Final Cut Studio

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Final Cut Studio is Apple's high end video editing post-production workflow suite. It includes Final Cut Pro 5, DVD Studio Pro 4, Soundtrack Pro, and Motion 2. It competes with solutions from Avid and Adobe.

In January 2006, it was announced that a Universal Binary version of the pro applications, including Final Cut Studio, would be released in March 2006. Owners of the current (PowerPC) version can trade in their discs for a Universal Binary version for $49 USD once it is released.




Production Suite Box
Production Suite Box

With the release of Final Cut Pro HD and the introduction of the revolutionary motion graphics software Motion, Apple introduced the Apple Production Suite which included the following:

  • Final Cut Pro HD (4.5)
  • Motion 1
  • DVD Studio Pro 3
  • Soundtrack

Production Suite's part numbers were M9480Z/A for the full version (priced around $1200 US) and M9481Z/A for the upgrade from Final Cut Pro (priced around $600 US).


Final Cut Studio keeps the same applications as Production Suite, but adds new versions including a rebranding of Soundtrack, previously only available with Final Cut Pro, as Soundtrack Pro, a standalone application available seperately. The applications included are:

  • Final Cut Pro 5
  • DVD Studio Pro 4
  • Motion 2
  • Soundtrack Pro

as well as some smaller, but still important apps including:

  • Quicktime Pro
  • Quicktime MPEG-2 Playback
  • LiveType 2
  • Cinema Tools 3
  • Apple Qmaster 2
  • Compressor 2

What's included in the box:

  • 9 Discs:
    • Final Cut Studio Install (includes Final Cut Pro 5 install)
    • Motion 2 Install
    • DVD Studio Pro 4 Install
    • Soundtrack Pro Install
    • Apple Loops for Soundtrack Pro
    • LiveType Media 1
    • LiveType Media 2
    • Apple Pro Training: DVD Tutorial
    • Apple Pro Training: Final Cut Studio Tutorials
  • Installing Your Software guide with serial numbers
  • "Your Best Work" customer highlight brochure
  • AppleCare Service and Support Guide
  • Final Cut Studio Tutorials guide
  • Software License Agreement
  • Final Cut Pro 5 Quick Reference card
  • Many books:
    • Final Cut Studio Workflows
    • Motion Getting Started
    • Soundtrack Pro User Manual
    • DVD Studio Pro User Manual
    • Final Cut Pro 5 Getting Started
    • Final Cut Pro 5 User Manual (Volumes I-IV)

Minimum Requirements

  • Macintosh computer with an 867MHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor; HD features require 1GHz or faster single or dual processor G4 or G5 (authoring HD DVDs requires a G5 processor)
  • 512MB RAM; HD features require 1GB of RAM or more (2 GB recommended)
  • Display with 1024 x 768 or higher resolution
  • AGP Quartz Extreme Graphics card
  • Motion requires the standard graphics card in any Power Mac G5 or iMac G5, a 1.25GHz or faster PowerBook G4, or a 1.25GHz or faster flat panel iMac. One of the following graphics cards is highly recommended: NVIDIA GeForce FX 6800 Ultra DDL or 6800 GT DDL (NV40), ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (RV M11), ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (R350), or 9800 XT (R360).
  • Mac OS X v10.3.9 or Mac OS X v10.4 or later; Mac OS X v10.4 or later required to use Core Image Units and 16 and 32-bit float rendering in Motion
  • QuickTime 7 or later
  • 4 GB of disk space required to install all applications
  • Additional 41GB required to install all optional templates, loops, content, and tutorials (may be installed on separate disks)
  • DVD drive for installation
  • Playback of DVD Studio Pro 4-authored HD DVDs requires a G5 processor, Mac OS X v10.4 and Apple DVD Player 4.6 or later
  • Replication of DVD Studio Pro 4-authored DVDs requires a DLT drive

Main New Features

Final Cut Pro 5

  • Native HDV editing
  • Real-time Multicamera editing
  • RT Extreme with Dynamic RT for real-time effects
  • Multichannel audio - up to 24 channels
  • Panasonic P2 support
  • Native IMX editing
  • Enhanced Xsan support

Motion 2

  • Film-quality rendering
  • Replicator
  • MIDI Behavior
  • After Effects support
  • Enhanced Keyframing
  • FxPlug

Soundtrack Pro

  • Innovative waveform editor
  • Action-based editing
  • Intelligent find-and-fix
  • Ambient noise print
  • Time stretch audio

DVD Studio Pro 4

  • HD DVD authoring
  • Distributed encoding
  • Integrated Dolby Digital encoder
  • GPRM partitioning
  • VTS allocation
  • Full-screen HD preview


Final Cut Studio is currently priced at $1299 US for the full version (M9911Z/A), $499 US as an upgrade from Production Suite (M9913Z/A), or $699 US as an upgrade from Final Cut Pro (M9912Z/A).

The educational pricing is $699 US for the full academic version (M9916Z/A) to all qualified buyers (students, teachers, etc.). The academic version does not qualify for upgrade pricing.