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Apple Final Cut Server 1.5 for Mac
Final Cut Server 1.5 frees up even more time for creative work, with new features that make it exceptionally flexible and easy to use. Final Cut Server can manage thousands of assets, execute dozens of routine production tasks, and keep every member of your team in sync — all while you continue working.
Easy asset cataloging.
Final Cut Server continuously scans your network to identify and catalog production assets. It creates the catalog for you, generates “browse” proxies and thumbnails, and keeps the catalog up to date as you work.
Asset discovery process
Just identify the folders or directories that contain your assets, then sit back while Final Cut Server automatically identifies asset types, captures metadata, and generates your catalog. When the system discovers a Final Cut Pro project, the catalog lists the project and creates a reference to each asset. It catalogs image sequences as a single video asset, with a reference link that gives you direct access to the source image files.
Simultaneous metadata capture
Final Cut Server extracts and captures most forms of industry-standard metadata as it catalogs — including QuickTime, IPTC, XMP, and XML data. It also now captures and displays metadata from standard audio files such as AIFF, WAV, and more. To make information consistent across the catalog, use a simple mapping feature to translate metadata from different formats. You can also add metadata to items in the catalog manually.
Broad format support
Final Cut Server supports a wide range of file formats, file systems, and media storage devices. You can catalog Final Cut Studio project files as well as proposals, budgets, project plans, scripts, storyboards, shot lists, video and audio clips, images, graphics, and more.
Automatic proxy and thumbnail generation
When Final Cut Server catalogs video clips, it also generates “browse” proxies, poster frames, and thumbnails and associates them with the original asset. You can now choose different browse proxy formats for different types of source media, allowing you to avoid unnecessary recompression or proxy creation. If you want, Final Cut Server can simultaneously create edit proxies for clips in Final Cut Pro projects, using the efficient new ProRes 422 (Proxy) format or another format of your choice.
Find, preview, and access the assets you need instantly through powerful search tools, customized metadata, and flexible, personalized shortcuts — now with searches that are up to 10 times faster in large databases.
Powerful, layered searches
For a basic search, type text into a Spotlight-style search field. For greater precision, the advanced search option allows you to use pop-up menus to choose search filters based on metadata fields. You can search the entire asset catalog or a specific Production. Your Final Cut Server administrator can customize these filters, so all the options you need will be at your fingertips as you search for assets.
Easy-to-use metadata tools
Final Cut Server helps you find assets fast by searching metadata tags. Quickly choose from hundreds of predefined tags or create your own custom fields. You can also group fields in tabbed arrangements to fit your workflow. Production team members can easily add or update tags by making selections from pop-up menus or typing into text fields.
Versatile Production "containers"
Final Cut Server Productions are virtual containers you can create to group related assets. Productions make it easy to track status, manage project files, and link associated media for the entire production process. You can include proposals, scripts, budgets, and other documents as well as media files.
Productions let you organize assets without copying them, so you can include the same assets in any number of Productions — with no increase in storage requirements. You can now organize Productions in a folder-style hierarchy for even more flexibility.
The basic building block of automation in Final Cut Server is a “watch and respond” sequence. The system watches for an event — a change in a specified metadata field, a new file in a watched folder, or a specified time — then responds with an action or series of actions. For example, if you set Final Cut Server to watch a status metadata field for the value “Publish,” the system can immediately convert media to an output format and push the file to a broadcast server.
Modular automation tools
Final Cut Server makes it easy to automate anything from a single task to an entire workflow. To automate a single task, simply specify the watched event, then indicate which actions should occur as the result. To create a larger workflow, just define a sequence of automated tasks.
Large-scale, facilitywide workflows can be constructed by chaining together these basic elements. Because Final Cut Server automations are completely modular, you can easily set up workflows that are a perfect fit with the way you work.
With Final Cut Server, team members can share assets at every stage of the workflow and enjoy seamless handoffs from one task to the next. Intelligent asset and version controls and automatic status notifications make it easy.
When a Final Cut Pro project is checked out, the project is restricted with a Check Out lock. In addition to the Check Out lock, each of the media assets associated with the project is secured with a Reference lock, which prevents other users from changing or deleting an asset that is needed for your project. The catalog entries for the project and all associated assets are updated instantly when the project is checked back in to Final Cut Server.
Final Cut Server can track changes made to an asset from one edit session to the next. You can specify how many versions you would like it to keep. For each version, it captures the name of the person who made the change, the time the project was checked back in, and any comments made for that session. A list of all the versions lets you revert to a selected version. You can also create a new asset from a version, with the option of copying it to another device.
Tracking every part of a production and letting relevant people in the workflow know when assets are ready for the next step can be an overwhelming job. Use Final Cut Server to instantly send notification email to team members. You can trigger notifications based on a metadata change (for example, a change to a status field), a change to a watched folder, automated job status, or scheduled events.
Integrated review and approval tools
Set up the system to automatically notify reviewers via email when a project is ready to review. Reviewers can add clip annotations on low-resolution proxies through the Final Cut Server annotation interface, so editors can see comments displayed shot by shot. Small proxy file sizes support review and approval even over a low-bandwidth connection.
When your projects are ready for delivery, let Final Cut Server do the work for you. Final Cut Server automates Compressor to execute a variety of encoding, resizing, and retiming tasks simultaneously — all at pristine quality.
Pristine encoding and frame conversions
Compressor, Apples encoding application, is included with Final Cut Server. It uses optical flow technology to analyze media frame by frame and algorithmically produce conversions at astonishing quality. You can access Compressor settings directly from Final Cut Server to automate format conversions; retiming; scaling, cropping, and padding; video filters, including animated overlays; and metadata integration.
Final Cut Server uses the Compressor engine to encode MPEG-2 and H.264 files, as well as various QuickTime formats — including the Apple ProRes 422 codec family and formats for iPod and Apple TV. For even more options, you can add the Episode Pro plug-in from Telestream to encode to VC-1, WMV, GXF, and FLV formats, along with High Profile H.264 and a number of third-party proprietary broadcast server formats.
The automation tools in Final Cut Server allow you to simultaneously encode multiple formats from the same source file or even from multiple source files. For example, when a projects status is changed to “Publish,” Final Cut Server can launch encoding for web delivery and broadcast formats at the same time.
Whether you work in a production boutique, a post-production house, or a global news network, you can easily shape Final Cut Server to fit the needs of your facility. You can modify built-in profiles and preferences to get started, and use new developer extensions for even greater customization.
Scalable server software
The server software for Final Cut Server can run on a MacBook Pro for use on location, a Mac Pro in the studio, or a full Xserve configuration for larger-scale facilities. Final Cut Server can support one user or hundreds of concurrent users on an appropriate network. The system you install today can easily grow as your business grows, with no need to replace the Final Cut Server software.
Cross-platform client software
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.
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