Vara Software Ltd. has released
2.0, a major upgrade to its webcasting software for Mac OS X. The new version adds new features including multiple bitrate output and chroma key support, and also makes use of Tiger technologies. Wirecast 2 costs US$449.99; upgrades from 1.x cost $149.99. An evaluation version is available.
Wirecast lets users webcast a live video stream form their Macintosh. The stream can include multiple cameras, images, titles and movies. Wirecast works using a “shot” paradigm in which you package your selected cameras, graphics, movies and titles together, transitioning the webcast between different “shots.”
Wirecast 2.0’s support of multiple bitrate output lets users offer any different combination of encoding configurations, which allows Wirecast to send out streams suitable for broadband connections, 3GPP phones or anything in between. The new chroma key support lets Wirecast offer a real-time green/blue screen solution if you want to project your subjects into different scenes. Anti-aliasing, capture deinterlacing, support for H.264 and QuickTime 7 and other new features round out the update.
Vara also touts Wirecast’s support of technologies embedded in Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger.” Core Image transitions and filters are supported, to create effects like Page Curl, Ripple, Sepia Tone and more. Wirecast supports the Core Image filters already included with Tiger and supports any new ones that third-party developers create, as well.
Spotlight can search within Wirecast documents, and compositions created using Quartz Composer — a development tool including with Tiger for rendering and processing graphics — are also supported. What’s more, Keynote movies can be used in Wirecast shots, and AppleScript can be used to control the webcast.
System requirements include a G3/300MHz or faster processor, Mac OS X v10.3.5 or higher and a Mac capable of supporting Quartz Extreme. Some features require Mac OS X v10.4 and Core Image support. QuickTime Streaming Server/Darwin Streaming Server v4.1.3 or later is needed for automatic unicasting.