With most Apple products, the wait between the announcement and shipping can seem unending (see the iPhone, Apple TV, and Leopard for recent examples). It's rare to forget about something new from Apple, but that's exactly what I did with Final Cut Server, which started shipping this week. Apple announced the software along with Final Cut Studio 2 in April 2007, at which point availability was expected during the third quarter last year (see "Apple Announces Final Cut Studio 2, Final Cut Server," 2007-09-07).
No doubt it fell off my radar because it's not geared toward most consumers. Final Cut Server is an industrial-strength asset management tool, designed to keep track of terabytes of video, audio, photos, and other materials that need to be at hand for film and video pros. It can catalog assets, generate low-resolution thumbnails and proxies, allow multiple editors to check materials in and out (with version control), output projects using Compressor, and more. A Java-based client program enables cross-platform access to the server.
Final Cut Server requires a Mac running an Intel Core Duo or later, or a 1.8 GHz or faster PowerPC G5 processor, AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme graphics card, Mac OS X 10.5 or later, QuickTime 7.4.1 or later, and Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 or later for Final Cut Pro integration. Two pricing configurations are available: one server and 10 concurrent client licenses costs $999; one server and unlimited client licenses runs $1,999.