Save your friends and family from confusion, even long-distance
Today's Pointers column is aimed squarely that the guy or girl who is pretty good -- or at least vaguely fluent -- with Macs, and has thus suddenly been branded a tech "guru" by their Apple-illiterate or tech-unfriendly family, friends, long-lost relatives, or strangers in the street. You want to help, but they don't live with you, or perhaps a continent away. Nevertheless, you can be their knight in silicon armor. Read on to find out how.
Record videos from Xbox, PS3 feeds
Among the myriad of gaming companies in Los Angeles this week for E3, Elgato may seem a bit out of place. The company last week released its Game Capture HD, however, and we had a chance to check out the new recording device for Xbox, PlayStation or any other game console.
Aimed at gamers, VOIP users, voice dicatation
Utilizing a separate microphone built into each headphone house and a dedicated, in-line USB sound card, Andrea Electronics says its new SuperBeam headsets offer "boom-free" audio recording and better bass, midrange and treble than most computers' built-in sound systems. The dual-mic array cancels background noise, making the headsets ideal for VOIP calls, video and game chatting and speech-recognition software. It can also be used to make binaural "3D audio" recordings.
Features mid-side recording to add ambience
Calling it the company's most "innovative" handheld recorder to date, Zoom has introduced the H2n recorder, which will be shipping in September. The unit features five studio-quality mics onboard, four recording modes, a new user interface captured on a 1.8-inch backlit LED display, 20 hours of operation off two alkaline AA batteries, data-recovery features in case of loss of power and support for up to 32GB SDHC memory cards.
Up to 50 songs can be imported as backing tracks
IK MultiMedia have released a major new update to their guitar recording and effects application for iPhone, AmpliTube. The new v2 improves the sound quality of gear and cabinets, imports songs from the iTunes Library as backing tracks, and now includes the ability to slow down or speed up imported songs without affecting the pitch in a new feature called SpeedTrainer. However, iPad AmpliTube users are advised to wait for a special, dedicated upgrade for their devices.
Converts calls to popular video formats
Russian developer Intelus, maker of MacVide, has debuted a new application specifically for recording audio and video calls in Skype, TalkAide. The program can be set up to automatically launch and record either individual or group conference calls, and supports QuickTime, MPEGs 1 and 4, Flash formats and VOB for easy DVD burning among others.
Three similar titles still available on App Store
The German developer Vemedio has voiced frustration with Apple, following the rejection of a radio recording app submitted to the App Store. The software, an iPhone version of the desktop title Snowtape, allows users to record and share audio streams from Internet radio sources.
Mic offers XLR and USB connections
Samson on Wednesday introduced the Q2U Recording Pack which includes a microphone, HP20 headphones, and other accessories. The Q2U dynamic mic features both XLR and USB outputs, allowing users to simultaneously connect with a computer and other gear for live performances and recording. The mic offers a cardioid pickup pattern and an integrated A/D converter for 16-bit, 48kHz sampling.
Audio Technica new mics
Audio-Technica on Wednesday debuted 11 new ATR series microphones designed for home recordings, live performances, computers or camcorders. Products include the ATR1500, ATR1300, ATR1200 and ATR1100 vocal/instrument mics; the ATR6550, ATR6250, ATR4697 and ATR2250 specialty mics; the ATR4700 and ATR4600 computer mics; and the ATR5200 headset mic.
iRock launched for iPhone
Mark's Recording Studio has launched iRock 1.0, an app for the iPhone that converts it into a guitar amplifier. The app includes six amplifier simulations combined with five cabinet emulators. It has hi, low and mid tone controls along with gain and drive control. iRock supports recording performances and can playback the recording. It also contains a file server for downloading recorded performances.
Line 6 ships POD X3 Pro
Line 6 has begun shipping the POD X3 Pro rack-mount signal processor. The device features a dual-tone processor that offers amp and effect models for guitar, bass, or vocals. Users can integrate the X3 Pro into a variety of systems, including live performance rigs, recording systems, or computer-based DAWs. Two dedicated signal paths, each with its own chain of amps and effects, can serve two instruments simultaneously.
