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Apple pushes FireWire at music show

MacWorld Online

ANAHEIM, California (IDG) -- One week after Apple Computer introduced its latest round of products, the company is promoting FireWire as an interface for high-quality digital audio at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show here.

Making its first NAMM appearance in recent years, Apple has a small booth off the floor, where it's showing the G4 Cube, a 15-inch Apple Studio Display and a Yamaha mLAN I/O interface, which can convert and carry eight channels of audio via the 1394 protocol.

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Yamaha first demonstrated its mLAN technology at last year's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, and it's only now reaching late beta stage (see "FireWire audio: The promised mLAN" and "Music meets Macs at AES," link below). As a result, Yamaha may not be first to market with a 1394-based audio product, but the company did announce that Apple will support mLAN in the shipping version of Mac OS X.

In other news from NAMM:

  • Apogee Digital, which makes converters aimed at audio professionals, announced that it is developing an add-in card for two of its high-end units -- including the AD-8000 -- that will enable them to route data via 1394.

  • CreamWare showed the Luna I/O card, a PC-only product that uses FireWire connectors but not the protocol. A representative explained that the company was taking advantage of the growing availability of FireWire cables in a wide variety of lengths.

  • Steinberg is demonstrating its Mac port of Nuendo, a media-production system aimed at mixing high-end audio for video and interactive media. Rodney Orpheus, the company's technology evangelist, said it will ship by the time OS X is released on March 24 and will be Carbon-compliant. The application supports up to 200 tracks of audio at 32/96 kHz and VST 2.0

  • Pro Tools 5.1, the next version of Digidesign's digital-recording software, will ship on January 24, said marketing director Su Littlefield. The update adds integrated surround mixing, enhanced MIDI capabilities -- including an Event List window and multi-device recording -- and new navigation and portability features. The company is working on OS X support, but she said that "other priorities" will come first.




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RELATED SITES:
Apple Computer
National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)


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