Macworld has announced the winners of its 2004 Editors' Choice Awards. Photoshop Elements 3, GarageBand, the iMac G5, iPod mini, Xserve G5, BBEdit 8.0, FileMaker Pro 7, Halo: Combat Evolved, QuarkXPress 6.5, and OmniWeb 5.0.1 were among the products honored for excellence in their respective categories. Thirty-two products were selected, among thousands of Mac software and hardware offerings
Research firm Piper Jaffray on Friday said an update on iTunes downloads provided yesterday by Apple points to a moderate upside for the computer company. "Piper Jaffray said that based on Apple's iTunes update Thursday, the weekly iTunes run rate is about 5.5 million songs per week, up from 3.5 million to 4.0 million in the fiscal fourth quarter ended September. The research firm raised its fiscal first-quarter iTunes download estimate to 68.5 million from 52.1 million and that downloads could reach 474 million in calendar 2005, compared with Piper Jaffray's current estimate for 256 million." Piper Jaffray maintained an "outperform" rating on Apple with a $100 price target.
DVD Database X 1.5 ($20) is a full-featured database program designed to help you keep track of any size DVD collection. The program features include, ease of use, an intuitive interface, online movie lookup, customizable DVD label and jacket printing, and more. Version 1.5 adds support for UPC Barcode Scanners, Amazon.com Integration, and iPod Export. [Download - 2.4MB] Battery 2.1 is the ultimate drum sampler for creating and fine-tuning all of the percussive elements in any production. The latest version delivers Direct-From-Disk streaming, MIDI CC automation, In-Kit-Preview, and enhanced output configuration facilities. Additionally, Battery 2.1 offers a new import browser, extended Rex import, improved host automation, and various other improvements. [Download - 23.7] Audiocorder 4.2.0 ($20)c is a program which allows your Mac to act as a sophisticated audio recorder. In one mode, it operates as a volume operated (VOX) audio recorder, but the software may also be programmed with a recording schedule, specifying when it should start and stop recording, much like a VCR. The latest version adds several improvements, including a buffered record feature and a "sound grab" feature to record sounds that have already occurred, as well as several bug fixes. [Mac OS X - 604KB] [Classic - 621KB] EchoMac 1.14 allows any licensed amateur radio user using MacOS X to connect and talk to another amateur radio operator on a remote system whether it is a repeater, link, conference room or another computer user. The new version adds optional Growl notifications, the beginnings of a HELP doc, Airport fixes and more. [Download - 118KB] Stock Investment Guide 1.5.6 ($40) is an application that allows stock investment club members to perform NAIC-style securities analysis. The latest version adds the current 52-week High & Low price bar to the Graph and printed Report, and modifies the the user interface to provide one-button retrieval of online stock data. Version 1.5.6 also alters the ssg data file import routine and packs several bug fixes. [Mac OS X - 1.3 MB] [Classic - 1.2 MB]
Canadian consumers may soon be paying less for MP3 players like Apple's iPod after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that special copyright levies applied to digital music players in the country are not legal, reports The Globe and Mail. The biggest charges have been paid by iPod buyers, which have among the largest capacity to store music. In Canada, the $400 price tag for an iPod has included a $25 copyright levy. "A 71-page decision by Mr. Justice Marc Noël found that although the Copyright Board of Canada was seeking to protect music writers and performers from the “harm” caused by digital copying of music when it imposed the MP3 levies last December, the board did not have the legislative authority to do so." As a result of Thursday's decision, the levy can no longer be collected. Apple was unavailable to comment on whether a price decrease is in the works.
This morning, subscribers to Apple's .Mac internet service will be greeted by a number of new 'holiday' membership perks, including a free game and downloadable chapters from a new Mac book. In the game, Holiday Express from HipSoft, gamers will travel across the country loading the train with beautiful pictures—including their own custom images. The holiday game normally retails for $20. To compliment this freebee, members are also being offered a 25% discount on any existing Mac game from HipSoft, including Digby's Donuts, Flip Words!, and Trivia Machine. Also, .Mac members are offered two free downloadable chapters from Robin Williams "Cool Mac Apps" book. The chapters cover .Mac's HomePage and Backup applications. Members may also purchase the book in its entirety at a 30% discount.
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Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives