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Roxio Toast 7 Titanium for Mac is expected to hit store shelves at the end of the month, adding many new features to the popular CD and DVD burning software. Among the new features is extensive DivX support, including the DivX 6 encoder supporting HD. The application can now convert DivX to DVD and create DivX discs. The new iLife Browser makes recording content from any of Apple's creative "iApps" easy. New Data Spanning speeds the file sharing process, while new Compression Technology lets users optimize and copy DVD-Video discs, disc images and VIDEO_TS folders. Toast 7 features the ability to convert video between many formats, including DV (and DV 16:9), HDV (720p, 1080i), MPEG 4, H.264, and others. Dolby Digital, OGG, and FLAC encoding and decoding are supported with the release. Toast 7 will cost $100. A $20 rebate will be available to license holders of previous versions.
iPodNN roundup: Marketing incentive programs everywhere are incorporating iPods to attract business, and iPod minis are the number one "motivational" electronics product according to the trade publication Incentive.... In an attempt to wrestle market dominance from Apple, Sony released its palm-sized Walkman Bean portable music player which directly competes with Apple's iPod.... Walter Mossberg, in his latest column, cites three key reasons why iTunes has seen so much success while others have not: tight integration with the iPod, ease of use on both PC and Mac, and "comparatively liberal" restrictions on downloaded files.... The highly anticipated "Rokr" mobile phone from Motorola, which will incorporate Apple's iTunes music software, will not debut at Virgin Mobile's V Festival concert in the U.K. this weekend as previously announced.
Demand for Apple's iPod is greater than ever before, and Apple reportedly has plans to buy as much as 40 percent of the NAND flash output of Samsung Electronics during the second half of this year, according to market research firm iSuppi. As Apple moves from hard disk-based iPod production to a flash-based mini model of 4GB capacity, other NAND customers could be left out in the cold to search for other suppliers of flash memory, according to EE Times. Memory analyst Nam Hyung Kim of iSuppi in a report issued today said sources told him that Samsung has offered Apple "extremely low prices on its NAND parts" in the hopes of convincing Apple to switch from hard-disk storage to NAND memory for the 4GB iPod.
This week, Apple released a security patch which repairs 34 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X Tiger and other titles. Unfortunately, the update effectively "broke" 64-bit application support after it was applied. Apple quickly responded with a new patch the following day which corrected the problem. After multiple videos of Mac OS X running on x86 systems were released earlier this month and again last week, Apple got serious and took action to prevent the spread of further footage. Numerous videos and photos sprang up after it was discovered that Apple is incorporating Trusted Platform Computing (TPM) in its new line of Intel-based Macintosh computers. Today, a columnist suggested that TPM won't be easily circumvented when the final release of Mac OS X makes its appearance. A mad rush for $50 iBooks in Henrico County on Tuesday left a handful of people with scrapes and bruises, the next day video and photographs of the event surfaced.
The highly anticipated "Rokr" mobile phone from Motorola, which will incorporate Apple's iTunes music software, will not debut at Virgin Mobile's V Festival concert in the U.K. this weekend as previously announced, according to Engadget and the UK's Inquirer newspaper. The two-day concert sponsored by Virgin Mobile will feature 57 bands, and was thought to make a good venue for the unveiling of the music phone by some analysts. A representative from Virgin Mobile UK, however, said at the time that there was no plan to launch the phone at V fest, according to TheStreet.com. A Motorola representative said that when the phone gets its formal kickoff, it won't be sharing the stage with any other acts.
Iconfactory today unveiled its latest stock icon collection, "Plateau." Fun and playful, Plateau's bold colors and quirky lines can bring a retro feel to any application or website. Plateau is also available in scalable EPS format for use in large format, print and Web applications. The Plateau icon collection is designed to expand the graphical options of developers looking to provide a clean, simple yet elegant experience for users. The Plateau stock icon collection is available for $250 and, as with all Iconfactory bundles, can be used royalty-free.
Companies as formidable as Microsoft, Sony and Wal-Mart have been unable to gain any traction in the music download market, despite closely imitating iTunes, explains Walter Mossberg in his latest column. Mossberg cites three key reasons why iTunes has seen so much success, while others have not: tight integration with the iPod, ease of use on both PC and Mac, and "comparatively liberal" restrictions on downloaded files. Unable to find success with the 99-cents-per-song model pioneered by iTunes, competitors have turned to subscription-based programs. The problem, Mossberg says, is the rental model is "far more complicated and restrictive than iTunes, and has several big downsides." These downsides include a loss of music files the user stops paying his or her subscription. [See all the latest iPod-related news on iPodNN.]
Apple comes out on top in a comparison of iMovie HD to Windows XP Movie Maker 2. In his extensive review -- which largely focuses on iMovie -- Jeff Carlson of Peachpit Press concludes that, "iMovie HD is as easy to use as ever, and is the first consumer-level editing program to support the nascent field of editing HD footage." Carlson praises iMovie's easy of use and professional feature set. "I sat down at my PowerBook G4 and fired up a little application that I'd previously launched only once: iMovie. In less than two hoursówithout any instructionóI'd imported some footage, edited it, added titles and music, and uploaded a one-minute short to a web page for family and friends to view.[...] Whether you're shooting vacation highlights, sporting events, or the school play, iMovie gives you the capability to turn that footage into something your friends and family will want to watch."
