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March 10, 2011

Table of Contents

Presenting the EventDV 25 'Rising Stars of 2010'
What's New in Sony Vegas Pro 10? NEW VIDEO TUTORIAL ADDED JUNE 27!
NewBlue Launches NewBlue Light Blends
Digital Heaven Announces Public Beta of Final Print 2.0
Panasonic Announces AVCCAM Importer Software Accelerating and Streamlining Import of AVCHD Files into Final Cut Pro
Wedding Videographer Uses Maxell iVDR VC102 For Simultaneous Real-Time Digital Backup of Once-In-A-Lifetime Moments
Apple Introduces iOS 4.3
Apple Launches iPad 2

Presenting the EventDV 25 'Rising Stars of 2010'

In March 2010, following the announcement of the EventDV 25, we announced a group of 25 finalists, which were essentially numbers 26-50, the filmmakers and studios with the 25 highest vote totals after the top 25. This year we decided to approach it a little differently, and following the 2010 EventDV 25 Awards Shows that premiered last week, recognizing our current crop of industry all-stars, we've prepared a list of EventDV 25 Rising Stars, celebrating studios that narrowly missed the EventDV 25 in the voting this year, and have either never made the list before, but have made it once and are young and fresh and rising fast in the industry and sure to find themselves on the list in the future. In keeping with the old baseball theme of the EventDV 25, I thought we'd field a team of 9, enough to cover all the positions on a baseball diamond. So, without further ado, I present the EventDV 25 Rising Stars of 2010.

Daniel Cartwright, No Limit Pictures, Sydney, Australia

Daniel is one of the freshest, hottest and most talented filmmakers our community has seen. He understands light a lot better than many who have been at the top for a long time. It won't be long before this star from down under takes over the other continents!—Konrad Czystowski, FreshSox

________________________________________________________

Travis Cossel, Serendipity Studios, Miami, Fla.

Travis is a hard-working filmmaker who continues to invest in his business and the industry as a whole. His films are beautiful.—Kelly Mercer, Blue Canister

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Dave Cowling, D'nM Wedding Films, Sydney, Australia

Dave Cowling has proved to be a person of character that has forged the motto of "collaboration not competition". He has been active in encouraging our local producers to excel and become better. He has succeeded in winning awards in our AVPA awards which is a credit to his hard work and dedication.—Rochelle Morris, Sauvignon Media Creations

________________________________________________________

Abraham Joffe, Untitled Film Works, Sydney, Australia

This year Abraham has really put himself and his team on the map. They were the first studio to shoot a 3D wedding in Australia on the new Panasonic 3D cameras, plus this year saw Abe's presenting debut at Exposed Down Under. His work is simply the best in Australia (and up there with the world's best).—Dave Cowling, DnM Productions

________________________________________________________

Jet and Danielle Kaiser, Jet Kaiser Films, Greencastle, Indiana

Jet and Dani are the next Von Lankens. A beautiful couple that makes beautiful wedding films and Jet's back-to-basics tutorials on the IN[FOCUS} blog have made life for those transitioning to DSLR shooting a lot easier.—Loyd Calomay, Loyd Calomay Films

________________________________________________________

Joey Mathews and Aaron Tharpe. 31 Films, Houston, Texas

Texas is big enough for a bunch of awesome filmmakers. These guys are towards the top. Taking nothing away from their wedding films, they had (to my knowledge) their first workshop this year.—Brian Mercer, Blue Canister

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Rochelle Morris, Sauvignon Media Creations, Melbourne, Australia

Rochelle is a true leader in Australian filmmaking with co-founding Exposed Down Under. She is truly passionate about furthering women in the filmmaking industry and has down so much to support POSH.—Reagan Zugelter, Studio Z Films and POSH

________________________________________________________

Casey Warren, MIND|Castle Studios, Seattle, Washington

Casey's gift of precision, art, and excellence is unmatched. He is probably the most underrated filmmaker in our industry due to his modest personality. His approach to filmmaking has helped others see that there is a benefit to pre-production.—Ryan Koral, Epic Motion

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Susanto Widjaja, Paper Cranes Productions, Sydney, Australia

Santo is not only amazingly talented, but he's one of the nicest, most humble guys you'll ever meet. Already doing amazing work, but destined for much more greatness!—Dave Cowling, D'nM Productions

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Congratulations to one and all!Stephen Nathans-Kelly

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What's New in Sony Vegas Pro 10? NEW VIDEO TUTORIAL ADDED JUNE 27!

