Apple made much ado of its redesigned MacBook Pro's creative prowess during its "Unleashed" event, and it's updating its flagship media editing software to take full advantage of the improved hardware. The company has released new versions of Final Cut Pro (10.6) and Logic Pro (10.7) that make the most of the M1 Pro and M1 Max, particularly in video processing and machine learning. FCP editors can play up to seven streams of 8K ProRes at once, and export in the format over five times faster — no mean feat for a laptop, as Apple was keen to point out. You can even color-grade 8K HDR footage using only the MacBook Pro's built-in screen.
There's also a new Object Tracker you can use to link animated effects to faces and objects. You can easily edit Cinematic Mode video from the iPhone 13 series, too. Motion now renders visual effects work up to two times faster, and can play two 8K video streams at five times the previous frame rate. Compressor, meanwhile, transcodes HEVC video up to twice as fast, and ProRes up to ten times as quickly. And if you live in Canon's world, you can transcode Cinema RAW Light videos to other formats for the first time. There's even a Watch Folders feature that will automatically encode content when it reaches a given folder — helpful for streamlining a workflow, particularly among teams.
The Logic Pro update, meanwhile, is focused on spatial audio creation — just in time for the new AirPods, of course. New mixers, panners and plugins let you author Dolby Atmos tracks, and the new MacBook Pros can use their added performance to create particularly advanced mixes. The music editing tool now comes bundled with the Producer Packs you saw in GarageBand, too, so you can integrate royalty-free beats and samples from the likes of Boys Noize, Mark Ronson and Trakgirl.
Both updates are free for existing users. Final Cut Pro normally costs $300 for new users, with Motion and Compressor costing $50 each. Logic Pro is priced at $200. The upgrades make the most sense if you're deeply invested in ProRes or intend to publish on Apple Music. Still, it's easy to see the appeal, at least for FCP. You could quickly turn around certain video projects using only your MacBook Pro, even if you're working primarily with 8K footage.
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