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Automatic Duck has begun shipping Pro Import FCP 2.0, an import plug-in for Apple's Final Cut Pro software. The plug-in can import OMF 2.0 files from Avid editing systems, OMF 2.0 files from Digital Audio Workstations such as Pro Tools, or AAF Edit Protocol files. Pro Import FCP can import Avid "Title" effects as Final Cut Text Generators, and offers Avid "Time Warp" effect translation into time remapping. The plug-in also supports 24fps sequences from Avid editing systems. Pro Import FCP 2.0 is priced at $500 (system requirements were unavailable). Users of Pro Import FCP 1.0 who purchased the plug-in before December 5th of 2005 can upgrade to Pro Import FCP 2.0 for $200, while users who purchased Pro Import FCP 1.0 on or after that date can upgrade for free.
Toon Boom Animation has released Toon Boom Studio (TBS) Express 3 as a Universal Binary, featuring an animation toolset that works with QuickTime and Final Cut Pro to offer an entry level solution for developing high quality animations. The company also announced that its Toon Boom Studio software for more experienced animators is currently shipping as a Universal Binary, offering Intel Mac users native compatibility. Both versions allow users to create animations quickly and easily, Toon Boom Studio Express is priced at $100, while Toon Boom Studio is available for $150 for single-user licenses. The upgrades are free for existing users of both Toon Boom Studio and Toon Boom Studio Express, and both versions require Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Disco Software has released CuePhase, compact DJ automation software designed to play music during periods when DJs don't need or wish to mix tracks. CuePhase allows users to listen to the upcoming song with headphones while the current track is being played, on the air or to the audience. Users can preview songs from a library or playlists, easing the task of deciding which track to play next. The software makes smooth transitions between songs, eliminating dead air between tracks. CuePhase supports playlists created previously in the application itself, as well as iTunes playlists. The software can sync with iTunes, and supports song filtration with the ability to select artists and/or albums. CuePhase is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.0 or later with QuickTime 6 or newer.
Apple today released Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) 5.0 Release 4. In addition to fixes for a few security issues, Apple says the update delivers improved reliability and compatibility for Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0 on Mac OS X v10.4.5 and later. This release includes J2SE version 1.5.0_06. "With this update J2SE 5.0 becomes the preferred Java version, superseding Java 1.4.2. Java 1.4.2 is still installed on your machine, but applications will run with J2SE 5.0 unless they specifically request Java 1.4.2," according to Apple. [updated]
SecureMac today released MacScan 2.1, a major update to the anti-spyware application offering native support for Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. MacScan 2.1 includes an enhanced, expanded "Spyware Information Library," as well as fully updated spyware definitions to protect against the latest threats. The software also features an integrated update option designed to help guard against future threats. MacScan 2.1 offers greater overall stability, addresses bugs reported in MacScan 2.0, and includes a number of user-requested enhancements. MacScan 2.1 is priced at $25, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.4 or later. The upgrade is free for MacScan 2.0 users.
Creative Manager today released Creative Manager Pro 8.3, adding unlimited addresses and international date formatting to the ad agency/project management software. Users can select default addresses for Mailing, Billing and Payments. Additionally, the software can specify a primary contact for an invoice or estimate when printing those items. Users can also select any address to be printed on the estimate or invoice that belongs to the company or that contact. The update adds the ability to format dates controlled by the internationalization settings on individual system settings. Based on culture settings, the system will validate dates for input and display dates or print for output, based on location. The update is free to all users of Creative Manager Pro and Creative Project Manager (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).
Analyst firm Cowen & Company maintained a "neutral" rating on Apple after receiving mixed readings in its latest consumer survey, according to one report. "While Intel CPU transition challenges appear more fully discounted, [the] survey suggests potential for significant slowing in iPod growth," analyst Richard Chu wrote in a research note. Chu believes Apple still faces Intel-based Mac transition execution challenges, but his concern has subsided due to conservative Mac unit trends, according to a report from Forbes.com. "Indeed, despite more cautious home PC demand overall, Mac prospects look strong," Chu said. The survey outlook over the next 12 to 18 months for Digital Audio Player -- specifically iPod -- demand is obviously weaker, according to the analyst, despite a sturdy Apple-specific share situation and iPod ecosystem spending outlook.
Sillysoft Games has released American History Lux, a new strategy game that lets you replay 10 wars that have shaped American history. American History Lux includes the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the Mexican-American War, the US Civil War, three separate World War theaters, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and finishes with the recent Iraq War. Background information is provided on each, along with links to in-depth online histories. Each war comes as a map containing the real geographic layout marking the important cities, forts, and regions of the conflict. The backgrounds are decorated with historical imagery from each period. while thematic music rounds out the interactive learning experience. A limited demo of the $20 game title is available for Mac OS X.