EyeTV 2.5.3 shipping
Elgato has released EyeTV 2.5.3, with improved VHF reception for Australian users and fixes for live buffer recording crashes and manual schedule problems under Leopard. The new version also fixes a "Device could not be initialized error" when using AV inputs.
iTalk for iPhone available
Griffin Technology has released iTalk Recorder for the iPhone and iTalk Sync for the Mac, allowing users to manage recordings using the iPhone or second generation iPod touch. The software gives users the ability to stop and start recordings, play recordings back, chose good, better or best quality levels and manage multiple recordings. iTalk Sync, running on a user's Mac, offers drag-and-drop transfers of recordings from the iPhone to the Mac via Wi-Fi.
Audio recorder for iPhone
Berkley Integrated Audio Software (BIAS) has launched the iPro Recorder for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new app records voice memos, lectures, sermons, legal briefings, field interviews, business meetings/dictation, ambient sounds, music, and more, with three levels of quality from CD fidelity to dictation quality levels. The software records in 16-bit mono from 44KHz to 11KHZ, in .WAV format, (up to 13 hours of audio per gigabyte) offering cross platform compatibility with Macs and PCs. It provides one-touch recording, pause and resume and appending of previous recordings with new audio. It has an option to send a call on the iPhone straight to voicemail, or can pause and resume after the call.
Yamaha AudioGram recording
Yamaha has begun shipping its latest computer recording systems, the AudioGram 3 and AudioGram 6. Both devices offer mic and line inputs and connect to the computer via USB. Various connections are provided, including XLR, 1/4 inch instrument, 1/8 inch headphone, and RCA jacks. Both devices integrate a preamp when using mic inputs and provide 48-V phantom power as needed for condenser microphones. AudioGram 3 features both a mono input that can be used for a mic or instrument, and a stereo channel for connecting line level sources.
Ambrosia Wire Tap tool
Ambrosia Software today announced the release of a new Mac recording tool, WireTap Anywhere. WireTap lets users take audio from any Mac application or hardware input device and bring it to a recording application. Any programs that output audio can be selected as input devices, their output then being recorded or edited in any application that can record from the mic input or other audio input.
AVerMedia's NVR with Wi-Fi
AVerMedia today announced the launch of its EB1704HB WiFi-4 NVR instant network video recorder, meant for use in homes and small businesses. The package includes the Network Video Recorder main unit, a wireless router and four wireless IP cameras that are ready to set-up, with no configuration needed. Because there are no wires, apart from the power cords, AverMedia claims a 10-minute set up time. The system features motion-detecting sensors that trigger recording to make efficient use of hard drive space.
Native Instruments has announced that Guitar Rig Session and Guitar Rig XE3 are are now available. Session is a new recording solution for guitarists, bass players and songwriters that provides studio-quality results at an entry-level price. Rig 3 XE software is the heart of the suite, which offers a selection of five true-to-life tube amplifier models and 12 cabinet types, as well as 21 stomp boxes and effect units. All components can be freely combined in the virtual Guitar Rig rack, allowing musicians to create sounds ranging from signature tones to unique sonic flavors. A library with over 150 instantly playable tones from different musical eras and genres is included, together with several tools including dual tape-decks, metronome, tuner, and a dedicated Live View.
Screenflick adds 30 items
Araelium Group on Wednesday unveiled Screenflick 1.6, an update to the company’s screen recording program, which introduces over 30 new features and improvements. Screenflick now offers improved stability and recording performance, while also optimizing the interface’s usability. Keyboard shortcut code was rewritten for greater flexibility, and the shortcut viewer can now show one or multiple events. Screenflick 1.6 is available from Araelium Group’s website for $30.
ScreenFlow 1.1 update
Vara Software today unveiled ScreenFlow 1.1, a sizable update to its screencasting application, adding audio waveforms, markers, and several other optimizations and improvements. The inclusion of audio waveforms allows users to find and remove unnecessary pauses, coughs, and other audio anomalies in recordings, as well as in any imported QuickTime Media. The update is free for existing users, and costs $100 for a new license.
