Audio / Video
On Wednesday, Apple released a GarageBand update for with bug fixes and stability enhancements for the Mac version of the music software. Apple launched the redesigned app during the same media event in which the company introduced OS X Mavericks and updated several iLife apps (including iPhoto and iMovie), and even made the iOS versions free with the purchase of any new iOS device.
I’m not one of those people who needs to knock iTunes. It’s never been the most streamlined program, but it serves its purpose well. Sometimes, though, its purpose isn’t your purpose. Sometimes you want to listen to audio in other formats, such as FLAC or OGG. Sometimes you want your music player to fade into your desktop instead of serve as a garish, buzzing neon sign to push album sales. In that case, VOX may be the way to go.
What? You don’t know what Boinx Sommerfest is? Fair enough, but you surely know who Boinx are. They’re the company that brought Mac users FotoMagico 4, iStopMotion 3, and BoinxTV, and now they’ve placed them all on sale. From now until August 25th, you can get each for 30% off the normal price. But that’s not all…
Sony Creative Software has released an upgrade for their “audio spectrum editing” software SpectraLayers Pro 2. The upgrade brings seamless integration with the also updated Sound Forge Pro 11, but that version is PC only, so it doesn’t really do much good to talk about that here. SpectraLayers Pro 2 has plenty more going for it, though, that’ll please its Mac users.
Early today, Apple launched an updated version of Logic Pro X. The professional audio software appears to be entirely redesigned with several new features and lots of touch integration for interacting with the software. One feature that highlights this interaction is the new virtual drummer that follows along with the user and plays in a range of different drum styles.
In a combined summer/Father’s Day discount, Adobe is offering $30 off its Elements software packages. Geared for the not-quite-pro but more-advanced-than-iPhoto/iMovie, Elements takes the most popular parts of the fuller-featured Photoshop and Premiere software and makes them simpler to use for non-professional users.
Jaksta Deluxe offers the ability to capture and convert streaming media from sites like YouTube and Pandora, providing access to music, performances, and other content that may not be available anywhere else. Since AppleTell originally reviewed the app back in 2011, the company has taken the conversion capabilities of the app and spun them into their own programs, which are available as part of the Jaksta 5 Deluxe package.
Much as I love the mobility of modern computing, small size means that a sacrifice has to come somewhere, and it’s usually in audio quality. While great advances have been made in miniaturizing speakers, they still lack the range of larger speakers. The Sound Cylinder from Definitive Technology, however, gives your Bluetooth-enabled devices rich, full sound in a small, stylish package.
Humans! With their horrible, horrible human flaws! Not the ones of their personalities, of course, but the even more revolting ones: wrinkles and blemishes. Don’t they know that HD video exists? Fortunately we have a new tool to combat this blight: the Cosmo plug-in from Magic Bullet. Jokes aside, Magic Bullet Cosmo (MBC) is a simple, useful tool for smoothing out skin tones, especially in high definition.
Short and sweet, Magic Bullet Grinder is a tool that takes repetitive processes—converting Canon DSLR/HDSLR video and creating proxy copies—and automates it. Now granted, this ability is part of video editing software itself, but using Grinder means you don’t have to tie up your editor; plus, it has options to save additional steps.
When I reviewed the original Magic Bullet Looks, I was impressed by its ability to improve digital video by a combination of color correction and digital effects, making it look like camcorder footage was shot with a much more expensive camera and professionally lit to alter the mood. Now, with Magic Bullet Looks 2, Red Giant Software has kept the simple-yet-powerful software, redesigned the interface, and added some improvements on the back end to make your shoestring budget feature look professional.
Equal parts toolbox and toybox, FxFactory Pro is a collection of 176 video effects, filters, and transitions for Final Cut, Motion, After Effects, and Premiere Pro. It’s a grab-bag of software, some of which is of immediate usefulness, some of which makes a complicated process easier, and a few which are outright gimmicky and fun. Taken as a whole, they give you a range of color correction and effects similar to what you get with Adobe Photoshop.