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With all the excitement about the new Final Cut Pro, nobody has mentioned the possible fate of its little brother, Final Cut Express. I think there will be two possible outcomes and you just might be surprised at one of them...

The first outcome is the obvious one, do nothing and let it die on the vine. The engineers made Express by taking FCP, removing features, limiting the codecs it worked with and then lowering the price. It was positioned for people who wanted more control than iMovie, but didn't want to stump up the dollars for Final Cut Studio.

The second possibility is a lot more intriguing. At the moment, pushing a timeline or media between the suite of Apple editing applications is difficult. So why doesn't Apple harmonise the way the things work? Have a complete vertical integration of editing apps. This would make sense as then you could choose which app to edit on depending on the size or complexity of your project.

You wouldn't want to edit a feature film with iMovie on your iPhone would you?

Likewise diving into FCP to put a collection of baby videos back to back for Grandma on YouTube seems a bit overkill.

So here is the possible scenario

1) iMovie is a free application on the standard Lion install. 

2) If you want to do more, then Final Cut Express is available as a download from the Mac App store. (maybe from a link within iMovie) It would retail for around $99 ($199 at the moment) This availability and price point would open up a huge market. The boxed version of FCE would no longer be available. FCE would be redesigned and take features from iMovie and FCP.

3) Final Cut Studio would still be a boxed set of applications including FCP. The size of the suite makes downloading impractical at the moment. However, it could be possible to offer a rebate for FCE customers because your Mac would have the knowledge that you purchased FCE. All the people I've known who have bought FCE have gone on to buy Final Cut Studio.

This puts FCE right in the 'middle ground' and for anybody who has studied the old bell curve, that is where the expansion would take place. Final Cut Express could become very popular as its price to performance ratio would be hard to match. Not everybody needs the power of FCP and not everybody can afford it either. 

Then again I could have got it all wrong and FCE's days are numbered. I wonder if Larry Jordan has seen it?

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