Sony Vegas Pro 10 is here! After months of speculation about what would be in the latest full-step upgrade to Sony Creative Software's popular pro NLE, the new version has brought users new features and increased performance-without sacrificing stability. In this overview I'm going to cover many of these new features in Vegas Pro 10 that will be of benefit to event videographers; some of them may seem far-fetched, some of them may not be obvious, but they're all here for a reason.

We'll also lay the groundwork for the series of tutorial articles that will follow in my "Tips and Tricks" column, and the video tutorial series that will kick off this month on with a series of video tutorials (see videos at the start and end of this article). But first...

I'll Go Ahead and Say It
The perception of many ".0" releases of any software package invite cries of "Wait For the Service Pack!" Well, by the time the download link for this new release was live to the public, the version was already at 10.0a. This is an update to the planned release. Kudos to Sony Creative Software for continuing to test and improve up till the release date. In my opinion this is instrumental to the stability of Vegas Pro 10. If you're waiting for an update before you install it, fear not—it's already here.

DSLR Preview and Editing Improvements
First up on the feature list is improved performance for editing files from Canon DSLR cameras such as the 7D, T2i, or the new 60D. I'm told by Vegas product manager Matthew Brohn that this feature intended specifically for the H.264 format used by DSLRs, and provides upwards of a 300% improvement. I first tried it out on hardware that desperately needs to be upgraded to work with anything later than HDV: a 2.4GHz Intel Q6600 that plays back T2i footage, in Preview Auto, at about 5-7 frames per second (fps) under Vegas 9e. There's no way you could edit this natively, nor would you want to.

However, on the same hardware and OS, with Vegas Pro 10 32-bit, the same project file played back at full frame rate. It still had the occasional stutter, but it performed exactly as if I were editing HDV or Cineform intermediates. While I don't recommend using older hardware for editing DSLR footage-even with Vegas Pro 10-the comparison demonstrates that Sony's claims of 3X improvement do indeed pan out.

Moving our test over to a more modern system, in i7-950 processor running Windows 7 64-bit OS, the footage plays in real time even in Vegas Pro 9 (using Preview Auto). Making the test harder, I used three tracks of video with the first two composited at about 50% so that information from each track was visible in every frame. This test is indicative of a complex composite, and in Vegas 9 the video previewed at 1-4fps, while on the new Vegas Pro 10 it clocked in at a considerably more watchable 8-14fps. The takeaway here is that if you're editing footage from a Canon DSLR, this feature alone is enough to warrant the upgrade to Vegas 10.

Image Stabilization, Courtesy of...
A brand-new feature with Vegas Pro 10 is image stabilization, courtesy of proDAD, developer of the popular Mercalli stabilization plug-in. While the stand-alone Mercalli product has just been upgraded to 2.0, the engine included in Vegas 10 is based on enhanced version 1 technology. This stabilization capability first became available to Vegas users in the consumer-oriented Vegas Movie Studio. However, in Vegas Pro 10 you get more control over how your stabilization is applied. You can do more with it than just choose between presets.

Sony Vegas Pro 10
The proDAD-driven stabilization interface in Vegas Pro 10

Unlike filters and transitions, image stabilization is accessed by right-clicking individual clips. Since image stabilization creates new clips, realize that the exact clips to which you apply stabilization are the only media that will be affected. If you're in a workflow using proxy files, you will want to wait until you've switched to your master, render-ready clips before you apply stabilization (unlike other FX or filters). If you apply stabilization to your proxies and then shift gears to prep for your final media, you will lose your stabilized clips.

New MultiCam Features
Vegas Pro has had built-in multicam capabilites since version 8. We don't personally use this feature in our studio, as my wife, Christie, and I have grown accustomed to the multicam tool provided by the UltimateS Pro plug-in from VASST. UltimateS Pro and another widely used plug-in, Edward Troxel's Excalibur, have provided multicam capability to Vegas users in one form or another for years.

