Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Live-ish from Apple Expo Paris

Well I finally managed to find an open WiFi connection here on the floor (literally) at the Porte De Versailles, so it would be churlish of me not to post something. The show seems smaller this year (and I say that every year), but that might be because everything's shrinking. The floor is dominated by iPod accessories, and with the advent of the nano even those are approaching the invisible. Things to mention so far: 1. A gorgeous collection of Japanese iPod and PowerBook accessories from Keiko Mase Napier's Power Support company (They're based in Burbank CA, but they really need to do something about that name). The iPod Kimonos are wonderful, and their traditional Japanese fabrics and designs are being rolled out into a collection of laptop cases too. I'll be talking to Keiko for Radio Usergland later this week with a little luck. 2. Apple seem strangely disinterested this year, which might be to do with the fact that they have nothing brand new to announce. The nano is the big (little?) news, but we got that already. Last year the iMac G5 was everywhere. This year it's ubiquitous on everyone's stands. Today's changes to .mac could easily be missed, for all the attention they're being given (though I fail to grasp how .mac groups will avoid the pit of irrelevance that iReview fell into.. I'll look at it in more detail soon). 3. A little company called RealMac Software from Brighton UK are here pitching their Audio Express and RapidWeaver products. Both look potentially excellent tools for doing things like podcasting, and I've suggested a few features which would make this a no-brainer. This stuff used to be coded in RealBasic of all things, but they've made the jump to Cocoa, and good luck to them. 4. IrisPro OCR software wins the Usergland award for outrageous use of brushed metal. I'm not rabidly anti BM, but this just has to be seen to be believed. My eyes are bleeding from 5 minutes with this interface.

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