iLife 05: Maybe there are features here that I really want and would be willing to pay for, but the Apple Web site isnt very convincing. This looks like Apples bid to sell customers annual releases of popular software with only minor changes to functionality. Nevertheless, keep the price low enough, $79 in this case, and some customers will buy. Its hard to upgrade applications whose main virtues are simplicity and a limited feature set, but Apple seems to manage. This one gets a C+, but might be hard-pressed to do better. iPod shuffle: When I bought my first iPod, it was because the MP3 players available at the time were low-capacity and took a long time to fill with music, thanks to a low connection speed to the desktop.Apple is trying to make a virtue out of the fact that the device lacks a screen by making it sound like random playback is an advantage. I dont think so. But I am sure they will sell a zillion of thesejust not to me. I give it a C-. I am sure those still washed in the glow of Steves keynote will rate all of these products, and especially the iPod shuffle, a full letter grade or higher than I have. But Ive been following Apple long enough (and have become cynical enough) that I think Ive called these about right. And now, I am off to order my new Mac mini. Yes, sometimes even I succumband at a distance, too. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on Apple in the enterprise.
The iPod Shuffle is low capacity, compared with a "real" iPod, but fortunately it connects at swift USB 2.0 speeds, as well as at the much slower USB 1.1 rate used by the first MP3 players.