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A/V Ingest server
Broadcast Unifying Gears (BUG.tv) has launched its advanced A/V Ingest server, dubbed CLASS-R, which it claims is the world's first Mac-based simultaneous multi-channel and multi-format Ingest server. Up to four SDI video channels can be ingested simultaneously, in SD and HD formats or a combination of the two. CLASS-R supports many control protocols such as VDCP and VTR. Files can be saved in numerous formats including DV and native Final Cut Pro projects, while Metadata information can be entered on-the-fly during the ingestion process (pricing and compatibility information was unavailable).
Retailer battles price war
..Ki Systems this week announced three new FileMaker Pro 8-based solutions. The new software, designed for small- to medium-size businesses, integrate business-management system, point-of-sale system, and ecommerce shopping cart. "From taking orders on the Web to taking orders at the register, the KiBizSystem handles it all. These powerful tools give small businesses greater productivity, flexibility, and convenience. It saves them countless time and effort with automation and integration of key business processes." KiBizSystem 4.0 is an enhanced version of the business-management software, while KiPoint is a touch screen point-of-sale system that can be easily customized and KiShop is a Product Catalog and Shopping Cart that can easily download Web orders into a local Business System with a single-click.
RiffWorks Standard v2
..Sonoma Wire Works (booth 307) this week will demo the latest version of its recording software in the Music & Audio Pavilion. The company said that a preview of RiffWorks Standard v2 is being shown running on Mac OS X with new features such as RiffLink online collaboration service, RiffCaster instant podcasting technology, and more. Designed with guitarists in mind, RiffWorks users can set the tempo and start recording simply by strumming their guitar. The software offers realtime effects as well as an InstantDrummer feature for live drummer back-up recordings and "the ability to dial in the right amount of intensity and variation without typical tedious drum-machine programming." Several new recording features have been added in version 2 including Riff Notes, Riff Gain and Riff Effects.
Sonnet expands SATA lineup
.Sonnet Technologies (booth 2528) today announced a new line of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) Serial ATA host adapters. The Tempo SATA E4P with four (4) external ports and the Tempo SATA E4i with four (4) internal ports are compatible with the newest PCI Express Power Mac G5s: both cards support a wide range of application environments, such as uncompressed high-definition video editing and digital imaging. Sonnet also debuted the Fusion 500P, a new five-bay disk drive enclosure with a built-in port multiplier. The Tempo SATA E4P host adapter can support up to four Fusion 500P disk enclosures for "amazingly fast storage solutions and very large storage repositories," according to the company.
O\'Reilly podcasts debut
.O'Reilly Media today kicked off its O'Reilly podcast programming with "Distributing the Future" and "Make Audio and Video" podcast shows, "FOO Casts"--Friends of O'Reilly podcasting--, "In our Ears" highlights, and "Pick of the Week." "This week on Foo Casts, expert podcasters Jack Herrington, Doug Kaye, and James Polanco discuss tips on podcasting gear. You'll also hear Tiger tips from David Pogue, expert insights on dealing with Spam from Annoyances authors Steve Bass and Dan Tynan, and author Derrick Story on what to look for in a digital camera." The company is also giving away a 30GB video iPod at the Expo to promote the new programming; the winner will be announced on O'Reilly's podcasts page on January 16th.
ClickCase for 5G, Nano
Small Dog Electronics today introduced a new website as well as the ClickCase for Apple's video iPod and iPod nano, its protective case designed to retain a stylish appearance. Features include quality leather construction, a magnetic closure mechanism, and cutouts that offer easy access to the iPod's ports and dock connector. The case ships with an included belt clip, and is precision fit to the iPod. The CLickCase is embossed with a Small Dog paw print and is available in ebony (shown at right), crimson, and natural leather colors. The ClickCase for iPod nano is priced at $20, while the iPod video ClickCase ships for $30. Small Dog also launched Podjungle.com, offering iPod lovers a host of accessories categorized both by iPod model and by personality type.
RealTimeLogic has released BarracudaDrive 2.0, a multi-user secure HTTPS file manager designed to eliminate the need for FTP access. Users can securely upload, download, and manage files on the host computer from any remote location with internet access, and BarracudaDrive bypasses firewalls and proxies by utilizing the HTTPS protocol. Communication is encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer), and the software comes with an integrated 1024-bit SSL certificate, easing the setup process. BarracudaDrive 2.0 is available for free and runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
Google video pricing
Google today raised the bar in the online video content arena, allowing content providers to set their own prices for videos to better compete with Apple's iTunes Music Store. The Google Video Store offers recent television broadcasts of popular CBS shows and professional basketball games, as well as vintage episodes from series that went off the air decades ago, according to a report from the Associated Press. "This is a historic meeting of established and new media," said Google co-founder Larry Page during a keynote speech. "It's the biggest marketplace of content that was previously off-line and is now brought online," Jennifer Feikin said, director of Google Video.