Apple may still have the last word following recent reports showing pirated betas of Mac OS X for Intel running on standard PC hardware, according to one columnist. Circumventing the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) to allow Mac OS X to run on generic Intel platforms involves modifying the system code to ignore any calls to the TPM. Larry Loeb says that the fact that applications themselves will almost certainly make use of the TPM means would-be users of the application will be required to disassemble and crack each and every TPM call to get a functioning application.
Ubisoft has posted a demo of Myst V: End of Ages, the final chapter in the popular adventure game series. "Decide the fate of a civilization in this triumphant final chapter to the Myst saga. Embark on an epic journey into the heart of a shattered empire as the only explorer who can still save it Ė or destroy it with the wrong choices." Myst V introduces a new "Innovative Slate System" that allows players to readily manipulate the surrounding environment. The retail version of the game is expected to ship in September for Mac OS X and Windows. Myst V was developed by Cyan Worlds, which has been responsible for the entire series.
Line 6 today announced TonePort, its new line of USB recording and modeling USB interfaces, bringing Line 6 guitar, bass, and vocal tone to the world of desktop recording. TonePort UX1 and UX2 hardware interfaces are USB-powered devices that include Line 6 GearBox modeling software, which provides a must-have collection of guitar and bass amp/cab models, stompbox and studio effects, and models of high-end studio microphone preamps. TonePort UX1 features a high-quality microphone input with preamp, a guitar/bass instrument input, stereo line inputs and outputs, stereo headphone jack, and an analog merge monitoring input.
Apple and two overseas executives have parted ways, according to the Register. According to a report on Chinese-language news service Sina, Apple China General Manager Li Bin and Asia-Pacific VP He Zhongqiang left the firm yesterday, along with the head of Apple's channel team and a number of regional managers. Bin was only appointed to the General Manager's post in May this year, joining the company after stints with Nokia and, most recently, IBM. Zhongqiang joined Apple from IBM, too, in November 2002. Apple hasn't formally commented on the restructure.
In Brief: Avid Xpress Pro on Mac OS 10.4 Tiger will make its Los Angeles debut at the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group, (lafcpug) on Wednesday August 24 at the Gallery Theater in E. Hollywood CA.... MacJams.com has posted another 20MB+ collection of free Apple loops, as part of its "Five Weeks of Free Loops" promotion, where a new collection of loops is given away for each of five weeks.... Terry White has announced the release of Mac OS X Training For Windows Users on DVD ($35), which is designed to get Windows "Switchers" and first time Mac users up to speed quickly on their new Mac.... Miglia has expanded the national distribution of its product line in the United States with the addition of WYNIT, a national distributor of computer peripheral and digital imaging equipment.... Runtime Revolution's ninth free online programming conference will be presented by xTalk expert Jeanne DeVoto of Jaedworks and will take place on August 20th.
Pressure Drop today debuted a new version of its USB/FireWire hub for the desktop: the Black Diamond PaperHub integrates a combination USB/FireWire hub into a standard desktop paper tray. The new model features a lustrous black chrome finish and high-quality aluminum construction as well as offers four USB and four FireWire ports. Combining an elegant paper tray and eight ports for connectivity, the Black Diamond PaperHub is "the emobidment of the utility and artistry you've come to expect from Pressure Drop. While most hubs clutter and take up unnecessary desk space, Black Diamond PaperHub fulfills its technological responsibilities accurately and quickly while elegantly organizing a person's desk at the same time." The Black Diamond PaperHub and the original anodized aluminum PaperHub are both available now for $150.
ATI Technologies today introduced the Radeon 9600 Pro, a new graphics card that supports both Mac and PC platforms. The Radeon 9600 Pro offers dual-link capabilities to support ultra high-resolution flat panel monitors such as Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display. The new card features ATI's most popular graphics processors for AGP-based systems -- the Radeon 9600 Pro -- and includes 256MB of dedicated high-speed memory. It offers a 128-bit memory interface and advanced DirectX 9.0 shader support with floating point precision as well as support for resolutions up to 2560x1600 (via the card's dual-link DVI display support). The AGP based Radeon 9600 Pro PC and Mac Edition is available for $200.
Apple has announced a new iMac G5 Repair Extension Program for Video and Power Issues. The worldwide program, which applies to first-generation iMac G5 machines experiencing specific problems, extends the original warranty for up to two years and offers free repair of specific video and power issues, such as distorted or scrambled video and loss of video and/or power. The program is available for iMac G5 models that were sold between approximately September 2004 and June 2005. These included iMac G5s with both 17- and 20-inch displays and with processors running at 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz. Apple has listed four different serial number ranges that were affected. The program does not extend the entire warranty, but offers free service and repair of the video/power problems on affected machines for up to two years after the original date of purchase.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ¬≠Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