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  • Nokia and RealNetworks Announce Mobile Audio and Video Alliance


    Reprinted from a RealNetworks press release:

    CeBIT, Hanover, GERMANY, March 12, 2002 - Nokia, the world leader in mobile communications, and RealNetworks, Inc., the global leader in Internet media delivery, today announced a long-term alliance to integrate RealNetworks' digital media technology on Nokia's mobile devices and mobile operator network solutions. Working with their mobile carrier and media company partners, RealNetworks and Nokia will enable millions of mobile consumers worldwide to enjoy live and on-demand access to digital audio and video for information and entertainment.

    Under the alliance, Nokia will include the mobile version of the RealOne Player as a standard feature on all its mobile devices that use the Symbian operating system, which is Nokia's operating system for 2.5G and 3G mobile devices. The RealOne Player, with support for 3GPP media formats, RealAudio, and RealVideo, will be included as a standard feature on the Nokia Series 60 Platform, the best-of-breed mobile device software platform available for license to other mobile device manufacturers. Nokia Networks will provide integrated media solutions to mobile operators as an authorized reseller of RealSystem Mobile, RealNetworks' standards-based media delivery platform.

    The companies have agreed to a joint technology and business roadmap to enable enhanced media experiences for consumers and scalable business solutions for mobile operators. This includes:
    - Working together to enable consumers to quickly and easily transfer audio and video from the RealOne Player on their PC to their Nokia mobile devices;
    Addressing digital rights management issues jointly, and
    Ensuring robust 3GPP capabilities and compliance in mobile device and network products.

  • Alera DVD Recorder Wins DVDplusRW.org Award


    Reprinted from an Alera press release:

    Van Nuys, CA March 7, 2002 - Alera Technologies, developer and manufacturer of Advanced Optical Recording Solutions proudly announces that its DVD+RW Cruiser DVD Recorder has won the first DVDplusRW.org Editor's Choice Award for outstanding achievement. DVDplusRW.org is an independent international Web site supporting the new DVD+RW DVD recording format that has been developed by the DVD+RW Alliance.

    The DVD+RW Alliance seeks to develop and promote a universally compatible, rewritable DVD format to enable true convergence between personal computing and consumer electronics products. DVD+RW Alliance members include Alera Technologies, Dell, Hewlett-Packard Company, MCC/Verbatim, Philips Electronics, Ricoh Company Ltd., Sony Corporation, Thomson Multimedia and Yamaha Corporation, among others.

    All in all, I am very impressed with the efforts made by Alera Technologies to distinguish its DVD+RW product from its competitors. It is a very good CD-R/CD-RW/DVD+RW drive, which offers many advantages being supplied in an external casing with flexible connection options, and it comes with a very well-acknowledged software package. stated Jorg Kennis, Editor of DVDplusRW.org. The Alera DVD+RW Cruiser respectfully deserves the very first DVDplusRW.org Editor's Choice Award for outstanding achievement.

    The DVD+RW Cruiser DVD Recorder provides video professionals and enthusiasts with the key features needed for creating DVDs or CDs. It has the tools to author professional video presentations and put them on DVD discs in a format that can be played back on most DVD set top players and computer DVD-ROM drives. The DVD+RW Cruiser is also an excellent tool for archiving and exchanging data.

  • EZQuest Ships DVD-RW/CD-RW Drive


    Reprinted from an EZQuest press release:

    Yorba Linda, CA February 21, 2002 -- EZQuest is now shipping its new external Boa USB 2.0 DVD-RW/CD-RW drive for PCs. This Boa DVD-RW/CD-RW drive with 2x write speed can burn a full DVD (up to 4.7GB) in 30 minutes. It also has an 8x CD-R write speed and reads CDs at 24x. This Boa drive is perfect for backing up large amounts of data, transferring data from one computer to another, making DVD movie and audio CDs, copying CDs, and rewriting CDs or DVDs (using CD-RW or DVD-RW media).

