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Apple is offering refurbished versions of the iPod shuffle at its online store. The 512MB Shuffle, regularly $100, is available for $80, while 1GB Shuffle (recently reduced to $130) is available for $100. Apple is also offering refurb color iPods: 30GB ($300), 40GB with dock and carry case ($330), and 60GB ($350). Apple has also added more 12-inch PowerBooks for $1,300 (1.5GHz/Combo or 1.33GHz/SuperDrive) or $1,500 (1.5GHz/SuperDrive) and a single model of the high-end 17-inch PowerBook ($2,300). Apple also has two 12-inch iBook models starting at $800 (1.2GHz/CD and 1GHz/Combo) as well as 14-inch iBook for $1,300. Several refurbished G5 desktops models are also available starting at $1,200.
Mophie today announced the Song Sling, a new iPod shuffle accessory that "takes the basic lanyard concept to the next level." The patent-pending design features concealed audio connections and retractable ear buds for "pull and play" functionality. "Song Sling raises the bar when it comes to style and convenience on the portable music scene. Mophie is betting heavily on the belief that they arenít the only ones frustrated by the dangle and tangle of conventional earphone wires." It is priced at $40 and will be available in three colors: gray, blue and pink. The Song Sling will ship in late July, while a version for the iPod mini will be available in Fall 2005.
MarcMoini.com has released 3D-Space VFS 1.3, a system utility that combines launcher, dock and finder features with elegant 3D drawers to offer easy point-and-click access to favorite files and applications. The utility offers Finder-like features and navigation, standard file copy/move operations via drag & drop, instant access to hundreds of favorite items in 3D drawers, and OpenGL-based graphics for maximum performance. "A flick of the mouse and a vast three dimensional landscape appears. You see all your favorite items, neatly presented and waiting for you to click the one you want." 3D-Space VFS also allows users to navigate from one 3D space to another, and open any folder as a new 3D space. Version 1.3 brings forward/back buttons, more menu commands, reduced CPU usage when in the background, and more. It is $30 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Forums roundup: Members discuss the new ATI X850 XT video card option on BTO Power Macs from the Apple Store.... 17" PowerBook G4 owners discuss problems with their machines' cases flexing when places on uneven surfaces.... iPod enthusiasts discuss the new iPod pricing from Apple, which was updated this week.... Members also speculate about future iPod models, including 2GB and 4GB iPod shuffles.... Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users discuss changing screen capture format from PNG to PDF format.
Ambient Design last month introduced ArtRage 1.1 for Mac OS X. ArtRage, which contains the same feature set as its Windows counterpart, provides easy-to-use, realistic painting solution. It is designed provide a "natural" environment for producing art: "By providing realistic tools such as oil paints and pencils, and simulating the real world dynamics of those media, ArtRage allows any user to play around with paint without the expense and mess of its real world counterpart." It also offers tracing tools to allow users to produce paintings based on photographs or other existing images, supports "zooming," features larger canvases, includes a color sampler, and offers the ability to import normal images as a background canvas. It is available for free and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
PiperJaffray today said Apple's iTunes is the "clear winner" in terms of audio-download store traffic. "We recently checked Web traffic information of audio download sites on Alexa.com to get an idea of the market share that each of the sites hold." The firm believes the rankings "fairly represent the overall mindshare held by a company." Apple and Napster were both given an "A" grade in the "traffic report card," while Audible got a B and Real received a C. "In our minds, Apple.com earned an "A" as a result of having the largest 3 month percentage change in web traffic rank." Continued on iPodNN. . . .
PiperJaffray today said Apple's iTunes is the "clear winner" in terms of audio-download store traffic. "We recently checked Web traffic information of audio download sites on Alexa.com to get an idea of the market share that each of the sites hold." The firm believes the rankings "fairly represent the overall mindshare held by a company." Apple and Napster were both given an "A" grade in the "traffic report card," while Audible got a B and Real received a C. "In our minds, Apple.com earned an "A" as a result of having the largest 3 month percentage change in web traffic rank."
