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Future of VPC uncertain
Despite the release of Apple's Boot Camp technology, Microsoft says it is still debating the future Virtual PC as it continues to work with Apple to bring Intel-Mac compatibility to the emulation environment that allows users to run Windows, Linux, and other operating systems from within Mac OS X. "We are continuing to work with Apple on a possible next version of Virtual PC," Amanda Lefebvre, marketing manager for Microsoft's Mac Business Unit said. "We still don't have all the answers, but we are trying to understand what changes need to happen in their operating system and what changes we need to make." The company earlier this year publicly committed to developing an Intel-native version of its Office suite, Virtual PC was notably absent from the five-year Apple and Microsoft technology agreement, announced at the Expo in January.
Fool analyzes AAPL future
Apple could end up as the next Dell if things go its way or as the next Gateway, if its luck runs out, according to a Fool.com column. Based on calculations, the columnist says that Apple's stock in 2011 could be worth as much as $137 -- or double its current value. "Dell is strictly a hardware company, dependent on a hyperefficient supply chain. Apple, on the other hand, is a systems company that depends on software. Apple has long been known as a premium supplier. Dell? Not so much. Yet in spite of these obvious differences, Dell and Apple have come to resemble each other much more than in years past. For example, Apple is now a price- and brand-conscious supplier whose goal is to move volume (witness colossal iPod sales). To me, that sounds an awful lot like Dell in 1998, especially when you compare that year's hypergrowth PC market to the equally hot market emerging in mobile media." The column concludes that that "Apple may end up as the next Gateway. Or it may be the next Dell. Personally, I think the latter is much more likely."
Ableton releases Live 5.2
Ableton today released Live 5.2, offering native support for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. The music production suite is designed to support each stage of the musical process, allowing users migrate through the creative stage into production, where Live provides tools and studio compatibility to complete projects. Live 5.0 users can upgrade to Live 5.2 for $50, and will receive a full refund on that upgrade if they purchase Live 6 when it ships in the third quarter. Users who purchased Live 5 after Apple's Intel-Macs were introduced on January 10th, 2006 can upgrade to Live 5.2 for free. Live 5.2 requires Mac OS 9/Mac OS X 10.3 or later, and is available for $500.
Slower iPod growth rate?
Banc of America today cut its price target on Apple shares from $82 to $77, causing the stock to drop two percent. The firm cited Apple's lower forecasts for iPod and Mac sales as the cause, and said that iPod sales will remain strong with a slightly less substantial growth rate. BofA also believes that Apple's market share gains will be less than expected, according to Reuters. Apple shares had gained 15 percent over the past two days following the company's announcement of its Boot Camp software. By unveiling free software that will allow Intel Macs to run Windows XP, Apple hopes to broaden its market share by offering Mac users access to previously unusable Windows applications. The company has struggled with growth in the past -- especially in the enterprise market -- as businesses were hesitant to purchase Macs, mostly due to software limitations.
AAPL 2Q earnings
In brief: Apple is planning to reveal its second quarter earnings via a conference call, to be held on Wednesday April 19th at 5:00 p.m. ET.... MacProVideo.com today began offering Reason 101: Mastering Propellerhead Reason ($40), a video tutorial program to provide a fast start for new users of Reason.... M-Audio today announced the appointment of Ralph Goldheim to the position of National Sales Manager.... Macgamestore.com has added a half dozen new Mac games over the past week, including Quake 4 and The Sims 2: Nightlife.... PDAsia has unveiled its retractable cable for iPod, allowing users to recharge and sync the device via USB from a distance of up to one meter.... A tax law professor has launched the Complete Internal Revenue Code Podcast Project in order to make the entire Internal Revenue Code available via podcast.
iPod retractable USB cable
PDAsia has unveiled its retractable cable for iPod, allowing users to recharge and sync the device via USB from a distance of up to one meter. The cable measures 11cm when fully retracted, and is designed to easily fit inside a wallet or handbag for frequent travelers. The double layer design increases current, reducing the amount of time required to charge the iPod's battery. PDAsia's retractable charging cable for iPod is priced at $1.45 (compatibility information was unavailable).
iTMS rivals falling short
A new column notes the superior position Apple's iTunes Music Store holds, and offer a possibility as to why none of the competition has managed to dethrone the digital music king. An enterprising company would need to develop a site with virtually the same content as iTunes, add the ability to use it with a variety of non-iPod players, and then offer better prices to effectively compete with Apple. This has already happened, according to Forbes; however, it isn't enough -- partially due to sub-par players and partially due to Microsoft's "software failings." iTunes competitors, the report says, are pushing subscription-based models, hoping consumers will warm up to the idea of unlimited track rentals that deactivate when they stop paying money. iTunes sells tracks for .99 cents each, but because buyers own the music they can stop using the iTunes Music Store at any time and continue to enjoy the tracks they already paid for.
