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December 08, 2008

Table of Contents

In the Studio: Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5
proDAD Announces Adorage Effects Package 10--Full HD Effects Generation
Get the CalDigit RAID Card for Only $349 for a Limited Time!
PixelPops Design, LLC Returns To Its Roots
Telemetrics New Serial Controlled Pan/Tilt Head Is Turning Heads
Xlnt Idea, Inc Now Shipping Nexis 100 Pro Dual-Drive DVD/CD Publishing System
GenArts Releases Sapphire Plug-ins Version 3 for Avid Editing Products
Aleratec DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower Copies Memory Cards and USB Flash Drives to DVDs and CDs and is a 1:3 DVD/CD Duplicator
Panasonic Announces New Spanish Partner for AVCCAM Product Range

In the Studio: Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

I first used SmartSound music in 2003 in the consumer editor Pinnacle Studio 8. I immediately fell in love with the vast selection of professionally scored tunes, the ability to drag and drop them to a customizable length, and the fact that I could use them royalty-free. Since I’m not a musician or even a musical wannabe, I also appreciated the ease of use: specifically, the fact that you could choose songs without having to build them out of loops. After you made your choice, Sonicfire Pro did the rest, fashioning a complete piece of music with a beginning, middle, and end to fit the duration of the associated video clip—something you have to do manually with loops. Loop-based music definitely has its place but not on my hard drive.

Later, when I started editing with professional tools, I progressed to Sonicfire Pro 3, which was, at that time, the most current version of SmartSound’s stand-alone application. The ability to sample and select music was great, even though true audio editing or music-customizing tools were modest, probably because SmartSound correctly assumed that most users would prefer to perform the final mix in their video or audio editor. So you could adjust duration and volume in Sonicfire Pro, but you could do little else.

Then, in Sonicfire Pro version 4, SmartSound added a feature called “Mood Mapping,” which let you change the instruments used at various segments of the mix. In the introductory section of a tutorial or an interview, for example, you could have five or six instruments playing and then cut down to one or two instruments when the dialogue started. This feature required a new type of music called multilayer music (MLM). In the beginning, there were only 10 libraries of MLM. But as of September 2008, this number had grown to 79. It should hit triple digits sometime in mid-2009.

With Sonicfire Pro 5, SmartSound has enhanced your ability to find different songs, but more importantly, it has dramatically improved your ability to customize songs to fit your video content. Specifically, the new Timing feature lets you choose a generic song from SmartSound’s library—any song, not just MLM—and make it sound like it was custom-written for your commercial, tutorial, or other video project.

I’ll describe the new features in detail. Let’s start by identifying the product configurations offered by SmartSound.

Express Track and Scoring Editions
SmartSound offers three product versions. Sonicfire Pro 5 Express Track Edition is free with any purchased music, and it is primarily used for selecting music, although you can customize your selections to some degree before output. The major new feature offered here is called Sensory Searching; I’ll discuss that in the next section. Sonicfire Pro 5 Scoring Edition costs $99.95. It includes Express Track plus a timeline for features such as Mood Mapping and Timing and another new music searching feature called Spotting. Note that if you’re a registered user of Sonicfire Pro 4.5, you get a free upgrade to version 5 of the Scoring Edition.

SmartSound also offers a Multi-User Add-on for $99.95 per seat that lets users on a network access music from a central network drive. All three products are available for both Macintosh and Windows computers. SmartSound sells its music libraries for $99.95 per library, with quantity discounts available when purchasing three libraries or more. I counted 139 libraries available on the SmartSound website, including the 79 or so MLM libraries.

Express Tracks
With both versions of Sonicfire Pro, you can search and sort through the available tracks in Express Track, which has all the expected search mechanisms to help you find the right music as well as several unique tracks. As shown on the top left of Figure 1 (below), you can search for titles that you already have installed on your hard drive, or you can search for songs available online via the SmartSound Store. Either way, you can limit your search to single- or multiple-layer tracks.

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

The program can search by style, keyword, album, composer, instrument, intensity, release date, style, or tempo. Express Track displays all the songs that meet the criteria in the browser window below the search controls. When you click any song on your hard drive or on SmartSound’s website (www.smartsound.com), the song’s info will display in the upper-right Info window. The song will preview with simple start and stop controls on the lower right.

