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Rumors swirl over Apple's iMac Blu-ray, quad-core plans

post #1 of 250
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The latest rumors surrounding Apple's plans for its upcoming iMac makeover hint that Blu-ray could remain a "bag of hurt" for a bit longer, while the company taps Intel for its latest mobile chips to help fill the void.

More specifically, people close to the Cupertino-based company have picked up on chatter suggesting that earlier plans to offer Blu-ray technology on the new all-in-one desktops may have been pulled back just before the systems went into production last month.

Either way, it's believed that the technology would have found its way into the new models largely in the form of build-to-order options, given steep pricing still associated with Blu-ray drives.

Around the same time, others with connections to the Mac maker have shared word that Intel's recently released Core i7 'Clarksfield' quad-core mobile processors may find their way into the new iMac line in some capacity, making the new models the first consumer-oriented Macs with four processing cores.

The chips are available in 1.6GHz and 1.73GHz flavors, in addition to a pricer 2.0GHz variant that Apple would appear less likely to adopt in a consumer Mac given a price tag north of $1000.

Although AppleInsider has been unable to confirm either of these rumors with 100% certainty, it publishes them for the sake of completeness.
post #2 of 250
It's difficult to imagine Apple putting a $500 CPU into an iMac, let alone a $1000 CPU. There are powerful enough CPUs in the $300 to $400 range.
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post #3 of 250
If this true about Apple scrubbing plans to include a Blu-ray option in the upcoming iMac refresh, it'll be really disappointing. Why in the world do you include the capability of burning to Blu-ray in Final Cut Studio if you refuse to offer any way of doing it without resorting to 3rd-party drives? Yes, I understand that FCS is a "pro" app and as such is really meant for the Mac Pro, but Apple doesn't have a Blu-ray option there either. And as far as calling pricing on Blu-ray drives steep, I beg to differ. You can now get the new Pioneer internal Blu-ray burner for $250. That's half of what I paid for a DVD burner when they first came out. Come on Apple and get over this whole Blu-ray issue.
post #4 of 250
Apple is dragging its feet in adopting Blu-ray technology and at this point is far from being innovative. This rumour is truly annoying. Is it that difflicult to provide this as an option?
post #5 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

If this true about Apple scrubbing plans to include a Blu-ray option in the upcoming iMac refresh, it'll be really disappointing. Why in the world do you include the capability of burning to Blu-ray in Final Cut Studio if you refuse to offer any way of doing it without resorting to 3rd-party drives? Yes, I understand that FCS is a "pro" app and as such is really meant for the Mac Pro, but Apple doesn't have a Blu-ray option there either. And as far as calling pricing on Blu-ray drives steep, I beg to differ. You can now get the new Pioneer internal Blu-ray burner for $250. That's half of what I paid for a DVD burner when they first came out. Come on Apple and get over this whole Blu-ray issue.

Not to mention we have iMovieHD and can't burn it's files properly?

You can buy a Blu-ray machine now for $200!
post #6 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

It's difficult to imagine Apple putting a $500 CPU into an iMac, let alone a $1000 CPU. There are powerful enough CPUs in the $300 to $400 range.

These will be for the higher end iMacs.

I'm sure there will be a low end iMac that will keep on using a Core 2 Duo with 9400M chipset.

As for BluRay, BluRay readers with DVD+RW capability might cost more, but they're not that much more. BluRay burners are another thing entirely however.
post #7 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

It's difficult to imagine Apple putting a $500 CPU into an iMac, let alone a $1000 CPU. There are powerful enough CPUs in the $300 to $400 range.

Agreed, not to mention that going from a C2D to an i5 or i7 is a huge jump and could undermine the used Mac Pro market (Quad cores).

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post #8 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Agreed, not to mention that going from a C2D to an i5 or i7 is a huge jump and could undermine the used Mac Pro market (Quad cores).

As if Apple cares about the USED market???
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post #9 of 250
What exactly is so innovative about adding a Blu-ray drive? In the end I welcome a move towards Quad Core processing for the iMac lineup over Blu-ray which is a nice to have but not a must.

The Mac Pro should be the first Mac with Blu-ray IMO and it should be a recorder.
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post #10 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Apple is dragging its feet in adopting Blu-ray technology and at this point is far from being innovative. This rumour is truly annoying. Is it that difflicult to provide this as an option?

