I still regularly use the Wiebetech UltraDock v.4 that I got for review purposes ages ago — back then from James Wiebe in person. The other day, I wondered how the UltraDock would have evolved, asked CRU-Dataport for a test unit and promptly got an UltraDock v.5.5. There’s quite a difference between the two devices that are about eight years apart in terms of design and technology. But it still is the best solution to hook up a bare disk drive to your Mac or PC. The UltraDock v.5.5 comes with a number of tricks that may appeal to a bigger market than the old UltraDock.
Do you still need to burn DVDs, Blu-Ray’s or CD’s even? With so many cloud storage services available, what’s the use of burning data onto optical media stored locally? One reason could be that you care about keeping all rights to your images, movies and other data with the party to whom these belong — you, the creator. Another is that optical discs are insensitive to magnetic fields, while the new M-Disc is virtually indestructible. Enter Toast 15, the latest version of the DVD/Blu-Ray burning software for the Mac. The Pro version includes the Blu-Ray HD authoring plug-in and a plethora of extra software.
Crumplepop has come up with a solution for stabilising footage in post-production. It’s a direct competitor of Coremelt’s Lock & Load plug-in for Final Cut Pro X and a good one at that. BetterStabilizer works as a Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro plug-in. I tested the Final Cut Pro X plug-in and was impressed with the ease-of-use and the excellent results.
Since its first version, Aurora HDR has been a huge success for Macphun. Aurora HDR 2017 is the second version to be released. It has new features, such as a polariser filter and a batch mode. Its tone mapping algorithm has been improved and other improvements are scattered throughout the application. It’s now more than ever the golden standard of HDR photography.
If you thought Corel couldn’t add any more features to Painter without the app becoming bloated you were so wrong. The question is whether what’s been added to version 2017 is worth the money upgrading. The answer is, as so often, it depends. For most artists, the new version will definitely be worth a look from close up.
MotionVFX released what is probably going to be one of their most popular Final Cut Pro X plug-ins. mDoubleExposure is a compositing tool that gives you the ability to create multiple masks overlaying videoclips on top of each other. Due to the granular control this plug-in offers you, you can achieve dazzling effects.
Tomorrow a new version of Ulysses will have been made available. The update is free for existing customers. With v2.6, publishing a blog post on WordPress will be a matter of exporting directly from Ulysses. WordPress authors will be able to publish their texts with a few clicks on macOS and a few taps on iOS. They won’t have to export as HTML (as I do) or Markdown and then paste the lot to the WordPress backend. Here’s a screencast of what to expect.