MPEG Streamclip is a new application that converts MPEG files (including transport streams) into muxed, demuxed, QuickTime or DV files with more than professional quality, so users can easily import them in Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Toast 6. [Download - 193KB] Tunes Menu 1.1 is a Mac OS X program which provides a simple and easy way to search online music stores via a system-wide menu. The update has added four stores in Australia, CD WOW!, dStore, ozcdshop, and TopShop. [Download - 170KB] PulpFiction 1.0.1 ($25) is an update to the Apple Design Award winning RSS/Atom feed reader. The latest update addresses several speed and stability issues. [Download - 1.9MB] The English-Hungarian/Hungarian-English dictionary offers about 100,000 words and 86,000 expressions, which will be updated regularly in the future. It recognizes Hungarian special characters used by either Mac OS X's built in Hungarian keyboard layout or the Hungarian keyboard layout used by many Hungarian users. NewsYouCanUse 2.6 is a menu-based RSS news feed reader, for viewing content from many sites, including MacNN. Version 2.6 offers numerous improvements, including: a 'hide Dock icon' menu command, XML parser refinements, and better handling of bad feeds. [Download - 440KB] ASRegister 1.0 is a helpful script for developers to add to make their Apple Scripts shareware. It offers a trial mode that limits usage to 30 launches. [Download - 5KB] Ableton Live 4 beta offers a "complete and inspiring" approach to MIDI sequencing, pattern recording, drag-and-drop sampling, virtual instruments and MIDI hardware support. Ableton has made substantial extensions and enhancements to existing functionality, including such features as swing/groove for audio and MIDI clips, a powerful new channel-routing scheme, simplified recording, and more. [Download - 16.5MB]
Thursby Software Systems today announced the beta release of ADmitMac 2.0. ADmitMac integrates Macs into Windows Active Directory and NT Domain environments with no schema changes, providing full cross-platform functionality. Highlights of the many new capabilities include: Full compatibility with Appleís Workgroup Manager, a new deployment application, and other new features. AD Commander is a Mac OS X application that allows users to perform administrative tasks for their Active Directory domain; it is now a part of the ADmitMac 2.0 Beta.
Evening Tech News: Blockbuster chairman and CEO John Antioco promised shareholders Tuesday that the video rental giant will take the fight to online rental rival Netflix when it launches its own Internet-based rental service this year; Microsoft, Dell and others are reportedly joining law enforcement to clean up the Web; music fans will buy more than 10 million digital music players in 2004, in one of the year's biggest consumer buying crazes, a study showed on Wednesday.
In Brief: Verbatim today announced new 1-4x Mini DVD-R ($20/5pk; available now) and 1-2x Mini DVD-RW discs ($30/3pk; due in August), which are only 3 inches in diameter but offer a capacity of up to 1.4GB and compliance with the DVD specifications. Gordano has released an upgrade to its cross-platform corporate Messaging Suite Collaboration Server that includes support for viewing calendars with Apple's iCal; Bitstream has released its first OpenType Pro Pack, Charter BT, which features six fonts: roman, italic, bold, bold italic, black and black italic; The second hour of NPR's Talk of the Nation radio call-in discuss the iPod and "how MP3 players are changing the culture when it comes to listening to music."