My sentiments exactly. I know that OWC sells BR drives that are supposed to work with Macs, but I'm reluctant to purchase a new Mac with the hopes that a 3rd-party BR drive will perform the way an actual Apple-offered option would.
post #11 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

What exactly is so innovative about adding a Blu-ray drive?

The same thing as when the iMac added the DVD drive in 1999- current technology and the ability to watch a Blu-ray on your Mac and directly access its special features via the internet. Even if its just a player- add it already. Apple used to call it the "cool factor" in the iMac line. Remember the "Rebirth of Cool" campaign? That was the addition of DVD.
post #12 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

What exactly is so innovative about adding a Blu-ray drive? In the end I welcome a move towards Quad Core processing for the iMac lineup over Blu-ray which is a nice to have but not a must.

The Mac Pro should be the first Mac with Blu-ray IMO and it should be a recorder.

Like I said, with Blu-ray support (even if it is a bit limited) in FCS7 and Compressor 3.5, a Blu-ray burner option should have been a given for the Mac Pro when the latest Final Cut Studio came out this summer.

Also, it isn't so much that adding a Blu-ray drive would be all that innovative, it was just encouraging to hear that Apple seemed like they were finally going to offer the option.
post #13 of 250
Keynote of Steve jobs next week by october 22, the same day Win7 will be launch
post #14 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Why in the world do you include the capability of burning to Blu-ray in Final Cut Studio if you refuse to offer any way of doing it without resorting to 3rd-party drives?

This. I've been burning Blu-rays on my Mac Pro for a year and a half now using a 3rd party drive and Windows.... WINDOWS!!

I'm looking forward to upgrading to FCS3 and losing the Windows, but this whole Blu-ray ≠ Apple thing has been ridiculous.
post #15 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Apple is dragging its feet in adopting Blu-ray technology and at this point is far from being innovative. This rumour is truly annoying. Is it that difflicult to provide this as an option?

"Either way, it's believed that the technology would have found its way into the new models largely in the form of build-to-order options"

Since when have BTO options been not an option?
post #16 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

The same thing as when the iMac added the DVD drive in 1999- current technology and the ability to watch a Blu-ray on your Mac and directly access its special features via the internet. Even if its just a player- add it already. Apple used to call it the "cool factor" in the iMac line. Remember the "Rebirth of Cool" campaign? That was the addition of DVD.

For me, it's more about content delivery. What better way to deliver HD content than on a Blu-ray disc. Being able to watch Blu-ray movies would only be an added bonus.
post #17 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokken View Post

"Either way, it's believed that the technology would have found its way into the new models largely in the form of build-to-order options"

Since when have BTO options been not an option?

Since when does "would have" mean will?
post #18 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Around the same time, others with connections to the Mac maker have shared word that Intel's recently released Core i7 'Clarksfield' quad-core mobile processors may find their way into the new iMac line in some capacity, making the new models the first consumer-oriented Macs with four processing cores.

The chips are available in 1.6GHz and 1.73GHz flavors, in addition to a pricer 2.0GHz variant that Apple would appear less likely to adopt in a consumer Mac given a price tag north of $1000.

Can I say goodbye to my no quad-core until 2011 pessimistic prediction? I hope so. (At least for the iMac.)

I would expect the 1.6 GHz to replace the current 2.67 GHz, the 1.73 GHz to replace the 2.93 GHz, and the 2.0 GHz to probably replace the 3.07 GHz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

It's difficult to imagine Apple putting a $500 CPU into an iMac, let alone a $1000 CPU. There are powerful enough CPUs in the $300 to $400 range.

The lower two are close in pricing to the Core 2's used in the iMac, assuming Apple is getting them for the price everybody else is.
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post #19 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

If this true about Apple scrubbing plans to include a Blu-ray option in the upcoming iMac refresh, it'll be really disappointing. Why in the world do you include the capability of burning to Blu-ray in Final Cut Studio if you refuse to offer any way of doing it without resorting to 3rd-party drives? Yes, I understand that FCS is a "pro" app and as such is really meant for the Mac Pro, but Apple doesn't have a Blu-ray option there either. And as far as calling pricing on Blu-ray drives steep, I beg to differ. You can now get the new Pioneer internal Blu-ray burner for $250. That's half of what I paid for a DVD burner when they first came out. Come on Apple and get over this whole Blu-ray issue.

I spent less than that on a Blu-ray burner in February. The thin, slot loading drives that are required for most mac products are another story.

