Rob Glaser -- CEO of RealNetworks, the company that created the Rhapsody online subscription music service -- yesterday told a crowded hotel ballroom at the Digital Living Conference that Steve Jobs' refusal to make the iPod compatible with music services other than iTunes was an example of "pigheadedness." Glaser also said that Apple's unwillingness to cooperate with other online music vendors promotes piracy of copyrighted materials and will eventually draw the wrath of consumers, according to a report from News.com. "We think Apple Computer, and Steve personally, are making a mistake by making the software proprietary," Glaser said. "There's no reason we should penalize Apple customers for Steve's pigheadeness." Glaser has called for the music industry to pressure Jobs into opening up the iPod to other online music vendors.
pearLyrics, a Mac OS X tool for displaying song lyrics of the track currently being played in iTunes, is no longer available due to a cease and desist order from Warner/Chappell Music. "As a freeware developer I can not afford to risk a law suit against such a big company, although personally I don't see where pearLyrics should infringe any copyrights handled by them," pearLyrics creator Walter Ritter said today. "After all pearLyrics only searches and accesses publicly available websites, displays, and, at the users wish, caches its content."
Maxon today announced "Hair," what it claims is the first completely integrated professional Cinema 4D module for the creation of hair, fur and feathers. The new module lets users quickly and easily add realistic looking hair to objects, which can be styled using the module's extensive tool palette. A custom 3D shader gives artists complete control over the appearance of the hair, and the toolset harbors over a dozen tools, such as brush, comb, curl and cut. The module also offers shine, frizz, and thickness properties with a texture that can be loaded to define the color pattern for hair. Collision detection can be used while styling and animating hair, along with forces such as gravity, wind, turbulence or twist. Hair also offers cache functionality that simplifies viewing the effects of dynamics or preparing a file for network rendering, and individual frames can be edited after they've been cached. HAIR is available for $300 until December 31st, after which the module will be priced at $400.
Long Island-based Think Different Store today reduced the price of the Song Sling for iPod shuffle by 50 percent, from $40 to $20. The Song Sling is a three-in-one accessory that provides earbuds, a light-weight pendant mount, and a lanyard. "Where other retractable earbuds fall short, Song Sling truly excels. Plain and simple, they work, and they work well. Easy up, easy down, over and over and over again, bringing an end to the frustrating dangle and tangle of conventional earphone wires. Song Sling takes the basic lanyard concept to the next level."
MacNN is very proud to announce a redesigned interface for MacNN.com and iPodNN.com. MacNN can now be viewed as a portal page (default) or as a more familiar weblog-style news feed. Nearly a year in the making, the new branding and layout were created by Gesamtbild, a design firm headed by Frank Gutfleisch, a longtime Mac user and MacNN reader. Gesamtbild was also responsible for the design and branding for Leftlane News, a car news site created by the MacNN staff. We would love to hear what you think of the new layout, and we encourage all readers to explore the new site and provide feedback. The MacNN Forums will be updated in the next week to reflect the new branding and layout. In coming weeks, MacNN will continue to add new features and options. Please leave all suggestions in our forums or via our feedback page.
In brief: The National Association of Photoshop Professionals today presented over 40 signed art prints for bidding from well-known artists; all proceeds will go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and the Salvation Army to help hurricane victims.... Podtee has introduced the Holiday collection designs of its iPod-themed t-shirts featuring such designs as "Santa pod," "podtee Christmas," and "Fresh Forrest".... Maccentric Sales & Consulting has announced the launch of thankyousteve.com in light of Apple's 30-year anniversary, a website dedicated to saluting Apple's innovators who introduced Macintosh, iPod, and a myriad of other revolutionary hardware and software technologies over the past three decades.... Digital-Tutors today released its "Fundamentals of Flash: Action Scripting for Games" training kit--an interactive training tool for developing games using Action Scripting in Flash 8.
Boris FX today released version 4.0 of Boris Continuum Complete (BCC), its suite of native filters and transitions for Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple's Final Cut Pro and Motion, Autodesk's combustion, Eyeon's Fusion, and Boris Red systems. An improved motion tracker provides increased accuracy with four-point tracking, and new Motion Key technology removes moving foreground objects based on motion estimation. The update includes hundreds of presets, and settings remain fully compatible with the 3.0 version release. Boris Continuum Complete 4.0 is available for $800, while current Continuum Complete customers can upgrade from previous versions for $250 (system requirements were unavailable).
