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View Extra Audio Details in Snow Leopard

In Snow Leopard, Option-clicking the Volume icon in the menu bar displays a list of sound input and output devices. Choose one to switch to it; it's much easier than using the Sound preference pane. Also, hold Shift and click the icon to set the system volume, which is separate from the general output volume.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

Watch Out, QuickTime

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Apple pushers who have enjoyed a few months of uninterrupted multimedia advantage thanks to QuickTime are now a bit more concerned about what the other side has been up to. IBM reps are now showing stunning full-screen, full-motion video and sound on the PS/2 Ultimedia Model M57 SLC... and they are understandably enthusiastic about what they're showing.

The multimedia-oriented workstation is designed around a custom 386 SLC processor, essentially an enhanced 20 MHz 386 SX. It includes a color touch-sensitive display, CD-ROM drive, and high-quality audio, as well as IBM's XGA graphics standard. An upcoming enhancement will be a 40 MHz 486 CPU upgrade for the existing machine.

What impressed me at a recent computer show at which both IBM and Apple were showing multimedia solutions was that, while Apple's QuickTime technology is capable of showing full-motion video on a fast machine in a small window, IBM's technology can actually fill the screen with VCR-quality 30-frame-per-second video for several minutes at a stretch, reading the video and sound from the hard disk and decompressing on the fly.

This isn't to say that QuickTime is not a stunning technology; it is. It has a tremendous potential for providing multimedia at all levels, from the casual user on an LC II to the power user on a Quadra 950. My point is simply that Apple can't rest on its QuickTime laurels. The technology must move forward, because IBM's Ultimedia technology is at QuickTime's heels.

IBM -- 800/426-9402

 

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