Clear Channel vs iTMS
Clear Channel Communications today announced that it has made on-demand music videos available on a trial basis on 16 of its radio-station websites in several major markets. The move put the company in competition with Apple's iTunes Music Store, which also sells video content on-demand for $1.99 per-short film or TV episode. The new service, named "Videos On Demand" will offer music videos from major record labels including Universal Music Group, Warner Music, EMI, and others. Content will be made available on station sites in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York, according to a report from MarketWatch.
Connect iPod to TV
ezGear announced the introduction of the ezGold Video Cable for Video iPods. The cable is intended to connect the iPod to any television set to display videos, television shows, movies, photos and more, allowing the iPod to work like a VCR, DVD player, or DVR. The ezGold Video cable is made of shielded wires with protective sheathing to reduce signal loss and interference, and uses gold plated connectors. ezGold Video Cable for iPod will be available later this month (pricing was not available).
Ms takes on Apple\'s iPod
Microsoft today launched three new portable media centers designed to compete with and dethrone Apple's video iPod. Microsoft, along with LG Electronics, Toshiba, and Tatung unveiled the players today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Microsoft group product manager John Starkweather told Marketwatch that "in terms of features, I'd say that the video iPod is going to compete with these." The players are expected to be available in February and March, with Toshiba's 30GB model priced at $300 and a 60GB version costing $400.
Marketcircle Daylite 3.0
Marketcircle today announced the availability of Daylite 3.0 Public Beta, the newest version of its business productivity application. Daylite allows users to share critical business information, setup and reserve resources for meetings, and delegate appointments, tasks, projects, and opportunities among users. The company says that version 3.0 delivers a new generation of business productivity management by providing both single user and multiple user settings with timesaving features that include shared Calendars and Meetings, delegation capabilities, multiple pipelining for projects and opportunities, a revised User Interface, a built-in report writer for generating a variety of custom reports, and a mini "Heads-Up Display" for each contact, organization, project, opportunity, or group. Daylite 3.0 is available for $150 per seat, and existing users can upgrade for $80 per seat (before a $20 discount offered to upgraders through the end of the month). Customers who have purchased Daylite after Dec 1, 2005 will receive a free upgrade to Daylite 3.0.
Sumo iPod spring line
Sumo announced their Spring line of iPod cases. Sumo cases provide a top flap for complete protection, and full control access while iPod is in the case. Earbud and USB ports are accessable while iPod is encased in the Sumo line. All cases, for Nanos and Videos alike, come with inner molded EVA foam padding which provides shock protection. Sumo Leather Stripe Case for iPod comes in black/white and white/multistripe and retails at $40. Sumo Leather Flip Case for iPod nano comes in red, black, and black/white, retailing at $30. All models are available at Apple stores and Sumo's website.
FilmLoop for Mac pre-beta
FilmLoop (booth 739) today introduced the Macintosh pre-Beta version of its FilmLoop Player. Macintosh users can now use FilmLoop to share pictures, promote their creative content, and access a diverse collection of digital images. FilmLoop is a free photo broadcasting ("photocasting") network that enables users to broadcast, find, and share digital images. With a simple one-click drag and drop interface, FilmLoop provides a real-time way for users to send and receive digital images directly from the desktop without needing to log in to a Web site and upload images. Once a user creates a new Loop they can choose to list it in the FilmLoop Public Directory, giving access to anyone in the FilmLoop network, or send to a few e-mail addresses, sharing only with family, friends, and colleagues. It is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Control iPod through case
Eleksen has created a touch-sensitive fabric casing for the iPod and will showcase the product this week's Exo. The case has external volume controls and comes in two formats: one for controlling any MP3 player with a standard audio output jack and one with 5-button remote controls for iPod supporting play/pause, track forward, track back, volume up, volume down and iPod ON/OFF. It incorporates volume control, integrated speakers, a built-in 3.5mm audio headphone socket, automatic power-save function to prolong battery life and a belt clip. The product's smart fabric scroll volume controls enables operation via a finger scroll along the volume controls or a press and hold volume capability. (Price and availability were unavailable.)
HandStands announced the immediate availability of its "bulletproof casing" for iPod nano and iPod video. The Duravu Bullet-Proof Protective Shields protect the front and back of the iPod. iPod is also protected from scratches when the transparent Duravu shield is applied. Duravu Bullet-Proof Protective Shields may be purchased on the HandStands website for $10.
