CreativePro: Joznote Provides Panther Pearls, Software Deals, and More Benchmarking

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Date: Wednesday, July 16th, 2003, 09:34
Category: Archive

Greg “Joz” Joswiak’s “Feature” Presentation was, fortunately, not just a rehash of WWDC’s announcements. Instead, the presentation focused on news of particular interest to pros, and while no major announcements were made, there were some interesting gems, particularly some new details about Panther. Let’s forget for a moment that East Coast Macworlds used to have “Keynotes,” not Feature Presentations, and that so many press were in attendance clearly having their time wasted, and take a look at what new details did come out of Joz’s presentation.


Greg “Joz” Joswiak’s “Feature” Presentation was, fortunately, not just a rehash of WWDC’s announcements. Instead, the presentation focused on news of particular interest to pros, and while no major announcements were made, there were some interesting gems, particularly some new details about Panther. Let’s forget for a moment that East Coast Macworlds used to have “Keynotes,” not Feature Presentations, and that so many press were in attendance clearly having their time wasted, and take a look at what new details did come out of Joz’s presentation.
The biggest news was up on Apple’s site prior to the beginning of the presentation, and they both mean major, major bargains from Cupertino: Apple announced it was giving Final Cut Express free to users trading in Premiere (a big jab at Adobe), and providing its popular new Soundtrack music feature from Final Cut Pro as a US$299 standalone available in August. (For full coverage of Soundtrack, join us all week on musiconmac.com.
Ken Bereskin, head of Mac OS X Product Marketing, joined Joz onstage to demo Soundtrack, which allows you to quickly score video using sophisticated pitch-independent tempo adjustments of royalty-free loops. The software is aimed not only at video production but, now with the release of the standalone, at DVD work, Flash animation, and pro audio, as well.
The presentation also gave additional details of pro features of OS X Panther. A full demo of FontBook continues to impress with the power of this font application, with Mail-like quick searching for fonts by name or file, quick preview, and drag-and-drop installation sets.
We already knew PDF was greatly improved in the new version of OS X, but Apple gave some additional details today. (Were they already announced? Perhaps some of us were too busy looking at the G5 to notice?) Save as PDF now adds Quartz PDF Filters, so that you can add filters directly in your workflow. Preview has an amazing instant indexing and searching feature: type in a search term and Preview basically creates its own index. This will be a major lifesaver with all those annoying PDF manuals for software. And there’s a fully on-the-fly PostScript interpreter built into the new OS (I know this has been mentioned before, but worth mentioning again).
Printing is improved, too. Aside from SMB printing, mentioned at WWDC, which will allow compatibility with any shared Windows printers (that got applause from the audience here in New York), Panther can immediately turn any printer into a “virtual PostScript” printer by using software as the interpreter. And the best new printing feature is one we loved under OS 9: drag-and-drop printing is back.
AppleScript buffs got some terrific news, too. An all-new script editor now supports UI scripting for AppleScripting of apps that aren’t AppleScript-aware. Image Events, via AppleScript, allow you to scale, flip, compress, rotate, and crop images via AppleScript in any application. (That’ll make my web publishing tasks much easier!)
And not everything apparently fit into the WWDC presentation: using Expose, it’s possible to drag-and-drop a file from the desktop directly into any window via Expose.
Panther Server is coming out at the end of the year. New in OS X Server is a single-sign on for all features (no separate login for shared folders, etc.).
Some new benchmarks came out during Joz’s presentation. First off, he showed data for rendering in the unoptimized After Effects. In minutes, here’s how the machines compare: G4 – 101, Xeon – 85, G5 – 61. Apple also revisited its controversial bake-off between Logic on the Mac and Cubase on the PC, this time demonstrating that Cubase SX on OS X also performs dramatically better on the G5.
Most impressive was Joz’s G5 “Technology Demo”: streaming HD 128 MB/second video on OS X Server on the G5 (that’s streaming, folks!), was able to do realtime digital matting without any additional hardware. Unbelievable.

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