MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2008 (#39)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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122 MacDirectory PROFILE AUDIOENGINE > FOR THE STEREOPHILE IN YOU Audioengine is a unique company, designing and building – by hand no less – speakers at direct-from-the-factory prices. It generally uses custom-built parts, minimizing the use of off-the-shelf parts at all costs. Since the company has a background in creating professional studio monitor speakers, you can be assured that the speakers for consumers for home and office use will be quality speakers. A5 Speakers: These innovative speakers retail at $349 per pair and are the first consumer speaker system designed specifically for iPods and other portable audio players. One of the great features of these relatively small speakers is their big bass sound. The low end of the bass is so pure that the sound is very near to the originally recorded music, and the mid- range and high notes are also dynamic. Free cables and a three-year warranty are also included. The company believes in this product so much that customers can return the speakers – like new and in the original packaging - within 30 days from the purchase date. The system has received many accolades, including from Hi-Fi World and Maximum PC. A2 Speakers: With the A2 speakers, the company's goal was to create a small speaker – yet still duplicate the quality sound of the A5 speakers. Using the exact same custom tweeters used in the A5 speakers, these speakers boast of compact newly designed Kevlar woofers and high performance gold-plated speaker connectors. Perfect for desktops and smaller rooms, the A2 is also an excellent speaker for iPods. Stereophile wrote of the A2 speakers: "I have never been more impressed with or more stunned by a component I've reviewed for Stereophile than I was with the Audioengine 2. It extended my enjoyment of music into a new realm of portability that I hadn't before thought possible. I can't think of a single reason why every reader of this magazine should not go out right now and buy a pair of Audioengine 2s." These speakers have a retail price of $199.00 per pair. WORDS BY LARISA REDINS SMITH MICRO SOFTWARE > A LONG RECORD OF SERVICE Interested in learning about a company with one of the longest records of continuous development for the Mac? Consider Smith Micro Software, a firm that has gone through a number of name changes that included Aladdin Systems and Allume Systems in its business lifetime. However, as Derek Vowles, the director of consumer marketing, "The company is still composed of the same tight-knit group of programmers and Macintosh fans in Watsonville, California." The company develops a wide array of productivity, utility and graphics programs for both Macintosh and Windows platforms. One of the more notable brands is StuffIt® - a file compression software that will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009. In fact, the newest edition of this software - StuffIt Deluxe 2009 - offers improvements that expand, compress, expand, back up and secure even more formats and files faster. This software also includes support for Apple's Mac OS X Leopard technology including Quick Look, Time Machine and MobileMe. Another great product is Poser, an easy yet powerful way to design, pose and animate the human figure in 3D. Consequently, creative professionals and hobbyists alike can create amazing looking art, illustration, animation and more. Still another product is one called Anime Studio -- a complete animation program for creating film-quality 2D movies, cartoons, anime and cut out animations. In short, this software, simplifies the animation process and in turn, artists can create their projects faster and easier. The company is constantly working to change and create new programs so as to adapt to the changing needs of their customer base. Smith Micro is shipping new versions of StuffIt Deluxe, Spring Cleaning, VMware Fusion 2, Aquazone Blue Planet, and Manga Studio. With respect to the future, one can only expect great things from Smith Micro Software as according to Vowles, the company is dedicated to the Mac platform and will continue to develop and publish products that solve Mac users' problems and expand their creativity. WORDS BY LARISA REDINS A5 SPEAKERS

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