Apple (s aapl) introduced its latest professional video editing software Tuesday, bringing Final Cut Pro X to the Mac App Store for $299.99. In addition to the latest version of Final Cut, Apple also introduced Motion 5, a motion graphics creation tool, and Compressor 4, an advanced media encoder, both of which are $49.99 in the Mac App Store. All three apps together replace Final Cut Studio, which contained Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, Compressor 3.5 and DVD Studio Pro 4.
Apple explains that in addition to it video editing features, Final Cut Pro X now also contains the key sound editing and color grading components once found in Color 1.5 and Compressor 3.5, allowing you to “use a single application for the entire post-production workflow.” Motion and Compressor remain distinct apps because of their unique functions, and basic DVD and Blu-ray authoring abilities are now contained in the main Final Cut product.
$300 may seem steep for a single program, but the revamped Final Cut Pro X actually does the work of about four programs from the original suite, which sold for $1,000. Final Cut Pro X also brings a lot of great new features, as shown off at NAB, an industry event for digital video audio and film professionals in April, including background rendering, which will allow editors to continue editing while video rendering takes place in the background. Other noteworthy new features include the new Magnetic Timeline, which lets you drag and drop clips wherever without breaking up existing elements, Smart Collections that analyze and scan your clip library and group like elements together (like close shots or group shots, for example).
Motion 5 brings new smart templates that allow you to use effects, transitions titles and more as you edit, and the interface is redesigned to make it easier to spot subtle color variations and effects in your content. Compressor 4 brings boosted export options, including HTTP live streaming support, and one-step streaming web playback output options designed for iOS device compatibility.
At $400 total for Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4, this represents a steep price drop from Final Cut Studio 3. Apple may have simplified its video editing product, but it doesn’t look like it cut too many corners in doing so, and it brings some exciting new features. Video editors: will you be taking the plunge or waiting to see how this new approach pans out?