Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feb 2011 - Apps Store, Aperture, Pixelmator, Lightworks, Sofortbild

It was generally agreed that the Apps Store is a Good Thing, provided you keep your credit cards well out of reach - it's the online equivalent of the Apple store, but more so!
And, to the surprise of some, there are bargains to be had, my favourites being:
Aperture - at £45, this has to be the best buy of the year, if photo-treatment and indexing software is what you need.  I'm a user of 'phpture' which is the brainchild of a freeware genius out there, making your Aperture collection accessible through an IP connection (and with a lot of php magic glue to make it happen).  More on this another time.
iPhoto / Pages / Numbers - Apple now sells the components of iWork and iPlay (whatever it's called) separately - with the prices around £12 and individually purchasable, again these are bargains.  Pages is a really good wordpro / layout program, and if you don't have Excel, Numbers is a must-have.
Pixelmator is my non-Apple choice.  A well featured graphics program, with good use of Snow Leopard's visual interfaces - at £18 a good choice for any cutting room.
What I like too is the recognition that we're often likely to run a couple of macs (specially if we've visited the Apple Store too often) and so the licensing system is on a 'user' basis, meaning you can install purchased software across machines that you own.

I'm sure what we're seeing is the beginning of a trend towards exclusive on-line delivery of software - and be honest, apart from FCP, when did you last buy a physical DVD of a program, and a trend towards smaller chunks of program, to do discrete jobs - wonder if there are implications here for the next iteration of Final Cut, then?

If you hadn't noticed, the Apps Store came with the last upgrade (download) of Snow Leopard - both it and the Apps are exclusively Intel Mac only....

In other news, I reported on the intriguing developments at Editshare, who have made Lightworks a free open-source program.   Currently it's Windows only, but Mac and Linux versions are promised by the end of 2011.  Track them at http://www.lightworksbeta.com/ - note the 'beta' in the title.
Couple of things aren't clear:
how editshare will make money and survive (though there are hints all around in the prices for surrounding kit, such as shared storage)
how you get the steenbeck-style controller.  Maybe they'll open source the 3D CAD plans so you can build your own.

I posed the question, what's the major difference between Canon and Nikon DSLRs - the answer being the £100 or so Nikon charge for tethering software.   Now there's a good FREE alternative, which I couldn't find on the mac on Monday night.   The reason for this is that I installed it on the G5, back here in the international operations centre for wefcpug, which is turning into a set of historic collections of mac hardware.  The software is called Sofortbild, which I translate as 'instant picture' - and it's available for download here, where the developer Stefan Hafeneger has done a superb job of explaining what it does, and how to use it!

Our next wefcpug is to be on March 7th unless otherwise notified here!
Thanks for attending/reading - watch out for the redecoration on this site.