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iPod shuffle \"Wrappers
Wrappers are a new kind of limited edition slip on case for the iPod shuffle. They're available world-wide in over 40 different designs with prices starting at £8.00. "Every Wrapper is an original, hand made, limited edition, embroidered work of art. The most complex designs have over 25,000 stitches - which works out at over 400 stitches per square centimetre - with up to ten colours. This gives Wrappers a knitted, tactile feel in your hand which you'll love after years of shiny plastic." You can purchase Wrappers online using a PayPal account. Customers who don't have a PayPal account will be asked to fill in a name, address and credit card details.
FWD nRAID storage
FireWire Depot today announced the nRAID - its first Network Direct Attach 2.5 terabyte RAID 0,1,3,5 system. nRAID offers the same RAID functionality as the company's eRAID enclosure, yet nRAID allows direct connection to any network without the need for IP configurations or extra servers. nRAID is designed from the ground up for easy expansion and secure data storage and sharing of all your files in a fast, easy, cost-effective and extremly high fault tolerance system.
XtremeMac today announced an effort to focus all of its resources on the iPod market, selling its line of pro server products to Gizmac. The highly popular XrackPRO and XtroVERT server products, will now be manufactured, marketed and sold by Gizmac. XrackPRO and XtroVERT comprise XtremeMac's pro solutions business unit. Gizmac, an Apple-centric accessory company, is led by Tim Cave, one of the original founders of XtremeMac and co- creator of the pro product line. "Now that Gizmac has acquired our pro solutions business unit, XtremeMac can focus solely on the iPod market and fulfill our commitment to bringing the best iPod accessories to the industry."
Tracktion 2 is an easy-to-use music production application that contains many features to professionally record and mix music on a Mac. Tracktion's boasts simple single-screen interface and streamlined operation. Traction is intended for recording tracks, MIDI programming, and mixing songs. It offers VST and ReWire support, and low CPU usage. Developed by programmer Julian Storer and Mackie, Tracktion 2 is a major step forward from the original version, adding more than 100 new features and updates, while still maintaining the core feature set. A demo version of Tracktion 2 was made available today.
NI ships Kontakt 2
Native Instruments today announced that the second generation of its flagship sampler is now available in stores worldwide. First announced at NAMM in January, Kontakt 2 is now available in stores worldwide. It features a powerful new sampling engine, comprehensive surround integration, the unique Kontakt Script Processor (KSP), integrated convolution effects, and a massive 15GB sample library. The new engine includes multiprocessor and AltiVec support for improved performance on G4/G5 machines; other new features include features an improved interface and new "universal" import support. Version 2 also incorporates five different sampler modes, ranging from classic sample playback to realtime pitch shifting, time-stretching, and precise drum loop slicing as well as over 30 filters and effects. It is available for $580, while upgrades for owners of version 1.x are $170.
8x DL SuperDrive for iBook
MCE Technologies today announced an 8X DVD-Recordable slot-loading internal SuperDrive upgrade to replace the tray-loading drive in the Apple 12- and 14-inch iBook G3. The MCE 8X Slot-Loading SuperDrive for the iBook G3, designed in white to match the iBook's color, replaces the iBook's original tray-loading drive. In addition to playing CD audio and DVD video, the drive writes to CD media at 24X, to both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW media at up to 8X speed, and can record to Double Layer media at up to 2.4X. The MCE 8X Slot-Loading SuperDrive upgrade for iBook G3 is available for $200. It is compatible with Apple's iLife/Finder applications. MCE requires that the drive be installed at a local MCE Authorized Service Centers or at MCE.
Martha thanks Jobs
In brief: Apple is once again up for recognition by the UK's Design and Arts Direction charity (D&AD), which is recognized as a standard of excellence internationally.... During Sirius Radio's announcement of Martha Stewart's new Living channel, she reportedly thanked Steve Jobs for making radio accessible to everyone via the iPod -- an apparent mix-up on Stewart's part between the iPod and Sirius' portable satellite radios.... The role of FileMaker Pro in post-production for film, commercial spots and television programs will be featured during the 2005 NAB Conference at the Final Cut Pro Users Group meeting April 20th at 5:00 p.m.
Default Folder X 2.0
St. Clair Software has announced the Default Folder X 2.0, an update of its utility for enhancing Open and Save dialogs in Mac OS X. New in Default Folder X 2.0 is: compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger," better Save As dialogs that work more intuitively in many applications, and revamped preference loading and saving. Many compatibility and performance issues have been addressed. The English version is available now. Localized French, Dutch, Japanese and German versions will be released as soon as they are complete. This update is free for registered users of Default Folder X. Default Folder X is distributed as shareware, requiring a $35 registration fee for use beyond a free 30 day trial period.
