With strong PowerBook sales, and the debut of the much-anticipated iTunes Music Store, Apple's shareholders "should be beaming," says Joshua Jaffe of The Deal. But most shareholders "aren't applauding Jobs' sudden infatuation with the music industry," and they are not "particularly pleased with the company's otherwise moribund business strategy." In response, some analysts are calling for the split of Apple into software and hardware companies, while others are suggesting that the company go private.
Apple describes the following in its troubleshooting knowledge base today: audio captured through a USB input device to a PowerBook G4 (12-inch) may sound distorted if the display sleeps or dims as the computer saves the audio; iTunes 4 songs with 'odd characters' in the titles; using iTunes 4 to connect to an Internet broadcast; how to use song information in other programs.
Micromata has released Schroedinger 1.0.1, an update to its free JSP/Servlet development tool. "Focus of the version 1.0.1 [...] was on the integration in the specific operating systems, bug fixes and the support of rendezvous." [Download - 8.3MB] Manyetas today released Ritmo 1.0.2, a drumsampler AudioUnit plug-in for Mac OS X. Starting with this release, Ritmo now includes free drum kits, including one created by electronic artist Eight Frozen Modules. Version 1.0.2 also corrects a number of issues found in the previous version. Ritmo is available immediately for $25. [Download - 3.2MB] Whistle Blower 3.1 is an update to the enterprise server monitor, functional testing and restart utility for the Mac. Version 3.1 has over 26 specific server types that it can connect to directly, including Web servers and SSL Web servers, File Maker, Radius authentication, DNS, 4D and FTP. Version 3.1 adds a new "Email Cycle" check that sends a test email via SMTP and then waits to receive it via POP, validating all aspects of an email delivery system, Improved reliability on OS X, and many OS X-only features such as validating the return from a shell script and running a shell command in response to a server failure. [Download - Classic, OS X] The $20 shareware Apimac Address Book 5.2 adds support for Mac OS X Address Book's instant messenger fields (AIM, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo), the Back-up Database and Revert to Database back-up commands, the Sync functionality (with data safety guards), and other functions. [Classic, OSX] SpamRoboCop 1.1 is an AppleScript for Apple Mail and MS Entourage designed to help users complete spam reports to SpamCop. Version 1.1 adds support for Entourage, can be used from within a rule in Mail, and now recognizes all types of SpamCop accounts (both paid and free). [28KB]
Thursby Software Systems today announced the release of ADmitMac, a new Mac OS X software solution that enables Macintosh computers to participate in Microsoft networks. aAdministrators of Microsoft networks using Active Directory, and even NT domain services, have an easy way to integrate Macintosh computers into their networks: "With ADmitMac, users' home directories can be kept on Microsoft servers and are all managed from one place (the directory). Users may log into Macs or PCs using the same account and password and have full access to their files and desktop settings." It supports Windows login security restrictions, allows users to easily change passwords, caches user credentials for mobile user access when not connected to the network, supports browsing for published shares, offers support support for shared printers, supports NTFS file format, and has support for DFS as well as other features. Pricing starts at $150 for a single user.
Aspyr today announced that is now shipping Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead, a new expansion pack for the its WWII action title. The Mac conversion was done by Westlake Interactive: "Players will assume the role of Sgt. Jack Barnes as he endures the final months of World War II, from Operation Overlord to the Battle of the Bulge and culminating with the fall of Berlin. The Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead combines nine expansive single-player levels with over 12 new multiplayer maps and includes new locations, new weapons, and new soldiers." The $40 title is available for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, but is available for pre-order from the website for $30.
