Vendors Join Mac Multimedia Bandwagon

Much of the attention at the Macworld Expo this week is centered around Apple Computer Inc.'s digital video and audio applications, and unsurprisingly, a host of companies are coming forward to support them.

"The push into digital video is huge, and Apple has the best tools," Paul Kent, the conference chairman, said today. Apple's movie-editing software, iMovie, is one of the most popular applications, Kent said.

"Digital video is a great umbrella category to which other companies are innovating," said Kent. "Apple put a stake in the ground and said that desktop movies are hot."

Companies are coming forward with a host of products to bolster that stake.

Among the new products on view this week are the following:

- Boca Research Inc. unveiled a video-capture suite for Macintosh computers called Global Village VideoFX. The product is bundled hardware and software that integrates digital video with USB-compatible Macintosh computers, including the Power Mac G3 and G4, iMac, iBook, and PowerBook computers running Mac OS 8.6 or higher. Users can capture, edit, catalog, print and share still photos or video snapshots.

Global Village FX is available immediately, with a suggested retail price of $129.99. Boca Research Inc., in Boca Raton, Florida, can be reached at +1-800-331-1323, or at http://www.bocaresearch.com/.

- MicroNet Technology Inc. unveiled a FireWire storage technology called SANcube, which delivers capacity as great as 220G-bytes. SANcube is designed for Mac-based digital content creators who work with graphic files on Apple Power Mac G4, Power Mac G3, and iMac digital video systems with FireWire, the fast connectivity standard developed by Apple. SANcube is a compact, centralized data cube using as many as six IBM Corp. hard drives.

SANcube will ship in March, priced at $1,499 for the 70G-byte single-user system, $2,149 for the 100G-byte two-user, $2,699 for the 150G-byte two-user and $3,899 for the 220G-byte four-user version. MicroNet, in Irvine, California, can be reached at +1-949-453-6100, or at http://www.micronet.com/.

- LaCie Ltd. released its 37G-byte FireWire hard drive. The desktop hard drive provides up to 37.5G-bytes of capacity to store more than 120 minutes of digital video. The hard drive provides secure storage capability and the means of exchanging photo and video files. The drive connects to the FireWire ports that are standard with Macintosh G3 and G4 computers.

Available immediately, the LaCie 37G-byte FireWire hard drive is priced at $659. LaCie, in Hillsboro, Oregon, can be reached at+1-503-844-4500, or at http://www.lacie.com/.

- QPS Inc. is exhibiting its Que! Fire CD-RW drives that will allow users to record, erase and rewrite CDs. The drives are compatible with FireWire-equipped computers, including the Apple iMac, DV, G3 and G4 computers. The drives can exchange 650M bytes of data and are priced at between $399 and $299.QPS Inc., in Yorba Linda, California, can be reached at+1-800-559-4777, or at http://www.qps-inc.com/.

- Divio Inc. announced the release of a single chip and an Isochronous USB (Universal Serial Bus) driver designed to support video applications across Apple's product line. The chip, named NW802, will enhance bandwidth to deliver high-resolution video. Pricing for the manufacturers' kit starts at $599.

Divio, in Sunnyvale, California, can be reached at +1-408-732-1205, or at http://www.divio.com.

- ATTO Technology Inc. is exhibiting and shipping Macintosh-based storage area network (SAN) products for digital video applications. ATTO has developed Fibre Channel technology allowing multiple users to access and share common data. Pricing was not available. ATTO Technology Inc., in Amherst, New York, can be reached at +1-716-691-1999, or at http://www.attotech.com/.

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