Macromedia has released an update for Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio and its Shockwave Player, introducing Mac OS X Player support, anti-aliasing and Windows XP compliance to the product.

The native Mac OS X version of the Shockwave Player will be released later this month. Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio is the authoring software used to create Shockwave content. This update is available now for free download from Macromedia. The update also introduces anti-aliasing support for more "visually rich" 3D-imaging.

Anti-aliasing improves the visual quality of 3D objects by adjusting the pixels to eliminate "jaggies" and soften the contrast between objects for a smoother look. Anti-aliasing support is also included in the new version of the Shockwave Player.

Cornucopia of content Macromedia has a huge resource of Shockwave content available on its Web site.

Scott Kingsley, president of Periscope3, an e-learning provider, said: "With the addition of powerful new anti-aliasing support in Director and a native Shockwave Player for Mac OS X, Macromedia is clearly in touch with the needs of its developers. These powerful new tools are helping us build the most interactive e-learning courseware available."

The company, which released the first major application for Mac OS X – FreeHand – used the announcement as an opportunity to reiterate its support for Mac OS X.

Shockwave Player is installed on 65 per cent of Web desktops. 270 million Players are installed, and the number is rising daily, the company claims.