Editors who haven’t touched their PowerMates in years are suddenly digging them out and plugging them in. The Griffin PowerMate ($45) is a dial-shaped controller designed for video and audio editing, but able to work with a variety of applications. The reason owners are cheering is that Griffin has just released vastly improved PowerMate software.
No longer a system preference item, PowerMate now lives in the application folder. The PowerMate 3.0 software adds modifier keys to the PowerMate’s six core actions. With the help of modifiers, users can create 96 triggering actions.
The software has been completely re-written for the Mac’s 64-bit architecture, and Griffin promises serious speed benefits. It will still work on 32-bit systems, though.
Users will be able to more easily manage computers with multiple PowerMate controllers, and will find the software’s interface cleaned up. Even the controller’s blue glow has been revamped: users can now watch the blue glow to learn about their CPU’s performance, audio levels, system volume, and more.
The PowerMate now works with more applications. New global commands let it interact with core OS X applications including iTunes, Safari, and Mail.
PowerMate 3.0 is a free download and requires Mac OS 10.6 or greater.