Art Directors Toolkit v5
Code Line has released the next major update to its graphic design utility: Art Directors Toolkit v5 is a software application that incorporates many support utilities custom made for graphic designers and creative professionals. Version 5.0 is available for Mac OS X Tiger or later and has been rebuilt with support for Universal Binary to stay current with upcoming changes in Apple technology, i.e., forthcoming Intel-based Macs.. The updated user interface contains several new features and improvements as well as industry-standard color libraries; a new Spreads tool helps with visualizing printer spreads; the ability to type special characters from the Global Results window; a Launcher palette for quick access to project files; and a convenient Dashboard Widget for access to some ADT number functions. The full version is available for $30, while registered users of any previous version can upgrade for $15.
Apple files widget patent
Apple has filed a patent for Dashboard widget authoring that seems to suggest some widgets will work on iPods. The patent titled "Widget authoring and editing environment," filed on January 5th, relates to Apple's Mac OS X Dashboard feature, and suggested that widgets will be able to run on a "handheld computer, mobile device, consumer electronic device or the like." A second interesting point relating to "Widget Installation" states that "Authentication and payment may be prerequisites for such operations in some embodiments," which could have far-reaching implications in relation to future wireless over-the-air portables, according to Macsimum News.
Apple\'s future bright
Apple set record sales figures in 2005 and dominated over its competition, but whether the company will be able to maintain its current performance in 2006 despite dramatically increased expectations from analysts is the subject of BusinessWeek's latest six-article Special Report. Computer editor Peter Burrows believes Apple may not only fall short of expectations, but also may miss "a fork in the road" that could cost the company its reign over the digital music industry within three years time. Europeans looking for iPods are coming away disappointed from retailers, who can't seem to keep enough Nanos, the most popular version, in stock.
Endicia updates software
.Endicia today released updates to both its Endicia for Mac 2.0 and Picture It Postage 2.0 software applications. Endicia for Mac 2.0 updates the postage printing software to support direct envelope printing, automatic customs forms generation, and InstaPostage sheets/labels. Picture It Postage 2.0 adds iSight integration, updates to the latest postage rates, multi-sheet discounts, and more to the custom postage creation software. Endicia for Mac is included as part of the Endicia Premium Service for $16, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.7 or later. Picture It Postage 2.0 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4. Additionally, Endicia announced that it is giving away one LabelWriter Twin Turbo printer per day during the Expo.
Blinkx contest, e2Sync
In brief: Blinkx is holding a ski and snowboard video content contest, the winner will receive a free ski weekend in Lake Tahoe.... e2Sync is offering a 30 percent discount on its Entourage sync software during the Expo, using coupon code "TASIB05" at the company's online store.... LQ Graphics has released a new version of Photo to Movie 3.2.3, allowing users to create video content for Apple's video iPod.... Ignitek this week will showcase four iPod-compatible speaker systems at the Expo in San Francisco....
Call of Duty 2 for Mac
Aspyr Media today announced that it will publish Activision's Call of Duty 2 for the Mac and that it expects to ship the title in May of this year. "Call of Duty 2 re-defines the cinematic intensity and chaos of battle as seen through the eyes of ordinary soldiers fighting together in epic WWII conflicts. The sequel to Call of Duty, the 2003 Game of the Year and winner of more than 80 awards, Call of Duty 2 offers more immense, more intense, more realistic battles than ever before, thanks to the stunning visuals of the new Call of Duty 2 engine." It will soon be available for pre-order for $50. (System requirements not available.)
..Parliant today began shipping its new Mac-based PhoneHerald Broadcast Dialer with interactive voice response (IVR). PhoneHerald shares the telephony architecture of the PhoneValet message center, offering automatic dialing, personalized message delivery, and response collection. PhoneHerald applications include medical appointment reminders, school attendance calling/parental surveys, club meeting/membership reminders, small business service pick-up notifications/maintenance calls, and emergency response alerts. PhoneHerald is a combination of USB phone adapter hardware and Mac OS X software priced at $400 per phone line, and includes 200 free calls.
New robotics from LEGO
LEGO introduced its new Mindstorms NXT robotics toolset at CES. Set to release in August 2006, the NXT is a new version of the Robotics Invention System with new technologies and expanded sensor capabilities. Using a Mac or PC, the NXT brick-- an autonomous 32-bit LEGO microprocessor- can be programmed using LabVIEW software. Using Bluetooth, the robot can then be controlled from the user's computer, PDA, or cell phone. The Mindstorms NXT is comprised of 519 hand-selected, stylized elements. Features of Mindstorms NXT include the NXT intelligent brick, improved light, touch, and sound sensors, and a digital wire interface allowing for third-party developments. LEGO Mindstorms NXT will retail for $250.
