Apple has now started shipping Final Cut Server. Originally announced last April and projected to ship last summer, Apple held Final Cut Server for extensive real-world field testing, including at CBS Television Stations.
Final Cut Studio is a media asset management and workflow automation software designed for film and video professionals, including broadcast production houses and studio-level motion picture production. The keys to Final Cut Server are “collaborate, catalog, automate and deliver in multiple formats.” From production boutiques to global news networks, Final Cut Server can be used to free up more time for creative work. Final Cut Server can automatically manage thousands of assets, execute dozens of routine production tasks, and keep every member of your team in sync.
Final Cut Server catalogs content and assets and generates thumbnails and low resolution clip proxies, thumbnails, and poster frames at the same time. It allows editors to find assets instantly with easy-to-use metadata tools, personalized workspaces, and Production “containers” for organizing assets without copying files. Broad search capabilities extend from simple keywords to complex combinations of IPTC, XMP and XML metadata. Final Cut Server can configure a range of highly specific access controls that define user permissions on an asset or project basis.
Final Cut Server includes customizable templates that manage the flow of work typically found in broadcast, post and education environments. Watch-and-respond systems can be configured to track the progress of assets, alert editors as projects move through the production pipeline and automatically notify producers by email when a project is ready for evaluation. In addition, location-independent review and approval tools enable clients to view, annotate and approve content from anywhere.
When the project is finished, it can easily be exported and delivered in multiple formats — from H.264 for iPhone and the web to ProRes 422 for editing to 2K for Digital Intermediates — with pristine encoding powered by Compressor.
As expected, Final Cut Server closely integrates with Final Cut Pro 6, including a drag-and-drop shot selection and editing tool. An offline/online workflow allows editors to work with HD proxies in the field on a MacBook Pro.
Final Cut Server supports clients on both Mac and Windows-based workstations. You can use Final Cut Server on mixed-platform networks or allow someone to log in from a PC even if everyone in your shop uses a Mac. A single update to the server automatically updates the client software the next time a user logs in; there is no need to push updates or distribute software patches to client computers.
Final Cut Server is available in a 10-client version supporting up to 10 workstations for $999, and an unlimited version supporting an unlimited number of workstations for $1999.
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Final Cut Server runs on any Mac with a 1.8GHz or faster PowerPC G5, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, or Intel Xeon processor (Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, or Intel Xeon processor recommended), with 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended), AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme graphics card (Final Cut Server is not compatible with integrated Intel graphics processors, such as MacBooks and Mac minis), Mac OS X 10.5 or later, QuickTime 7.4.1 or later, a CD drive for installation, and 500MB of available disk space.
If the client machine is a Mac, it needs a 1.25GHz or faster PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, or Intel Xeon processor, 1GB of RAM, a display with 1024×768 resolution or higher, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later, QuickTime 7.4.1 or later, Java for Mac OS X v10.4 Release 6 or later, Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 or later for Final Cut Pro integration and 20MB of available disk space.
If the client machine is a PC, it needs Windows XP (SP2) or Vista, 1GB of RAM, A display with 1024×768 resolution or higher,QuickTime 7.4.1 or later, Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 Update 4 or later, and 20MB of available disk space.