Mireth Technology today released iVCD 3.0, a Universal Binary update to its video burning software for Mac OS X that natively supports Intel Macs. The latest release adds DVD burning capability to the authoring software for Mac that can burn VCD, SVCD, and more from most video formats such as iMovie and QuickTime movie files, as well as from AVI, Divx, and Xvid formats. iVCD can maintain a project folder, allowing projects to be created in stages while also enabling users to create additional copies of a project without the need to start again from the input files. The software also offers video rescue features, such as a lighten video slider to correct video that's too dark, and the "TV Safe Border" effect to correct video which appears clipped on a TV screen. iVCD 3.0 is priced at $30 (specific system requirements were unavailable).
Law enforcement officials in Sturbridge Massachusetts recently recovered $1,500 worth of stolen iPods, which were returned to their rightful owners in the state of California. Two of the digital players, however, could not be returned because the owners -- who could not be located -- failed to register their products with Apple. Sturbridge police strongly encouraged area residents to register electronic devices such as iPods in case of theft, according to a report from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette [subscription required]. A Sturbridge parent contacted police after discovering his juvenile son possessed several iPods ranging in value from $150-300 each. The police were joined in the investigation by Apple and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, who used serial numbers to identify the rightful owners of the iPods via Apple's registration database.
Members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) may receive a residual payment of two cents each time their performance is downloaded or accessed on a cell phone, computer, or portable video device, such as Apple's iPod. A SAG spokesman confirmed, "Unions are seeking or are engaged with producers in serious conversations over what residual formula ought to be applied to new distribution platforms like downloads and mobile phones," according to ContactMusic.com An agreement between producers and the two unions regarding the new media is likely to be reached "within weeks," according to the report.
LaCie today unveiled an exclusive LCD accessory called LaFrame, which is to be included with all LaCie 100 Series Monitors. The LaCie 100 Series range includes the 19-inch LaCie 119 monitor and the 20-inch LaCie 120 monitor. LaFrame frames the LCD to eliminate visual distractions, and is designed for use in open office environments. The LaFrame casing uses an anti-reflective black cloth that reduces glare, while the LaCie 119 and 120 monitors work with LaCie ergonomic desk clamps and extendable arms, as well as blue eye 2 calibration solutions. The forthcoming monitors feature supporting height-adjustment, swivel, and tilt capability. LaFrame will ship with all LaCie 119 and 120 MVA TFT panel monitors, a series boasting contrast ratios of up to 1000-to-1 with 170-degree viewing angles. The LaCie 119 ($500) and LaCie 120 ($720) are available for pre-order from the LaCie website.
Kids GoGoGo 10.2 ($30) prohibits the browsing of adult-only content on the internet, optionally blocking both Blog content (RSS) and websites. Version 10.2 is a Universal Binary, offering native compatibility for Intel-based Macs. The update integrates KidsFilterShare -- which is also available as a Universal Binary -- and improves the filtering for PSP and iPod sites. [Download - 5.8MB] e2Sync 2.7 ($40) updates the Entourage sync tool, offering native support for Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. e2Sync 2.7 features an improved sync engine, adds a database selector, includes missing time zones, fixes growing memory usage for users with more than 2,500 contacts, and repairs a bug that caused the software to hang during sync. The update also fixes several other stability issues, features various optimizations, and boasts a 400 percent speed increase on Intel Macs. [Download - 790KB] SMS Mac 1.6 ($15, $10/year) sends text messages to mobile phones, and now supports AppleScript. Coupled with the release of SMS Mac 1.6 is the Send SMS 1.6 Yahoo! widget for Windows XP and the SMS Mac 1.6 Address Book plug-in. Both SMS Mac 1.6 and the SMS Mac 1.6 Address Book plug-in are available as Universal Binaries, offering native support for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. [Download - 4.3MB] KidsFilterShare 1.1 ($40) updates the application designed to share the Web filtering features of KidsGoGoGo. Major changes in KidsFilterShare 1.1 include native support for Intel Macs as a Universal Binary, integration with KidsGoGoGo, support for a "Bypass Proxy" feature, and more. The update requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 1.2MB] MailSteward 7.3 ($50) is an email archiving solution for Mac users that incorporates a relational database. Version 7.3 introduces tags with category, keywords, notes, and priority properties. The update offers the ability to import "MailTags," introduces a major interface overhaul, can search HTML-only email, offers user editing of MailSteward-generated SQL statements, and fixes some minor bugs. [Download - 991KB] Strider 1.2 ($12) updates the RSS/ATOM reader, offering native compatibility with Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. Version 1.2 allows users to manually delete headlines, and repairs an issue where some feeds would not open properly when clicked from a Web browser. The update also fixes a bug where pictures in help documents would fail to display in Help Viewer. [Download - 1.6MB]
In brief: Apple will be touting Mac OS X Leopard at the WWDC 2006 in San Francisco (August 7-11th), offering attendees a sneak preview of the operating system's latest release.... MacTech Magazine today announced that the MacForge Mac open source index now has more than 35,000 projects.... The U.K. Unix and Open Systems User Group (UKUUG) is hosting an Apple Technology briefing on Mac OS X for Intel on Thursday, April 20th at 2:00 p.m. at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London.... FileMaker has released a new FileMaker Files podcast focused on helping small businesses use email marketing to increase revenues cheaply and quickly, coupled with a 64-page how-to guide.... ONStor today announced the formation of the ONStor Professional Services team, which will offer enhanced services and solutions to ONStor enterprise NAS customers.
