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An avid Mac developer has released Intervalz for iPod 1.0, a set of MP3s designed to turn an iPod into a Maezel metronome, tuning "pitch pipe," and quiz machine that can test ones ability to identify intervals and chord types. The software includes several guitar tunings, as well as Ukulele tuning. The Maezel metronome includes a few additional tempos; major; minor; diminished and augmented chord test; interval test (up to one octave); blues; harmonic minor; Jazz melodic minor and major; melodic minor and natural minor scales; A440Hz; A442Hz; A444Hz tuning pitches; guitar drop C; guitar slack G; guitar standard; and guitar taro patch. The set is available for $10.
FireWire Depot today unveiled the NAS Pro, its Network Attached Storage server based on Intel technologies. The NAS Pro supports up to eight hot swap SATA drives for storage that can be configured as RAID 0, 1, 5, or JBOD, and transport data through two gigabit Ethernet ports. Key features of the network attached storage device include expandability with an optional extended module, lightweight aluminum construction, a quiet power supply, and background RAID creation. The device supports insertion detection/automatic RAID set rebuilding, features fully hot swappable disk mechanisms, and offers simple Web browser-based administration. Additional features key features of the NAS Pro include "Snap-Shot" to create a read-only copy of the contents of a NAS server; volume aggregation; hard drive roaming; a built-in optical recorder; hot expansion; integrated network disc server & data archiving; smart sync; virus protection; and email notification. The NAS Pro is available for $3,300.
EzGear today introduced Onyx black versions of its iPodR accessories--powerStick and ezCharge for iPod. The powerStick is an auxiliary power source for dockable iPods, using four AA batteries that can increase playback time by three to four times. The powerStick charges the iPod battery while attached to the player, and features an LED indicator. EzGear's ezCharge (shown at right) offers users the ability to charge any dockable iPod in a vehicle, and includes a fuse-protected circuit. The device features a coiled cable, as well as an LED indicator light. The powerStick for iPod in Onyx black is priced at $33, while the ezCharge in Onyx black is available for $25.
Sony Electronics today introduced a 20-inch PC/TV display, which it says is an all-in-one solution for viewing a variety of multimedia content -- from a PC and a TV -- on one high-definition widescreen display. Featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1680 x 1050 screen resolution, the new MFM-HT205 model delivers a built-in NTSC television tuners and feature the ability to watch TV or DVDs in full widescreen mode, picture-in-picture or picture-and-picture formats while multitasking with desktop PC applications. The MFM-HT205 display also features Sony's wall-mountable "Rising Design" and is equipped with a variety of connectivity options, including S-video, component, composite, HD-15 and DVI-HDCP inputs.
Record label Island Def Jam recently decided not to sell "So Sick" by R&B artist Ne-Yo as an individual song before the album hit stores last week, in an effort to increase album sales. Label executives feared that releasing the track too early--many such launches have included an exclusive song on iTunes--would cut into sales of the full CD, according to a report from The New York Times. The CD "In My Own Words" topped the national album chart yesterday at no. 1, pulling in sales of more than 301,000 copies and ranking as the largest debut of the year thus far. Despite holding back, the digital single of "So Sick" sold nearly 120,000 copies in its first week alongside shrink-wrapped copies in stores. Island Def Jam, however, offered retailers who stocked the album a discount, allowing the album to sell for $8. Should the industry decide that restricting digital sales turns out increased album sales, the labels may begin throttling digital downloads in the future to ramp up physical sales.
The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has teamed up with Apple to provide the school community with free access to events, seminars and news content via podcasts. The partnership will allow users to download the audio files to a computer and then transfer them to an MP3 player of choice, and the podcasts will be accessible to business school community members with an iMpact intranet login. Four podcast channels which include content related to Positive Organizational Scholarship, the William Davidson Institute, Dividend magazine, and the Monroe Street Journal will be available on the Apple iTunes U site. A launch event for students, faculty and staff will take place today at 4 p.m. in Hale Auditorium at the Ross School. A video presentation will be offered, as well as a brief demonstration of the new service and student iPod nano raffle.
Apple today released a third security update--presumably to fix issues found in the second security update released earlier this week. Ironically, the previous update was also released to address inadequate security fixes and bugs introduced in the first update released earlier this month. Available for Mac OS X 10.4.5 Tiger on both Intel client and PPC Server/Client systems, Security Update 2006-002 v1.1 outlines the same updated components: apache_mod_php, CoreTypes, LaunchServices, Mail, rsync, and Safari, but is now labeled as v1.1. Further information is not yet available. The updates are not yet available via the Software Update. The update comes on the heels of important Mac security updates for Microsoft Excel and Adobe Flash and a new QuickTime/iTunes flaw that has yet to be addressed by Apple.
