Archive for June, 2011

The MacOSX 10.6.8 update is available.
We can also download WWDC 2011 videos at Apple site (Apple Developer Connection area).

The soundtrack from Sword & Sworcery is available at download for 8,21$ (27 tracks) in various formats (MP3 320kbit/s, AAC and even FLAC). The songs are also provided through streaming in full length.

IK Multimedia : discounts

Posted: June 19, 2011 in Audio
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IK Multimedia provides for its 15th anniversary discounts until September, 15 : second product free (equal or lesser value), another third one if 5000 users, and additional 15 percent discount on products.

EastWest Hollywood Brass

Posted: June 11, 2011 in Audio
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EastWest announces Hollywood Brass, available starting July, 10 (priced 795$ for now and 995$ later). A bundle with Hollywood Strings is also available (1495$ for now and 1990$ later). The Diamond version includes 150 GB of samples (5 mic positions, 24 bit) while the Gold version (495$, 1 mic position, 16 bit) uses 20 GB space. Audio demos aren’t available yet.

Compositing engines found on browsers that support WebGL use  CPU in order to mix HTML elements with 3D canvas (required by the specification) :

WebGL is essentially another rendering context on the canvas element, so it can be cleanly combined with HTML and other web content that is layered on top or underneath the 3D content.

Then optimal performance cannot be achieved (there are GPU to CPU data transfer, and then CPU back to GPU transfer). Common optimizations (batch commands, shader – GLSL – functions) arent’ then so much efficient.

Browsers could use two rendering engines, as compositing between WebGL views (3D canvas) and other HTML elements aren’t likely. Dedicated hardware rendered views are still used for 3D applications, windowed games, and recent versions of Flash plugin.

However Flash uses the embed element, that is managed in a different manner (it was created on purpose, to allow to embed non standard elements), while WebGL element (standard) is at the same level as other HTML elements, and then rendered by the same container view (that corresponds to the HTML document), that is a Cocoa WebView on MacOSX.

Hardware acceleration is still used for CSS Effects/CSS3 transitions and video tag, however they may also require software compositing (or the specification doesn’t state to allow mixing with other HTML elements).

Apple paid about $100-150 million to major labels to provide access from everywhere to their customers to their previously paids iTunes songs. The service will be free for some time, then about $25 a year.
Apple will then share 70 percent of revenues with the major labels and 12 percent with the publishers, while keeping 18 percent.
Annual fees for technical access seems fair, however labels shouldn’t receive anything for this, as it is for personal use/listening, and it isn’t really different than carying a CD on a portable player (or many CD copy on a memory-based player).

Such service would have been better targeted to indie artists as customers would be more inclined to pay a subscription fee for listening to many more unknowns artists, than pay twice for knowns ones or full album price per indie artist (as without hints they would have to try many to find some they like).

Among new features and frameworks in iOS5 SDK we find auto reference counting (however still no Objective-C 2 garbage collector from MacOSX – for performance and memory constraints reasons), GL Kit, OpenGL ES game extensions, OpenGL ES debugger, storyboarding.

Update : auto ref count (ARC) provided by Apple indeed works by adding objects management code at compile time (enhancement), and also includes releasing code. We then benefit from both transparent coding (as with a garbage collector) and performance (no additional runtime that dynamically checks memory, objects are released as soon as reference count is 0).

MacOSX Lion will be available through the Mac App Store starting July, for 29$ (4 GB download). The included Mac App Store will allow to download delta data only for updated applications (notably the system), as well as a sandboxed execution environment.
The Versions features, based on TimeMachine, will provide access to documents revisions directly from their applications.

The free Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra samples library provides 460 MB of Soundfont – sfz – samples. We can also find in the forums instruments conversions for Kontakt (requires the full version of Kontakt 4) and Sampletank. We can also use directly the free Alechemy Player from Camel Audio to play sfz instruments (however some problems have been reported with staccato patchs).

We can watch at youtube a comparative video of Symphobia, LA Scoring Strings (LASS) and Hollywood Strings.
Ensembles from Symphobia remind exactly Roland strings featured on SRJV Orchestra II and SRX06 Complete Orchestra cards, that are indeed very easy to mix with Eastwest Symphonic Orchestra (see SO LyrStrings).

We can also read reviews (here and there) on Miroslav Vitous String Ensembles, that is also available through Best Service site this weekend for only 486 euros (instead 649 euros).

Hollywood Strings Diamond and Gold are available at respectively for 620 euros (instead 827 euros) and 371 euros (instead 495 euros) this week end (that is 25 percent discount). The buy one get one promotion also seems available (form to send to EastWest alongwith the original invoice – shipping costs of 29,99$ for the free product).

Camel Audio provides its Alchemy Player samples player for free, with 200 included instruments (1 GB). A pro version is also available (249$ – includes 675 instruments/5,5 GB).

Moreover the additional libraries are provided with 50 percent discount until July, 4.

Note : after installing the bonus presets the previously installed key file is deleted. Then run again the Alchemy Player.