December 20, 2004
../ Apple Readies New FireWire Sound Card
Apple will reportedly announce a brand new FireWire sound card in January. The new card, code-named Asteroid, has been under development
by the Emagic team for the past year.
Details are sketchy about the product's specs, but rumors cite two XLR/TRS inputs, RCA/TRS outputs, a headphone jack and optical digital in/outs in an Airport
Express type of enclosure. Asteroid will be powered by the FireWire 400 port, and will also have phantom power. Asteroid's architecture is said have a
built-in limiter and software driven gain control, as well as the ability to daisy-chain up to four of the devices together.
Asteroid is meant to be the official audio interface to Apple's successful GarageBand music studio software. It will be the first official product
of Apple's new iPod Division and will debut along with a new version of GarageBand. Emagic, which Apple recently bought, has been fully integrated
into the new iPod Division and is currently developing a suite of music-based devices and software, in addition to Logic Audio 8.
Asteroid's leak to the public spurred Apple to file a civil suit against several anonymous parties on December 13th, claiming "an unidentified individual,
acting alone or in concert with others, has recently misappropriated and disseminated through Web sites confidential information about an unreleased Apple product."
Although there has been a lot of speculation about several new Apple products including an Apple cell phone (iPhone), a Flash memory iPod and a new Sirius
satellite radio enabled iPod, Asteroid appears to be at the center of the suit.
The Future: Is Apple's civil suit a marketing ploy to build up interest in their MacWorld announcements? Clearly, Asteroid isn't breakthrough technology
that warrants a severe reaction like a vindictive lawsuit. Maybe Asteroid is only the tip of the iceberg...
>>> Digihear? December 2004
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