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©Gary Adcock and CreativeCOW.net
Creative COW Community leader Gary Adcock was one of many COWs at MacWorld. He shares his impressions with us, including one product that will be shaping things for a long time to come. And because it's MacWorld, something cool for your iPod and iPhone.
With the plethora of products shown at MacWorld 2008, I was hoping that I would have seen enough cool tools for the geek that I could have filled pages of info for the Cow. Unfortunately that was not the case.
However, I saw 3 things that did leap out at my jaded sense of cool. One was for the iPhone, one for general productivity and one for the edit suite or musician in your life.
Scosche industries makes some of the coolest iPhone and iPod integration accessories out there. They even OEM their products to a number of car manufactures -- like Honda for the Civic and Accord lines -- and other 3rd parties.
Sitting in the all black Scion xB in which they were demoing on the show florr, I had my eyes opened to how iPods and iPhones should be integrated into cars.
The AXIPHA is a $199.00 aftermarket add on that offers fully integrated interface and controls of your iPod PLUS hands free operation of your iPhone through your factory installed car audio system using Scoche’s patented bluetooth based technology.
Yes, you heard that right. Not the FM radio transceivers of old that nearly everyone hates. True digital connectivity over bluetooth.
The interface allows full text scrolling,iPod menu navigation, seek up and down, and volume control through the factory radio. The system even retains the factory XM radio and navigation features if your car is equipped with them.
When you add your iPhone into the mix, it acts just like using the iPod function on the iPhone itself. When the system senses and incoming call, the music mutes and the phone service comes to the forefront of the interface, with full hands free capability.
The only drawback of this setup is the fact that apple has not allowed direct integration with the iPhone by third parties--requiring the user to have both the phone and an iPod.
If it's any consolation, here's the subwoofer.
For the Editor and Musician
I am very happy to announce that one of the biggest names in pro audio speakers, Blue Sky, is now offering one of the best small speaker systems I personally have ever heard. Hidden away in the Guitar Center Booth, VP Chris Fichera of Blue Sky was showing the newly release EXO Audio Monitoring system, suitable for virtually every entry to midlevel editing system.
You may not have heard of Blue Sky speakers, and I too was in that camp until about 2 years ago, when on a tour of Skywalker Sound, I was introduced to the quality of their products. I have to say that I was a long time fan of Genelec, followed closely by the 35 year old Dynaco’s I have on my stereo -- believe me there is nothing like the quality a 35lb magnet in a 10” speaker has or it’s ability to degauss a video tape in a hurry. Reason enough to go tapeless.
The 4 piece system Blue Sky EXO speaker system at MacWorld consists of two - 3" 2-way satellite speakers with 1" soft-dome tweeters and a separate 8” subwoofer, a desktop control module complete with stereo XLR/ TRS connections, RCA jacks and a 3.5mm mini jack input. The 3.5mm headphone jack on the front of the unit, offers privacy monitoring by muting the external speakers when monitoring with headphones.
Having 160w total power output ( 35w per satellites and 90w for the subwoofer) these babies rock, especially considering the $299.00 retail price. The result is accurate, full range sound with solid, controlled bass, clear mid/highs, and exceptional stereo imaging.
The overall volume of the system and the level of the bass can be controlled easily and conveniently from the desktop remote. I cannot wait to give the EXO 2.1 a true tryout against my Genelec 8030a speakers especially since the Blue Sky EXO 2.1 is less than half the price.
The last thing that stood out at me at the show is something to change the face of the working desktop. Gridiron Software has announced FLOW, a digital content management software for creative professionals working on graphic design, web, and video projects. Flow automatically tracks the design process from idea to end result and manages assets and applications for the most complex workflows.
Gridiron Flow uses Real Time Asset Tracking, to automatically track your workflow by recording the all of the things we do to a file while working on it.
Quoting from the press release you can use Flow to "automatically track workflows by recording all Import/Export, Save/Save As, and Copy/Paste actions in a project. It understands the file formats for virtually all creative professional applications, including those from Apple and Adobe, and maintains the relationships between stills, movies, sound clips, fonts, plug-ins, and color swatches on all local, network, and removable storage devices.”
That is one tall order, and the version shown at MacWorld did just that. With the tools turned on you could open a Photoshop file, copy part of it, paste that part into a new Illustrator document, open that AI file in After Effects, send the AE output to Final Cut Pro, with all the tracking and document versioning kept intact. I was also told that by the time of the public beta, Office 2008, Filemaker Pro would be supported.
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The most amazing part of it is the metadata tagging that records all of the versioning and corrections. The first thing that came to my mind was I would now be able to track changes to Excel spreadsheets that I use for estimates and job budgeting, something that MS Word has had for years.
Archiving, workflow management and calendaring are all included as part of the package: it tracks the time, date, and duration of projects for up to a year. Visual Versions automatically track versions of media files, including thumbnails and metadata, as a project evolves allowing users to easily revert to a previous version of a file anywhere in their workflow. Tags and Annotations provide tags and sticky-note style annotations to assets or projects and support custom tags and metadata.
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Since Gridiron produces the best in class Nucleo render management tools for AfterEffects that most of us use already, I foresee this ground breaking product to change the way all of us work in the future. While pricing has not been announced, I was told that single user and multi user corporate versions would be available, with the single user version pricing “around what a software version upgrade cost” with versions for OSX 10.4 and later, and Windows XP and Vista.
It's so freaking cool I can't stand it.
Got your own MacWorld stories to share? Send 'em along!
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