In looking at the updates that Sony has made to the built-in multicam for version 10 however, I found that they've added one important feature. Once your multicam track is built, you can now expand it back into individual tracks for further tweaking. You can even choose to keep the unused clips, and Vegas will mute those individual events that aren't being used.

Sony Vegas Pro 10
The updated Multicam interface in Vegas Pro 10

Vegas in the Third Dimension
This is where things get interesting. You can't walk into a multiplex movie theater these days without finding some Hollywood offering being shown in 3D. From animation to horror, it seems like everything short of romantic comedies is a candidate for 3D. Noted horror director Wes Craven, when speaking to the Los Angeles Times about his new film My Soul To Take, said this about 3D: "For me, it's an experiment ... If it does endure as a technical form of the art, then I'm learning at the ground floor like everybody else, and it's an important thing to do."

3D at the movie theater seems to be a natural, if for no other reason than to get people to the theaters to see movies in a way that we can't see it at home. It was only a matter of time, apparently, before the companies who exhibit at NAB, IBC, and other conferences decided that we all need to shoot, edit, deliver, and watch 3D at home.

Is it all just a fad? I don't know. While this article is not about 3D in general, let's look at some facts and statistics before dismissing altogether the concept of video production in 3D. To begin, most research that I've found projects sales of 3D TVs being slow in 2011, and picking up sharply after that. ABI Research predicts that 3D television in the home will begin to take off in 2013, with more than 50 million 3D TVs shipped worldwide in 2015 alone. While you can buy all the gear to produce 3D content now, most analysts predict that 3D in the home will be mainstream in 2-4 years. Is 3D a fit for wedding and event video? 3D could very well become as mainstream as HD is, and it's nice to know that you can start experimenting with the technology yourself, today, with very little investment. To pick up a 3D camera that's comparable to the prosumer models most non-DSLR videographers use, you'll need to shell out $22,000 for the likes of the Panasonic AG-3DA1 (or, better yet, rent it for the occasional 3D booking). That's a little steep for most of us, but Panasonic has a consumer model, the HDC-SDT750, with a street price of $1,400, and a company called Aiptek has introduced a Flip-like 3D cam with a street price of $200.

With Vegas Pro 10, you can edit footage from any of these cameras right away. The Stereoscopic 3D mode you want to work with is chosen in the Project Properties window. You have a variety of choices in monitoring 3D; you can view it from your PC display, and you can even use a 3D-capable HDTV via HDMI as your external monitor for a more accurate preview.

Sony Vegas Pro 10
Choosing project properties for 3D editing in Vegas Pro 10

GPU-Enhanced Rendering
While, traditionally, most of us have seen the ability to edit video in real time without specialized hardware as a plus, times do change. And Vegas Pro is changing with them. In another "first," for Vegas, version 10 has joined Adobe CS5 in adding GPU processing. In the past, the kind of video card you had in your editing system was never a concern with Vegas with the exception of DVI or HDMI output connectors. With this release of Vegas Pro you will now be able to take advantage of a CUDA-enabled GPU in a very specific application, which is rendering to the Sony AVC codec.

It's important to note that the GPU in Vegas Pro does not have any effect on editing performance in the timeline. This is Sony's cautious foray into the GPU arena, and I look forward to what other processes they can speed up by offloading them to the GPU.

Sony Vegas Pro 10
Choosing GPU rendering in Vegas Pro 10

Be careful about what video card you choose if you're upgrading your hardware. You may find that your CPU alone is faster than using the GPU. For example, in one of our new PC builds, the i7 950 processor alone proved faster than offloading to the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450. In my test project, the CPU rendered the 30-second Vegas project (.veg) file in a little less than 30 seconds, while the GPU-only render took 35 seconds. Our next machine will have a better (and more expensive) video card with a higher CUDA count. I'm thankful that we didn't spend too much on the GTS 450 card, since we won't be using its CUDA capabilities.

OpenFX Plug-in Architecture
Vegas Pro 10 has a completely new plug-in architecture for effects and filters. This is exciting news, as editors and creative types will now have many more tools to play with. Any plug-in based on the Open Effects Association (OFX) standard is a candidate for use in Vegas Pro 10. The very high-end GenArts Sapphire and Monsters GT plug-ins work right out of the box with no alteration. BorisFX has also released Continuum Complete for Vegas 10. This is a midlevel-priced offering from BorisFX, and I hope to provide a thorough review of it in a future column.

