New iApps: First Contact

Incredibly, I received my upgrades today! The wonders of modern commerce…

In the meantime, I went online and viewed the excellent iLife ’08 overview video and several of the tutorials on Apple.com—well worth the time. The new features really are astounding, especially the new iMovie which will make it so much simpler to edit movies quickly. Maybe I’ll finally get around to doing my Japan videos…

The features are pretty awesome, but not without their lumps:

  • The new iPhoto is cool, but disorienting when you first convert your library. All my film rolls disappeared to be replaced by the new Events. Suddenly, nothing was where I left it, though I didn’t lose anything. The albums all seem the same.
  • I really like the idea of the online .mac galleries, but I’m not sure when to use them vs. regular photo pages in iWeb (but see below). The galleries seem pretty mysterious still, they’re not as flexible as I wish they were, I seem to be having some trouble uploading & syncing them and I’m not sure how much space they consume on my iDisk. I suppose I’ll get it sorted…
  • Magic Garage Band is so much fun! You basically choose a music genre, click to create a song and audition the various instruments at will in real time as the song plays. I may have a lot of fun building movie soundtracks!
  • iWeb—some cool stuff, but has caused me a lot of grief. The first thing is that after converting, all my photo albums were destroyed! There’s a new kind of “My Albums” index page—which is really neat, but I think may be why everything got messed up. In trying to rebuild the pages, they are not working either. This is causing me a great deal of consternation. I’m even having to go back to find a backup of my domain file to try again. I really do like the ability to change themes on existing web pages, but it’s inconsistent and involves quite a bit of rework because the various page parts don’t always directly correlate to the other templates. The web widgets & snippets seem like a good idea, but I can’t even get a simple Google Map widget to work right (I can’t seem to get a selected address to stay in the widget). This may be a case of having to start anew from scratch, which is a truly onerous prospect.

Sigh.

I suppose—just like everything—even Apple software has its bugs and teething pains, but this is a little higher level of that than I’m used to. Hopefully I’ll get things worked out.

I haven’t played around much with iWork ’08 yet, but Numbers seems to be able to read my existing Excel spreadsheets with no problems, so that’s cool. Maybe I can indeed have my Macs become “Microsoft Free Zones”!

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