Ableton Live 7 LE update
Ableton today unveiled Live 7 LE, a major update to its simplified music creation tool that adds many new features and enhancements. Ableton Live 7 LE adds studio-quality recording at up to 32-bits with 192 kHz quality, and supports 64 concurrent audio tracks, as well as unlimited MIDI tracks and powerful sequencers. The update also introduces 20 effects, including delays, filters, and others. Ableton Live 7 LE is available for $150 as a download, while the boxed version costs $200.
Red Marble Games has announced a new Mac OS X game dubbed "Rock Legend" that is part RPG, part life-sim, part Tycoon game. Players take the role of a struggling rock singer who puts together his own band, and tries to achieve fame and fortune, from humble beginnings as a starving garage-band. They can pick their band-members, choose the band name, write the songs, play the gigs and more. Rock Legend is a turn-based game, in some ways similar to the gameplay of Kudos. Each turn of the game represents a single day, and it's up to users to decide how the band spends their time. Some of the activities users will need to spend time on include songwriting, rehearsals, auditions, publicity events, practicing individual instruments recording the latest album. The game is priced at $23.
QuickStream DV/HDV ships
MCE Technologies today began shipping the QuickStream DV/HDV, a portable camera-mountable self-powered digital video capture and storage device. Capable of capturing HDV in addition to standard DV footage, the device accelerates the video post-production process and can capture HDV footage directly to its hard drive while shooting from the majority of popular HDV cameras. The QuickStream DV/HDV is available with 80GB ($800) and 120GB ($1,000) of storage space, supporting up to six hours or nine hours of recording, respectively.
One-touch video transfers
Pinnacle Systems today debuted Pinnacle Video Transfer (site not updated), a device that record analog video onto any USB 2.0 storage device without the need for a computer. With the touch of a button the company says users with little or no technical expertise can record from a TV, DVD player, iPod, or other device to a USB flash drive or USB hard drive. Users can select three different recording levels for each device, opting for varying video qualities and sizes. Pinnacle Video Transfer will ship January 15th for $130, and includes three RCA audio/video cables as well as a power supply and a quick start guide.
Slew of Apple patents
No less than 10 Apple inventions surfaced today at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, with three new applications filed alongside seven documents that were officially granted to the Cupertino-based company. Apple's latest inventions include 'Pulldown correction for progressive display of audiovisual recordings,' as well as two patents related to iPhoto that create computer generated mosaics and touch up photos to remove blemishes. Seven previously-filed patents detail technology for DVD Web system, MagSafe, speech synthesis, and more.
Ambrosia issues updates
Ambrosia Software has released updates to two applications and one game, signaling the arrival of WireTap Studio 1.0.4 along with iSeek 1.1.3 and pop-pop 1.0.6. WireTap Studio 1.0.4 is a free update to the audio recording and management application that offers enhanced Leopard compatibility alongside other fixes and enhancements. WireTap Studio is priced at $70 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Upgrades for WireTap Pro users are priced at 30.
Creating custom ringtones
Apple today released an informational note about creating custom ringtones in GarageBand 4.1.1. "With GarageBand 4.1.1 you can export your original song, your original audio recordings, or use Apple Loops and iLife jingles to create a custom ringtone for your iPhone," the company says. Users need GarageBand 4.1.1, iTunes 7.5 or later, and an iPhone with firmware version 1.1.2 or later. The process involves setting up a cycle region that covers the desired area of a song to use in a GarageBand song, which must be 40 seconds or less in length.
Tube 2.0 TV software
Equinux today released The Tube 2.0, marking the second generation of its TV software for Mac with support for TubeTalk and BuddySurfing community-oriented features. TubeTalk enables TV viewers to chat with one another about the current program, while BuddySurfing enables users to follow others as they channel surf. The Tube 2.0 also simplifies the overall recording process, and provides a visible chatroom where all viewers can discuss programming while keeping tabs on how many viewers are currently watching the running program for each channel. The software is priced at $30, and is obtainable with a DVB-T (DTT) USB receiver TubeStick for $60.