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G5 vs. Alienware
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: Comparing Apple's new Power Mac G5 dual-2.5GHz to a similar offering from Alienware; one member's satisfaction with Apple's warranty program; continued discussion of iBook case cracks; HP's new 23" LCD display for $1700; opinions and impressions regarding Apple's Backup service for OS X users.
xTime Project, The Enkoder
MusicMagic Mixer (beta) uses DSP algorithms for search, auto-playlist, shuffle, and discovery. It provides automatic acoustic analysis of songs in an iTunes collection and "will create a playlist based on your selection of song, album, or artist The MusicMagic Shuffle will sequence the music based on the acoustical attributes in the tracks." It supports MP3, FLAC, and Ogg Vorbis, but not yet AAC. [email]
To-Do Stickies 1.0 ($15) is specially designed to help you plan projects, brainstorm, quickly jot down notes, organize them by topics, and track progress by checking off completed tasks. It offers unlimited hierarchal levels for items, notes for each item, "completed" checkbox, hide/show completed items, and a customizable display (including metal or colored windows). [Classic, OSX]
xTime Project 2.2 ($100) is a project management application designed for Mac OS X. The new version includes a Microsoft Project import function, PMX import, better Web sharing function, and better currencies support. [Download - 2.2MB]
copyrightInserter 1.6 is the latest version of the watermarking utility. New in version 1.6 is Manual Mode, which lets you exactly position the copyright or watermark in every image. [Download - 246KB]
Fountain Music is an iTunes visualization plugin which animates particles to the beat of the music. Version 1.2 adds controllable gravity; saves preferences between relaunches; and offers continuous FPS calculation. [Download - 44KB]
Fire 1.0.2 is the latest version of the multi-protocol alternative instant messaging client for Mac OS X. This release addresses some common issues with 1.0.1 including blocking, stability issues with tooltips, email notifications, Jabber authentication, and Yahoo non-buddies. [Download - 5.1MB]
Softphone for OS X coming
In Brief: Apple is among Forbe's "Innovative Movers & Shakers", noting that "a healthy 3 million iPods have been sold in 2 years." Architosh says Apple needs a new "Mac LC" to help expand its market; macosxlabs.org is offering an extensive white paper on Mac OS X Application Management, covering topics such as licensing models, security, reviewing installations, etc.; Apple's Steve Jobs was among the most overpaid CEOs in the Bay Area in 2003, while Oracle's Larry Ellison was among the most underpaid, according to research compiled by the San Francisco Business Times; Vonage is expected to release a final version of its softphone for Mac OS X next week.
Battlefield 1942 due Jun 2
Aspyr today announced Battlefield 1942 has gone 'gold' and will begin shipping June 28: "Gamers fight in the heart of World War II combat, allowing them to choose from over 20 famous battle sites, including Omaha Beach, Stalingrad and Wake Island, from the four main theaters of World War II including the Pacific, Eastern and Western Europe and North Africa." Battlefield 1942 supports a multiplayer component that supports up to 64 players. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later on a G4/G5 Power Mac running at 867MHz or faster. It is expected to be stores on July 2nd.
Quark XPress 6.2
Quark said it would release QuarkXPress 6.2 "later this summer" at its Quark Summit last week, according to Creative Pro. The release is expected to fix several known bugs that exist in Quark XPress 6.1 and will be available as new boxed version as well as free download update. "Quark CEO Kamar Aulakh also said that the company would henceforth allow XPress to be activated on two machines to address the office-home machine dilemma about which many of you have expressed your frustration to me in your emails. Quark also noted that Quark XPress 6 Japanese Edition will be launched in Tokyo on June 24; QuarkXClusive (digital output to HP Indigo digital presses) and Quark Vista (image manipulation in Quark) will be made available at no cost as downloads for current QuarkXPress 6 users; and has tripled the number of people in the field as well as opened offices in New York and Hamburg--with new office expected in Paris and London.
Synergy 1.0 for iTunes
Wincent today released Synergy 1.0, an innovative iTunes companion application that allows users to control iTunes with hot keys and via an always-accessible menu bar controls as well as provides "unobtrusive feedback about the currently playing track in the form of the semi-transparent 'Floater'." Users can customized the size of the floater and the type of information displayed. Synergy also can automatically search for and download cover art for display in the Floater. It is available in Spanish, French, Japanese, German, and Dutch. Registration is 5€.