Each song comes with multiple variations that you can sample via the list box shown in Figure 1. Multilayer music tracks also come with Moods, which you can sample via that list box. Again, each mood combines a different set of instruments that you can later customize in the Scoring Edition. If none of these selections float your boat, you can try Sensory Searching via the controls shown in Figure 2 (below). Sensory Searching allows you to search for music using terms such as More Like This, Faster, Slower, More Intense and Less Intense, rather than using technical music terms, which is more efficient for most users.

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

If you find a track that’s close to what you want but is just a bit too fast or a bit too slow, you can adjust the tempo and pitch to meet your needs (Figure 3, below). Preview controls make it simple to play the song in its original form as well as in its adjusted form so you can compare the two; the adjusted music retains full configurability.

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

If you’ve got a beat in your head, you can click the Tap button (Figure 2) five times to define a tempo. Express Track will identify the songs that match your target beat. Once you use a song, you can click the Favorites check box and enter a notation (Figure 4, below). Later, when you’re searching for music for a subsequent project, you can search “Favorites and Notes” to scan through your notes and find music that worked for you in the past.

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

Obviously, some of these search mechanisms are targeted toward the musically inclined, and some will work for the average Joe Plumber. Overall, however, Express Track does a great job making relevant music easy to find—and making it easy to find again for subsequent productions.

Once you find a song, you can customize the length, variation and mood, as shown in Figure 4. If you are using the stand-alone version of Express Track, the Insert button will say Export, and you can export the finished song for use in your production. I’m using the Scoring Edition, so after I’m finished making all these selections, I would click Insert to insert the song into Scoring Edition’s timeline for further editing.

With that as prologue, let’s begin our look at the Scoring Edition.

Scoring Edition
I’ll start with a look at Spotting, a music search feature that is not available in Express Track. To use Spotting, you insert your video and then drag through it, adding markers at all points of emphasis or major changes. For example, the wedding montage I used during testing had the normal wedding scenes: the bride getting dressed, the groom getting dressed, establishing shots of the church, the parents lighting the candles, and so on. I marked all these locations. Express Track then calculates a tempo and ranks tempos according to how well they fit the position of the markers (Figure 5, below).

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

As you can see on the bottom of Figure 6 (below), 122 beats per minute matches 100% of all the locations I marked, while slower and faster beats had differing accuracy percentages. From here, double-click the desired tempo, and Express Track will open and display those songs that most closely match the tempo and break points in the video.

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

While this sounds like a great feature, in some instances, it’s a bit like searching for a wedding gown by taking the bride’s measurements and then searching through a store’s inventory to find any garment that fits, whether it be a cocktail dress, a bikini, or a wedding gown. To a degree, you can direct your selection by choosing All, Fast, Moderate, or Slow as shown in the middle of Figure 5. But in the end, Express Track is going to choose a bunch of songs that have the perfect beat but don’t come close to matching the mood of your video. For example, a Spotting search I did returned songs for Comical/Fun/Novelty, Dark and Intense Drama, and Corporate Ambition, and other inappropriate categories.

Testing over a range of clips, I found that Spotting worked best when searching for music to use in short advertisements and tutorials, where tempo was more important than mood or style. With highly thematic videos such wedding productions, you’re probably better off using other search tools to find the most appropriate music, especially given the power of Timing Controls, which is the Scoring Edition’s killer new feature.

Timing Controls
To explain Sonicfire Pro’s Timing Controls, I’ll use this scenario: Say you’re scoring an interview. The titles and other introductory text last about 15 seconds. Then, your host starts talking, so you need to duck for dialogue at about 14 seconds and change. About 2 minutes in, you move from talking heads to B-roll without accompanying narration, so you want your musical background to really kick in.