For now, Apple's iTunes ecosystem has escaped the new French law that enforces DRM and imposes penalties on hackers and users who illegally pirate digital music. The much-debated Authors Rights Law, which was just passed by France's National Assembly, goes easy on users who download music and other files illegally, but comes down hard on software developers who write and distribute programs to crack Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection. The proposal reported yesterday that would force online music services--such as Apple's iTunes Music Store--to allow customers to download songs onto devices other than its iPod--has been discussed but not included as a proposal in the draft. Industry watchers speculated yesterday that if the proposal came to fruition, Apple would close down the French iTunes Music Store for fear of users illegally distributing iTunes tracks outside the country.
In brief: Winners for the 16th Annual CMP Media Software Development Jolt Product Excellence & Productivity Awards have been announced, with Adobe winning productivity awards in both the Web Development Tools and Mobile Development categories.... Adobe has posted information on a download for updating its Flash plugin for Intel-based Macs, which MacNN reported yesterday.... America Online has launched its new digital video service in conjunction with Time Warner, called In2TV.... Jack Black, the star of Paramount Pictures' "Nacho Libre," will take audiences behind the scenes with exclusive "confessionals" about what it was like to make the upcoming comedy "Nacho Libre" in a series of video podcasts debuting at Apple's iTunes Music Store and QuickTime.com.... Apple has raised the price of its only known full-length film available on the iTunes Music Store, High School Musical, from the standard $1.99 up to $9.99.... A Microsoft employee has blogged about his attempts to locate a digital media player that bests Apple's iPod, but admits that the Cupertino-based company consistently stays ahead of the curve.
Kollective.de has launched a new collector series of hard-shell cases for the iPod: the new TINPOD iPod cases are designed to "add some flavor to your favorite gadget." Created as limited editions, they currently feature three original illustrations. "Our cases are not just fun accessories, they also protect your iPod from the occasional drops and inevitable scratches caused by all those other toys you keep in your bag. There will be new editions to come, but don’t miss out on our debut collection. With the arrival of the original TINPODs, the days of conformity are over." Each case has cutouts for easy access to the ports while closed; they include a 3mm lining and support 3G, 4G, and 5G iPods. The three designs, limited to 5,000 cases each, include L'Orange Lune, Change Attitude, and Die Blechdose and are available for $17 each or in a special 2-for-$30 limited time offer.
A Microsoft employee has blogged about his attempts to locate a digital media player that bests Apple's iPod, but admits that the Cupertino-based company consistently stays ahead of the curve. "I'm beginning to change my mind about things. Even though we have a great eco system for music stores etc, the reality is that our OEM partners are never ever going to create a product like the iPod," the Microsoft employee wrote. "They are simply no match for the iPod Dock Connector, which [has] generated an ecosystem of hardware that's probably more lucrative than the online music business. Game over." The blogger plans to hold out for the Gigabeat S from Toshiba, a portable media player that features 30GB and 60GB storage capacities alongside an extended battery life that boasts 20 hours of audio or up to five hours of video playback. "if it's big and ugly and has crappy battery life or a bad FM radio I'm out. I'm 90 percent of the way there. I'm also going to hold out for urge.com and Windows Media Player 11. But if any of these things suck, I'm off to the Apple Store to smack down a few hundred on some bling bling."
Other World Computing (OWC) today introduced a new Mercury Extreme G4/1.3-1.33GHz processor upgrade. Priced at $260, the processor upgrade is designed for maximum affordability. "Other World Computing is dedicating to making top of the line processor upgrades accessible to customers at maximum affordability," said Larry O'Connor, CEO of OWC. "Mercury Extreme G4 processor upgrades are the economical solution to making older Macs faster than ever." In addition, OWC also has slashed prices on its 1.2GHz model to $230. The Mercury Extreme G4 processor upgrades are designed for simple plug-and-play installation and include 256KB of 1:1 L2 cache on-chip and 2MB of high-speed L3 Cache. OWC backs all of its Mercury Extreme processor upgrades with a three-year warranty. They are compatible with Apple PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics (Sawtooth), Gigabyte Ethernet, Digital Audio and Quicksilver models.