Sony Vegas Pro 10
Applying the Pencil Sketch effect in BorisFX Continuum Complete for Vegas Pro 10

Plug-in manufacturers will need to do a minimal amount of work to update most of their OFX products to interface directly with Vegas under the OFX standard. For users of existing plug-ins, have no fear. Vegas is maintaining the legacy SDK-at least for this version. Your existing plug-ins will work, and a brave new world of Open Effects plug-ins awaits. More information about OFX is available at http://openeffects.org.

Other Goodies
There are many other updates and new features in Vegas Pro 10 that we'll be exploring in a new online tutorial series now underway on EventDV-TV (www.eventdv.tv). Among these is a welcome upgrade on the audio side, the ability to apply all of Vegas' audio effects at the event level. You've always been able to apply video filters and effects at the event level, but real-time audio effects were only available at the track level or in some cases the master bus output level. For the first time, Vegas allows you to insert up to 32 audio effects at the event level and preview them in real-time. This further solidifies Vegas Pro as the NLE with the most robust audio function support.

Also new in the audio department are track and VU meters. Track meters are great to have because so many of us work with multiple audio tracks, mixing them into final master output. Knowing at a glance which one of your tracks is causing the whole thing to clip is a wonderful new feature.

Sony Vegas Pro 10
Using track meters in Vegas Pro 10

Another enhancement is Track Grouping. With Track Grouping, you can now select several tracks and group them together, even hiding them out of your way. Being able to group events together has been a feature of Vegas forever, but just now are we able to group together tracks. You can group tracks, name the group, and choose to show or hide the group.

Sony Vegas Pro 10
Grouping tracks in Vegas Pro 10 and naming the group

DVD Architect gets a little love in this release (though not much) with the inclusion of new HD themes and the ability to use a Windows burning engine, thereby potentially supporting more and newer DVD and Blu-ray burners. You can choose at run time which method you prefer to use.

Conclusion
This version is a winner! You get better playback on DSLR footage, track grouping, OpenFX support, enhanced multicam, a few audio goodies, and 3D to boot. There's even more to love; you can check out the full list of features and enhancements found in Vegas Pro 10 at http://sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro.

David McKnight (david@mcknightvideo.com) is half of McKnight Video of Houston.He is former vice president of the Houston Professional Videographers Association (HPVA), has Vegas (SCVE) certification, is the technical editor of Vegas Pro 9 Editing Workshop (Focal Press), and is a contributor to TheFullHD Book (VASST). He and his wife, Christie, are winners of multiple HPVA awards.

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NewBlue Launches NewBlue Light Blends

NewBlue, Inc., the fastest growing integrated video and audio effects provider, today released NewBlue Light Blends, the highly-anticipated set of 10 dynamic video transitions that delivers stylized, professional lighting looks with ease.

NewBlue Light Blends video plugins integrates seamlessly into existing and familiar non-linear editing (NLE) workflows, on both Windows and Mac platforms. With just a few clicks, users can create an electrifying mood or a specialized atmosphere to add drama to any footage.

Like the company’s entire line of NewBlueFX video effects plugins, NewBlue Light Blends works with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Final Cut Express, Avid Media Composer, Avid NewsCutter, Avid Symphony, Avid Xpress, Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio, Sony Vegas, Sony Vegas Movie Studio, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro and EDIUS.

“With NewBlue Light Blends, we are able to offer powerful tools to create truly stunning and effective cuts between shots.” Todor J. Fay, president and CTO explains. “There's nothing more effective and impactful than using light to propel the story from one scene to the next. With Light Blends we've pulled together some truly original and dazzling techniques that electrify with stunning light flairs, orbs, rays, strobes and so much more.. And, no one else has made transitions in light this easy to use.”

