Telestream today released its Flip4Mac MXF Import Component for Mac OS X platform. The company says that the component is the first file-based solution to enable broadcasters to ingest MXF content directly from Sony XDCAM Professional Disc production systems into Final Cut Pro 5 for native IMX editing. The Flip4Mac MXF Import Component allows Mac users to browse and import MXF content from Sony XDCAM systems for quick, easy access to either DV or MPEG IMX media. Sony systems supported include the XDCAM Camcorder, PDW-1500 Compact Deck, and eVTR IMX MPEG video tape recorder. Content is automatically transferred to the Mac, then re-wrapped to a .mov file for Final Cut Pro editing. It is available now for $500.
American Technology Research weighs today sent a note to its clients regarding recent speculation and rumors about future models of the iPod. The firm believes flash memory pricing has "not dropped to a point where 4GB flash [iPod] is economical to put in an MP3 player." ATR analyst Shaw Wu said, "We could see 2GB flash, however we think it needs to be priced very competitively versus existing 4GB micro drive iPod mini at $199, potentially at $149 to minimize product overlap." Regarding recent rumors that Apple might introduce a 2GB flash iPod, ATR said there are two possibilities. The first is that Apple may introduce a device similar to the iPod shuffle, but with a small screen for navigation. The other possibility, according to ATR, is that Apple might introduce a thinner, more compact version of the iPod mini, with 2GB of flash storage, priced below the 4GB microdrive-based model.
In a report issued today, American Technology Research said it believes Apple "remains the best-positioned to capitalize on the MP3 opportunity with arguably the industry's most powerful and complete stack of hardware, software, and service." ATR also thinks the core Mac business "could see good growth with new product momentum and as more 'switchers' convert to the Mac platform." However, the firm now rates AAPL shares "Hold" with a $40 price target. "We find its shares fairly valued at these levels and remain concerned with slowing growth and high investor expectations." ATR also commented on recent rumors of new iPod models. The report looks at future flash players, as well as possible changes to the hard drive-based iPod mix.
StickyBrain 3.6 ($40) updates the third-generation note manager for Mac OS X. This new version adds drag and drop import/export of folders and documents, including text, rich text (RTF), MS Word documents (.doc), or web (HTML) files (under Mac OS X Tiger) as well as a dozen small improvements and bug fixes. It is a free update. [Download - 17MB] Sleep Monitor 2 (Ä20) watches, remembers, and charts any Mac's power use. It can create charts showing how long the Mac was in use, asleep, and switched off as well as provide charts for battery levels and critical power messages. [Download - option-click] Quark Action Pack 1 ($35) is a set of Automator actions that work with QuarkXPress and Mac OS X Tiger to streamline time consuming desktop publishing tasks, including apply/retrieve Quark Box names, open documents in Quark, place text/images in a Quark document, retrieve Quark Box names, save a Quark document, and more. Demos of all actions are available for download. [Download - options] Snapz Pro X 2.0.2 ($30/$60) brings full Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" compatibility, support for hardware acceleration, a new Uninstaller, Traditional Chinese localization, and other bug fixes. The system utility offers both advanced screen shot and video capture technology: "Think of it as a digital video camera for your screen." [Download - 9.5MB] PDFpen 2.2 ($50) updates the PDF-editing and form-filling utility with support for secure and password-protected PDFs, multi-stroke imprints, polylines, remote links, and improved drawing performance. PFDpenPro ($95) supports adding URL and page links in PDF documents. A 30-day free demo. It is a free update and requires Mac OS X 10.2.5 or later. [Download - 3.0MB] ChronoPhoto 1.1 (Ä20) is a digital photograph viewer that allows users to quickly view digital photographs and select those you want to keep and get rid of the others. It adds contact sheet printing, more import options, faster graphical interface, and offers a new lower price. Other features include an instant slideshow, large thumbnails, and fast photo import. [Download - 916KB]
"The Studio" is a new feature that will make its way to several dozen Apple Stores in the near future. Like the Genius Bar, The Studio will provide one-on-one consultation with an Apple expert. Unlike the Genius Bar, however, The Studio helps customers with creative projects, rather than technical questions. "It's a place where our team of Creatives -- filmmakers, musicians, photographers, and designers -- work one-on-one with you to make your creative projects a reality. Whether you're making a movie, a photo album, a song, or a logo, we can help you make it amazing." The Studio is already open at Apple's North Michigan Avenue location in Chicago and was first introduced at Apple Store Shadyside in Pittsburgh. Apple is also offering a premium service at its Studio Training Center. "If youíre looking for hands-on training for anything Apple, consider signing up for a paid Studio Series. The small, progressive classes are taught by Apple experts in our specially equipped Studio Training Center." [updated]
Apple's Mac OS X 10.4 is a "slick desktop operating system with a slew of useful new features," says eWeek in a review published Monday. "These include the Spotlight desktop search tool and the Automator application workflow creator. Mac OS X 10.4, aka Tiger, can play nice in Windows-centric network environments, and it competes well with Linux as a platform for running most open-source applications." A second review looks at the server version of Mac OS X 10.4, which "impresses with the way it integrates open-source components under well-made management and monitoring front ends.... Mac OS X 10.4 Server ships ready to offer a broad set of network services, from the basics of directory, mail, file and print, to blogging, chat and streaming." eWeek only faults Mac OS X for "hardware support," presumably because it only runs on Apple hardware.
