Apple Releases Final Cut Express 2 — Apple announced Final Cut Express 2 at Macworld Expo, an updated version of its mid-range video editing software originally introduced in January 2003. Final Cut Express 2 enhances its RT Extreme capability of playing back video layers, transitions, and effects without having to render them first, and is also optimized for the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Audio improvements include real-time volume and filter adjustment, automated audio keyframe recording, support for Audio Units (the Apple audio plug-in format for Mac OS X applications), and the capability to export markers for Apple’s Soundtrack application. You can now also capture footage across timecode breaks (a common issue encountered with consumer DV camcorders). Since it’s built from the code base of Final Cut Pro 4, Final Cut Express 2 features a customizable interface for creating shortcut buttons to favorite functions and tweaking the appearance of many interface elements. Final Cut Express 2 is available now for $300; upgrades from Final Cut Express 1.0 cost $100. [JLC]
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