Joining NewBlue’s lineup of exclusive collections, Light Blends includes the following powerful transitions, all with over 130 preset configurations:

  • Glow Pro generates a soft radiant light in any color of the rainbow to gently wash between shots
  • Light Bender mutates between scenes with shifting, curved flares that radiate from the highlights in the imagery
  • Light Ring creates a rippling ring of brilliance that melts one shot into the next
  • Neon Lights converts image outlines into surreal bands of light that dance and merge to reveal the second scene
  • Photon Blast casts powerful rays of multicolored light that blind the viewer, then pull back to reveal the new scene
  • Plasma Glow warps one scene into the next with a dynamic shimmering blast of light
  • Psycho Strobe generates a sequence of bright flashes of light, blazing from one shot into the next
  • RGB Shift separates the image into colored layers that vibrate and jog around as they reassemble into the second scene
  • Scanner wipes from one scene to the next with a fluorescent beam of watery light
  • Traveling Rays throws bright beams from a moving light source that flies across the screen, animating a beautiful blend between shots

Pricing and Availability
NewBlue Light Blends is compatible with major video editing software platforms, including Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Final Cut Express, Avid Media Composer, Avid NewsCutter, Avid Symphony, Avid Xpress, Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio, Sony Vegas, Sony Vegas Movie Studio, MAGIX Movie Edit Pro and EDIUS.

NewBlue Light Blends is available directly from NewBlue at http://www.newbluefx.com/buy.html for $119.95. A fully functional trial version of Light Blends (and all NewBlue offerings) is available for download, as well.

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Digital Heaven Announces Public Beta of Final Print 2.0

Digital Heaven, one of the leading third-party developers for Apple Pro Apps, today announced a free, time-limited public beta release of Final Print 2.0.

Final Print is the must-have tool for browsing and printing Final Cut Pro projects. By taking full advantage of Final Cut Pro’s XML interchange format, Final Print allows the user to view a list of clips, markers or the content of a bin with up to 10 columns of information. The lists can be printed or saved as a PDF file providing a very useful workflow enhancement when handing off a project to another member of the post production team.

This major new version adds numerous features and enhancements including:

  • Completely redesigned interface
  • Ability to load projects directly from Final Cut Pro 7
  • Support for viewing clips within sequences
  • Multiple XML files or projects open at once
  • Ability to filter current display by colored markers and video/tracks
  • Improved performance


This fully functioning and time-limited beta release of Final Print 2.0 is available for immediate download from Digital Heaven web site. Feedback can be submitted via email or Twitter and more information can be found on the Final Print product page.

System Requirements:

Mac computer with an Intel processor
Final Cut Pro 5.1.2 (and later) for creation of XML files
Final Cut Pro 7 is required for direct opening of projects

SUPPORTING LINKS AND MEDIA:
Product Page: http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/finalprint
Direct Download Link: http://download.digital-heaven.co.uk/Final_Print_b4.zip
Example Image: http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/files/images/FinalPrint2Beta.jpg
Company Logo: http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/press

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Panasonic Announces AVCCAM Importer Software Accelerating and Streamlining Import of AVCHD Files into Final Cut Pro

Panasonic Solutions Company has introduced AVCCAM Importer software, a QuickTime plug-in that eliminates the need to convert AVCHD files to ProRES422 files before editing in Final Cut Pro.

AVCCAM Importer is a software for Apple Final Cut Pro to enable direct editing of an AVCHD “.mts” file without conversion. Since AVCCAM Importer is a plug-in component for Apple QuickTime, QuickTime Player can play an “.mts” file directly after installation of AVCCAM Importer on a MAC. 

The AVCCAM importer will be available this Summer as a free download from the Panasonic web site.

http://www.panasonic.com/avccam

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Wedding Videographer Uses Maxell iVDR VC102 For Simultaneous Real-Time Digital Backup of Once-In-A-Lifetime Moments

Janice and Mike Celeste of Celeste Studios have more than 25 years of professional wedding video experience, including a specialty shooting traditional Indian weddings.

The husband and wife team opened Celeste Studios in 2006 and have since been featured in many leading wedding industry publications, including Inside Weddings Magazine, Manhattan Bride, Brides Magazine, as well as being named to Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine's “Platinum List,” three years in a row. The well-respected team recently used Maxell Professional’s iVDR VC102 and iVDR Standard Adapter at a wedding, and were more than happy with the results.

