With Steve Jobs on the sidelines, expectations were low for today’s Macworld keynote. And Apple didn’t surprise anyone.
Marketing exec Phil Schiller showed off an updated MacBook Pro, announced some changes to iTunes, and unveiled new versions of the company’s iLife and iWork software. But nothing new or terribly exciting, which will leave the Mac faithful pining for more.
Perhaps the most significant: Apple’s iTunes store will be mostly DRM-free today, and iPhone owners will be able to download music over 3G networks at no extra charge. Previously, they were required to use wi-fi.
We’re not sure if Apple’s partners like AT&T (T) are included in this transaction, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t. Which they’re certainly going to be miffed about — they typically try to charge $2 per song for over-the-air downloads and wrap the low-quality downloads in restrictive DRM.
Missing from today’s keynote: A new Mac mini, which was widely expected. And a surprise visit from Steve, which wasn’t really expected, but would have been a nice treat.
Live notes below in chronological order.
11:50 Seated, waiting for presentation to begin.
11:59 “Welcome” speech over intercom. Please take a monent to silence all mobile phones and pagers!
12:00 Uplifting musical crescendo!
12:02 Connected to Apple wifi. Wonder if they are sniffing packets, disconnecting snarky live bloggers.
12:03 Lights dimming, some hoots from crowd. MacBook display brightness turned low, so please excuse all typos.
12:03 Phil on stage, wearing all blue, long sleeves. Loud ovation.
12:04 Personally excited to be delivering keynote, thanks for showing up. Welcome to Macworld sign on stage.
12:04 So much going on across all of businesses. Stores are big. Showing off Beijing store. Munich.
12:05 Look at the crowds of people in Sydney! Big, gorgeous, glowing Apple. What other company’s logo could you ever imagine in this photo with a store this beautiful, with customers bringing energy and love.
12:05 3.4 million customers visit Apple store a week, 100 Macworlds a week going on in Apple stores. No wonder what’s happening is so important to us. Great place to shop.
12:06 Talking about the Mac. 9.7 million Macs sold last fiscal year.
12:07 Best hardware ever. Leopard, etc. If you want to hear some new things today, and I assume some people do, I have 3 new things to tell you about.
12:07 iLife ’09, an entire new version of iLife. One of the reasons people buy a Mac today.
12:08 As much as some people up North think they have something pretty good, nothing as good as iLife. New iPhoto 09.
12:08 Talking about events feature. This year with iPhoto 09, adding 2 events. Faces.
12:09 New feature called Faces brings up corkboard of snapshots of your favourite people,
12:10 Face recognition technology. Track a face with facial detection. Where’s this feature, Facebook!?
12:10 Will also find “Liz” across all your photos. Single click on some photos, say it’s the person.
12:11 So far Phil doing a good job. Not thrilling software, but he’s good on stage. Talking faster than Steve.
12:11 New iPhoto feature: Places. iPhoto organising photos around where they’re taken.
12:12 GPS Geotagging. Looks like Google Maps built into iPhoto. GPS built into Nikon Coolpix, iPhone.
12:13 Camera auto assigns geo tag. Figures out Eiffel tower –> Paris –> France.
12:13 What about photos that don’t have geotagging? Can add location to old photos.
12:14 Confirmed: Google Maps built into iPhoto. Satellite images, street maps.
12:15 Faces and Places are new iPhoto features. A lot more depth and power, too. Facebook and Flickr support built in.
12:15 Tag your friends in iPhoto, syncs up.
12:17 Slideshow themes. Ballet practice example.
12:17 Video demo of ballet theme. Peanuts music! Pretty nice slideshow feature.
12:18 Uses facial detection to properly display, organise photos.
12:18 Demo of kids at skate park. Very cool video animations.
12:18 Save slideshows directly to iTunes, sace as video for iPhone and iPod touch.
12:19 Printing out photos and books has been popular feature. Updated with more themes, beautiful printing. Updated travel book theme.
12:20 Uses geotags to add maps with pins of your photos. Pretty neat.
12:20 Demo time. Phil to show off iPhoto 09 running on his Mac.
12:21 Phil in his comfort zone as demo czar. He’s been good so far, actually. Not the same stage presence as Steve, but better than pretty much every other tech exec we’ve ever seen on a stage.
12:22 Showing off face recognition features.
12:23 Good point in comments. Steve showing this off would be pretty boring. But we’re only in the first chapter!
12:24 Want to mess with the Internet? Someone pop out an Apple remote and turn all these live bloggers’ MacBooks to Front Row.
12:24 Now showing off geotagging feature. Pumpkin Patch event in 2007 getting tagged with Half Moon Bay.
12:25 Very cool visual effects zooming through Paris trip photos with map. Haven’t had a chance to try out Google’s Picasa for Mac yet but it seems this will blow it out of the water.
