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News Archive for 07/03/28

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Apple's Bootcamp 1.2 beta supports Vista

03/28, 6:10pm

Apple Bootcamp 1.2 beta

Apple today released Boot Camp 1.2 beta, a new release of the company's software that enables Intel-based Macs to run both Windows XP as well as Windows Vista. Version 1.2 offers support for the 32-bit version of Windows Vista as well as updated drivers, including but not limited to trackpad, AppleTime, audio, graphics, modem, iSight camera. It also brings support for the Apple Remote (works with iTunes and Windows Media Player); a Windows system tray icon for easy access to Boot Camp information and actions; improved keyboard support for Korean, Chinese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, and French Canadian; improved Windows driver installation experience; updated documentation and Boot Camp on-line help in Windows; and Apple Software Update (for Windows XP and Vista).

Vertu phone highlights Ferrari's 60th anniversary

03/28, 5:40pm

Vertu Ferrari 1947 phone

Nokia luxury subsidiary Vertu is releasing a new Limited Edition phone, the Ascent Ferrari 1947. Marking the sports car company's 60th birthday, the phone is clad in the familiar red and black colors, with leather used on the rear and lacquer on the sides. Meanwhile, the bezel "nose" of the front bears the Ferrari horse, and the aluminum backplate is built to resemble a Ferrari brake pedal. A matching case is made of red and black leather. Though no pricing has been mentioned, only 1,947 copies of the phone will be sold; in light of other Vertu phones, the cost could easily approach or exceed $1,000. [via Newlaunches]

Briefly: review; SpaceNavigator CS3 support

03/28, 5:30pm

Review, SpaceNavigator

In brief: MacNN has reviewed the iVak N-Type 2 iPod case from Vakaadoo, Native Instruments today announced a new controller compatibility program for DJs, 3Dconnexion today announced that its SpaceNagivator device supports the newly released Adobe Photoshop CS3 as well as Photoshop CS3 Extended software editions, and The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Annual K-12 School Networking Conference is set to feature two sessions focusing on how schools are using FileMaker Pro to drive budget decisions as well as resource allocation. Vakaadoo's iVak N-Type 2 iPod case is designed for Apple's 2GB iPod nano, featuring a soft feel exterior with seven available colors. The company ships a 'VakWrap,' lanyard, iVak Key, and clickwheel protective film with the case for £20.

Sony ships two new notebook headsets

03/28, 5:00pm

Sony notebook headsets

Sony Europe has announced two pairs of headphones designed primarily for notebooks, as evidenced by their small size and short cables. The DR-EX230DP is an in-ear headset that nevertheless has its own, in-line microphone, and boasts other accessories, such as a travel case and three sizes of silicone earbuds. Its connection cable, however, is only 3.9 feet long. Audio is pumped through 9mm drivers.

The DR-G250DP (pictured) is a set of over-the-ear headphones, and is built with an adjustable neckband and a retractable, noise-cancelling "pipe" microphone. Its main advantage is a longer cable measuring 9.8 feet, but the neckband also collapses, which makes the headphones easier to store in baggage. G250DPs should be on sale now; EX230DPs will begin shipping later this month.

Refurb MacBook Pros return to Apple Store

03/28, 4:45pm

Refurb MacBook Pros

Apple's supply of refurbished Mac Pro laptops has returned in limited numbers, with 17-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo models equipped with 1GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive for $1,999 featuring either a standard or glossy display. The company is also offering reconditioned iMacs which include the 17-inch 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo model with 512MB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, and a slot-loading 8x double-layer SuperDrive for $949; 17-inch 1.9GHz G5 model with 512MB of memory, and a 160GB hard drive for $999; 17-inch 2.0Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, and a slot-loading 8x double-layer SuperDrive for $1,049; 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core Duo model with 512MB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and a slot-loading 8x double-layer SuperDrive for $1,199; 20-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and a slot-loading 8x double-layer SuperDrive for $1,299; and the 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and a slot-loading 8x double-layer SuperDrive for $1,699.

