SoundStudio 3.5.2 ($80) digital audio recording and editing tool. Allows digitizing of tapes and vinyl records, recording live performances, addition of crossfades, application of digital effects and the ability to save in various major file formats. Requires Mac OS X v10.4 or later, PowerPC G3 500 MHz or faster and 512 MB RAM [Download - 14.5MB] DropWaterMark 3.7.3 ($17) protects digital photographs and art by applying a watermark to the image. It has two basic mode for either a single image or folder of images. You can setup two different one line text marks, an image (image on image), or set borders for your pictures. You can also set the font, font properties, rotation, position, transparency (or brightness and color) and now shadow, bevel, and emboss. [Download - 4.8MB] TaskTime 4.3.4 ($20) fortracking time spent on jobs you done for clients. It can generate invoices which can be emailed, printed, and saved to disk. Features include automatic calculation of total time spent on projects and total amount owing. The new release fixes a bug that occurred when printing a report. TaskTime requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later [Download - 5.8MB] MovieChapterizer 2 ($15) provides the ability to add chapters to videos and sound files that can be played in QuickTime Player, including formats such as mov, avi, mp3, H.264 (high-definition), AIFF, etc. In the new release you can use chapter project files to allow easy editing of previously saved chapters. [Download - 3.3MB] Audiocorder 5.1.1 ($20) allows your Mac to act as an audio recorder. In one mode, it operates as a volume operated (VOX) automated audio recorder, allowing you set the volume that the sound must reach to automatically begin recording. It can also be set with a recording schedule, to pick up audio at specific times, or as a manually operated recorder. The new release will buffer sound, so that audio from before the VOX trigger will also be written to the recorded sound file. [Download - 430KB]
America Online as released a new beta edition of AOL Radio for Mac that includes a newly devised screen saver module that displays various song information while music is streaming. The application allows AOL members to listen to AOL Radio streams, including stations from XM Satellite Radio, and offers integration with iChat and a desktop overlay for song changes. The new "Radio Help" feature is a a screen saver module that displays album art, better display of artist album, and song information and other changes. AOL Radio requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and an AOL membership.
Following this week's deal with Apple to bring iTunes to its social network, Bebo today announced its partnership with Audible Magic, a provider of content recognition technology designed to ensure all artists and the half million bands on Bebo have complete control over their music. Using Audible Magic's content identification and digital fingerprinting technology, Bebo aims to instantly identify unauthorized copyrighted content and remove it from its site. "Bebo Music was established to enable people to build direct relationships with the artists they love, and to enable these artists to make money from their art," said Michael Birch, CEO & founder, Bebo. "With Audible Magic we ensure that artists and the labels that represent them are the only ones who decide which songs they give away for free and which not."
While Microsoft and Google duke it out over alleged violations of trade commission policy, Apple is left free to nimbly establish leadership in certain areas of interest to all three companies, and steal away market share in others. Earlier this year, Microsoft complained that Google's purchase of DoubleClick was a possible anti-trust violation. Google responded by claiming that new search functionality built into Windows Vista unfairly hinders Google's ability to compete. While the two bicker, Apple has made tremendous forays into shared competitive space, delivering a version of the Safari Web browser for Windows and pushing its way into the living room, aided by the Apple TV and Google-owned YouTube.
European cell carrier O2 today held a special event to reveal the Cocoon, its aggressive step into music phones. The phone earns its name through an all-white and completely rounded shell which hides extra features: LEDs underneath the outer lid light up for incoming calls and also serve as a unique display for the phone's exclusive clock radio feature, which is switched on by plugging the Cocoon into its custom dock. Music is supported even further by dedicated side controls, 2GB of built-in flash with microSD card expansion, and a native 3.5mm headphone jack for plugging in any set of headphones or desktop speakers.
Amazon is now taking pre-orders for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), due to ship in October of this year. Already it has snagged the #1 product ranking in Software, besting Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2004 Macintosh and others. We previously posted an in-depth look at the new features in Leopard, which were discussed in further detail at this week's WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) in San Francisco.
Quickly following up on its teaser, Archos today launched a sweeping update to its media players with the Generation 5 series. Headlining the updates is the fully-unveiled 605 WiFi. Unlike the outgoing 604, the fifth iteration packs a crisper 800x480, 4.3-inch touch LCD to help play H.264, MPEG-2/4, and WMV clips at DVD resolution for up to 5.5 hours as well as to browse the web through an Opera browser. The 605 docks with a DVR attachment that lets it record NTSC-resolution TV or audio, and plays back AAC/MP3/WAV/WMA tracks for up to 17 hours.
