Switch Side Story Pt 3

Written by Jason Cundall

March 7, 2005 | 00:00

Tags: #imac #iphoto #ipod #itunes #mac #office #powermac #printing #switch #windows

Companies: #apple #games #microsoft

Just about everywhere, it seems.

I, like the rest of you, was initially put off by the tales of the Mac software aisle at PCWorld - Where the only things on display were the dust bunnies and the occasional tumble-weed. But these stories are pleasantly untrue. I’ve managed to purchase applications for OSX from this bastion of Wintel, and, dare I say it, Games as well. (More on that later though.)

In the time I’ve had the PowerBook, I’ve managed to amass a reasonable set of apps that I use on a day-to-day basis. And to be honest, I can say that they do exactly the same as their PC equivalents.

So what can you look forward too? A lot. Some of which will be familiar to you, some of which won’t.

To start off, you get quite a bit of “Free Stuff” that comes with a new Mac, just as you do with Windows XP. You get a web browser in the shape of Safari, an aptly named Mail application and iChatAV, an instant messaging and video conferencing application. Also bundled with a new mac is the iLife suite of apps (which has just had a new version released), that includes:

[*]iTunes music library
[*]iPhoto, a digital picture album
[*]iMovie, a digital video editing application
[*]iDVD, a DVD mastering application.
[*]Garage Band, a basic music sequencing application.

Switch Side Story Pt 3 Wherefore art thou, Software? Switch Side Story Pt 3 Wherefore art thou, Software?
Your photos and music, Mac style.

iTunes as you probably know, is a music player / library / management application and portal to the Apple music store. It allows you to rip, stream, burn & purchase music. It also allows you to synchronise that music with an iPod – and contrary to popular belief it doesn’t have to be in AAC. You can rip your files in MP3 format if you wish. If you want something a bit more exotic (say OGG for example), you’re out of luck. iPhoto is – if you hadn’t guessed – a photo library and management application. It allows you to easily download and catalogue your digital camera snaps, and interfaces with Apples album ordering system – you select which photos you want, order an album, pay and a week or so later you have a professionally bound book with your pics in it.

Switch Side Story Pt 3 Wherefore art thou, Software? Switch Side Story Pt 3 Wherefore art thou, Software?
Epsiode IV - Revenge of the Wannabe Movie Producers.

iMovie is a basic movie editing package that lets you take your holiday video and pretend to be Spielberg or Cameron, bunging in transitions between scenes and choosing the score for your magnum opus. iDVD is a (once again, the clue is in the name) DVD authoring tool, that easily allows you to put together slick looking DVDs of all that footage you’ve been fooling around with in iMovie.

Switch Side Story Pt 3 Wherefore art thou, Software?
Play that funky music...

Garage Band is a music creation package, that is bundled with a number of loops and instruments you can bung together and either make a complete cacophony or if (unlike me) you have some skill something that sounds pretty decent. Indeed, there seems to be a thriving Garage Band community out on the web, who swap compositions and loops – and some of it sounds pretty cool.

The best thing about all of this stuff is that it all interfaces with one another. You want an original piece of music to accompany your latest extreme ironing video? No probs - sort out something rocking in Garageband, and then use it in iMovie before burning it with iDVD. Holiday slideshow need some pep? Select some thrash metal from your iTunes library. It all ties together pretty much seamlessly.

So that’s the bundled stuff you get covered off, but you won’t be happy with just that lot. What about other stuff? How am I going to write my latest college / university essay up on? Read on...
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