Live from Macworld

I just finished filing my coverage of the Macworld keynote for The Seattle Times and am still fresh with...lack of inspiration. The keynote by Steve Jobs wasn't its usual burst of surprises and excitement, but a much more focused and niche set of announcements that won't affect all users in the same way.They've solved the iPhoto slowdown problem, which makes the program practically unusable with more than a few hundred photos on most machines. You can now create 2-hour movies with iDVD on a single disc with better encoding even, which is great, and you can archive projects on a non-DVD-writing machine to dump off on another, great for schools and groups of all kinds. The new GarageBand instrument/music software is cool, but how many people who aren't serious musicians (amateur or otherwise) will even touch this? Unknown. I'm inspired, but I don't have musical talent, so how will having software make it better? Reminds me of early desktop publishing: here's a bunch of fonts and a page and we know you'll make it beautiful. The high-end improvements are pretty slick, even though most people won't care much. The Xserve is now G5-based (which cuts the price on the Xserve that I need to sell! But I expected that), at the same problem as the previous G4 units. Apple made Xgrid, a cluster-computing programming framework, available, and a 3.5 Tb (terabyte!) RAID rack-mounted system. The new iPod doesn't make sense to me. For $50 more, you can get 11 Gb more. So why buy a 4 Gb iPod that's only slightly smaller? I don't get it. Something feels like it slipped a gear on price.