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Apple drops Shake price drastically

Version 4.1 of video software will sell for $499, more than 80 percent less than original version.

Aside from adding new features, Apple Computer has dropped the price of its video compositing and effects software by more than 80 percent. The new version, Shake 4.1, will be priced at $499 as opposed to $2,999. Shake 4.1 is used in conjunction with Final Cut Studio, Apple's video and audio editing suite. Shake is known for being used by the visual effects supervisors of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," which won an Oscar for its visual effects in 2004. But the significant price drop indicates a change in accessibility for independent filmmakers and film students.

As with other software programs released in universal version, Apple is requiring current Shake 4 owners to pay $49 for what it calls a "crossgrade"--an upgrade that makes the software compatible with . In March Apple shipped the first universal version of Final Cut Studio for $1,299 with a "crossgrade" fee between $99 and $699, depending on the previous version owned. On some occasions, Apple has waived the crossgrade fee for certain applications. In April, Apple cut the price for Aperture, its photo work-flow management software, from $499 to $299. The crossgrade fee for Aperture universal had been waived in January.