MS to take on GarageBand
Microsoft is planning to release a music authoring program for the company's upcoming Windows Vista called "Monaco," which will compete with Apple's GarageBand application. The program will be similar in design to GarageBand, but will be optimized for Windows Vista and the Aero user interface, according to Ziff Davis. GarageBand -- designed for amateur musicians -- is part of Apple's iLife suite of applications for creating and organizing digital content. Microsoft's Monaco will target the same audience, will work on Windows only, and will make use of Microsoft's search algorithms to find particular music clips. Microsoft may use Monaco as a showcase Vista application, according to the report.
Sendmail 1.2.0 FMP plug-in
Fusion Plugins today released Sendmail 1.2.0, an update to its plug-in for FileMaker Pro that adds support for multiple attachments and improves compatibility. The Sendmail plug-in allows users to send email directly from FileMaker databases without going through an email program. Mail messages can be delivered in plain text or HTML-format, and can include attachments. The plug-in can also send multiple email messages simultaneously by combining a list of recipients, email addresses, and other data from FileMaker Pro databases to produce personalized email messages for each recipient. Attachments can be added via scripts, authentication is automatic, and messages can include CC (Courtesy Copy) and BCC (Blind Courtesy Copy) addresses. Sendmail 1.2.0 is priced at $50 for a single-user license or $400 for a site/developer license. Sendmail 1.2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and FileMaker Pro 5-8.0.
I.R.C podcast project
A tax law professor has launched The Complete Internal Revenue Code Podcast Project, with the goal of making the entire Internal Revenue Code available via podcast. Jack Bogdanski has already released code section one, recorded today, spanning 36 minutes and three seconds, according to TaxProf Blog. "I could not think of a more worthy internet project than to record a reading of the Internal Revenue Code for those who love to download mp3's and play them back on their iPods," Bogdanski wrote. "You've heard of books on tape? How about tax law coming through those earbuds? Let's kick it with Title 26, people!"
ZeboPhoto 1.9 ($15) updates the image viewer designed to provide quick, easy access to photos. ZeboPhoto features various image editing capabilities, as well as unique multiple image slideshows. Version 1.9 introduces copying an image via drag-and-drop, support for scrolling image windows with the mouse wheel, and the ability to add or remove images from a slideshow while it is running. The update also improves the slideshow exporter, and saves a picture icon with images.
[Download - 5.5MB]
Pacifist 2.0 ($20) opens Mac OS X .pkg package files, .dmg disk images, tar/gzip archives. Pacifist can verify existing installations and find missing or altered files. The application can also examine the kernel extensions installed in a system to display which installation medium was used to install them, and whether the installer was made by Apple or a third-party. Pacifist requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 1.3MB]
Toki TC ($30) is a utility for displaying a time code and line of text over a movie. The software offers the ability to change the display location of the time code in the picture, and users can set the start offset and frame rate. Font and text size are customizable, as are the colors for text and the background. Movies can be exported with time code and text to QuickTime, DV, MPEG-4, AVI, and other formats. [Download - 6.2MB]
iTunes Library Manager 4.3 ($7) is an AppleScript applet designed to make backup copies of the current iTunes Music Library database file and iTunes Preferences, allowing users to easily save multiple iTunes Library and Preferences configurations that can be loaded at any time. The update works properly when FileVault is active, includes several interface/performance enhancements, and includes new helper AppleScripts. iTunes Library Manager 4.2 and higher requires iTunes 4.9 or later. [Download - 324KB]
GraphClick 2.9 ($8) updates the graph digitizer software that allows users to automatically retrieve the original x and y data from an image of a scanned graph, or from a QuickTime movie. Version 2.9 runs natively on Intel Macs as a Universal Binary, and offers custom column/line separators. The update also allows supports preferred angle measure, copying/pasting of points, and fixes various bugs. [Download - 2MB]
SurfRabbit 1.2 ($15) is a browser add-on for the Safari and Shiira web browsers, allowing users to customize how pages are displayed on most sites. The update brings native support for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, as well as support for NetNewsWire. Version 1.2 also offers interface improvements, coupled with various bug fixes. [Download - 1.4MB]
Variax Workbench 1.5
