Download MacWorld 2008 Expo Keynote

Steve Jobs MacWorld 2008 Keynote

Sometimes depsite all your planning, it all falls apart.

Not living in San Francisco, actually I don’t even live in the US, I knew it was going to be impossible to attend the MacWorld 2008 Keynote in person. Though I didn’t realise until listening to MacBreak Weekly that it’s like an iPhone launch if you want to actually get in there in person, it starts at 9am, but you really need to start queuing at 4am – now that’s dedication.

So I couldn’t be there in person, like I was ever going to get there!

I didn’t really want to “view” the keynote by watching the Macrumors’ feed, or refreshing Engadget on a regular basis, or watching multiple tweets on Twitter (which I believe went down during the Keynote). I do like watching the stream (as though it was “live”. I subscribed the Macrumors spoiler free link. However fifteen hours after the Keynote, no e-mail giving me the link, I thought to myself, either there is no stream (there had to be, it said it was going to be made available on the Apple website) or (more likely) the Macrumors e-mail service had failed! It hadn’t completely failed, the e-mail telling me about the steam eventually arrived eighteen hours after the start of the Keynote!

So I went to the Apple website, obviously saw the MacBook Air on the front page and thought ah well, and clicked the link for the Keynote stream.

Now maybe it was my connection or my computer, but could I get the Keynote to stream? No.

I tried on two different connections with no luck. I tried on about four computers with no luck.

Probably too many people trying to access the stream.

I am not a great fan of streaming, as too often (with long videos) I want to pause the video as real life gets in the way, you know phone calls, coffee, e-mails, etc… I have found with some streaming, if I pause the stream it never restarts, so I need to start the whole stream from the beginning.

I even tried to find online a place to download the Keynote with no luck.

I was resigned to the fact that I was not going to be able to watch the Keynote this year. Ah well I had found out what was released and I had seen the sixty second version.

So imagine my surprise when looking at the top podcasts in the (UK) iTunes Store when there was the MacWorld 2008 Expo Keynote.

Well I am downloading all 900MB of that then!

I am surprised that not only was it available, but that Apple hadn’t really mentioned it on their main website.

Still downloading, and you know about everything that was mentioned, so leave me to enjoy that distortion field which is Steve Jobs.

One more thing…

What no 3G?

What no 3G?

Though you may think I am talking about the lack of a second generation iPhone with 3G, no I am talking about the lack of 3G on the MacBook Air.

Yes it has 802.11n, but how many 802.11n wifi hotspots have you seen on your travels? Also from an internet perspective, 802.11n is a bit of overkill for a typical internet connection. Not everywhere has wifi hotspots, they never seem to be available when I am out and about or they fall over a lot from too many clients.

So there you are with this beautifully thin MacBook Air and either you need to use a Bluetooth to a 3G phone, which kills the battery both on the MacBook Air and the phone, and a lot of mobile phone providers in the UK now no longer allow you to use your 3G phone as a modem (or they charge you a fortune) they all now seem to want you to use a USB dongle.

Now an USB  dongle though has less of an impact on battery life on your laptop (and no impact on your phone’s battery life) is a dongle and it dangles from the beautifully styled and thin laptop you just bought!

All of this could have been avoided if Apple had provided 3G functionality with their beautifully thin MacBook Air.

I’m not the only one thinking like this, as you can see here and here.

I think Apple missed the boat on this one, though maybe they didn’t want to get into bed with another phone provider!

New Apple Stuff

Those who know me will know that I am a bit of a fan of Apple products, not exclusively, but I do like good design and stylish kit.

Yesterday in San Francisco at MacWorld Expo, Apple announced some new products and upgrades for the iPod touch and iPhone.

Key new product announced at the keynote was the MacBook Air, a small light MacBook.

I do like small computers, great fan of the 10″Sony VAIO laptops, however this is slightly bigger than I would like, and I can’t see how that would survive travelling by air or train.

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s very stylish, well designed, but doesn’t meet my needs for a small portable computer for use at conferences, on the train and in coffee shops.

