Another development to come out of the CES this year is the new Creative Zen Micro wireless headphones. Using magnetic induction technology, the wireless headphones are able to produce stereo sound unlike previous RF and Bluetooth headphones, such as the ones used in cell phones. For a hefty tag of $149, you better have a real need for these, but the style points and cool factor are definitely there.
Read More | CNet
There have been a lot of rumors lately about the Xbox 2. Earlier this month we published a story about some possible information about the Xbox 2. As some of you may know, Team Xbox found a patent about the design of the Xbox 2. Team Xbox has found yet another patent for the Xbox 2. In this patent, Microsoft plans to incorporate data sharing between games. What this means is that game franchises will be able to share data between games. For example, say you are playing game X then get bored of it so you stop playing it. Then X 2 comes out and you play it. Well, X and X 2 then share information with each other that is used between both games. If you want to unlock some feature in X 2, then a certain mission needs to be completed in X. Also, while playing X you might even get hints for X 2. Now all of this is speculation of what Microsoft wants to do, but many questions remain. Will this put an end to boring or unfinished games? Does this mean that the Xbox 2 will have removable storage?
Read More | TeamXbox.com
Check out all the ports crammed into this tiny PC! I am certainly feeling the DVI connection. Oh, and just when I was bummed when I realized that I would have to use ethernet if I wanted to pick up one of these, Apple calmed my fears with the announcement that you can get one of these with 802.11g built-in! If that isn’t your thing, you can also have Bluetooth built-in, or upgrade the optical drive to a SuperDrive to burn DVD’s. Microsoft, you are in trouble.
Read More | Apple Mac mini
Aside from the iPod shuffle, Apple also introduced the world to the Mac mini. This beauty is 6.5” wide, and just 2” tall! Grab all the details at Apple’s product page.
It’s the moment many an Apple fan have been waiting for. Or maybe not. Nonetheless, Steve Jobs formally introduced the iPod flash to the masses at MacWorld 2005. It isn’t much. It’s about the size of a pack of gum, and as expected it has no screen. It is obviously based on the random function, and has volume control, play/pause, and previous/next song buttons. Is this thing even worthy of being called an iPod? I kid, I kid. It will probably fly off the shelves like every other new Apple audio player.
The player uses a USB 2.0 connector, and can also be used as a simple flash drive. It will come with lanyard that connects to the device for the chic around-the-neck look. You can expect to get 12 hours per charge from the rechargeable battery, and as with any other iPod, it synchs with iTunes. Since the drives are so much smaller, it uses “AutoFill” technology to automatically create a playlist to synch to the iPod shuffle. As for pricing, it actually looks pretty good. The 512 MB version will run you a cool benji at $99, while the 1 GB model will go for a cool $149. Oh, and it ships today. The iPod shuffle is PC/Mac compatible.
We will update notes as the conference progresses. Go ahead and start refreshing!
- This is the first MacWorld to use HD projection. Apple has exactly 101 Apple Stores, garnering 1 million visitors per week. That is equal to 20 MacWorld Expos’ worth of visitors according to Steve Jobs. I personally have never gone through any sort of turnstile when visiting an Apple Store, but, whatever.
- The iMac G5 debuted last autumn, and has become Apple’s best selling Mac.
- Mac OS X Tiger, which was announced last June, is still on schedule to ship in the first half of 2005, which is “Long before Longhorn.” Again, according to Jobs. This guy loves sticking it to Gates, doesn’t he?
- Jobs demoed the Spotlight feature of the Tiger OS. Since the search is built-in to the core of the OS, it is supposed to be much better than Microsoft and Google’s foray into the desktop search arena. Cool search features, but the program did crash during the demo. Hot damn.
- A demonstration of Tiger Mail’s new capabilities followed, garnering a nice response from the audience when Jobs showcased how photos attached to an email can be instantly viewed as a slideshow, or imported into iPhoto with a single click.
- QuickTime 7 is set to ship with Tiger. The main upgrade here is the H.264 video codec which is scalable from cell phones to high definition TV. QuickTime 7 features 24 channels of surround sound, and live resizing. Using the H.264 codec, you can transcode movies for the PSP.
- Jobs showed of some of Dashboard’s widgets. The apps Jobs demonstrated showed currency conversion, yellow pages, eBay auction tracking, and weather reports. They used OpenGL graphics. Nice effects.
- Steve called 2005 “The year of HD video editing”. That being the case, he introduced Final Cut Express HD. Animated titles, custom soundtracks, integration with iMovie. Available in February at $299 new, or $99 for an upgrade.