Countering a slew of new phone announcements from Sony-Ericsson, Motorola has launched the Deluxe ic902 with Sprint. The new phone follows up on the ic502, offering walkie-talkie capabilities but adding access to Power Vision services through Sprint's EVDO network, a 2-megapixel camera, and an MP3 player with a 128MB microSD card included. The phone also sports Bluetooth stereo capabilities for wireless headphones and speakers. As one of the carrier's most advanced PowerSource phones, it runs on the iDEN network for walkie-talkie access but also includes CDMA phone calling with EVDO Internet access. The ic902 the first such device in its class to offer access to Power Vision streaming audio and video, Sprint says. GPS support is integrated and helps navigate using the TeleNav system.
XpertMart has announced unlimited single store license for its popular Point of Sale system for Mac OS X. Priced at $2500, the new license allows retailers to network together an unlimited number of workstations and is designed for large-scale retail environments where multiple users need to be accessing the same database concurrently. XpertMart's Universal Binary Mac POS system runs on the Firebird database manager, a robust relational SQL database backed by the open source Firebird Foundation. "If you need to have more than three people working together at the same time then the Unlimited Single Store license was created for you," says XpertMart CEO Stephen Searfoss. Firebird is currently used by the US Navy, UK Rail, the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange Bank and thousands of other organizations.
Rounding out a series of announcements on Thursday from Sony-Ericsson are two stylized fashion phones. The Z320 and Z250 both focus on basic camera phone photography with 1.3-megapixel and VGA-resolution cameras respectively with one-button access. Both are also consciously retro and include dotted icon displays that light up to indicate new calls and messages. Battery life is long despite the budget focus with average talk time rated at seven hours, according to estimates.
In a brief interview with MacNN discussing the departure of general manager Roz Ho, the Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) of Microsoft told us that the division is squarely focused on delivering Office 2008 in the second half of 2007, and the placement of new general manager Craig Eisler does not signal that the project is off track. Meanwhile, is still a mystery where exactly former MacBU GM Roz Ho is headed in Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division.
More Sony-Ericsson phones have been launched late on Tuesday that rest at the very high-end of the company's music-minded Walkman range and will represent the company's main challengers to the iPhone. The pictured W910i slider is the first Walkman to include HSDPA -- absent from the Apple offering -- and specifically supports US networks such as AT&T to provide high-speed access for streaming audio, uploading images and videos from its 2-megapixel rear camera, or video chats through its smaller front camera. It also debuts a new Shake control mode that can switch music tracks or steer games by moving the phone itself. A 1GB Memory Stick Micro card is packed with the phone as is a copy of the Media Manager PC software found with the K850.
Digital Heaven today released Final Print 1.5, an update to its companion application for Final Cut Pro that enables users to print the contents of a bin and markers on source clips. Final Print is a standalone application that prints a list of clips in a bin or markers contained in a clip or sequence, providing workflow enhancement when handing off a project to someone else for further work. Final Print opens XML files exported from Final Cut Pro and displays up to 10 columns of information, allowing users to print or save the list in PDF format. Final Print 1.5 is priced at $100, and requires Final Cut Pro 4.1 or later to export XML files.
Sony-Ericsson tonight held a special press event in Berlin that launched several new phones, including multiple devices that will reach the US. The K850i (shown) is a long-awaited sequel to the popular K790/K800 that establishes a number of firsts for the company. At 5 megapixels, the onboard camera is Sony-Ericsson's sharpest to date and features both auto-focus as well as a xenon flash to focus in darker rooms. The bar phone is also one of Sony-Ericsson's first phones with 3G wireless through HSDPA and has the raw Internet speed needed to upload full-resolution photos as well as make video calls (when supported) through a smaller front-facing camera.
DesignersDomain has released Corona 2.5, a general ledger and payroll accounting application that features drag-and-drop accounting alongside on-the-fly account creation and click-style reconcilement. The latest revision adds an unpaid bills file for users who don't need formal accounts payable, allowing users to drag-and-drop to the check register when a check is issued. Corona's invoices and purchase forms now support unit prices to three decimals, while the software's import and export features are rewritten. Corona 2.5 also introduces support for SQL (Structured Query Language), and includes new topics on cash management as well as credit cards. Corona 2.5 is a free upgrade to all registered users, and is priced at $65 (system requirements were unavailable).