With Mood Mapping, you could mark both those transitional spots and change the instrument mix at each location. But a song is more than a simple mix of instruments. Most songs have different movements—lulls and crescendos, peaks and valleys—and ideally, you’d like those changes to occur at relevant points in your video. That, in a nutshell, is what the new Timing Controls accomplish, and the new feature works with both single and multilayer music. To understand how and why Timing Control works, look at Figure 6, which is a screen shot of the Scoring Edition workspace. I’ve already inserted a track, “Silly Valentine-Comedy,” into the timeline. If you look on the extreme right of Figure 6, you’ll see the Section Keyframes, each of which represents a change in music composition—instrumentation, tempo, or otherwise. Back on the timeline, the green blocks on the lower tracks are the various building blocks of the song as implemented by the composer. If you look on the left of the figure, you’ll see that each block represents an instrument.

In the middle of the figure, highlighted by the text “Original section break,” you can see the keyframe for “soaring.” In addition, the text “Desired location” points to the spot where the groom comes in, where I’d want the music to change in some fundamental way. In short, I want the soaring section keyframe to align with the groom’s appearance. Because SmartSound uses this flexible architecture for composing its music, you can change the timing of the section keyframe simply by dragging the keyframe to the right to the desired location (Figure 7, below).

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

Obviously there’s a lot of special sauce involved in making sure that this change doesn’t cause any distortion or awkward sounds. But over the course of my testing, as long as the changes were relatively modest—a few seconds in each direction—the edited audio sounded very natural. Once you’ve inserted your section breaks in the desired location, you can insert a Mood Mapping keyframe and change the composition of the music further. Or you can add a “hit,” such as the Cymbal Swell shown in Figure 8 (below).

Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

By combining all these features, new and old, you can create a unique score that sounds as if it were custom-designed for your video project. Overall, the only folks who won’t like this new version of Sonicfire Pro are the poor composers who have to compete against it.

Jan Ozer (jan at doceo.com) is a frequent contributor to industry magazines and websites on digital video-related topics and the author of Critical Skills for Streaming Producers, a mixed-media tutorial on DVD published by StreamingMedia.com.

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proDAD Announces Adorage Effects Package 10--Full HD Effects Generation

proDAD GmbH today announced the latest addition to its popular Adorage Effects Package – Adorage Effects Package 10 – Full HD Video Effects Generation.  As its name suggests, Adorage Effects Package 10 includes hundreds of video effects and transitions from previous Adorage Effects Packages, now in Full HD resolution.  Adorage Effects Package 10 allows editors working with HD footage the ability to have their effects and transitions in HD too. 

Adorage Effects Package 10 is the first effects package offered by proDAD with HD support.  Editors working with SD footage can still take full advantage of the effects contained in Adorage Effects Package 10.  proDAD has even created its own high-performance codec for the rendering of effects and transitions, offering up to 40 percent faster rendering over other solutions.

Adorage Effects Package 10 now includes plug-in support for Adobe® Premier/Pro/Elements, AVID® Liquid, Canopus® Edius/NEO, Sony® Vegas/Vegas Pro, Corel/ULead® MediaStudio & VideoStudio Pro X2, and Magix Video Deluxe 15 NLE applications (previous effects packages required separate purchase of Adorage All-Plugins Collection at a cost of $29 U.S., now included with Effects Package 10). 

Adorage Effects Package 10 also offers a new, streamlined user interface, making the application easier to use. “Adorage for Pinnacle Studio” can also be enhanced with Effects Package 10 HD effects and its enhanced interface.Adorage Effects Packages are a low cost way for video editors to add a wide range of high-quality effects and transitions to their video productions.  Adorage has been widely popular among hobbyist video editors for years due its ease of use and low cost and is now attractive to the professional video editing community for the same reasons.

"proDAD is once again responding to the voice of the market," said Andreas Huber, general manager of proDAD GmbH. "Our users have been asking to have Adorage support HD effects and transitions and our reply is Adorage Effects Package 10.  This easy to use solution offers hundreds of high quality HD effects for use in wedding, family, sports, and holiday video productions at a price point that users can afford.”

Availability
Adorage Effects Package 10 will retail for $99 with an introductory special for a limited time of $79.  Adorage Effects Package 10 will be available starting in December at fine pro video resellers (retail boxed version), as well as an electronic download directly from the proDAD.com website  Please visit www.prodad.com for full product information. 