DVD Database X 1.6 ($20) is a full-featured database program designed to help keep track of any size DVD collection. Version 1.6 adds increased speed for online lookups, Improved compatibility with QuickTime 7.01 and DVD Player 4.6, and New Quick Search function. [Download - 2.5MB] ShutterBug 1.2 ($34), from XtraLean Software, offers more improvements and a more streamlined user interface giving users "more flexibility and control over their online photos and Web pages." Some of the new features for this version include: horizontal and vertical page centering, new diagonal repeating watermark for photos, color and transparency controls for watermarks, alphabetical sorting of photos upon import, floating tool tips and more. [Download - 1.6MB] BasaOne 2.0 ($100) from Basasoft adds some important enhancements to the Graphical Web Application Development tool. It features: development of full fledged Dashboard Widgets, creation of appealing interfaces using transparencies, adding objects to existing groups or rearranging them, and fast property editing in inspector. [Download - 4.1MB] CoverBuddy 1.1 ($25) is an add-on for iTunes that lets users manage a music collection by cover art. New features include hiding albums with missing covers, faster and improved importing and limiting play to a single album. [Download - 3.8MB] WireTap Pro 1.1.1 is an all-purpose digital recorder. This new version of WireTap Pro adds MacOS X 10.4 ("Tiger") compatibility, support for one-off timed recordings, a graphic EQ, the ability to record Microphone and Mac audio simultaneously, and more. [Download - 13.7MB] Yenco today announced that its next generation of applications will only support Mac OS X. Removing support for the Classic Mac OS generation will allow the company to make faster applications, "casting off numerous limitations that support for Mac OS 9 imposed."
In brief: osViews has published a "trip down memory lane" looking at BeOS on an Apple Performa 6300CD.... Pariahware today announced a month-long sale celebrating America's declaration of independence, with deals on ChimeX, Days Away, File Stitcher, FLaunch, and more.... The Fast Icon Studio has released a new icon set for Mac OS X: "Acoustic Guitar", with 5 freeware icons.... Griffin today announced that the iVault ($20) aluminum case for the iPod Shuffle is now shipping.
Griffin today announced that the iVault ($20) aluminum case for the iPod Shuffle is now shipping. Machined entirely out of aluminum, the iVault safely encloses the iPod Shuffle, while still allowing total access to the control wheel, audio jack, on switch, USB port, and LED. The front and back halves of the case are joined together by 4 small screws, so your iPod Shuffle is guaranteed to be secure. Lightweight yet strong, the iVault and the iPod Shuffle together weigh less than 1.5 ounces. Every machined edge of the case is rounded from comfort and aesthetics. The iVault is available in five anodized colors.
Acapela today announced the release of Acapela Multimedia for Mac OS X, a speech synthesis solution designed to make Mac multimedia applications voice-enabled. "Voice synthesis is an important element in multimedia applications, as it creates an interactive interface between computers and computer users, thereby facilitating innovative communication exchanges," Acapela said. The SDK offers resources for reading and learning languages, e-learning, talking characters, proof reading, personal assistants, edutainment and productivity. Acapela Text to Speech generates smooth and natural sounding voices, providing "high intelligibility and naturalness for the end-user."
Hewlett-Packard today added the iPod shuffle to its line of HP-branded music players. HP is offering two models: the $100 512 megabyte version, which holds up to 120 songs, and the $130 1 gigabyte version, which holds up to 240 songs. HP currently offers the 20GB and 60GB full size iPods, as well as the 4 GB and 6 GB iPod minis. HP sells printable iPod "Tattoos" for customizing the exterior of the iPod and iPod mini. HP is now offering Printable Tattoos for the Shuffle at this time. HP's Total Care customer support covers all Apple iPod from HP models. This includes one year of phone support and a one-year limited warranty.
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TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe