Apple Computer has released a free Mac OS 9.0.4 update for North American English and International English systems. Mac OS 9.0.4 claims to offer enhanced USB and FireWire support, provide improved networking and power management, plus offer improved video, graphics, and audio functionality. Owners of Power Mac G4s, PowerBook (FireWire) systems, and slot-loading iMacs will also need to download install Apple DVD Player 2.2 (also available for North American and International English) to support their systems’ software-only DVD decoding. (Owners of Blue and White G3 systems, PowerBook G3 Series, and PowerBook (Bronze keyboard) can stick with Apple DVD Player 1.3, since their systems decode DVDs in hardware.)
Apple has not yet documented specific changes in Mac OS 9.0.4, although the update should address DVD playback problems on recent Macintosh systems, fix a bug preventing slot-loading iMacs from going to sleep with an active PPP connection, and improve compatibility with third-party FireWire cards. Additional localized versions of Mac OS 9.0.4 should be available from Apple in the next several weeks. The Mac OS 9.0.4 Update is a 12.2 MB download, and is available from Apple’s servers or from Mac OS 9’s Software Update control panel. The update can be applied to any previous version of Mac OS 9.