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Apple retail China
In brief: We've posted a review of Sybex 40 Digital Photo Tips Books.... Apple is looking to expand its retail initiative to China, an overseas report says.... The Canadian Supreme Court today refused to hear any further arguments after the CPCC requested last year's Federal Court of Appeal decision to snub the levy on digital audio players such as Apple's iPod overturned.... The iDJ, a two-channel mixer enables iPod owners to seamlessly integrate portable music libraries with other music and sound, transforming their iPod into a source playback device.... Panasonic is poised to enter the digital music market and take on Apple's iTunes with "Music Stream", a new service powered by Loudeye.
Canon Optura camcorders
Canon has launched the Optura 600, a compact 4.3 Megapixel Camcorder, and the Optura S1 Camcorder, offering two-in-one functionality. With the new Canon Optura 600 users get high-quality image reproduction in the "world's smallest" 4.3-megapixel camcorder. According to the company, "the Optura 600 and Optura S1 models are the smallest 4.3 megapixel and 2.2 megapixel camcorders, respectively, on the market." The the new Optura S1 camcorder's sleek, compact design "makes a fashion statement while delivering high quality digital video and photos." Both camcorder are Mac compatible and will ship in September. The Optura S1 will sell for $800, while the Optura 600 will cost $1100.
Trans International miniG
A new line of external FireWire/SATA hard drive solutions were announced today from Trans International. Dubbed the "miniG" series, FireWire models include the four-drive FireWire 800 enclosure with an 80MB/sec data transfer rate, the two-drive FireWire 800/400 enclosure also with an 80MB/sec transfer rate and the single-drive FireWire 400 enclosure with a 38MB/sec transfer rate. SATA miniG models include the four-drive solution, featuring over 200MB/sec transfer rate and the two-drive solution with a 100MB/sec transfer rate. All miniG drive enclosures feature tempered aircraft aluminum with a perforated design to maximize airflow and an external power supply to reduce heat buildup and interference. All models support RAID 0 ("striped," for higher performance) and RAID 1 ("mirrored," for fault tolerant applications).
iDJ mixing console
The iDJ (11.3" x 11.5" x 2.6"), a two-channel mixer enables iPod owners to seamlessly integrate portable music libraries with other music and sound, transforming their iPod into a source playback device. It sports two universal iPod docking stations which will accept all model iPods with a dock connector and charge them while connected, features large iPod navigation controls, offers a three-band EQ with gain control on both channels, integrates a dedicated microphone input with tone/level control and includes phono/line inputs for adding additional devices on both channels.
4D 2005, Script Timer
4th Dimension 2003.7 (free) is an update to the cross-platform RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) which now supports Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" and includes several new bug fixes.
Script Timer 2.3 ($12) is a versatile script scheduler for a wide array of tasks such as system maintenance, file backups, playing music, personal reminders, email and internet downloads and data logging. Also includes scheduling of AppleScript, Perl, shell scripts, any application and in Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Automator Workflows. [Download - 1.1MB]
KaraTunes 2.4 ($11) is an add-on for iTunes allowing users to place all of their lyrics data into a single database which can then be saved, modified and searched. Users can search the LyricTracker database and upload lyrics to their iPod. This update adds support for Leo's Lyrics, a popular lyrics website. [Download - 2.5MB]
AOLMemoImporter Beta (free) from Midnight Mage Software is a Spotlight importer for Mac OS 10.4 "Tiger" allowing AOL customers to use Spotlight to search their AOL Memo content. Beta testers will receive a temporary usage license valid until September 1st of this year. [Download - 682KB]
CPU Director 2.1 is software which provides reliable operation and a longer computer life. It includes dynamic frequency switching and power management features allowing users to monitor the temperature of the processor while also adjusting power consumption, providing more control to maximize efficiency.