Kerio acquires WebSTAR
Kerio Technologies today announced the acquisition of the 4D WebSTAR product lines from 4D, Inc., a database and software solution provider based in Clichy, France. 4D WebSTAR, which features popular webserver for the Mac, is a complete messaging system designed for Mac OS X. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal; however, Kerio said it gains access to 4D WebSTAR's customer base and technology that it will work with existing 4D WebSTAR customers to seamlessly transition them to Kerio MailServer. It will develop simple migration tool for these customers and will be offered at no additional cost. Kerio plans to incorporate relevant parts of WebSTAR technology into Kerio MailServer as well.
Brother laser printers
.Brother International today announced it will be showcasing its new HL-5200 series of laser printers designed for small businesses at MWSF. The new series includes the HL-5240 ($230), HL-2050DN ($250), HL-5250DNT ($300), and the 802.11b/g wireless-ready HL-5280DW ($350). The HL-5240 prints at up to 30ppm with 1,200 x 1,200 dpi print quality and offers a 300-sheet paper capacity, expandable up to 800-sheets. The 16MB of base memory is expandable to 528MB, and the device offers USB 2.0 and parallel ports. The HL-5240 can emulate PCL6, BR-Script3, IBM, and Epson FX.
Suitcase Fusion ships
.Extensis today announced Suitcase Fusion, its highly anticipated, next-generation, single-user font manager. Suitcase Fusion integrates Suitcase X1 and Font Reserve 3. "By combining the much-desired user interface and ease-of-use of Suitcase, the capability and back-end power of Font Reserve, and the inclusion of additional font management capabilities and features, Extensis has created a tool uniquely suited to the needs of creative professionals." Suitcase Fusion, Extensis' first product in its next-generation font management software family, is the upgrade path for both Suitcase and Font Reserve stand-alone users and will allow both sets of users to easily upgrade their existing font databases to Suitcase Fusion, which helps users manage fonts using central font repository, face level activation, font corruption checking and font identification technology. It is available now for $100 or $480 (5-user version).
Wireless color MFC
..Brother International today introduced the MFC-820cw, its color multi-function center machine (MFC) featuring a 2.5-inch color LCD and built-in 802.11b/g wireless support. The 6-in-1 device includes color inkjet printer; copier; scanner; PhotoCapture Center; fax; and PC fax functions. The MFC-820cw offers photo quality color printing, copying, and scanning alongside stand-alone color faxing. Featuring up to 6,000 x 1,200 dpi color printing, the MFC contains an automatic 10-page document feeder. Brother's MFC-820cw is expected to ship in February for $250.
New Intuos tablets
Wacom Technology today announced the new Intuos3 12x19 pen tablet, specifically designed for photographers, designers, artists and engineers who are using multiple large monitors or a large widescreen display, such as the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD display. Utilizing physical dimensions of about 17- x 24-inch and an active area of 228 square inches, the Intuos3 12x19 includes all the features of the original Intuos3 line of pen tablets, including a cordless, battery-free Grip Pen, 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity for control, programmable ExpressKeys for modifier keystrokes and keyboard shortcuts, and finger-sensitive Touch Strips for scrolling, zooming, controlling brush size and more.
iPod top hoilday seller
Top U.S. major retailers have agreed, Apple's iPod and liquid crystal displays (LCDs) were the top sellers this holiday season. "For us, anything that said iPod or was an iPod accessory was hot," said Larry Mondry, CEO of CompUSA. The latest statements from retail executives confirm analyst predictions of iPod sales; Piper Jaffray performed checks with several Mac resellers in late December of 2005 to find that iPod- and Mac-related sales were stronger than the previous year. Amazon.com also announced in late December that the iPod was among its top three selling electronic items during the holidays. The iPod was a hot item in the U.K. as well, as unprecedented demand was reported just before the new year. "We had a good year in general, and specifically, a terrific Christmas season," said Mondry, according to a report from InfoWorld.
Desktop banner printing
..Chronos and Avery Dennison Office Products have jointly announced the launch of SOHO Signs, a new printing software for Macs. SOHO Signs supports printing for Avery Sign Kits, for use in printing large-size signs and banners from the consumer's desktop. The software includes hundreds of pre-designed templates and thousands of clip art images for use with or without the user's own graphics. Consumers print their projects on the 8.5- x 11-inch repositionable adhesive sheets using an ink jet or laser printer, then line up the sheets on the posters, ground stakes, or banners included in Avery Sign Kits. SOHO Signs software can be downloaded free from the Chronos website and will soon be available inside the packages of Avery Sign Kits. Chronos also announced an iPod giveaway during this week's Expo.