    This Boa drive is housed in a light-gray, streamlined case that is fully shielded with 0.6 metal. It comes ready to use and includes a built-in universal auto-switching power supply, a cable and authoring software (Sonic Solutions MyDVD). The Boa is compatible with WIN 98SE, ME, 2000 and XP. It has a one-year warranty and is competitively priced at $499 MSRP. A downloadable Boa spec sheet and a list of dealers are available at www.ezq.com.

  • SCM Microsystems Announces DVD Complete Deluxe


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Ten days after SCM Microsystems Inc. and DVDCre8 Inc. announced a partnership to develop and market DVD authoring software, the companies announced DVD Complete Deluxe. The software, to be sold under SCM's Dazzle brand of video editing and capture products, will allow users, at an affordable price, to produce their own DVD movies in five wizard-driven steps. Preloaded themes will include business, events, field trips, holidays, vacation and custom.

    The software will also contain sophisticated tools for advanced users, allowing them to manage all details of their projects. DVD Complete Deluxe projects will output video to VCD and DVD, and are designed to play on DVD players and PC CD or DVD drives.

    DVDCre8, which came on the scene less than a year ago, said its joint efforts with SCM is good strategy for both companies.

    Dazzle (SCM) had an extensive distribution infrastructure, allowing DVDCre8 to quickly reach all channels/markets, said DVDCre8 President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph Stefan.

    Indeed, the product should get a lot of exposure. A basic version of the software, called DVD Complete, is slated for bundling with several Dazzle products.

    The software itself, including its name, is based on DVDCre8's original DVD authoring software, with some new features.

    The product has been enhanced, Stefan said, partially due to the relationship with Dazzle. New features include MPEG-1 encoding, VCD support and jewel case label printing support.

    Dazzle DVD Complete Deluxe will be priced at $99 (MSRP) is expected in stores nationwide in April. SCM plans to offer an upgrade from DVD Complete to DVD Complete Deluxe for $30.

    DVDCre8 has more projects in the works.

  • Adobe Releases LiveMotion 2.0 Web Animation Software


    Reprinted from an Adobe press release:

    SAN JOSE, Calif. February 25, 2002 Adobe Systems Incorporated, the leader in network publishing, is now shipping Adobe LiveMotion 2.0 software, the company's professional Web graphics and Flash (SWF) animation tool. This new version moves beyond basic Web animation with expanded content creation features, improved integration with Adobe's Web and dynamic media tools, and powerful new scripting capabilities.

    Web professionals are increasingly using animation to attract and engage Web audiences, but creating sophisticated animations has traditionally been time and resource-intensive. As companies look for ways to differentiate their sites, they need cost-effective tools that enable their designers to create engaging content, while ensuring content can be repurposed and deployed for other electronic delivery platforms such as CD-ROM interfaces, promotional kiosks, and handheld devices.

    LiveMotion 2.0 speeds production time through tight integration with Adobe's professional Web design and dynamic media tools, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive and After Effects software. Through a new After Effects plug-in available on Adobe.com, registered users of After Effects can transfer their skills from film to Web by exporting complex animations from After Effects 5.5 to LiveMotion 2.0 using the XML-based Adobe Motion Exchange (.AMX) file format, where they can add interactivity and optimize for web deployment. Additionally, interactive content created in LiveMotion can be exported to SWF with streaming MP3 audio, and QuickTime videos for Web delivery.

  • SCM Microsystems and DVDCre8 Form DVD Authoring Partnership


    Reprinted from a DVDCre8 press release:

    Fremont, CA and Dallas, TX - January 9, 2002 - SCM Microsystems Inc. and DVDCre8 Inc. today announced that the two companies have formed a strategic partnership to jointly develop and market software technology for the fast growing Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) authoring market. Together, the two companies will work to develop DVD authoring software that will be sold under SCM's market-leading Dazzle brand of digital video capture and editing products.

    "DVD authoring is an important application that leverages the momentum of DVD technology in the video industry," said Dirk Peters, Director of marketing for SCM's Digital Media and Video division. "DVDCre8 brings significant expertise in making DVD authoring extremely user-friendly, which greatly enhances its appeal and benefit to consumers. We believe the software that will result from our partnership will fill a significant need in the market for a rich and robust DVD authoring tool that is intuitive and fun to use."