SubEthaEdit 2.2 ($35) is currently the only major text editor able to run natively on PowerPC and Intel based Macs. New features include a UNIX command line utility, overhauled printing, exporting to HTML, user customizable syntax highlighting through styles, improved support for Applescript and more. [Download - 3.5MB]
Hash has released Animation:Master 12.0, a major new release of its flagship 3D character animation product. The new version now integrates a digital compositor specifically designed for quick adjustment of lighting intensity and color during post, and saves in the new high fidelity OpenEXR format. V12 also upgrades its cloth features to use an implicit solver for faster, more-accurate simulations. The spline-based cloth can be combined with other creative Animation:Masters features, such as high-quality hair, particles, and motion editing. All features utilize drag-and-drop operations for optimal ease-of-use, "ideal for aspiring animators and experienced users alike." The program sells for $300.
Music players not taxed
The Canadian Supreme Court today refused to hear any further arguments after the CPCC (Canadian Private Copying Collective) requested last year's Federal Court of Appeal decision to snub the levy on digital audio recorders such as Apple's iPod overturned, according to this report from CANOE Money. The CPCC, a non-profit agency collected approximately $4 million in tarrifs through a built-in price tax from December 2003 until December 2004 when the Federal Court overturned the policy. The funds are reportedly sitting in an account and will be returned to the importers and manufacturers of the products, according to David Basskin of the CPCC. "Obviously we're disappointed. We felt it was self-evident that those products are sold for the purpose of copying music." The CPCC argued that a levy should be collected on behalf of music creators because the new technology provided yet another means to make illegal copies of songs.
Panasonic, Loudeye music
Panasonic is poised to enter the digital music market and take on Apple's iTunes with "Music Stream", a new service powered by Loudeye. Panasonic will compliment the new service with wristwatch-sized digital music players such as the SVMP120VK (£130) which features both MP3 and WMA playback, an FM Tuner, 512MB of memory and a reported 18 hours of playback from one AAA battery, while the less expensive SV-MP110 modal (£100) is similar but features 256MB of memory. Tracks on Music Stream can be had for 49p during an initial 10-day period whereafter rates will climb to 79p matching the iTunes Music Store, while individual streams for a penny a piece are also available according to the report. Loudeye has agreements with the five major labels (Sony, BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner Music) and a catalog of over one million tracks.
TomTom has posted a Macintosh version of the software for its standalone GPS unit. The "all-in-one" GPS units feature spoken instructions and 3D maps that lead you from door-to-door, hands-free calling via Bluetooth, remote control, and more. Available in four configurations, the TomTom "Go" is designed to fit in any car. A special version designed for motorcycle use is coming soon. The Mac software allows users to backup, restore, and update the device. Previously, this was only possible via third party software, such as TamTam from Equinux. [updated]
iDefrag optimization tool
Coriolis Systems today released iDefrag 1.1.2, an advanced disk optimization tool for Mac OS X with full support for Tiger. The product features both on-line and off-line defragmentation, so users can work while the disk is in use by the optimization application. The software features an attractive graphical display, the ability to create a single continguous block of free space, optimize filesystem metadata, and advanced programmable optimization for custom optimizations. The demo is limited to 100MB-storage devices. The full version is $30.
ColorBurst has released XProof 4.0.3 for Mac OS X. XProof is an application for printing and digital proofing on Epson medium and large format printers. Version 4.0.3 features full PostScript support, Pantone Color Matching, and support for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), Mac OS X Server 10.3/10.4. It also adds support for the Epson Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800 printers and features a simplified and improved interface. In addition, the new version offers a selective installer that only installs the needed components. A 15-day demo is available. XProof is priced starting at $800 for Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Tiger Woods PGA goes gold
Aspyr's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 for Mac (licensed from EA) has been declared 'gold master.' Highlights include an enhanced Game Face featuring non-proportional bone-scaling and texture blending, "Tiger proofing" for improved course difficulty, eight new courses and more PGA TOUR players. Players can make a name for themselves on the tour, tee off against legends including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan. Tiger Proofing course alteration technology allows players to modify course dynamics and call out their PGA TOUR rivals by adding lengthier Tiger Tees, tighter fairways, dramatic undulations to greens, deeper bunkers, higher rough and more. The title is expected to ship on August 15th for $40 and is available for pre-order now.
