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  • Ulead Expands its Line of Royalty-Free Sound & Video Products


    Reprinted from a Ulead press release:

    Torrance, CA - (June 12, 2002) - Ulead Systems, Inc., a leading developer of image editing, video editing and Web graphics software, has expanded its collection of high-quality, royalty-free sound and video media products to include media for sports, wedding, and high impact productions. The four new Pick-a-Video Pro titles give commercial and freelance producers affordable, high-resolution digital video clips for enhancing sports and wedding videos. The two new Pick-a-Sound titles energize sports and high impact productions with exhilarating tunes, as well as athletic and movie-related sound effects.

    New Pick-a-Video Pro titles 22 (CG Sports Arena) and 23 (CG Team Sports) offer an exciting collection of sports-related backgrounds and overlay footage perfect for intros and segues such as flying balls, international flags and ancient Roman themes. Pick-a-Video Pro titles 24 (CG Weddings) and 25 (CG Memories) create memorable productions with image sequence overlays of bells, hearts and classical film grain. Ulead's new Pick-a-Sound 5 (Sports Sounds) offers sports-related sounds such as booing, cheering, and whistles, while Pick-a-Sound 6 (Power Productions) creates exciting tunes and movie-related sound effects.

    "We've rolled out these new Pick-a-Video and Pick-a-Sound titles in the spirit of summer activities such as the World Cup, little league baseball games, and weddings," said Danielle Liao, president of Ulead Systems. "These new titles not only give our customers more theme based media to jazz up their productions, but continue Ulead's tradition of offering innovative, high quality and cost-effective royalty free products."

  • MSNBC.com Delivers 7 Million-Plus Streams Using 'Corona' Beta Version


    Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

    REDMOND, Wash. - June 12, 2002 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that MSNBC.com - the Web's most popular news site* - has for the last two months been using the beta version of Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server, a core component of the upcoming, next-generation Windows Media platform, code-named "Corona." Over that time MSNBC.com has delivered more than 7 million streams to consumers worldwide using servers running the "Corona" beta software. MSNBC.com has also confirmed that using the same hardware, in one of the most demanding live production environments, this new streaming engine for Windows Media "Corona" already is delivering nearly double the scalability of the industry's most scalable server, Windows Media Services in Windows 2000 Server.

    "As the most popular news site on the Internet, we deliver over 10 million streams every month and are impressed by the performance improvements we are experiencing with this beta," said Mike Corrigan, director of technology at MSNBC.com. "Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server is already saving us money, demonstrating the ability to deliver nearly double the number of streams per server using the same hardware we used with Windows 2000 Server."

    MSNBC has been using the technical beta of the new Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server for more than two months to deliver both live and on-demand content to its customers. In one particularly demanding scenario, MSNBC was able to observe the scalability innovations of the new Windows Media "Corona" media services firsthand when live video content had a huge spike in streaming traffic. This forced all existing MSNBC servers running the previous versions of Windows Media Services on Windows 2000 version to reach nearly maximum capacity. Meanwhile, the same number of streams delivered by the "Corona" media server and using the same hardware was only at 23 percent capacity.

  • Caligari Announces trueSpace6 3D Animation Software


    Reprinted from a Caligari press release:

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Caligari Corporation a pioneer provider of 3D multimedia authoring technologies, today announced trueSpace6, a powerful new version of its award-winning 3D modeling and animation program. In trueSpace6 Caligari adds more than two dozen significant new features for more powerful modeling and design, as well as increased functionality for game developers, professional engineers and designers, and trueSpace users interested in web-based collaboration and community building.

    "trueSpace appeals to a wide variety of users because its novel direct manipulation user interface is powerful and intuitive, its price tag is affordable, and its features are comprehensive -- offering a complete solution for 3D modeling, rendering and animation," said Roman Ormandy, president of Caligari. "With trueSpace6, we listened to our users and expanded an already exceptional level of modeling and design functionality, including new support for layers, a series of tools for arrays, a UV editor for advanced texture editing, and a comprehensive scene editor with soundtracks.

    "Over the past six months Caligari has also introduced four trueSpace companion 'Paks' with more than 60 third-party plug-ins, libraries, and standalone applications for animation, special effects, professional design, and sophisticated presentation of trueSpace creations. We pay close attention to our customer feedback, and we're committed to providing everything that's necessary, so all trueSpace users have the power they need to create top-notch 3D content for web-based communication."

  • Sony Introduces Two High-Speed USB 2.0 CD-RW Drives


    Reprinted from a Sony press release:

    SAN JOSE, Calif., June 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sony Electronics today introduced two USB 2.0 CD-RW drives, adding to its impressive line-up of optical storage products. The new offerings include a high-speed 40X/12X/48X external drive, as well as an ultra-slim, portable CD-RW and DVD-ROM combo drive with a maximum write speed of 24X and a Memory Stick media slot.

