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"Music, as any teen in a garage band will tell you, should be as simple to make as it is to listen to," says TIME reporter Chris Taylor, but "that hasn't always been the case with musicmaking software." GarageBand, aimed at amateurs, lets users "put together a pretty professional-sounding tune," with relative ease. "You don't even need much talent," Taylor says.
Photoshop Techie Tours
Techie Tours has announced a "Photoshop Techniques Workshop and Photo Safari" with Steve Caplin, taking place May 16 to 22, 2004 . Steve is the author of "How to Cheat in Photoshop" and "The Complete Guide to Digital Illustration." Mr. Caplin is a Contributing Editor for "MacUser Magazine" and writes a monthly Photoshop workshop in " Total Digital Photography". Steve lectures widely on photomontage techniques.
Apps: iUnit, FTPeel ...
Traveler's Clock ($5) is an enhanced screen saver for those who often sleep in hotels/motels while traveling. It provides a white-noise generator for masking outside noise, an alarm that wakes the user with a sound file of choice, and a full-screen low-light clock. [Download - 1.5MB]
Black Cat Systems has announced version 2.7.0 of iUnit, its $20 measurement unit conversion program. The latest version of iUnit adds 173 additional conversions between units of measure for mass. [Download - 1.5MB]
noise filter (combine) ($1.50) is a video noise-reduction plug-in for iMovie. Editors can use this plug-in to remove noise from clips filmed under low-light conditions. [Download - 434KB]
FTPeel 1.1 is a powerful yet simple FTP client for Mac OS X that tries to address a number of common problems with standard FTP clients. FTPeel ($20) features SFTP, and FTP-SSL support in addition to standard FTP, and also offers "MagicMirror," FTP mirroring taken "to the next level." [Download - 2.0MB]
AudioXplorer 1.1 is a powerful sound analyzation application designed specifically for Mac OS X. Version 1.1 adds MP4, WAV, and SND support, a new update manager, smaller file size, and an Italian localization. [Download - 1.6MB]
Tasks 1.8.3 is an update to the Web-based hierarchical task manager. This release includes Greek and Swedish translations, PHP iCalendar, and a number of bug fixes. [Download - link not functioning/a>]
US broadband, MS antitrust
Tech news: The US ranks 11th worldwide in broadband use, according to a recent United Nations report, behind such places as South Korea, Hong Kong and Iceland; The U.S. Justice Department on Friday expressed concern that Microsoft has not completely lived up to its agreement to disclose Windows communications protocols, as required by a 2002 antitrust agreement; Microsoft may be unlawfully wielding its desktop dominance to put the squeeze on search engines and on document formats like Adobe Acrobat, the state of Massachusetts claimed on Friday.
WriteNote 1.6 adds dozens of import filters
Thomson ISI ResearchSoft has released WriteNote 1.6, an update to its Web-based research and writing tool. Version 1.6 supports all popular Web browsers and word processors on Windows, Macintosh and Linux as well as provides full Unicode support and hundreds of import filters for popular bibliographic databases and publishing styles for major journals: "With WriteNote 1.6 users can conduct research, build reference libraries, and format bibliographies using virtually any Web browser." It is sold as an annual, unlimited site-wide subscription to institutions.
Groupcal for Exchange
Snerdware today released Groupcal 1.0, the second component of its integration suite for Mac OS X and Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003. Groupcal 1.0 enables users to share and update Microsoft Exchange-based calendars directly from within Apple iCal. Groupcal further extends the Microsoft Exchange integration provided by Snerdware's AddressX, which allows access to the Exchange Global Address List from the OS X Address Book. It is available now for $65 for single-user license.
Beta testers wanted
Rampell Software is looking for beta testers for the Mac OS X version of SureType, which can insert common text, send e-mails, and open websites and applications via text shortcuts---followed by an expansion key. (e.g., type "address" followed by and have your address inserted, or type "word" followed by and open MS Word): "If you're familiar with TypeIt4Me this is (we hope) even better. Please send an e-mail to admin AT rampellsoft DOT com if you are interested---get a free copy and lots of other goodies."
