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August 09, 2005

Table of Contents

Sonic Launches DVDit Pro 6
Macromedia Announces Flash Professional 8
Canopus EDIUS Pro 3 Format Options Give Editors P2, VariCam, and XDCAM Support
Flip4Mac Announces WMV Software Releases
Condre Announces Network-Attached CD/DVD Creator
NEC Offers Express5800 Server with New Promise Serial ATA RAID 5 Solution
EDIROL Introduces New V-LINK-Compatible Visual Performance Package
Imation Expands Product Offerings

Sonic Launches DVDit Pro 6

Sonic Solutions has launched DVDit Pro 6, the latest version of its DVD authoring solution designed for creative professionals and enthusiasts alike. DVDit Pro 6 offers new features, precision tools, and fine-tune controls, presented in a customizable workspace that is optimized for productivity. The latest version enables authors to deliver Web-linked interactivity with the inclusion of eDVD 4.

Designed to work with any authored DVD title, eDVD 4 allows content producers to add links from DVD menu buttons or chapter points to a wide assortment of content that is accessible during computer playback. eDVD -enabled DVDs let viewers launch Web pages, play HD video files, view high-resolution images, open documents such as PDF, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint presentations, or launch executable files such as games or applications during PC-DVD playback.

DVDit Pro 6 is currently being showcased at the Wedding & Event Video Association (WEVA) Expo 2005 (booth #225), being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 8-11.

DVDit Pro 6 Feature Highlights:

  • New Professional User Interface - Features a flexible workspace that is completely customizable to the creative needs of the individual. Users can employ one of a number of predefined workspace layouts designed for focusing on a specific authoring task, create and save their own layout, or spread out their work area using dual-monitor configurations.
  • Comprehensive File Support - Users can import movies and pictures in virtually any format, from AVI to MPEG, from QuickTime to Windows Media Video. DVDit Pro also ensures top-quality video and audio reproduction with support for superior real-time MPEG-2 encoding with VBR control and multi-channel Dolby Digital theatre-quality sound.
  • Multiple Audio and Subtitle Track Support - Now users can create as many as eight additional audio tracks and 32 subtitle tracks per movie using DVDit Pro's integrated movie timeline. The timeline enables professionals to easily produce compliant multi-region DVD titles and enthusiasts to add commentary tracks or captions.
  • Menu Customization Control - Visually captivating DVDs can be achieved quickly with DVDit Pro's inclusion of professionally designed menu templates. Users are also free to customize the visual design of menus by importing layered Photoshop files, or by combining personal photos or video files with individual graphic elements such as buttons, frames and masks.
  • Control DVD Behaviors - DVDs with Hollywood-style navigation are easily created through a rich array of technical controls such as the setting of "first play," title playback sequence and "end actions," or by programming sophisticated playback options that are enacted via buttons on the viewer's remote control. DVDit Pro provides extremely versatile and easy to use "routing controls" which set different "next actions" based on particular navigation sequences.
  • New Slideshow Creation Controls - Users can create multimedia presentations with the rich slideshow capabilities included in DVDit Pro 6. Users are able to quickly import any popular image file format and build slideshows with dramatic transitions and as many as 999 pictures. Users can also automatically synchronize their slideshow duration to the length of an accompanying multi-song audio track.
  • Sophisticated Playlist Control - Playlists allow users to create specialized content playback experiences without duplicating content on the disc. Users can generate a "play all" function or offer viewers unique categorized content playback while at the same time preserving disc space.
  • Flexible Open DVD Support - Support for OpenDVD allows users the flexibility of opening and editing a completed disc at a later time, which makes it easy to make changes to discs without tracking down the original assets.
  • Professional Mastering - DVDit Pro 6 includes the controls and specialized functions professionals demand including DLT and Dual-layer disc support, disc protection schemes, and region coding.

DVDit Pro 6 is available today at (http://www.sonic.com/go/dvdit) and will be available at select resellers and via catalogs later this month for a suggest retail price of $399. A standard version of DVDit is also available for a suggested retail price of $299. Special upgrade pricing is available for current registered owners of previous versions of DVDit and eDVD .