The two were intrigued by the iVDR VC102 after seeing it at the 2010 WEVA Expo in Orlando, Fl. Celeste was immediately drawn to the product’s simplicity, ruggedness and ease-of-use. Additionally, the iVDR VC102 added digital recording capability to their Sony high-definition tape-based camera, which allowed them to reap the benefits of digital recording at a fraction of the cost it would have been to upgrade to a digital camera system.

“During a recent shoot at a client’s wedding, I fully saw the potential of the VC102,” said Celeste. “Because it simultaneously records footage to a rugged hard drive-based iVDR cartridge, I had the reassurance that I would have a digital backup if anything happened to the footage on the tape. Since so many moments at a wedding are priceless and can’t be re-shot, this capability is invaluable.”

Additionally, as any tape-based videographer knows, one of the most frustrating steps of the workflow is the import of video footage into a non-linear editing program.

“Traditionally, the process of importing footage from the tapes into Final Cut Pro can take up to 20 hours, as many of the weddings we shoot can last for days, leaving us with easily 20 hours of footage,” noted Celeste. “We simply placed the iVDR cartridge into the desktop adapter, which made the whole process incredibly quick. What traditionally is the most painful part of the workflow was completed in a matter of minutes – rather than hours.”

To see the complete video testimonial highlighting Janice’s experience with the iVDR VC102 Direct-to-Disk adapter, please visit http://www.youtube.com/maxellpromedia or on Janice’s blog at: http://www.celestestudiosblog.com/?p=1169.

About Celeste Studios
Celeste Studios, with headquarters in Northern New Jersey, and offices in New York and Beverly Hills, provides international wedding video services. Since opening in 2006, Celeste Studios has established a reputation as experts in Indian and destination weddings. The company’s work has been featured in many of the leading wedding industry publications including Inside Weddings Magazine, Manhattan Bride, and Brides Magazine.

For more information, visit Celeste Studios at: http://www.CelesteStudios.com or on Facebook at, http://www.facebook.com/celestestudiosfilms

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Apple Introduces iOS 4.3

Apple® today introduced iOS 4.3, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. New features in iOS 4.3 include faster Safari® mobile browsing performance with the Nitro JavaScript engine; iTunes® Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay®; the choice of using the iPad™ side switch to either lock the screen rotation or mute the audio; and the Personal Hotspot feature for sharing an iPhone® 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.

“With more than 160 million iOS devices worldwide, including over 100 million iPhones, the growth of the iOS platform has been unprecedented,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iOS 4.3 adds even more features to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, across three blockbuster devices — iPad, iPhone and iPod touch — providing an ecosystem that offers customers an incredibly rich experience and developers unlimited opportunities.”

The Safari mobile browsing experience gets even better with iOS 4.3. The Nitro JavaScript engine that Apple pioneered on the desktop is now built into WebKit, the technology at the heart of Safari, and more than doubles the performance of JavaScript execution using just-in-time compilation. With the Nitro JavaScript engine, Safari provides an even better mobile browser experience working faster to support the interactivity of complex sites you visit on a daily basis.

New iTunes Home Sharing allows iOS 4.3 users to play music, movies and TV shows on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch® from their iTunes library on a Mac® or PC over a local Wi-Fi network. With a simple tap you can enjoy all the media in your iTunes library wherever you are in your home. You can stream a movie from your Mac in one room to your iPad in another or stream an iTunes mix to your iPod touch from the office to the kitchen. With Home Sharing on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch you’ve got your entire iTunes library in your hands wherever you are in your home.

iOS 4.3 includes enhancements to AirPlay, the breakthrough wireless technology that allows users to stream music, photos and video to Apple TV®. With iOS 4.3 you can stream additional content including video from third party apps and web sites, videos from the Photos app and previews from the iTunes app to your TV.* AirPlay also allows you to bring photos to life on the TV screen by using one of the stunning new slideshow transitions, or shoot a video on your iPad 2, iPhone or iPod touch and stream it directly from the Photos app to Apple TV.

The new Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 lets you bring Wi-Fi with you anywhere you go, by allowing you to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection with up to five devices in a combination of up to three Wi-Fi, three Bluetooth and one USB device.** Joining a Personal Hotspot is easy and once the feature is enabled a status bar displays how many devices are currently connected. Every connection is password protected and when not in use Personal Hotspot turns itself off to save battery life.