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Get the CalDigit RAID Card for Only $349 for a Limited Time!

For a limited time only CalDigit is offering the CalDigit RAID card for only $349. Don't miss your opportunity to take advantage of this once in a lifetime deal. Users are now able to get the 100% hardware RAID, high performance, CalDigit RAID Card for just $349. That’s an incredible savings of $200!

The CalDigit RAID Card is an incredibly flexible hardware RAID solution that supports online migration and expansion. This means you can pay as your business grows and you'll never have to worry about losing your data. The CalDigit RAID Card features an Intel XScale processor, 256MB of fixed cache and optional battery backup. It supports 100% hardware RAID performance and protection for up to four internal drives and twelve externally via the HDElement (an enclosure which contains 4 drives).

The HDElement connects directly to the CalDigit RAID Card through the extremely fast mini-SAS ports on the rear of the card. CalDigit’s RAID Shield software makes it easy to manage the complete RAID system and provides advanced event notification. The CalDigit RAID is packed full of innovative CalDigit technology like ASTT and has support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and JBOD. The more drives connected to the CalDigit RAID Card, the faster the performance. With just four drives, speeds of up to 245MB/s can be reached with RAID 5 protection, upgrade to 16 drives and the speed increases to 500MB/s. The CalDigit RAID Card and HDElement are completely bootable and even Bootcamp bootable, something no other RAID card can do. Several accessories are available for different configurations, making the CalDigit RAID Card and HDElement a flexible and powerful solution.

For more information about the CalDigit RAID card visit www.caldigit.com/RAIDCard/. You must act fast to get in on this limited time offer, that’s a saving of $200 on the powerful CalDigit RAID Card. Get yours today. To take advantage of this once in a life time offer contact your local CalDigit reseller today, and give them this special SKU 760600.

www.caldigit.com

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PixelPops Design, LLC Returns To Its Roots

PixelPops Design, LLC announces the departure of Russ Jolly from the highly creative pixelmonkey team. After almost 8 years as a part of the three-member partnership Russ leaves PixelPops to pursue other interests.

"We wish him well in his future endeavors" founding partners Brian Gunn and Lance Gray expressed as they continue the PixelPops legacy of creative communications in the video and multimedia industry.

PixelPops Design, LLC was originally founded in 1999 by Brian Gunn and Lance Gray and is currently located in Richardson, Texas in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Founding partners Brian Gunn and Lance Gray bring years of professional production experience to the partnership and have worked with clients across the US and around the world. Initially concentrating on digital video, web and multimedia production, PixelPops' offerings have grown to include software and training materials while speaking to thousands of video and graphic design professionals all over the country.

To find out more, please visit www.pixelpops.com.

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Telemetrics New Serial Controlled Pan/Tilt Head Is Turning Heads

The comprehensive line of Telemetrics servo-based Pan/Tilt units has been expanded to include a new model that provides added efficiency and reliability to the production environment.  Now available, Telemetrics PT-CP-S4 Pan/Tilt Head offers side camera-mounting, a powerful DC-DC converter to power accessories over long cable runs, a newly designed cable management system, and serial data control with multi-processor architecture plus more, making it one of the most versatile and effective compact Pan/Tilt Heads offered on the market.


“The new PT-CP-S4 has been designed for user versatility and performance. It’s the perfect tool for accommodating a variety of cameras and studio set ups without compromise,” said Anthony Cuomo, Vice President and General Manager, Telemetrics, Inc.  “Additionally, the PT-CP-S4’s DC-DC converter allows more flexibility in set up by extending the distance between the Pan/Tilt head and the control location power supplies.”

The PT-CP-S4 can be set up with the camera mounted on the side or on the top as well as being positioned upright or inverted.  A powerful DC-DC converter at the base of the Pan/Tilt head converts 48V power to the appropriate voltage levels for the head, auxiliary robotic devices, camera, lens and viewfinder.  And when the PT-CP-S4 is used with the Telemetrics PS-RM-48V power supply, cable distances between the control location power supply and the Pan/Tilt unit can be measurably increased. The unit is controlled through serial data using RS-232 or RS-422 and also features multi-processor architecture with flash-based RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) servo controllers.