Line 6 today released Variax Workbench 1.5, the latest iteration of the company's interactive virtual custom shop exclusively for Variax electric guitars. The update adds acoustic 700 editing features, and provides Variax electric and acoustic owners with a set of tools to easily create, store, and share customized guitars. Variax Workbench 1.5 provides access to a comprehensive collection of pickups, controls, bodies, and alternate tunings for Variax electric 300, 500, 600, and 700 instruments. With acoustic 700 compatibility, acoustic players can tailor their sound with alternate tunings, mic position, compressor, trim controls, and live or studio mode ambient settings. The software enables guitarists to fill each slot on the model knob with a custom guitar of their own creation, and the built-in librarian allows users to store, share and backup thousands of guitar models. Variax 1.5 is priced at $140, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
In brief: Digidesign has announced that the ICON D-Control worksurface and Pro Tools 7 software were honored at the MusikMesse International Press Awards by winning the Mixing Desk (High End) and Recording Software categories, respectively.... One Mac user has tested an Intel Mac running Windows to play games, but says that the experience "is a complete waste" of time because the Mac "still runs and looks better...." Apple's Boot Camp software allows users to boot Windows XP on their Intel Macs, and Mediafour's MacDrive software is allowing some users to access Mac files from Windows applications.... Deliver2Mac today released Agon ($25), Airline Tycoon Deluxe ($30), Jack's Crazy Cong ($15), and Murmeln & More ($15).... The Iconfactory today released Satin Multimedia, a set of 52 add-on icons that extend the original collection into the audio and visual realm.... A new survey may help Apple fight the pricing pressures applied by the music labels, revealing data that supports Apple CEO Steve Jobs' claim that low cost digital downloads reduce piracy.
The Missing Sync 2.5
Mark/Space today began offering a preview of The Missing Sync 2.5 for Windows Mobile to existing customers. The company claims that the pre-release alpha build is the first Mac OS X application to offer support for devices running Windows Mobile 5. The alpha release is neither feature-complete nor bug-free, and WM5 devices can connect only via Bluetooth -- performing a "slow sync." The alpha release also requires an existing license and registration code to function. Native support for Intel Macs is provided as a Universal Binary, and the final release will be available as a free upgrade for The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile 2.0 owners. The application is priced at $40, and works with various devices such as the HP rx1950, i-mate JASJAR, and Palm Treo 700w.
nova media phone plugins
nova media today introduced nova media phone plugins 2.2 featuring both iSync 2.2 and improved Nokia communicator support. The plugins add support for more than 20 mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, Siemens and Sony Ericsson, allowing smoothless synchronization of calendar and contact data with a Mac OS X computer running iSync 2.2. Nova media phone plugins 2.2 deliver improved support for Nokia Communicators. Until now, iSync users had to install a special software called "Agent" on their Nokia Communicators following a complicated installation procedure. The nova media phone plugins now use SyncML to achieve the same goal without the need to install any software on the Nokia Communicator itself. The nova media phone plugins are available for download for €10.
Jobs delays India trip
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has delayed his visit to India. Originally slated for early April, Jobs first official visit to the country has now been postponed to September, according to CIOL. The visit follows reports that Apple will setup a tech support/call center in Banglore. "Recruitments for the Apple's R&D center and technical support facility are (still) going on. It might take some more time to complete this exercise," sources familiar with Apple Inc. said. The report says tha Jobs preferred t have "Apple's R&D center", which will employ 3000 people by 2007, operational before his visit.
Shade 8.5 for Intel Macs
e-frontier today announced that it has released an update to its 3D modeling and rendering software Shade 8 that will support Intel-based Macs and 64-bit Windows computers. Shade 8.5, a free update, also delivers export to QuickTime VR and better integration with Poser as well as other functions, such as bounding box display, background and sound catalog, and an improved interface. The company said that performance of Shade 8.5 is increased as much as 20 percent on Intel-based Macs. Other improvements include the ability to import and export sound 3D files, QuickTime VR export, a new Path Constraints Plug-in for easy linked motion, a new FogPlus plug-in for advanced fog effects, and free Shade content, including 690 piece Shade Content Collection No. 3 called "Cars and Transport". Shade 8.5 standard is $200, while the Professional version is $900; it is a free update to registered owners of v.8 and $100 for Shade 7 owners.
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