If I were to guess, they want to wait until the next Apple TV is ready and the iTunes store is upgraded to 1080p before offering Blu-ray. I doubt that they would want to make Blu-ray appear to be better than their iTunes store offerings. Other than that, there are many other potential hangups. OSX will need an update, so will iTunes, Quicktime, and dvd player. Or of course they could be running into production problems with the hardware.

At some point in the future I expect the following: Blu-ray, 1080p Apple TV and iTunes Store, 720p iPhone/iPod Touch dock (the hardware is capable, and it would provide a mid product cycle boost in sales), and a tablet. Of course timing is everything to Apple, and I think a new Apple TV is almost a requirement before Apple considers any of these other concepts. I see a video centric event coming eventually, and could become an annual thing like the music (iPod) one they have in the fall.
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post #20 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

For me, it's more about content delivery. What better way to deliver HD content than on a Blu-ray disc. Being able to watch Blu-ray movies would only be an added bonus.

True- I was just simplifying. Anything that can be read off that large of a disc would be great.
post #21 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Like I said, with Blu-ray support (even if it is a bit limited) in FCS7 and Compressor 3.5, a Blu-ray burner option should have been a given for the Mac Pro when the latest Final Cut Studio came out this summer.

Also, it isn't so much that adding a Blu-ray drive would be all that innovative, it was just encouraging to hear that Apple seemed like they were finally going to offer the option.

I think that is the kind of his point. If they havent added it to the Mac Pro and havent added support to the OS for AACS to play DRMed Blu-ray media then why should we expect Apple to give the iMac an option. Its not a professional machine and its not their biggest seller. Its a pointless place to start. On top of that, Blu-ray adoption on PCs have shown to been low and Apple has done little to update their consumer and professional apps to utilize these HD optical media formats.

Personally, I dont think theyll add Blu-ray support to 10.6 until they feel that their considerably more convenient, though lower quality attack with digital downloads is secured and even then I dont expect a Blu-ray drive option for most Macs, just the OS level support for playing media with AACS.
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post #22 of 250
A special disc that requires a special player to play digital content is moving backwards not forwards.

I have a Blu-ray player but my ability to record Blu-ray discs don't pay off until almost every household has a player.

I really like solutions like Western Digital's TV Live



I feel these type of devices that are storage device agnostic are better overall solutions. Store your video on a USB Flash drive, HDD disk or whatever and it'll play.
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post #23 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

This. I've been burning Blu-rays on my Mac Pro for a year and a half now using a 3rd party drive and Windows.... WINDOWS!!

I'm looking forward to upgrading to FCS3 and losing the Windows, but this whole Blu-ray ≠ Apple thing has been ridiculous.

Before '05, I used to do all my video work on a Windows machine using Adobe Premiere Pro. As I started to get more serious with my editing, the logical thing (for me) to do was to switch to a Mac and Final Cut. Needless to say, after making the switch and investing the $$$, it is very frustrating for me to know that after all these years, Apple still doesn't have a BR option. I realize I could have done what you did, but I kept waiting for Apple to add the option and it still hasn't materialized. So here we are, a few years have gone by and I'm still waiting.
post #24 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

As if Apple cares about the USED market???

Well, it's to their advantage to undermine it, since it takes revenue away from them -- i.e., undermining it is a good thing from Apple's perspective.

And, I don't really care if BR remains a BoH, but I'd sure like to see the i7s and an iMac that matches the cinema display, from the front at least.
post #25 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

Keynote of Steve jobs next week by october 22, the same day Win7 will be launch

I had originally thought that Apple would have a Mac special event on Tuesday, October 13th, same as last year. But I forgot about the Win7 launch. I wonder if Apple will invite the media on the 22nd and have there event on Tuesday, October 27th. The Mac Pro and Mac Mini have waited longer than this for an update and the MBPs have been updated fairly recently in Apple terms, but the MacBooks and IMacs for the holidays need a refresh. Plus, theyve had a Mac special event for years now. They cant wait too much longer than that. The week before Thanksgiving is the cutoff.

I hope we get a new AppleTV this time around.
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post #26 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

A special disc that requires a special player to play digital content is moving backwards not forwards.

I have a Blu-ray player but my ability to record Blu-ray discs don't pay off until almost every household has a player.

I really like solutions like Western Digital's TV Live



I feel these type of devices that are storage device agnostic are better overall solutions. Store your video on a USB Flash drive, HDD disk or whatever and it'll play.