Xinet today released Captain FTP 4.4, its FTP client that allows local network FTP users to share files between each other directly. Version 4.3 offers "Captain to Captain" direct transfers, as well as a new tabbed graphical interface. The update also enables faster transfers, sync browsing, customizable action buttons in the toolbar, and "hot folders." The software now supports standard Macintosh and UNIX newline characters, and presents the server name of the active tab in the title bar. Captain FTP 4.4 offers numerous bug fixes, is available for $25, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
iPodNN roundup: Das Blau today unveiled The Wrap for iPod nano ($30) and The Versa for Apple's fifth-generation iPod (shown at right), its new cases designed for Apple's latest digital music players.... ezGear today announced the ezGear Elite Leather cases ($40) for Apple's iPod nano, made from high-grade leather and featuring a built-in screen protector.... Sena Cases has announced that its iPod Video Dockable Sena 30GB and 60GB cases ($40) are available for pre-order.... Playboy.com recently introduced its "Playboy Bodcast," enabling consumers with portable media players to take Playboy on-the-go.
Lost Marble yesterday released Moho 5.3, its vector-based cartoon animation application that uses tools such as bones to manipulate characters like puppets. Moho provides a complete set of tools needed to create an animated cartoon, from drawing and coloring to keyframe animation, multi-layer compositing and final rendering of QuickTime and AVI movie files. Version 5.3 offers a new, improved user interface as well as scripted tools which can be enhanced. The application contains a vector-based drawing component, making it suitable for illustration tasks as well as animation. Features include a vector-based that allows for unlimited editing without sacrificing quality, the ability to easily animate complex characters with a unique bone system, and the option to combine fill and line styles to give work a distinctive look. Moho can export animations as AVI or QuickTime movies for output to video tape or as Flash SWF files for streaming over the Web. Moho is available for $100, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).
Combine PDFs 2.1 (free) merges PDF files and images (JPEG, TIFF, and more) into one PDF file. The application shows REALbasic developers how to use the QTGraphicsImporterMBS class together with the CoreGraphics PDF classes to create new PDFs and embed pages from other PDF files. Version 2.1 fixes a failed assertion after the application finished work, adds a button to "add files," and adds a button to "remove page." Combine PDFs includes its source code. [Download - 1.1MB] Global Hotkey 1.2 (free) monitors key strokes waiting for specific combinations that will launch applications, run scripts, or copy data to the clipboard. Version 1.1 ensures AppleScripts are compiled only when needed, and iTunes no longer launches when running Global Hotkey. Global Hotkey includes its source code. [Download - 1.1MB] MacGourmet 1.1.7 ($25) is a recipe organization utility for Mac OS X. The application helps create and edit recipes, wine notes, and cooking notes. MacGourmet is designed to easily browse an entire collection, building custom lists for categories such as appetizers and desserts. Version 1.1.7 fixes some outstanding bugs and usability issues. The update is free to all registered users. [Download - 2.3MB] RapidWeaver 3.2.1 ($35) updates the website creation software by offering improved stability, re-ordering of blog categories, enhanced theme compatibility, and various other fixes/interface tweaks. Version 3.2.1 also updates the manual, and fixes the sidebar for the "Company" theme. RapidWeaver is designed to easily publish photos, movies, and blogs online instantly, integrating with iLife to produce an "iApp" style environment. [Download - 6.2MB] Unison 1.7 ($25) is a significant update to the Mac OS X Usenet newsreader, adding binary uploading/posting, offering the ability to split large files into smaller pieces, and can automatically create PAR2 recover sets. Unison features an improved download manager, customizable rules, personalities, a favorites drawer, NZB file support, and more. [Download - 2MB] Omnis Studio 4.1 ($250) is a rapid application development (RAD) tool that develops and deploys applications under Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. Omnis Studio can create form-based client applications that access all leading server databases, including Oracle, Sybase, DB2, Informix, MySQL, as well as JDBC- and ODBC-compliant databases such MS SQL Server. The software is optimised for multi-tier and web-based application development. [Download - 56MB]
IDG World Expo today announced that audio will be a strong focus of the Macworld Expo San Francisco in January and that it will showcase Mac music education, several music-related exhibitors, the Berklee Dream Studio, a podcasting stage, and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus--a state-of-the-art mobile recording and multimedia studio during Macworld Conference & Expo on January 9-13th, 2006 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. The Dream Studio is a state-of-the-art music studio filled with Mac hardware and software that features a self-guided tour, music production demonstrations, and daily lectures by Berklee faculty. Several Mac/music-related educational sessions are to take place during Macworld that include "Mastering Logic," "GarageBand 101," "The iPod Revealed," and a feature presentation of "The Podcast Economy."