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Macromedia Announces Flash Professional 8

Macromedia has announced Macromedia Flash Professional 8, the latest version of the Flash authoring tool used by designers and developers to create interactive content for websites, presentations, and mobile devices. Driven by global customer input, Flash Professional 8 marks a release that encompasses major changes in expressive tools, video, user experiences, and mobile content authoring, according to Macromedia.

Flash Professional 8 is part of Macromedia Studio 8, a software suite that also includes Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, Macromedia Fireworks 8, Macromedia Contribute 3, and Macromedia FlashPaper 2.

Flash Professional 8 enables creative professionals to design and develop interactive content that provides customers with engaging online experiences. Flash Professional 8 now includes tools for designing graphic effects, animation, text, video, and content for mobile devices. New effects, including drop shadow, blur, glow, bevel, and color adjust, permit more compelling designs with better control and precision, according to Macromedia.

The new video tools and workflows in Flash Professional 8 offer capabilities for integrating video within digital experiences. Video professionals can now design, encode, and deploy customized, interactive video using the new Flash Video Encoder. The encoder operates as part of the integrated authoring tools in Flash or as a stand-alone product with batch-encoding options. New support for 8-bit alpha channels at runtime means customers can now combine semi-transparent video with other video, graphics, or digital assets. Also included is a new Flash Video plug-in for professional nonlinear video editing systems so editors can export video directly for the web in Flash Video format.

Macromedia Flash Professional 8 is expected to ship in September. Pricing is $699 for a full license (NA commercial) and $299 for an upgrade (NA commercial). Macromedia Flash Basic 8, a subset of Flash Professional 8 used for simple motion graphics and animation, is expected to ship in September, with full license pricing at $399.

www.macromedia.com/software/flash

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Canopus EDIUS Pro 3 Format Options Give Editors P2, VariCam, and XDCAM Support

Canopus has announced format support for nonlinear video editing with its new EDIUS format options for EDIUS Pro 3. The company's new EDIUS format options include MXF (Material eXchange Format) support to let video professionals in broadcast and studio environments customize EDIUS Pro 3 editing solutions (such as EDIUS NX, EDIUS SP, EDIUS SD and EDIUS HD) to their specific studio set-up. EDIUS format options are available now for the following formats: Panasonic P2, Panasonic VariCam, and Sony's XDCAM Professional Disc system.

The EDIUS P2 option, developed in collaboration with Panasonic, provides native, real-time nonlinear editing support for Panasonic's DVCPRO P2 series of products. Support for the new AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 hand-held camcorder will be available when the camcorder ships. Using MXF, EDIUS Pro 3 supports direct access of footage from the P2 card, eliminating the task of capturing footage. This immediate access to footage speeds up workflow and lets video professionals go directly from shooting to editing. The edited content can be exported back to the P2 card, together with metadata information.

Canopus makes it possible to edit film-style HD footage in EDIUS Pro 3 with the EDIUS VariCam option. Panasonic's VariCam format provides 720P 24 fps and variable frame rate capture for film-like feel and detailed fast/slow motion effects. With EDIUS VariCam option, the EDIUS Pro 3 timeline can import VariCam footage and use the footage as it was originally shot. Users can export editing projects back to a DVCPRO HD deck or output the timeline in another format for use in other processes.

The EDIUS XDCAM option provides support throughout Canopus's line of EDIUS Pro 3 editing solutions. Again, using MXF support, Canopus streamlines the workflow by supporting a direct connection via LAN or i.LINK interface to the disc player and allowing EDIUS Pro 3 users to add XDCAM footage to their projects without any conversions. Since EDIUS Pro 3 also supports mixing of different frame rates and sizes of AVI, MPEG, and QuickTime files and even HD/SD resolution, XDCAM footage can integrate into existing EDIUS Pro 3 projects alongside other asset types.

www.canopus.com

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Flip4Mac Announces WMV Software Releases

Flip4Mac has announced upgrades to its WMV component line. WMV Studio Pro 1.0.6 has added support for Apple Compressor. Users can now export Windows Media 9 SD and HD content directly from within Compressor 2. WMV Player Pro 1.0.2 has increases codec and playlist support, providing compatibility with significantly more Windows Media on the Web.

Flip4Mac WMV components add Windows Media format support to QuickTime-based applications. When they are installed, users can use applications such as Final Cut Pro, Compressor, or other QuickTime 7 applications to import, export, and play Windows Media files.

