learning the iApps

I recently put together a project that requires me to learn iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD. (To be honest, what the project really required was Powerpoint and a computer-plus-projector setup. But I didn’t have that, and I did have a DVD player and TV setup.)

iPhoto is a typical mac-app. It lets you make books or slideshows or print your photos. But it has an opaque storage scheme that makes it difficult to share photos or meta-information about them between different users of a system. That is to say, my wife and I can’t easily (or even hardly) look at and use one another’s photos. The application uses tons of storage space, and I was gratified to see that I‘m not the only one offended by this. It is painful to do backups. (Well, actually it’s easy to make the backups, but painful to think about them, since the only way to backup an iphoto database is to back up the entire folder containing it.)

Since I never did anything with the photos, I didn’t care for iPhoto. But as I said, this project required me to do something (make a slideshow). So let me admit here that it is a pretty impressive application when you actually want to do something with your photos rather than just store them and back them up efficiently.

The slideshow feature, all by itself, is probably worth buying a mac for. But then when you throw in iMovie, iDVD and Garageband, it’s … like … a no-brainer. The same objections you face with iPhoto are, if anything, magnified here. In particular, backing up an iMovie or iDVD project is so inefficient it is stupid. Many of the user-interface decisions are wrong-headed. (For example, I keep finding new places where you can’t apply changes to, or delete, several things at once.) But still, it’s incredibly easy to throw something together that you know you can send to your parents or in-laws knowing it will work. Plus it will probably convey whatever it is you’re trying to say better. Unless you’d rather try to capture family vacations with a pie chart, of course.

UPDATE: More discussion about iPhoto’s gluttonous use of disk space can be found at TUAS, here, and a (rather drastic) treatment of the disorder can be found here.

1 thought on “learning the iApps

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