August 97

August 26

Charles Wiltgen, Apple's QuickTime evangelist and keeper of the FAQ, presented QuickTime 3.0 at the main BMUG meeting on August 21st. He showed off a number of very cool new features in 3.0, including special effects in MoviePlayer, a vast array of import capabilities, and the QT 2.0 web plug-in. Most notable was the fact that he said he was using an alpha version. Alpha means to us that they have finished adding new features and are ready to start tuning and bug squashing. Charles also said that they would do a public alpha/beta test, but he would not commit to a date.

Apple has updated the QuickTime site and added a tutorial and answers to some beginners' questions.

There's a beta copy of version 1.1.1 of the QuickTime plug-in (which fixes some problems with Netscape Communicator) at the Mac Resource Page. Sometime this week there will probably also be a final copy available at the QuickTime web site.

Terran's Codec Central has information about 2 new codecs, Sorenson (for the web and CD-ROM) and Escape (for CD-ROM).

E4 has a DVD kit which gives the Mac the capability to play back DVD disks. MacWEEK has a story, "E4 to make DVD cool", about it.

August 19

After a 4 week hiatus, we have lots of new stuff to report.

A bunch of MPEG news:

Hitachi's $2400 MPEG camera is now compatible with MacOS computers. This camera records 20 minutes of MPEG video or 3,000 JPEG still images on a card (Type III PC card 260mb hard disk) that you can stick into a PowerBook to transfer the images. For those without PC card slots, there is also a $300 connection kit available that allows a SCSI link to the camera. You can read more about it at the Mac Compatibility For MPEG1A Digital Camera page.

Apple has released a new version of The QuickTime MPEG extension, 1.0.1. This release has patches to make working with the Hitachi MPEG camera simpler, and a couple of other fixes. You can get it from an Apple ftp site.

Astarte, has a new beta version of M.PACK, their software for making MPEG movies on a Mac. It's available from Astarte's ftp site. They also have a new version of their MPEG Exporter 1.0.1, available from the MPEG Exporter page.

FireWire products were being shown at Macworld Boston:

Raduis didn't have a booth but their MotoDV software for the PhotoDV card was on display in the UMAX booth. This hardware and software combo allows DV streams from a digital camcorder to be copied to the computer (i.e. it's a digital to digital copy, rather than a process of digitizing an analog signal). Information is at Radius' MotoDV page.

Also, check out an Adaptec press release, titled "Adaptec Delivers Macintosh Firewire Solutions to OEMs", since they were also showing FireWire products at Macworld.

There are 2 new products from iREZ for capturing video on the PowerBook 2400 and 3400. The first is Kritter, a fully digital camera connected to a PC card that plugs into the PowerBook; it has the functionality of both a camera and capture card. The second product is CapSure, a regular digitizing card; you'll need to supply the video source. Check out iREZ's web site.

On the QuickTime VR front:

Kaidan has some new panoramic tripod heads; look for info on the Magnum series, as well as the KiWi+ on the Kaidan web site.

PictureWorks has a new object creation tool called Spin PhotoObject, this $99.95 software package is for making QuickTime VR object movies. You read more about the product at the Spin PhotoObject page.

Apple announced a new professional level tool for the creation of VR (panos, objects, and complete linked scenes); it'll be a lot easier to use than the existing tools available from Apple. Read a press release on Apple's QuickTime VR Authoring Studio.

Apple also recently announced a new version of the QuickTime browser plug-in, though it's not available yet. This plug-in has a number of very interesting features, including URL chasing, referenced movies, and hot spots in movies. You can read more about it in an Apple press release about the QuickTime plug-in 2.0.

Connectix has a new product called DigitalRadar; it's a software program that uses a video camera (like a QuickCam) to watch a space. When it "sees" something move into its field of view it can start recording a movie, sound an alarm, or perform some other task. Check out Connectix's DigitalRadar page.

Also, Pinnacle Systems has signed a letter of intent to purchase Miro, the maker of mid- to low-end video capture cards; you can read more about the purchase in a 7/31/97 press release.

If you want to use a standard, inexpensive PC microphone to capture audio (and you couldn't because your Mac comes with a PlainTalk microphone port), Griffin Technology now makes the NE Mic,a small adapter that lets you use any standard microphone. More info at the NE Mic Main page.

There's a new QuickTime news and infomation page called "QuickTime Gazette"; we welcome them and wish them the best of luck.

To our readers: we have been swamped with e-mails, press releases and work. If you have sent us a question and we have not replied, we will. Please bear with us.


Judy and Robert