Also featured on the PT-CP-S4 is a newly designed cable management system that routes the cables to the camera through the Pan/Tilt Head.  This design improvement offers added reliability to the set up because the cables are not swinging freely or being continually flexed as the unit pans and tilts.


The PT-CP-S4 includes Telemetrics renowned “camera operator-like” moves along with velocity servo controls for equally smooth preset motions and joystick control. End stops can be set either mechanically or electronically and heavy duty cross roller bearings and swiss motors with isolation mounts provide quiet operation. Up to 255 programmable timed presets are available with multi-axis convergence.


The unit additionally offers optional camera control for a selection of manufacturers’ cameras as well as Bluetooth® wireless control.
The PT-CP-S4 also features an auxiliary control interface for the optionally available Telemetrics Trolley, Elevating Pedestal and Elevating Wall Mount.

www.telemetricsinc.com

 

 

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Xlnt Idea, Inc Now Shipping Nexis 100 Pro Dual-Drive DVD/CD Publishing System

XLNT Idea Inc., a leading US Based Manufacturer of automated robotic desktop DVD and CD Printing, and Publishing Systems, is now shipping its new Nexis 100 Pro Dual Drive Publishing Solution. Featuring a two DVD / CD R drive configuration, vastly improved print engine, and true six-color printing capability, the Nexis 100 Pro system represents XLNT Idea’s ongoing cutting edge design and engineering capability. Nexis 100 Pro also includes a new and improved version of XLNT Idea’s DiscWorks software, providing users with the most intuitive and user friendly job enabling and label editing application available today. The Nexis 100 Pro is available at an MSRP of $ 2495.00 and can be purchased from an authorized XLNT Idea VAR, Dealer or OEM partner.   

Chuck Alcon Jr, Director of Sales and Marketing noted, “The Nexis 100 Pro provides our customers and channel partners with a better option for mid to high volume DVD / CD Ink Jet Publishing solutions, with the best value and lowest cost of ownership available today. The release of the Nexis 100 Pro is the end result of a long term, focused effort to build on our previous product designs and engineering, and develop a superior platform in contrast to competitive multi drive solutions. 

Dale K, VP of Engineering added, “We committed all of our resources to creating the most reliable and performance oriented multi drive DVD / CD publishing system in the industry. Nexis 100 Pro features a unique modular design, high performance six color printer core, our patented media pick and place mechanism and improved DiscWorks software. And, Nexis 100 Pro is now manufactured in an ISO 9001 facility, assuring superior quality control and assurance."             

www.xlntidea.com

 

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GenArts Releases Sapphire Plug-ins Version 3 for Avid Editing Products

GenArts, Inc., a leading provider of visual effects software for the film, broadcast and video industries, today announced the release of version 3 of its Sapphire Plug-ins for the Avid® AVXTM architecture. The new version includes several new features to help editors working on Avid Media Composer®, Symphony™ or NewsCutter® systems to enhance their content with powerful visual effects tools.

With this announcement, GenArts is responding to demand and strengthening its offering to the Avid community by adding 36 new effects, dozens of improvements to existing effects and expanded options. These additions allow for deeper integration and support for Avid solutions and give the Avid community even more stunning visual effects and simplified processes. For example, many Avid editors previously built transitions using a series of Sapphire effects that have now been reworked into 13 new single-step, drag and drop Transitions. There are also new innovative effects such as TVDamage, which simulates various artifacts of television broadcast and display such as static, ghosting and interference, and Technicolor 2Strip and 3Strip, which give the look of 1930-1955 Technicolor film. Other new practical additions include Deband, which removes banding artifacts from a clip by diffusing pixels across the banded areas while keeping the original edges intact.

Ken Miles, director of business development at Avid Technology, Inc. said, "GenArts has always shown a strong commitment to the Avid user community by providing high quality, innovative software that integrates seamlessly with Avid products. With today's announcement, Avid customers now have several new and improved effects that we are sure to see in more blockbuster films, TV shows and commercials."