HP switches to Intel for new budget workstation

03/28, 4:30pm

HP dx2300 Workstation

HP today attacked the desktop side of the pro market by launching the dx2300 workstation. The small, matte black microtower is designed to be as flexible as possible and can be custom-ordered for the most essentialist purposes or as a moderate performance system for processing-intensive work. Buyers can opt for as little as a Celeron D or as much as a Core 2 Duo; HP also accommodates the open-source movement by shipping a version with FreeDOS to facilitate installing Linux. Integrated Intel graphics are the norm but can be expanded through a PCI Express x16 slot.

Although officially priced starting at $499, the dx2300 can be ordered today for as little as $378 with a 2.66GHz Celeron D, 256MB of RAM, and FreeDOS. A version with a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo, 512MB of RAM, and Windows Vista Business costs $835.

Barrier broken: Dell to ship preloaded Linux systems

03/28, 3:55pm

Dell to ship Linux PCs

Dell will soon begin shipping computers in the US pre-installed with Linux, the company said today on its Ideas in Action news blog. The system builder promised to offer both desktops and portables with the open-source OS in the near future after a questionnaire showed that over 70 percent of respondents were willing to use Linux at home or at work. Forum-based software help would be enough as long as drivers and hardware support was present, the customers said.

No timetable was given for adding Linux as a choice for new systems, but an update was promised in coming weeks which would outline which PCs and Linux variants would be available.

IK debuts Sonik Instruments

03/28, 3:55pm

IK Sonik Instruments

IK Multimedia today in conjunction with Sonic Reality announced a strategic alliance with Moog Music to offer sample-based products focused on Moog synthesizer sounds, and unveiled Sonik Instruments -- a series of virtual instrument plug-ins dedicated to focused collections of rare top-quality instruments. The first virtual instruments include SampleMoog, SampleTron, and Studiophonik. Each instrument offers a full synth-sampler engine powered by SampleTank with a customized graphic interface and a full range of built-in effects. The plug-ins feature 16 multi-timbral parts, four insert effects, and four send effects per part that are selectable from more than 30 effects. Algorithms are derived from IK's T-RackS and AmpliTube boasting fast load times and low CPU demands. IK Multimedia today also announced that its AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix software recreation will ship in April. Sonik Instruments will be available during the second quarter of 2007 (pricing was unavailable).

EMI: Cellphone makers could learn from Apple

03/28, 3:30pm

EMI on iPhone at CTIA

The cellphone business needs to take a cue from Apple if it hopes to survive, EMI's chief Eric Nicoli urged at a CTIA phone expo keynote on Wednesday. The record label head pointed to the iPhone as a prime example of where the cellphone music industry should be headed, noting that Apple and its future handset put their emphasis on an affordable, simple, and desirable product above all else.

"Apple makes stuff that people love to own," Nicoli observed. "They love the simplicity and user-friendliness of the iPod and iTunes. Apple doesn't employ any sorcery or dark magic to achieve this. They listen to what consumers want. And that shouldn't be Apple's unique privilege."

Briefly: Speed Dial for Opera; HDMI switch

03/28, 3:00pm

Speed Dial for Opera

In brief: Opera introduces the Speed Dial feature to its web browser, IOGEAR ships an automatic HDMI switch, Case-mate donates to charity, and Fast Icon posts iPhone-style downloads.... Opera has released a new beta of its self-titled web browser, which now includes a feature called Speed Dial. As users open new tabs in Opera, Speed Dial displays thumbnails of up to nine favourite websites, which can either be clicked directly or opened with their corresponding number. The company intends to continue refining Speed Dial for its inclusion in the next official release of the browser, v9.2. The beta v9.20b can be downloaded here.