- iLife 2005 was talked about, with every app in the package getting an upgrade this year (aside from iTunes). If goes on sale January 22, 2005 at a price of $79. It will be pre-packaged on new Macs for free.
- iPhoto now supports MPEG-4 and RAW images. Nice touch. It has a new calendar view, letting you view photos by day, week, month, etc. New book designs and new book sizes also included. Apple has also cut the price of printing images from iPhoto using a professional service to $.19 per print. Prices on books range from $3.99 to $29.99 depending on the amount of content.
- GarageBand has been updated. Realtime music notation from Garageband. Multrack recording at up to 8 tracks. Pitch & timing fixing. Create your own loops. John Mayer played live, and GarageBand recorded it in realtime, producing 4 separate tracks.
- iWork is the successor to AppleWorks. Now we can talk about it without getting sued I guess. Keynote 2 uses 10 themes designed by Apple, animated text, new animated builds, a presenter display control panel (notes, countdown timer, progress to next slide, etc.), interactive slideshows and autopilot keynote slideshows. Can export in QuickTime and PDF.
- Pages is the word processing program. Includes 40 Apple designed templates. Drag & drop rearrangement of templates text and image placeholders. Phil Schiller came up to demonstrate the new Pages app. Designed by the Keynote 2 team. Pages supports PDF, AppleWorks, and PDF.
- The Mac mini was introduced, and looks very cool. This thing is about as tall as the iPod mini, and about as wide as three iPod mini’s next to each other. It features a slot-loading CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, DVI and VGA connectivity and a headphone jack. Big Steve says the Mac mini is BYODKM: Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard and Mouse for the laymen. The Mac mini works just fine with Apple’s peripherals, or you can use other industry-standard peripherals. The price just blew me away: The 1.25GHz 40GB G4 system is $499, and the 80GB 1.42GHz G4 system is $599. Both include Panther and iLife 2005. You can find them in stores on January 22, 2005. I think we will see a lot more Mac owners in the very near future.
- 230 million songs have been sold through iTunes to date. Steve projects that iTunes will eventually sell 1.25 billion songs per year, giving it a 70% market share of online music sales.
- Apple sold 4.5 million iPods last quarter, while they sold 733,000 in Q4 2003. This is a 500 percent increase in sales. The 10 millionth iPod was sold on December 16th, which Steve kept for himself. Selfish bastard. He held it up for all to see.
- Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Scion, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Nissan will be introducing iPod adapters for their factory-installed music systems this year.
- Jobs mentioned Motorola’s upcoming iTunes-enabled cell phone. No hardware was shown.
- iPod shuffle flash MP3 player was introduced. Very tiny (about the size of a pack of gum) with no display screen. Focuses on playing random music. Has a click wheel similar to larger iPods. The rechargeable battery lasts about 12 hours per charge. They are shipping today. 512 MB for $99, 1 GB for $149.
At MacWorld 2005, Steve Jobs announced that in it’s first full quarter of shipping, the iMac G5 became Apple’s best-selling Mac. He even dubbed it the world’s most beautiful desktop computer. Nice.
Many have been waiting to catch the latest from M. Night Shyamalan, The Village, on DVD. Not because it was a good movie or anything, but rather due to the fact that those who saw it in theaters told their friends to wait for it on DVD. You can pick up The Village starting now, along with some nice classics like Leon The Professional and Gilligan’s Island. More new releases after the jump.
Creative has been trying to one-up Apple for a while now in the portable digital audio player game. Usually one step behind the iPod with the Zen and Zen Micro, this time they took a step ahead of the iPod photo with the Zen Micro Photo. The device, which is 3.3” tall, offers a high intensity 262K color 1.5” OLED screen and up to 6 GB of storage to hold about 7,500 JPEGs or 3,000 MP3s. The Zen Micro Photo will come in two sizes, a 5GB for $299 and a 6GB for $349. This is a nice alternative for those who held off on the iPod photo because of it’s size and price tag.
Read More | Techtree
On December 14, 2004 we told you about EA getting an exclusive NFL license. EA has done it again, this time with the AFL. The Arena Football League and Electronics Arts will be producing an AFL video games very soon. Over the next four years, EA and the AFL will be working together to properly market and inform the media of the new AFL games, the first of which will be launched at the start of the 2006 AFL season. What has happened with competition and variety? Seems like these days, its all about getting the license agreements first.
Read More | TeamXbox.com