January 11, 2005

Awesome new Apple stuff!

Wow, a slew of new things from Apple today. Where to begin...

Mac Mini. Wow. A super-small Mac at a super-low price; $499 for the low end, $599 for the high end. The 1.42GHz model is 3 times more powerful than my current G4, and considering the fact that I don't need much of the upgradability that a tower offers, the Mini is a very attractive option for a new computer for me.

iLife '05. Apple has upgraded their consumer-friendly software suite across the board, with full-version upgrades of iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, and GarageBand. iTunes got an upgrade too, to work with the...

iPod shuffle. No, it's not a dance step, it's the latest member of the iPod family (which also includes the iPod, iPod U2 Special Edition, iPod Mini, and iPod Photo). This tiny-tiny (less than 1 inch wide, and just barely over 3 inches long!) is the cheapest iPod ever made, at a cost of $99 for the 512 meg model. You use iTunes (of course) to load it up with music, and then you can switch it from ordered playing (to play your playlist as you deemed) to random playing; while that isn't especially astounding, it is a cheap and easy way of adding some additional functionality to a very low-cost item.

iWork. This odd, almost Microsoft Office-competing suite contains two programs: the formerly stand-alone Keynote program, made to compete against Microsoft's PowerPoint, and the poorly-named Pages, which is a new program meant to compete (I guess) against Microsoft Word. Keynote 2 got a significant upgrade, boasting several new and improved features, but since I'm not that familiar with Keynote 1, I couldn't tell you what those are.

Posted by Eric at January 11, 2005 06:07 PM

And slowly, Apple moves in on Microsoft's marketshare.

Posted by: Josh at January 11, 2005 06:39 PM

Yeah, though I wish they would go all-out, rather than this piecemeal approach. So far:

iChat competes with MSN Messenger
Mail competes with Entourage
Keynote competes with PowerPoint
Pages competes with Word
Safari competes with IE (and beats it solidly, on the Mac; IE is dead)
FileMaker competes with Access (FileMaker is owned by Apple)

However, Apple doesn't have anything to compete with Excel, which is an excellent spreadsheet program, and each program has been released with a good deal of space between them (Keynote, half of iWork, was released two years ago).

Apple is also only competing with MS on the software front, which is good, since I doubt Apple could come up with a good Xbox-killer. ;)

Posted by: EVula at January 13, 2005 04:34 PM

Well of course apple is only competing on the software side; microsoft isn't a hardware company

Posted by: GFono at January 13, 2005 08:05 PM

I'm quite happy now that Pages has been released, and would be really pleased if they added spreadsheet and draw applications to take over what's left of the remaining features of AppleWorks, which is showing its age (though I still prefer it to Office).

Posted by: David Arthur at January 15, 2005 03:11 PM

i think that the mac mini sounds cool, but i am not for any music player that only does random, how could you listen to albums? and here is where the rant starts, i have an ipod, the newest release and i love the actual hardware, it is great. the part that i do not like is haveing to use itunes to import my music. i have a windows computer and i do not like windows, but itunes does not inspire me to switch, it is the worst design in any media player out there. i have my music in a folder, i drop all of my files onto the open itunes window, it puts them into it's own folder. close to 15 gigs worth of music was coppied from one location and placed in another. it is terrible. what is wrong with the way that music match works (plays music from its current location). there is no need to go making a backup copy of my music. it is that kind of thing that makes me hate windows and the apple program is worse about it than anything i have ever seen before. meh, maybe i will go to linux.

sorry about the off topic rant, i just needed to get it out.

Posted by: carl? at January 21, 2005 09:21 PM

About the Shuffle: You _can_ set it to play music straight through. If you load an album and don't want it to shuffle, just change the switch, easy as that.

As far as iTunes, if you don't want iTunes to copy the files elsewhere onto your computer, just change the Preferences. On the Mac, if you go to Preferences -> Advanced, you can uncheck the "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to the library" option. I'd imagine that iTunes PC has a similar feature. As for *why* it does that, I'd actually rather have all my music in a single location, rather than have it spread out across my hard drive. Not everyone agrees, though (like yourself), which is why they give you the option.

Posted by: EVula at January 22, 2005 02:37 PM

it is in one place, my place. it makes anther copy of it in its own location (inside mine). thank you for the suggestion though. i think that it worked.

Posted by: carl? at January 23, 2005 01:39 AM

If you want to see what happens when Apple tries to take on the xbox, search google for "the Pippin".
Apple was the first company (I believe) to make a networkable console game... way ahead of its time.

Posted by: Mainstreetufo at January 25, 2005 08:31 PM

Did they ever actually release it or is it some R&D project left to waste away in some Cupertino archive?

Posted by: GFono at January 26, 2005 08:29 PM