Final Cut Studio 3

Apple has just released the latest version of the Final Cut Studio, for which, technically, there is no version number. But it's the third one, so for clarity (remember clarity?) we're calling it "Final Cut Studio 3."

In this latest version, LiveType has disappeared and appears to now be completely integrated into Motion. Compressor now has image sequence support, blessedly, and Blu-Ray disc burning support, including basic menu creation. DVD Studio Pro sees no changes; it's version number remains the same, prompting me to wonder about its fate.


But I'm most curious to see what the new version of Final Cut Pro has to offer. They appear to really be focusing on leveraging the new family of ProRes CODECs, which is great. Also great, Final Cut 7 can export in the background (finally!), which means you won't have to offload your exports to Quicktime anymore if you want to continue editing. And if the app's gotten any faster or more stable, that would be fantastic.

But what else? The other features I've read about seem entirely ho-hum. I mean, colored tabs? Nice, I guess. But it hardly seems like the sort of radical rethinking a la iMovie I was really hoping for after a two year wait.

After Two Years: Colored Tabs, Ladies and Gents!

If FCS's prominence — or lack thereof — on Apple's front page is any indication, rethinking this package is not a priority. Rather, maintaining the status quo would appear to be. Final Cut seems to have somehow moved from flagship to mainstay.


I'll wait to pass final judgment. But I'm prepared to be underwhelmed.