Das Blau today unveiled The Wrap for iPod nano and The Versa for Apple's fifth-generation iPod (shown at right), its new cases designed for Apple's latest digital music players. The Versa for 5G iPod serves as a protective and stylish case, a stand to watch videos or view photos, and as an attachable belt clip. The case for video iPods is constructed from leather and combined chic fabric patterns, created for the "discerning fashionista" on-the-go. The Wrap for iPod nano offers access to the hold button, dock, and earphone jack both open and closed, while a flap on the bottom with a plastic sleeve protects and prevents the device from sliding out. The Wrap for Nano is constructed from leather and offers an inner lining, as well as Velcro closures. The Versa for 5G iPod is expected to be available in the near future, while The Wrap for iPod nano is available from amazon.com for $30.
Shares of Apple were up in premarket activity Tuesday after one analyst said that the iPod video would help drive sales in the December quarter. UBS analyst Benjamin Reitzes said that Apple accelerating toward the digital entertainment and media arena through new hardware, content and services and raised estimates for both Apple's stock price to $86 and first-quarter earnings for the second time, according to the AP: "We believe that Apple is experiencing a positive mix shift toward video iPods and to a lesser extent, iMacs," he said in a report. "In addition to solid holiday sales, we believe investors will focus more on potential new products at Macworld in January, including a few new Macs and other new initiatives."
NBC Universal and Apple today announced a new TV content deal for Apple's iTunes, as noted earlier this morning. The lineup includes primetime, cable, late-night and classic TV shows, including primetime hits such as "Law & Order" and late-night favorites such as sketches from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". Apple said that iTunes now offers more than 300 episodes of 16 popular TV shows and that customers have purchased and downloaded more than three million videos since their debut on October 12, making "the iTunes Music Store the world's most popular video download store."
SmileOnMyMac today began shipping browseback 1.0, a new web history visualization and search tool. browseback stores a PDF of every web page visited and makes the pages accessible through a unique interface that allows the user to browse thumbnails of the pages. This visual web history can also be searched by content, making it possible to easily retrieve visited web pages with a few keywords, according to the developer. Users can search the history with keywords, export Web pages to PDFs, and more. It supports major browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. and is available in English, Japanese, German, French and Italian. browseback requires Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or later; a single-user license is $30.
QuickerTek today announced its 1,000 milliwatt Plug N Play Transceiver for Apple's AirPort Base Stations. Built to connect to the external antenna port on the Base Station, QuickerTek's Transceiver offers the FCC's maximum allowable wireless signal strength: the PNP Base Station Transceiver is the perfect solution for difficult wireless areas where only maximum RF power will do, according to the company. The Plug N Play 1 Watt Transceiver can be mounted inside or outside and includes a waterproof 7dBi omni directional antenna. It works with all AirPort supported Mac OS versions and requires no software drivers. It is available for $450.
ezGear today announced the ezGear Elite Leather cases for Apple's iPod nano. The ezGear Elite is made of high-grade leather and includes meticulous stitching, built-in screen protector, and access to the clickwheel, all ports, and the hold button. The ezGear Elite case comes integrated with a sparkling polished nickel purse/belt loop clip and also includes a removable neck strap with a polished nickel clasp. ďAt ezGear, we did not want to settle for just another leather case. The ezGear Elite case uses the finest leather with impeccable workmanship, from the tannery to the stitching to the extras. The nickel clips secures the case to almost any thin, and the fancy neck strap lets you wear your iPod in style." The ezGear Elite nano is available in three colors: Onyx Black, Snow White, and Walnut Brown for $40.
Pressure Drop today announced DecoDock Ice, a special wintery edition of DecoDock. With a white base and glacier blue LEDs, DecoDock Ice provides users with a "simple, cool, and stylish way" to connect an iPod shuffle to their computer. The DecoDock Ice recharges and syncs the iPod in Art-Techo style. DecoDock Ice sells for $30 and is now shipping in limited quantities. Pressure Drop also announced today special holiday pricing, offering its PaperHub, the stylish paper tray with an integrated USB/FireWire combo hub for $100 ($50 off) and its classic DecoDock for $20 ($10 off), and its zStand, an integrated monitor stand with integrated USB/FireWire hub for the Mac mini, for $90 ($10 off).
Apple this morning has quietly added more video content to the US version of its iTunes Music Store, including content from NBC, USA Networks, and the Sci Fi channel. Following the landmark TV content agreement with ABC earlier this year and its move to sell music videos, Apple has added more video content, including NBC's Law & Order, Jay Leno's Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Vintage NBC shows, such as Dragnet, Knight Riider, and Alfred Hitchcock. Other content includes USA Networks' Monk and Sci Fi's Battle Star Galactica Series. The content is available for $1.99 per episode or in a season bundle. Yesterday, we noted that ESPN is mulling a content deal to bring content to the industry-leading iTunes.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl