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Apple's QuickTime gains sound

Technology licensed from Roland will give QuickTime 3.0 a library of 100 instrument sounds as well as more parameters for controlling music playback.

    Apple Computer (AAPL) today said it has licensed technology that will offer improved sound over the Internet, drumming up interest in its own multimedia software.

    Using technology licensed from Roland Corporation, Apple's QuickTime 3.0 multimedia playback software will now include a library of 100 instrument sounds as well as more parameters for controlling music playback. Roland is a well-known manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and audio equipment that is making a foray into multimedia products.

    Apple says the new technology will give software and Web site developers new capabilities for playback of high-quality music in an interactive format.

    Apple's soon-to-debut QuickTime 3.0 technology has already added support for several new digital media technologies, including AVI (a commonly used full-motion Windows video standard) and DV (a format used by new digital video cameras).

    Apple is planning on extending QuickTime features in other ways. At a recent industry conference, Apple said it intends to give users the ability to apply different special effects to a video clip in real time. The company is also adding the ability in QuickTime VR (for virtual reality) scenes to "stitch" a series of photos together automatically to quickly build a 360-degree view of an environment.

    The final release of QuickTime 3.0 for the general public is expected to be ready in January of 1998, according to Apple.