Paroos G-100 arm gadget uses GPS to track runs

03/28, 2:30pm

Paroos G-100 Player

Striving to create an ideal companion for runs, Paroos has just unveiled its G-100 GPS Training System. An integral GPS receiver not only keeps track of position but uses its statistics to keep runners on target for exercise, notifying wearers when they've traveled a certain distance or warning them when they fall under a minimum speed. 512MB of flash onboard will save as many as 1500 runs for comparison and can alternately serve as a motivator by holding and playing MP3 songs. An FM tuner and a thermometer provide extra sources of fun and information.

Those interested in the G-100 can pick it up in black, silver, or white with a matching armband. Paroos hasn't discussed pricing or availability but hopes to sell to English-speaking countries as well as its Korean home territory. [via NaviGadget]

KFE camera records straight to XviD

03/28, 2:00pm

EXEMODE DV528 XviD Cam

KFE today delivered an alternative to typical DV cameras in the form of the EXEMODE DV528. Recording of VGA-quality video is accomplished using the more efficient XviD standard instead of MPEG-4 or DV, allowing the pocket-sized camera to capture larger amounts of video either to the 64MB of internal memory or to SD cards as large as 2GB. The 5-megapixel sensor will also take still shots at its native 3840×2880 resolution, while both movie and photo recording are helped by an 8X optical zoom lens. MP3 playback is added as a bonus, the company adds.

A release day and an accompanying price for the DV528 remain a mystery. It should be available soon to its home country of Japan and may ship elsewhere at a later date.

Microsoft improves Vista iPod compatibility

03/28, 1:55pm

Vista ups iPod support

Microsoft has released a patch for its Windows Vista operating system that improves compatibility with Apple's iPod portable media player. The patch is designed to fix an issue that left iPods vulnerable to corruption when Vista users selected the operating system's Safely Remove Hardware option to eject the device, according to News.com. Apple repaired several incompatibilities with Windows Vista in the latest revision of its iTunes software, but suggested that users gravitate toward the 'eject' functionality with in its own iTunes application to safely remove an iPod under Windows Vista.

voXover voice-over automation tool released

03/28, 1:35pm

Voice-over tool released

Audiofile Engineering has introduced voXover, a new voice-over automation tool and batch recorder for Mac OS X. Designed in Cocoa from the ground up, voXover is custom-tailored for multimedia professionals working in the OS X environment, taking advantage of CoreAudio, Quartz and other advanced features. VoXover is a modern voice-over automation utility and batch-recorder for multimedia projects that requires the recording of large numbers of individual audio files where a typical multi-track recorder is not feasible. VoXover allows users to write or import a written script and rapidly automate the recording of that script. The script is displayable on voXover's teleprompter to the voice talent via a wired or wireless network, and sessions can range from completely automated to completely free-form. Takes are automatically created, named, and annotated as configured in the script. Users can also filter, sort, organize, rearrange, rename, and export takes at any time during the session. VoXover 1.0.1 is priced at $375, with crossgrades to voXover available for $325. VoXover requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Hop-On Wi-Fi router takes EVDO, HSDPA inside

03/28, 1:30pm

Hop-On Wi-Fi CDMA Router

Hop-On today took the wraps off its HOP1955 wireless router. Both 802.11g Wi-Fi and a CDMA transmitter are onboard and let the network switch share cellular Internet access with any computer or device that can connect to its Wi-Fi hotspot or one of the four integrated Ethernet ports. Support for 3G wireless standards like EVDO and HSDPA means the base station can be used as an impromptu Internet gateway for a gaming center, the company says.

Security is still up to par with Wi-Fi-only routers, with 128-bit WEP encryption and a VPN option for tapping into a remote network. Pricing and availability haven't been revealed but will have the HOP1955 released worldwide in the near future.

HP drops Media Center PCs for own design

03/28, 1:25pm

HP drops Media Center PCs

Despite having been one of the first companies to sell a Media Center PC, HP has decided to drop its Digital Entertainment Center line, featuring systems with large hard drives and a host of AV connections for abilities such as DVR programming and VHS video conversion. The company will instead focus on its new MediaSmart televisions, which use custom software to play media from a remote computer, much like Microsoft's Media Center Extender.

