Macworld Expo Keynote: Live Update

8:51 PT - Jason Snell: Hi everyone. Jason Snell here from the Apple Keynote at Macworld Expo. Dan Moren is with me as well, and we'll be reporting to you live as Phil Schiller takes the stage to present new Apple announcements (we hope!) in a few minutes.

8:53 PT - Dan Moren: Hello live update followers. As Jason said, we're ready to type furiously from the second row here at the keynote. So close that we can see the fabulous lines of Phil Schiller's impeccable hairdo. These are the details that you want—nay, need to know.

8:54 PT - JS: This is the portion of the show where Dan and I tend to talk about the music that Apple's playing as the hall fills up. And indeed, we just had The Killers, though I can't quite place who's singing the current selection. The press and Macworld Expo speakers have been seated and the rest of the hall is filling up right now. There's a definite rumble of people talking behind us.

8:55 PT - DM: I can't hear precisely what they're talking about, but I imagine it's in reference to the lovely San Francisco weather we're having. I mean, what else is there to talk about, really?

8:57 PT - JS: Not to throw out a sports analogy, but really, we cover these live events as if they were sporting events. Dan will be providing the play-by-play, I'll be your color commentator, and Macworld's own Dan Frakes, perched between us, is our "spotter." He's the guy we'll go to if we miss a particular dollar figure or specification for a new product. So thanks in advance to Dan and the rest of the team surrounding us this morning. We hope we can help make this final Apple keynote at Macworld Expo a good one.

8:59 PT - DM: You've brought a tear to my eye, Jason. We're getting underway. They've asked us to silence our cellphones and paging devices as a courtesy. They didn't say "iPhones" this time, though.

8:59 PT - JS: Coldplay follows the announcement to silence our cellphones and paging devices. Does it say something about me that I can recognize The Killers and Coldplay? I will say this: the music we're hearing does not sound like it was played directly from Steve Jobs's iPod. By which I mean, no sign of Bob Dylan.

9:00 PT - DM: That's because it's Phil's iPod, Jason. That's the way the Schiller rolls.

9:01 PT - JS: It's "Life in Technicolor II" by Coldplay, from the recent EP Prospekt's March. Wow, I know as much about Coldplay as Dan Frakes knows about Jack Johnson. (That's a callback to a previous Apple event -- we promise to stop being quite as self-indulgent once we get started with actual keynote material.)

9:02 PT - DM: Which should be any moment now, as the hour has just ticked past 9AM.

9:03 PT - DM: And there go the lights. We're dimming and the show is ready to being. Here comes P{hil up on the stage. For those wondering about wardrobe, he's wearing a blue collared shirt and jeans. And looking well coiffed as always. He gets a nice round of applause as he comes on stage.

9:04 PT - DM: "I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all showing up." That got a laugh from the audience. Phil's gonna start off with a little overview. First thing we're going to talk about is how great the Apple Stores are, talking about the Beijing store they opened last year. Munich. Sydney, Australia. He's pointing out the crowds of people. "What other company's logo could you ever imagine in that photo?"

9:04 PT - JS: A very nice aknowledgement of the issues around this keynote without actually bring up the details. Deftly handled.

9:05 PT - DM: 3.4 million customers visiting an Apple Store around the world every week. That's 100 Macworlds each and every week (ouch). The Mac is still an important part of business. "And so today is all about the Mac. I think that's appropriate, at Macworld, to talk about the Mac."

9:06 PT - DM: 2008 was the biggest year in the history of company in Mac sales, sold 9.7 million Macs. They grew over twice as fast as the rest of the industry. A picture of the very, very shiny Mac product line. It's all aluminum, baby. "If you want to hear a few new things today—and I assume some people do." Phil's got three new things for us today.

9:07 PT - DM: An entire new version of iLife. It's iLife '09. Check that one off the list. iLife is "one of the reasons people buy a Mac today." Phil says there's nothing like it on any other platform, despite what the people "up north" think.

9:08 PT - JS: Is it me, or are the references to Microsoft seeming old fashioned these days? Is Microsoft even a worthy competitor anymore? Especially when it comes to what Apple's doing with iLife? I think the time has come for Apple to just ignore what Microsoft is or isn't doing.

9:08 PT - DM: Brand new iPhoto '09. Last year they introduced "Events", which took thousands of photos and turned them into a few hundred events. This year they're adding "Faces." Wouldn't it be great if you could organize your photos around the people you know? There's a new item, Faces, in the Library pane. When you click on it, you get a corkboard of snapshots of your favorite people. How does it work?

9:09 PT - DM: Turns out it uses face detection. It highlights the face and asks you to give them a name. Click on it, type in a name; it adds a snapshot. Then it uses face recognition to find the same person across multiple photos. (Senior Editor Jon Seff wonders if it works with pets—good question!) You can click to confirm it's a picture of the person, or double-click to say it's not them. Phil says it's not perfect, but it's the best technology they've found.