Google Alert 2.0 enables people to stay up to date with their interests by automatically performing daily Google searches and sending email notifications of new results that appear. Version 2.0 contains many new capabilities, including an integrated online browser for exploring search results, and live HTML and RSS feeds for integrating those results into web pages and desktops. Jargonary is a dictionary for computer Jargon that lets users look up definitions for commonly used computer terms. The database contains explanations for more than 13,000 computer Jargons. It features detailed explanations, a history feature to retrace your search results, auxiliary definitions to define words within definitions, a closest match feature, and internet integration. It is $20 shareware. [3.4MB] Boolean Calculator 1.0 is a simple utility for technical informatics on university: "You can enter a formular like 'a and b and (not c)' and it shows you a table where you can see on which boolean combination of a, b and c the term is true. This application may be interesting for Realbasic developers to see how to pick up an user entered term and write a few lines of RBScript sourcecode in memory to compile and run it just in time." [Classic, OSX] XMMS Remote 1.0 is a freeware software solution that uses web-services to remotely control and display the status of the xmms media player. It adds a volume slider, a dock menu, a song title background, dock status display, better error handling and a new help system. [client, server] iTunes Tracker is a client which connects to a server maintaining a list of iTunes shared library addresses. This list is displayed on your computer allowing you to access any of the shared iTunes library on the list. [594KB] CodaTek's VirtualDesktop 2.3 is an update to the company's $30 shareware utilty that provides up to 100 different virtual workspaces, allowing users to customize the screen for different applications or different desktop environments. Version 2.3 brings per-application toggle options for global display of palettes and other windows and improved options via the contextual menu. [4.7MB] Frequency 1.1 is a desktop Blogger client that can be used to add new posts instead of logging into Blogger's web site every time. New features in Frequency 1.1 include the ability to edit posts, a new HTML engine for previewing posts, and support for more international characters. The $6 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [1.4MB]
Logitech tomorrow will release Mac OS X drivers for its credit card-sized Pocket Digital camera, according to The Register: "Sources close to the company say the drivers, which work with Mac OS X's Image Capture application and iPhoto, will be offered free of charge as a download from the company's web site. It's not clear at this stage whether Logitech will bundle the new drivers with the camera and brand it as a Mac-compatible product." The 0.5in-thick Pocket Digital offers 1.3 megapixel resolution (up to 640x480) and uses software to automatically adjust the image in overly dark or bright conditions. The USB-based camera can store up to 52 photos.
IK Multimedia has released SampleTank 1.1, a new OS X-compatible version of its RTAS and VST plug-in for both ProTools 6 and Cubase SX. It offers a Sampler/Synth engine with 32-bit floating point processing and includes 450 multi-sampled sound banks. The plugin imports AKAI S1000/S3000 sound formats, allows 4 effects per voice (from among 20 DSP effects), sound organization features, four dynamic sound parameters per voice, multi-timbral with 16 voices per module and four stereo outputs (or eight mono outputs). The plugins are available as a $80 upgrade for all previous registered owners. The company has also announced AmpliTube Live as "the first" stand-alone virtual guitar amp and fx modeling software for Mac OS X. Users can combine 3 different Pre-Amp models and related EQs with 3 accurately emulated cabinets to create a wide palette of guitar sounds. It also includes a selected set of 4 classic effects; It is expected to ship later this month for $100.
Elemental Audio Systems today announced updated versions of its audio plugins: Firium, Eqium, and Inspector, which now include Windows VST support, improved performance, improved AudioUnit support, and improved preset handling. Inspector 1.1, a free audio analysis tool, includes several presets for its alarm feature, which allows users to be notified when undesirable events occur in their audio. Inspector also features peak and RMS meters, a spectrum analyzer, a balance meter, and numerical readouts for clipped samples, clip runs or incidents, headroom, and balance. Eqium 1.1, a $100 "EQ toolbox", is a configurable EQ featuring an unlimited number of bands and 11 filter types. Users can adjust filters using sliders, arrows, or by dragging directly on the large filter graph. Firium 1.1 is a linear phase equalizer with a built-in spectrum analyzer that allows users to draw their entire EQ curve. The audio utility provides a multitude of features for EQ construction, including the ability to compare the effect of many different EQs on audio using Firium's intuitive history slider. It is $100.