12:26 Schiller crackin jokes! Why photo tagged in the Seine river? Boat tour, of course!
12:27 Browse photos by location like browing iTunes by artist/album. Doing a good job pronouncing French landmarks.
12:28 That’s just the first of all the new products in iLife ’09. Brand new version of iMovie, too. iMovie was entirely new last year.
12:28 Brilliant engineer redid iMovie, but some people missed old features. So stuff coming back.
12:29 Precise editing tools with amazing control.
12:29 Wonder if facial/geo features coming to iMovie?
12:30 Very cool animated travel maps showing where you traveled.
12:30 Video stabilisation will remove jitters. Maybe will rescue the Flip HD?
12:31 Randy Ubillos, iMovie architect coming on stage to demo.
12:32 Wonder where Apple gets all this canned stock video/footage of people and kids?
12:32 Easier to mix audio and video, including audio from video clips you’re not going to use.
12:33 Still seems less intuitive than old versions of iMovie, which were very simple drag and drop. But we’ll see.
12:34 Going to have to spend some time with new iMovie. Precision editing looks good, but he’s going through demo very fast.
12:34 iMovie looking very powerful for prosumer video editing.
12:35 Now we know where they get videos. Apple employees on vacation! (Randy showing off his African safari video.)
12:36 Showing off image stabilisation feature. Looks REALLY nice.
12:38 iMovie ’09 complete with cheesy “aged film” effects!
12:39 Map animation is very cool for travel video.
12:40 Showing off video with “photo album” transitions. Very professional looking.
12:41 Phil’s back. Stevelike “isn’t that incredible?” banter.
12:41 Now showing off Garage Band ’09. New guitar effects, etc. But most exciting feature is something “no one’s ever done before.” Software to help you learn play musical instrument. Apple is now in the music education business!
12:42 HD video of “Tim” teaching you how to play guitar. Tim is wearing a black long sleeved tshirt and dark (black?) jeans. SO APPLE.
12:42 This is like getting guitar lessons from someone who has clearly never inhaled or played a show at CBGB.
12:43 Tim is now teaching us piano and chord progressions. Very polished.
12:44 Artist lessons. John Fogerty teaching guitar. Better! “Proud Mary” instructions. Coldbie Caillat. Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. Sting!
12:45 Sarah McLachlan teaching piano. Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic. Norah Jones!
12:45 Still laughing about GUITAR LESSONS FROM STING. HA.
12:46 Artist lessons cost $4.99. Wonder how much goes to the artist.
12:46 Watching a video of Fogerty. “It was 1968, the best I could remember it…”
12:47 Includes rambling commentary. “Kinda bouncing off Beethoven’s inspiration…”
12:48 Pretty cool, actually.
12:49 $79 to upgrade to new iLife, comes free with new Macs. $99 for Family Pack. Will ship in late January.
12:49 Next up: iWork. Sheesh. This is a snoozer as feared.
12:50 Showing off new slideshow features for Keynote, Apple’s PowerPoint killer. Cool animation effects stiching two static slides together.
12:51 Object zoom transitions. Pretty nice looking.
12:52 “Swing transition” of text from Bush to Obama. “Read whatever you want into it,” says Phil.
12:53 Stone texture on charts, transitions of charts. Will this help startups get funding?
12:54 New keynote remote app for iPhone or iPod touch. Smart and gorgeous app. (Does MSFT have this for Windows Mobile and PowerPoint?)
12:54 Will be sold for $0.99. Apple has already given it some five star reviews.
12:55 Next up: Pages ’09, Apple’s word processor.
12:55 Apple stock up 1.6% Not bad — no one expected anything big here today.
12:56 Full screen mode, built in outlining. Wish I had that in high school.
12:57 “maths type” integration, EndNote.
12:58 Numbers ’09. First time brought it out last year. Focused on filling out features this year to make it more powerful.
12:59 Table categories. “Categorize by this column” choice.
12:59 More than 250 functions now. New function view for maths stuff.
1:00 Looks like a more “human” way to do formulas, functions than Excel.
1:00 Advanced chart options. Trendlines, multiple axes, error bars, etc.
1:01 Linked UI from Numbers to Pages. Don’t have to cut and paste new chart into word processing doc if you update in spreadsheet. Lots of templates too.
1:02 iWork $79, $99 for family pack. If you purchase with a new Mac, just $49. Shipping today. That’s iLife and iWork. We think a lot of customers will want to get both. Want all 3 (incl. Leopard) — Mac box set for $169.
1:03 iWork.com. New Web service. Beta customers can get involved. Apple’s Google Docs killer!
1:04 Easily upload and notify, view documents online, add comments and notes, download a copy.