Panther Safari gets boost
Mossberg on security
Walter Mossberg writes about "a digital crime wave" afflicting PCs connected to the Internet in his latest Wall Street Journal article. "The Windows computing platform is in a genuine crises," writes Mossberg. "Windows computers are being attacked, every day, by an international army of digital criminals who seek to spy on users, turn their own computers against them and deface, corrupt or destroy their data." To safeguard from viruses and spyware -- "which can track your activities, bombard you with unwanted ads, even steal your identity" -- Mossberg suggests switching to the Mac platform for users "totally fed up with the security crisis." According to Mossberg, "Macs have better hardware, a better operating system and better bundled software than Windows PCs. They are as good as, and often better than, Windows PCs at e-mail and Web surfing; at word processing and other productivity tasks; and at handling digital photos, videos and music."
FirmTek 4-port SATA cards
FirmTek today announced began shipping its newest Serial ATA host adapters: the four-port SeriTek/1VE4 (external) and SeriTek/1V4 (internal) adapters. These adapters join FirmTek's line of Serial ATA solutions, which include "the world's first" internal and external Serial ATA adapters for the Macintosh, the SeriTek/1S2 and SeriTek/1SE2, and its external enclosure, the SeriTek/1EN2. The new SeriTek/1VE4 and SeriTek/1V4 adapters offer 133MHz PCI-X interfaces for support for both Power Mac G5s as well as legacy PCI-based Macs. The cards feature direct booting from attached hard drives, hot-swap capability (1VE4 only), support for native Mac OS X RAID 0/1, and compatibility with Mac OS 8/9/X.
LightWave 3D 8.3
NewTek today announced the forthcoming release of the free 8.3 update to LightWave 3D. The company said it has optimized the software for multi-core processor systems. Following NewTek's 64-bit beta announcement, LightWave 3D is "leading the industry again" as "the first professional 3D graphics application to provide optimization and support for multi-core technology." Multi-core processor technology provides the power of two processors on a single chip. The release will be available to registered owners of LightWave as a free download within a few days.
DeckLink, HDLink software
Blackmagic Design today announced that its DeckLink for the Macintosh software now includes full compatibility with Apple's new Final Cut Pro 5 and also offers improvements for DI feature film workflow with new custom capture gamma table support and instant DPX file format support. Blackmagic's DeckLink cards now include support for HDV playback via DeckLink, 12 channels of audio HD capture and playback, mixed media formats in the timeline, and realtime effects in HD. DeckLink for Macintosh 5.0 will be available when Apple ships FCP 5.0 (due in May). It is available for free with all DeckLink PCI cards, which start at $300. The company also debuted its FrameLink software for instant DPS compatibility and HDLink Monitoring Converter 1.7, an update to its performance monitoring solution that includes enhanced workflow, color correction and noise reduction features.
Blackmagic Design today announced the Multibridge bi-directional converters capable of instantly switching between HD and SD with PCI Express. The Multibridge converts analog equipment to SDI-based systems by simultaneously converting from digital to analog and analog to digital. When connected via the built-in high-speed PCI Express connections (up to 25 times faster than FireWire-based solutions), Multibridge can be used as the world's highest quality capture and playback solution. Leveraging the PCI Express 10 GBps connection, Multibridge offers a complete system capable of supporting high video data rate capture and playback from 10-bit uncompressed standard definition (SD), high definition (SD), or 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 feature film quality. Both will ship in mid-2005.
Intel will launch its first dual-core processor today, as indicated by company officials Friday. The 3.2GHz chip and chip set will appear in high-end desktops and entry-level workstations targeting PC enthusiasts, such as gamers. The announcement comes as Mac enthusiasts await Apple's next Power Mac G5 update, which many believe will deliver the first dual-core G5 processors from IBM. Dell said that within the coming weeks, it will begin shipping its Precision 380 workstation and Dimension XPS desktop with the new chip and chip set. An Intel spokesperson said he expects other PC makers to announce similar systems next week.
iPod vs Dell
In brief: The failure of Apple's first wireless networking initiative was not Apple's fault, it was the fault of the network provider, France Telecom, says MLAgazine.... Apple still dominates the portable music arena, says Orlando Sentinel, and one of the more noteworthy challengers to the iPod (from Dell) "handily beats the iPod on price but doesn't match it for style or ease of use".... Garage Band loops by Nine Inch Nails from the song "The Hand That Feeds" are now available for download.... Apple has started enrolling for its Summer Apple Camp for Kids 2005, taking place this July.... Playlist Club opens its doors in London and Philadelphia once again this month to invite its audience of music lovers, music makers, dancers, judges, amateur DJs, remixers and mash-up artists to share their favorite songs using iPods.
Adobe yesterday announced an agreement to license, develop and distribute the rotoscoping technologies of Curious Software. Adobe intends to use the licensed technology to expand the professional capabilities of its product line by integrating it into future Adobe software. With technology from Curious Software's gFx Pro, Adobe will have access to a powerful paint engine for moving images, a sophisticated roto-matte system and a range of features for wire and rig removal or content restoration. "Adobe is investing in this rotoscoping technology because it complements our existing product strengths and will help simplify video workflows."
