All Play and No Work

Apple iLifeHere are my quick thoughts on some of Apple’s announcements from yesterday’s Macworld Expo. Nearly everyone with whom I’ve discussed the new, slick and inevitable iPod mini feels that it’s over-priced at US$249, and I agree. I think the consensus was hoping for something in the US$150 range, but heck, they could have priced it at US$200 and everyone would’ve been happy. There’s something psychologically forbidding about that extra fifty dollars, but it’s just like Apple to hit a home run like this and twist its own ankle while rounding the bases.

I’m not sure I would bother with GarageBand, the new addition to Apple᾿s increasingly robust iLife suite, but I am going to buy the bundle anyway just to get a copy of the latest iPhoto revision. It’s worth the price of admission alone to me to get a version of this digital photography management software that will allow me to browse through my image libraries at something approaching fast, so getting an integrated music composition program — based on Emagic software and made over with Apple user interface goodies, to boot — makes it a bargain. This is an unqualified success.

Finally, it may have been aimless daydreaming, but I’m a bit disappointed that Apple didn’t unveil some kind of an office productivity suite yesterday, perhaps developed stealthily over the past year or two. While I’m looking forward to the upcoming Microsoft Office 2004 for Macintosh, the lack of details thus far gives it the suspicious air of vaporware to me. Even if it did ship today, it would be wonderful to have Keynote and FileMaker Pro bundled with a Cocoa-authored word processing program and a spreadsheet program — all with the level of integration of iLife and blessed with Apple’s famous fit and finish interfaces. Definitely a daydream…



  1. I agree, I agree, I agree. Not sure how many Australian dollars one would have to fork out for an iPod Mini (they’re basically still in the habit of doubling the US dollar price, despite the massive gains the AUD has made against the USD) – but $500 or even $400 is sounding like too much to me.

    And I really, REALLY hoped for an Apple word-processor. I guess there’s AppleWorks… but it feels ancient and tired. I want something NEW, without the bloat and bugs of MS Office. Oh well. There’s always the developer’s conference….

  2. The nay-sayers complained the original iPod was overpriced as well, and therefore would not likely attract consumers. History has shown otherwise, and “iPod” has become as big a brand as “Mac”.

    If you compare the iPod mini with comparable mp3 players, it’s easily the best price/interface/capacity/integrated player out there.

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