Sibelius, Hot Plan
Sibelius 4.1 ($600) is a free update for Sibelius 4 offering enhanced playback support for Garritan Personal Orchestra Sibelius Edition and Sibelius Rock and Pop Collection. Sibelius is software designed for writing, playing, printing and publishing music notation. The update provides bar number ranges on multirests, the ability to advance through attached video files frame by frame with new shortcuts, and allows users to create any MIDI controller change message.
[Download - 34MB]
Hot Plan 1.0 ($16) is a multi-purpose personal planning tool designed to help users collect and manage thoughts, ideas, projects, bookmarks, links, and text clips. The application offers a simple method to associate target dates with actions, as well as receive notifications. The software allows unlimited plans, as well as an unlimited number of actions associated with each plan. Actions offer various attributes such as title, completion status and percentage, creation date, completion date, target date, and more. [Download - 900KB]
AnalyzeText 1.0 ($50) comments electronic text by setting virtual page-breaks, dividing text into sections, and precisely orienting the cursor. Text markers in specific colors highlight important passages, and specific words or phrases can be annotated for clarity. Users can add multiple comments on the same passage, and search functions operate on secondary text to find related comments. [Download - 1.7MB]
TopXNotes iPod 1.1 ($25) manages notes with the capability to export selected notes to an iPod. Version 1.1 features note-level encryption, read-only notes, a "find" function in notes/notepad, and additional backup options. TopXNotes iPod provides an iPod preferences tab, an option to automatically export notes on window close, and the ability to sync the entire TopXNotes file on an iPod. [Download - 3.06MB]
MacGizmo 1.0.0 ($20) allows users to see the content and other useful information of selected items in the Finder, as well as other participating software programs. Users simply select an item to view its content. MacGizmo 1.0.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 1.1MB]
AudioExpress 1.0 ($20) records sound from a Mac's built-in microphone, or from an external source such as Apple's iSight. Key features include recording capability (pause and snip), playback, live search, and the ability to categorize recordings. Users can sync with iTunes and create rich text notes, and AudioExpress can automatically convert files to MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV and Apple Lossless when syncing. The application offers AppleScript support, and implements universal binary for future compatibility with Intel Macs. [Download - 1.4MB]
G-DRIVE mini mobile disks
G-Technology has added three new high-performance units to the company's line of G-DRIVE mini mobile disk drives. These new versions feature 60GB, 80GB and 100GB 7,200 RPM hard drives with 8MB cache and either dual FireWire 800 or FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interfaces. "Our new 7200 RPM G-DRIVE minis are the perfect high-performance storage solutions for audio and video editing on the go," commented Roger Mabon, President of G-Technology, Inc. "With capacities up to 100GB and desktop like performance, these mobile drives support DV, HDV, DVCPRO HD and uncompressed video applications on Mac and PC laptops." Weighing less than 9 ounces, the G-DRIVE mini is an ultra-portable and stylish portable storage solution. It is bus powered, eliminating the need to carry an external AC power supply and use the high-performance 7,200 RPM Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 series disk drives with 8MB cache. Prices start at $250 and they shiop with a 2-year warranty.
160GB portable drive
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced an advanced preview of the highest capacity, fastest-speed portable storage solution on the market. The company said that the newly engineered Mercury On-The-Go Pro Series 800/400+USB2 drives weigh about 12-ounces, feature capacities of up to 160GB (using a 5,400 rpm mechanism). OWC said it previewed the design prior to the CES in Las Vegas and expects to officially debut and ship the drive at the Expo beginning January 10, 2006. The On-The-Go line features drives with 40GB to 160GB of storage space running 4,200-, 5,400- or 7,200RPM starting at $130.
miniStack design upgrade
NewerTech will debut its upgraded design for the miniStack at this week's Expo. The miniStack v2 is engineered to increase drive capacity 80GB to 500GB while adding multiple FireWire and USB port options. Designed to work with the Mac mini, it features data buffers of 2MB or 8MB (depending on drive size), an Oxford911+ chipset, and integrated 2-port FireWire and 3-port USB 2.0/1.1 powered hubs. In addition, the NewerTech miniStack features a smart power switch so the drive turns on and off with its corresponding mini or PC as well as a thermal probe that automatically regulates and varies fan speed according to the temperature. The miniStack v2 measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches, and retails for $140 for an 80GB version; it is available in capacities up to 500GB, while "add your own hard drive" kit is available for $80.
