16 , 2000
Same with Pinnacle Systems' Targa Ciné, a system that will do uncompressed HD capture and editing on the Mac. We were supposed to get ours installed at the end of September. Never happened. No new QuickTime, no new Targa Ciné. And I'm guessing Pinnacle's not too keen on trusting its $30,000 system to a beta core either.
Guessing at when these two cards will finally be released would be pure speculation. The full release of QuickTime is scheduled for "early 2001" (whatever that means), and I'd guess that's when we'll be able to get our hands on this new hardware, unless both Matrox and Pinnacle have an awful lot of faith in the preview release. Could be....
Meanwhile, the front end of QuickTime, namely the Player, received a few noticeable changes. The buttons got clear, and we lost that annoying little volume dial in favor of a slider. We also got enhanced video controls and a slight tweak to audio controls.
Oddly enough, we also got a little bit of a slowdown in the Player. Just like what I've seen of OS X, window resizing is jumpy and slow to redraw. The new player also seems to take a bit more time to respond to its controls. And, contrary to Apple's claim, the new Player does, in fact, skip frames. Also, the Player plugin seems to crash my Internet Explorer constantly. (Yes, I use Internet Explorer. I wanted to hate it, but it's just infinitely better than Netscape, so I have no choice.)
That's the bad stuff. On the positive side, this new component downloader built into 5 is a pretty slick idea. Plus, we're getting some pretty boss third-party additions to help us Macolites plug in to some enhanced content. (By the way, forget about using the component download if you're behind a Microsoft firewall.)
One of the coolest additions I saw was cubic QuickTime VR, which basically adds tops and bottoms to VR objects and panoramas. There's also a new cubic interpolator coming out this week (check here) that will help you transform those panoramas into cubics with a simple drag and drop interface.
I saw this interpolator in action at the QuickTime Live conference at the Panoscan booth, and I just have to give props to Panoscan here for having some of the rockinest gear at the show. They make a 7,000 x 40,000 pixel camera that sits atop a motor mount and tripod for scanning a room to create high-resolution panoramas. 280 megapixels? Yeah, I guess that's kind of high resolution. And at $28,000, that's just $100 per megapixelactually significantly lower than the market average. Alas, I was unable to scam a review unit, but I'll just keep trying.
Actually, there was a lot of decent technology at this show. (You can read about some of it here.) But the show itself had one fatal flaw: They didn't give us members of the press the godlike treatment we're used to at conferences. No free food. No free bag. No free T-shirt. I and my colleague Rod Ammons (producer of DMN TV, Hollywood Industry and Digital Facility) were actually turned away from the conference buffet. If you know anything about journalists, you know that turning one away from a buffet is about the worst thing you can do.
So, after I regained my composure, I managed to find the exit and headed back from Santa Monica to the land of the living here in Orange County, where I plopped my girth down at the all-you-can-eat salad bar at Claim Jumper and tried to forget the whole experience.
Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital DTP; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, DCC Designer, DCC Workstation, Digital DTP, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.
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