    "Dazzle's strong reputation as the leader in digital capture and editing products provides DVDCre8 with a powerful partner to leverage our strengths and knowledge of the industry," said Joe Stefan, president, DVDCre8. "We look forward to jointly developing products that meet consumer needs for easy-to-use products that take DVD creation to a new level of excellence."

  • Apple Previews QuickTime 6 with MPEG-4


    Reprinted from an Apple press release:

    QUICKTIME LIVE, LOS ANGELESFebruary 12, 2002Apple today previewed QuickTime 6, featuring full support for MPEG-4, the emerging standard for streaming high quality content to computers and other digital devices. QuickTime 6, along with Apple's new QuickTime Streaming Server 4 and the new QuickTime Broadcaster enables the first complete MPEG-4 based streaming media solution.

    Although the QuickTime 6 software is complete and ready for release, Apple is delaying its release until MPEG-4 video licensing terms are improved. The MPEG-4 licensing terms proposed by MPEG-LA (the largest group of MPEG-4 patent holders) includes royalty payments from companies, like Apple, who ship MPEG-4 codecs, as well as royalties from content providers who use MPEG-4 to stream video. Apple agrees with paying a reasonable royalty for including MPEG-4 codecs in QuickTime, but does not believe that MPEG-4 can be successful in the marketplace if content owners must also pay royalties in order to deliver their content using MPEG-4.

    MPEG-4 is the best format for streaming media on the web, and QuickTime 6 is the first complete MPEG-4 solution, said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. MPEG-4 is poised for great success once the licensing terms are modified to allow content providers to stream their content royalty-free.

  • CyberLink Ships PowerDirector 2.0 Pro and Standard


    Reprinted from a Cyberlink press release:

    Fremont, CA----February 7, 2002----CyberLink Corp., a leading software developer of digital video entertainment applications and e-Training solutions, today proudly ushers in its latest software advancements with the launch of PowerDirector 2.0 Pro and Standard. PowerDirector 2.0 Pro not only improves upon the previous version's award-winning video capture and editing capabilities, but through the new easy-to-use wizard-style authoring and burning guide, now also offers users the ability to make custom movies and photo slideshows on discs playable from any consumer DVD player.

    The Pro edition of PowerDirector 2.0 offers a newly enhanced, advanced video editing engine, slick special effects and an improved, simple-to-use storyboard interface allowing users of any level to create compelling videos quickly and easily. PowerDirector can capture video from DV and analog sources, perform high-quality digital file conversion and output finished movie productions into the latest file formats or back to DV tape. Plus, with a new automatic scene detection feature and the ability to instantly create movie chapters, PowerDirector can transform digital images and video footage from camcorders into polished multimedia slideshows and professional-looking home movies on CDs and DVDs.

  • Final Draft Version 6 Scriptwriting Software Designed for XP, OS X


    Reprinted from a Final Draft press release:

    ENCINO, CA - January 23, 2002 - Final Draft, Inc., (www.finaldraft.com) announced today the availability of Final Draft Version 6.0, a major upgrade to its top-selling scriptwriting software, which is used to write scripts for movies, television and the theater.

    Final Draft Version 6 is designed for Windows XP and Carbonized and compatible with Mac OS X. Final Draft Version 6 unveils many new features including the interactive 'Ask the Expert' (with noted scriptwriting guru Syd Field), which guides the writer on story development, character, plot or structure questions, ScriptCompare, a Format Assistant, a revamped interface and much more. In addition, Final Draft is now a preferred file format and the exclusive scriptwriting software integrating the Writers Guild of America, west's online script registration.

    Availability is immediate at a retail price of US$249.00 from Final Draft, Inc. and resellers worldwide. Registered users may upgrade for US$69.00 (until April 30, 2002) and US$99.00 thereafter. Final Draft Version 6 comes with both Windows and Macintosh versions included. To order, or for more information, visit www.finaldraft.com.

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