"GenArts has seen Sapphire Plug-ins expand the workflow of Avid artists over the past eight years that it's supported the platform," said Katherine Hays, CEO of GenArts, Inc. "Taking our Avid customers' ever-changing needs into account, an important step in our ongoing innovation, we have further enhanced our product offerings to Avid's user base with this new release."

Key new features in Sapphire Plug-ins v3 for Avid:

  • 36 new effects including: TVDamage, Deband, WarpCornerPin, GradientMulti, Shape, Technicolor2Strip, Technicolor3Strip, BlurDirectional, ZDefocus, ZBlur, ZGlow, Swish3D, TVChannelChange, WipePlasma, WipePointalize, WipeWeave, WipeMoire, DissolveLensFlare, DissolveEdgeRays, DissolveGlint, DissolveGlintRainbow, DissolveDefocus, DissolveTiles, DissolveDistort, TextureFlux, TextureLoops, TextureNeurons, TextureTiles, TileScramble, Convolve, ConvolveComp, ZConvolve, Light3D, TriTone, QuadTone, ShowBadColors
  • New enhancements and options including 15 new LensFlares, Improved Glares and revamped RackDefocus.
  • Support for Windows Vista and 64bit systems
  • Supports promotion of previous Sapphire versions to v3

For a detailed list of new features visit the GenArts website at http://www.genarts.com/sapphire3-avx-whats-new.html.

As with all GenArts products, version 3 offers quick and easy application of high quality, organic effects to Avid sequences, an easy to use interface with on-screen control widgets for efficient workflow, single click application of effects to titles and keys, seamless transition of effects from offline to online Avid systems, compatibility with any resolution setting, multiple options and parameters that can be adjusted and animated to create an unlimited range of unique results, online hyper-linked documentation, and RGBA support for all Avid editing products.

Availability and Pricing
Sapphire Plug-ins version 3 for Avid systems can be purchased directly from GenArts or through their worldwide channel of Avid Authorized resellers. Pricing for Sapphire 3 is: $1800 for Avid Media Composer Software-only; $2800 for Symphony, Media Composer, NewsCutter or DS Assist; and $4800 for Avid DS or DS/Symphony. Existing version 2 customers qualify for special upgrade pricing of $600, $900 and $1600, respectively. A free trial of the software is available online at www.genarts.com.


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Aleratec DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower Copies Memory Cards and USB Flash Drives to DVDs and CDs and is a 1:3 DVD/CD Duplicator

Aleratec Inc., leading developer andmanufacturer of "Prosumers' Choice" solutions for the USB, Flash, HDD,Blu-ray, DVD/CD, duplicating, and publishing markets, has launched itsnew DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower(tm) that copies flash memory cards and USBflash drives directly to DVD/CD and it is also a 1:3 DVD/CD Duplicator ,all without a computer. The DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower supports discspanning to four drives so the user can copy full 16GB flash memorycards commonly used by professional photographers. It copies files andimages from volatile flash memory devices to secure and non-erasableDVDs or CDs for safe keeping. The DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower supports mostpopular flash memory cards, including CompactFlash, MemoryStick/Pro/Duo,SD Card, MiniSD, MicroSD and USB flash drives.

With the DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower, flash memory cards and USB flashdrives can be successfully backed up to DVDs or CDs without tying up acomputer and put back into productive use quickly. This is particularlyimportant to any professional or user that frequently takes many photosor creates many large files in one session.

"With the DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower, flash memory cards and USB flashdrives can be successfully backed up to DVDs or CDs without tying up acomputer and put back into productive use quickly. This is particularlyimportant to any professional or user that frequently takes many photosor creates many large files in one session," stated Perry Solomon,President and CEO of Aleratec. "When it is copying large flash cards orflash drives to DVDs or CDs, as the disc in the first drive fills, itwill use its special disc spanning feature to resume copying on the discin the next drive, and so on. The DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower will even tellthe customer how many discs are needed to complete the job. With fourwriting drives, an Aleratec innovation, it can backup the 16GB flashmemory cards used in many professional applications."

