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Got to get an ‘iLife’

Jan 07, 20042 mins
Data Center

Most of the buzz out of MacWorld yesterday centered around the new iPod mini (a 4 gigabyte player that comes in five colors for the not-so-mini price of $249) and the fact that Apple has sold 2 million iPod devices and 30 million songs via its iTunes download service. But there are more tools coming out of Cupertino that should interest this readership, including a new version of Final Cut Express.

For those that just need a DV-only editor, Final Cut Express 2.0 now features real-time compositing and effects, up to 5 composite video tracks, multiple audio tracks, and a new capture utility that can grab video across timecode breaks. There’s also a new color correction tool that helps balance color between multiple scenes. Final Cut Express 2.0 available for $299. Current Final Cut Express users can upgrade for $99. Version 2.0 is only available for Mac OS X version 10.3 (also known as “Panther”).

Before we get to the rest of the Apple news, a side note: Do you realize it has been 20 years since the first Mac debuted? You can view the famous “1984” commercial here. (Though I think this is an updated version because the woman that throws the hammer seems to be wearing an iPod…)

Also during the Steve Jobs keynote, the company announced iLife 04, a $49 suite of Mac tools including new versions of iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD as well as a whole new application called “GarageBand”, a Mac-based recording studio that allows American Idol wannabes to mix pre-recorded audio loops with their own “music”. The resulting song can be exported to iTunes and uploaded to an iPod. Jam Pack, a $99 add-on for GarageBand, triples the amount of pre-recorded music and loops that would-be Beethovens can use. Both iLife and Jam Pack will be available January 16th. Those buying a new Mac after January 16th will get iLife free.

A final side note: Did you know the movie “Cold Mountain” was edited using Final Cut Pro and off-the-shelf Macs? Read Apple’s interview with master film editor Walter Murch here.