Seiko Instruments USA has released Software Development Kit (SDK) for Mac developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) who want to create applications for the company's line of Smart Label Printers. Seiko Instruments' new SDK, now availalbe in beta form, is the first designed for Mac label printing applications; it simplifies the development process to just a few lines of code, according to the company: "We've realized there is a huge untapped market of Mac users who could use a handy small footprint printer on their desktop. Releasing this SDK is the first of many steps we plan to take in the coming months to give both consumer and office users a tool to make single label printing easy and efficient."
With the update to iTunes 4.7.1, Apple has quietly introduced a limit to the number of users who can access your iTunes shared music per day, according to several posts on websites and Apple's own support area. The limit applies to the number of unique machines that can access the iTunes library via the built-in sharing feature and is separate from its iTunes music license agreement, which allows playback of purchased songs on five different computers. The sharing limitation prevents more than five different machines from accessing a users' shared playlist, regardless of whether the song is purchased from iTunes (protected by Apple's FairPlay DRM software) or whether it is a standard (unprotected) MP3 file. "This applies merely to the Rendezvous sharing feature of your music library and playlist... even if they are non-protected AAC's or MP3's and/or CD's you've ripped yourself."
In Brief: Disney's new incoming CEO Robert Iger has one top priority his to-do list: to determine if he really wants Steve Jobs to go away, according to a CNN/Money report on the the future of the Disney/Pixar relationship.... Motorola's abrupt pullback on the debut of the iTunes mobile phone last week offers hints at the power struggle between the telcos and mobile phone manufacturers, leaving the future of an iTunes phone on the Rocks.... Apple's MONster utility, included with its CHUD developer kit, contains a direct reference to a "YPPC 970MP" buried within its binary code, hinting that the company may introduce Macs with a dual-core PowerPC chip.... KarmaDownload is a new UK-based Indie music service that offers a pay-per-song model--starting at $0.99 per song and $9.99 per album--on all of its MP3 files, which are compatible with playback on a variety of devices, including the iPod.
Analyst Keith Bachman of Banc of America Securities today reiterated his "buy" rating on Apple stock with a new target of $48. NewRatings.com reports that "in a research note published this morning, the analyst [said] that Apple's Mac Mini product portfolio is likely to significantly strengthen the company's market share and distribution channels in the long term. Apple would witness substantial opportunities for market share gains in the forthcoming quarters through third-party channels, without employing much capital."
Napster CEO Chris Gorog, touting the "Windows Media Audio world", says that Steve Jobs must "pretty frightened of the Napster To Go technology," following Jobs' "petty" email to top record industry executives, alerting them of a security gap in Napster’s service: "Frankly, that’s what I think the impetus was for him to fire that off. It was really pretty silly. He was claiming we had some sort of security gap, and of course we didn’t. That technology — like recording something off of a radio broadcast — had been out there for 10 years. Certainly his service is susceptible to it as well. We saw it as a sign of weakness, that he’s very concerned about a technology that makes his hardware and his software irrelevant in our view." The interview notes that Napter's Gorog countered with an email defending Napster's security and pointed out "how trivial it was to unlock 'a large collection of iTunes music in seconds.'"
Apple has hired ex-Microsoft XBox Live executive Julia Miller, suggesting that the company may be planning to introduce a subscription-based iTunes music download service, according to an AppleInsider report. Miller, formerly the Director of Marketing at XBox Live, was responsible for worldwide marketing and sales for XBox Live, the world's first broadband-only online gaming service. The online gaming service based on a monthly subscription model. "She brings to Apple more than fifteen years of consumer sales and marketing background, including extensive experience with SegaNet, the first online console gaming service." Phone calls to Apple confirmed her employment, but in a brief phone conversation with MacNN, Miller declined to provide her title or job description at Apple as well as refused to confirm her former employment.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) announced today that it is now offering the TransPod all-in-one car solution for iPod in Black and Silver. The DLO TransPod lets owners transmit, charge and secure their iPod in their cars using one compact device. The DLO TransPod works on any frequency and is "consistently rated one of the best sounding transmitters available for the iPod." The new Black and Silver TransPods now match most car interiors and work equally well with the 20G iPod, U2 iPod, iPod photo as well as the new iPod minis. The DLO TransPod also charges the iPod while cradling it in an adjustable, easy to position dock that attaches to any standard 12V cigarette lighter. Both colors are available immediately for $100.