Mayhem VST plugins
Audio Damage last week announced Mayhem, a package of VST audio plug-ins for Mac OS 9/X: "Aimed at musicians who are tired of trying to coax extreme effects out of humdrum software plug-ins, the Mayhem plug-ins provide radical new tools for aggressive contemporary musical styles." Included in the package are Filterpod (low-pass filter), Master Destrukto (for distortion), Crush (compressor), and TimeFnk (delay plug-in). It due later this quarter for $150.
Apple\'s \'strategic coup\'
A New York Times column says the Apple-HP deal announced earlier this month "was a strategic coup", noting that the alliance solidifies QuickTime's place in the industry along with Rendezvous: "Simply put, Mr. Jobs has managed to inject Apple's DNA into the PC world, meaning that it will be increasingly easy for his company to offer PC users any kind of iPod-style device - whether for music or other media - the company may create in the future."
iCal 1.5.2 update
Apple has updated iCal 1.5.2, its calendar application that enables you to unify, manage and share the many calendars. Version 1.5.2 gives you the option of viewing your calendar, event, or To Do information in a drawer or in a separate window, and includes a number of performance and reliability enhancements. It is available via the Software Update in Mac OS X.
The Atlanta Macintosh User Group (AMUG) will host its next meeting on Tuesday, January 20 at 7 pm (with a social gathering at 6:30 pm): "The topic of this meeting will be Macworld Wrap-Up and iLife '04. Molly Aiken, Account Executive in the southeast for Apple, will give us a wrap-up of Apple's announcements at Macworld earlier this month, as well as present Apple's latest offering, iLife '04." Meanwhile, The East Bay Macintosh User's Group (ebMUG) will host its February 12th meeting at the Expressions Center for New Media in Emeryville, CA. Attendance is free and the meeting starts at 6 pm.
iPod TV Spot No. 4
Apple's iPod TV Spot 4 is now available on the Web, according to several MacNN readers, after it appeared on national television (in the US): "After seeing the ad on Sunday's football games, I found it posted on Apple's site." Steve Jobs showed the new iPod ad during his Expo keynote presentation earlier this month.
Studio365 Live Mac client
Live365.com has released Studio365 Live Mac 1.3b, a new beta version of its application that allows users to stream music from any Mac. It now supports mp3PRO broadcasting, a wider variety of bitrate/frequency/stereo combinations, on-the-fly audio transcoding, full integration with iTunes, drag & drop playlist management, one-click microphone control, mixing of multiple sources, management of broadcast information, and latency and encoder quality options for slower Macs. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. The service starts at $7.50 per month.
Radmind tools Webcast
The MacOSXLabs.org group will be presenting a free webcast titled "New Radmind Features" on Wednesday, January 21 at 1:00 pm EST. Usrs can learn about the new features added to the automated file system maintenance tool, Radmind as well as information on other topics, such as automating the Radmind process, managing user space, facilitating the creation of loadsets, and the new Server Manager features: "This webcast will have a larger portion of time dedicated to answering the questions that viewers can send in live during the webcast."
Cubase System | 4
Steinberg last week introduced a new line of integrated audio software/hardware solutions for desktop studios, mobile recording, and audio editing: "Each solution includes a full virtual recording studio with the renowned and familiar Cubase music production look, as well as a high-quality media interface." Cubase System | 4, the first offering, is a complete recording solution based around Cubase SL. It includes MI4, a powerful and versatile 4-channel USB Audio and 16-channel MIDI interface. It will ship in February for €530.
10 free fonts
dincTYPE has released 10 more limited edition free fonts: "Please remember, our free fonts are only posted for a short time, some have international character sets, AND they are licensed to for personal or commercial use. What a deal. AND dincTYPE is all free all the time. Our ten new fonts are all great, all very usable, and all very limited. Catch 'em while you can."
Agenda 3.0 released
Yenco.com has released Agenda 3.0, an update to its $20 shareware "virtual device which can greet you, tell you the current date and read off your pending events and to-do items for the day. The Agenda features a text-entry system and shortcuts to make entering and retrieving your event and to-do information easy. We've made the Agenda even better with a new shape, new colors, and over 90 enhancements including a larger virtual screen, automatic software update, integrated feedback form, new preferences, new event list with timed and untimed items, new 'in-progress' mode for to-do tasks, and much more!"
