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OPINION JUNE 25 , 2001
Talkin' Smack: QuickTime, SRS, CineWave & ICE

[Page 2 of 2]

Now, normally, because this is Windows software, I'd yawn and walk away. But they also had a piece of prototype hardware that's platform-independent. It does everything the software does, but it does it on the fly with four switches and three knobs. The thing is awesome. No client software required other than QuickTime or whatever other audio source a listener chooses to use. It'll even work in conjunction with video. Slick.

SRSWOWcast also has a technology that will encode 5.1 into stereo channels and then decode it back on the client end into a true surround format. SRSWOWcast launched about a year ago with a completely different (and apparently unsuccessful) focus. Last week marked the brand new relaunch of the company as a straight licenser of audio technology. Look for very cool stuff from them in the near future. Also look for me to be badgering them into coming out with a Mac version, since I found out their offices are right around the corner from me, complete with a surround sound video game "testing" lab that includes a joystick-controlled surround system. Yes, I think I will be spending quite a bit of time there....

More info: http://www.srstechnologies.com.

The Pinnacle of Final Cut Pro
I also had a chance to meet with Pinnacle Systems, makers of the very delightful and drool-inducing CineWave system. Most of what they were showing off was Windows-based, so I politely scooted away toward the CineWave system they had set up. CineWave, as you probably know, is a Final Cut Pro-based hardware editing system for SD and HD video. It's by no means new, but I always love to grab hold of vendors' hardware at conventions so I can mess around with the cool stuff I have yet to get my undeserving hands on.

While I was gawking at it, I went ahead and clicked on a few menus. What do you suppose I found listed under Final Cut Pro's Video Transitions and Video Effects submenus? I'll tell you: Some of the effects listed were in bold. Do you know what that means? Effects in bold always mean real time.

So I went ahead and queried a bit further on the matter, and it turns out the real-time option for CineWave is just around the corner. A Pinnacle reseller at Intelligent Media hinted at the possibility of a special introductory deal for existing customers. Dual-stream, uncompressed, real-time video in Final Cut Pro—layer upon layer of it. So keep your eyes open for that.

More info: http://www.pinnaclesys.com.

ICEing on the cake
Finally, I had a chance to meet with Media 100. Of course, at Streaming Media West, they were there to talk up Cleaner Live, which, again, is not for the Macintosh. So I cautiously steered the conversation over to the Mac, when the subject of ICE came up. You'll recall that Media 100 now owns all the ICE technology and that they're planning to come out with a board called Crystal ICE to accelerate Cleaner 5 (much like the Blue ICE did with Media Cleaner Pro 4). It seems this solution is mere weeks from beta testing.

As for Ultra Blue ICE and After Effects 5 acceleration, well, we didn't get much info on that. But you know Media 100 is working on bringing the new Blue ICE up to speed for AE 5. There's also a chance that older Blue ICE boards will get updated drivers to support AE 5. The official word on this is "maybe."

More info: http://www.media100.com.

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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications.

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