Apple have announced a new version of Final Cut Express. It features the Final Cut open format timeline. You can mix DV, HDV and AVCHD on the same timeline. It’s the application for all those disappointed by the lack of fine control in iMovie ’08.

$199 for a piece of software that most people will see has a majority of the features of Avid Xpress Pro. Looks like Apple is doing all it can to create a critical mass of people who are comfortable with the Final Cut user interface. My definition of critical mass in this case is the point at which people start setting up post-production consultancies that support medium and large productions using Apple software.

I think Avid need to reduce the price of the next version of Xpress Pro to $199 with no extra bits of software. To get upgrade money from current users of Xpress Pro, they need to bundle equivalent applications that match the ones in Final Cut Studio – to make Avid Xpress Studio. They also need to make sure that all the apps have a 21st century user interface that is consistent across the suite.

My one word to Avid right now: Express!


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