Feral recently released the Commandos Battle Pack demo. The demo is taken from Commandos 3 and includes a tutorial and one full mission. Feral says the action takes place in wartime Central Europe, "somewhere on the Franco-German border." Players must "stop a Berlin-bound train full of stolen art treasures. For this mission there are just three Commandos available, the Green Beret, the Thief and the Spy. Use them well to prise the Nazis from their plunder. Good Luck and don't hesitate to kill."
Media 100 has announced the release of Media 100 HD 10.1. Version 10.1 now includes a new Media 100 software codec and other key enhancements that make the 10-bit-uncompressed Macintosh-based system "even more powerful and unique" for projects that use HD, SD, or require real-time mixing of different codecs in the same timeline. Key New Features of version 10.1 include a new Media 100 software codec, QuickTime V out support, and real-time HD playback for flip, flop and color effects using a draft mode. Media 100 HD is available now, with the Version 10.1 software expected to be available this week. Pricing for complete Media 100 HD system configurations is available from Media 100's resellers and depends upon SD and HD editing requirements and the amount of high-speed media storage required.
Microsoft’s Mac BU today announced that its .PST Import Tool for Entourage 2004 is now available. "Microsoft Entourage 2004 users who want to import PST files from Microsoft Outlook 2001 for Mac can use the instructions in this document to install the PST Import Tool." Announced earlier this year at Macworld, the .PST Import Tool helps customers more easily migrate data from Outlook 2001 for Mac to Entourage 2004. Microsoft began a public beta program immediately after the announcement to solicit customer feedback that would further shape and perfect the tool before its release.
In brief: Apple's .Mac service is offering $50 off Intuit's QuickBooks 2005, its financial software that integrates with .Mac for instant backups to a user's iDisk.... Big Nerd Ranch has announced its latest Core Bootcamp for Mac OS X for June 13-17 that offers "richer and more intensive study of Unix programming by examining the underpinnings of the OS X operating system".... The iPod may now have some "tougher competition" from $250 Sony's PlayStation Portable, The Motley Fool says.... America Online has quietly updated the terms of service for its AIM instant messaging application, making several changes that concern Internet privacy advocates.
id Software’s DOOM 3 ($50) for Macintosh began shipping today and will be on retail shelves everywhere by March 19, publisher Aspyr said. DOOM 3 is the much-anticipated 3D action game that utilizes id's revolutionary new 3D graphics engine to create "disturbingly realistic graphics," with "never before seen detail and real-time lighting." The Associated Press has called DOOM 3, “one of the scariest games ever made,” and TIME magazine says DOOM 3 is “too lifelike for comfort.” The game quickly became the fastest selling action shooter in the U.S. when it was released for the PC. Players can "fight the forces of evil" as a lone marine or battle other marines in team or deathmatch-based multiplayer modes.
Absynth 3 ($340) is now avialable as a demo. Native Instrument's application is a capable synthesizer and sampling application that now sports full surround functions, multi-channel support, new oscillator functions and additional integrated effects, and a live input function for realtime sound management. [Download - 37MB] 24U FM Template 2.1 is a template for building FileMaker 7 native plug-ins. It adds new support for CodeWarrior 9.4, Xcode 1.5/1.1, MS Visual Studio .NET 2003, and more. It is a template project for developing FileMaker Pro external function plug-ins using popular development environments. [Download - 123KB] PlayPod 1.0 beta 4 ($17) is the latest version of the podcast (audio broacast) client and RSS news viewer. Beta 4 adds the last major feature for the 1.0 release: the ability to convert downloaded files to a bookmark-able AAC format. [Download - 1.0MB] J2SEditor 2.0 is an IPTC editor with file management capabilities designed for professional photographers and photo agencies. Version 2.0 adds the ability to export IPTC captions to xml files, improves processing speed, folder generation, and more. [Download - form] TextSoap 4.1 ($25) is the latest version of the text processing utility. Version 4.1 is a maintenance release that includes better Eudora integration with contextual menus, a custom cleaner editor with simpler find and replace action, new documentation and several new cleaners. [Download - 3.4MB] Creative Manager Pro 7.6 ($175 per month) is the latest version of the full-featured system that helps with project and ad agency management. Version 7.6 adds enhanced security, improvements to core features, and tighter integration with Mac OS X 10.3.8. [Download - form]
Chronos today released SOHO Art Pack, a commercial-grade collection of 40,000+ photos, photo objects, and vector clip art images. The SOHO Art Pack is a collection of searchable clip art that works with the Chronos clip art browser. Each graphic in the collection is assigned a name, a category, and a list of keywords. The collection includes 40,000+ commercial-grade photos (300 dpi), 10,000 photo objects (300 dpi), and 25,000 vector clip art graphics in EPS format. The collection is designed specifically for the Chronos SOHO Series of products as well as StickyBrain 3.4 or higher. SOHO Art Pack will ship on a single DVD starting March 25, 2005. It is available now for $30.
