“When it comes to elegant design, no one beats Apple Computer. The company may have a scant few percentage points of personal computer market share, but it’s way ahead of its rivals in making products that are objects of sheer technolust,” Dwight Silverman writes for The Houston Chronicle. “Two of its latest offerings have Apple fans in a frenzy: the new iMac G5 one-piece computer and the iPod Photo, which lets you tote your digital photos in as much style as your MP3 collection. Both are worthy of fanfare, though one of them makes some promises it can’t quite keep.”
iMac G5, while it’s not as dramatic a design as the iMac’s previous incarnation – in which a flat-panel monitor was mounted on a chrome arm attached to a hemispheric base the size of a soccer ball – this iMac still rates high on the ‘Oh my gawd!’ meter… The G5 chip is quite fast, despite the fact that its speed is well below the zippiest chips sold by rival Intel Corp. The iMac was frisky, burning a 19-song CD in about five minutes and launching most of the programs that come with the Mac OS X 10.3 operating system almost instantly. In the past, I’ve written that if I weren’t writing a column aimed at Windows users – and if I had the piles of cash I’d need to replace my existing Windows-compatible hardware and software – I’d probably switch to a Mac. This latest version of the iMac cements those feelings. To use one is to love one.
MacDailyNews Take: Never forget to ask to “cross-grade” your software. That is, if you’re switching to Mac, ask for the Mac version of your existing Windows software for the UPGRADE price before you just go out and buy a whole new version for full retail price. You’ll be surprised at how accommodating some of these software makers can be and you’ll also save a lot of money!
Like the iMac, the appeal of Apple’s iPod is driven by its design. But unlike the iMac, it’s a mass-market hit and sets the benchmark against which all other hard-drive-based digital music players are judged. The new iPod Photo takes the product to the next obvious step: It now displays photos as well as playing music… The device works either on a Mac or a PC. On the former, you can bring photos into the iPod using iPhoto, the digital picture manager that comes with the Mac OS. On a Windows machine, you can use Adobe PhotoAlbum, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but iTunes will also work… Getting pictures to display on a TV while your digital music collection plays is a cool feature, but getting from here to there is an adventure. TV display is not turned on by default. You must navigate several levels of menus to turn both music and slide shows on at the same time, and you must use cables supplied by Apple. Normally, you don’t need to consult the manual to do the basics on an iPod, but I had to crack its bindings for this one. A simple ‘play music & show pictures on a TV’ menu item would be welcome. I still prefer the iPod for playing music, but Apple needs to make a few tweaks before the iPod Photo is the standard for digital image viewing.
Full article here.