News Archive for: Thursday Aug 9, 2007 (Later added items first)
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Apple releases MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1
" MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1
This update provides important bug fixes and improves stability with Motion 2 and Motion 3. It is recommended for all 2.2/2.4GHz MacBook Pro models."

The previous 1.0 release had some problems with Motion. (Ref: Motion unexpectedly quits after MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0.)

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Review/tests of new iMac 20in/2.4GHz, more 20in Display complaints
Cnet has posted a review (w/video) of the new iMac 20in/2.4GHz model that includes apps/benchmark/game test results vs. PCs. They gave it an "Editors' Choice" award, although the gaming performance wasn't stellar (the Radeon HD series graphics have had disappointing results in PC site performance tests also) and the noted the system got very hot to the touch even after only a few minutes of use.
BTW - I had another new 20in iMac owner write saying he was disappointed in the quality of the display. Yesterday's post was on display viewing angles (updated to include specs on new vs late-2006 models), but the latest mail (20in/2.4GHz) commented on general image quality issues (washed out sections, etc.) and was trying a recalibration but said he's taking it back to an apple store to have them look at it. He also included a link to an Apple forum thread from another 20in iMac owner complaining about the display. These initial complaints makes me wonder if there's more than one mfr of the panel and perhaps there's a sub-par batch out there. (BTW - page 3 of the iMac take-apart linked in a post below notes an LG/Phillips LCD panel was used in that sample.)
Update - late Thursday I had another new 20in iMac owner (who had just returned a mid-2006 model for the new 2007 model) write complaining about the vertical viewing angle (as well as washed out/too bright display - but I asked if he'd tried a recal and checking/changing the gamma setting). I asked again if the viewing angle was anywhere near what Apple's specs show. (Doesn't sound like it.)
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More on iMovie 08, Free download of iMovie 6/HD (for iLife 08 owners)
(Updated again at 8:15PM) Followup to a post in yesterday's news from Paul (and apple forum posts) complaining of missing features in iMovie 08 vs earlier versions.

" I think the problem is that Apple named this iMovie 08. It should have been named something else. Honestly I love what they did with iMovie 08. iMovie HD was already getting to be too complex for its purpose of anyone being able to make a movie. I opted for FCE myself because I felt iMovie was too limiting even with all the plugins. Too limiting and getting too complex: not a good thing for iMovie.
The new iMovie means I'll now probably use iMovie 08 for a lot of home movie stuff and FCE for the more hobby movies I make. I think its perfect, even though it does displace a lot of people who depended on iMovie (previously).
Alex K. - President and Founder
Web Information Solutions, Inc. - Microsoft Certified Partner"

Earlier replies follow, which have been updated:

" Subject: iMovie 08 actually does have many of the missing features.
You can so have multiple audio tracks. You just add them differently than you used to.
(See Paul's reply below - "You can layer sounds on top of each other but not edit it in any real way.")

(Re: Missing Timeline) You can so edit frame by frame, you just get there differently than you used to.

(What about Paul's other comments on missing features like Themes? Video FX?-Mike)
Themes are gone (but are still available in iDVD). Different FX than before. If you import an iMovie HD project the clips all come in but the FX all have to be redone. The new iMovie is a whole different program than it used to be. That is why they changed the Dock icon.

The idea behind the new one was to be able to quickly (in under 30 minutes) create and edit a short movie from scratch and offer optimized support for current generation cameras and computer hardware.
(Previous iMovie versions were easy to use by 'Novices' also - in fact that was its biggest attraction. Code changes/optimizations and even a new interface does not mean you have to lose previous features/capabilities. Users expect a new version means not just more/new features but not losing any they already had.
However a friend that never used iMovie before told me today he wants to buy iLife 08 after seeing Jobs demo iMovie and iPhoto 08 during the Special Event keynote.-Mike
)

The learning curve looks to be pretty short (except for intense iMovie HD mavins where all the old workflows and keyboard shortcuts don't match the new ones. Again, it is a new from the ground up replacement - not a new version).
(New isn't always better. And keeping repeat customers happy is an important goal that often seems to get lost in the shuffle to get something 'new' out the door.-Mike)

The main thing is that the whole program has been rewritten to take full advantage of MacIntel hardware, so on a newish Mac you will be most happy. The newer your video camera and the newer your Mac, the more you will love iMovie 08. If you have a solid state memory camera you can even preview the clips BEFORE you import them and just import the ones you really want to use. Sure wish iPhoto did that!
-Joe S. "

Clearly a lot of buyers preferred the previous version and called iMovie 08 a 'downgrade'. It's human nature to expect the next "version" to not be missing anything from the previous one. But maybe opinions will change as they become more familiar with it. The upside is that iLife 08 owners that didn't buy iLife 06 previously can also get iMovie HD6 for free. I asked Paul (in yesterday's news) if there was any preference setting to enable a more 'expert' mode and if iMovie 08 Help has any info on the 'missing features' - he said (quote) "Nothing, unfortunately. There is an advanced mode but it doesn't add much. Very disappointing release." But today I asked he check again in reply to Joe's comments:

