Tag Archives: ilife

iMovie '11 Review

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Just like I had done for iPhoto ’11, I’ve recorded a screencast of iMovie ’11. It’s difficult not to like something that’s continually improving and is relatively simple to use. The addition of the audio editing features makes iMovie ’11 worth the upgrade from earlier versions.

iMovie makes it easy to turn your home videos into your all-time favorite films. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll watch them over and over again. And you’ll share them with everyone.

New features include:

  • Movie Trailers
  • Audio Editing
  • One-Step Effects
  • People Finder
  • Sports and News Themes
  • World Premiere

Many people are griping about the Movie Trailers. It’s a kick-ass feature, though. Sure, we will likely see some crap-quality things being uploaded by people who don’t care to learn how to really use this function. However, we will also see some seriously awesome stuff pumped out on YouTube and other platforms.

Being able to edit audio is something we’ve long waited for! Thank god they finally listened, eh?

What are your thoughts on iMove ’11?

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iPhoto 11 Review

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Out of the entire iLife suite, iPhoto is likely the app that’s most frequently used. I’d have to say, these improvements are most welcomed. Then again, when are software improvements admonished? There are several noticable changes, including the Facebook integration:

To share photos to Facebook in the new iPhoto ‘11, users simply highlight the photos, click “Share” at the bottom of the screen, and select Facebook from among other choices including email and Flickr. Users don’t have to create a new album, and can instead choose to post to their wall, the wall of a friend, or make the photo their profile picture.

Printing books and cards has been improved. Books now use better application logic to decide how to lay out pictures, using the key photo from the iPhoto album for the cover and grouping together pictures that were taken at the same time and in the same place.

Apple is also now letting users create letterpress cards. These cards are made using the letterpress printing process which is pretty cool. You can take advantage of several different awesome new themes to create them, or do any number of other things within iPhoto ’11.

What are your favorite new features?

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iWork for the iPad

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I was at a conference a few weeks ago, and realized I hadn’t taken my presentation with me! I had the iPad on the trip, so I purchased Keynote and threw it on there. I created a pretty awesome presentation in just minutes. For my needs, it was more than sufficient. It’s perfect if you need to create presentations and things of that nature on the fly. The software only cost me right around ten dollars, so I was even more happy at how well it worked.

I also ended up picking up Pages. I don’t really like the regular notes application, so I decided to give this a try. Again, this application was only ten bucks. I’m very appreciative of the features that Apple just released. I like being able to turn the iPad into landscape mode instead of portrait and still have Pages work properly. Pages definitely isn’t perfect. If you want my opinion, I think you should likely wait to buy it. There are other document-editing programs out there that you can grab.

Then, I was lucky enough to have Alex donate Numbers to me for the iPad. If you need spreadsheets, I’d say the implementation of Numbers on the iPad is well worth the money it costs. It’s very comprehensive and works really well. They’ve done a very good job with this app to optimize it for the iPad.

If you don’t need the apps, don’t get them. I feel there are much better things available at lower prices. What are your thoughts if you’re using any part of the iWork suite on your iPad?

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What’s Better Than Microsoft PowerPoint?

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Did you ever know how most presentations suck? It’s bad enough that people doing them tend to suck, as well. It’s not their fault, though. Most of the presentation software is just not that good. A good presentation shows pictures, and don’t have much text. The worst ones to watch are where the speaker just reads every word from the slides! They drive me nuts! What do you use to create presentations? Tell me you aren’t using desktop software! Adobe has thrown their hat into the ring. They have a basic, online office suite and a new presentation software!

Acrobat Presentations is excellent. You have tons of options. Best of all, of course, is the ability using an online platform gives you to easily collaborate with others. When you create a presentation with desktop software, it’s very difficult to allow multiple people to work together on it. Using Presentations, it’s a simple process.

Presentations is a better way to create, edit, and share presentations with others online. Built on the Adobe Flash platform, Presentations looks and behaves like a desktop presentation application – but operates inside a web browser.

It’s free, and cross-platform. There’s no reason to not try it!

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What’s New in iLife ’09 (iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, GarageBand)?