Disk Order 2.1 ($23) offers users a tabbed interface to enter and browse archives while expanding their contents, as well as the ability to connect to FTP servers. Version 2.1 adds command buttons in the bottom of the main window, enhances the "get info" panel with date/size/name/preview/color mark information, and offers support for Socks version 5 proxy servers when connecting to an FTP server from behind a proxy. The update also includes the ability to place afp and smb volumes in the toolbar, allowing users to reconnect to them with a single click. [Download - 1.8MB] Pandora 1.9.4 ($20) updates the image collector's Web spider and search agent for Mac OS X, fixing a few minor issues and implementing smaller download sizes as a result of internal streamlining. The application hunts down images by spidering URLs or performing keyword-based searches. Version 1.9.4 enhances the tabbed look of multiple sessions with a counter, and features improved drag-and-drop animation. [Download - 1MB] AstroImageBrowser 1.1 ($15) is a flexible front end to Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) internet repository of astronomical images for Mac OS X 10.4. The update brings the application out of Beta status, changing layer precedence making DSOs higher than stars. Version 1.1 removes image shift when colorizing or decolorizing images, and changes the controversial M102 to the Spindle Galazy NGC 5866, rather than a duplicate of M101. [Download - 3.6MB] MusicPublisher 1.0 (unknown) is a utility to share an iPod or similar music device, making it directly available to iTunes. Designed to be easy to use, the application allows users to drag-and-drop an iPod or folder from the finder onto the preferences window to start sharing. MusicPublisher uses a free implementation of the DAAP protocol, which is used by iTunes. [Download - 1.4MB] GoInFront (free) is designed to accommodate users who enjoy the way Mac OS 9 handles application windows when switching from one application to another. When users click on any application window in Mac OS 9 the application and all of its windows come forward, though under Mac OS X only the clicked window comes forward. GoInFront for Mac OS X brings back Mac OS 9 application switching window handling. [Download - 626KB] CutX 2.5 ($40) is a free update for registered users to the extended site blocking plugin designed for Apple's Safari Web browser, offering native support for Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. Version 2.5 is compiled with GCC 4.0 for improved performance, offers enhanced support of websites with login/password access, improves support of Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.3.9, and boasts an updated interface. [Download - 1.3MB]
Mosquito SW has introduced eNotes 1.2, its an easy-to-use and complete tool for managing electronic notes in your Mac; it offers the ability to synchronize notes with the iPod and with other computers. According to the company, version 1.2 is more stable, comprehensive and quicker and offers an enhanced interface that improves the usability and performance of the tool. eNotes allows you to create electronic notes on-the-fly as well as edit, modify, save the note or use it as memo or task with priorization and due date features. eNotes adds its own menu to the Finder menubar, showing anytime the notes with due date listed by priority. Users can now change the size and background color of the notes, as well as the transparency, font style, create custom icons to identify your own cathegories and search among all annotations using live filtering functions. It is priced at $15 and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8.
MacMusic is proud to announce the exclusive availability of Polyfractus' new freeware plugin: "Model," short for MOdulation DELay, is an Audio Unit (AU) OS X plugin designed for musicians and sound producers searching for warm classic echo effects to the strangest modulations and musical pattern. Users can indefinitely "Model" their sounds and sequences with unlimited random modulation tweaks, powerful filtering and weird ring modulations. It features stereo-to stereo processing, a range of 1ms to 1000ms delay times, five types of modulators, random generated patterns with smooth function, an envelope follower, a decimator and ring modulator, low/high shelf filter in feedback path, a lowpass filter in crossfeedback path, and a parameters randomizer.
Other World Computing (OWC) today began shipping an updated version of its Mercury Pro DVR-111 FireWire/USB2 Dual-Layer DVD and CD burner that offers DVD +/- R&RW dual layer as well as CDRW burning capability. The external burner features up to 16X DVD, 8X Dual Layer DVD, and 40X CD burn speeds, and offers high-speed read/playback of CD and DVD media types including DVD-RAM. OWC's Mercury Pro plug-and-play solution utilizes state-of-the-art optical drive technology to support user authoring with all major Apple and PC burning applications including iLife 2005 and 2006, iDVD, iPhoto, iTunes, Roxio Toast, and NTI DragonBurn. The Mercury Pro DVR-111 ships with NTI Dragonburn Authoring Software, EMC/Dantz Retrospect Backup, 5 blank DVDs, 25 blank CD-Rs, and all connecting cables. The unit is priced at $130, and comes with a one-year warranty.
Apple's iTunes is quickly becoming the media player of choice for users of streaming media. Already the fast growing media player in terms of unique users, Apple's QuickTime-based jukebox software surpassed its own QuickTime player in mid-2005, and at current growth rates should pass RealPlayer by mid-2006, according to recent data from Nielsen//NetRatings and Apple. In January of 2006, the data showed about 71 million unique users for the market leading Windows Media Player, just over 28 million users for RealPlayer, 18.5 million for iTunes and nearly 13 million for QuickTime. Combined, Apple was second to Microsoft. First noted by Macworld UK, the report says tht "iTunes is used over twice as long as its nearest rival RealPlayer (111 minutes versus 46.4 minutes per person, or 2.4 times as long) and that RealPlayer is the only other player surveyed to show growth in usage over the last three years. QuickTime and Windows Media Player are losing mindshare among users." iTunes should pass RealPlayer in mid-2006 at current growth rates and will be to second with just under 30 million unique users to Microsoft's Windows Media Player, which will have about 80 million unique users, according the data.