Macintosh Explorer 4.1 ($16) updates the integrated file browser and file management tool with a new tabbed file browsing feature and a easily accessible search field. It uses a heirarchical navigation style along with filter-based file browsing and file management tools such as the batch file info changer, back up utilities, folder archiving features and extended file information. [1.8MB] Automata 1.0 ($130) is a file-generation software for use with Adobe Illustrato 10.0.3 and Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. It can merge an Illustrator file (containing place holders) with a text source (containing content information) to generate custom output files in any or all of six file formats (Illustrator, PDF, EPS, JPEG, GIF and Flash) at up to 1500 files per hour. [16.3MB] IP Suite 1.0 includes two utilities to help network administrators: IP Scanner uses Rendezvous technology to collect realtime IP data from all the IP Broadcaster-enabled machines on a local area network, displaying the IP as well as the currently logged-in user on the machine. IP Broadcaster is freeware; IP Scanner is free for up to 4 machines and $20 for larger networks. [305KB] A Better Finder Attributes 3.5 ($10) adds the ability to set the creation date of digital camera picture files to the EXIF date the picture was taken, rather than the date that the picture was transferred first transferred to your Mac. The software can also be used for bulk changing of file dates and times, locking and unlocking of files, and showing/hiding file extensions. [2.3MB] NRG Address Validation 1.0 ($300 per year) provides integrated address management inside of FileMaker Pro, allowing for real-time data comparisons against United States Postal Service data. The software is compatible with FIleMaker Pro 5.5 and later. [form] SimpleChord 2.1 ($7) is a quick, handy reference to chords for musicians that help learn new chords, build progressions, transcription, and other tasks. It displays the notes in a chord, their positions on the keyboard, and can even play the chord aloud in any General MIDI instrument. [1.5MB] Cheetah3D 1.7 ($60) for Mac OS X 10.3 adds a new quad 3D view, improved camera control functions, new fill hole and brigde tools, a rewritten scalpel tool, raytracing improvements, and more. The 3D modeller and renderer offers many tools from simple polygon editing over advanced subdivision modelling to boolean operations and Bezier splines. [8.8MB]
Apple today announced that it has signed licensing agreements with three of the largest European independent music labels, Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group and V2, adding tens of thousands of additional independent tracks to the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany. "With three of the most influential independent record labels on board, iTunes Music Store customers in Europe now have access to an impressive catalog of independent artists including Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Interpol, The Libertines, Morrissey, the Pixies, Prodigy, Stereophonics, Paul Weller and The White Stripes."
Bare Bones Software today released Mailsmith 2.1.2, the latest version of its email client for Mac OS X. Mailsmith now supports server-side spam filtering, with an option to honor the canonical spam-classification headers used by SpamAssassin, BogoFilter, and other server-side anti-spam tools. Mailsmith users also can now integrate any Unix script or executable into the downloading process; it also adds a new preference for designating a folder to store extracted enclosures, property terms to the scripting dictionary for configuring mail accounts, and additional keyboard navigation options. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later and a full version is available for $100 (including SpamSieve spam-filtering software).
Mesa Dynamics today released theConcept, a text mining application that reads and analyzes electronic documents for keyword identification, content categorization and contextual research. theConcept extracts text from local files and Internet web sites, and can be extended to process results from search engines using an XML plug-in architecture. theConcept also leverages the power of Beholder, the image mining software launched by Mesa Dynamics in 2003. A limited trial version is available for Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) or later. A single user license, which includes Beholder 1.5, is available for $40.
Apple's iPod is "the latest rival to batter the radio business," proclaims today's edition of the The New York Post. Radio, which has seen listener levels drop 10 percent in the last five years, faces a challenge as consumers load thousands of songs they enjoy on an iPod and take it with them everywhere. "By leaving the 'computer' behind, Apple's new devices bring your MP3 files out of the personal, private sphere of a headphone environment and into the space where radio currently lives," Tom Webster of Edison Media Research told the Post. "A high-capacity MP3 player set to randomly shuffle through gigantic playlists can provide the sense of surprise and discovery that was previously the exclusive domain of radio," Webster added. DJs aren't too worried however. "If [people] want to listen to nothing but music, they'll go to iPod," said Power 105.1's Michael Saunders. "People are entertained by the radio... that's why you have huge morning personalities."
Morning Tech News Bill Gates will donate the entire projected $3.35 billion he stands to reap from Microsoft's one-time $3-a-share dividend to his charity... Verizon will roll out Fios, its fiber-based high-speed home Internet service with speeds of up to 30Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream on a limited basis in the Dallas area next month, PC World reports... The Justice Department is already monitoring Longhorn's development, the next version of Windows, to make sure it complies with the company's antitrust settlement... Israeli-based Bridgemar Services, developers of the iMesh peer-to-peer network, has agreed to pay $4.1 million to the record industry for copyright infringement and will prevent users of its service from sharing copyrighted music and video files... Molten silicon, designer molecules, and protein globules from a cow could one day become the future hard drives... and the U.S. House of Representations voted overwhelmingly to block a recent decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board that called for companies to treat stock options as an expense.
