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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2007
I like Final Cut Pro, I like Motion, and I like LiveType. But it is as if they were written by 3 different companies who didn't expect them to work together. And sadly, this version is no different. Still if you are doing editing on Apple hardware Final Cut Studio 2 is your best choice.

This program is for the every-day editor/user, not for casual users as the learning curve is way out there. Add to that the inconsistencies between the "Studio" products and you have more learning curve issues. Sadly, the video editor which bares the studio name Final Cut Pro, is the one tool that could have used a contemporary face lift and yet it had only what I would call "point release" quality updates. Whereas Motion (which was the most user-friend and modern interface) got huge new features that are outstanding.

It seems to ne that Final Cut may be at the end of what software engineers can do with the Final Cut Pro editor itself without a complete rewrite from the grown up. But then they stand the chance of alienating their current legacy users; and as we've seen with iMovie 2008, Apple isn't too smart when it comes to cleverly updating video editing workflows.

Unfortunately, I still have to resort to using iMovie from time to time to capture video since it always captures anything from any camera, and then import it into Final Cut Pro. Whereas Final Cut Pro often imports without a problem 60 to 80 percent of the time. The other times you can spend an entire day trying to select the right "Easy Setup" to capture video. Why or why Apple does it not capture as easily as iMovie ('06)?

Is it worth an upgrade fee? Well sure if you're in the business it isn't that much of an expense. If you're counting your pennies, however (if you only do wedding videos for example and don't need the latest and greatest) you are really not missing anything by staying with the previous version. If you are considering this vs Adobe, well I'd go with Final Cut Studio and get a copy of Adobe After Effects (the CS3 version is very cool) and you'll have the best tools available for the Apple platform.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2007
Final Cut Studio is a fantastic suite of products, and the package just got sweeter with the release of FCP Studio 2.

Motion 3 and Color are the standouts, in my opinion, providing unprecedented power for their respective capabilities in anything remotely approaching this price range. In addition, the whole suite provides a level of interoperability that's unparalleled, and blows away any competition in the industry today.

Given the suite's fantastic breadth and depth of functionality, however, the newest iteration of the core application of the bunch, FCP6, does come off as a bit disappointing by comparison.

While the Open Timeline and ProRes 422 are notable and worthy enhancements to the FCP canon, the app nevertheless continues to be hampered by some long-standing Achilles' heels, including various media management and UI issues. While everyone has their individual list of pet concerns, few knowledgeable users would argue that notable limitations don't exist.

Especially considering the two-year "hiatus" from FCP's last major release, this is an unexpected bit of a letdown. Clearly, the hard-working Apple team focused the bulk of their efforts on the other apps, and the results do show there (as noted above). [It's also worth noting that seasoned editors who've had experience on other platforms besides FCP, and who are accustomed to more demanding workflow situations as a matter of course, tend to be more mindful of shortcomings than the majority of users who may have used nothing but FCP, simply by virtue of a greater spectrum of experience.]

However, none of this is to take away from the FCP Studio apps' overall high level of quality, tremendous synergy, and unbeatable price point. For the money, it is hard to imagine a better value in the world of post-production today.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2007
Updated Feb 2008
Final Cut Studio 2 is an inigma. On th one hand it has MASSIVE strengths and on the other it has MASSIVE weaknessess. If you are eperianced on other pro editing applications like Pro Tools or Avid you could experiance frustration ... as I do.
STRENGTHS
Final Cut Studio 2 has everthing you need to produce a great program
Final Cut Studio 2 ships with awsome content to get you up & running ... templates, presets, royalty free music and sound effects (lots!)
Intergration with the other programs in the suite makes Final Cut Pro do amazing stuff. Some great codecs too.
Apple listen to feedback (note the change in this review ... you CAN now zoom in on the cursor ... thanks Apple.)
WEAKNESSESS
No manuals for applications that have had a major overhaul!! (Except FCP6) There are 4 manuals for Final cut Pro 6 containing far too much detail about a program that really doesn't have a lot of functionality. (there is about a quarter of an inch thick section on the audio mixer ... a mixer that has inputs, levels and pans AND NOTHING ELSE!!!! no inserts - nix!)
and yet there is not even a piece of paper for Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Live Type, Compressor and DVD Studio Pro. The brand new program - Color gets a "setup guide" but no user manual. There are pdf files woopie doo. (Oh and you can't buy them either!)
Final Cut Pro is not a user friendly cutting platform. As others have said, the User Interface is cumbersome ... You often need to move the mouse / Trackball by fractional amounts to grab minute "hot spots / Lines" ... not so easy when you have your mouse set up to cover 2 screens with one sweep. If you want to Export from Motion or STP (and many other MAC based Programs) you use Cmd E right? NOT on Final Cut Pro! Luckily you can assign it if it bugs you (i did) So the suite integration isn't all it could be.
File Management (as with other NLEs is tricky. With FCP your files get stored on a "scratch disk" It seems to have more in comon with Avid Liquids FM system (which is terifiying!) than with good 'ol Adobe Prmier Pro.
Soundtrack Pro 2 now seems to be less Buggy than it's first (2.0.0) release. It offers so much and is enjoyable to work with (better in some ways than Adobe Audition)
Put asside 12 hours if you are installing OS and FCS2 from scratch.

