Final Cut Express HD is a major upgrade of Apple’s advanced video editing application.

Like Final Cut Pro HD and now iMovie HD, Final Cut Express supports High Definition Video, and costs just £199. The software now also ships with LiveType for HD-quality animated text and graphics and Soundtrack for musical scores.

“2005 is the year of High Definition Video, and Final Cut Express now delivers stunning real-time HD editing and advanced titling and soundtrack creation tools to customers at the same affordable price,” said Sina Tamaddon, Apple’s senior vice president of applications.

With this software, users can capture HDV to their Mac over FireWire. The software integrates Apple’s RT Extreme engine, which can instantly preview effects, filters, transitions and multi-stream composites in real time, without rendering.

Digital Cinema Desktop also debuts in this version, a feature that enables HD and DV preview monitoring on a primary or secondary Apple Cinema Display.

Now with LiveType and SoundTrack, too

Borrowed from Final Cut Pro HD, LiveType lets users add sophisticated, HD-quality animated text and motion graphics to videos quickly and easily. LiveType includes 27 animated LiveFonts, 150 pre-configured effects and a variety of customizable templates, backgrounds, textures and objects that can be added to any Final Cut Express HD project. It also supports direct timeline file placement from Motion, Apple’s motion graphics software.

Final Cut Express HD also includes powerful sound editing tools including 99 audio tracks, real-time volume and audio filter adjustment and a voice-over tool. It also ships with Soundtrack, an easy-to-use application that makes composing musical scores a breeze.

With 4,000 royalty-free, professionally-recorded instrument loops and sound effects, Soundtrack lets users see their video as they compose. It will automatically match audio loops regardless of tempo and key and provides real-time arranging and mixing.

Export formats supported

iMovie projects can be imported directly into Final Cut Express HD with all of their effects, transitions and audio levels intact. iMovie users can therefore improve their video projects with this application’s effects, video layer compositing, dynamic text and graphics andmusic.

Final Cut Express HD offers a customizable user interface, real-time compositing and effects, 99 video tracks, tools for titling, colour correction and audio, and flexible output options. It will output projects back to a DV or HDV device; QuickTime, iDVD or DVD Studio Pro.

This product is available next month for £199. Upgrading from a previous version costs £65.

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