Apple Releases Final Cut Express HD 3.5

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Apple on Thursday released Final Cut Express HD v3.5, an updated version of their video editing software aimed at video enthusiasts, schools and small businesses. In addition to Dynamic RT support and other numerous enhancements, Final Cut Express is now runs natively on Apples Intel-based Macs.

"Its is actually much more than just a port, this is a significant update to Final Cut Express," Kirk Paulsen, Apples Senior Director Pro Applications Marketing, told Macworld.

Final Cut Express HD 3.5 features editing tools for DV and HDV video formats, and supports multiple video layers, real-time effects and transitions, color correction and matting filters and more.

In addition to Dynamic RT support, new features in this release include Soundtrack 1.5 an updated version of Apples loop-based audio soundtrack creation tool. The update improves multitrack audio editing and single and multiple take recording.

LiveType 2.1 is also included. LiveType lets users add animated text, royalty-free background and animated textures to their video projects. New features in LiveType 2.1 include new animated graphics, including 70 new animated objects, 15 new textures and 60 new customizable preset effects. New vector-based "LiveFont" technology lets you animate text styles and scale them to any resolution including High Definition (HD).

When Apple first released Final Cut Express, the company marketed the product as a prosumer application to fill the void between the high-end Final Cut Pro and Apples consumer iMovie product. Apple said the strategy has worked very well for them as iMovie users outgrow the application and want to move on to something more challenging.

"This is ideally suited to the iMovie customer that has outgrown that application its worked really well in that regard," said Paulsen. "Final Cut Express has proven to be a phenomenal success without question it has filled a market need."

System requirements for Final Cut Express HD call for G4/500MHz or faster including Intel Core Duo, 512MB RAM, 1024 x 768 resolution, Quartz Extreme-compatible graphics, Mac OS X v10.4.6 or later, QuickTime 7.0.4 or later. HDV editing requires additional system resources.

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