All in all Final Cut Studio is OK ... getting better ... but still just Ok. I expected more quality and less initial bugs from Apple ... (There was the OS 10.4.10 bug that prevented the use of the Alesis iO2 Audio interface ... now fixed I am glad to say) ... after all there are only about 10 Intel based MACs on the market as opposed to a quadzillian number of PC hardware / software combinations. Motion rocks but is still not as good as After Effects (I run AE CS3) You can do better. Avid Liquid (PC only unfortunatly ... but does run well on boot camp) Pro Tools and After Effects is often a better (but far more costly) solution.

With all that said ... I do use FCS2 a lot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is to warn prospective consumers of the mistake that I made in purchasing the academic version. You see, Apple requires the registration of this product and because it is an academic version is not allowed to be sold. If you purchase the academic version and it has been installed on a machine previously, you are out of luck. I called Apple to get the software re-activated since the original owner had uninstalled the software but no such luck. The policy is plainly stated on Apple's documentation. Just do a search on this and you will find others who have had the same experience. Further, for those who purchased a brand new and unopened copy, be aware that there are only two activation for this product by the registered owner. You can install it on two pc's but they cannot be used at the same time. You see the software will actually check your network to see if the software being used by another pc. So, now, I won't be able to really know how this program works until I get an unused copy or a retail version. I will be looking for a retail version so that in the future I may sell it when I am done with it. At this time I have an expensive set of coasters that are useless and a set of books that won't be of use to me. This kind of thing just makes me want to switch to Windows. I hope that this reviews saves others the headaches and financial loss that I went through.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Using v1 for years, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of v2. I can now confirm that FCS2 has matured to the point of being called industry ready. v1 had issue no doubt. But with so much effort directed towards Motion and DVD studio Pro, v2 has all the elements in place for serious mission critical use. Though FC itself seems to have been ignored. To date, we still rely heavily on third party plug-ins to get most of our intensive work done in FC. Soundtrack lacks. But we do very little sound. But it does have unparalleled integration and ease of use. Though the app seems a bit unstable. Certainly not as bad as mentioned above. Having used After effects CS3, I can reasonably claim that it simply does not compare. We haven't launched AE since we became familiar with the newest Motion. Now that the entire suite has been optimized to run on the 8 Core Mac Pro, we have officially listed all of our remaining Avid hardware for sale on ebay. Avid can't hold a candle. With the Pro HDVC from Apple and broadcast H.264, color correction was all that was keeping Avid alive in our studio. Now that Color is finally here along with support from Red industries, goodbye to Avid and their lackluster and unjustifiably high priced hardware. We get better results in less time for $100,000 less. Color is a bit raw, but has been the biggest difference maker. It is beyond words. Apple made the purchase for $25,000,000 and still kept the price-point the same. This is a sign of great things to come. We are no longer at the mercy of over priced hardware and overly difficult software from Avid. To top it all off, FCS2-Server was the reason why we made the hardware switch all together to Mac Pro 8 cores. It has full support for X-grid and SAN solutions. Now, if any station is unmanned, we run our own scripts to jump start the rendering on 24 cores with 48 Gigs of ram. We get final color and rendering done with a 30 minutes to 1 hour of content time ratio. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable! If the expected fixes come to Soundtrack and Color, we will be ready to move our entire Dubai fleet over within 6 months. Thanks Apple for your hard work and impeccable business ethics. You have finally done it!