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I am taking a look at the new iLife ’09 for Mac OS X. As of the day I installed this, January 26th, it wasn’t available to the public yet. Due to a misprint in a BestBuy ad, Danny was able to purchase his copy early. Taking a look at it, I’m already liking what I see. The four components of iLife are:

  • iPhoto – Organize photos two new ways: Faces, based on who’s in your photos, and Places, based on where your photos were taken. Then share on Facebook or Flickr with a click.
  • iMovie – Make a great movie in the time you have. Choose a dynamic theme to enhance your movie in seconds. Or refine every shot with the Precision Editor.
  • GarageBand – Learn to play piano and guitar. Learn songs from the artists who made them famous. Rock like a legend with new guitar amps and stompbox effects.
  • iWeb – Design a website to share your photos, movies, and music just by dragging and dropping. Add new dynamic widgets and publish and share with a click.

Danny says that he’s noticed no speed improvements, but has definitely gotten excellent functionality improvements. He says that it is definitely well worth the amount of money it cost to buy the software.

I’m big into shooting live-to-tape, via Ustream. However, after watching Danny play around in iMovie, I’m willing to give it another try. He loves iPhoto just as much, especially the capability to publish immediately to Facebook or Twitter. iPhoto also lets you organize your photos in ways you may not have even thought of before.

The new version of GarageBand allows you to “take lessons” from beginning to expert level. There are new guitar features, and full-screen capability!! Assign instruments and styles to your guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboard player. Shuffle instruments randomly to instantly hear a new sound from your backing band. Create a custom mix using volume sliders or by muting and soloing any instrument.

And then we come to iWeb. iWeb makes it simple to design your own website… a task that is difficult for many people. Start by picking an Apple-designed theme. Each theme comes with coordinated fonts, backgrounds, and colors to give your site a consistent look throughout. Next, choose your template, and customize it using the tools integrated in iWeb.

I’m definitely getting my copy this week and getting it installed… are you?

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Music Fun with Apple iLife GarageBand

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Even though I’m not a musician by any stretch of the imagination, I can now create cool music very easily with this program. Hmm… maybe time to create my own “giveaway theme song”?

I hadn’t really checked out the Garage Band part of iLife ’08 until I opened it the other night to record a voice over for a project I’m working on. I noticed there is a new button called “Magic Garage Band”. Magic? I had to check it out.

Clicking on that button takes you to a “stage”, where you can choose your favorite genre of music, from rock to blues. Once you do that, the curtains open, and you can select each individual instrument and edit the type, style, sound, etc. The neatest thing is that you can change these during the preview, and instantly hear your changes. There’s the guitars, drums, and even keyboards!

Once you think you’re satisfied with your music, click the “Creating project” button. From there, you can edit your project in numerous ways.

This is just too awesome, and I could get lost in it for hours at a time!

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iThink iStill iLike iThem

So, I dug a little deeper into iWork yesterday – discovering more things I liked (and didn’t like). I’m still overwhelmingly impressed with the suite. Michael Markman made note and cared to clarify a few points that I didn’t necessarily make in my video review last week:

1. iWork ’08. Numbers is a totally new app in this edition. Not an upgrade to a previous version. This product started as Keynote. Then, with the addition of Pages, they called the bundle iWork. (but that was just the two apps for two versions ’05, ’06); iWork ’08 is the first time the suite has all of the big three productivity apps. Curiously, the pricing remained the same for the one-app version, the two-app version, and the three-app version. It’s always been $79.

BTW: cool, little-known tip: you can use the Apple remote to advance slides when you’re in Keynote slideshow mode.

Pages now has two modes (writing and layout), where the original version had only the layout mode. A lot of people passed it by because they wanted a simple word processor. For anyone trying to compare Pages to previous word processors (e.g. MS Word), the total orientation to layout seemed like excess baggage. If you were adept at Keynote, the layout U-I of Pages is an easy shift. but if you expected a word processor, the Pages metaphors seemed disorienting. The new version is meant to correct that with a mode that works the way traditional word processors work.

2. iLife ’08. Worth mentioning that this is bundled with Macs. ($79 for the upgrade). iMovie ’08 is controversial. It’s a five steps forward five steps back deal. See Pogue’s blog for deets. (Apple makes the previous version–iMovie HD–available as a download to people who get iMovie ’08). There was no ’07 version of either bundle.

