Apple is Making Me iHappy!
by Micah Walter
Do you ever feel like technology is just running away from you? With the release of iLife and iWork '08 I have to say, I am a little overwhelmed! Before Aperture I had never been a big fan of iPhoto. I mean, don't get me wrong, I thought it was a fine program, and I used to recommend it to many of my students and friends who I thought would benefit from something simple while they were getting into photography for the first time. It is also really a perfect application for the casual point and shooter, but for a pro, it was really lacking in certain areas. So, admittedly I never gave it much chance.
I have used iPhoto on a number of occasions to create slideshows due to it's nice automatic Ken Burns effects, and ease of use, but that has been about the extent of my iPhoto use, and since Aperture 1.5 came out and allowed me to see my Aperture library right within iPhoto, slideshows have been really the only function I have utilized.
However, now that iLife '08 is available, I am pretty excited about revisiting iPhoto. It looks like they have done some really great things in terms of organization and the user interface. In fact, it looks like a really fun program to use.
As I am writing this post, I have yet to receive my copy of iLife '08. So far all I have been able to do is watch a few of the demo videos on Apple's website and speculate as to how iPhoto will behave. I have heard a few good things from a few reliable sources, and based on the fact that there was an Aperture update (version 1.5.4 is now available via Software Update) that is necessary for integration with iLife and iWork '08 I can sort of speculate that Aperture users may see some added benefits.
One of my favorite things about the Mac has always been the ease of which applications have been able to interact. So, I am always happy to see these types of things grow. Maybe I can use iPhoto to create a beautiful large sized calendar by drawing from my Aperture preview images, or a really slick keepsake book (I really dig the new dust covers). I simply can't wait any longer!
On August 7th Apple announced so many new products and upgrades that I found myself wondering what to do next. I love trying out their new stuff. I will be the first to admit it. I am a gear junkie, and that is not limited to cameras! iMovie looks simply amazing and makes me want to cease my continued efforts to learn more about Final Cut Pro. It just looks like so much more fun! And, they finally, finally added a way to catalog your movie clips! I think that users who shoot with point and shoot cameras will find this really appealing. We have a Canon SD800 IS which shoots really nice video, and every time we import our images into Aperture we get asked where we would like to dump off the Movies. Of course they go into a folder somewhere in the Movies folder, but that is usually the end of our organization efforts. So, with iMovie, we will finally be able to keep tabs on all those precious little movie clips.
I am pretty iHappy with all of Apple applications right now. They seem to be growing by leaps and bounds. If Aperture continues to grow at this same relative pace, I think we will really be doing well.
One of the things that scares me sometimes though is how quickly I can learn all these new applications. Especially on the pro level. It seems sometimes that just as I figure out how to do one thing, a new application or an upgrade comes out and I either have to learn how to do it all over again, or simply, learn more and more. When will it stop?!
Are these constant improvements making our lives easier? I think so. I know it is a pain to have to learn new software. Sometimes you even have to rethink the way you do things all together in order to adopt the latest and greatest tools. I mean, when Aperture first came out this was certainly the case.
But to me, this is what I find so exciting about technology and especially about digital imaging. Our lives are changing dramatically based on our inventions. We have to keep up with everything or fear the possibility of becoming obsolete in the job market. This can be really scary to some, but for me it is just part of life, and actually, quite exciting.
From what I can tell, Apple has done a superb job with the new iLife and iWork suites. iMove and iPhoto looks like solid upgrades and for the amount of money they are asking, I think you really can't go wrong. Will I use them all the time? Will I stop using Aperture? I seriously doubt it. But, maybe now I will have just that extra little piece of help that I need to get my vision realized. Maybe, just maybe, these new apps will come in handy when I need a quick solution to a problem. And, more importantly, maybe, just maybe, I will find some free time, open up a new iLife app, and just have some fun!
|I just recorded a podcast with Joe Schorr where we show off some of the great tools in the new iLife '08 suite. One of the things that dawned on me is that now, thanks to the improved iLife Media Browser that shows your Aperture Library in its proper order, is that iLife and even iWork are like killer plug-ins for Aperture extending its functionality. Wait until you hear Joe talk about the slideshow capabilities of the new iMovie. I'll make sure I get this show posted next week.|
I've just received our copies of iLife and iWork today. I downloaded the trial version of iWork the other day when it became available and proceeded to delete Excel which was the last Microsoft app on my machine.
|thanx to the new storage capacity on my .mac account, I intend to keep the "domain" file that iweb creates on my idisk at all times so I can update my website from any of my macs, including my macbook, anytime, anywhere!|