My MacWorld 2 Cents

by Alan Graham

While every pundit is busy making predictions on what we'll see from Apple at MacWorld, I thought I would take a moment to put predictions aside and instead call for improvements I'd like to see.


While I'm sure we'll see some type of update for the iLife suite of products, what is sorely missing is collaborative solutions. It is not uncommon for people to have multiple machines in their homes with multiple accounts on each machine. OS X needs a collaborative database solution so media can be stored in a central repository.

My wife and I use three Macs in our home, including two iBooks and an eMac. The eMac is a web & file server. I'd like to see a feature similar to the new execution of iDisk, where media can be stored on one machine and syncs in the background to client computers. Also, iPhoto's inability to work with multiple libraries (without the use of a third party app) is ridiculous. I've also been playing with a number of iPhoto alternatives recently, and I'm amazed at how much faster these apps are at simply browsing large libraries.


I don't want to watch TV on my Mac, and I don't want Apple to make televisions. But I do want to store media files on my home server. Adding storage to my eMac is easy, and with the DVD burner, archiving would be a snap. I'd love to see an Apple wireless/wired DVR with a free scheduling service provided to .Mac users. A set top box with no internal storage would lower hardware costs, and I could stream video from my eMac to any TV in the house.


Apple needs to find a solution to the problem of getting audio from one location to another. My iTunes library exceeds the storage capacity of any iPod, plus if I take my iPod somewhere, no one else can play music files on the stereo. So far, no one has built a great, affordable solution for streaming audio from a server to a stereo. Plus, I now have a large number of Apple iTunes Music Store files that only play on Apple hardware. And while transmitting audio over FM radio works, it sucks. It's the 21st century, we can do better.


While some are looking for an Apple iPhone, I'd settle for an Apple device that put iChat audio functions into a portable handset/headset in my home. I recently cut the cord from my landline phone company and went wireless, but I'd love to use iChatAV as a replacement for my cordless phone. Having the ability to accept or initiate an audio chat 100ft from my computer would be fantastic.


I'd like to see Apple take a stab at curbing spam through the .Mac service, not just through Mail. This past holiday season, I received several hundred spam emails that slipped through the spam filter in Mail.


I'd love to see Apple release an application that allowed me to track and manage all of my files across multiple locations. As someone who moves from machine to machine, location to location, I'd love to have keyword searching and file syncing between all these machines with a simple keystroke.

What would you like to see?


2004-01-05 19:05:53
Streaming tunes from server
Slim Devices' SliMP3 does it all for me. Maybe $299 isn't "affordable"?


2004-01-06 09:25:21
I'd prefer not to see any ISP censor anything.