Whenever a traditionally underground phenomenon goes mainstream, there are usually cries of “selling out.” However, Final Cut Pro has managed to avoid that, simply because its new-found popularity is based solely on its own merits. Well, that, and the Academy Award-winning films which have been produced on it (Avatar, No Country for Old Men, and many more).The newest version of the product is Final Cut Pro 7, also known informally as Final Cut Studio 3. Final Cut Studio is the application suite which includes FCP, the motion-graphics designer Motion, the audio editor Soundtrack Pro, the encoding and authoring app DVD Studio Pro, the color grader Color, and the video encoding app Compressor. The focus of version 7 is efficiency. As with anything Apple, newer products only get sleeker and faster, and FCP 7 is a great example.The support for a number of mediums, both tape- and file-based, eliminates the need for lengthy conversions, while tools like iChat Theater and Final Cut Server make it easy for groups to compose video without being in the same buildingor country. FCP 7 is also compatible with a number of third-party applications, so editors can customize their editors to their hearts’ content.Since the suite’s (version 1) introduction at a 2005 National Association of Broadcasters convention, competitor Avid Media Composer has been shaking in its boots. Experienced media figures like Walter Murch (a sound designer involved with The Godfather, among others) and San Francisco/New York production studio Mekanism threw their hats in with the studio at its inception, and the number has only grown since then.