Online store open to all, subscriptions provide discounts
Music retailer eMusic has removed the subscription requirement in order to buy music from it's online store. The announcement by CEO Adam Klein brings eMusic in line with other online music stores in not charging customers a monthly fee just to be able to download songs, something that opens up the 14-year-old store to more potential customers.
Downloads punishable by two million yen fine, two years in prison
A change to copyright law in Japan sees harsher penalties on illegal downloaders of movies and music. Japan's legislature, the Diet, made downloading a crime punishable by a fine of two million yen ($25,000) or up to two years in prison. Some groups, including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, find this to be an excessive measure in a country that still relies on the sales and rentals of physical CDs and DVDs as opposed to legal download services.
Verizon unofficially throttling excessive 4G use
Verizon is allegedly throttling the 4G services of some users, in addition to its announcement that it will be throttling 3G services
for the top five percent of its data intensive users. A Verizon customer who somehow managed to plow through 60GB of data in 13 days has found that his connection speeds have been slowed to below 3G speeds. This is even though Verizon had explicitly stated that its new throttling policy only applied to its 3G services.
RSS downloading, smart groups of files, more
Eltima have brought out a public beta of v2 of their download manager and torrent client Folx, incorporating user requests and new features such as iTunes integration, auto-tagging, and an improved file manager that can download from RSS feeds and sort downloads using "smart groups." Buyers of the $20 pro version starting now will receive the beta and the finished v2 product for free.
Clipstart, Speed Download
Typinator 3.5 ($28) is a tool that will type out repeating texts and pictures. Users can set up a list of commonly used words and images, and then set up fragments that can be used trigger each phrase or image. Version 3.4 uses a new expansion technique which allows the software to operate faster than previous releases. The update also includes improved compatibility with XCode, BBEdit and TextWrangler, Eclipse and many Java applications. Additionally, several bugs have been fixed including one that could cause Typinator to forget its license information when synced with MobileMe. [Download - 2.7MB]
Speed Download, Wallet
Entrance 1.3 ($50) is a browser for MySQL database that uses data to draw histograms, line charts and more. Entrance also supports an new data mining feature dubbed "data painting" and an explore tree with drag and drop support for tables, queries and scripts. The SQL script editor also features a built-in error detection feature and lets users edit and run SQL scripts against their data. With the update tabs can now regenerate reports and charts automatically based on timer delays. A new online guide is also available to help users make charts with the software. [Download - 2.7MB]
Apps: SuperNova 2, more
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha 1.10 ($20) is a one or two-player game featuring unique hand-sketched characters that look like a teenager's doodles come to life. Version 1.1.0 includes improved scrollwheel and full-screen video support, bug fixes, and an improved registration system. The Universal Binary app also includes an editor that lets users sketch their own backgrounds and create new levels of game play. SketchFighter 4000 Alpha 1.1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or higher. [Download - 8.1MB].
Lexmark drivers updated
Apple has released Lexmark Printer Driver Update 1.1, which includes the latest drivers for the Lexmark line of printers. The 71MB update was released Tuesday and is only visible when a Lexmark printer is connected, or a print queue has been created for an earlier Lexmark driver.
Sky to offer music service
Sky, a UK-based TV, Internet and phone provider, is reported to soon start offering a subscription-based music download service in collaboration with Universal Music. Unlike other similar services, the downloaded music will be DRM-free, meaning users can freely copy it, share it, burn CDs and play it on all their devices. Sky's service, which the company claims will be the world's first, will initially offer access to hundreds of thousands of songs.
X360 DRM transfer tool
After several years of Xbox 360 owners having to remain signed into Live to access purchased content on exchanged or repaired consoles, Microsoft on Thursday finally unveiled a DRM Transfer Tool allowing users to play content without a Live connection. Gamerscore writes that the tool provides users with the ability to re-register their games and downloaded content once per year to a new console. The process will not work on movie files, since Microsoft does not consider the content to be "owned' by the user.
Smilebox now supports Macs
Calling its photo-sharing service is a “natural extension of the Macintosh application experience,” Smilebox on Tuesday announced support for the Mac platform by releasing a free application that allows Mac users to download photos, videos and music and offers “seamless” support for iPhoto, iTunes and Photo Booth. Smilebox says it has more than 700 designs and templates for scrapbooks, slideshows, greeting cards, photo-books and post cards. Launched in 2006, Smilebox says it has 2.6 million PC users each month. Users can create and share their own designs, or purchase "premium designs" from Hallmark, Making Memories, Madison Park Greetings, K & Company and Smilebox's in-house designers. Individual items can be bought for $2-$4 or through a $5 monthly subscription.
Though servers offering the software are currently buckling and inaccessible to many users, Firefox 3.0 on Tuesday has made its debut with the Mozilla organization looking to set a record for browser downloads. The major new release of the open source Web browser is available today in approximately 50 languages, and is purportedly three times faster than its predecessor, offering "15,000 improvements" including a smart location bar and malware protection. The new Firefox 3 smart location bar, dubbed "Awesome Bar" by Mozilla, adapts to user entries over time. The Firefox 3 Library archives browsing history, bookmarks, and tags, where they can be searched and organized.
iPhone 3G speeds: 1.4Mbps?
