has taken the wraps off of Popcorn 3, a new version of its video conversion and disc burning software for Mac OS X. Expected to be released at the end of August, it will cost $49.99; Toast and Popcorn owners can upgrade to Popcorn 3 for $29.99.
Roxio’s Toast provides full-featured CD and DVD burning capabilities for the Mac, combining data, music and video capabilities. Popcorn is based on the Toast engine, but provides a simplified interface that’s optimized specifically for converting digital video to portable formats and burning it to disc.
New in Popcorn 3 is support for TiVoToGo — a capability in some TiVo-branded Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) that lets users transfer recorded programs to their Macs. Now Popcorn 3 can transfer and automatically convert your TiVo recordings to a format you choose.
A Media Browser is now available, similar to Toast — this lets you find and preview your video files more easily. Disc Cover RE is also included, which lets you create labels and inserts for your DVDs. Users creating DVD Videos can now create bookmarks or preserve existing chapter markers to simplify playback on devices like Apple TV, the iPod and iPhone.
Pause and resume has been added — this lets you pause your Popcorn project mid-conversion, to help reduce processor usage if you need to do something else. And if you’ve purchased Elgato Systems’ Turbo.264 coprocessor, Popcorn 3 will automatically recognize and use the device, which can speed up video conversions.
A Quality Preview feature has also been added, which will let you see 15 seconds of video to determine if the quality settings you’ve selected are appropriate. Roxio has also added batch DVD and video playback conversions, so you can load up a series of VIDEO_TS folders or other videos you’d like to convert to other formats and automate their conversion.
Roxio has also improved Popcorn 3’s interface, added presets optimized for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV and BlackBerry; added support for Dolby Pro Logic II; and created support for four-hour DVDs — combining multiple DVD sources and video files so you can watch up to four hours of video on a 4.7GB DVD.
Users of previous versions of Toast and Popcorn won’t need to go through a rebate process to upgrade, according to Roxio — CD keys from Toast 7 and Popcorn 1 and 2 will unlock the upgrade version of Popcorn 3, which will be available for purchase directly from Roxio’s Web site.
System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later, G4 or better (Intel included), QuickTime 7.1.6 or later, 300MB of free hard disk space to install, and up to 15GB of temporary free disk space to convert videos.
Roxio’s Web site had not been updated with information about Popcorn 3 as
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