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Calm down, Final Cut Studio is back — but for how long?

In what is most certainly a move aimed to silence critics of Apple’s move to Final Cut Pro X, Apple has quietly made available again the previous version, Final Cut Pro 7. It’s going to take a little work in order to get it, though: you need to call 1-800-MY-APPLE to order.

Apple will not offer Final Cut Studio 3 — which includes Final Cut Pro 7 as well as Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, DVD Studio Pro 4, Color 1.5 and Compressor 3.5 — in stores or online. There would be no discount for the old software either: it’s still $999 for the package, or $899 for educational customers.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company released Final Cut Pro X in June, cutting the price of the new version to $299.99 and offering Compressor and Motion as $49.99 add-ons, all available through the Mac App Store.

Users of the software almost universally panned the release, in many cases accusing Apple of oversimplifying the application making it less useful in professional applications.

Betanews readers echoed these complaints.

“I am an editor with more than 25 years experience and compared to FCP 7 this is total crap. Sure it looks pretty and does some nice new tricks but as a pro this is not good,” commenter danmarz wrote in a recent article. “My biggest gripe is I can’t import previous projects, but there are many other problems that are too numerous to mention.”

Barrettdb seemed to agree. “The real issue is the name, not the functionality. This is a completely new app. It is not an ‘upgrade,’ and that is why so many people are scathing.”

Regardless, Apple’s move feels more like a band-aid than a true fix. There are still no announced plans to continue to provide updates to Final Cut Pro 7, meaning users will be eventually forced to upgrade to Final Cut Pro X anyways.

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