e-on software has released Ozone 2.0 for Cinema 4D, its plugin for adding ultra-natural animated atmospheric effects to Maxon Computer's flagship product. The volumetric atmosphere system features a highly optimized, fast-rendering engine, rapid creation of animated clouds and sunsets, over 100 atmospheric presets, and a multi-document, non-modal interface. It is comprised of 2 different plug-ins, a 3D Shader plug-in and a Post-Process plug-in with an interface that allows users to fine tune the included pre-sets or generate entirely new atmospheres. It is available for $200 (introductory price), while Owners of Vue d'Esprit 4 can purchase Ozone 2.0 for Cinema 4D for $150. [pricing updated]
Ovolab today released AAChoo, a new utility for converting MP3 songs to AAC, the new high-quality compact audio format at the core of MPEG-4: "With a simple drag-and-drop interface and complete control over every encoding parameter, Ovolab AAChoo can rip any audio file or movie soundtrack into MPEG-4 format....Ovolab AAChoo will allow every music maniac to quickly convert his entire library, keeping song tags and folder hierarchies unaltered, as well as automatically updating the iTunes Music Library." It is $15.
Logitech today announced new joysticks for PC and Mac at the E3 tradeshow in Los Angeles. The Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is a mid-range joystick that "blends the most useful features with a new, eye-catching industrial design. For quick and easy access to the multiple commands of today's games, the joystick has twelve conveniently placed action buttons as well as a twist handle and an rubberized 8-way hat switch and a high-precision throttle to adjust power settings in a game. The Logitech Attack 3 offers an ambidextrous handle, 11 programmable buttons, and throttle control. Both are expected to be available this summer. (Pricing is not yet determined.)
LANDesk Software today announced LANDesk Management Suite 7, an update to its management suite that adds new components including software license monitoring, profile migration, and expanded Macintosh support. LANDesk Management Suite is a comprehensive, integrated management solution that manages desktops, servers, and handheld devices. Version 7 also offers a new software distribution solution for Mac OS X, as well as expanded inventory and remote control support for Mac OS 8/9/X. Pricing starts at $80 per computer.
The MathWorks today announced the launch of Image Processing Toolbox 4. Based on MATLAB, the toolbox offers engineers and scientists a dedicated solution for imaging applications that combines a direct interface to industry standard frame grabbers and video devices with advanced image processing algorithms. The update delivers significant new features and enhancements in speed and performance by a factor of more than 20 as well as reduced memory requirements. It includes a new image viewer capabilities, including display of image metadata along with pan, scroll, zoom, and overview tools for large images, enhanced color space functions for better support of ICC color profiles, more image enhancement methods, and enhanced DICOM export support. New licenses start at $900.
West-Forest-Systems today released MP3-Info CMM 1.2, a freeware Contextual Menu Module designed for Mac OS X that displays information about MP3/AAC/WAV/AIFF files, such as their duration, the bit rate, and also some important MP3/AAC-Tags, such as the artist, the title of the song, and other info. It supports AAC files and selection of multiple files. [148KB] Mitz Pettel today released Vidi 0.4.1, a maintenance update to the freeware application for watching and recording TV on the Mac using the Formac Sutdio DV/TV video converter. Vidi can also be used to listen to FM radio stations (a feature that Formac's StudioTVR software for Mac OS X lacks). [343KB] The YostWorks Dock Dispatcher 1.0.2 creates and maintains a Dispatcher folder in the Dock, which provides hierarchical menu with your apps, utilities categorized for easy access. The Mac OS X application is now available as $5 shareware. [3.0MB] Version 1.12 of Impression, a backup utility for Mac OS X, brings several bug fixes in the Cocoa-based backup utility can create full and incremental backups to multiple optical discs (CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD-R). The $20 shareware features a streamlined interface, session-based backup management, MD5 checksum generation to verify files and a handy utility for erasing CD-RW. [470KB] Pariahware has released ClipSaver 1.0, a Mac OS X utility that gives users the ability to copy text onto the clipboard and automatically save the data to a file or files for later retrieval. A 30-day trial of the $10 shareware is available online. [865KB]
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE