"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
August 8, 2007

New Stuff From Apple

Apple has announced some major software and hardware upgrades, with most of the attention focussed on the new iMacs and the iLife ’08 and iWork ’08 software. There’s no real bad news for Mac-users, but maybe not enough of the good news that some of us have been hoping for. No doubt what we have […]

Apple has announced some major software and hardware upgrades, with most of the attention focussed on the new iMacs and the iLife ’08 and iWork ’08 software. There’s no real bad news for Mac-users, but maybe not enough of the good news that some of us have been hoping for.

No doubt what we have been offered looks great. The new iMacs are a nice improvement and I’m a big fan of the brushed aluminium look. This will let Apple further intergrate the iMacs with the pro range at the top end and possibly reintroduce colour in the low end (a RED iMac would be very cool).

Both iWork and iLife look great. Filing photos by events makes perfect sense and for all us struggling with 5k+ photo libraries any help in cataloging images will be appreciated. But most enticing is the introduction of non-destructive editing and edit stamping a la Aperture. That alone is worth the price of admission. So, it’s a bonus that we get a fantastic reworking of iMovie, away from a timeline format and towards an iPhoto like collage process. For music-makers Garageband sees some great improvements via multi-take recording, visual EQ and finally, markers!

So, why am I a little disappointed? Well, apart from a very Pro-oriented hardware RAID card, there were no improvements to the Mac Pro range. Moreover, although the new iMacs are solid machines, there is a worrying gap between the top spec model and the basic Mac Pros. I’m in the situation where it makes sense to buy a new desktop and I would have been tempted by a really cutting edge Mac Pro or a new “hot” iMac, but neither was offered.

The Mac Pro is an amazing computer with great specs in some regards. But, the memory management and video card options make it less of a market leader than the marketing implies. Moreover, it is still a very big box, offering far more upgradability than a project studio user like me needs.

Though having said that, Pro Audio is moving fast in the direction of multi-core processing as a way to handle plug-ins and virtual instruments. It seems very likely that whatever comes after Logic 7.2 will be built to take advantage of this. Moreover, whilst I may never need 4 huge hardrives, I would certainly like to have two internal drives – a setup favoured by many music-makers. Moreover, some potential to take advantage of fast, card based products from Apogee and UAudio would be nice.

Which brings us back to the idea of a “hot” iMac for digital audio. Four processsors, capacity for 8GB of Ram, two Hard Drives, an express card slot. Well, a guy can dream, can’t he…

[tags] Apple, iMac, Mac Pro, Logic Pro [/tags]

Responses
Stephen 15 years ago

My wish list is a little more modest ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d like to see a Mac Mini or MacBook with a dedicated graphics controller – not an integrated shared memory one. I don’t need the bells and whistles of a MacBook Pro, nor the form-factors of the iMac and Mac Pro. Just small, portable systems that aren’t too stressed handling video for tasks such as games (and running stuff under Boot Camp if necessary).

Paul 15 years ago

nothing like a lil iLust ๐Ÿ™‚

Fernando Gros 15 years ago

Stephen, whilst I don’t do games (and am on record as saying I hope Apple don’t cater for that market) I do agree that a better featured Mac Mini would be great.

One of the things that many Logic users have been discussing in fora is the possibility of using Mac Minis as nodes for distributed audio processing. This means setting up a little network to share the load of running plugins and virtual instruments. For someone like me that would mean keeping the g4 powerbook as a front-end, but moving a lot of processing to the mac mini. In fact, if the mac mini had the ability to take a little more RAM and a faster HD (7,200RPM), it would be sensational for this application.

I guess if one *could* play games with it, that would be a bonus.

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