Availability of the iPod mini, which continues to face month-long back orders in the U.S., will be similarly tight when the product goes on sale worldwide Saturday. Calling global demand "unprecedented," Apple says it is consuming nearly every 4GB 1-inch hard drive that Hitatchi is manufacturing, and shipping out all the minis that it can. In The U.K., some resellers have been quoted up to an eight-week "lead-in" for the mini, according to Macworld UK. According to the NPD Group, Apple's three iPods and the iPod mini were the top four selling MP3 players from January through May. Meanwhile, the digital music player market--for both flash- and disk-based players--is expected to double in 2004 to 21.5 million with more than 5 million iPod users expected by the end of 2004. [updated]
Canon today introduced the LV-X4 micro-portable projector, which features an integrated ultra wide-angle lens, 1.6x optical zoom, and short throw distance that makes it possible to display a 100-inch diagonal image from 8.2 feet away. The projector replaces the current LV-X2 model and features an XGA resolution of 1024x768 and 1500 ANSI lumens of brightness. The LV-X4 weighs 6.2 pounds and will cost $2,000 when it goes on sale in August. [Site not updated.]
Apple, with its iLife, Final Cut Express, and Final Cut HD applications, is among a list of companies that will be featured at the Digital Lifestyle Expo, a new education and direct buying symposium series intended to show educators and the public how to harness the latest in digital technology. The Expo will kick off in Long Beach, CA, August 14-15, and will travel to New York, September 25-26, and Atlanta, November 13-14. All three DLexpo events will feature two-day symposiums and workshops. Instructors include David Pogue of the New York Times, Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times, Colin Smith of Photoshop Cafe, among others.
REAL Software has published a guide for porting Visual Basic applications to Linux and Mac OS X using REALbasic, which is compatible with all three platforms. "Visual Basic and REALbasic are very similar, so Visual Basic users quickly become familiar with REALbasic," said Geoff Perlman, president and CEO of REAL Software, in a statement. "Once familiar, these developers get a big payoff, because we provide both the information and tools they need to extend their capabilities and their software products, cross-platform." A VB Project Converter application has also been released free of charge.
Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury News says that in order for Apple to main the lead it has established with the iPod, the company will have to continually innovate. Gillmor points to the recent deal with Duke University, which expands the iPod's perceived use far beyond music. "The iPod is a small computer. It just doesn't have a personal-computer user interface. Expanding the mission of the iPod makes a lot of sense. The job of storing and playing back music can be handled by other devices, even if not as elegantly as on the iPod. This is the iPod's vulnerability," Gillmor writes, noting that his Treo 600 with a 512MB flash memory card and MP3 software has replaced his iPod as his music player on the go.
Sony today introduced the Cyber-shot DSC-P150, which it bills as the world's smallest 7.2 megapixel camera. The DSC-P150 measures just one inch thick and takes photos with a resolution of 3072x2304 and features Sony's Real Imaging Processor that speeds up start-up and shot-to-shot times while improving focus and exposure. The P150 also features a Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar 3x optical zoom lens. Shipments of the camera are expected to begin in September for $500; an optional Cyber-shot Station, which functions as a camera dock, will sell for $80. [Site not updated.]
Wired News offers an inside look at the development of the iPod through an interview with a former senior manager at PortalPlayer, the company Apple approached to help develop the device. "'The interesting thing about the iPod, is that since it started, it had 100 percent of Steve Jobs' time,' said Knauss. 'Not many projects get that. He was heavily involved in every single aspect of the project.' At the beginning of the project, Jobs held meetings about the iPod every two to three weeks, but when the first iPod prototypes were built, Jobs became involved daily...Knauss said Jobs' influence was sometimes idiosyncratic. For example, the iPod is louder than most MP3 players because Jobs is partly deaf, he said. 'They drove the sound up so he could hear it,' Knauss said."
In Brief: Apple is now shipping its "4G" iPods in both the US and some parts of Europe (e.g. Spain). Russian Mac users are asking Apple to add a Russian localization to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Digital Lifestyle Expo is a new education and direct buying symposium series with shows scheduled in Long Beach, New York City, and Atlanta. Mike Matas has released a free set of 18 toolbar icons, which developers can use in their applications. Ars Technica has posted in-depth review of AirPort Express, covering each of its four different functions. MacNN readers note Apple retail job openings for South Shore Mall (Braintree, MA) and an upcoming store in the Century City Shopping Mall (Los Angeles).
Zend has released Zend Studio 3.5, an update to its Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for PHP, the popular Web scripting language. It brings a new user interface, PHP 5 support, performance improvements and advanced code editing, analyzing and completion capabilities. Version 3.5 also offers secure remote debugging, active/passive remote debugging, custom code color schemes, code templates, secure file communication, SFTP and FTP over SSH support, better integration with CVS, and new online help. It is priced at $250 and includes 1 year of upgrades and support. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN