Archive for September, 2006

Showtime!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Unlike the recent WWDC which left me somewhat underwhelmed, I must say I’m pretty excited by Steve’s recent announcements. In particular:

iPod Gapless Playback

This might be what finally persuades me to buy an iPod. Even my old linux player could do gapless playback – it always amazes me that iTunes or iPod can’t do this. If it can do it in iTunes as well now, then I’ll be very happy :)

Cheaper iPod

Never a bad thing! Time to start saving my pennies… :)

Tiny iPod Shuffle

Not that I’d probably buy a Shuffle, but look at it – it’s sooo cute!

640×480 TV Shows on iTunes

I almost bought a season of “Lost” on iTunes the other month as it’s cheaper than the DVDs, but the 320×240 res put me off. No excuse now! :)

Movies on iTunes

If they pull this one off and get a lot more movies on-board, and also get pay-per-view sorted (and bring it to iTunes Australia!), then I’m sold.

We don’t have a TV so we watch all our DVDs on the iMac in the living room. Currently, living in Australia, and thanks to the iMac’s non-region-free DVD drive, I can only watch my UK Region 2 DVDs on the iMac, which means I can’t buy or rent Aussie Region 4 discs (which sucks!). As nearly all our DVDs are Region 2 then we just buy new DVDs off Amazon.co.uk. However this is expensive and also means we can’t rent DVDs. If we can buy cheap movies, or rent them, off iTunes then that will conveniently bypass this stupid region crap once and for all! Yay!

Things I personally wasn’t so taken with:

Downloading existing album cover art via iTunes

I don’t particularly want Apple knowing about my entire music collection for marketing purposes, so I won’t be sending all my track listings to get the cover art, thank you very much. Besides I’ve already grabbed or scanned the cover art for most of my collection.

CoverFlow

Meh, I already use it. Still, it’s nice to have it integrated into iTunes.

iTV

It’s a great idea and essential for the whole Apple end-to-end experience, but of course useless for me as we don’t have a TV and watch stuff on the Mac anyway. :)

It’s good to see that Apple are still innovating – makes me cheered to have bought into their platform at any rate!

I don’t trust iPhoto

Monday, September 11th, 2006

I like iPhoto as it’s a quick and easy way to manage and retouch my thousands of photos (and I also like using Galerie to produce lovely web albums from it). However I don’t like the idea of trusting my entire photo library to an application that stores its data in a proprietary format. For example, when I rename a photo from “DSCN1234.JPG” to “On The Beach”, the “On The Beach” name is only stored inside iPhoto’s proprietary database. The original JPEG file in the iPhoto Library folder is still called “DSCN1234.JPG”.

So if iPhoto freaks out and corrupts its database (an all-too-common occurrence from what I’ve read), all my photo titles will be lost. And naming those photos was almost as much work as taking them! Not good.

My workaround for now is to rename all my photo filenames before I import the photos into iPhoto. That way, if iPhoto corrupts its database, at least I’ll have preserved my photo titles. Even doing this is pretty tricky, as Preview doesn’t let you rename files. So I’m sort of muddling along by viewing the photos in Preview, and renaming them in Finder. It’s not particularly elegant, but at least my photo titles are safe.

(Also, in Finder, how come I can rename “DSCN1234.JPG” to either “On The Beach.JPG” or “On The Beach”, but when I look at the directory in Terminal it’s always called “On The Beach.JPG”? Very confusing! Oh, and why does Finder’s Get Info show you pretty much all the EXIF data except the one thing you really need – when the photo was taken!? Grr…)

I already have some photos in iPhoto that I didn’t rename before import. What to do with these? Well I’m going to go through these and export them from iPhoto (selecting the “Use title for the filename” option), then re-import them. With a bit of luck, the image files will then be stored in iPhoto with the correct titles for the filenames.

I also think I’m regularly going to export my photos from iPhoto and burn them to CD, just to be on the safe side. iPhoto hasn’t crashed yet, but if it does I don’t want it taking my whole photo library with it. Call me paranoid, but photos are pretty much irreplaceable, and I’d like at least some of them to survive so my grandkids can laugh at my hairstyle! ;)

Anyone else have any tips for managing/protecting your iPhoto library?