Apple's special event at NAB 2007 is going on as we speak, and the first thing that Apple's VP of applications and product marketing, Rob Schoeben, talked about was Final Cut. The first product introduced: Final Cut Server.
Final Cut Server is cross-platform, and offers media asset management, keyword searching, media cataloging, access controls, proxy generation, workflow templates, and more. The system is event-based, according to Schoeben. Essentially, Final Cut Server functions as sort of a TV studio in a box, and has been tested by CBS2 News in Los Angeles (who were apparently fans of the product).
Final Cut Server runs $999 for a 10-concurrent-user license, or $1,999 for unlimited concurrent users. Apple says that it will be available in the summer.
Next came Final Cut Studio, which got an update to version 2.0, as well as Final Cut Pro 6 (as expected). "We've been working hard to make this the biggest upgrade we've ever seen seen in professional applications at Apple," Schoeben said at the event. With FCP and FCS, Apple introduced ProRes 422—a system that can compress HD video into SD file sizes while allegedly maintaining HD quality. FCP6 can process 4k files, according to Apple, which according to Infinite Loop's Iljitsch van Beijnum, is "serious shit."
Along with the software updates, Apple also announced a new HD input device called IO-HD which will allow people to process HD video directly in Final Cut Pro and ProRes. But this ain't no consumer device: it's going to be starting at the low, low price of $3,495. The company also integrated some features from Shake into the new Final Cut Pro, such as SmoothCam and editable Motion templates integrated into FCP.
Update: Engadget's liveblog feed says that Final Cut Studio 2 will be available next month. According to MacRumors, pricing for Final Cut Studio (which includes FCP6, the updated Motion 3, updated Soundtrack Pro 2, and Compressor 3) stands at $1299 with a $499 upgrade, and a $600 upgrade from any version of Final Cut Pro. The package has also been added to the Apple Store online.
Corrected: 4k, 4,000, who's keeping track? 😉