UPDATE 2009
My goodness! After several Pro App updates, I love this thing even more. We have long since rid ourselves of our Avid set up. Compared to 3 years ago, we have saved countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars because of FCS. Color is the most amazing thing I have ever used. And it was free! Color is what gives us the edge. Color is what gives us power! Color is what puts us over the top! I LUV IT LUV IT LUV IT! Motion is still a bit buggy but it is most likely the plug ins. (I tried with/without) Final Cut has been greatly improved ad now that a full 64 bit architecture is coming with many FCS improvements, it seems as though we never used anything else to begin with. The rest of my crew ditched Premier when witnessing what FInal Cut can do. We purchased Noise Industries plug-ins and now can do Key Screening right inside FInal Cut without ever having to go to Motion for it. Apple Q-Master is elementary and Live Type is beyond simple. For any Post Production artist, be you amateur, intermediate or pro, I recommend this suite with every breath in my lungs. The price, the capabilities and extensibility... There is simply nothing like it. Avid's equivalent is still $20,000 more! What our lives would be like without this suite is something I don't want to imagine.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2007
Final Cut Pro 6 is a fantastic tool; a mature app with great features and rock-solid implementation.

Soundtrack Pro 2 (specifically 2.0.1), on the other hand, may be the worst piece of commercial, non-beta software (based on the severity and frequency of fatal/non-recoverable errors) I have ever had the misfortune to use. Of course, your mileage may vary, but I would advise anyone to think twice or three times about using Soundtrack Pro 2 for any sort of serious and/or mission critical application. Check the various boards/forums dedicated to Soundtrack Pro 2 and you will see that I am not alone in this estimation. Hopefully, Apple will soon see fit to patch this inexcusably buggy piece of software.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I love Final Cut Pro. As a journalist trying to create multimedia stories, it's incredibly valuable in helping me layer audio and video to put together cohesive pieces.

However. This is a complicated, professional product that was difficult for me as a beginner, trying to self-teach myself from the ground up. I found the multi-volumed manuals to be dense and confusing. I ended up buying a lesson guide with dvd to get started, which has helped me immensely.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2009
Final cut Studio is a lot of pro apps it is also one master program Final cut pro and all the rest supporting it. One more thing the suite integration is the only positive difference and this is really only an issue for the outdated NLE dinosaurs who have hard time thinking in a different manor, you don't have to export video or sound files from your supporting programs. For example you can create type or graphic in motion and/or livetype & color or a sound file in Soundtrack Pro and just do a command S and import those programs project files right into Final Cut and save yourself a lot of render time.
Now for the UI debate as being one who trains new editors on Final Cut, I often have deal with two types of users the new ones who have never used a NLE system and the old Premiere and Avid users. For the New users they seem to feel that Final Cut has a semi intuitive interface that you can adjust to their preference. Where as the older users from Avid feel that the interface is cumbersome, the reason behind this is mainly where one group tends to be open minded where as the other tends to have issues letting go of the fact that Avid Interface and the old Premiere interface. To those users are unwilling to accept the fact that there old ways of using interface just seems outdated compared to Final cut and new CS4 Premiere. now the suite does have two shortcomings compressor and DVD studio Pro. Compressor just does not have enough Variation to support the different file formats I would suggest you purchase telestreams Episode Encoder to make up for compressors shortcomings. Now the issue with DVD studio Pro is not a lack of features it is more a lack compatibility with the DVD Houses. To overcome this issue I would suggest Adobe Encore CS4 which you can only get with Premiere Pro CS4 or a corresponding Creative Suite( Master or Production Premium). even those 2 defects it is still a very decent package well worth the cost.
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on January 23, 2014
Although this is the ACADEMIC Version, (IMO) it does the exact samething. It's an older version, I don't need any updates, that's what google is for. All of FCP pretty much works the same except FCP X which is made for everyone. This software works great with my Powermac G5 2.7GHz Dual 10.5.8 Leopard. Came with tutorials which is great! I recommend it!!!
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on December 1, 2011
This is the top of the line software to purchase. Definitely the industry standard and for good reason. I recommend Final Cut Studio 2 to anyone wanting to learn to work with film and multimedia.
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