Apple Picks Up Audio Company

Newest acquisition, Emagic, creates audio hardware and software for the professional market.

HAMBURG, Germany—Apple Computer Inc. on Monday added yet another multimedia developer to its recent string of acquisitions when it announced the purchase of Emagic, a German company that creates audio hardware and software for the professional market.

According to sources, Apple believes the acquisition of Emagic with fill a longstanding "gap" in its software portfolio, allowing it to bolster its professional-strength audio offerings for the Mac market, which accounts for about two-thirds of Emagics business. As of Sept. 30, Apple announced, it will cease sales of the Windows versions of its software, although it will continue to support current users.

Emagics offerings include the Logic line of software for digital audio and MIDI production; Logic Control, a hardware mixer; Unitor8, a device for integrating analog devices, DAT gear and MIDI systems; and EMI 2I6 and EMI 6I2M, hardware that converts the Macs stereo output into multiple channels.

Meanwhile, sources said, Apple will quickly release Logic 5 Titanium, a Mac OS X-native version of Emagics software that features the new OS signature Aqua interface.

Sources also said the Emagic group will continue to operate out of its traditional Hamburg headquarters.

The Emagic acquisition confirms a recent spate of rumors that Apple was on the verge of acquiring a German audio company. Freddie Geier, senior director of new media at Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, was recently spotted at the Frankfurter Musikmesse, a professional audio gathering that the company has eschewed in the past.

The purchase marks the latest in a series of Apple deals aimed at boosting the arsenal of multimedia tools it offers to Mac professionals and consumers. Highlights of the past years buying spree include the software portfolio of video-effects vendors Prismo Graphics and Silicon Grail, FireWire developer Zayante; graphics accelerator company Raycer Graphics; graphics accelerator company Raycer Graphics; and Nothing Real, developer of Shake, a video-compositing application.

Observers have speculated that an Apple-branded version of Shake as well as other high-end multimedia gear may put in an appearance at Julys Macworld Expo/New York.

Earlier multimedia purchases by Apple included the April 2000 acquisition of DVD authoring software and underlying technology from Astarte GmbH. Apples purchase of Macromedia Inc.s video-editing operation formed the nucleus of the Mac makers Final Cut Pro video software as well as providing technology to its subsequent consumer-multimedia offerings such as iMovie.

In other Apple news, the company on Monday announced that it has begun shipping the Xserve, the rack-mounted Mac OS X server it unveiled in May.

Alex Milsmann is senior editor with MacProfessional, a new German-language monthly for professional Mac users.