January 6, 2004
Apple will doubtless sell a boatload of the iPod mini, despite it being only $50 cheaper than the 15Gb version - it's so darned cute. And they've ticked all but one of my 'things I'd really like iMovie to do' boxes, the most important being 'rethink the way clips are trimmed and do it better,' which will make a huge difference to the scope of project it's sane to do before falling back to Final Cut Pro. Very impressive. Then there's Xgrid, not mentioned in Jobs' presentation but the sort of thing that makes the ex-supercomputer researcher in me perk up and take notice. I'll be interested to see where that goes.
Only a few disappointments: no word on the iTunes Music Store for the world beyond the US, bah! No hardware updates beyond the (much-anticipated) Xserve G5 machines, which is a bit of a pity since I'm in the market for a laptop in the near future.
But most bitterly: Douglas Adams isn't around to play with GarageBand. Until people get their mitts on it, it's rather hard to tell, but it looks like it's around the iMovie sort of level, possibly a bit more advanced - so, complex enough to do real work with without losing approachable simplicity. Limited, sure, but Apple's genius with the iLife applications was to realise that, sometimes, if you get the balance right, 'limited' is enough.
One thing, though: what's with the neither Aqua nor Metal 'dark metallic but not quite Final Cut Pro' interface stylee? Did we really need a fourth 'standard' Mac OS X GUI? Harrumph.
[update:] Everybody's favourite shareware author, Brent Simmons, is clearly excited about GarageBand. 'I've waited 20 years for this,' he says. John Gruber, meanwhile, points out that it exemplifies exactly what Apple is all about.