When Apple introduced iDVD–the DVD-authoring software that’s included with all SuperDrive-equipped Power Macs–creating DVDs became easier for Mac users. With the latest version of iDVD, due by the end of September, those creations can be a lot more attractive.
iDVD 2.0 will run only on Mac OS X 10.1–also set for release in September–and will be available on CD-ROM for $20 to current iDVD users. Apple hasn’t said whether it will also support new external DVD-writing drives from companies such as EZQuest, CD Cyclone, and LaCie.
DVDs created with iDVD 2.0 can get a professional touch, thanks to the addition of motion to menu items. Users will be able to animate menu backgrounds, the images on iDVD buttons, or both–a look common in commercial DVDs. iDVD 2.0 also can play a soundtrack in the background of a DVD menu screen or a slide show.
The updated version offers more-flexible interface-building tools that allow you to freely position buttons, vary button size, and choose button border styles.
Users of iDVD 2.0 will be able to record more video on a DVD; the limit has been pushed to 90 minutes. Users can encode video at 5 or 8 megabits per second. At the lower data rate, the quality goes down somewhat, but the maximum amount of video fits on a disc.
Burning should go faster in iDVD 2.0 than in version 1.0. Once you drop a movie into iDVD 2.0, the program immediately starts encoding it in the background.
Two storage devices from Imation (888/466-3456,
($80) is a USB flash-memory-card reader-writer that recognizes all existing flash-memory-card formats. The
($400) is a small-format CD burner and music player that supports MP3 and WMA. Both should ship in September.
A high-capacity storage system from MicroNet Technology (310/320-7272,
($3,698) can store 600GB of data and deliver 38MB-per-second data throughput.
Two digital projectors from Lightware (800/211-9001,
($1,795) is a 2.9-pound, 800-lumen projector featuring SVGA (800-by-600) resolution with XGA compatibility. The
($2,695) is also a 2.9-pound, 800-lumen projector. It features true XGA (1,024-by-768) resolution.
Five scanners from Epson (800/873-7766,
Perfection 2450 Photo
($399) features 2,400-by-4,800-dots-per-inch resolution and USB and FireWire interfaces. It will ship in October. The
($199) is a USB-only scanner with 1,600-by-3,200-dpi resolution. A
Perfection 1650 Photo
model ($249) includes a built-in 35mm filmstrip adapter. The
($129) offers 1,200-by-2,400-dpi resolution. A
Perfection 1250 Photo
model ($149) is also available. The 1650 and 1250 scanners will ship in September.
CPU upgrades for iMacs and Wall Street PowerBooks from Sonnet Technologies (949/587-3500,
CPU card ($400) uses a 500MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 1MB of Level 2 backside cache. It’s meant for PowerBook G3s with clock speeds of 233MHz to 300MHz. The
($300) has a 500MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 256K of Level 2 backside cache. It also incorporates a FireWire port, which lets owners of original iMacs use DV cameras, CD-RW drives, and other FireWire peripherals. It’s compatible with iMacs running at 233MHz to 333MHz.
Boris Graffiti 2.0
from Boris FX (888/772-6747,
): The updated graphics and tiling application includes vector text, animated text on paths (which can be imported from Adobe Illustrator), extruded materials with reflection mapping, and Adobe After Effects plug-in support. It will ship by October ($495; upgrade, $199; professional edition, $995).
from Alias/Wavefront (800/447-2542,
): The company is taking advance orders for the OS X-native version of its high-end 3-D animation software. Anyone who orders Maya before December 31, 2001, will receive 12 months of maintenance. Those who order the program before it ships will also receive a free productivity pack. Maya is set to ship by September 25 ($7,500).
from Corel (800/772-6735,
): Features new to the popular painting tool include a watercolor effect that drips and smudges paint across the canvas, “and a Liquid Inktool that mimics the gluey viscosity of ink or paint ($499; upgrade, $199).
A free OS X-native version of
from Thursby Software Systems (817/478-5070,
): The PC-to-Mac file-sharing software will run only on OS X 10.0.4. Thursby decided to offer a free beta for early adopters of the new operating system. The company plans to continue developing a commercial version of Dave for OS X.
A beta release of Virtual PC for OS X from Connectix (800/950-5880,
): Registered Virtual PC 4 users can download
Virtual PC Test Drive
for free. The beta, which will expire on January 31, 2002, lets OS X users run PC-based operating systems on their Macs.
OS X-native fax software from Smith Micro (949/362-5800,
): Set to ship this fall,
allows faxes to be sent and received from any Mac application ($60).
FileMaker Server 5.5
from FileMaker (800/325-2747,
): The updated database-hosting application automatically updates and deploys FileMaker Pro plug-ins to FileMaker Pro 5.5 clients across a TCP/IP network. The application runs natively in OS X ($999; upgrade, $499).
–Compiled by PHILIP MICHAELS
MACWORLD CONFERENCE & EXPO: BEST OF SHOW
At each Macworld Expo trade show,
and MacCentral.com pick the most exciting new products. Winners from this year’s Macworld Expo in New York include: