Not the most exciting new additions to iTMS, but Apple is furthering their offerings this morning with “Ebert and Roeper” and “The Munsters”. What is interesting here is pricing. While the episodes remain at the oh-so-simple $1.99, the first season of “The Munsters” (38 episodes) will cost you a whopping $54.99 yet the last 20 episodes of E&R is priced at $9.99. So, Apple is placing a premium on less timely or “evergreen” content than on content that will most likely be viewed only once. Makes sense, but I wonder how Ebert and Roeper feel about it? Two thumbs up?
Whew…. finally made it to the plane. I took BART this morning to the airport and naturally it was late getting me there. I’m finally getting a chance to kick back for the first time in a few days. CES and Macworld were hectic and my social calendar was pretty full while back in San Francisco for the first time since the move to Seattle.
I’m hoping to get the remaining posts up from CES and MacWorld by the weekend, so stay tuned true believers. Also, I’ll have a bit more in-depth look at the new features of iLife ’06 as it should be sitting on my doorstep when I get back
I ran the new MacBook Pro (is it me, or is this a really bad name) through the paces today. My first reaction was that the machine was pretty snappy. I loaded up iPhoto which had about 6k pictures on it, rendered a couple of HD transitions in iMovie and then loaded up a demo in GarageBand and everything seemed to fly compared to my 1.5 Ghz G4 laptop. It wasn’t until I loaded up Photoshop that things began to slow down. Rosetta is pretty amazing, but Photoshop felt about the same speed on MacBook Pro as it did on mine. All things considered, once apps are rewritten for Intel Macs, they will run very quickly, but performance for non-optimzed apps was reasonable, if a little slow.
The big question that remains is battery life. Steve glossed over it with no real numbers attached to performance and the Apple rep that was there said that they are still tweaking it in the lab, but battery life will be “competitive.”
I put my order in this morning, so I’ll let you know when I get it. It’s about time Apple got back into making kick ass laptops.
A few pictures from the Expo today. Enjoy. I’ll be posting some hands on reviews of the MacBookPro and the iApps later this evening.
It’s good to see Apple reigniting the Mac vs. Windows wars, ugh.
MacBookPro – same form factor as current, but 4-5x faster. No word on battery life, but this seems to be part of the focus, so we’ll see. Gosh, I wonder what they’ll call the new iBook?
iMac iNtel – didn’t expect this one at all. Not totally sure it makes sense, but it smells like the Apple of old (quadra – centris – powermac) replacing a product a couple of months after they’ve introduced one. Oy, glad I didn’t buy the iMac last fall.
iLife ’06 – this one was an easy one to call. Apple is the company that benefits the most from podcasting at this point and people were shoehorning their apps to do what they wanted for awhile, now they do it out of the box. New iApp – iWeb for website, podcast, vodcast
radio tuner/remote for iPod – cool implementation of a relatively unnecessary feature. Does anyone still listen to terrestrial radio anymore?
More details later. I’m off to go hands on.
I’ll be at Macworld Expo today following Steve’s exploits post keynote (I’ll be following MacRumor’s live coverage as it’s generally not easy to get into these things). I’ll report back later this evening about the day’s new products and hopefully give a good hand’s on report.
iLife ’06 and Intel Macs seem to be the consensus and most obvious and it makes the most sense to tweak iLife at least slightly towards people creating content for the iPod. .Mac is going down this morning during the keynote, so expectations are are high that it will also receive some tweaking, my guess, again, better enabling content creation for the iPod (podcasts, vodcasts, etc).
Now, while I was out pounding the floor of CES doing my little blog, my friends over at Engadget left no stone unturned. My devoted fans (errr… fan) may not be interested in all the things that Engadget covered, so here, dear reader, is an abridged set of links to Engadget to the best of CES.
- Bill Gates Interview
- Live coverage of Bill Gates CES keynote
- Live coverage of Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer
- Live coverage of Michael Dell
- Live from Yahoo’s keynote with Tom Cruise
- Live coverage of Google Keynote with Robin Williams
- Backstage at the Google press conference
I’ll be posting more today and tomorrow, but for now, we’re stone cold chillin’ in Frisco waiting on Stevie’s big announcements on Tuesday. Hope to see you there.
and everything else is really, really messy. If you’ve ever taken a look at the back side of my receiver it looks like something that NASA would use to launch rockets. Between 5 cables for audio and 3 for video for one frickin’ source, it makes one wonder if Monster Cable has been subsidizing A/V component development for the last 10 years.
These pictures speak volumes about the simplicity the industry is aspiring to and god, I hope HDMI is powering everything in the next few years.
Friday evening, we ran into nerd celeb, Patrick Norton while attempting a death defying street crossing in Las Vegas heading for the Wynn casino to catch Avenue Q. Patrick Norton, in case you don’t know, was the former co-host of the late TechTV’s show, The Screen Savers. We chatted for a bit and got an interesting insider’s take on the demise of TechTV and what makes interesting tv for G4’s key demographic.
If you were into the Screen Savers, check out his new show, dl.tv and take it with you on your iPod.
I had a long chat with one of the Creative folks and tried really, really hard to like the Creative Zen Vision:M. I mean, how hard could it be to create a usable device that plays music and video. I mean, the iPod is nice and all, but this is easy, right?
WRONG. This device is not intuitive to use, it is heavy and it is thick, all things the iPod is not. When I was done with the Vision:M, they brought me the older model, the Vision to check out. The device was turned off and it took a full minute to boot into a workable state. Call me impatient, but it felt like an eternity compared to the iPod.
Please Creative, make a good media player. Competition is good for the industry.
…pretty smoking Dell. Dell has their new Alienware killer, the XPS 600 Renegade with 2 nVidia GeForce 7800 SLI (and up to 4 video cards) and a Pentium 4 tweaked up to 4.26Ghz. It’ll only cost you $4-7k, but aren’t you worth it?
Personally, I just want the paint job.
They Sony booth is always a big pain in the ass, teeming with waaaaaay too many people. They always have something cool, new and shiny to play with. This week, they introduced the US version of the Sony Reader, their implementation of E-Ink in a book reader format. I finally got my hands on one today.
First off, believe the hype. This machine is very sleek, the text is crystal clear and they’ve removed a variety of the the BS restrictions that the Japanese model had(very strict DRM, only used Sony proprietary book formats) and they added a bunch of new features including an RSS reader and the ability to open .doc and .pdf formats. I imagine it will be a little spendy (I recall $300 or $400), but for the first of its kind, not so bad. We’ll see if this thing does better than ebook readers of the past