Eovia has introduced Hexagon 2, a "more comprehensive" version of its 3D polygonal and subdivision modeler that now includes more valuable features that allow 3D artists and illustrators to build, texture and preview detailed 3D models prior to rendering. Hexagon 2 offers an enhanced set of tools for modeling, refining, UV mapping, texturing and previewing intricate 3D creations. Version 2 includes intuitive freehand brush modeling, improved texturing features, a new comprehensive UV-mapping module, new 3D paint tools, compatibility with all popular graphics tablets (e.g., Wacom tablets) and immediate previews of fully detailed and textured models using the ultra-fast Ambient Occlusion simulating Global Illumination and realtime shadows. Hexagon will ship in April for $270; upgrades will be priced at $120 with a $20 discount for pre-orders (along with a $30 gift) and free upgrades for new v1 purchases through the end of April.
The contest for the first solution to boot Windows XP on an Intel-Mac has been won, according to a post on the official website. The contest had offered a cash reward of nearly $14,000 for the first successful solution, which was subject to three restrictions offered by the creators: (1) Instructions must boot Windows XP (at least), not Vista or any other version of Windows; (2) Windows must be able to coexist with Mac OS X and each system may not interfere with the operation of the other (a traditional dual boot system where one OS is running at a time); and (3) the method must offer the user the option to boot either Mac OS X or Windows XP. The submitted solution was reportedly peer-reviewed for legitimacy and the post said that the final solution will run on all Intel-based iMacs, the MacBook Pro, and the Intel-based Mac mini. While not available now, a post on the user forums says that the solution will be posted shortly along with a downloadable bootloader. The site says that future donations will be used to help support an open-source project that will be launched with the initial solution. Update: The WinXP instructions and bootloader have been posted.
Apple on Wednesday opened its newest retail store in the United States. The company opened Apple Store Summit Sierra at 13925 S. Virginia St. Space #220 on Reno, NV. ifoapplestore also reports that "Apple will open a retail store in Zurich [Swizterland] by 2007, in the space now occupied by the United Colors of Benetton store at Bahnhofstrasse 77. The contract has been signed on the 2,960 square-foot store for a reported $762,000 a year." Earlier this week, we noted a new possible US retail location in Knoxville, TN at West Towne Mall next to Abercrombie & Fitch.
CSI has released the third version of its flagship product for conceptual computer aided design: Concepts Unlimited v3 offers flexible and intuitive tools for turning ideas into precise 2D and 3D designs. Version 3 offers a new user interface, including alpha blended tool icons/cursors and a new Tool Bar that organizes and displays helpful prompts, hints, and tips in an intuitive manner. In addition, it introduces innovative changes to the snap inference technology with custom controls over transparency, background, and textual color; it also debuts a powerful new surface type with the Cover Surface with Guide Curves tool and a new Pattern Features tool that creates patterns from a collection of faces and also allows users to pattern faces from foreign parts. CSI also added a new Symbol Palette providing drag and drop access to over 12,000 2D and 3D symbols as well as support for AutoCAD 2006 DXF/DWG file formats, native support for TurboCAD for Mac files, a double line tool for quickly creating walls, dual-processor support on Macs, and support for 3DConnexion¨ motion control devices and MicroScribe¨ 3D digitizing devices. (Pricing not available.)
SubRosaSoft.com today announced the availability of a public beta version of MacForensicsLab, a complete suite of forensics and analysis tools in one cohesive package. Designed to work on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux storage devices, MacForensicsLab provides a solution for law enforcement professionals. The easy-to-use forensics software suite for Mac OS X includes the components required for evidence gathering and reporting, allowing users to analyze, catalog, duplicate, or salvage most Macintosh, Windows, or Linux storage devices. In addition, machine details, events, discoveries, and recoveries are logged, minimizing many of the potential pitfalls in gathering evidence. It supports extensive logs, industrial-strength disk imaging, keyword searching/analysis, file salvage/extraction, advanced catalog techniques, disk arbritration management, and drive cleaning. The beta/trial version is now available online for forensics professionals to download.
Apple has posted an Intel-compatible version of QuickTime Broadcaster, its live encoding software that lets you produce professional-quality live events for online delivery. "QuickTime Broadcaster takes full advantage of QuickTime, the most powerful digital media technology on the Internet. The combination QuickTime Broadcaster, QuickTime Streaming Server and QuickTime provides the industry’s first end-to-end MPEG-4-based Internet broadcasting system, which allows you to reach not only the large and growing base of QuickTime Players, but also any ISO-compliant MPEG-4 player." Apple's website now says that the software works with Intel- or PowerPC-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later: "QuickTime Broadcaster 1.5.1 is an important update that includes support for Macintosh computers with Intel processors."
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
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 ÂPower 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
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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