Pixound Jam Studio
Techne Media (booth 2207) today announced Pixound Jam Studio, its one-of-a-kind software that translates RGB color information into musical information allowing users to actually play pictures and videos by moving a cursor over them. The music produced is fully controlled in any key and scale (over 60 to choose from), at any tempo and using any instrument. Pixound Jam Studio also features patent pending Cyclophone technology, which creates an endless variety of background music and grooves for Pixound to play on top of, in perfect sync. Pixound Jam Studio includes Groovology Desktop, which watches as you switch applications and windows and remixes grooves accordingly. "Thus, by simply doing your work you are creating a perfectly synchronized soundtrack to your actions."
Targus laptop cases
Targus has introduced the Prism Messenger and Topload notebook carrying cases, designed to fit notebook computers with screen sizes up to 15 inches. Most Prism line cases include compartments for cell phone, PDA and business cards, as well as pen holders and key clip, and the shoulder straps can be removes for hand carrying. New colors include Black nylon with contrast stitching and plaid accents, and black nylon with a colored edge around the carry handles. The Prism line cases retail for $60-70, and will be available in March. The company said that the audience is younger women, who "have expressed their desire for notebook cases that express their sense of fashion, fun and style."
CatDV 4.1 released
Square Box Systems today released CatDV 4.1, a major update to its CatDV media asset database and professional video logging tools. CatDV 4.1 will import and catalog just about any kind of media file and will greatly enhance the productivity of anyone using an editing application such as Final Cut Pro or Avid Xpress DV. Version 4.1 adds support for importing and exporting Final Cut Pro XML files, permitting seamless exchange of clip logging information and sequences between the CatDV database and Final Cut Pro browser window, complete with links to the media files with no need to reattach the media. It also adds support for importing as well as exporting Avid ALE log files, extending an already impressive list of batch log and edit decision list file formats that are supported and simplifying the exchange of clip data in mixed editing environments. It is a free upgrade to existing users of v4.0 and is available for $275.
Photo to Movie 3.2.3
LQ Graphics has released a new version of Photo to Movie 3.2.3, which lets users create video content for Apple's iPod video. Photo to Movie offers an easy-to-use interface that delivers the full power of "Ken Burns' Motion Effects" with no learning curve. It allows users can create high-quality movies that include titles, music, and transitions. The company says that Photo to Movie uses proprietary algorithms to optimize each frame to eliminate flicker. "Here at MSI Productions, we are expanding our product offerings to include iPod video music production services, and Photo to Movie's new iPod rendering option will dramatically improve the quality of the productions we create," said Alan J. Hendry. "Photo to Movie is a fantastic product." It is available for $50 and runs on Mac OS X and Windows XP.
iCheer 212 for iPod nano
Ignitek this week will showcase four iPod-compatible speaker systems, including the iCarrier and iCruiser for all iPods (except the Shuffle) as well as the iCheer for the iPod Shuffle and iCheer 212 for iPod nano, the newest product in its lineup. The iCheer 212 for iPod nano creates a portable music system that is "easy to pack and take anywhere. The iCheer 212 is similar to the company's original iCheer for the iPod shuffle; however, an iPod connector allows the Nano to charge while inserted in the speaker and to be connected to a Mac or PC. An AC adapter plus carrying bag are included with the iCheer 212. It also features a mini-USB connector that allows the speaker to be connected to a USB input on a computer. The iCheer 212 for the Nano will be available in early 2006 for $90.
Memeo iExtend for iPod
Memeo has announced the Memeo iExtend for iPod, an iPod-compatible version of its backup solution Memeo AutoBackup, designed to give users expanded access to digital content via their iPod. Using the iExtend, consumers can use the SmartPick checklist to select their preferred news topics-- accessed from RSS feeds- and play them back from anywhere. Also included are the Memeo + Shutterfly integrated solution, iDisk, and Zero-Touch. Memeo + Shutterfly detects new digital photos and manages the photo uploading process in the background, while iDisk allows users to store content online and off-site, giving users the ability to update their iPod without iTunes. Zero-Touch, which conforms to individual user behavior, automatically back up any new file addition or change whether or not the iPod is connected to a PC, automatically updating changes upon re-connection. Memeo iExtend is available for download for $30 and requires Windows 2000SP4, Windows XP Pro, or Windows XP Home Edition.
MacForge beta launched
MacTech has launched the public beta of MacForge, its new website for experienced open-source users and Mac technical individuals and is also offering a free help utility to schedule/run maintenance commands on your Mac. The new MacForge website seeks out open-source projects that have either already been tested on the Mac, or are likely to run on the Mac without major porting work. "When looking for open-source solutions ourselves, there was too much to sift through to find those solutions that would work on the Mac. MacTech started looking for a solution that would not only serve MacTech's needs, but those of the community," said Neil Ticktin, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, MacTech Magazine. The site also offers the ability to filter projects further, search, browse categories, and sort in various different ways.
