Mac News Briefs: OWC intros 500GB, 7,200-rpm portable drives

Other World Computing unveiled a faster, higher-capacity line of Mercury On-The-Go Pro bus-powered portable hard drives Wednesday. The trio of 500GB, 7,200-rpm Mercury On-The-Go Pro models feature different interface options.

The triple-interface Mercury On-The-Go Pro drive features two FireWire 800 ports, a USB 2.0 Mini-B port, and FireWire 800/800-to-400 and USB 2.0 connecting cables. Featuring an Oxford 934 chipset, this model costs $240.

A Combo Interface option offers a FireWire 400 port and USB 2.0 Mini-B port, along with the Oxford 934 chipset; it costs $220. The third model, priced at $190, features a USB 2.0 interface and a JMicron 20339 chipset.

All three Mercury On-The-Go Pro models are 3.5-by-5.5-by-1 inches and fit in a shirt pocket. Bundled software for Mac users includes Carbon Copy Cloner and Prosoft Engineering Data Backup 3.

The latest drives complement OWC’s existing line of 5,400-rpm Mercury On-The-Go Pro models, which come in capacities of 80GB to 500GB, and the 250GB and 320GB versions of its 7,200-rpm drives.—Philip Michaels

SendStation releases three Mini DisplayPort adapters

SendStation Systems on Wednesday released a trio of adapters for connecting external displays to Mini DisplayPort-enabled Macs.

The company is offering adapters for DVI (the company doesn’t specific whether it’s dual-link DVI or not), HDMI, and VGA. The VGA model costs $23—the others cost $25. All three adapters are built under license from Apple and work with all Macs with Mini Display Port connectors (including the most recent models of all Macs other than the white MacBook).

Apple sells VGA and DVI adapters for $29 each, and a dual-link DVI adapter for $99, but doesn’t offer an HDMI adapter. Other companies also sell Mini DisplayPort adapters.—Jonathan Seff

Cover Stream 2.6 sports new pop-up control panel

Cover Stream users now have access to a pop-up control panel in the desktop status bar. The new addition is part of the version 2.6 update to the iTunes controller that developer Snarb.tk announced Wednesday.

Cover Stream lets users control, browse, and search their music without having to leave whatever other application they’re working in. The software costs €15—about $21 for us here in the States—with the 2.6 update free to existing customers.

The pop-up panel added in Cover Stream 2.6, which provides full control over iTunes playback, appears when the mouse hovers over Cover Stream’s status bar icon; previously, player controls were available from the actual status bar menu. The new control panel displays the current track’s artwork and lets you rate the track. Clicking on the artwork or jewel case toggles the visibility of the browser window.

Other changes in Cover Stream 2.6 include improved podcast support with full episode descriptions displayed when your mouse hovers over a podcast in the songs browser, a feedback reporter for sending troubleshooting reports from within the application, and an improved launcher utility.

Cover Stream runs on OS X 10.5 and iTunes 7.5 or later.—PM

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