introduced Soundtrack Pro, a tool for sound design and sound editing. The tool features a nondestructive, sample accurate waveform editor, along with features such as Find-And-Fix, which identifies audio problems and takes them out. Fifty pro DSP plug-ins from Logic Pro 7 are included, along with 5000 sound effects and Apple Loops.