While HP channel development manager Doug Robert will only cite "resource constraints" to explain the switch, CE Pro speculates that DECs may simply not be selling, since they often require complicated setup processes and are saddled with artificial DRM restrictions. The computers can also be as noisy as regular desktop systems, disrupting the quiet environment of a home theater.

Samsung smartphone packs 4G wireless, mobile TV

03/28, 1:00pm

Samsung M8100 Smartphone

Samsung's AnyCall label today launched a new phone in its premier Mobile Intelligent Terminal range: the M8100 straddles the line between smartphones and PDAs by resembling a slider phone but having the dimensions and 2.8-inch touchscreen of a larger handheld. Wireless is also its specialty, with fourth-generation cellular wireless available through the company's self-developed WiBro and mobile digital TV available through a DMB receiver. More conventional features of the Windows Mobile 6-driven handset are said to include legacy EVDO broadband, Bluetooth, and a 2-megapixel camera.

Glance StreamShaping improves conferencing

03/28, 12:40pm

Glance Web conferencing

Glance Networks today unveiled its StreamShaping technology for Mac and PC Web conferencing/screen sharing. The software offers all participants in multi-guest Web conferencing sessions the same viewing experience regardless of varying network connection speeds by continuously optimizing each user's view to the speed of their network connection. "Poor performance due to one participant's slow or unreliable connection is an issue that has affected much of the web conferencing industry," said Rich Baker, co-founder and CEO of Glance Networks. "We're thrilled to offer state-of-the-art technology that delivers a great experience to every participant in multi-guest sessions." StreamShaping also automatically and transparently re-connects a guest whose internet connection momentarily drops, working to quickly re-establish the dropped connection and catch up to the most current view.

LG to pre-install Google apps on its phones

03/28, 12:35pm

Google pre-installed on LG

Google and LG have reached a deal to pre-install software on the latter company's phones, says Reuters. Beginning in the second quarter of this year, services such as Maps, Gmail and Blogger will be hardwired into at least 10 different handsets, in theory reducing bandwidth demands when users go searching for data. The deal bolsters speculation that Google's recent hires were not to build its own cellphone, but rather to extend its reach into the mobile realm, where both connections and awareness of Google may be limited.

Apple, others sued over Bluetooth usage

03/28, 12:15pm

Apple sued over Bluetooth

Apple and seven other tech companies were added to a lawsuit filed over Bluetooth patents, potentially threatening the company's use of the technology in its products. The Washington Research Foundation -- which filed suit against Matsushita Electric Industrial, Nokia Oyj, and Samsung Electronics in December over Bluetooth technology in a federal court -- has added Apple, Dell, Logitech International, Motorola, Plantronics, Sony, and Toshiba as defendants in the case, according to Bloomberg. The companies are accused of infringing on four patents that describe data exchange between mobile phones, personal computers, and other devices without cables. Apple has built Bluetooth functionality into its Mac OS X operating system, and allows customers to configure Macs with Bluetooth hardware.

Motorola launches MOTOTRBO radio

03/28, 11:50am

Motorola MOTOTRBO radio

Continuing its announcements this week, Motorola has officially launched the MOTOTRBO, a two-way radio system that also combines GPS, pager and text messaging capabilities. It is able to run in either analog or digital modes, and by using TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) technology, the TRBO platform should allow double the capacity on repeater channels. Mototola proposes that in some cases this will let businesses use half the number of repeaters to begin with. Meanwhile, battery life on the radios is said to be 40 percent higher than analog rivals. Because the TRBO is a professional system, buyers need to contact Motorola directly.