ODBC Driver for MS Access
Actual Technologies today announced its ODBC Driver for Microsoft Access Databases, which allows a Mac user to retrieve data from Access databases with applications such as Excel and FileMaker, using queries to populate spreadsheets, charts, and graphs with live data. The native Mac solution for connecting to Access databases does not require the use of a separate Windows machine to communicate with the Access database: "Anyone familiar with setting up an ODBC connection on a Windows machine will feel at home with the configuration wizard, while Mac users will experience the native OS X interface and ease of use that they expect." The driver can also be used to incorporate Access connectivity into third-party applications or even custom software written in REALbasic, Carbon, Cocoa or PHP. The Actual ODBC Driver for Microsoft Access is available for less than $30 per license, with no minimum licensing requirements.
Spring Cleaning 8.0
Smith Micro's Allume division (booth 1237) today released Spring Cleaning 8.0, an update to its Mac clean-up utility that optimizes computer performance and helps users keep their Mac clean and organized. Offering a dozen new features and improvements, Spring Cleaning 8.0 is designed to help users organize their Macs, perform routine maintenance and/or focus on cleaning out unnecessary files, such as email attachments, duplicate files, unwanted programs and more. Version 8.0 can quickly consolidate digital photos/music to iPhoto/iTunes or a single folder, rename files in bulk, can locate archives/widgets, can slim-down fat-binary (68K/PowerPC) and Universal Binary (PowerPC/Intel) applications, can rename/burn/compression any file, features improved "snapshot"s your Mac to determine file changes, performs accurate searches, and supports all major web browsers. It is available for $50, while upgrades are $30.
ProfCast for presentations
Humble Daisy today introduced ProfCast, a new all-in-one presentation-to-podcast tool for the Mac. The company says that the software provides everything lecturers need to create podcasts from their lectures. ProfCast offers an integrated workflow that makes creating, recording, and publishing podcasts easy. The software features live presentation recording, synchronized audio with slides, rss generation for podcasting, and support for publishing. "Until now, capturing lectures has been a difficult, time-consuming and costly process. What's cool about ProfCast is that you can give your lectures as you normally would, and ProfCast does the work for you." A free trial is available now. The software is $35 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.
CRYPTO-Server 6.4 at MWSF
CRYPTOCard (booth 1642) will demo its soon-to-be-released CRYPTO-Server 6.4 authentication solution at this week's Expo. CRYPTO-Server 6.4 enables businesses to protect LAN, VPN, web-based (Apache and II S), and desktop access for Mac OS X (Panther/Tiger). Delivering full compatibility with Tiger's support for Smart Cards, the new standard in Two-Factor Authentication adds strength with Apple Keychain Authentication, flexibility with Disconnected Authentication, and support for heterogeneous computing environments. The company says that the upgrade will allow organizations to positively identify users attempting to access a workstation, network, or website via any access point desktop, LAN, VPN or web-based access using CRYPTOCard's familiar ATM-like logon and access/authentication technology.
Nano bundle, iPod at CES
In Brief: eZGear has launched a new ezStart nano Starter kit, which bundles several useful Nano accessories in a value-priced bundle.... Audiovox has announced a universal iPod docking station as well as a few MP3 player models.... Several companies in the audio industry have jumped on the iPod bandwagon and are offering support for the iPod.... ProjectWizards has announced an 'Expo show special' discount, offering a 20% discount on all business licenses of its Merlin project management application.... Chronos (booth 707) and Avery Dennison Office Products will be conducting a free daily drawing for an iPod nano at the Expo at 2:00pm: entry forms will be available in attendee show bags or can be downloaded from the Chronos website.
Miglia DualDisk with WD
Miglia Technology today announced its partnership with Western Digital (WD) and the launch of Miglia DualDisk with WD's disk drives. Following last year's launch of the Miglia DualDisk, the company has given the device "a makeover" and has begun using Western Digital technology. The compact case integrates two hard drives into a single unit using a unique horizontal format: the ultra-slim aluminium enclosure combines large storage capacity with high data transfer rates peaking at 88MB/sec. Leveraging its advanced DCS cooling system, the FireWire 800-based hard drives run at low temperatures, lengthening their lifespan and securing the data, according to the company. Miglia DualDisk is available in capacities of 320GB ($400), 500GB ($550) and 640GB ($585) and as an empty case--all unit ship with a 5-year warranty and use a 8MB cache/7,200 rpm WD mechanism. In addition DualDisk is now available using the ultimate quality WD Caviar 'Raid Edition' drives, which feature 16MB of cache per device and an MTBF of 5 times a conventional hard drive (pricing not available).
