Apple introduced Final Cut Express 2 at Macworld Expo. Based on Final Cut Pro 4, Final Cut Express 2 is the next grade up for iMovie fans, has been optimized for Panther and features RT Extreme for real-time compositing and effects, an enhanced user interface, real-time colour-correction tools and enhanced audio editing capabilities.

Apple’s vice president of applications marketing Rob Schoeben said: "Final Cut Express 2 is truly professional video editing for everyone".

Pro features for Express The product includes an array of features borrowed from Final Cut Pro 4 – but makes these available through a simplified UI. These include real-time effects, transitions and video layers and the ability to composite up to five simultaneous DV streams. The user interface offers customizable buttons, dynamic window resizing, user-defined window layouts and a new timeline with adjustable track heights. The real-time colour-correction tools allow users to interactively adjust and correct colour balance between shots and create unique colour effects.

Audio features include multi-track audio support; real-time volume and audio filter adjustment; solo and mute controls in the timeline for auditioning individual tracks; and scoring markers for using with Soundtrack. The capture tool now automatically captures across time-code breaks.

Projects can be exported for use in Soundtrack, iDVD and DVD Studio Pro 2, saved back to tape or exported to any QuickTime format, and projects created using the application can also be worked on using Final Cut Pro 4.

Final Cut Express 2 is available now and costs £199 (including VAT) with an upgrade available for current Final Cut Express customers. System requirements include: Mac OS X 10.2.5, a 350MHz or faster G4 processor (with AGP), built-in FireWire, 384MB RAM (512MB required for RT Extreme), 40MB of available disk space and QuickTime 6.4 or later.