iEmulator is a PC emulator for Mac OS X that allows users to run Windows on their Macs. The latest version (1.7.6) provides the ability to access Mac files, folders and volumes directly from the emulated Windows environment. iEmulator includes the ability to assign up to 1GB of RAM to each emulated PC, virtually instantaneous PC state saving and loading, full-screen as well as windowed mode, printing support, support for international keyboards and support for running multiple instances of iEmulator simultaneously. iEmulator, which first became available in November, costs $24 for new users.
Apple today released QuickTime 7.0.1, an update to its system playback component for audio/video. Version 7.01 provides several important bug fixes, a security enhancement, and improved compatibility with Final Cut Studio. Apple said that the update fixes a security issue where a QuickTime movie containing a maliciously crafted Quartz Composer object could leak data to an arbitrary web location. "Quartz Composer objects can be wrapped in a QuickTime track and delivered as a QuickTime movie. With QuickTime 7.0, a Quartz Composer object can gather local data and send it using an encoded URL to an arbitrary web location. The QuickTime 7.0.1 update modifies the QuickTime Quartz Composer Plugin to prevent access to remote web locations." QuickTime 7.01 is available via the Mac OS X Software Update preference pane. [updated]
MindVision Software today relesed VISE X 2.0, a major upgrade to its Mac OS X installer product. This version can export installer project data as XML, which allows developers to compare and modify the data with the tools of their choice. After working on installer projects outside of VISE X, developers can use the program to create new projects from the data in the XML files. Other features including compatibility with Mac OS X Tiger (Install locations and Gestalts) as well as the ability to automatically create bundle updaters; to set a domain for Copy, Move or Alias actions; and to read a .plist entry and store it in a variable. Pricing is $250 per year (non-commercial) or $650 per year (up to 20,000 copies).
COMPUneering has released SimuTerra 1.1, an update to its digital terrain modeling program for architects, engineers, surveyors, landscape architects and other AEC and design professionals. Compatible with 3D modeling and CAD programs, SimuTerra can import data, create a terrain model, and export the final surface in three steps. "With SimuTerra, a design professional can take raw topographic data, manipulate the data while viewing the resulting digital terrain model (DTM) in real time (in both 2D and 3D), and then export the DTM for use in a 3D modeling or CAD program." SimuTerra Standard is $100, while the Pro version ($200) adds both Proposed DTMís and Cut & Fill DTMís.
In brief: Microsoft's Xbox 360 will be priced around $300, according to Corporate Vice President J Allard.... CanadianDriver has published a look at the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class, which offers iPod integration.... iPodStyles is now offering PowerGuard and WheelFilm protectors for the iPod and iPod mini that guard the back and clickwheel from scratches, dirt, and grime.... AMD is launching its first dual-core microprocessors at the Computex trade show in Taiwan.
iPodStyles is now offering PowerGuard and WheelFilm protectors for the iPod and iPod mini that guard the back and clickwheel from scratches, dirt, and grime. PowerGuard acts as a protective layer for the back of the iPod, maintaining the mirror-like surface in excellent condition, while WheelFilm acts as a protective layer for the front clickwheel of the iPod, keeping it clean. Both products come in a range of colors and patterns, each uniquely designed and engineered. Make your fashion statement today with a PowerGuard and WheelFilm.
CanadianDriver has published a look at the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class, which offers iPod integration. "Once the iPod is plugged into the car, it's automatically linked to the audio system and the driver navigates around the iPod menu ... using buttons on the standard-fit multifunction steering wheel. The central display on the dashboard, between the major instrument dials, provides the driver with all relevant menu and music track information - song title, artist and play mode. Songs can be skipped or repeated and volume is also operated from the steering wheel. Incidentally, hooking up the iPod does not cut out the existing CD changer because the interface kit is connected separately to the audio system."
Power Game Factory, a software package for creating side scrolling action games without any programming, is now available. The game development environment costs $44 and is bundled with the Greenland Invasion game project, which demonstrates the capabilities of the software. An included 6-step beginner's tutorial will help users get started with their own game design projects, while an exhaustive 190 page user's manual provides a complete reference. Also included with Power Game Factory are collections of extra level background graphics and game music. Power Game Factory, which lets users create royalty-free games with "realistic physics with authentic old school gameplay," was announced earlier this month.