HP intros budget business notebooks with 3G

03/28, 11:35am

HP 6515b and 6715b

HP today quietly released a pair of notebooks under its Compaq label that cater to workers and other no-frills computer users. The 14-inch 6515b and 15.4-inch 6715b together go without webcams or other media-centric features but compensate with strong wireless choices: either can be loaded with 802.11n wireless for faster networks or an internal EVDO or HSDPA adapter for 3G wireless from cellular carriers. The entire range relies on AMD's single- or dual-core mobile processors.

Either system starts at $649 with a 1.8GHz Sempron CPU, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a DVD/CD-RW Combo drive; pre-built systems can be ordered with a 2GHz dual-core Turion 64 X2, 1GB of RAM, a 120GB disk and a DVD rewriter with LightScribe support. [via LAPTOP Magazine]

Europe questions iPod/iTunes regulation

03/28, 11:20am

Europe on iPod regulation

A top European Commission official has questioned the need for regulation of iPods in Europe, following requests by some to force the Cupertino-based company into making its iTunes Store compatible with competing portable players. "Before we jump in to regulate competition on the market it is worth asking whether competition is actually harmed," said Philip Lowe, the Commission's director general for competition. "Is there not vigorous competition between different bundles of mp3 players and music libraries?" Meglena Kuneva -- Europe's Consumer Affairs Commissioner -- earlier this month requested changes to Apple's iTunes service to make it more compatible with non-Apple formats, but clarified that she was not suggesting legal action, according to Reuters. Norway in January declared that Apple must open up its music downloads by October 1st to avoid legal action, following an exchange of words between the iPod-maker and the Scandinavian country.

Sony intros GIGA JUKE bookshelf with hard drive

03/28, 11:10am

Sony GIGA JUKE

Sony's European branch today saw the introduction of the GIGA JUKE, a new digital-savvy bookshelf speaker set. Rarely available outside of Japan, the stereo includes its own 80GB hard disk and an LCD interface to both play and transfer ATRAC, MP3, or linear PCM audio diretly from the drive: owners can connect a PC or portable music player to copy unprotected songs over or bypass them entirely by ripping CDs at a fast 16X speed. Track titles are automatically applied to songs the hardware doesn't recognize, Sony says, and the system can intelligently auto-generate playlists based on artists, genres, or even the music's tempo.

Motorola T605 Bluetooth kit at Verizon

03/28, 11:00am

Motorola T605 at Verizon

Verizon Wireless has become one of the first carriers to sell the T605, Motorola's latest Bluetooth car kit. Though it must be professionally installed, it allows owners to hear music and calls directly through their car speakers, synching with Bluetooth devices automatically when the ignition is started. A previously unmentioned feature is scaled volume adjustment -- as ambient noise increases, so does speaker volume. The kit also pauses and resumes music as calls begin and end. Verizon and Circuit City will begin selling the 605 for $150 on April 6th.

Ricoh unveils wide-angle cam with hot-shoe viewfinder

03/28, 10:30am

Ricoh Caplio GX100

Ricoh on Wednesday surprised photographers with its Caplio GX100. Bridging the gap between point-and-shoot and digital SLRs, the GX100 centers around a fixed but wide-angle 24-72mm equivalent lens with 3X optical zoom. The optics provide a better way of composing wide shots and can go wider still with a 19mm conversion lens, Ricoh says. Also separating it from most compacts is a hot-shoe that can be used for either an external flash or an external, electronic viewfinder as an alternative to the 2.5-inch LCD. Ricoh's self-made viewfinder pivots by up to 90 degrees and offers 100 percent coverage of the shot and operates similar to a DSLR by providing status info through the eyepiece.