Sony-Ericsson today revealed the MBW-150, the latest in its recent watch line that pairs with most Bluetooth phones to ease call handling and music. In line with the Fossil-branded MBW-100 released last fall, the three new designs include a vibration alert and a a small OLED display that provide caller ID and notices of SMS texts; a quick button press can accept or dismiss voice calls. Owners of Walkman phones or other Bluetooth music phones also get basic track navigation so they can listen without fishing the phone out of a pocket.
Native Instruments (NI) today released a free library add-on with three artist drum kits for its percussion sampler Battery 3. The new kits are designed by NI endorsees Gorillaz, Einstuerzende Neubauten, and Turntablerocker, and are based on exclusive custom sounds from these artists' own productions. The "Dracula Eastwood" kit by Gorillaz producer Curtis Lynch provides Battery 3 users with high-quality drum sounds destined for various kinds of urban grooves. The kit includes an assortment of over 60 bass drums, snares, toms, and hihats that all carry a distinctive vinyl character.
ResearchWare today released HyperRESEARCH 2.8, a multi-platform software package designed for qualitative analysis research. The latest revision offers enhanced support for Microsoft Windows Vista, runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and includes improvements to reporting and printing features alongside broader support for contextual menus. The software is used by researchers in social science research, psychology, usability, and corporate marketing to identify as well as analyze patterns and trends among qualitative data from a variety of media file types, according to ResearchWare. HyperResearch 2.8 is priced at $370 for a single-user license, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Archos is about to announce its next-generation line, according to a teaser posted at its main website with an indefinite countdown. Although officially vague, recent details show that the company plans to revise most of its models all at once to include additional storage options and will likely include extras beyond those revealed in leaks. The Archos 605 (pictured) will lead the designs with integrated Wi-Fi and either 4GB of flash or varying sizes of hard drive up to 160GB with a new SDHC card slot supporting as much as 32GB of extra space; both will reportedly share a 4.3-inch touchscreen.
MaxUpgrades has announced MaxProtect, an impact resistant Sleeve for MacBooks and MacBook Pros.†The new case is made of Visco-Elastic Memory Foam, which is designed to resist impact and shock. The case features high impact resistance polyurethane foam for shock absorption from all sides; thick foam padding throughout the entire surface of the notebook; a two-zipper, pull apart design;protected zipper closure (zippers donít come in contact with the laptop); and handles. The MaxProtect ranges in price from $24-$30 depending on the model of MacBook or MacBook Pro it is designed for.
David Cann has created an alternate interface for Digg that will (theoretically) work well on the iPhone's interface. Matching the iPhone's screen size, the AJAX Web app allows users to scroll through different Digg categories, then click through to links which become embedded in the same sized box. The interface is built with the Yahoo! UI Library, PHP and the Digg API. Meanwhile, Wired Blogs notes another "iPhone app" -- OneTrip, "a quick (though very elegant) grocery list program put together over-night by Neven Mrgan. [...] I think the new Apple strategy of "the web is the new SDK" is actually a wonderful one. They're pretty unlikely to crash, and really powerful development is a possibility. Anyone want to lay money on how long it will be until Google issues a version of Reader optimized for the iPhone?"
Apple has reportedly cancelled at least one Personal Shopping appointment for June 29th -- the chosen date that its highly-anticipted iPhone is scheduled to hit shelves at 6:00 p.m. local time. A ZDNet blogger who made a Personal Shopping appointment on what AT&T is predicting to be the largest commercial product launch in the history of electronics received a phone call from the local Apple store to reschedule his appointment, following earlier personalized email notifications confirming the appointment.
In brief: An AT&T memo has revealed that Apple's iPhone is set to go on sale at 6:00 p.m. local time on June 29th, Other World Computing (OWC) held its official groundbreaking for the company's new corporate headquarters on June 2nd, and CocoaLab has released a Japanese language version of its free eBook titled "Become an Xcoder." Attendees registering for the annual FileMaker Developer Conference can save $200 with "early-bird" pricing until June 29th, and Iconkits.com has added two new add-on collections titled "Candy Addon" 1 and 2. A memo has surfaced from AT&T revealin gthat the iPhone will be available at 6:00 p.m. local time in all respective timezones on June 29th.
