Apple-friendly Software Floods Macworld
Sybase, 360Works and others join Apple in rolling out software upgrades for Max OS X.Hardware and software developers who cater to users of Apple Computer Inc.s Macintosh line of computers have three big seasons per year: the holiday season and the summer and winter Macworld Expo trade shows. With this weeks event up and running in New Yorks Jacob K. Javits Center, companies large and small have pulled aside the curtains on new and improved wares -- some for consumers, but a surprising number for enterprise and professional users. Though tomorrows keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs will no doubt contain some surprises, Apple has already made one big announcement when yesterday it released the final version of QuickTime 6. The latest version of the Cupertino, Calif., companys flagship multimedia technology was delayed for months due to licensing issues with MPEG LA, the governing body for the MPEG-4 codec. QuickTime 6 includes not only support for MPEG-4 but also for the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec. In addition, QuickTime 6 works with the DVC Pro PAL video codec, Macromedia Flash 5 and the JPEG 2000 standard. However, the long-awaited MPEG-2 video decoding seems to be missing.
In a move sure to generate revenue for Apple but irritate some users, the $29.95 licenses for the "Pro" version (which are required for access to many of these advanced features) will not carry over from versions 4 and 5 of QuickTime.
Beyond the Enterprise The word processor market may be pretty much sewn up by the Tyrannosaurus Rex Microsoft, but there remain smaller, more agile companies that offer alternatives. One, Mariner Software, announced this week Mariner Write 3.0, which adds Mac OS X compatibility, the ability to read Microsoft Word documents, on-the-fly spell checking, PDF output and more. Pricing is $69.95 for a downloadable version of $79.95 in boxed form. Mac OS X-based graphic artists who did not, until recently, have native versions of Adobes products could use Stone Designs Stone Studio suite of applications. This week, the company updated all elements of the $299 package of seven applications, adding text styles and auto-layout of multiple pages and more to Create 10.5.7 as well as other options to the other utilities. For QuickTime developers, eZedia has announced eZediaQTI, a new QuickTime-based authoring application for use with video, graphics, animation and other QuickTime elements. And for those who just like to watch, El Gato Software LLC has announced the first hardware/software product for the Mac that offers personal video recorder capabilities, the EyeTV Digital Video Recorder. It loses some quality and flexibility compared with existing personal video products such as TiVo; the EyeTV can only record to MPEG-1 rather than the TiVos MPEG-2 quality video. Still, the EyeTV integrates with USB-equipped Macs, utilizing an on-line program guide. And programs recorded with the EyeTV can be burned to video CDs or DVDs on Macs with SuperDrives. Related Stories