Existing Flip4Mac customers can download a free upgrade, and new customers can download a free trial, at www.flip4mac.com.

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Condre Announces Network-Attached CD/DVD Creator

Condre Technology has announced the upcoming release of its RoboDisc CD/DVD media creation system. RoboDisc is a network-attached CD-R and DVD-R media burn and print appliance designed to function in an office or production environment in the same manner as a typical network printer. RoboDisc allows users to distribute a variety of data types to customers, clients, office associates, and vendors, and facilitates internal use such as data backup.

The RoboDisc system consists of hardware and software components. The hardware component is a network-attached automated robotic media pick and place system with an embedded 2.8 GHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, 100 Base T Ethernet connection, and a 4800 dpi ink jet media printer. The capacity of the robotic system is 120 discs. The system has a desktop footprint that allows it to be integrated in a front office environment or a back room production facility, according to Condre. The software component is a Java desktop application with a GUI interface. The software supports the creation of CDs and DVDs and supports data, music, and ISO formats.

RoboDisc is scheduled for release on or about September 1, 2005.

www.condre.com

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NEC Offers Express5800 Server with New Promise Serial ATA RAID 5 Solution

Promise Technology has announced that its FastTrak SX4100 Serial ATA (SATA) RAID controller is now available as a standard configuration option for customers purchasing Intel-based NEC Express5800 series servers.

The server has been available with the FastTrak S150 TX4 RAID 0/1/10 host bus adapter (HBA) as a standard configuration option. With an upgrade to the new Express5800 server, users can now get internal RAID 5 storage for greater dependability, performance, and capacity, according to Promise. NEC offers FastTrak SX4100 in a four-drive RAID 0, 1, and 5 configuration for NEC Express5800 series servers.

The NEC Express5800 server product line extends from 1-way systems to 8-way enterprise servers and ranges from high-availability fault tolerant (FT) servers, for continuous availability for applications, to silent servers.

The Promise FastTrak SX4100 4-port Serial ATA (SATA) RAID controller--which supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10-- offers RAID 5 performance and data protection for SATA disks and provides an alternative to internal SCSI RAID storage.

The SX4100 offers 64-bit platform support, next-generation RAID engine, multiple logical drive support, media patrol, read check table, and new web-based Promise Array Management software.

www.promise.com

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EDIROL Introduces New V-LINK-Compatible Visual Performance Package

EDIROL has announced a new visual performance package. Designed in collaboration with Digitalstage, the EDIROL motion dive .tokyo performance package is the combination of Digitalstage's motion dive .tokyo software and a specially designed console, the MD-P1.

motion dive .tokyo software uses a DJ-style interface that allows for the mixing of two visual sources with a DJ-style crossfader, switches, and effects.

EDIROL has created a USB-powered console specifically for motion dive .tokyo. The MD-P1 console duplicates the software interface of motion dive and adds the benefit of being able to manipulate multiple parameters at the same time. The MD-P1 console was conceived for use with notebook computers, with side placement of connectors and a small portable design.

The MD-P1 console also features a MIDI input port for connection of V-LINK compatible Roland instruments and workstations as well as EDIROL controllers. By activating the V-LINK function on the instrument, pre-programmed settings are called up for integration with motion dive .tokyo, giving the musician control of visuals from his or her music instrument.

The motion dive .tokyo performance package will be available in the fourth quarter of 2005 and has a suggested retail price of $575.

www.digitalstage.net/en

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Imation Expands Product Offerings

Imation has announced that it has teamed with Wal-Mart to provide an expanded suite of Imation recordable CDs and DVDs in Wal-Mart stores nationwide. The expanded Wal-Mart placement marks the global debut of Imation's new packaging design for consumer products. Created to help customers quickly differentiate among an often confusing array of digital media types, brands, and applications, Imation's new product packaging provides "at a glance" answers, so shoppers can easily select the right recordable CD or DVD media, according to Imation.

Imation recordable CDs, DVDs, and diskettes are now available at Wal-Mart stores nationwide. Package configurations range from 5- to 100-packs for CDs and DVDs, and 10-packs for diskettes.

www.imation.com

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