1:04 Showing off demo. Looking at Pages document. Wants to share it with some others. Button in the top of new iWork apps that says iWork.com. Seems to be different account setup than MobileMe.
1:06 Recipient has been invited to view document on iWork.com. Launches iWork in Safari. Can also be a PC. Safari, Firefox, IE, or whatever. (No mention of Chrome.)
1:07 Can leave notes in right column.
1:07 Can’t immediately tell if this is better than Google Docs. Wonder if Apple will charge for this or build it into iWork price.
1:09 The beginning of a new service. Sign up free for beta. Will be a fee-based service.
1:10 One more thing. Third thing. New 17 inch MacBook Pro. (Where’s the Mac mini?)
1:11 Precision unibody enclosure. Ed Baig, David Pogue, Walt Mossberg quotes about how awesome MacBook is. Apple’s heroes!
1:11 0.98 inches thick. World’s thinnest 17 inch notebook. 6.6 lbs.
1:12 1920×1200, 700:1, 60% greater colour gamut. Wow.
1:12 $50 anti-glare option. Crowd goes wild!
1:13 For your reference, 1920×1200 is the same resolution as a 24 inch monitor. Very dense pixel density = very gorgeous.
1:14 New generation of Core 2 Duo, up to 8 GB memory. Has both graphics cards like the MacBook Pro.
1:15 Mini Display Port works with new LED cinema display.
1:15 Most innovative: Battery. Challenged engineers to design longest lasting battery ever, but keeping notebook just as thin, just as light. Here’s a video from engineers.
1:16 Battery design area for key advancements. Designed a battery that will last up to 8 hours, recharged up to 1,000 times.
1:16 Bigger battery. Challenge is where to find space. Wasted space with removable battery. Showing all the structures that they can take out to make room for a 40% larger battery. This is smart because only tech weenies will complain about this feature.
1:17 Showing weird science like rooms showing off battery research and production. Crazy machines showing how batteries are made. Worth watching when Apple posts video of today’s keynote.
1:18 Up to 1,000 recharges is 3x typical notebook battery.
1:19 Chip in battery checks in with each cell, system adjusts current to battery cells accordingly.
1:19 Now talking about how green the battery is. Lifespan up to 5 years. A lot less batteries in landfills!
1:20 Video is over. Phil is back.
1:21 Adaptive charging is buzzword for this new smart charging feature. Up to 7-8 hours battery life depending on which graphics card you’re using.
1:21 Wonder when this will be built into the 15 inch MacBook Pro and even MacBook. Smart feature that makes sense.
1:22 $1799, same price as before. 4 GB of RAM, 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo. Starts shipping in late January.
1:23 Environmental report card. EPEAT GOLD. Smaller packaging = less fossil fuels!
1:23 New TV ad focusing on new battery, fewer batteries in landfills. World’s greenest family of notebooks.
1:24 One last thing. Some things we’re doing with iTunes.
1:24 Started iTunes six years ago. In less than 6 years, now sold over 6 billion songs.
1:25 10 million songs available, over 75 million accounts with credit cards.
1:25 iTunes no. 1 channel for music, above Walmart, Best Buy.
1:25 So what’s new in 2009? First, price.
1:26 One pricing model for all songs. Starting in April, more flexibility. Three pricing tiers. 99 cents, 69 cents, and $1.29. Based on how records choose to price them. More at 69 cents than $1.29. Coming in April.
1:27 iTunes Plus, or DRM-free music. New today: Worked with major music companies, starting today, offering 8 million of songs, all DRM-free. Seeya, Amazon! 2 million more by the end of the quarter. All 10 million DRM-free by end of quarter.
1:28 Crowd goes nuts. Really easy to upgrade library to iTunes plus.
1:28 iPhone’s iTunes the most popular for buying music on phones. Now no longer wi-fi, but 3G too. (How about EDGE?)
1:29 Same price, same selection. Very important. Same quality.
1:29 Same music, no DRM. This blows rivals out of the water. Starts today.
1:30 Synchs back to your computer. A leading step for Apple.
1:30 We love great music! Ending last Macworld keynote with artist that’s had some amazing music. recognised as a true legend in industry.
1:31 Here’s Tony Bennett!
1:32 “The best is yet to come”
1:33 Wondering if “one more, more thing”…? Still missing Mac mini, surprise visit from Steve!
1:34 Looks like Gene Munster just walked out. Is it over?
1:34 Readers bombarding me with IMs asking about Mac mini. Don’t know either! Sorta surprised.
1:36 Tony wraps up his second song. Standing ovation.
1:37 People from VIP section starting to leave the auditorium. That’s our show, says Phil.
1:37 Phil thanks his family, friends at Apple. Please enjoy the rest of the show, try out iLife, iWork, MacBook Pro. That’s it. Lights are up.
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