ICEWEAR for iPod mini
hfo:Design today announced its TUNEWEAR brand, which includes a new accessory called ICEWEAR for Apple's iPod mini digital music players. The strong and light case/cover for the iPod mini uses the same silicon found in diving masks which allows for both scratch protection and a clear view of your iPod mini's original color. It offers access to all ports including the headphone jack, dock connector, hold switch and click wheel. "The shock absorbing ribs on the sides not only serve to protect your iPod mini during falls, but they also function as a grip for the iPod mini when held in your hand or when placed on most any surface. The ribs also glow the iPod mini when held in the light." It also features a belt loop for use with waist belts or shoulder carry bags.
Macworld UK says that Apple's attempt to make Europe's independent labels agree to an unattractive licensing deals for the iTunes Music Store may backfire, as it did with MTV who pressured indie labels into reduced royalty payments: "Hundreds of independents across Europe refused the deal and insisted MTV stop playing their videos after the then-current agreement ended March 31. In March 2004, when faced with the threat of being unable to show videos representing such an important section of the music industry, MTV eventually relented, returned to the negotiating table and negotiated a collective agreement with Europe's indie labels."
Mozilla, Radeon Enabler
Mozilla 1.7 is a final release of the open-source browser from Mozilla.org. It brings smooth scrolling, the ability to display your passwords (using the master password), improved cookie dialogs, better pop-up blocking, better performance, improved support for CSS and more. (Mozilla 1.8a1 is also now available as a technology preview.) [1.7, 1.8a1]
PGP Freeware 8.1 offers basic PGP encryption capability for messages and files and is designed for non-for-profit use only. It does not include PGP Disk, integration with major applications, automatic encryption of email file attachments and other advanced features found in PGP Personal Desktop ($60).
Radeon Enabler 1.1 (free) patches the ATI Displays application so users can use native features such as "OpenGL Overrides," which enables the user to utilize 3D options like FSAA in games without native support. Version 1.1 adds support for eMac chipsets, Radeon 9700/9600/9000/7500 (PowerBook), Radeon 9200/7500 (iBook), the OEM Radeon 8500/7500, and Radeon Mobility (PowerBook). [1.3MB]
DropDV 1.04 ($20) is a Mac OS X droplet which converts MPEG video into DV video streams, which can be used in applications such as iMovie, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, etc. It preserves the audio track, uses bicubic scaling, offers full YUV pipeline (without RGB conversions), and supports NTSC/PAL output. [276KB]
DockFun 4.6 ($20) adds a new search feature in the "Dockpit" featuring "super fast" Searchkit technology, offers better compatibility with Mac OS X Server, and other small enhancements. The application launcher offers an infinite number of dock configurations, autolaunch features, hotkeys, hide/show of specific docks, Donelleschi Docks, and more. [1.1MB]
SignalScope 1.5 ($40) is a free update to the 2-channel real-time audio signal analyzer designed to work with Mac OS X-compatible audio hardware. It provides signal analysis in the form of an FFT magnitude and oscilloscope as well as Spectrogram and XY Plotter analysis tools. [902KB]
Menu Calendar 2.0b1 is a public beta test of a new version of the popular menubar calendar. It adds a new preferences panel, hotkey activation, and the ability to show appointments/events from iCal in its own little calendar - either as stickies (tool tips) at the calendar or as list of events. Advanced iCal integration will require registration. [628KB]
Feral Interactive has released a demo of XIII ($55), its first person shooter that features innovative online multiplayer modes such as Barfight and the cooperative Cover Me, along with classic modes such as Capture the Flag and DeathMatch. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later and 700MHz Mac. [91MB]
ImageBrowser 1.2 (donationware) is a simple program for viewing and organizing images. It offers multiple split-screen windows, multiple thumbnail sizes, basic file operations (renaming, folder creation, etc.), drag & drop support, zoom, keyboard navigation, and more. Version 1.2 offers mouse-based scrolling, image rotation, online help, etc. [268KB]
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