Extensis sells plug-ins
Extensis today announced that it has sold its Creative Tools product line to onOne Software. Included are the popular Photoshop plug-ins and QuarkXPress XTension (pxl SmartScale, PhotoFrame, Intellihance Pro, Mask Pro, PhotoTools, QX-Tools Pro and the sister company, LizardTech's Genuine Fractals product). Both Extensis and LizardTech will continue support for these products until July 31st--after which onOne will provide all applicable support. The decision was made by Celartem in an effort to refine its existing product lines which focus on digital content management and distribution, specifically its GeoExpress, Document Express, Portfolio, Font Reserve and Suitcase products.
FrameVault for Mac OS X
einstein's legacy has released FrameVault, a prosumer solution for organizing, managing, delivering, and distributing digital video assets on Mac OS X. FrameVault has an intuitive, single-window interface which allows users to organize their QuickTime-compatible movie clips into playlists and libraries, customize their movie playback experience (including multiple-monitor fullscreen), create and deliver chapter-based movies, transfer video to external devices - such as DVD recorders and video camcorders, and manage archives of clips for on-line/off-line storage. FrameVault may be purchased for $75; a 10-day demo is available. It requires Mac OS X v10.3 and QuickTime v6.5 or later.
Symphony HiFi solution
Olive Media today announced Symphony, a wireless digital music center designed for true audiophiles. Olive Symphony is based on the popular idea of a central device that stores, manages and wirelessly distributes digital music throughout the home, but is engineered as a true HiFi component. High fidelity sound is achieved through Olive's Digital Pure Audio (DPA). The proprietary technology combines a 32-bit IBM PowerPC for flawless processing of audio in lossless quality, a fan-less design and a digital output to the user's stereo system. Users can record CDs, vinyl and tape onto the noiseless 2.5" 80GB hard-drive, which holds up to 20,000 songs. The integrated CD database identifies, tags and archives the CD automatically.
Intel switch and games
In brief: Better Energy Systems today announced that Apple UK will sell Solio -- a solar power charger for iPod -- directly.... Organizers of Photoshop World Conference & Expo announced that Adobe will be onsite conducting Adobe Certified Expert testing.... D&M Holdings announced yesterday it has signed an agreement to sell certain intellectual property and other technology assets of the Rio MP3 player business to SigmaTel, Apple's supplier of integrated circuits for the flash-based iPod shuffle music player.... When asked about a Mac version of Hellgate: London, Flagship Studios CEO Bill Roper said, "Apple’s switch to an Intel-based chipset makes some elements of creating a Mac version much simpler for PC developers."
Epson Perfection scanners
Epson today launched new USB 2.0 scanners for the consumer market: the Epson Perfection 4490 Photo, Perfection 3590 Photo and Perfection 3490 Photo--each delivering its own set of unique features for a variety of customers. The Perfection 4490 Photo offers Digital ICE for scratch and dust removal from negatives and slides, while all three scanners include the third generation of Epson Easy Photo Fix technology for improved one-touch color restoration of faded photos, slides and negatives. The new scanners also have convenient front panel buttons that allow customers to automatically scan for copies and e-mail attachments, as well as generating Adobe PDF files.
Mercury Elite Pro USB
Other World Computing has added a 320GB version to its line of Mercury Elite Pro USB 2.0/1.1 hard drives, while reducing the prices on most of the remaining models. OWC now offers the 7200 rpm storage solution--with 2MB of cache buffer and USB 2.0 connectivity--in five models: 80GB ($100), 160GB ($140), 200GB ($160), 250GB ($190), and 320GB ($230). All Elite Pro USB 2.0/1.1 models are covered by a two-year warranty and include Dantz/EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech Hard Disk SpeedTools and all connecting cables. The drives also are compatible with Mac OS X 10.1 and later.