Omnifone today announced that its new mobile music service MusicStation service is now live, representing one of the first unlimited online music stores available through cellphones. As the company first revealed in its 3GSM unveiling, the now active service directly challenges both the iPhone and its iTunes Store companion by offering a universal player and a flat-rate store. Its software layers runs on top of virtually any music phone and bases its entire structure on an unlimited weekly subscription model. The approach allows any music phone to keep relevant music in rotation as long as the device is within coverage of an EDGE (2.5G) or HSDPA (3G) mobile Internet connection, according to the company: as many phones don't have enough storage to hold the user's entire library, the service will automatically cache as many favorites as possible and download the next track in sequence to effectively produce an unlimited library which still holds music when the phone wanders outside of service.
Cowon this morning overhauled one of its most popular players. The iAudio 7 adopts the same form as the earlier version 6 but switches from a micro hard drive to flash. This not only makes the system virtually skip-proof but triples battery life to a virtually unmatched 60 hours of continuous music. Format support is also as broad with AAC, FLAC, and OGG joining the more traditional MP3/WMA/WAV audio support. Owners can even watch some XviD-encoded videos on the 1.3-inch LCD, Cowon says. Similar to most devices of its kind, the iAudio 7 also packs FM radio tuning and voice recording.
Promising a revolution, Kodak on Thursday revealed a new sensor technology from its camera labs that could dramatically improve the quality of digital camera shots. The development extends the Bayer Pattern that forms the basis of virtually all camera sensors today to include panchromatic pixels that accept all colors in addition to the blue-, green-, and red-only pixels of the past. Software interprets the neutral light to produce the expected image. All the extra light results in as much as two to four times the same amount of light entering the camera as with traditional digital cameras, Kodak says; the difference amounts to one or two full F-stops in traditional photography terms.
Bag, pack, and briefcase manufacturer Tom Bihn has introduced its Zephyr medium-sized briefcase for Apple's MacBook Pro 15.4-inch notebook. The Zephyr features "smart" pockets, pouches, and dividers for quick access and organization alongside the ability to add the Tom Bihn Brain Cell hard-sided laptop case as a protective interior compartment for a notebook. The briefcase, which is made from 1050 denier ballistic nylon and 500 denier Cordura, comes in several color combinations which include black, "steel," olive green, "hunter" green, deep blue, crimson, and others. A horizontal zippered pocket is designed to store DVDs or small electronics, and a vertical zippered pocket aims to provide quick access to a cellular phone. Tom Bihn's Zephyr briefcase is available for $140.
Premium home theater builders Bang & Olufsen today launched the BeoVision 7, a 40-inch LCD designed to minimize the number of extra components for a full home theater. The 1080p-native display incorporates a DVD player as with some mainstream sets, but also includes its own 7.1-channel surround sound decoder and a center-channel speaker that can be had in one of two models depending on the audio environment. A basic BeoLab 7-2 speaker provides stereo for smaller areas; the vertical BeoLab 7-4 in turn is meant to fit into a larger surround setup and provides added treble to dialog and other sounds unlikely to remain exclusively in side channels.
Apple has released Safari 3.01 for Windows, an update to the public beta that was announced earlier this week. The browser, now available for Windows XP and Vista, is based on the same WebKit foundation as the Mac and iPhone version. Although specific details of the update were not provided via Apple's security website, the release comes on the heels of criticism of Apple by researchers who claim to have found more than 18 security flaws in the Safari browser within a few days of its release.
Apple's iTunes continues to expand its presence overseas, landing a high-profile deal to make iTunes the default music service of Yahoo Japan. On the heels of Apple's expansion into social networking, the iTunes deal with Yahoo Japan replaces the default Sony-affiliated music download service and now offers the portal's 40 million visitors a prominent link to iTunes in the menu bar and one-click access to the download service, according to Macworld UK. The report indicates that users still have the option of making Mora their preferred source for internet music purchases: Mora is a download service run by the Sony-affiliated LabelGate.
Samsung today unveiled what should be not just the company's largest production LCD TV but also its highest-quality model to date. The as-yet unnamed 70-inch LCD achieves an unprecedented 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio through a particularly advanced LED backlighting system, the company says. Hundreds of individual LED backlights not only provide a far more evenly distributed backlight than cold cathodes but also selectively dim depending on the on-screen activity, creating truer black levels than would be possible for the older technology. The LEDs can also 'scan' the image by rapidly shutting down in sequence and from there eliminate the flickering or ghosting effects that occur only on particularly large sets, Samsung claims.
Diamond today became the first card maker to launch a 1GB version of AMD's newest
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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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl