Apple Releases New Versions of Final Cut Studio, Logic Studio

Apple's new versions of Logic Studio and Final Cut Studio, its film editing and audio design tools, bring several significant upgrades. Final Cut Studio now has a streamlined exporting ability, allowing users to port their clips to YouTube, MobileMe, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, DVD or Blu-ray. Despite the global recession, Apple recently posted strong quarterly numbers, including sales of 2.6 million Macs and 5.2 million iPhones.

Apple released new versions of Logic Studio and Final Cut Studio on July 23, emphasizing the company's focus on film editing and audio design tools during a week in which it also demonstrated robust sales across the larger IT market.

The updated version of Logic Studio, an application set including Logic Pro and MainStage that is targeted primarily at professional musicians, includes 200 new features such as a new Amp Designer for Logic Pro and Flex Time for adjusting timing and tempo. MainStage, an application that helps modulate live performances, features new Playback and Loopback plug-ins for real-time loop recording.

For those who utilize Logic Studio not to fulfill their dreams of becoming the next David Lee Roth but for presentations, other new features include Soundtrack Pro 3, a multitrack audio tool for video production, and Compressor 3.5 for encoding in a number of different formats.

Apple also updated Final Cut Studio, its video editing application, with 100 new features. Final Cut Pro 7 includes expanded ProRes codec support, as well as Easy Export for streamlined output to a variety of formats. iChat Theater supports real-time collaboration through iChat, while new versions of Motion and Color include tools for image enhancement and color resolution. The new version of Final Cut Studio also comes with Compressor 3.5 and Soundtrack Pro 3.

Easy Export allows for exporting to YouTube, MobileMe, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, DVD or Blu-ray. In addition to the new version of Final Cut Studio, Apple is rolling out Final Cut Server 1.5, a tool that lets users perform offline editing through ProRes Proxy, organize their media through production hierarchies, and "view and manage image sequences for graphics and effects workflows," the company said in a statement.

Despite the global recession that has been sinking sales of PCs and other devices, Apple reported a strong financial quarter on July 21, with quarterly profit rising 12 percent year over year to $1.23 billion, or $1.35 a share. Apple reported that it had sold about 5.2 million iPhones, 10.2 million iPods and 2.6 million Macs during that period.

Of its whole product line, Apple only saw year-over-year declines in sales of iPods, which dipped 7 percent from the same quarter in 2008. Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer attributed the decline to "cannibalization" within the market as Apple pushed the iPod Touch and the iPhone over traditional iPods.

The robust financial results underline the fact that, despite iconic CEO Steve Jobs being on medical leave for much of the quarter, Apple is apparently capable of operating smoothly in his absence. With Jobs back at the helm after a liver transplant, Apple predicted that next quarter it will see revenues between $8.7 billion and $8.9 billion.