When Apple announced the new iLife ‘09 suite during the MacWorld 2009 Keynote last month, we were immediately intrigued by the seemingly powerful features included in iPhoto and iMovie. If you happened to catch it, you know what I am talking about. Faces and Places in iPhoto had the ability to change the way we use the program, and image stabilization in iMovie would be amazing for any amateur videographer or video hobbyist. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on the software, and now that we have been able to give it a good few days of playing with, we are ready to report back with our thoughts. Should you purchase iLife ‘09 for $79? Hit the jump for our thoughts.
Ecamm Network has introduced the supposedly first Bluetooth webcam for Macs. The 2 x 2 1/2 x 5/8- inch BT-1 can stream 640x480 H.264 video and 48kHz AAC stereo audio. The camera covers up to a 30 foot range with 4 hours of usage. Compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or newer and Bluetooth v2.0+EDR or better, the cam can pan and tilt with the best of them. A mini-tripod and mounting screw is included in the $149.99 price. Pre-order for a late Q1 delivery.
Read More | eCamm Network
“Datamancer” does keyboards in a very unique way. This is his latest commissioned design with hand-beveled keys that really were Scrabble tiles. Made for a Mac, it has a brushed aluminum casing, LED lit number, caps, and scroll lock and fits into a USB port. Take a look at some of Datamancer’s other creations that include steampunk keyboards made of antique typewriters and an HP ZT1000 laptop that looks like a music box.
Read More | Datamancer
In addition to SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone making an appearance at MacWorld 2009, Sling Media has also made it known that we can expect a first look at high definition SlingPlayer content on OS X. Oddly, though, the HD streaming won’t be through the actual SlingPlayer application installed on your Mac - instead, it will be through the browser version at Sling.com. While we’d prefer to see it in the native app (and one would think that functionality has to be coming,) we will take whatever we can get as it pertains to SlingBox streaming in OS X. Oh, and since its housed on Sling.com, the HD streaming will be free.
On the eve of MacWorld 2009, Google has finally gone and released a Mac version of Picasa. Picasa 3 for OS X is a beta version of the massively popular Picasa photo management software that Windows users have been enjoying for about five years now. If you are unfamiliar, unlike iPhoto, Picasa doesn’t wrangle all your images into one area - instead, if finds them and leaves them where they are. If you move an image, it will know where it went. You can do simple editing, and since Picasa is a Google product, it ties in to all the other Google offerings in exactly the ways you are thinking. Yup, emailing photos using your Gmail account, uploading videos to YouTube, and sending both photos and videos to the free Picasa Web Albums service, where you can then share them with friends, the world, or keep them private.
Picasa is free, and you can grab it immediately.
Read More | Picasa for OS X
ION’s LP Dock allows you to transfer your old records directly to your iPod. With a standard USB connection, turn your music into MP3s and send them to your player, burn them to CDs or listen on your computer. It also features a line-level input to connect other music sources such as a cassette deck. The LP Dock works with both PC and Mac, and EZ Vinyl Converter with Gracenote MusicID can be downloaded to edit and clean up your tunes. The dock is available for $249.00.
Read More | ION Audio
Time to fire up Software Update once again if you’re a Mac owner, as Apple has just unleashed the OS X 10.5.6 update into the wild. This one features a large number of changes, but here are some of the one that caught our eye:
Improves reliability of Address Book syncing with iPhone and other devices and applications.
Improves the reliability of AirPort connections, including improvements when roaming in large wireless networks with an Intel-based Mac.
Includes general improvements to gaming performance.
Includes graphics improvements for iChat, Cover Flow, Aperture, and iTunes.
Includes overall performance and reliability fixes.
Improves Connection Doctor accuracy.
Fixes an issue that could cause messages identified as junk to remain in the inbox.
Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to append a character to the file extension of an attachment.
Addresses an issue that could prevent Mail from quitting.
Improves reliability when printing PDF attachments.
Contacts, calendars, and bookmarks on a Mac automatically sync within a minute of the change being made on the computer, another device, or the web at me.com. (Finally!)
Fixes issues that could cause Time Machine to state the backup volume could not be found.
Improves Time Machine reliability with Time Capsule.
Apple has detailed all changes on the page linked below.
Read More | OS X 10.5.6 update details
If you’re a fan of the hit NBC reality series, “The Biggest Loser,” you’ve no doubt noticed that contestants wear a device called a bodybugg on the back of their right arm. The bodybugg is a biometric calorie management system available through 24 Hour Fitness, which uses four sensors to convert measurements of galvanic skin response, physical activity, and body temperature into a real-time measurement of calories burned throughout the day. Users wear the compact armband, which easily fits under clothing, over the triceps on their upper left arm - allowing you to take it everywhere you go.
According to the release, “No matter what activity a user is doing – washing dishes, playing with the kids or working out – the bodybugg calculates the amount of energy expended in each motion. Users then download their captured bodybugg data to a Web interface that tracks caloric measurements and helps them monitor their food intake and activity levels as they seek to achieve their fitness goals. The Web interface includes customized menus and a database of thousands of common foods to make calorie-tracking simple.”
Upgraded features of the new bodybugg system include:
- New sleek, contemporary look and 50% smaller size
- USB cable to upload data and charge the device
- Now both PC and Mac compatible
- A free six-month (previously only three-month) online subscription to the www.bodybugg.com Web interface for tracking progress and success.
The basic principle behind weight loss is simple: you just need to burn more calories than you take in; combining the bodybugg with it’s online services and adjusting your own personal choices based on its recommendations, weight loss may just become a little easier. Watch for a review in the near-future.
Read More | MarketWatch
Yeah, we know, the Time Capsule is a router and backup device. Not that exciting, right? Well, not all gifts are meant to spur excitement - this one is practical and functional. If you know someone who owns a Mac, and doesn’t take advantage of Time Machine, then they need a Time Capsule - especially if they use a MacBook or MacBook Pro. The Time Machine sports either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, and is a combination wired/wireless network attached storage device. Even better, it doubles as an 802.11n/g router as well. The 500GB Time Capsule sells for $299, while the 1TB version will run you $499.
Read More | Apple Time Capsule
Mac users, now there is a Logitech diNovo keyboard for you. The cordless peripheral features 2.4 GHz wireless technology, a full size layout, 19 shortcut keys and the company’s PerfectStroke key system and TouchDisc touch-sensitive volume control. With a semi-translucent plexiglass frame, an integrated number pad, and built-in brushed aluminum palm wrest, Logitech promises about a 3 year battery life. The diNovo will be out this month in the U.S. and Europe at a price of $99.99.
Read More | Logitech via