I tried one of these but at this point, I'm more likely to find a Blu-ray player in a household than one of these WD devices. At $200 for a good Blu-ray player (and many for even less), I don't see why anyone in the market for a new DVD player in this price range doesn't just automatically buy a Blu-ray player.
post #27 of 250
Not every Blu-Ray mechanism will be as thin as the thinnest DVD mechanisms--the ones likely to be needed for the ever-thinner new iMac line.

So I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro gets Blu-Ray first, while the iMacs wait until a mechanism is good enough AND thin enough, at a price Apple thinks makes sense.

Meanwhile, it's still external-only I guess. I do hope my next Mac (probably a Pro?) has Blu-Ray just because I plan on keeping it a while! I don't really feel the need for Blu-Ray, but I want to have it when/if that changes!
post #28 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Either way, it's believed that the technology would have found its way into the new models largely in the form of build-to-order options, given steep pricing still associated with Blu-ray drives.
.

Steep pricing? You are kidding right? Dell charges about $120 to upgrade a DVDR/CDR drive that reads BD discs and about $200 if you want to write to the format as well. That certainly doesn't seem steep to me.

Opps I forgot, Apple pricing. Based on those Dell numbers I am guessing Apple would charge about $300/$500 respectively. OK, I guess that would be a bit pricey.

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post #29 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

It's difficult to imagine Apple putting a $500 CPU into an iMac, let alone a $1000 CPU. There are powerful enough CPUs in the $300 to $400 range.

those are retail prices

apple gets nice volume and wholesale discounts
post #30 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

What exactly is so innovative about adding a Blu-ray drive? In the end I welcome a move towards Quad Core processing for the iMac lineup over Blu-ray which is a nice to have but not a must.

The Mac Pro should be the first Mac with Blu-ray IMO and it should be a recorder.

Nothing now, if they would have done a couple years back, it would have been innovating. Now its just catching up and hopefully keeping the pro users on the Mac.
post #31 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

Steep pricing? You are kidding right? Dell charges about $120 to upgrade a DVDR/CDR drive that reads BD discs and about $200 if you want to write to the format as well. That certainly doesn't seem steep to me.

Opps I forgot, Apple pricing. Based on those Dell numbers I am guessing Apple would charge about $300/$500 respectively. OK, I guess that would be a bit pricey.

-kpluck

Apples notebooks use 9.5mm slot-loading drives. Find the Blu-ray drive option for Dells machines using those size drives. Also notice the drive speeds for that price. Apples iMacs using a 11.7,, slot-loading drives. These are the 20mm tray-loading drives you find in 2 notebooks or the 3 drives you find in desktop towers.
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post #32 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

Opps I forgot, Apple pricing. Based on those Dell numbers I am guessing Apple would charge about $300/$500 respectively. OK, I guess that would be a bit pricey.

-kpluck

You may have a point there. If an off-the-shelf Blu-ray burner runs $200, than the Apple equivalent would probably be $300-$400. Even still, as much as I think that is steep, I'd still get one.
post #33 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple’s notebooks use 9.5mm slot-loading drives. Find the Blu-ray drive option for Dell’s machines using those size drives. Also notice the drive speeds for that price. Apple’s iMacs using a 11.7,, slot-loading drives. These are the 20mm tray-loading drives you find in 2” notebooks or the 3” drives you find in desktop towers.

Actually it is a slot loading drive (just looked it up), although it probably isn't of the 9.5mm variety.

Edit: Build to order doesn't mean that it has to be outrageously overpriced. It just means that it isn't included in the standard configuration. It could be a $200 option for example. Apple just wouldn't want to include it in the standard configuration because that would require them to raise the base price by $200 to keep their margins intact.
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post #34 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Not every Blu-Ray mechanism will be as thin as the thinnest DVD mechanisms--the ones likely to be needed for the ever-thinner new iMac line.

So I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro gets Blu-Ray first, while the iMacs wait until a mechanism is good enough AND thin enough, at a price Apple thinks makes sense.

Meanwhile, it's still external-only I guess. I do hope my next Mac (probably a Pro?) has Blu-Ray just because I plan on keeping it a while! I don't really feel the need for Blu-Ray, but I want to have it when/if that changes!