Chronopath today released Restore 1.1, an upgrade to its application for archiving and restoring documents. Restore is an application created to protect a user's documents, allowing users to track several files and archive them according to a custom schedule. Restore also includes an option to keep only a certain number of archived versions of a specific document. Version 1.1 includes a redesigned interface and various bug fixes. The $15 utility runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. A free trial is available online.
Apple Disc Jams loops
PowerFX is now shipping Apple Disc Jams, a series of loops designed for Apple's Soundtrack and GarageBand. Apple Disc Jams CD-ROMs are custom construction kits that are optimized for music compositions and videos and film scoring. The collections include NuJazz House (Jazz acoustic & electric instrument samples), Electro Clashmatic (classic Vocoder & Electro style beats & bass), and Invincible Dance (Club & Dance oriented loops). Each disc is available for $50, which includes free worldwide shipping.
SightSpeed Video Messenger
SightSpeed Inc. has announced the release of its popular video conferencing client: SightSpeed Video Messenger v2.0 (SVM) is a program that combines video and phone conferencing in a single application. SVM features high quality video, clear audio, audio/video synchronization, automatic firewall and NAT setup, and VoIP technology that "sounds better than an ordinary telephone." It costs $5 a month or $50 a year for the subscription fee. A 15-day free trial is available online.
iChatUSBCam, SIG, iVolume
iChatUSBCam v1.1.2 enables most QuickTime video sources (including USB webcams) to work with iChat AV for video-conferencing. It also removes iChat's 600MHz CPU limitation. The new version improves video quality and enhances stability. The $10 shareware requires iChat AV and Application Enhancer 1.4.1. [236KB]
Stock Investment Guide (SIG) is specifically for performing the analysis used by stock investment clubs. SIG ($40) can read and write standard .ssg file formats, create semi-logarithmic graphs of stock data, and perform a complete stock investment guide. [902KB]
Cookie Dog v2 ($10) is an application that helps you manage cookies set by many browsers (IE, Safari, Mozilla/Netscape, Camino and Omniweb) and allows you to delete all or a selection of those cookies, with the option to delete them automatically and to exclude your preferred cookies from deletion. [1.0MB]
iVolume 1.5 ($7) uses "algorithms to adjust volume levels to the same "perceived loudness". The results are much better than iTunes' built-in 'Sound Check' function." The update offers cache improvements, a new architecture, better iPod support, improved automatic album support, and better feedback. [580KB]
HTMLMailer 1.0 allows users to quickly send HTML-based emails to a group in the Mac OS X AddressBook. It automatically includes the page title as the subject, auto-detecs page-encoding, supports SMTP authentication, and drag & drop support for URLs. The $12 shareware runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [1.1MB]
CalendarUpload offers the option to upload you calendars made with Apple's iCal to any FTP server, allowing users to bypass the traditional .Mac or a WebDAV server requirements to publish a calendar on the Web. [88KB]
DRAT 1.1 is a $10 shareware for keeping track of the time spent, related expenses, to do items for daily tasks and projects. It offers fields for project name/number, contacts/phone numbers, notes, events (and time spent on tasks), expenses, etc. It also displays a graph displaying time spent during a day. [1.3MB]
iTunes Track 0.9 is a "donation-ware" application that displays the currently playing iTunes track in a floating translucent window: "When you have started iTunes Track you will see an orange window...and there is this little note symbol in your menu bar next to the menu extras from Apple." [132KB]
Disk Utility repair app
Repair Disk Utility's Permissions 3.0 helps correct an unusual problem whereby the Disk Utility application becomes corrupted, preventing the user from using the "Repair Permissions" function to fix other corrupted apps. Version 3.0 is rewritten for Cocoa and AppleScript Studio with a cleaner interface, and bug fixes. Mac OS X 10.3 does not require this utility, because it has procedures in place to prevent the anomaly.
New store in Jacksonville
Apple will open open a retail store in Jacksonville, FL in a multi-million dollar project, which will feature a number of upscale stores: the St. John's Town Center will open in Spring 2005, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal: "Developers of the $300 million St. John's Town Center mixed-use project announced plans for the 200-acre site's retail tenants, with smaller, trendy shops surrounding a Dillard's department store in the development's first phase."
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