"You can layer sounds on top of each other but not edit it in any real way. I have found no way to enable the missing features. Since I wrote you there have been hundreds of posts on different sites lamenting the loss of things, some of which I didn't even know, like lack of iDVD integration, no more plugins, no more music over black, etc.
Yesterday evening, in fact, apple began offering iMovie hd 06 as a free download to iLife 08 owners. (see link below - some claim it's primarily for buyers that don't meet the iMovie 08 CPU requirements.-Mike) So, even apple has admitted people want the old version back.
-Paul "

I can already imagine a web article in rebuttal "the MYTH of iMovie 8 Missing Features". (i.e. There are never any mistakes/omissions, etc. in the mothership's products - any complaints are just ignorance of course!)
BTW - The iMovie 08 discussion forum has some new threads since yesterday, including some opposing views on it in replies down a thread titled "iMovie 08 ROCKS - Here's the workflow it enables for me!".
Earlier mail with download link for iMovie HD6:

" I don't have time to setup an account at Apple to join the discussion of iLife. But, I just wanted to give a quick observation. I keep hearing that iMovie 6 is being left on the HD because Apple is aware of how crappy the new iMovie is. It seems to me that there may be another reason:
If iMovie 06 was replaced (like all the other iLife programs), then the entire iLife 08 suite would be for G5 or newer computers only. Because iMovie is left in place, now Apple can set the minimum requirement for iLife at G4 or better. Thus, Apple can sell more copies of iLife 08. Also, people with older computers can enjoy the other new programs in iLife 08. Being the owner of a G4, I thank Apple for this. (I agree with that logic but if that had been part of the original plan (and the only reason), why not include it on the iLife 08 DVD? (assuming there's space). I mentioned yesterday that the iLife 08 system requirements notes iMovie 08 requires a (1.9GHz or faster) G5 or Intel-CPU Mac per Apple, although a reader said the installer worked on a 1.8GHz G5, but attempts on a 1.25GHz G4 PB said it needed a 1.9GHz G5 or Intel CPU Mac.-Mike)

Apple is now offering iMovie 06 (154.6MB) as a free download:
http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/imovieHD6.html
Regards, Jason K. "

The linked page notes this is for people that bought/installed iLife 08 - the download will not install on a system that does not already have iLife 08 on it. (Not tried editing any installer checks though..)
Update - a reader sent a link to an Apple forum thread on using Pacifist to install it on non-iLife 08 systems. He also said the download version is 6.0.4.

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New iMac Disassembled
"Hi Mike, Key word is "Aluminum and Glass".
Enjoy it.
New (20in) iMac Disassembled
Best, Mitsunobu KODAWARISN"

Page 3 of the gallery notes an LG/Philips (LM201WE3) LCD panel was in that 20in iMac sample. I asked him if there were any complaints on the viewing angle, image quality, uniform brightness, etc. (Just curious after some reader complaints from new 20in owners - wondering if there's more than one mfr apple uses for the 20in panel, or if some are just sub-par.)

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First Feedback on Mac Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.1
Anyone else notice any changes in fan behavior after yesterday's Mac Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.1? (it was said to "adjust fan behavior" but no specifics)

" I would like to inform you that I've seen some fan relatetd problems after I installed the new SMC Firmware Update 1.1 on my Mac Pro (2.66GHz, 3 GB RAM, Radeon X1900 XT, 500GB Samsung HD and 160GB Western Digital HD).
All went well after I installed the Update for a while. But then the Mac Pro goes into sleep mode, as I wake it up the fans from the Mac Pro (not from the Radeon Card) start to spin faster and faster. After a minute (or so) they spin down to their normal behavior. Did anybody else report this problem, if it is a problem??
Greetings, Sebastian C.
(from Germany) "

I asked if this was repeatable and he said yes (but later mentioned an appx 50 sec time period). It may be just the fans running in fail-safe mode until the OS's fan/thermal control takes over again after waking - but that shouldn't take a minute or more unless there's something else (addons) delaying the OS fully waking up and regaining fan control.
I welcome feedback on this update.
Note: As of appx 1PM eastern several Mac Pro owners wrote they've not noticed any change in fan behavior after the update even in heavy use. The fans do increase in speed for a short time on wake but not for any extended period of time. Two Mac Pro owners even said they installed it from a Boot RAID drive. I asked they check to confirm the SMC Version was shown as updated (as normally firmware updates will not install from a RAID drive as Apple mentions in the doc) - they replied ASP shows the new firmware version.

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Other News, Updated Apple Support Docs
Updated 8:30PM Eastern (includes recently upated apple support docs)

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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