Roxio has announced Popcorn 3 for Mac OS X. Version 3 adds many new features including TiVoToGo support (Series 2), pause and resume, quality preview, batch conversion and more. The new version also transparently detects and uses the Elgato Turbo.264 hardware accelerator.
In addition, Popcorn 2 includes DVD chapter bookmarks, an enhanced disc labeler and enhanced device support. For devices that support it, such as the Apple TV, Popcorn will preserve and encode Dolby Logic II audio. Devices supported for export in version 3 include:
- Apple TV
- Video iPod
- Playstation 3
- Sony PSP
- Xbox 360
- BkackBerry and Treo
- Generic H.264 device
In each conversion, the user has great control over the settings to optimize for quality or space.
Popcorn 3 Main Window
TMO spoke with Pat Nugent, the product manager for Popcorn. Mr. Nugent explained that this is a major upgrade. The pause and resume feature is notable because users would often like to suspend a CPU intensive export in order to attend to a task and regain complete control of the computer. Another important feature is the transparent detection and utilization of the Elgato Turbo.264 accelerator -- which simply plugs into the USB2 port. This hardware accelerator can speed up the H.264 encoding by a factor of 4x to 6x.
TiVoToGo support is only for TiVo Series 2, Standard Definition. This feature allows users who select a season pass for a show to schedule an automatic transfer to the Mac, encoding, and placement in their iTunes library.
Roxio Popcorn 3 is expected to ship in late August or early September. It requires a PPC G4 or G5 or Intel CPU and Mac OS X 10.4.10. It will be priced at US$49.99 for new users or $29.99 for an upgrade.