REALbasic to suport Cocoa
REAL Software today announced that REALbasic will support Cocoa, Apple's framework for Mac OS X software development as well as add support for Intel-based Macs. The company said it is building a new REALbasic platform layer based on Apple's Cocoa framework and that major third-party REALbasic plug-in developers plan to support the new REALbasic Cocoa framework as well. Concurrent with Cocoa support, REAL Software will also deliver support for Universal Binaries, Apple's technology that enables a single application to run natively on both Intel and PowerPC architectures. "Adding Cocoa support to REALbasic clearly affirms our commitment to the Mac," stated Geoff Perlman, president and CEO of REAL Software. "Cocoa support will enable us to incorporate great new technologies from Apple more quickly and more easily than ever before, and will result in better, more feature-rich software for Mac OS X."
.Mac outage during keynote
Apple's .Mac services will be down during Tuesday's Macworld Expo keynote, according to a note on Apple's website. CNET News.com notes that the downtime could be due to announcements about changes to the service: "Apple also suggested that changes to its .Mac Internet subscription service could be coming. The hint came via a note that the service will be down during the time of Jobs' keynote." An announcement to users on the company's website reads: ".Mac will be undergoing scheduled maintenance from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM PST on 1/10/06. All .Mac services will be affected. We apologize for the inconvenience."
Karelia debuts Sandvox
Karelia Software has released the first public beta release of its website building application, Sandvox. The application features drag-and-drop website assembly; live editing without a preview mode; two dozen stylish designs; and innovative Pagelets, small areas of content that reside within a webpage's sidebar. Sandvox is also weblog- and podcast-ready and allows users to easily build a weblogs along with automatic RSS generation. In addition, Sandvox sports a helpful setup assistant for hassle-free publishing. Websites can be placed on the user's local machine and uploaded to remote hosts via FTP, SFTP, and WebDAV, including .Mac. Sandvox is scheduled for full release later this quarter, in both standard and "pro" configurations. Pricing will be announced shortly, however, users can obtain a special Expo discount if they sign up on the company's website.
Bookends v9 released
Sonny Software has released Bookends 9, a Mac-only full-featured bibliography/reference and information management application for students and professionals. Bookends v9 includes twelve new fields, the ability to display attached images (including pdfs) in the Info Drawer, more powerful and flexible formatting, newly designed formats (Chicago, APA, Turabian, and MLA), updated EndNote XML export/import, the ability to remove duplicates based on the date field, better smallcaps output, and more. The software offers a powerful list view, custom as well as "smart' groups, powerful search functions, integration with a variety of online reference sites (PubMed, the Library of Congress, Amazon, etc.), and more. Bookends 9 is available for $100 ($70 for students) and is free for anyone who bought Bookends on or after November 1, 2004. A free demo is limited to 50 records.
MacSpeech (booth 738) today announced a new Spanish LanguagePak for its popular iListen speech recognition program. The new LanguagePak allows Mac users to dictate and issue commands in Spanish and includes translations for all the commands available in the basic English version of iListen. The new LanguagePak installs into an existing full version of iListen, which is available for US English, UK English, Australian/ New Zealand English, German, and Italian. The Spanish LanguagePak provides three dialects of Spanish for the user to choose from: Castilian (South American), North American, and European. A command reference guide is also included so users can familiarize themselves with the Spanish commands. The Spanish LanguagePak sells for $75 and requires iListen 1.6.8 and Mac OS X 10.4.
Apple\'s \"closed\" system
Yet another critic is taking on Apple's closed iPod/iTunes system, predicting that Apple's music/video strategies will not stand the test of time. One industry pundit fears that Apple's success is predicated on a strategy that will ultimately lead to its own demise: Clayton M. Christensen, the Harvard professor and author of the seminal 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma says he is not "willing to jump on the Apple bandwagon just yet. As well as Jobs & Co. is performing now, Christensen fears that success is built on a strategy that won't stand the test of time," according to a BusinesWeek report. Christensen says that while the "closed" iTunes/iPod system works in the early stages of many industry revolutions, but finally succumbs to the open, more-modular systems.
Adobe debuts Lightroom
Adobe Systems (booth 1307) today introduced the public beta of Adobe Lightroom, an all-new digital imaging solution for professional photographers. Much like Apple's Aperture application for professionals, the modular, task-based and streamlined environment delivers a complete photography workflow. The company says it plans to continue to augement and add features based on customer feedback: "As Adobe collects more feedback from photographers, modules and feature sets will likely change, as customers decide on their popularity and priority within digital photography workflows." Initially available as a beta for Macintosh, Lightroom will later support both the Windows and Macintosh platforms. The image-focused application will be showcased at the Expo and is available as 111MB download for Mac OS X Tiger users now from the Adobe Labs website.
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