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Archive for February, 2008

Final Cut Pro – It Helps Win Oscars

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Alright, maybe Final Cut Pro didn’t write the script, or direct, or have a leading role in No Country For Old Men. What Final Cut Pro did was provide the Coen brothers with the video editing capabilities they needed to shine at the Oscars last week.

Anton Chigurh
Final Cut Pro Helped Javier Bardem Land the Supporting Actor Oscar……ok maybe not so much

The Coen Brothers talk about their use of Final Cut Pro for No Country For Old Men, “They [Apple] made it really easy for us — we cut now much the same way we cut on film [using Final Cut Pro]. It’s hugely faster”

So all of you aspiring directors and film editors, it’s looking like Final Cut Pro is what you need to get that ever elusive Oscar. Final Cut Studio 2 is out right now, so get to saving for the $1,299 price tag. The video editing program can be purchased here.

Apple Releasing Information On Their SDK March 6th

It was reported earlier in the week that there might be a delay for the SDK (software development kit) release. The rumor was that a source from BusinessWeek said that the SDK might be delayed by as much as 1-3 weeks. This rumor looks to be somewhat true, as it looks as though Apple is going to release its’ SDK info to developer’s March 6th. In all fairness, Apple didn’t miss their time window by all that much, since they promised the SDK would be ready by the end of February.

The event has been aptly named, “iPhone software roadmap” ,which shows a map with a few destinations in the iPhone’s future. The destination most relevant to this article, is the sign for the SDK, and is March 6th.

So it looks like the week of March 6th, is going to be a very exciting time for iPhone users. Be sure to check back into FreeMacBlog as I’m sure there will be all kinds of news pouring out after the event.

iTunes Looks To Be #1 In 2008

It was released by Apple, that iTune was the #2 music retailer in the US. Any sports fan knows that #2′s are never remembered, as people can barely remember the loser of the Superbowl the year prior. While iTunes may have been beaten out by Wal-Mart in 2007, analysts are predicting a different outcome in 2008.

iTunes as of now has over 50 million customers, and has sold over four billion songs. As the dispersal of music is changing, from physical CDs to downloads it’s only looking like clear blue skies for Apple in the coming year. The president of NPD’s music division has made the prediction that iTunes will easily surpass Wal-Mart this year. Russ Crupnick comments on the state of music media, “Digital sales were up close to 50 percent and CD sales were down 20 percent last year”.

A full report from the NPD can be viewed here.

iPhone And iPod Touch Get Updated

Today Apple released its’ update for the iPhone and iPod Touch with version 1.1.4. You can find the update on iTunes and download it to your iPhone or iPod touch.

No new features have been included in the update but it seems a few bug fixes have been announced. The big rumor floating around the Mac community is that the update is setting up iPhones and iPod Touches to be ready for the release of the SDK (software development kit). So all you iPhone and Touch users it’s looking like some crazy third party apps will be coming your way soon.

iPhone’s SDK Might Be Delayed

The iPhone SDK (software development kit) mess looks to linger on even further. Many developers criticized Apple for not releasing a kit that developers could make iPhone non web-based applications. Apple then fired back, stating that third party application development brought up security concerns. This is pretty much a summary of what has happened so far in the drama of the iPhone SDK dilemna.

After the initial round of criticisms and explanations, Steve Jobs announced that the SDK would be released by the end of February. Unfortunately for Jobs the month of February is short, and that time window is slowly shrinking. A source for Businessweek, has said that Apple will announce a delay for the SDK later this week.

Apple has released no official comment, but according to the BusinessWeek source the delay could last aslong as 1-3 weeks. So everyone looking forward to some cool third party applications for their iPhone is going to have to wait.

*On a side note, Happy Birthday to Steve Jobs. He turned 53 yesterday.

Apple TV – If At First You Dont Succeed, Release 2.0

The Apple TV has seen a pretty topsy-turvy ride through its’ existence. It was first announced at a special press conference in San Francisco, September 12th, 2006, by the man Steve Jobs himself. Skip to January of the following year and at Macworld it was announced that pre-orders for Apple TV would be taken, and that the products would be shipped out March 21, 2007.

The anticipation was astounding. People anxiously waited for the chance to see what Apple had to offer in their living rooms. When opening the box, people were left with sighs and puzzled faces, instead of shouts of joy and smiles. Being released to the casual market, it was quite a pain for the “regular Joe” to get everything setup and working. You had to establish a network to your PC, which most people didn’t want to bother dealing with. Once you got the connection established, it was a bit underwhelming. The selection of movies available to rent was marginal compared to most rental services. When you found a movie you wanted, the picture was less than stunning, and surround sound didnt work. The Apple TV was in crisis alert, and it didn’t look to be getting any better.

Fast forward to January 2008, at the MacWorld conference, where the Apple TV had just been announced one year prior. At this event it would be announced that Apple TV would be getting a significant overhaul; Apple 2.0. All kinds of new features would be announced for the service, and it looked like Apple TV had a glimmer of hope left. Apple TV could now work independently, without having to be networked to your PC, but the option would still be available if you desired. It was promised that the movie catalog would jump to 1,000 titles by the end of February. HD movies would now look crisper and Dolby Surround Sound would now be available to systems with the capability. On top of all of these new features, it was announced that Apple TV would see a price drop of $70, resting at $229 for its’ 40 GB model, and $329 for the 160 GB model.

So it’s been a little more than a month since 2.0′s release, and the reviews are pouring in for the update. Christopher Breen of MacWorld shares his thoughts on the update, “If you’ve stayed away in the past because of the Apple TV’s dependence on your computer, you wanted HD video and 5.1 sound and couldn’t have it, or you simply couldn’t imagine why you’d need another box tethered to your TV, it’s time for a stern rethink. This is an important and useful piece of technology.”

Gary Krakow, of TheStreet.com shares his thoughts on Apple TV, “Downloading and watching recent movies — in high-definition, from the comfort of your living room — is a stupendous experience. It could become habit-forming (exactly what Apple probably has in mind.)”

It looks as though Apple has made the improvements that it needed to appeal to the casual market. Let’s just see if it was a big enough change to peak the interest of doubters since its’ shaky launch in 2007.