Almost in spite of its breakthrough advances, the new DVD/CD Flash CopyTower (Aleratec Part # 310108, Ingram Micro SKU# V01574, Tech Data SKU#90869M) has a low Estimated Retail Price of only $999. Proudly assembledin the USA from components sourced globally, the DVD/CD Flash Copy Towerhas a distinctive 'Professional Black' look, highlighted with a 'coolblue' backlighted display, appealing to all users including Prosumers,Corporate, Government and Education. Now all can enjoy the mostconvenient and affordable way to store and share digital photos, andduplicate DVDs and CDs.

The DVD/CD Flash Copy Tower is a stand alone (no computer required)solution for reading flash memory cards and USB flash drives, thenwriting the data to DVDs or CDs. It also duplicates DVDs and CDs fromone master to 3 targets producing 3 copies simultaneously. Itincorporates unique flash memory card and flash drive reading logic thatconverts data to DVD and CD formats for duplication.

The full line of Aleratec solutions, and accessories is featured atAAFES, Adorama, Amazon.com, B&H Photo Video, Best Buy, Buy.com, CDW,Dell, Hewlett Packard, Insight, J & R, Mac Connection, MacMall, Meijer,Micro Center, NewEgg, Office Depot, PC Connection, PC Mall, PC Nation,ProVantage, Quill, QVC.com, Ritz Camera, Staples, Tech Depot andWal-Mart in addition to other leading U.S. retailers. Government andEducation customers may purchase from Government and EducationSpecialists including AAFES, B&H Photo Video Gov, Best Buy Gov/Ed,CDW-G, CompuCom, EnPointe, GovConnection, GTSI, Insight Gov, PC MallGov, Pomeroy, Sayers, Shi.com, Softchoice, telcobuy, TIG, and Unisys.All products are available to resellers in the U.S. through D&HDistributing, Ingram Micro, and Tech Data; in Canada through D&H Canadaand Ingram Micro Canada; in Latin America and the Caribbean through TechData Miami.

http://www.aleratec.com

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Panasonic Announces New Spanish Partner for AVCCAM Product Range

Panasonic PBITS Professional & Broadcast IT Systems Spain has announced a new partnership with Spanish audio/visual specialists Grupo Microfusa for the distribution of Panasonic's AVCCAM line of tapeless AVCHD cameras and supporting products. Grupo Microfusa will sell and support the AVCCAM product range, bringing for the first time the advantages of solid-state storage and IT-based workflows to a broad new base of Spanish users seeking professional features in a cost-sensitive package.

"The AVCCAM range is an exciting expansion of Panasonic's solid-state storage based technology into prosumer-level cameras," says Vicente Barredo Rey, Sales Manager of Grupo Microfusa. "Panasonic leads the way in solid-state with its professional range, and with AVCCAM, Spanish filmmakers and videographers will experience all the benefits of file-based workflow, convenience, and robust and reliable operation with these exceptional cameras."

The AVCHD range of camcorders and supporting products offers the many workflow and operation benefits pioneered in Panasonic's market-leading P2 range of high-end professional products, and use Panasonic's codec based on H264 for exceptionally compact file sizes with outstanding image quality, far exceeding comparable MPEG-based formats.

"We are very pleased to be entering this partnership for the Spanish market with an organisation of Grupo Microfusa's calibre,”" says Oriol Massagué, Panasonic Spain Marketing Manager. "The AVCCAM product line offers an outstanding combination of features and great value and brings the benefits of solid-state recording to budget-conscious professionals."

Recording onto an SD/SDHC card offers a fast and simple IT-compatible workflow and ensures ultra-reliable performance without moving parts in the recording process.

The cameras are resistant to shock, vibration, temperature change, and extreme weather conditions, and they offer instant access to the recorded footage without the need to ingest or digitize, for rapid editing and post production, and uncompromised quality.

In addition, SD and SDHC memory cards are inexpensive, widely available, and can be reused repeatedly. Because AVCHD records video as digital data files, content can be transferred and stored on affordable, high-capacity hard disk drives (HDD) and optical storage media, and then transferred to new ones as advanced technology is introduced in the future.

Grupo Microfusa has joined the pan-European Panasonic AVCHD dealer network, which was established earlier in 2008 for the European launch of the AG-HMC151E camcorder.

More information is available at www.panasonic-broadcast.com

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