Zune 1.3 firmware update available today

03/28, 10:30am

Zune 1.3 update today

Today marks Microsoft's long-awaited released of the 1.3 firmware update for the Zune media player. The primary fix involves skipping some users experienced when playing tracks, namely those downloaded from the Zune Marketplace. The update also improves reliability in device detection and synching, and may potentially increase battery life dramatically, as a glitch previously allowed the FM tuner to drain the battery while the rest of the player was in Sleep mode. Future versions are promised to add features as well as general updates. To load the 1.3 update, users must sync their player with a PC, start the Zune software, and then right-click their device and select the appropriate option. [via Zune Insider]

BIAS to ship Peak Pro 6 in third quarter

03/28, 10:15am

Peak Pro 6 debuts

BIAS today debuted Peak Pro 6, a major upgrade to its pro audio editing, processing, mastering, and delivery software for Mac OS X that runs natively on Intel-based Macs. Peak Pro 6 offers an enhanced playlist featuring new cross-fade options as well as volume envelopes; new DSP sound design features; editing and delivery enhancements; user interface improvements; and more. Feature improvements to the latest revision of Peak Pro affect advanced playlist editing & mastering; editing, processing, and sound design; voiceover ducking; delivery tools; and user interface enhancements. Peak Pro 6 is slated for shipment early in the third quarter of this year for $600, while Peak Pro XT 6 will ship for $1,200 and Peak LE 6 for $130.

New MoGo Headset charges, stows on cellphone backs

03/28, 10:05am

MoGo Headset

Newton today officially unveiled the MoGo Headset. Its extremely thin 5mm (0.2-inch) design takes on the common problem of carrying and charging most Bluetooth earpieces, the firm says. The headset attaches directly to a cellphone for storage and charges from its host, using the power charger for the cellphone to replenish both devices at the same time. Future cellphones should even have built-in space to connect the device, Newton adds. Notebook owners have the third option of plugging the new MoGo directly into an ExpressCard 34 or PC Card slot to power the headset and keep it safe. Battery life is rated at 6 hours of continuous talking in spite of the small profile.

No pricing or launch timeframes were mentioned in the company's announcement, though the Bluetooth 2.0 communicator should be available soon.

Sony launches inexpensive 720p front projector duo

03/28, 9:30am

Sony 720p Projector Duo

Sony on Wednesday bolstered its HDTV front projectors with two new models that it claims bring HD projection to more viewers. The AW10 and AW15 (pictured) each sport a native 720p resolution that Sony says is ideal for both gaming and HD viewing; an HDMI input on either model can handle video as sharp as 1080p at 24 frames per second and will automatically downscale or upscale the picture to fit. Each also has component, S-video, and RCA inputs. The projectors are relatively bright at 1,100 lumens and quiet at 20 decibels.

Dual-1.8GHz G4 Power Mac CPU upgrade

03/28, 9:20am

Power Mac G4 CPU upgrades

Newer Technology (NewerTech) today announced the MAXPower G4/7448 Single- and Dual-Processor Upgrades starting at $400 for Power Macintosh G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital/Audio, or Quicksilver model computers. The MAXPower Processor Upgrades are the world's only available and shipping G4 7448 processor upgrades, delivering better performance than even new Intel-based Macintosh systems as well as up to 40 percent faster performance over competing 7447A processor upgrades, the company said. The MAXPower G4/7448 Processor Upgrades utilize the latest generation Freescale 7448 processors and are 100 percent compatible with existing hardware, application software, and Mac OS 9.2.2/Mac OS X v10.3.5--without any operating system modifications. Pricing starts at $400 for a single-CPU upgrade, while dual-CPU upgrades are available starting at $600.

NI debuts KORE 2 audio system

03/28, 9:05am

NI debuts KORE 2

Native Instruments on Wednesday announced KORE 2, the second generation of its advanced multi-functional host system. The new version significantly extends and refines the unified architecture, powerful realtime parameter control, and comprehensive sound access functionality. KORE 2 also integrates sonic capabilities with a comprehensive included sound library based on integrated NI instrument engines. While remaining an open platform for all software instruments and effects, KORE 2 now offers its own powerful sound capabilities, including a library of 500 specially designed studio-quality KoreSounds -- each with multiple sound variations, covering all relevant musical styles and genres. The new sound collection is based on the integrated engines of ABSYNTH, FM8, GUITAR RIG, KONTAKT, MASSIVE, and REAKTOR, and offers focused musical sound shaping functions, NI said.

iPhones, iPods triggering flash shortage?