TuneCaps, 4G TrailVue, ...
iPodNN roundup: Griffin today shipped TuneCaps for the iPod shuffle.... Dr. Bott announced availability of Marware's 4G TrailVue carry case for the iPod with Click Wheel.... ezGear today announced its new ezEars SX50 earphones for Apple's iPod.... Apple Canada has kicked off the "Win What You Want" contest in Canada, which offers iPod shuffles or a CN$5,000 in Apple merchandise.... Harley-Davidson recently unveiled its 2006 line-- including a record seven new models.... Harley's FL touring lineup features a standard auxiliary jack where riders can plug in an iPod.... Pariahware's Podcast Tuner provides a new approach to finding Podcasts.
iTunes phone due in August
Motorola and Apple are set to debut the much-anticipated iTunes phone next month at UK's "V Festival," an event sponsored by Virgin Mobile, which will be one of the first mobile carriers to offer the phone. Citing an analyst report, TheStreet.com reports that the "iPod-inspired music phone -- which Motorola twice pulled from introductions earlier this year, apparently under orders from Apple chief Steve Jobs -- will debut in the U.K. next month." Quoting American Technology Research analyst Albert Lin, the report says that the planned venue is a four-stage Virgin Mobile-sponsored "V Festival" concert, which takes place from Aug. 20-21. Earlier this week, Motorola told analysts that the phone would be unveiled at a separate music event within the next 66 days and would be available in the third quarter.
Turtle 2 for Maya
Illuminate Labs today announced the next generation of its Turtle 2 renderer for Maya. Turtle, which can open and render extremely large scenes with advanced lighting effects, is fully integrated in the Maya GUI and uses native Maya shading networks. "You can take any native Maya scene and render it with natural ease in Turtle. It quickly produces the highest quality images with any kind of advanced modeling methods and global illumination effects,” says Nils Wirell, Product Manager at Illuminate Labs. Turtle 2.0 will begin shipping worldwide in August of 2005. Turtle is available for Maya 6.0 and newer for $1,200 (workstation license) or $1000 (renderfarm license).
TuneCaps for Shuffle
Griffin today announced that it is now shipping TuneCaps for the iPod shuffle. Available in three different carrying options, the TuneCaps carrying solutions attach to your shuffle to let you carry it in any of three different ways: " (1) Slip on TuneCaps' Wrist Strap cap for fingertip convenience. (2) Replace the shuffle's cap with TuneCaps' handy pocket clip and secure it to your pocket (or belt or necktie). (3) Slip on TuneCaps' keyring attachment and take your tunes with you while you drive." All three solutions come in each TuneCaps package. Griffin TuneCaps are available now for $15.
ezEars SX50 earphones
ezGear today announced its new ezEars SX50 earphones for Apple's iPod. ezEars SX50s use in-ear technology with soft rubber earpieces to provide "a good fit and extra comfort. The sound drivers of the in-ear earbuds provide good clean sound for a great listening experience." According to Charlie Bernstein, President of ezGear "iPod users who tried the SX50s loved the sound and especially loved how comfortable they are. Many people who tested them for us, wanted to buy them on the spot." The ezEars SX50 come in iPod white-styling. The ezEars SX50's suggested retail price is $25.
Marware 4G TrailVue
Dr. Bott today announced the release of Marware's 4G TrailVue carry case for the iPod with Click Wheel. Originally designed for the iPod mini, the TrailVue now comes to the 4G iPod with the same cool design and a variety of stylish color combinations. 4G TrailVue sports a rugged ballistic nylon construction with elastic sides to accommodate the size of your iPod. It also features a Velcro closure and allows access to the audio jack as well as the iPod's dock connector. Also included is the patented Multidapt interchangeable clip system which offers an array of uses such as the bike clip, car holder, and a variety of belt clips. Marware's 4G TrailVue is available through Dr. Bott authorized resellers for $35 in red, gray, and sky colors.
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