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  • 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.

  • QuickTime's 80 Million New Users Exceeds Real's 75 Million


    Reprinted from an Apple press release:

    CUPERTINO, Calif. (Feb. 07, 2002) -- Apple today announced that the results for calendar year 2001 are in -- QuickTime Player added 80 million new users, exceeding RealNetworks' addition of 75 million new RealOne and RealPlayer users combined. The source of this data is from recently released information from RealNetworks and Apple. The most recent version of QuickTime, QuickTime 5, was released in April 2001 and is on target to reach 100 million downloads by April 2002.

    The growth of QuickTime, Apple's industry-leading software for creating, playing and streaming audio and video, is being driven by QuickTime's high-quality user experience, and the broad base of QuickTime-based authoring tools that enable the creation of news, entertainment and virtual reality (VR) content. Additionally, streaming media is increasingly being used by corporations to deliver training, internal corporate communications and live streaming events, such as Apple's record-setting webcast of the recent Macworld San Francisco keynote introducing the new iMac.

    QuickTime ships with more than 150 digital camera models, demonstrating consumer electronics companies' use of QuickTime to provide consumers with the highest quality media playback experience. More than one dozen new software titles incorporating QuickTime ship each day, as content creators worldwide choose QuickTime to deliver the fullest media experience.

    QuickTime 5 is available as a free download for Mac and Windows users at www.apple.com/quicktime. QuickTime Pro is Apple's professional-level upgrade to QuickTime Player and provides powerful content authoring and media encoding capabilities. QuickTime Pro is available for $29.99(US).

  • Canon Rolls Out New Camcorders for 2002


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Canon has announced several new camcorders for 2002. Three new Mini DV models are all expected by the end of March: the ZR40 ($699), ZR45 MC ($799) and the ZR50 MC ($899). The ZR50 MC will feature a 22x, f/1.6 optical zoom lens, illuminated camera control buttons (in six neon colors), headphone jack, microphone jack, an 8MB removable disk for still images and three extended recording functions that will allow up to four hours of footage on an 80-minute tape. The top two models will incorporate MultiMedia Cards for capturing digital stills.

    The ZR40 and ZR45 MC will offer 18x, f/1.6 optical zoom lenses. All three models will come equipped with a 2.5-inch swiveling viewscreen, a new Night Mode that Canon says presents objects in color, rather than one green tint, and the new cams can act as analog to digital signal converters.

    In addition, Canon showed it isn't yet abandoning the analog format, introducing two new Hi8 models. The ES75 will come with an astounding $229 price tag, and the ES8400, which will sport a 2.5-inch flip-screen and image stabilizer, is set to cost $299.

  • Videomaker's CES 2002 Wrap-Up


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    The Associated Press called the 2002 International Consumer Electronics Show a cornucopia of gadgetry, the Sacramento Bee dubbed it a glitzy gizmo fest and the USA Today said Christmas stretched into January for true gadget lovers.

    Whatever the moniker, more than 100,000 people, including a large segment of the Videomaker staff, took part in the annual electronics pilgrimage to Las Vegas, Nev.

    The most extravagant exhibits were full of dancers, entertainment personalities and even a team of synchronized swimmers who dazzled the crowd in a giant water tank. While Videomaker editors ogled the endless aisles of high-tech gear with the rest of the attendees, we brushed aside the grandiose glitter to get to the heart of the matter -- new videography-friendly products. New camcorders, with lower-than-ever prices abounded at CES. And forward-looking companies showed off prototypes of what's to come.

    Camcorder News
    Hitachi made a bold statement at CES. It announced that it would no longer manufacture tape-based camcorders, abandoning its RAM-CAM line. It announced three new disc-based camcorders that build on the innovative DVD units the company released last year. Starting at $899 and expected this spring, the cams are designed to record to 8cm DVD discs, either DVD-RAM or DVD-R, and should allow consumers to record DVDs, eject them from the unit and immediately play them back in a stand-alone living room DVD player.

    Canon announced two new Hi8 camcorders. The ES75 will come with an astounding $229 price tag, and the ES8400, which will sport a 2.5-inch flip-screen and image stabilizer, is set for a cost of $299.

  • TDK Introduces 2GB-Capacity Multi-Mode CD-RW Burner


    Reprinted from a TDK press release:

    GARDEN CITY, NY, January 8, 2002Extending and enhancing the storage flexibility of CD-RW drives, TDK today announced the introduction of the world's first CD-RW burner capable of packing 2GB of uncompressed data on inexpensive optical discs. Priced at just a small premium over conventional CD-RW burners, the new TDK drive incorporates a MultiLevel (ML) read/write chip that adds a 2GB super-size mode to its standard CD-R/RW recording capability when used with TDK ML-R (write once) or ML-RW (rewritable) discs.

    Ideally suited to the needs of office and home users who need a fast, affordable way to backup and archive large amounts of data, the new TDK drive is rated at 36X/24X/40X in ML mode. This enables users to archive 2GB of data in less than six minutes. An internal drive with ATAPI connectivity, the new drive is Windows XP compatible and will carry an estimated street price of just $199 when it is released in the second quarter of this year. 2GB TDK Certified Plus ML-R and ML-RW discs will be available to support the launch of the drive, and will be available at estimated street prices of $1.99 and $2.99, respectively. The drive will be available in retail and OEM versions.

    Speed, Capacity, And Value
    For day-to-day data backup and archiving, the speed, capacity and cost advantages of TDK's ML-enhanced CD-RW drive make it a powerful and affordable alternative to conventional recordable CD and DVD and solutions.

    In its ML mode, TDK's new drive outperforms conventional CD burners in both capacity (2GB versus 650MB) and recording speed. That's because the new drive sustains its rated 36X ML recording speed over the full surface of the disc. In comparison, future 40X CD burners will only reach maximum speed on a portion of the disc; averaged over the full surface of the disc, a 40X CD burner may only achieve an average write speed of 31X.

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