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NEWS Jul. 09, 2001
Exclusive: Apple Looks To 'Spruce' Up DVD Line
Company to acquire Spruce Technologies, maker of DVD authoring and encoding systems
will acquire Spruce Technologies, a maker of several DVD software and
hardware products, including some DVD authoring suites and a technology
for delivering DVD video and audio over the Internet. What makes the move
unusual is that Spruce's products to date have been for Windows NT only.
Creative Mac had been tipped off to the story this weekend.
When asked about the acquisition, Apple had only a short reply of confirmation
and would not make any further comments. An Apple spokeswoman wrote to
"Apple is acquiring Spruce Technologies, a leading provider of professional
DVD authoring software. This acquisition further enhances Apple's position
as the preeminent platform for DVD authoring. Apple will offer a migration
plan to existing Spruce customers to help them preserve their investment
in Spruce software."
The rumor of a Spruce acquisition had made the rounds in at least one
DVD list, but the move did not seem terribly likely, given Spruce's lack
of Mac software. Products in the Spruce software lineup include Premaster
Tool, DVDVirtuoso, DVDMaestro, DVDConductor, DVDPerformer, SpruceLink
and SpruceUp. Each one is geared toward varying degrees of authoring functionality,
from high-end, turnkey professional systems to personal DVD authoring.
Spruce offers NT-only solutions for
DVD authoring and encoding.
This is a screen shot of DVDMaestro, the company's
high-end authoring suite.
encoder boards include the MPX3000, which is a real-time encoder for MPEG-1
and MPEG-2, as well as AC-3 Dolby Digital Two-Channel encoding. The other
board is the ACXpress 5100, a PCI card that provides real-time 5.1-channel
Dolby Digital encoding.
There is no word from Apple as to how Spruce's technologies will be incorporated
into Apple's production line. Spruce's systems are geared primarily for
studio work. Apple earlier this year acquired the company Focal Point
Systems, which published FilmLogic, a tool for film producers using Final
There's also no word from Apple on how they plan to support NT systems
or whether they will continue to manufacture them. Apple's previous acquisitions
of the technologies behind Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro resulted in
We'll bring you updates as they become available. For more information
on Spruce, visit http://www.sprucetechnologies.com.