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]
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R