Intel is set to show a prototype this week that openly borrows from Apple's popular Mac mini. The prototype is to be unveiled here at the Computex trade show, which runs May 31 through June 4. Working prototypes of the Mac mini look-alike running Microsoft Windows have already been built by Taiwan PC maker AOpen. In March, Intel unveiled a "Concept Entertainment PC," that looked similar to the Mac mini, but was not a functioning computer. The prototype to be shown this week is reportedly fully functioning. Ken Huang of R&D at Shuttle, a Taiwanese manufacturer, said, "The PC is more powerful and popular than Apple systems because of its open architecture -- you can upgrade it. When the PC gets similar to the Mac mini, you have no space to upgrade, and you will lose this advantage."
Virtual Programming this morning announced that X2: The Threat is now available for online purchase and download. The CD version of the space simulation game will be available beginning June 17th at retailers and the Apple Store. "It's a dangerous universe, but someone has to kick its butt! From the freezing hell of the prison world of Artur to the pirate filled space-lanes of the deep black, X2: The Threat will take you as far as noble, (or craven), ambition will carry you. Command a freighter and trade your way to wealth and power, or become an admiral of your own fleet of mile-long destroyers and sweep your enemies before you. Maybe both? The choice is yours!" X2 features dozens of interlinked missions, 70 different ship types, a host of weapons, and more. Freeverse is offering free shipping on X2: The Threat pre-orders in the U.S.
Comm-Unity Networking Systems, creators of SMTPit, has released MMEmail 1.0, a $35 dialog-based FileMaker Pro email plug-in. MMEmail has a built-in email window that allows the end-user to compose an email message as if they were using a normal email client. From within the email window, you can set the To, Subject, and Body, as well as Attach files. A special Auto-enter Hierarchal Menu of predefined email addresses can be used to populate the To field. The Subject and Body of your message can contain Merge Fields to grab information from the current record before sending the message. Merge Fields can be inserted easily with a Contextual Menu. Users can select Attachments via a file dialog as well as selecting Container Fields from a menu.
iPod sales remain steady heading into the June quarter, with research firm PiperJaffray predicting 5.5 million total iPod sales this summer, up from the 5.3 million Apple shipped last quarter. The perception among many resellers is that sales of iPods are falling, but numbers indicate growth is simply slowing. Through its checks, PiperJaffray determined the iPod mini to be the current leader in the iPod family. " In our recent conversations with Apple specialist stores, iPod mini was cited as the most popular iPod by 50% of stores in our sample, shuffle and 20GB iPod were pointed to as the highest demanded products at 20% and 15% of stores, respectively," the firm said. PiperJaffray believes strong iPod mini sales indicate the Shuffle is not cannibalizing demand for the Mini.shuffle sales are not significantly cannibalizing demand for the other products in the iPod family.
Although Apple's June quarter is typically weak, the company appears to be headed for a strong summer this year. Studies show an increasing number of "switchers" heading to the Mac platform, with concerns over security with Windows computers driving switchers to the Macintosh. Apple specialists at independent resellers told researcher PiperJaffray that 16 percent of customers who buy a Mac are switchers. At the Apple Store, about half of all purchasers are PC switchers. Apple specialists also said about 70 percent of "switchers" make the move due to security and stability concerns with Windows. The majority of Apple specialists feel Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger has had some effect on Mac sales. The iMac G5 is said to be the strongest seller among switchers and repeat customers, with PowerBooks being second in line. iPodNN reports that iPod sales are stabilizing, and the iPod mini is the top seller at the Apple Store.
Citrix Systems' GoToMyPC remote PC access software division is mulling the launch of a Macintosh version, which could enable users to access Macintosh computers remotely, even from non-Macintosh machines, according to Computer Business Review Online. The product manager said the company is working on a version that would support Mac hosts, and the functionality could find its way into the next major upgrade, version 6, expected some time next year "GoToMyPC currently enables users to gain remote access to Windows PCs. It enables a user to access their remote PC as if they were sitting in front of it, including the ability to run applications hosted on the remote PC and transfer files between the remote PC and the client they happen to be sitting in front of... In conjunction with the possible Mac support, Randall said the company is working on support for 24-bit color."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs fell to No. 99 on The Los Angeles Times' executive pay survey, after being No. 1 on the list last year. Jobs is next to last on the new list after his compensation plunged from $74.8 million to just $1, according to the report. "But according to federal filings, Jobs still owns 10 million shares of the Cupertino, Calif., computer and gadget maker ó worth about $406 million at Friday's market close.... Despite Apple's banner year in 2004 ó when its share price more than tripled ó Jobs did not get any additional stock grants.... The 2003 grant was the first for Jobs in five years." Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel topped the list with a $145 million compensation package.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN