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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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Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL