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  • Microsoft Releases Windows Media Player Specifically for Mac OS X


    Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

    NEW YORK - July 19, 2001 - Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft Windows Media Player for Mac OS X and demonstrated a prerelease version of the player at the Macworld Conference & Expo in New York. The new player is being designed and "Carbonized" for OS X and will feature the new Aqua interface. Windows Media Player for Mac OS X will be available as a free download this fall, providing users of Mac with the best Windows Media experience on the new OS X operating system.

    The new media player is being developed to meet demand for Windows Media content on the Mac OS X platform with an easy-to-use player for both audio and video. It will support Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the latest industry-leading Windows Media audio and video technology. This will enable users of Mac to enjoy audio and video content with Windows Media and ensure that content providers can encode their content once to reach the broadest possible audience.

    Because Windows Media Player for Mac OS X is being built on Apple's new Carbon APIs, it will run natively in the OS X environment and will take advantage of Mac OS X features like multiprocessing and the Aqua interface, which provides a look consistent with other new Mac applications. The player will come with two additional skins, including a miniplayer skin for simple audio playback.

    Windows Media Player for Mac OS X will support playback of streamed or downloaded files using the latest Windows Media Audio and Video 8 codecs, which provide the highest possible video quality at all bandwidths, CD-quality audio at 64 Kbps and near-CD-quality sound at 48 Kbps. Because Windows Media Audio is twice as efficient as MP3, music fans enjoy shorter download times and can store twice as much music on their hard drives using Windows Media Audio as they can using MP3.

  • Kaydara's New FiLMBOX 3.0 Extends Real-time 3D Authoring


    Reprinted from a Kaydara press release:

    Montral - July 31, 2001 - Kaydara Inc. today announced the availability of FiLMBOX 3.0, the latest release of the company's real-time 3D content authoring and delivery tool. FiLMBOX 3.0 is a key part of Kaydara's strategy to deliver the mixedmedia pipeline, where animation, graphics, audio, and video elements are united in one integrated production workflow, enabling studios to become more productive and cost-effective.

    Kaydara FiLMBOX 3.0 brings real-time mixedmedia authoring capabilities to Apple computers, with support for Mac OS X. This addition to the list of supported operating systems including Windows 2000, Irix, and Red Hat Linux makes FiLMBOX a truly platform-independent hub, and allows high-quality content to be created on any platform of choice, faster, and in greater volume than ever before.

    Enhancements made to FiLMBOX 3.0 include improvements to the Control Sets feature, enabling 3D artists to animate CG characters without having to program complex IK rigs and constraints as is usually required by this type of advanced feature. These character tool enhancements also provide animators with the ability to interactively work with both inverse and forward kinematics, to generate keyframe animation, and easily modify existing motion-capture data.

    FiLMBOX 3.0 also natively supports Kaydara's FBX, a powerful interchange format for 3D data that allows FiLMBOX users to quickly and easily acquire and exchange 3D assets and media from a wide variety of sources. FBX has received industry support from 3D content vendors such as MOTEK, Zygote, Turbo Squid and NewTek, and streaming 3D content vendors such as QEDSoft.

    Pricing and Availability Kaydara FiLMBOX 3.0 is available now at a base price of $US 5,000. FiLMBOX 3.0 supports Microsoft Windows 2000, SGI IRIX, Red Hat Linux, and Apple OS X.

  • Media 100 Enhances Cleaner 5 to Support Newest Versions of Quicktime, RealSystem and Windows Media


    Reprinted from a Media 100 press release:

    NEW YORK---Media 100 Inc. announced a significant upgrade to Cleaner 5, the award-winning media processing software for creating on-demand dynamic streaming media, that ensures support for streaming media output to QuickTime 5, RealSystem 8.5 and Windows Media 8 (Windows Media 7 for Mac), the three major player formats for streaming media on the Internet. The newest version of Cleaner 5 also includes support for the Sorenson Video 3 codec, which enables the delivery of high-quality streaming media for QuickTime. With this announcement, Media 100 is enabling its customers to create high quality streaming media content in multiple formats and at multiple data rates for digital media delivery on the Internet in the latest versions of the three major player formats.

    The newest version of Cleaner 5, version 5.1, provides support for the newly released Sorenson Video 3 codec, both Standard and Pro Editions. With Sorenson Video 3 Pro Edition, Cleaner 5 will continue to provide customers with 2-pass variable bit rate encoding. Sorenson Video 3 has been shown to give users better high-motion video quality than Sorenson Video 2 at less than half of the bit rate and at up to three times the speed.

    Cleaner is the industry-standard tool for adding dynamic, interactive streaming media and for delivery on the Internet, broadband, CD-ROM, kiosks, presentations, and DVD. The application supports all major video, audio, and still image formats, including Apple Computer's QuickTime, RealNetwork's RealSystem, Microsoft's Windows Media Technologies, MP3, MPEG and AVI.