Readers of AT&T's Apple iPhone 3G website, have this weekend been left confounded by information that iPhone 3G data download speeds will apparently be limited to 1.4Mbps, while other devices tout much faster speeds. With the figure also echoed in the official AT&T press release, speculation is that the 1.4Mbps limit is not a website error. With the latest HSDPA cards now offering speeds up to 7.2Mbps, and even iPhone 3G rivals such as Motorola's Moto Q listed capable of 3.6Mbps speeds, it would seem that the iPhone 3G, despite being significantly faster than the first iPhone model, may not, at first glance, live up to its early "3G" promise; it is unclear why the yet-to-be-released device would be slower than "3G" device counterparts from other companies.
Speed Download Lite ships
Yazsoft on Thursday unveiled a stripped down version of its download manager, Speed Download Lite 1.0, offering users a simplified, browser-integrated experience, and also celebrating the release with a 3G iPhone giveaway. The app features the core functionality of Speed Download, with a redesigned, customizable interface, while retaining the app's "turbo-charged" download capabilities. Speed Download Lite 1.0 is available for $20 from Yazsoft.
Transgaming game portal
TransGaming has announced the launch of an online download portal for Mac games, bringing the same kind of service PC and console owners have known for years. Game Tree Online will complement the firm's Cider Portability Engine, which has allowed publishers to port a number of successful games to the Mac Platform since its introduction in 2006. In addition to providing online purchase, Game Tree Online will provide news and game promotions, and will allow users to post reviews.
- Totus Copy 1.0 utility for transferring data off of a failing hard drive. OS X has a number of safety features built into it's copy functions, if it detects an I/O error or a stalled read the transfer will fail. OS X also gets file information for all files before it even copies the first one. While these are great functions to prevent further damage to a hard drive it makes it very difficult to transfer data. Totus Copy will scan a failing hard drive and recover the files from it onto a separate functional hard drive. It does this by using a very gentle non-intrusive scanning method. [Download - 224KB]
- BlogAssist 2.2 ($10) tool to help weblog and website editing by making HTML markup easier. BlogAssist adds a small menu to the right-hand side of the menubar in all applications. You can simply select and copy some text into the clipboard, choose a suitable operation from the menu, then paste the result in the desired location. The text will have been transformed like magic. For example, copying hey and choosing Bold will result in hey - the HTML tags for boldface text, wrapped around the original text. [Download - 2.1MB]
- Tablatures 1.7 (39 EUR) Mac OS X editor for PowerTab tablatures. PowerTab is a well-known and widely adopted tablature editor for Windows systems and thousands of transcriptions in this format are available on the net. The tool can export tablatures in MIDI format for playback or use in other applications (for instance, GarageBand). Version 1.7 adds a couple of configuration options requested by users. [Download - 2MB]
- Domainer 1.7 ($40) an application for web site owners, marketers and investors track and manage their domain names. RAGE Domainer allows web site owners to centralize domain details, as well as those of their competitors, with one easy tuse application. Domainer also provides an overview of a domain's value through various popularity measures including Google PageRank, AlexaRank, incoming back links, and social tags. This free update adds more powerful smart folders and the ability to see name servers within the domain details view. [Download - 9.8MB]
- MMScript 1.1 ($35) a plug-in for FileMaker Pro. This plug-in allows you to create Script Events that call FileMaker Pro Scripts in your Database. The plug-in also allows you to call a script when the user has been idle for any specified amount of time. New to version 1.1 is the ability to do shell scripting as well as many underlying enhancements and bug fixes. The new release also has updated core plug-in code to include all changes/enhancements from other CNS Plug-ins. [Download - form]
Representing the latest effort to compete with iTunes in the burgeoning movie download space, CinemaNow is now offering a variety of paid content services through Windows Media Center. These include download-to-own movies, priced from $10 to $20; TV shows and music videos are priced at $2. The company claims that download-to-own movies are available day-and-date of retail DVD release, but doesn't mention the breadth of the upcoming library (right now there are about 3,400 feature-length movies in CinemaNow's collection). The service will also offer 24 hour movie rentals priced between $3 and $4. Select Pay-Per-View titles are available day-and-date of retail DVD release.
