new iSuite -- A winner

I've had the new iWork and iLife for a few days and so far I have to say, they are a winner.

Specifically the new iMovie is stunning -- I took about two hours of footage that has been sitting around and in literally 20 minutes I had it worked down to a 5 minute video with nice titles & transitions. 5 more minutes and it's up on youtube.

To be sure I could still 'tighten it up' and the camera work is clearly amateur but I finally have a hope of actually doing something with the video (and honestly, when you use the new iMovie to upload to youtube the quality on youtube is much, much better)

I love the new events feature in iPhoto -- very slick. I have 22K photo's and it's always been pretty painful to navigate in iPhoto. the new skimming in 'events' really works well. I also appreciate the borders you can put on prints (sometimes handy) and the new keyword (tags) system seems much improved.

I haven't tried the new garage band or iDvd though.

Now on to iWork.

With the new pages I see only one reason to buy microsoft word. If you are in a corporate envioronment that requires it (even if you are the importer and exporter seem pretty solid). The new pages having two modes (page layout or document) really make it all the word processor you need (as far as I am concerned)

Keynote has always been better than powerpoint and continues to be so -- very slick.

And finally numbers. I have a special thing about spreadsheets -- in my day job I use them all the time but in my 'night' job much less so. I'm very impressed with Numbers, the layout features are amazing and having multiple sheets on a canvas is very nice.

Having said that I found it a tad pokey on what I think is a reasonable current machine (24" iMac, 2.16GHz core2, 2GB of ram). Also they are missing some features that I tend to use a lot (pivot tables) and finally excel exported spreadsheets don't seem to upload to google docs (but perhaps that's a google problem) -- it's a very nice 1.0 effort and very usable but it's still clearly a 1.0 product (and won't displace excel anytime soon in my opinion) however for most folks it's plenty.

Finally .mac -- As some of you may know I cam to the mac platform about 3 years ago having never used a mac (always a PC user) -- I've never, ever, used .mac and honestly didn't feel the need to but I broke down and purchased it yesterday (it arrives on Friday). The reason?

  1. Syncing. I have a desktop and portable and I've never been happy with the syncing solutions available -- I hope this fixes it (from what I hear it will)
  2. Movie and Photo sharing. Yes I hav youtube, Yes I have flickr but the integration into .mac seems really tight. PLUS I love the idea of automatically uploading multiple size movies from within iMovie.
  3. Backup -- I know, I'll be hearing howls of pain but honestly I have pretty simple backup needs (for the most part) There is probably 2GB of stuff that if I lost would really really hurt -- stuff I change a lot that I need to have backed up. the 10GB gives me enough room to keep this super critical stuff backed up. I have another 30GB of stuff (mostly photos) that I also want but I have a system for that and it doesn't change as often as the critical 2GB
  4. Web Galleries from my iPhone -- Yes this was what put me over the edge.
So we'll see -- it's $80 at Amazon so the investment isn't huge.
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