I, too, was baffled with the new iMovie – having noted that the iLife ’08 installation already made a backup of the “classic” iMovie in a separate folder in an earlier video. The YouTube integration was relatively seamless, although the speed (rendering and upload time) was anything but impressive:

iWork and iLife 08

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Ponzi and I review the iWork and iLife 08 applications. iLife is a full on management system for your digital lifestyle, while iWork is geared towards graphical presentations

iWork is an amazingly well put together program for Mac. The Numbers program within iWork is a spreadsheet program similar to Microsoft Excel. However, Numbers is geared toward presenting your information using graphs, charts and tables, instead of just the actual… well, numbers. Pages is the word document program, and it also emphasizes design and layout. I can’t say enough positive things about the Keynote portion of this application. Keynote is very similar to Microsoft Powerpoint. However, Keynote is just much crisper and cleaner. You can move between slides with more finesse, and they simply look better.

iLife is used to help you with your home computing. There is a feature called Garage Band. This makes it insanely simple for you to podcast. All you have to do is click a button, record, and upload. Everything is loaded and done for you. It can’t get any easier than that. There are also components in iLife to help you organize and use your videos, photographs and anything else you would need to manipulate, edit or share.

iWork and iLife are very good alternatives to their Microsoft counterparts. They are less expensive, provide more functionality, and actually just work better. In my opinion, these two programs will sell more Macs.

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Steve Jobs Thinks iPhoto is Web 2.0?! Idiot…

Okay, I have copies of both iLife ’08 and iWork ’08 installed (thanks to Lordkat for picking them up so that we’d be ready for their usage at Gnomedex in a few days). They seem to be solid updates all around, but… I’m still a bit baffled as to how Jobs could’ve bungled the new iPhoto unveiling. Let’s see if you can point out the problem in the following Engadget transcription:

10:30AM: “When you get your hands on this, you’ll think it’s great. We’re all familiar with .Mac. It’s our internet subscription service. We’re pleased to announce we have over 1.7M .Mac subscribers, we’re going to see it grow even faster after today. Marry .Mac and iPhoto. Announcing .Mac Web Gallery. Works hand in glove with iPhoto ’08. What does it do? Has one button photo sharing. integrated into iPhoto ’08. Makes web gallery, uploads automatically. Users get rich Web 2.0 experience [Did Steve really just say “Web 2.0”?]. You can see photos in gallary, mosaic. can see in any browser you’d like. Now people that view photos, if you let them, can download print quality downloads. Users can contribute photos from anywhere. You publish on .Mac, someone is on a PC, there is special email address they can get from the web gallery, and they will appear on your web gallery. Photos will sync to your iPhoto library, too.

Really, iPhoto is Web 2.0? You can upload the photos to Flickr or any other photo service? There’s finally an API? There’s a way to escape the .Mac silo? There’s… no way I’m swallowing that load of malarkey, Apple. If you’re gonna call something “Web 2.0,” at least understand what people expect that experience to be. iPhoto is as much “Web 2.0” as my dad is the emperor of China.

Fancier graphics and mirror effects are nothing more than… fancier graphics and mirror effects. This is the same ol’ Apple apps that were designed to work with the same ol’ Apple services (albeit, now with more storage availability). .Mac is still largely a waste o’ your money. If there is such a thing, Web 2.0 app integrates with services beyond its own (and its own product family). iPhoto is merely making it easier and more beautiful for its own users – not for those of us who use Flickr. Sorry.

Oh, I’m sorry… it’s not iPhoto that’s allegedly “Web 2.0,” it’s the .Mac Web Galleries… which are still only accessible through a .Mac subscription and an application that doesn’t seem to interoperate with any other service but Apple’s. Maybe I’m mistaken – maybe .Mac has integration with third-party APIs that I’m not seeing anywhere? My point is that Apple isn’t half as open as people think it is. I’m not arguing the simplicity, but I am arguing that a one-way street is not what people keep telling me this damn “Web 2.0” is.

Why should a user with a photo storage account somewhere else have to upload or reupload those photos? Why should they be left to discover a random plugin (hack?) to get it to work with their existing services? I have the exact same problem with Windows Movie Maker, mind you… but they also left it open-ended for vendors (like Blip.tv) to give their users an easier way of getting their data from a machine to their service. The onus is not on the user, it’s on the gateway and the developer.

Here’s the post-mortem.