M-Audio today released Ozonic, its new integrated FireWire audio/MIDI production and performance tool that "turns a computer and standard music software into a complete compact studio." Ozonic includes audio and MIDI interfaces with a full-featured MIDI controller. It features a 37-note, velocity-sensitive, synth-action keyboard with three zones and assignable aftertouch. The device offers 40 assignable MIDI controllers, a 4 x 4 24-bit/96kHz analog audio interface, and XLR mic as well as instrument and stereo TRS line-in inputs. Ozonic also features direct hardware monitoring with level control and software mixing allows flexible routing of any input pair to any output pair. It will be available in December for $600.
In Brief: Creative Manager today announced Creative Project Manager and Creative Manager Pro 7.4, adding a new Excel Financial Interface, Client Profit & Loss reporting and upgraded support for the security enhancements in Safari 1.2.4 and iCal 1.5.4.... Allume Systems today announced StuffIt Deluxe 9.0 J, the latest Japanese version of its file compression, access, and organization software for Mac OS X.... BeLight Software today began shipping a free set of Christmas-oriented images and designs for Mail Factory, a Mac OS X software to design and print envelopes, shipping and address labels.... Crucial Ballistix Tracer is a high-performance memory featuring two rows of activity-indicating LEDs and blue ground effects LEDs - all custom integrated directly into the PCB and stylishly cooled with a jet-black heat spreader.
FirmTek has announced the shipment of its new external SeriTek/1SE2 Serial ATA PCI host adapter, with the bonus addition of Windows support on the same card. The $100 SeriTek/1SE2 extends Serial ATA's 1.5Gbits/sec performance to the outside of the computer, enabling users to take advantage of external Serial ATA drives and enclosures. FirmTek also announced the shipment of its new external SeriTek/1EN2 Serial ATA drive enclosure, "providing the ultimate in storage flexibility when combined with the new SeriTek/1SE2 host adapter on a Macintosh or PC."
@Last Software has announced the ability to exchange files between SketchUp and ArcGIS, offering GIS users the ability to rapidly create 3D models in SketchUp, incorporate the models in to their GIS database, and then display them in ArcScene and ArcGlobe, ESRI's 3D viewing environments. This allows users to visually explore the model in 3D, fly over the landscape, fly around buildings, go inside the buildings and look around, and then look out the windows of those buildings and see the landscape, all in the context of their GIS information. The SketchUp-ArcGIS plug-in enables the user to exploit SketchUp's modeling speed and ease-of-use to create geo-referenced 3D models, allowing users to extract geo-referenced coordinates directly from ArcGIS. The plugin is available for free.
Trendy Geek today announced that its high static, film sleeve Pod Shield product protection outerwear is now available for Apple's iPod mini. The Pod Shield Kit protects the back and front, helping to "keep the player's screen clean and scratch-free without concealing its coolness." For a limited time, the company is also offering a Pod Shield Screen Only protector kit for $0.01. The Pod Shield Screen Only kit contains three iPod screen protectors for regular size iPods. The transparent screens fit all generations and every full-sized iPod model and are made of a thin material that clings to the iPod using static (no glue). The Mini Pod Shields Kit ($13) contains twelve screen protectors, while the Pod Shields Screen Only kit with 3 protectors is $0.01. A Pod Shields Kit for full-sized iPod is $13 and has 6 front and 6 back protectors.
Propellerhead Software has announced version 3.0 of its music software system Reason. Version 3, focused on live playing, takes Reason "from the studio realm to the stage." Reason 3 introduces a new module, the Combinator, which allows users to build elaborate chains of Reason devices-instruments, effects, pattern sequencer etc and save as a Combi patch. It also supports complex instruments routed through effect units and dynamic processors; offers "out-of-the-box" integration with most major control surfaces including support for motorized faders and controller displays; includes an expanded soundbank with a wider palette of multi-sampled instruments and huge sounding Combi patches; a new browser for sound clips/files, and a high-end mastering suite with four band parametric + shelving EQ, a stereo processor, a fantastic sounding compressor and a maximizer with look ahead limiter. It is due in early 2005. (Pricing has not been announced.)
Kano Technologies has introduced its HardBox 800, a compact, fast external portable hard drive unit with storage capacities up to 400GB. The desktop unit measures 5.75" by 8.75" by 1.5" and features an internal universal AC switching power supply, whisper quiet cooling fan, and high-speed interface. Combined with high-performance hard disk drives and its FireWire 800/400, the HardBox 800 achieves data transfer rates up to 800Mb per second. The device also features a USB 2.0 port. It ships with cables and a portable travel case and is available in multiple capacities, including 40GB ($210), 80GB ($225), 120GB ($250), 200GB ($300), 250GB ($365), 400GB ($685) as well as a case-only ($150) configuration.
Sharper Image today announced the launch of its proprietary Sound Soother Fifty Aluminum-Cone MP3 Speaker System with LCD Remote Control. The three-in-one tabletop speaker system includes a cable for playing iPod, iPod mini and other MP3 devices, tranforming the "private-listening devices" into high-fidelity stereo systems with superior aluminum-cone driver technology. Built into Sharper Image Design's new product is a Sound Soother with a 50 environmental soundscapes, including Tropics, Desert Wind, Buggy Ride, Sailboat, Heartbeat, etc. The system measures 12.5" x 3.5 x 5.5 inches and weighs 2.25 lbs. It plugs into any standard outlet and can be controlled from anywhere in the room by a remote that features large toggle buttons and switches for both hands and a big, easy-to-read LCD screen with scrolling text. It is available for $200. Sharper Image is also selling the 20GB iPod and iPod mini as well as well as the iMotion Portable Audio System.
