New Final Cut Studio released: Yawning and Gnashing of Teeth Ensue

Apple announced a major (i.e., "you have to pay for it") Final Cut Studio upgrade yesterday. It doesn't have a flashy name like "Final Cut Studio 3" or anything like that. They're just calling it Final Cut Studio. Kinda like The Velvet Underground calling their third album... The Velvet Underground. As most readers know, I'm a fan of Final Cut, so it's a big deal to me when a major upgrade of the software is released. This new FCS has a lot of changes and new features. Like the upcoming Snow Leopard operating system many of the new features strike me as time-savers, not game changers. But after looking over the changes....I'm a little underwhelmed. Are there improvements? Sure. Am I going to stand in line for this release? No.

Disappointments? Sure. The biggest one is that there is still no fix for QuickTime's gamma problems. (Google page count for: quicktime gamma problems: 3.2 million.) Supposedly the gamma problems will be fixed with the release of the Snow Leopard later this year (and, honestly, that's probably the better place to address it -- system wide). But it is distressing that it's not even mentioned in Apple's 66 page "product overview" discussing the new Final Cut Studio features.

Another disappointment -- and one I've come to expect: DVD Studio Pro is not upgraded whatsoever. For anyone counting, DVD Studio Pro hasn't had a true upgrade since 2005. Obviously, this means no Blu-Ray support.

The kicker?

Compressor now includes a setting that allows you to create Blu-ray–compatible H.264 files that can be imported directly into third-party Blu-ray disc authoring software.

So, Apple, you want me to buy Final Cut Studio so that I can compress footage and prepare it for Blu-Ray burning... but you want me to buy some other company's video software suite so that I can actually author a DVD that takes advantage of Blu-ray's capabilities? Sigh. Thanks a lot.

It's no secret that Apple's business model (e.g., iTunes store, Apple TV, etc.) is built around the premise that DVDs will soon be dead. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But one way or another this is the clearest indication I've seen that DVD Studio Pro is marked for death. It makes you wonder why they even bother including it with FCS.


For a brief list of the changes, here's Apple's webpage regarding the new versions. If you want the full 66-page overview of changes, Apple has a PDF for you.