    Sony's CRX1950U 40X drive is one of the fastest external drives on the market, enabling users to create a full CD-R disc in about three minutes. Complete with software for both PC and Mac(R) system users and Power-Burn conformed buffer under-run technology, the drive offers a quick and reliable solution for those looking to record digital audio, video and data onto CDs.

    The sleek and lightweight design of Sony's new portable combo drive, the CRXP-90MU, is ideal for mobile computer users. With a 24X maximum write speed, a full suite of software for creating custom CDs and Sony's Power-Burn technology to prevent buffer under-run and writing errors, the drive is an ideal all-in-one solution for CD recording and DVD-ROM playback. In addition, the drive's Memory Stick media slot allows consumers to seamlessly transfer digital content onto a CD-R/RW disc from dozens of different electronics devices, including digital cameras, handheld devices and personal computers.

    "By introducing these two new USB 2.0 drives, Sony continues to offer its customers a broad range of options for CD-RW recording," said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager of the branded storage product management group for Sony Electronics' Information Technology product department. "For users who demand exceptional performance and the convenience of plug-and-play connectivity, Sony's new USB 2.0 drives are the perfect solution for CD recording."

  • Nova's Video Explosion Deluxe Offers Video Editing, DVD Authoring


    Reprinted from a Nova Development press release:

    CALABASAS, Calif., June 7, 2002 Video Explosion Deluxe debuts today from Nova Development Corp., makers of best-selling graphics products in the Art Explosion and Factory product lines. Able to author DVDs as well as output to tape, Video CD, and files for the Internet, Video Explosion Deluxe provides full-featured digital video editing and movie making capabilities that give digital video camera users an all-in-one solution to create professional-quality digital videos on any Windows-based Pentium PC. Video Explosion Deluxe is retail priced at $79.95.

    "Video Explosion Deluxe gives users of all levels substantial video editing capabilities and the ability to create professional-quality digital videos using their desktop PCs, said Roger Bloxberg, CEO of Nova Development Corp. "A powerful, content-rich solution, Video Explosion Deluxe is easier to use than other video editing products, yet provides the features and capabilities found in much higher priced products. Its affordable price of just $79.95 makes it ideal for anyone wanting to create professional-quality videos.

    Powerful Tools Made Easy
    Based on Sonic Foundry's Video Vegas technology, Video Explosion Deluxe incorporates professional features, including automatic scene detection, voiceover recording in real time, "picture in picture" overlays, 2 video and 3 audio tracks, and unlimited undo/redo. However, the software is incomparably easy to use. Included is an extensive help system, printed storyboards, simple video capture, and a step-by-step tutorial that guarantees users can complete their first movie in under 30 minutes.

  • NPD: Pinnacle Studio DV is Top-Selling DV Editing Solution


    Reprinted from a Pinnacle Systems press release:

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pinnacle Systems, Inc. announced today that Pinnacle Studio was the number one digital video editing product in the U.S. with consumers and publication reviewers for the second year in a row. According to NPD Intellect (formerly PC Data), Pinnacle Studio DV was the leading 1394/FireWire card in both sales and unit volume in 2001. At the same time Pinnacle Studio products received dozens of editors' choice awards by publication and web site reviewers both in the U.S. and around the globe.

    Following the August 2001 release of Pinnacle Studio version 7, the software-only version of Pinnacle Systems' award-winning digital video editing product was also at the top of the sales chart and has received two consecutive Editor's Choice Awards from PC Magazine as well as major recognition by the video and PC industry's leading consumer and trade publications, including PC World's Best Buy award and the prestigious EISA award for Best Video Editing Product. During the August - December 2001 period, NPD Intellect's software figures show Pinnacle Studio version 7 moving from number three in sales to number one.

    Released in the same time frame, Pinnacle's next-generation DV product, Studio DV version 7, was released and added to the momentum, quickly becoming the leading digital video editing solution.

    With three products in NPD's 2001 top-ten list (Studio DV, Studio DV version 7 and DV200), Pinnacle Systems' share of the consumer market for digital editing solutions rose to more than 41 percent.

  • Contour Design Collaborates with Sonic Foundry


    Reprinted from a Contour Design press release:

    Windham, NH June 6, 2002 Contour Design continued improving the award-winning ShuttlePRO jog & shuttle controller today by announcing their cooperative development and product support effort with Sonic Foundry, Inc. With Sonic Foundry's enhancements to their popular line of software products, combined with newly released device settings from Contour Design, the ShuttlePRO has become a truly integrated control surface for Sound Forge 6.0 that makes it easier, faster and more productive to edit audio timelines. The ShuttlePRO settings for Sound Forge 6.0 are available for free and immediate download from the Contour Design website at www.contourdesign.com. The two companies also announced they are cooperating with each other to provide enhanced cross-product support in future software releases from Sonic Foundry.

    Sound Forge 6.0 began shipping on May 7, 2002, and was optimized by Sonic Foundry to accept commands from the Contour ShuttlePRO. Contour Design simultaneously developed device settings for controlling Sound Forge 6.0 with the ShuttlePRO. Contour also provides pre-programmed settings for other industry-leading software titles such as ACID Vegas Video and other popular audio and video editing packages.