    Cleaner 5, version 5.1, will be available this summer as a free download to current Cleaner 5 customers at www.media100.com. Cleaner 5 is available at an MSRP of $599 through select resellers and from the Media 100 Online Store.

  • Media 100 Digital Media Solutions Support Next Generation G4 Macs


    Reprinted from a Media 100 press release:

    NEW YORK--July 18, 2001--Media 100 Inc., a leading provider of digital media design and delivery solutions, today announced that its Media 100 i, an award-winning digital media production solution, and Media 100 ICE solutions, the Company's high performance hardware accelerated effects generation systems, are certified with Apple Computer's new Next Generation G4 Power Mac.

    The high performance 867Mhz system is the first of Apple Computer's line to be approved for use with Media 100 i and Media 100 ICE solutions. This newly-announced platform from Apple provides Media 100 customers with a high-performance interactive streaming media production environment, ideal for creating high quality, dynamic content for delivery on the Internet, DVD or broadcast. The new Apple platform debuted this morning at the Macworld Expo in New York City.

    The Next Generation G4 provides Media 100 customers with a higher performance platform for digital media production. The new dual head graphics option facilitates production workflow and minimizes slot requirements, providing the flexibility that Media 100 users need when customizing their work environment. In addition to approving the 867Mhz G4, Media 100 is currently testing the new 733Mhz and 800Mhz dual platform system and will publish the results at a later date. Media 100 also expects approval for the new dual head graphics option for the dual 800Mhz model.

  • LaCie Announces New High-Performance 48GB PocketDrive


    Reprinted from a LaCie press release:

    MACWORLD NEW YORK CITY (July 18, 2001) LaCie reinforced its lead in the mobile storage market today with two major announcements on its highly successful PocketDrive line. By combining the new FireWire-to-IDE bridge developed by LaCie with high-performance ATA 66 disks, the 10GB, 20GB and 30GB PocketDrives now provide transfer rates of up to 35MB/stwice as fast as traditional FireWire disks. The new 48GB PocketDrive, which is making its debut at LaCie's Macworld Booth #1913 this week, will also achieve transfer rates of up to 35MB/s.

    Measuring only 3.5" x 5.75 x 1" and weighing less than a pound, LaCie's PocketDrives provide Gigabytes of capacity in an exceptionally small form factor. The new 48GB PocketDrive can store more than 20 hours of MPEG-2 video, more than 70 hours of CD-quality audio or a stack of text documents more than half-a-mile high.

    Offering a combination of high capacities, mobility and convenience, the LaCie PocketDrives have quickly become very popular among content developers, illustrators, audio/video professionals and people on-the-go. With both Universal Serial Bus (USB) and FireWire (IEEE 1394) support, or "U&I" (LaCie's acronym and trademark for the dual-support capability), the versatile drives provide users with an easy means of expanding the storage capacity of USB-equipped computers such as Apple iMacs, and iBooks; and FireWire systems such as the Macintosh G4 workstations and G4 Cubes, PowerBooks and the iMacDV systems.

    The FireWire and USB buses make the LaCie PocketDrives hot-pluggable--they mount automatically as soon as they are connected and can be removed or swapped without having to shutdown or reboot the system.

  • Boris Announces Boris GRAFFITI 2.0 Integrated Vector Graphics and 2D/3D Title Application


    Reprinted from a Boris press release:

    NEW YORK - July 18, 2001 - At Macworld today, Boris announced Boris GRAFFITI 2.0, a major upgrade to the company's award winning graphics and titling application. The first company to bring 2D and true 3D compositing into non-linear editing, GRAFFITI 2.0 is the only integrated vector-based titling package on the market. GRAFFITI 2.0's vector tools allow easy creation of sophisticated animations such as text on path, with exceptional sharpness. Along with flexible animation tools such as Type On and Title Containers for auto-animated rolls, crawls, fades, shuffles and zooms, GRAFFITI 2.0 allows users to map text to 3D shapes, and extrude and composite in three dimensions. GRAFFITI 2.0 also supports the addition of third-party Adobe After Effects filters.

    Feature highlights in Boris GRAFFITI 2.0 include: Vector Text provides razor-sharp clarity at any scale, as well as the ability to export animations to .swf (Flash).

    Expanded Title Animation Both the path shape and the text position for Text on Path can be animated over time. "Type On" features one click type-on animation of progressively applied skew, tumble, spin, rotate, scale, opacity, and position to a text page, alone or in combination, so individual characters can easily fly/spin/fade/zoom/shuffle on or off the screen.

    Compositing Tools include 27 Apply modes for each layer in Boris GRAFFITI, motion blur, advanced particle filters, and SmartView to dynamically update views of animated parameters in the timeline.

    Audio Import and Playback Scratch audio track includes timeline waveform display and level controls to enable easier reference and synchronization to audio during effect animation design. Real-time playback of scrub audio and sync audio during Preview to RAM.

