Making movies

The original Macintosh was positioned and gained much fame as a tool for desktop publishing. Now Apple Computer Inc. is positioning its latest offering as the choice for video editors. The Power Mac G4 Cube and the Titanium PowerBook G4 notebook both include Apple's iMovie 2 entry-level video-editing software. Also available is the industrial-strength Final Cut Pro software. The machines also include Apple's iTunes jukebox software for playing music files.

"I am enthralled by iMovie," said Fritz Hasler, a research meteorologist for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Hasler produces movies for NASA and uses a PowerBook to create and edit PowerPoint files, as well as movies. Hasler said his only complaint is that iMovie files aren't compatible with Final Cut Pro, so users can't upgrade from iMovie as their needs grow.

Also adding to the cinematic experience is a 22-inch flat-panel Apple Cinema Display LCD. Its wide-screen ratio makes it capable of showing movies in their original format. Smaller, less expensive 17-inch CRT and 15-inch flat panels are also available.

But once users see the Apple Cinema Display, they won't want a puny conventional monitor, said Stephan Bates, principal consultant for Acuent Inc., an Army contractor in Parsippany, N.J. "Everybody wants the 22-inch monitor," he said.

The Cube lists for $1,599, and the 22-inch Apple Cinema Display lists for $2,999. Apple recently trimmed the price of the big monitor by $1,000. "The price cut was a very welcome change," Bates said.

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