No major surprises today, but some really cool new features added to existing applications. I really like the facial recognition and geotagging capabilities in the new version of iPhoto. Oh, and built-in Flickr integration is a long time coming! The updates to iMovie are welcome, especially compared to iMovie ‘08 (what were they thinking with that?). And, music lessons built into Garage Band is really neat, especially with the download-able celebrity lessons.
The iWork apps are becoming more and more polished. However, I don’t think iWork.com will be a huge hit, being a paid-for service up against the free Google Docs. Sure, Google Docs sucks (it really does, you’re just kidding yourself if you think it doesn’t), but it’s free, and it’s Google. So, we’ll see.
I’m sure the new 17” MacBook Pro will have plenty of people whipping out their wallets.
But, the really big news, and a big “about time” is iTunes is finally going completely DRM-free (well, the music is, anyway). They finally got the major record labels to allow them to sell DRM-free music by finally allowing the labels variable pricing.
“See, Flanders; you give a little, you get a little.”
I don’t know why Apple held out so long on this compromise. I don’t think variable pricing will adversely affect consumers. Only people buying the most popular (and, likely, lowest quality) music will be paying the highest tier. In fact, I think the introduction of the lower tier will be a major boon to both consumers and musicians. Creating a lower cost-of-entry to discover new music is a good thing.
Overall, though, it was a pretty ho-hum event. (I think we now know the real reason Jobs bowed out on this one.) I was really, really hoping for a refresh to the iMac line!