- TinyBooks v5.0.4 ($50) single-entry bookkeeping and accounting system designed for Sole Proprietors, home and other small businesses, and family finances. It includes a fully non-modal Reports Window offers easy standard and custom reporting and searching. All transactions are easily exportable tother programs as standard tab-delimited text files. With the right (but luckily rarely used sequence of steps) it was possible to put TinyBooks into a mode where mouse clicks would be ignored in the main window. That is now fixed. [Download - 260KB]
- MacFamilyTree 5.2 ($50) genealogy application. This release significantly enhances GUI and workflow for editing families. Additionally, GEDCOM import is now even faster than before, and HTML export has been improved to better handle Media contents. This most recent update to version 5 is currently available as Public Beta and fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and its predecessor. [Download - 12MB]
- KeyCue 4.2 ($30) keyboard shortcut cheat sheet. This release adds support for Keyboard Maestro. Starting with version 4.2 of KeyCue and version 3.0 of Keyboard Maestro, the two applications work together allowing KeyCue to show all currently active Keyboard Maestro hot keys. Now Keyboard Maestro macros speed up your daily work, and KeyCue speeds up executing your macros - what a great combination! [Download - 907KB]
- TextExpander 2.2 ($30) customizable typing shortcut tool for Mac OS X. With TextExpander, users can define abbreviations for frequently-used text strings and images, also known as snippets. When an abbreviation is typed, it expands automatically to the full snippet. This update adds a predefined snippet group with common CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) code. It limits "Adapt to Case" to lowercase snippets and to abbreviations with two or more characters. A conflict with MacSpeech Dictate has also been resolved. [Download - 3.9MB]
- Advanced Web Ranking 6.2 ($100) tool that helps check your web site position on all major search engines. Advanced Web Ranking runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. This version features new charts for the Visibility report, the ability to associate projects with a user account and the ability to define external browsers for opening reports. It also adds the ability to associate projects with a user account. [Download - 16.2MB]
eMusic now in Canada
The subscription-based digital music retailer, eMusic, launches today in Canada online and in over 80 Best Buy stores and Avis car rental locations. This marks eMusic's first expansion into other markets, as the service has been in operation in the US since 2003 and recently surpassed 200 million downloads, making it the second biggest online music retailer next to iTunes. eMusic offers 3.5 million DRM-free MP3-format songs and audio books, allowing users to burn them to CDs, transfer them to personal MP3 players and make multiple copies for personal use.
FarFinder downloads files
Flying Mac today unveiled FarFinder, a remote file access for the Mac that allows users to browse and retrieve their files from their Mac using a standard web browser. In addition to working on a desktop or laptop computer, FarFinder can also be used through Safari on the iPhone and iPod touch. Since files can't really be downloaded to the iPhone, FarFinder will email the file to a desired address. FarFinder is currently available at a special price of $20.
First Look: Speed Download
Nothing is more frustrating than finding a file on the Internet and then having trouble downloading it to your computer. Sometimes downloading slows to a crawl and other times a web server may be down, forcing you to return repeatedly to a web site to download a file again. Fortunately, Speed Download 5 overcomes these problems by offering multiple file transferring features in an easy to use interface.
Metris IV and MangaJongg
Deliver2Mac today unveiled two Runesoft game titles for download, Metris IV and MangaJongg. Metris IV is a Japanese art-inspired game that offers several different game modes to fans of Tetris-style games. Classic mode offers traditional game play, while New Art adds Jokers and other tile types to the mix. Colors challenges players to arrange tiles by color. The Ruins game type contains bits of rubble that the player must work around, while Ghost mode makes new tiles and lines appear to pressure the player when they play slowly. Metris is available for $20 from Deliver2Mac's website.
Firefox 3.0 Beta 3
Firefox 3.0 Beta 3 is available for download from Mozilla's developer FTP site, according to Brazilian enthusiast site Blog.MacMagazine. Blogger Rafael Fischmann reports that a casual browse of Mozilla's public FTP server revealed the latest beta, which sports a very Mail-inspired, but slender interface. The popular browser takes a few design cues from other Apple applications as well, with the URL field resembling that of iPhoto's search field.
Speed Download 5
Yazsoft today unveiled Speed Download 5, a major update to its download and bandwidth manager, introducing a number of new features. Sporting a brand new interface, Speed Download also features several engine and component optimizations, increasing speed and compatibility. Users can download in simplified or advanced modes, and the minimized mode resembles the iTunes mini player. New users can purchase Speed Download 5 for $25, while users who bought v.4.x between January 1st, 2008 and February 12th, 2008 may upgrade for free.
Macrovision, the company largely responsible for modern DVD copy-protection schemes, has officially integrated its technologies with CinemaNow to offer downloads of CinemaNow premium video directly to Macrovision-enabled consumer electronics devices. Users who have registered Macrovision-enabled hardware at CinemaNow.com can use those devices to watch movies, TV shows, and music videos from CinemaNow's online library of available programming, according to TWICE.
In Rainbows on Amazon MP3
Despite earlier suspicions that British band Radiohead would release its new album In Rainbows on the iTunes music store, digital shopping mogul Amazon is first to announce digital distribution of the new album, through its online MP3 store. According to Silicon Alley Insider, the band will be promoting the physical release of the album by streaming a free, hour-long concert featuring music from the CD, which frontman Thom Yorke says is a "wee celebration". Pricing for the album and tracks has been released, but prices typically sit at about 90˘ to $1 for tracks, while albums sell for around $10.