Flexible Innovations today released egrips appliqués designed for the Apple iPod. The super-grippy egrips appliqués adhere to an iPod, giving it a unique appearance and providing a better grip, to keep it from slipping out of your hand or off any surface. Unlike iPod tattoos, egrips are intended to be more than cosmetic. egrips appliqués are made of an easy to clean, durable, silicone based material designed to protect the device. egrips appliqués are also available for cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, digital cameras and many other mobile devices. Two-packs are $15 and three-packs are $20.
MindMap 3.5 released
CS Odessa today released ConceptDraw MINDMAP 3.5, an update for its "mind-mapping" software for Mac OS X. This version adds tools for setting or changing the initial order of branches that better represents thinking process. The application allows users to brainstorm ideas and convert them into attractive visual trees, called "mind maps, to generate and evaluate a lot of options, find solutions or make better decisions." The update also lets users choose background color, makes branch reconnection easier and improves export to PowerPoint. ConceptDraw MINDMAP 3.5 is available for $150 (Personal) and $200 (Professional).
Sorenson Squeeze 4.1
Sorenson Media today began shipping Sorenson Squeeze 4.1, an update to its video encoding and compression application suite. Focused on integrating more seamlessly with video editing and distribution workflows, the Sorenson Squeeze 4.1 Compression Suite has added the ability to set destinations for compressed video files, include chapter markers for DVD production, and create transport streams for HDV and DVHS. Sorenson Squeeze 4.1 Compression Suite also introduces aacPlus audio and interoperates with optional Macintosh Windows Media 9 encoding components, allowing users to import and encode Windows Media 9 audio and video directly on the Mac. Sorenson Squeeze 4.1 is available for free to current users of Sorenson Squeeze 4.0.
SmartDisk FlashTrax XT
SmartDisk today introduced FlashTrax XT, a handheld portable device for storing, playing and sharing digital images, video and music. FlashTrax, which SmartDisk is demonstrating in Booth SL5828 at the NAB, is a palm-sized, portable multimedia player and video recorder that stores high-resolution images transferred from any flash memory card or video device and displays them on its 3.6" LCD screen, on a TV or a projector. In addition, it features music playback, a built-in FM tuner, and the ability to display slide shows (with music). FlashTrax XT, which includes a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, can also serve as an external USB 2.0 hard drive to transfer, store and access data. FlashTrax XT is available in 40GB ($400) and 80GB ($500) models. A previous generation FlashTrax digital player is $350 (20GB).
Norpath Elements Designer
Norpath today released Norpath Elements Designer, a product in its family of authoring products for rapidly creating interactive multimedia, learning, and information applications. Norpath Elements Designer allows budget conscious designers to create a wide range of interactive applications without having to write code or learn a scripting language. Leveraging the same technology as in its flagship Norpath Elements Studio software, Designer includes a complete suite of design tools for creating interactive graphics, animation, and multimedia; a full set of knowledge elements for creating learning, testing, survey, and other information exchange solutions; and many pre-built GUI, interaction, logic, and data elements to easily incorporate sophisticated features into custom applications.
iMac G4 upgrade pricing
TechnoWarehouse has reduced the price on its 466MHz iMac G4 processor upgrade. The upgrade is now available for $200, a $50 discount from its previous price. The company is also offering a $15 rebate on any returned (working) iMac CPU card. The G4 upgrade boosts iMac performance and supports any Mac OS from 9.x through 10.3--without any additional drivers. "The original iMac CPU was simply not powerful enough to run any version of Mac OS X. This G4 processor upgrade has 1MB of backside cache running at half the CPU speed, so not only do customers get a numerically greater processor clock speed, they also get double the cache memory. The result is a 2.5 times improvement in system speed." The user-installed upgrade includes a one-year warranty and works with Rev A/B/C/D iMacs.
Digidesign Pro Tools 6.9
Digidesign has released Pro Tools 6.9 software, which brings a new cross-platform feature set to Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools LE systems, its post production and advanced mixing applications. Pro Tools 6.9 software works with Avid Mojo and Digidesign AVoption|V10 video I/O peripherals and the Avid Media Station|PT companion application to give video post production facilities an integrated audio-for-video solution. Offering broader support for hardware interfaces, new software features, tighter integration with Avid picture systems, and a broader range of file standards, the company says that Pro Tools 6.9 provides improved collaboration throughout the post and broadcast production cycle.
Adobe to buy Macromedia
Adobe Systems today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion. "The combination of Adobe and Macromedia will provide customers a more powerful set of solutions for creating, managing and delivering compelling content and experiences across multiple operating systems, devices and media. Together, the two companies will meet a wider set of customer needs and have a significantly greater opportunity to grow into new markets, particularly in the mobile and enterprise segments." [updated with conference call notes]
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