Apple debuts Final Cut Server

Apple today announced that Final Cut Server, a powerful software solution for media asset management and workflow automation, is now shipping. A scaleable server application, Final Cut Server automatically catalogs large collections of assets, allows searching across multiple disks and SAN volumes and enables viewing, annotation and approval of content from anywhere using a Mac or PC.

Final Cut Server combines server software designed to run on Mac OS X with a cross-platform client that runs on both Mac and Windows-based computers. It breaks new ground in post-production software through its extraordinary combination of:

Powerful media asset management. Use Final Cut Server to automatically catalog your media in any format and in any location. Powerful search tools let you find an asset fast, whether you’re in the studio or on the road. Browse thumbnails, poster frames, and proxies generated by Final Cut Server in formats you specify, and configure a rich set of metadata to support the way you work.

Sophisticated workflow automation. Final Cut Server scales to support workgroups of different sizes, ranging from a two-person post house to a multi-artist news graphics operation. Use the configurable event-based response model to track job status, monitor media changes, facilitate review and approval, and automate complex sequences of tasks—all through a series of simple menu selections. Get started quickly with professional workflow templates, modify them, or create completely custom flows.

Final Cut Studio integration. Editors will discover that Final Cut Server offers a seamless extension of their workflow. Drag assets from Final Cut Server to any of the Final Cut Studio applications. Use Final Cut Server to organize Productions—including any combination of Final Cut Pro projects, media assets, and production documents. Or check out a Final Cut Pro project from Final Cut Server to begin editing; when you check it back in, the catalog updates automatically.

“Whether producing a 30-second spot, the nightly news or a major motion picture, Final Cut Studio is the choice of editors around the world,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing, in the press release. “With the introduction of Final Cut Server, collaboration just got a whole lot easier for millions of editors, producers and clients who work with Final Cut Studio.”

“For the past few months we’ve been using a beta of Final Cut Server to manage our entire workflow pipeline, 24/7, and it held up beautifully,” said Evan Schechtman, CTO of Radical Media, in the press release. “Best of all, Final Cut Server integrates seamlessly with our home-grown solutions so it’s actually adding new value to systems we’ve relied on for years.”

Final Cut Server automatically catalogs media and generates thumbnails, poster frames and low-resolution clip proxies for quick browsing in user specified formats. A cross-platform client enables a PC or Mac to use Final Cut Server’s broad search capabilities, which extend from simple keywords to complex combinations of IPTC, XMP and XML metadata. Final Cut Server also configures a range of highly specific access controls that define user permissions on an asset or project basis.

Final Cut Server scales to support workgroups of different sizes, ranging from a two-person post house to a multi-national news organization and can automate as much, or as little, of the production pipeline as needed. A configurable event-based response model tracks job status, monitors media changes, and automates review and approval notifications and complex sequences of tasks-all through a series of simple menu selections.

Tightly integrated with Final Cut Studio for a seamless extension of the workflow, Final Cut Server includes Compressor 3, Apple’s industrial strength digital encoding and compression tool, which delivers pristine format conversions for publishing to DVD, broadcast television, the Internet, Apple TV, iPod, iPhone and other mobile phones.

Final Cut Server is available immediately through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of US$999 or one server and 10 concurrent client licenses, and $1,999 for one server and unlimited client licenses.

Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Server can be found here.

Apple’s FIinal Cut Server Fact Sheet (pdf) is here.

MacDailyNews Take: The folks at Avid are hatin’ life this morning.

20 Comments

  1. “Or check out a Final Cut Pro project from Final Cut Server to begin editing; when you check it back in, the catalog updates automatically.”

    Does it keep multiple versions (like DocHaven)? Sure will sell a lot of hard drives, gigabit ethernet cables and X-Serves!

    I assume the Avid server engine is MUCH more than $1999…

  2. I like their pricing levels, totally designed to embarrass MS, $999 for 10 people, $1999 for unlimited, anything that MS would release would be $500 for each 5 client licenses, plus $500 for the product itself, etc etc… Somewhere on Roughly Drafted he ran down the pricing difference between OSX Server and any windows server based on client licenses needed, price was comparable all the way up to 10 clients, beyond that MS cost more then the annual salary of most CEO’s

  3. “pricing levels, totally designed to embarrass MS”

    MS isn’t in the asset management business. What this does do though, is drastically drop the pricing for this category of software, and there’s a handful of companies out there that are going to have to cope with that.

    -jcr

  4. Now I know the difference between “introduce” and “debut”.

    “Introduce”: Product has a name and the retail packaging design is ready (April 2007).

    “Debut”: The vapour has condensed into a something you can stuff into the said box (April 2008).

    Apple introduces Final Cut Server
    Sunday, April 15, 2007 – 04:05 PM EDT
    http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/13300/
    Final Cut Server will be available this summer through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of US$999 for one server and 10 concurrent client licenses, and $1,999 for one server and unlimited client licenses.

  5. Anyone else here use Meta-Communication’s Virtual Ticket for asset management? I’ve been using it our offices for close to a decade. Far more expensive than this new product, and requires a Windows Server + MS SQL. Virtual Ticket is a fine product, and it has served us well, but I would be extremely pleased to have one less reason to maintain our Win Server and all the associated licenses and maintenance. Only a small fraction of our production is video, but this FC Server looks like it handles all forms of digital assets and file types. I had heard rumors of this, but it didn’t register before now that it could be a natural fit for our overall asset management.

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