Apple is to acquire privately-held DVD software maker Spruce Technologies.

Spruce is a five-year-old company developing DVD-authoring software. It employs 55 workers, and its products are widely used by professional video-editors on Windows and Windows NT machines.

Apple already has a suite of DV products, including Final Cut Pro 2, iMovie 2 and iDVD. The imminent arrival on the platform of Maya for the Mac, the industry-standard 3D-animation application will make Macs a more attractive option for video authoring.

Mac OS X's built-in support for multiprocessing makes it possible for Apple to produce solutions capable of rendering video at the speed and quality broadcasters need. If true, rumours of significantly faster microprocessors may also bolster the company's offerings to this sector of the market place.

According to Cnet, Apple said: "This acquisition enhances Apple's position as the pre-eminent platform for DVD authoring."