Thing is, the show ends Thursday, and so far… no Final Cut!
Of course, Apple wouldn’t want to get too predictable with their software (and hardware) releases. If they did, potential buyers would hold off at certain times, knowing that a new version was just around the corner.
In fact, that’s exactly the case with me. There was a deal to bundle Final Cut Express with my G5, but I’ve only just realized that the deal only included FCE2… not Soundtrack. Now that I’m doing more and more podcasting work, both on my own podcast and with the occasional piece for O’R’s Distributing the Future, I’m interested in doing more and more multitrack work on my podcast, and for that, I’d like to start using Soundtrack. Which is why I’m holding out for a new version, so I can upgrade to “FCE HD 2″ and its bundled version of Soundtrack, instead of upgrading now and immediately being a version behind when Final Cut updates.
For now, I’m making do with FCE, which is fine (see below), but it’s kind of silly having the video preview windows taking up so much space when my podcasts don’t have any video tracks.
“Soft cuts” with Final Cut Express
Closing theme song full, then under track, then full again, then out, with FCE
Of course Garage Band is effectively Soundtrack-lite, but it’s impractical for real podcasting, since you cannot export an uncompressed master and then make MP3’s, AAC’s, etc. from that. That’s stupid. I realize Apple wants to push AAC, its favorite-son format, but not keeping pristine masters is a bad workflow decision, one that Garage Band forces you into. Presumably, the only way to do that with Garage Band is to keep the .band mix file and all the raw sources, effectively re-performing your edits if you ever want to go back and re-export to another format or higher bitrate (which you might choose to do as audio codecs and bandwidth availability continue their inevitable improvement).