  • Apple QuickTime 6 Now Available for Public Preview


    Reprinted from an Apple press release:

    CUPERTINO, Calif., June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple today announced that the public preview of QuickTime 6 is now available as a free download from Apple (http://www.apple.com/) for both Mac and Windows. QuickTime 6 is the industry's first mainstream MPEG-4 solution for streaming media to all MPEG-4 compliant players. In addition, Apple announced the public preview of QuickTime Broadcaster, which captures and encodes QuickTime content in MPEG-4 for live streaming over the web.

    MPEG-4, the next-generation international standard for digital video, was created by the group that created MPEG-2, the "gold standard" of digital video used by every DVD player and DVD. There are hundreds of companies committed to the MPEG-4 standard, including Apple, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Panasonic, Phillips, Real Networks, Samsung and Sun.

    "QuickTime 6 delivers the world's first complete media solution for creating, streaming and viewing MPEG-4 content," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "MPEG-4 is an open standard being adopted by wireless, computer and entertainment companies around the world because it delivers the highest quality digital video, and allows content creators to scale the quality/bandwidth tradeoff all the way from MPEG-2 quality to dramatically lower bandwidths for streaming over the Internet."

    QuickTime 6 includes the new Instant-On Streaming feature that eliminates frustrating buffer delays and provides users with the ability to quickly and easily scrub through streaming media content to locate and instantly view specific sections. In addition, QuickTime 6 running on Mac OS X now supports JPEG 2000, the next generation JPEG standard that allows users to capture still images in a higher quality and smaller file size than ever before.

  • Sony's New DVD-RW-Equipped VAIOs Include Simple DVD Maker


    Reprinted from a Sony press release:

    SAN DIEGO, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony's new summer line of VAIO desktop PCs offers a variety of configuration options for people who are ready to dive into the world of customized DVD recording. With the novice-friendly Simple DVD Maker software in all DVD-RW equipped VAIO desktop systems, end-users can expect to watch personal movies on their home DVD players in a few easy steps.

    "Sony is drawing a straight line from the camcorder to the VAIO desktop PC," said Mark Hanson, Sony Electronics' vice president and general manager, VAIO PC marketing. "The software is so straightforward that not only can I burn DVDs, but so can anyone in my family."

    Sony is also reintroducing AMD processors into three of its new models, creating an excellent entry-level system for the first-time computer purchaser. Additionally, eight Intel powered systems round out the line-up, including Sony's fastest VAIO desktop PC to date with an Intel Pentium 4 processor 2.40 GHz.

    Watch, Record and Store TV
    Sony's high-end line of VAIO Digital Studio desktop PCs featuring DVD-RW (re-writable) drives are ideal for video editing and data transfer to blank DVDs. The PCV-RX780G and the PCV-RX790G models, expected to sell for about $2,100 and $2,500, respectively, both include Sony's original Giga Pocket personal video recorder. Giga Pocket functionality, exclusive to these two models, allows users to watch television on their PC with the ability to watch live TV and to pause, rewind and store recorded shows to the hard drive for viewing at a later time. It also provides an easy way to capture video from analog camcorders for editing and DVD creation.

  • Contour and Alias|Wavefront Collaborate on Maya Jog & Shuttle Control


    Reprinted from a Contour Design press release:

    Windham, NH June 3, 2002 -Contour Design continued improving their award-winning ShuttlePRO Multimedia Jog & Shuttle controller today with the release of pre-programmed settings for Alias|Wavefront's Maya 3D animation software. These pre-programmed settings make it possible to control Maya's keyboard-based functions with the ShuttlePRO, giving users another easy, fast, intuitive way to create and edit content in Maya. The settings are available for free and immediate download from the Contour Design website at www.contourdesign.com .

    About the Contour ShuttlePRO:
    The Contour ShuttlePRO Multimedia Controller provides natural and total control over audio, video, graphics, and animation software. As a programmable input device and powerful control surface, the ShuttlePRO offers multimedia editing capability that a computer mouse and arrow keys can't deliver, and its 13 programmable buttons let users work faster and more easily than ever before by placing total control at their fingertips. The ShuttlePRO connects to computers via USB port, and is compatible with Apple Macintosh OS 8.6 - 9.2, OS X, Microsoft Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, and XP operating systems.

    Pricing and Availability
    The ShuttlePRO is priced at MSRP $125.00 (USA), with an average street price of $99.95 through major retailers, catalog houses or dealers. Maya Complete 4 is priced at $1,999 (US) and includes modeling, rendering, animation, dynamics, Artisan, Paint Effects and Maya Embedded Language (MEL), an open interface for programming and scripting. Maya Unlimited 4 is priced at $6,999 (US) and includes Maya Fur, Maya Cloth and advanced modeling features. Maya is available through the Alias|Wavefront network of authorized resellers or may be purchased online at: http://www.aliaswavefront.com

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