SRS Labs today began shipping its SRS Circle Surround (CS) encoding software plug-in product: SRS Circle Surround VST Pro is a plug-in for for Steinberg VST. It features a Circle Surround encoder and decoder for encoding and monitoring surround mixes. It enables VST users to easily encode up to 6.1 channels of surround sound into stereo delivery formats for television and radio broadcasting, cable delivery or playback in surround using standard stereo CDs. The $500 software runs on Mac OS X and will be distributed exclusively by Wave Distribution.
Lemke Software has released CADintosh 5.0, a new version of its 2D-CAD program for technical and architectural drawings. Version 5.0 features a new automatic catching mode, fixes print issues on Mac OS X, offers an improved GUI for Panther, optimizes CLI functions, improves DXF import, and has other fixes. Other functions include interactive window redrawing; import/export of HPGL, DXF, and PICT; and extra filters and symbols with registration ($33). It is avaialble in German, English, French, Danish and Japanese. [Classic, OSX]
A MacNN reader discovered that GarageBand (part of iLife '04 released today) cannot be installed without a DVD Drive. After speaking with a few Apple representatives the reader found that not only did the reps not know about the system requirements but had the same problems on their own machines. A closer look at the GarageBand system requirements reveals that having a DVD drive is indeed a requirement to install the popular audio program. Another reader provides a workaround for installing iLife on Mac OS X Server.
Forums Roundup: Some debate has started over how quickly Mac computers become outdated in comparison to Windows machines; there's a thread on the Apple stickers that come with the purchase of every Mac computer; the overclocked eMac is getting some looks; iPod owners are deciding that it is better to wear the iPod in-ear headphones upside down; the posts are buzzing with the release of iLife '04; and the Powerbook picture thread just keeps growing.
TestKit is an open-source unit testing tool for software developers writing for the Mac OS X environment. It is an adaptation of JUnit for Objective-C and the Mac OS X development environment. TestKit shares much of the functionality of JUnit, and it adds functionality to help programmers with the problems and challenges unique to Objective-C. A quick-start guide and API documentation are available.
Afternoon tech news: The sum of damages caused by computer virus attacks has skyrocketed to $55 billion, up from 2002, when damages from computer attacks cost businesses roughly $25 billion; after months of decline, music downloads over peer-to-peer services are on the rise, a new report shows; European firms are being urged to buy a licence for Linux to avoid legal action by SCO which claims the operating system unlawfully includes some of its computer code
Native Instruments today announced Traktor FinalScratch 1.5, a new Mac OS X Panther compatible version of its digital DJ system co-produced. The upcoming Traktor FS 1.5 software will bring FinalScratch to the Windows platform, offer much easier installation, incorporate enhanced ScratchAmp handling, include support for network and Firewire drives, and improve performance. Earlier today we noted continuing Final Scratch compatibility issues with Panther, which are expected to be resolved by the update.
Yi.magination Studios announced a preview edition of Comixware 2.0, an update to its interactive storytelling apparatus that combines content and software in one integrated package. Version 2.0 features expanded file compatibility, user file sharing, user-definable scene lengths, copy/cut/paste commands, an improved GUI and Mac OS X compatibility. A final gamma build of version 2.0 is available now. The full release will be $40 for electronic download ($45 on CD) and will be released on February 21, 2004.
The Mercury News has a review of GarageBand, Apple music studio application: "Though GarageBand contains many of the advanced features that can be found in semi-professional programs such as Cakewalk Home Studio and Sony Acid, it hides the complexity, allowing you to manipulate music more like you change fonts, boldness and italics in a document." It is only available as part iLife '04, which we noted began shipping on January 14 (and today in the UK) and should be available in Apple Stores and resellers later today.
Knowledge Base: Apple notes that Panther's login window only shows an "Other" option if NetInfo is enabled; Mac OS X's FileVault may prevent some Safari users from viewing RealOne Player content; iPhoto ignores the Page Setup's scaling options to print pages; Mac OS X client computer account records created in Active Directory require additional access to certain attributes in order to work as expected.
Trinfinity Software's Collage X 1.0.1 updates the freeware visual plugin for iTunes with performance enhancements and bug fixes. Collage X searches the Internet for images relating to the artist, track, and album that are playing and displays collage of these images. [Classic, OSX] EditiX ($40) is a Java-based XML editor supporting the latest XML and XML-related technologies such as XSLT / FO and XSD Schema. It has realtime XPath location and syntax error detection. [8.4MB] The freeware iPhoto Mailer Patcher 4.0 adds support for Claris Emailer, Mailsmith, Outlook Express, PowerMail and QuickMail Pro it iPhoto 4. The application can also restore iPhoto to the original state, limiting support to America Online, Eudora, Mail and Microsoft Entourage. [360KB] CloakIt 3.0 lets you cloak a folder and its contents. It features password authorization at startup and the ability to make folders invisible/visible. It requires Mac OS X and is $12 shareware. [886KB] RadicalPhoto 1.1 ($15) is a photo enhancer and image converter, offering options for Brightness/Contrast and Red/Green/Blue levels as well as Hue/Saturation and effects (Smooth, Sharpen, Emboss, Blur, etc). It adds rotate and flip options. [1.1MB] iPhoto Diet 2.1.6, not yet tested with iPhoto 4, adds a German localization and minor interface tweaks. The application scans through an iPhoto library folder and moves any undesired originals to the Trash (either manually or automatically). The freeware runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. ˛[306KB] The $12 shareware GPRS Script Generator 1.9.2 brings the number of supported mobile networks presets to over 200 carriers in the entire world. The software utility helps users create custom modem scripts to connect using a GPRS compatible mobile phone. [1.0MB]
TiVo Desktop 1.6 allows a networked TiVo Series2 DVR with the TiVo Home Media Option premium feature package to stream music and photos from any Mac to the device. Version 1.6 adds support for iPhoto 4, but does not (yet) support AAC audio files (including music purchased at the iTunes Music Store). It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Griffin Technology today announced that its PowerPod iPod Auto Charger ($25) now includes a separate Dock-to-FireWire cable. Recently redesigned, Griffin says the PowerPod is still the only iPod charger fully compatible with both original and new Apple iPods as well as the recently announced iPod mini. The new PowerPod now includes a new ultra-light ultra-flexible 48-inch Dock-to-FireWire cable. In addition to its use as a charger cable, the PowerPod's Dock-to-FireWire cable can be used for normal syncing and docking operation.
A MacNN reader reports a problem developing between Native Instruments, maker of FinalScratch DJ, and Mac OS X "Panther" users
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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