If it were going to be a part of Apples plan then why not add the OS support, offer Blu-ray a an option in the Mac Pro and let this small group buy 3rd-party external drives to play their movies on their Macs? It if for this reason I think Apples strategy is really to hold off until they can start removing the large, slow, power-hungry optical drive from their systems completely, starting with their notebooks. Still sell the thin slot-loading USB SuperDrive as an accessory, but have the SD card slot as the way to install OS X. If the rest of the Macs get an SD card slot then I think that will be proof of the direction Apple is heading.
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post #35 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Apple is dragging its feet in adopting Blu-ray technology and at this point is far from being innovative. This rumour is truly annoying. Is it that difflicult to provide this as an option?

The innovation is in pushing for and adopting a non-physical digital format. The fact of the matter is Blu-Ray is not selling as well as the industry was hoping for. It is painfully obvious that the industry is trying to push consumers towards the new format when you look at the prices of DVD's... they've gone way up and are approaching the price range of Blu-Ray movies. Sure you can still buy DVD at $9.99 and even older cheap ones at $5.99 in some places, but I've seen DVDs priced from $20 to $25!

And there is nothing innovative about adopting standard, common technology. Innovation comes from pioneering the use of new technology that people actually want and creating a need for it. There is nothing about Blu-Ray that people need or desire when DVDs are good enough for the majority of people.

And I don't believe "Apple is dragging its feet" in adopting Blu-Ray. In fact, Steve Jobs made a firm stance against it last summer/fall (whenever). Apple can look at the effect iTunes has had on physical CD sales and project that to the inevitable outcome of physical movie sales as well. Macintosh users drive innovation in the rest of the industry by adapting to and adopting technologies quicker than other users (consumers). Apple knows this and by excluding the "next greatest physical format" they offer an alternative. The advent of iTunes LP and iTunes Extras is proof that Apple is betting and competing against physical media. I also predict the next version of the AppleTV will not include a physical media drive, but will have an AppStore and allow for third party developers to develop applications for streaming content from other services, NetFlix, Hulu, etc. Furthering Apple's position against both cable operators and physical media.
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post #36 of 250
Why the mobile version of the i7? Why not the desktop version? It's probably much more powerful. Heat?
post #37 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

Why the mobile version of the i7? Why not the desktop version? It's probably much more powerful. Heat?

Yes heat (and power consumption). The iMacs have been using mobile processors ever since they went to this form factor.
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post #38 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If it were going to be a part of Apples plan then why not add the OS support, offer Blu-ray a an option in the Mac Pro and let this small group buy 3rd-party external drives to play their movies on their Macs? It if for this reason I think Apples strategy is really to hold off until they can start removing the large, slow, power-hungry optical drive from their systems completely, starting with their notebooks. Still sell the thin slot-loading USB SuperDrive as an accessory, but have the SD card slot as the way to install OS X. If the rest of the Macs get an SD card slot then I think that will be proof of the direction Apple is heading.

I think I have a better shot at finding a household with a Blu-ray player than one with a device either in or connected to their TV that'll play back HD movies/files. Only thing I have that will do that (beside my computers) is a PS3.
post #39 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

The same thing as when the iMac added the DVD drive in 1999- current technology and the ability to watch a Blu-ray on your Mac and directly access its special features via the internet. Even if its just a player- add it already. Apple used to call it the "cool factor" in the iMac line. Remember the "Rebirth of Cool" campaign? That was the addition of DVD.

The idea of Apple including a read-only Blu-ray drive is preposterous.
I'd love to see a Blu-ray drive, but ONLY one that can burn Blu-ray disks.

Contrary to some people's fantasies, one still needs the ability to burn CDs and DVDs.
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post #40 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If it were going to be a part of Apple’s plan then why not add the OS support, offer Blu-ray a an option in the Mac Pro and let this small group buy 3rd-party external drives to play their movies on their Macs? It if for this reason I think Apple’s strategy is really to hold off until they can start removing the large, slow, power-hungry optical drive from their systems completely, starting with their notebooks. Still sell the thin slot-loading USB SuperDrive as an accessory, but have the SD card slot as the way to install OS X. If the rest of the Macs get an SD card slot then I think that will be proof of the direction Apple is heading.

In a manner of speaking, the OS does support it, just not for viewing Blu-ray movies. Final Cut 7, Compressor 3.5 and Toast 10 all support Blu-ray burning. And it's really not about watching Blu-ray movies on my Mac. I can do that on my flat panel in my living room. It's about burning BR discs either for content delivery or backup/archival purposes. I can get a 15-pack of 25GB blanks from Amazon and back up 100GB of data for $10 that won't be subject to drive failure.
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