No rumoured touchscreen, nor a Blu-ray drive either (actually no optical drive, though cleverly you can use your other Mac’s drive wirelessly, which is a very clever piece of software and something I would like to use with Windows UMPCs).

Nor can you can carry a spare battery, actually you can’t even replace the battery, it has to be sent to Apple to be replaced if it goes faulty.

There was also upgrades for the iPhone and iPod touch announced which provide additional applications, annoyingly free on the iPhone and a £12.99 upgrade for the iPod touch.

Huh!

Probably worth it for the e-mail and notes applications which make the iPod touch a more useful.

Also announced was a new Airport Extreme base station which comes with a 500GB or 1TB drive for Time Machine backups.

On the Americans get the opportunity to rent films, here in the UK we don’t, well not for a while.

Blu-ray “wins” the HD format war

Well if you read the BBC technology blog you will see that they are seeing the end of the HD format war and Blu-ray has won!

The HD DVD camp turned a crisis into a disaster when it cancelled its scheduled press conference at the show and then – perhaps unsurprisingly – cancelled all media interviews at the show. It’s left observers with the impression that the HD DVD group is in disarray and on the verge of collapse.

Where as Blu-ray

Blu-ray, on the other hand, is only to eager to parade spokespeople talking up its own format.

The BBC blog seems to indicate that the reason for the victory was the Sony PS3.

The PS3 comes with a Blu-ray player as standard unlike the xBox whose HD DVD drive was an additional extra and it was getting that Blu-ray player into people’s homes via the PS3 which has allowed Blu-ray to if not win the war certainly make that last march to victory.

I suspect if Apple release new Macs at MacWorld Expo with Blu-ray drives then this will be the final blow to HD DVD and Blu-ray will be declared the victor of the HD format war.

Then us consumers can go out and buy the Blu-ray player knowing we are not buying the HD Betamax or MiniDisc.

Photo source.

Mac Sub-Notebook

Appleinsider are rumouring that Apple will be releasing a sub-notebook at MacWorld in January.

The 13-inch portable, which AppleInsider first detailed back in February, will mark the Cupertino-based Mac maker’s re-entry into the sub-notebook market — arriving in a form-factor that’s approximately 50 percent lighter and strikingly slimmer than the company’s current 15-inch professional MacBook Pro offering. 

I am quite disappointed if this is going to be the form factor.

I would really like a 10″ model, I have always liked the Sony VAIO 10″ models and would really like to see something similar running OS X.

Oh a touchscreen would be nice as well.

iPhone Silliness

Oh dear, it’s looking like the iPhone silliness we saw in the US is coming here to the UK, with the launch of the iPhone tomorrow 9th November.

The BBC is reporting that people are queuing already!

Apple’s iPhone goes on sale in the UK and Germany on Friday with thousands expected to snap up the device.

Eager customers have begun queuing outside the Apple Store in Regent Street, London, despite the poor weather conditions.

Oh dear!

I am sure that there is no need to queue and at 6.03 pm you could walk into the Apple Store and pick an iPhone off the shelf.

Leopard is out, but I’m waiting…

Today sees the release of the next version of Apple’s OS X.

10.5 or Leopard brings many new features that are currently been covered all over the web so I am not going to cover them again here.

Personally I am going to wait. There’s a few things which pique my interest, but nothing that says “buy me now”.

I have also heard that 10.5.1 is going to be one BIG update. around 500MB, so that means that there are still quite a few bugs in 10.5 and I don’t want to install it on my production machine.

Converted my iTunes Collection

You know when you think you have a huge empty hard drive, and in reality after a year or so it is crammed full of audio and video files that you need to go in and do something about it.

When I got my iMac last year I decided that I would leave my iTunes library as it was in Apple Lossless format, even though it took up a lot of space, I wouldn’t lose anything in compression.

However after much thought (and listening to various views on MacBreak Weekly) I made the decision to convert my library to AAC 256kbps.

I had to do it in stages as my spare hard disk space wasn’t large enough, but I managed to reduce my library from in excess of 40GB to just 13GB.

CDs

I can always re-rip the CDs if I want to, so it’s not really like I have lost anything. Also I couldn’t tell the difference between Apple Lossless and AAC 256kbps.

Photo source