The iMac G5 has been named the "Computer of the Year" by The Washington Times: "It will cost close to $2,100 to get the supersized 20-inch model with extra RAM and a wireless keyboard and mouse. That's a relatively high price in this age of far-less-expensive Windows-based machines. But Apple Computers IMac G5 is a very impressive machine.....But even if Apple fell into the sea tomorrow, and if not another line of code were written for the Mac platform, the IMac G5 would still be a great achievement that should deliver sterling performance for years. Its compactness, and Apple's emphasis on wireless computing are two very positive factors. I believe this is a computer that will deliver several years of good use and thus is a good value for the money."
Lemke Software has released GraphicConverter 5.4, an update to the popular graphics utility. Users can now modify the file type/create via a contextual menu in the application and Finder (optional), the ability to display more photo information, ICC support in PICT import/export, more transparency options, a new shadow effect, support for digital camera display of settings, better multipage TIFF compression settings, and several other enhancements. It offers many different file conversions, graphic effects, web gallery generation, batch conversion, and much more. It is available for Mac OS 9/X for $30.
Thomson ResearchSoft today began shipping EndNote 8 for Mac OS X, an upgrade to its popular bibliographic management software. EndNote 8 offers Unicode support for any language, unlimited library size, new reference types and fields, and Microsoft Word 2004 compatibility. It also offers the ability to preview a formatted reference list, a new compact Search interface, and support for transfers to handhelds running Palm OS 4.1 - 5.x. The software offers the ability to search multiple internet databases using one of 430 different connection files through a single interface, direct export of references from third-party sources to Endnote, drag & drop support for references, and more. The application worsk with Microsoft Word X and RTF files created by OpenOffice, FrameMaker, AppleWorks, and more. Endnote is available for $240 (electronic download) or $300 (CD and manual).
Sony today unveiled its first MP3-compatible, hard disk Walkman music player in an attempt to recover ground lost to Apple's iPod, according to Reuters: "The product will be available in Britain before Christmas at 249 pounds ($462.70) and elsewhere in Europe in early 2005 at 369 euros ($489). The new hard disk player is the successor of Sony's first hard disk Walkman, which it introduced this summer but which can play back only music compressed with Sony's proprietary Atrac software. Atrac is the format Sony uses on its Internet music shop Connect, which opened in Europe this summer.... Sony's new 20GB Walkman is 30 pounds more expensive than Apple's 20GB product selling for 219 pounds. But Sony says the device comes in five colours, plays 2.5 times longer on one battery charge than iPod's 12 hours and can contain 10,000 to 13,000 songs, at least twice as many as an iPod because of Atrac's better compression technology."
Downsize 2.0 ($20) offers an easy way to prepare images for the web or email. Version 2.0 introduces the ability to add watermarks, as well as simple frames, to the processed images. Offering full iPhoto integration, users need only organize their images once, and can then process entire iPhoto libraries with the click of a button. [267KB] Apple Ethernet Driver for Mac OS X 10.3.3 for Mac OS X provides improved connection stability. This updater is recommended for all Xserve systems and PowerMac systems with the Apple PCI or PCI-X Ethernet card installed. [236KB] CDFinder 4.3 ($25) is designed to organize your disk and data archive and to track digital media assets. It offers multi-computer access (with a business license), powerful search functions, an offline browser (with support for ZIP, TAR, StuffIt, and Apple Installer files), and more. The new version has a new and improved UI, enhanced export and cataloging features, and other improvements. [2.0MB] DeskDoodle 1.1 ($10) adds new hot keys added for all tools and modes, new pen widths, more color presets, the ability to save the doodle file only, and more. The application allows you to draw directly onto the screen, including creating notes, stamp pictures, use it for presentations, etc. It offers several drawing omdes and simple drawing tools, such as an pencil, eraser, stamper, and type tool. [1.5MB] QuickAccessCM 1.6 (free) is a plug-in for easy access to frequently used folders, documents and applications. It offers functions for "Quick Access" (launch items/docs direclty), "Move To" and "Copy To" preset (custom) folders, and more. Version 1.6 adds the Finder's "Recent Applications" and "Recent Documents" submenus and the ability to copy across volumes. [325KB] JIVA (free) is the Java a new Mac OS X-friendly Java-based volunteer supercomputing system (much like SETI@home). The JIVA client can run as a screen saver under Windows, Mac OS X or UNIX as an idle service. The company is soliciting offers for "a partner with a suitable large-scale application to be run on the JIVA public grid network and are requesting proposal applications."
Informatix Software today announced that a Macintosh version of Piranesi 4, its "3D painting" technology, will be available early in 2005. "With Piranesi, designers can start with simple models and renderings, and quickly fill in details and create hand-drawn effects." As previously announced, Piranesi 4 adds many new capabilities such as the ability to use 3D models in 3DS, Sketchup, DXF, and Archvision RPC format; a substantially improved user interface layout; and a range of user-requested improvements to the painting effects. In addition, over 300 new cutout and texture images have been added to the Piranesi library. Customers who purchase the current version of Piranesi for Mac (Piranesi 3.1) after 1st December 2004 will be entitled to a free upgrade to Piranesi 4.
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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