Pangea Software today announced that it is giving away free software and site licenses to any K-12 public school in the United States. Pangea has utilized a site license policy in that past allowing schools to put any Pangea game on all of the Macs at the school's location, providing the school owned at least one legitimate copy of the game. The policy has now been revised, however, so that schools do not need to purchase that single copy of a game to obtain a site license. Schools need only to request free serial numbers for the games from Pangea Software. The offer includes the titles Bugdom, Nansosaur, Enigmo, Billy Frontier, Otto Matic, Firefall, Mighty Mike, Bugdom 2, Nanosaur 2, Enigmo 2, and Cro-Mag Rally. Schools taking interest should send a written request on official school letterhead to Pangea Software.
Master Key 5.0 ($20) adds a unit mastery view to the main window, linear enforcement for progressive drills, unit mastery printing, a further refined interface, and better teacher reporting tools. The full-featured typing tutor program in existence on the Mac and the Windows version is in near parity for features. It includes drills for U.S., Dvorak, French, and German keyboard layouts, the ability to type eBooks, and a game of saving paratroopers by typing open their parachutes in the ParaTyper. [Download - 7.8MB] Xj3D 1.0 (free) is an open-source X3D browser, developer library and test environment for the X3D realtime 3D content and delivery standard. The milestone 1.0 release is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Solaris. It implements CADGeometry, DIS, GeoSpatial, H-Anim, as well as extensions for Rigid Body Physics, Particle Systems, Clipping planes, Picking Utilities, Abstract Device IO. This release lets Mac OS X users explore any VRML or X3D model, as well as incorporate the technologies into their own applications. [Download - 10MB] Authoxy 3.2.5 (free) runs locally as a proxy server to intercept HTTP and HTTPS requests, forwarding them on to your regular proxy with authentication details you define in a System Preference Pane. Such a process is required to use many web services (MacHelp, QuickTime, iTunes) behind a proxy requiring authentication. Version 3.2.5 fixes starting problems related to libraries not being found, adds an option to allow external connections to Authoxy, and applies a fix to the verbose logging option. [Download - 994KB] BackityMac 1.1 (free) adds CD/DVD burning, offering an option to burn an image to CD, DVD and Dual-layer DVD. In addition, backing up a home folder now requires an administrator password. The software supports Apple Mail, MS Entourage, iCal, Address Book, Safari/Firefox/Camino bookmarks, iPhoto/iTunes libraries, home documents folder, and home folder backup. [Download - 332KB] Snail Mail 1.4 (free) is an envelope addressing and printing application which interacts directly with the Address Book database in Mac OS X 10.2 or higher. It can quickly address and print single or multiple envelopes based on entries in the Mac OS X Address Book database. Batches of envelopes can be based on Address Book groups, or ad-hoc lists selections of addresses. Snail Mail can print barcodes for more efficient mail handling. [Download - 452KB] iTuneSleep 2 ($9) is a shareware application that offers both alarm clock and sleep timer functions. Version 2, a final release, offers a new interface, iCal integration, AppleScriptable, quick alarm and fade options, and other bug fixes. It can startup or shutdown your Mac, can fade down to any iTunes track, and more. In addition, users can control iTuneSleep with any mobile phone with the included Remote Control software. [Download - 493KB]
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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
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