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Record Online Meetings in Pear Note

While Pear Note is primarily geared toward recording notes in the physical world, it's possible to use it to record things in the virtual world as well. For instance, you can use it to record and take notes on Skype calls. To do this:

  1. Download Soundflower and install it (along with the Soundflowerbed app that comes with it).
  2. Download LineIn and install it.
  3. Start Soundflowerbed, and select Built-in Output (or whatever output you'd like to listen to the conversation on).
  4. Start LineIn, and select your microphone (e.g. Built-in Mic) as the input and Soundflower (2ch) as the output, then press Pass Thru.
  5. Open Pear Note Preferences, select Recording, and select Soundflower (2ch) as the audio device.
  6. Open Skype Preferences, select Audio, and select Soundflower (2ch) as the audio output and your microphone (e.g. Built-in Mic) as the audio input.
  7. Hit record in Pear Note and make your Skype call.

This will allow you to conduct your Skype call while Pear Note records both your audio and the other participant's.

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Final Cut Studio 2 Applications, SuperDrive Firmware Updated

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Apple has released updates for the Final Cut Studio 2 suite of video production applications via Software Update and as stand-alone installers; the latter require that you sign in using your Apple ID and your Final Cut Studio 2 serial number. Most of the updates cover bug fixes and improve stability, but a few items are notable. Pro Applications Update 2007-01 (an 8.1 MB download) patches the underlying frameworks and shared components of Final Cut Studio 2 (the package also seems to be specific to those applications).

Final Cut Pro 6.0.1 (a 37.5 MB download) adds support for importing AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) footage, a video format introduced last year that is designed to be saved to random-access storage devices such as hard disks, solid-state memory, and MiniDVD discs (versus MiniDV tapes, the media of choice for many consumer camcorders as well as cameras that record to the high-definition HDV format). Although a few AVCHD camcorders are currently available, editing the footage has been limited under Windows and nonexistent on the Mac. Apple's release notes indicate a few caveats with AVCHD footage, namely that as it's imported, the video is transcoded into either Apple ProRes 422 or Apple Intermediate Codec; that could require up to 10 times the size of the native AVCHD file of available hard disk space. (The inclusion of AVCHD also potentially means the format could be supported in the next version of iMovie HD.)

Motion 3.0.1 (a 19.4 MB download) fixes a number of known issues with 32-bit float projects and rendering of intersecting 3D groups, and improves performance. Soundtrack Pro 2.0.1 (a 74.5 MB download) improves stability and performance and updates the Delay Designer surround effect plug-in. Compressor 3.0.1 (a 93.3 MB download) adds the capability to export music in the 256 Kbps AAC format used by iTunes Plus, can now set poster frames, and applies other fixes. Color 1.0.1 (an 8.3 MB download) improves stability, metadata support from Final Cut Pro, and single-display mode, as well as floating-point processing on Macs with Nvidia graphics cards.

Lastly, unrelated to Final Cut Studio 2, Apple released SuperDrive Firmware Update 2.1 (a 12 MB download), which provides unspecified fixes but notes improved readability of certain CD media. The installer puts an application called SuperDrive Update 2.1 into your Utilities folder that must be run separately, which is unusual. Note that the application starts the update process at launch, which is bad form; it should behave like most updaters, where the user initiates the process (for example, to make sure the drive isn't in use, I would imagine). The updater also requires a restart of the Mac to take effect.


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