Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cloud Nine

Man oh Man! I haven't been this happy since... well, since I don't remember when! I just got done watching the SteveNote, and all I can say is "Wow!" Yeah, there are new mac's with intel processors. Those are cool, and they are fast, but what really has me all stirred up is iLife, in particular iMovie and iDVD, and GarageBand coming in a close third.

iMovie has always been a great product to use. I have created some great stuff with it. Just ask any of my family. None of them, have a clue how I create the movies I do, but they all are amazed. And now, with the new features, they are simply going to be awestruck. Not that I am a great videographer. Not even close. It's just all the fun flashy stuff they have added to iMovie. The animated themes put this product over the top. You really have to see the demo in the SteveNote to appreciate them to the fullest, but basically they give you nicely done animated graphic animations in which you can insert your movies, and they become a part of the animation. It really has to be seen to be fully appreciated. If you have ever seen the animated menus in iDVD 5, it takes that to a whole new level.

In addition to the animated themes, iMovie adds some great audio control features for noise reduction, and sound equalization. These two features are a great addition. So many times with video you don't get quite the audio quality you want. With these two additions, that problem is significantly reduced. I can not wait to try it out.

iDVD is another phenomenal tool. I really love the animated menus. They really bring your home-made movies to life. Well, they have added 10 new themes to iDVD, each with a main menu, a submenu, and a slideshow theme. They have added some great features for improving the looping of menu animations. This was one area I thought they needed to improve, and it looks like my wishes have been granted. They have also improved the menu navigation in iDVD. It's now much easier to rearrange the scenes, and how you navigate through the menus. One item I hope they have added, but I have not seen it mentioned anywhere is a way to play a menu transition animation between menus. You see this quite often in the commercial DVD's you buy. I think this would be a great feature!

GarageBand has some nice new features as well for podcasters out there. This isn't my thing, but I know a few who are really into creating these things. The feature of GarageBand that catches my attention is the scoring of movies. Now, it's even easier to add sound effects and music to your movies. I can't wait to try this out.

I ordered my version of iLife '06 just a while ago, so when it comes in, and I have had a chance to play, I'll give a more thorough review. If it's anything like the SteveNote, it's going to be great!

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