More than 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the revolutionary App Store? and more than 350,000 apps are available, including more than 65,000 native iPad apps, to consumers in 90 countries. Users of the more than 160 million iOS devices around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.

Availability

iOS 4.3 will be available to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users as a free software update on Friday, March 11. iOS 4.3 is compatible with iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (GSM model), plus third and fourth generation iPod touch. For more information please visit http://www.apple.com.

* AirPlay video requires second generation Apple TV running the latest software.

** Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.

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Apple Launches iPad 2

Apple® today introduced iPad™ 2, the next generation of its magical device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading ebooks and much more.

iPad 2 features an entirely new design that is 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than the original iPad, while maintaining the same stunning 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen. iPad 2 features Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics and now includes two cameras, a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime® and Photo Booth®, and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video, bringing the innovative FaceTime feature to iPad users for the first time. Though it is thinner, lighter, faster and packed with new features, iPad 2 still delivers up to 10 hours of battery life* that users have come to expect. iPad 2 is available in black or white, features models that run on AT&T’s and Verizon’s 3G networks, and introduces the innovative iPad 2 Smart Cover in a range of vibrant polyurethane and rich leather colors.

“With more than 15 million iPads sold, iPad has defined an entirely new category of mobile devices,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we’re launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again.”

With the new front and rear cameras, iPad 2 users can now make FaceTime calls to millions of iPhone® 4, iPod touch® and Mac® users so they can see family and friends anywhere there is Wi-Fi. Photo Booth lets you apply fun visual effects, including eight photo special effects like Squeeze, Twirl and Kaleidoscope, to photos captured by either camera.

iPad 2 comes with iOS 4.3, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, with new features including faster Safari® mobile browsing performance; iTunes® Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay®;** the choice to use the iPad side switch to either lock the screen rotation or mute audio; and Personal Hotspot to share an iPhone 4 cellular data connection over Wi-Fi.*** Additional iPad 2 features include a built-in gyro for advanced gaming; HSUPA support for enhanced 3G upload speeds on iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G on AT&T, and HDMI Video Mirroring that lets users mirror their iPad screen on an HDTV using an optional adaptor.

The innovative new iPad 2 Smart Cover provides protection for the iPad screen while maintaining its thin and lightweight profile. Designed with a unique self-aligning magnetic hinge that makes it easy to attach and remove, the new iPad 2 Smart Cover automatically wakes iPad 2 when it’s opened and puts it to sleep when it’s closed, and has a soft microfiber lining to help keep the screen clean. The Smart Cover also folds into a stand for typing or viewing videos and is available in vibrant polyurethane for $39 or rich leather for $69 in a range of colors, including a (PRODUCT) RED one which helps support the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Apple also introduced two new apps: iMovie® and GarageBand® for iPad, both available on the App Store? for just $4.99 each. With iMovie, iPad 2 users can shoot and edit videos right on their iPad and post their movies to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and their MobileMe? gallery; watch them on their iPod®, iPhone or iPad; as well as view them on their HDTV using AirPlay and Apple TV®. GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of touch instruments and 8-track recording studio, allowing you to perform with onscreen keyboards, guitars, drums and basses using multi-touch gestures–even if you don’t play a musical instrument.

iPad 2 runs almost all of the over 350,000 apps available on the App Store and there are more than 65,000 native iPad apps available from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. The iTunes Store gives iPad users access to the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 14 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 10,000 films including over 3,500 in stunning high definition video. The iBooks® app for iPad includes Apple’s iBookstore?, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device.

Pricing & Availability
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available on March 11 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G compatible with the Verizon network will be available in the US only for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2 will be sold in the US through the Apple Store® (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iMovie and GarageBand for iPad apps will be available on March 11 for $4.99 each from the App Store on iPad or http://www.itunes.com/appstore.

iPad 2 will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK on March 25; and in many more countries around the world in the coming months. Further international availability and pricing will be announced at a later date.

*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

**AirPlay video requires second generation Apple TV running the latest software.

***Personal Hotspot requires supporting data plan. Customers should check with their carrier for availability.

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