J.P. Morgan raised its March quarter and fiscal year estimates for Apple, saying concerns over increasingly aggressive moves by competitives in the portable music player and digital music store markets are overdone. Its checks show Apple's March quarter momentum is exceeding typical consumer seasonality; the broker now sees a March quarter EPS of 24 cents on revenue of $3.23 billion, compared to its earlier view of 23 cents on revenue of $3.17 billion.
MacPractice this morning announced the April release of three Software Development Kits (SDK) for its Cocoa practice management software, MacPractice MD SDK, MacPractice DDS SDK, and MacPractice DC SDK. Each SDK will cost $1000 and requires an annual support contract. Pre-release orders are being accepted for $750. MacPractice MD for physicians, MacPractice DDS for dentists, and MacPractice DC for chiropractors have been in beta testing since December and will debut this March, on schedule. The March release has integrated accounting, patient and insurance billing, and management and database report “Abilities.” Scheduling and EClaims are being developed for release in May or June.
Several Power Book G4 owners on Apple's online support forum discuss an issue where whites lines appear on the display after extensive and prolonged use. The issue seems to affect a wide range of Power Book G4 (Titanium generation) models. However, a large number of users with the 667Mhz model report the issue. Most users are running Mac OS X 10.3.8, and the issue does not appear to be software related, as it occurs on system versions, and does not appear on a screen capture. Apple has yet to respond to the issue publicly.
IOGEAR today launched its hi-speed, bi-directional Pocket Card Reader. The Plug-n-Play device features MultiMedia Card (MMC) and Secure Digital Card (SD) readers as well as USB 2.0 connectivity. The PC- and Mac-compatible drive is specifically designed for digital cameras, but is also ideal for using with Palmtop PCs, Handheld PCs, PDAs and Voice Recorders. The Pocket Card Reader is priced at $15 and is available immediately from all major catalog resellers, online resellers and selected retail outlets. It ships with IOGEAR's 3-year warranty and is backwards compatible with USB 1.1.
Burton has introduced a new Bluetooth-enabled snowboard jacket designed for both iPod and cell phone users. The snowboard jacket, developed in conjunction with Motorola, offers a control panel at the wrist, caller ID and headphones in the hood. Boarders can carry their iPod in the wired top pocket as well as a cell phone in the Bluetooth pocket for complete control of both through the jacket controls. Burton, however, doesn't recommend snowboarding with music, saying that "Kids are doing it with or without us, so we've made it easier. But we don't recommend that people ride with music on the slopes." The jacket is due in November 2005 for $500.
Apple has released a free 30-day trial of Logic Express 7, its virtual studio application that integrates both music and audio production. According to one reader the trial version appears to be a full version without any software instruments or loops. Logic Express 7, released last September, features multi-channel recording, support for Apple Loops, GarageBand/iTunes integration, Apple Loops, automation functions, a comprehensive notation editor, track mixer, MIDI editing, high-quality effect plug-ins, more than a dozen instruments, and more. The full, unrestricted version is available for $300 from the Apple Store.
Chronos has announced StickyBrain 3.4, a free update to its note manager for Mac OS X. Version 3.4 introduces iPhoto and SOHO Series clip art integration. It features a new iPhoto image browser for browsing iPhoto albums. Users can quickly scroll through thousands of photos and drag the photo to any note in StickyBrain. It also offers better integration wtih SOHO Business Cards and SOHO Labels & Envelopes with a new clip art browser that displays images by category and offers a keyword search functionality. StickyBrain is designed to help users organize digital notes, reminders, alarms, pictures, URLs, etc. It is available for Mac OS X 10.3 for $40.
RE:Vision Effects has released a major update to Twixtor, its popular retiming solution for After Effects, Final Cut Pro, combustion and Premiere Pro. Twixtor 4.5 introduces a complete rewrite of its tracking. Twixtor is much more accurate, tracks objects farther, and exhibits fewer artifacts when there are objects crossing in the scene. This means less tearing and stretching of objects as they cross or go out of the frame. Twixtor now includes a smart blending option for pans and zooms to prevent inappropriate streaking or weird artifacts at frame borders. Twixtor also adds an option to automatically enhance dark imagery or imagery with poorly defined edges. "With the new features, many pieces of footage that were previously difficult to track become well behaved." The plug-in is $330 or $66 for the reader only.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
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