  • Pinnacle Debuts Pro-ONE Real-Time Editing and DVD-Authoring Solution


    Reprinted from a Pinnacle press release:

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. --(Jul. 17, 2001)-- Pinnacle Systems, Inc. today announced an advanced DV-based editing and authoring solution that the company says reduces the cost and production time to create broadcast quality video and publish interactive DVDs.

    Pinnacle Pro-ONE's powerful processing engine increases productivity by reducing the time consuming process of rendering and gives videographers the artistic tools to perfect the combinations of digital effects and 3-D objects in real-time. Users can combine two digital video streams with titles, graphics, and 3D objects and apply up to ten digital video effects simultaneously in real-time.

    Pinnacle Pro-ONE is a real-time DV editing and DVD authoring solution. It features a hardware DV capture and effects card with digital and analog video and audio inputs and outputs. Pinnacle Pro-ONE includes Adobe Premiere 6.0, Pinnacle's Hollywood FX-RT, TitleDeko RT for video editing and Pinnacle Impression DVD-SE for DVD authoring.

    Pinnacle Pro-ONE includes Hollywood FX RT, giving the user over 200 sophisticated, real-time, keyframeable, multi-layer effects with 3D animated objects, such as "page peel," "ripple," "nightline" and "sports block".

    Pinnacle Pro-ONE gives the user independent slow motion control of two video clips simultaneously in real-time, an ideal effect for sports or fashion videos.

    Pinnacle Pro-One gives the user independent, keyframeable adjustments for brightness, contrast and saturation of two video clips simultaneously in real-time, an ideal tool for image correction.

    Pinnacle Pro-ONE includes TitleDeko RT, giving the user access to broadcast quality titles with keyframeable real-time motion control and transparency, independent of other real-time effects.

  • LaCie drops price on 24x10x40x USB and FireWire Connective CD-RW


    Reprinted from a LaCie press release:

    Hillsboro, OR (July 13, 2001) Leveraging its 3-month lead as the first to ship a 24x10x40x CD-RW drive with both USB and FireWire connectivity, LaCie announced today that the volume of drives being sold has enabled the company to slash the price of the drive to an unprecedented $299 after the mail-in rebate. In addition to its blazing-fast write speed, LaCie's new CD-RW incorporates advanced "BURN-Proof (Buffer Under RuN) technology and provides users with the convenience of being able to easily transfer the drive between FireWire and USB-equipped computers. LaCie will feature the drive at Macworld, Booth 1913, next week in New York City.

    With the ability to write CD-Rs at 3.6 MB/s (24X) the industry's highest CD recording speed-- the LaCie 24x10x40 CD-RW can burn a complete 650MB CD in about 3 minutes. The same drive can be used to rewrite CD-RW discs at 1.5 MB/s (10X)--the industry's fastest rewrite speed. The LaCie CD-RW drive also provides 40x playback and fast, 150ms access.

    LaCie includes advanced BURN-Proof technology with the drive to eliminate the possibility of buffer overruns and ensure error-free recording at 24x speeds--even when lower-performance PCs are used. The advanced BURN-Proof technology also allows users to burn CDs in the background while working on other applications.

  • Canon Announces XL1S Camcorder: 27 New Features Offered


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Since it's release in late-1997, the feature-packed Canon XL1 Mini DV camcorder has been considered by many to be the top-of-the line consumer video camera. Now, Canon is poised to release its first upgrade to the popular model, the XL1S. Available in late August, with a suggested list price of $4,699 (the XL1 debuted at $4,699), the XL1S includes a standard 16x optical zoom lens (which includes Canon's optical image stabilizer and automatic focus feature). In September, Canon will offer buyers the XL1S with an optional 16x manual lens at the same $4,699 price.

    While the XL1S' exterior is nearly identical to the XL1, expect some major changes on the inside. According to Canon, key improvements are in several areas: picture quality, shooting modes and enhancements, variable zoom speeds, zebra levels, picture adjustments, white balance, audio controls and an improved, optional XLR microphone input adapter.

    Canon Product Development and Support Senior Manager Joe Bogacz said all the expressed needs that may have prevented cinematographers and broadcasters from using the XL1 have been addressed in the upgraded XL1S. Watch for a complete review of the XL1S in an upcoming issue of Videomaker.

  • Poor Sales Prompts Apple to Halt Power Mac G4 Cube Production


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Apple Computer announced July 3 that it would stop making its Power Mac G4 Cube, less than a year after it was introduced.

    Despite winning design awards, poor Cube sales was blamed for the decision, after sales dropped from 9.5 percent of Apple's computer sales last September to only 1.6 percent of its sales in March. The Cupertino, Calif. Company has no immediate plans of upgrading the Cube.

    The 8-inch, clear-plastic Cube is pre-installed with videographer-friendly features such as iMovie 2 digital video-editing software, and two FireWire ports for easy digital camcorder connections. And just 4 months ago, Apple further equipped the Cube with a CD-RW drive and iTunes jukebox software.

    It's been reported that customers have been more apt to spend a little more and buy the Power Mac G4 minitower, according to an Apple spokeswoman.

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