03/28, 8:45am

iPhone Triggering Shortage

Apple's mobile devices are likely to cause a major shortage of NAND flash memory later this year, according to Samsung's semiconductor chief Chang-Gyu Hwang. The Korean executive told a gathering of mobile developers that the iPhone in particular, other mobile phones, as well as high-capacity 4-8GB flash players (such as the iPod nano) were set to create a "severe" drought in flash storage where demand would far outstrip the available supply. This was in part due to many flash suppliers deliberately cutting back their production levels, Hwang said.

Sling intros SlingPlayer Mobile for Palm OS phones

03/28, 8:15am

SlingPlayer for Palm

Sling Media today released a public beta of SlingPlayer for Palm OS, giving owners of Treos running Palm's own software the opportunity to watch TV streamed over the Internet or local Wi-Fi from any Slingbox tuner as well as remote control TiVos and other DVRs to schedule shows in advance.

The beta is currently free and requires a Treo 700p with EVDO mobile Internet access as well as a Mac or PC to negotiate streaming across the Internet. The finished version is expected later in the spring and should sell for $30.

IK Multimedia announces SampleTank 2.5

03/28, 3:25am

IK SampleTank 2.5

IK Multimedia has announced SampleTank 2.5, an upgrade to the industry-standard sample workstation plug-in that offers new features such as an enhanced built-in effects system with auxiliary and master effects, the addition of a high-quality studio reverb, and the ability to read all ³Powered by SampleTank² instruments. IK Multimedia has added five AUX and five Master insert effects to the existing five insert effects, now called PART effects. Each of the SampleTank 2.5 loadable sounds can be processed with a total of 15 separate effects! In addition, the new AUX and MASTER effects allow for greater CPU efficiency when loading multiple parts since they are applied to all sounds loaded in the module. Version 2.5 also adds a high-quality reverb derived from Classik Studio The update is free for all registered SampleTank 2 L ($300) and XL ($500) users, requires a 866MHz G4- or 1.5GHz Intel-based Mac. SampleTank 2.5 is expected to be available in May 2007.

MS counters Apple: Xbox 360 Elite, HD films

03/28, 1:40am

MS offers HD films on LIVE

Microsoft on Wednesday launched its own counter to Apple's new set-top device and iTunes with its new HDMI-enabled Xbox 360 Elite game console and new HD content offerings on Xbox LIVE--the Redmond-based company's internet-based gaming and media marketplace. Microsoft's announcement of HD movies from Paramount and Warner brothers upstages Apple's own iTunes offerings, which are currently only available in standard definition, despite the recent release of its HD-enabled Apple TV set-top box. The new, improved Xbox 360 Elite--a direct competitor to Apple TV--now offers a black wireless controller a matching black headset, HDMI output for resolution up to 1080i, and DVD playback with upscaling capability. The new Xbox LIVE internet marketplace will also add TV series and movies from A&E Network, ADV Films, National Geographic and TotalVid.com, augmenting the 1,500 hours of downloadable entertainment content already available in the US on Xbox LIVE.

Microsoft unveils HDMI-enabled Xbox 360 Elite

03/28, 12:50am

Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite

Following the recent photo confirmation of its existence, Microsoft on Tuesday officially announced its Xbox 360 Elite, a new model of the video game and entertainment system that will include a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high-definition cable, and a premium black finish for the console, wireless controller and Xbox LIVE headset. The "Elite" system has enough space for a library of Xbox LIVE Arcade games and thousands of songs, as well as downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, the company said. In addition, the new 120GB hard drive also will be sold as a stand-alone accessory for current Xbox 360 owners.

The company also announced that other Xbox 360 Elite accessories, such as the black Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit and the Xbox 360 rechargeable battery, will be available separately. The Xbox 360 Elite and related accessories will be available for $479.99 in the US on April 29th.

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