Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Apple stirs controversy with iMovie's '08 overhaul

Hailed as a breakthrough in movie editing by Apple chief Steve Jobs, the complete rework of iMovie for iLife '08 has angered some customers who found that many longstanding features had suddenly gone missing.

Text Link Ads

The company's support discussions for its new video editing tool were the home of several vocal debates in the weekend following its launch, with at least a few disappointed customers arguing that they had been misled by an Apple marketing campaign which suggested a direct successor to iMovie HD '06 rather than a from-scratch product with missing features.

"I even bought iLife just to install iMovie 8 next to my versions of Avid and Final Cut Pro," said one user. "I was thinking that for quick cutting of simple projects this would get me there faster than my 'pro' apps. [But] it is a weakling compared to the old iMovie. [There's] no decent audio control, [a] loss of rubber banding, and weak video [effects]."

Users elsewhere have also complained about the lack of chapter markers and exact playhead positioning, the need for a 1.9GHz G5 processor or better just to run the software, and the inability to port over earlier iMovie projects. Apple's release of iMovie HD 6 as a free download for customers of iLife '08 has been seen by many in the discussions as an attempt to placate early adopters who were disappointed by either the feature set or the lack of continuity from earlier versions.

For some, the shift in focus from preparing complex movie projects to simpler titles for YouTube and other websites was enough to suggest that just naming the program iMovie was an error, and that it should have been released as a companion product rather than a direct replacement. "It should have been named iTube or iVideo," one user reported, making allusions to its YouTube upload feature.

The reaction may spell trouble ahead for Apple and its hopes for the editing suite in the short term. The Mac maker declared at its August special event that iMovie '08 was a completely new program inspired by one of its own staffers. The employee had been frustrated by the difficulty in quickly editing footage he had captured during a diving vacation and created a prototype editor himself. This became the foundation for the final program, Apple said, as it potentially signaled a far easier way to assemble final videos than the conventional timeline.

Buy a Mac and get a FREE iPod Nano!

But for those buyers with more advanced needs or who have simply become familiar with the basic concepts behind earlier versions, the new iMovie has so far been interpreted as an experiment that didn't justify the $79 price for an existing user.

"After discovering this was a stripped down version, I fortunately found my other version of iMovie HD and dragged the icon into tool bar," said one complaint. "I feel ripped off and as a recent Apple from PC convert, I'm still not totally sold on Apple products. I'm hoping they'll take this software back and [I] can uninstall the entire iLife '08 software."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Safari for Windows downloads Top 1 million

More than 1 million copies of Apple Inc.'s Safari web browser for Windows were downloaded in its first two days of availability, the company said Thursday.

Text Link Ads

Earlier this week, Apple used its annual developers conference to introduce the Windows browser, a first for the Cupertino-based firm. It touted speed gains in excess of 200 percent when compared to Internet Explorer (IE), the flagship browser of long-time rival Microsoft.

Apple claims Safari 3 is the fastest browser running on Windows, rendering web pages up to twice as fast as IE 7 and up to 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2, based on the industry standard iBench tests.

The software has been available as a pre-release beta for Windows XP and Vista since Monday. Once downloaded, users will receive updates delivered through a Software Update mechanism. Apple issued the first such update on Wednesday, fixing "some early reported bugs."

Safari 3 for Windows requires Windows XP or Windows Vista, a minimum of 256 MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tips on how to prepare for iPhone

In an email to subscribers on Tuesday, Apple Inc. touted its hotly anticipated iPhone, offering prospective customers suggestions on how to best prepare for the device's late-June arrival.

"iPhone arrives on June 29," Apple said. "[It] features an amazing mobile phone, is the best iPod we've ever created, and puts the Internet in your pocket with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching, and maps.

Since iPhone syncs with a PC or Mac just like an iPod, the Cupertino-based company told its customers to behin organizing their content now so they can "start calling, texting, emailing, surfing, listening, and watching even faster" when they get their iPhone.

Apple's suggestions follow:


Making a call with iPhone is as simple as tapping a name. You won't need to re-enter all your contacts because iPhone syncs with the address book you already use on your computer—Address Book or Entourage on a Mac, or Outlook or Outlook Express on a PC. If you keep your contacts on the web using Yahoo! Address Book, iPhone can sync with them, too. To get ready for iPhone, organize your contacts in one of these applications and make sure they're up to date with the latest phone numbers and email addresses. If you don't have contacts on your computer, don't worry. You can still enter them directly into iPhone.


Using its built-in calendar, iPhone lets you check your appointments with the flick of a finger. iPhone uses iTunes to sync with the calendar application you already use on your computer—iCal or Entourage on the Mac, or Outlook on a PC—just like it does with your contacts. If you don't already use one of these applications to manage your appointments, now is a great time to start, so you'll be ready to sync when your iPhone arrives. If you choose not to use a calendar program, that's OK. You'll be able to enter appointments directly into the iPhone calendar.


iPhone is the first phone to come with a desktop-class email application. So now your phone can display rich HTML email with graphics and photos alongside the text. iPhone will even fetch your latest email every time you open the application and automatically retrieve your email on a set schedule, just like a computer does. iPhone works with the most popular email systems—including Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL, and .Mac Mail. If you're not already using one of these services, now would be a great time to get an account. iTunes will make email setup on iPhone a breeze by automatically syncing the settings from email accounts stored in Mail on a Mac or Outlook on a PC. Don't worry if you're not on one of these email services; iPhone also works with almost any industry-standard POP3 and IMAP email system.

Whitesmoke all-in-one solution


iPhone has a 2-megapixel camera and a gorgeous 3.5-inch display, so it's a great way to enjoy and show off your digital photos. iPhone uses iTunes to sync your photos from iPhoto on a Mac or Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Album, or any picture folder on a PC. You can carry thousands of photos on iPhone, but you can start by creating an album or two with 50 to 100 of your favorite photos, so that when you first sync your iPhone, you'll be ready to quickly show off some of your best shots.

Music and Video

iPhone is the best iPod ever. Its beautiful, 3.5-inch widescreen display allows you to easily enjoy the music, TV shows, and movies you have in your iTunes library. If you already use iTunes, you can start getting ready for iPhone by creating a playlist of a few hundred of your favorite songs. If you don't have iTunes, now is a good time to download it and start a music and video library. That way, when you sync your iPhone with iTunes, you'll be able to take your favorite music, as well as a few of your TV shows and movies, with you wherever you go.

iTunes account

To set up your iPhone, you'll need an account with Apple's iTunes Store. If you already have an iTunes account, make sure you know your account name and password. If you don't have an account, you should set one up now to save time later. To set up an account, launch iTunes, select the iTunes Store, and click the Sign In button in the upper right corner of iTunes. Sign in and you're ready to go.