Apple has announced details of DVD Studio Pro 3, the latest major revision to the company's professional DVD authoring application for Mac OS X. New to this release are Alpha Transitions, a new Graphical View, DTS 5.1 audio support and the inclusion of Compressor 1.2, Apple's digital media encoding and compression tool.

DVD Studio Pro 3 is designed to provide professional digital video professionals with DVD layout and design capabilities. The software features more than 30 pro transitions that can be used to blend between menus, slides in slideshows and stills in tracks. The new Alpha Transitions, which use QuickTime-based movies; users can build their own Alpha Transitions using Apple's just-announced Motion or Adobe After Effects as well.

The new Graphical View lets creators view their DVD Studio Pro 3 projects in a storyboard environment, visually plotting the relationships between menus, tracks, slideshows, stories and scripts. You can also print the Graphical View.

With the inclusion of Compressor 1.2 and Final Cut Pro HD, DVD Studio Pro 3 can scan and encode HD directly to MPEG-2. DTS 5.1 audio support is now provided in addition to Dolby Digital support.

System requirements call for a G4/733MHz or faster; 8MB VRAM; Mac OS X v10.3.2 or higher; QuickTime 6.5; 20GB hard disk space and DVD drive. Look for DVD Studio Pro 3 to be available in May through the Apple Store and resellers for £299 plus VAT. Registered users of previous versions can upgrade for £119 plus VAT.