9:11 PT - JS: I'm gonna guess that it doesn't work with pets, but we'll get back to you on that one.

9:11 PT - DM: They're adding a third way to help you find your favorite photos, called "Places." Wouldn't it be great if you could organize by place? Click on Places in the Library and you get a map with pins for where your photos are. It uses GPS Geotagging, integrated in many new cameras and in "the most advanced cell phone on the market." (It's the iPhone - maybe you've heard of it?) Phil explains that your geotag stores your longitude and latitude.

9:13 PT - DM: What about the photos you took where you didn't have a geotag? You can assign a location to existing events by just typing in where you went (integration with Google Maps). You can double click to zoom in, go to street level, and click on any pin to go to the photos you took there, even if they were taken at different times. They've got satellite imagery as well.

9:14 PT - JS: iPhoto has a database of place names, too, so you don't just have to navigate to the map. You can, for instance, type "Yosemite", and it'll zoom in

9:15 PT - DM: Those would be enough, says Phil, but they've also added support for Facebook & Flickr. If you have Facebook set up, click the Facebook button and it sends the photo to Facebook. And if someone assigns a name to a person in your photo, the name gets synced back down to Facebook. And you can upload to Flickr with your geotags, etc.

9:17 PT - DM: There's a new panel for slideshows. Just click an Event, and it gives you built-in themes as options. He's playing a slideshow with Vince Guaraladi's "Linus & Lucy" in the background. They actually use the face detection to properly place the photos in your slideshow, so the faces are centered. The "shattered" theme is pretty cool looking. It's hard to describe, but it kind of pulls the photo apart and then reassembles the next one. You can save iPhoto slideshows directly to iTunes so it syncs to your iPhone and you have the same slideshow there. Nifty.

9:18 PT - JS: Intelligently dealing with photos in order to keep faces from getting misplaced in a slideshow is great, since that happens all the time when you generate random slideshows.

9:19 PT - DM: They've added more themes to printing and books. There's a "Travel Books" theme now which actually incorporates maps into your books, using the geotagging. Available in soft- and hardcover. And it's demo time!

9:20 PT - DM: He's showing us Faces. But where's Steve? No pictures of Steve? I kind of wonder how this Faces feature will work with pictures as bad as the ones that I take. Or where the faces aren't front-and-center. It's a cool idea, though.

9:21 PT - JS: So when you are looking at an image in iPhoto, there's an Add Name button you can click. Then it draws a box around the face (face detection in action) with a box below it that says "unknown face." You can click and add a name. Then it tries to find that face in other photos. In another photo, it might ask, "Is this [name]?" and you can say yes or no, teaching it what the faces are.

9:22 PT - DM: So the face detection pulls up all the other photos in your library that it thinks might be the person you've identified. If you drag over, you can confirm multiple photos. And as you identify more photos, iPhoto can do a better job of identifying the faces from your library (kind of like the way your spam filter improves).

9:23 PT - DM: iPhoto can also make a Smart Album that shows you all the picture of a particular group of people, like your family: drag multiple faces into the sidebar and it creates a smart album with pictures that contain at least one of those people.

9:24 PT - DM: On to places. We're going to look at the map and zoom in on some pictures taken in Aspen: it shows you all the photos taken at that location even over multiple events. If you're adding a location to events, it auto-suggests locations from its databases.

9:25 PT - DM: Wow. In one event taken with a geotagging-capable camera, it zooms into the city level and shows you the locations within the city where each photo was taken. You can hover over any of them and it shows you which photos were taken where. Phil clicks on the Eiffel Tower and it shows just the pictures taken on the tower.

9:27 PT - DM: There's a second view in Places, column view. Lists all the places you've taken photos: countries, cities, states, locations—looks a lot like the "browse" view in iTunes. That's Faces and Places in iPhoto '09.

9:27 PT - JS: Man, Apple is going to sell a lot of GPS-capable camera equipment.

9:28 PT - DM: That's just the first product. Now we're moving onto iMovie. Somewhat hesitant applause from the people who kind of preferred iMovie '06, I think. Not every feature made it in when they rewrote iMovie back in '08. They've added "depth and power."

9:29 PT - JS: iMovie '09: The Apology! In a nice way Phil admits that a lot of people were frustrated by the limitations of the last version.

9:29 PT - DM: A new precision editor, expanded timeline view for advanced users. Advanced drag & drop: it gives you the option to replace, insert, use audio only. New dynamic themes with titles, transitions, even credits. Animated travel maps: now you too can be Indiana Jones!

9:30 PT - JS: In terms of serious interface features mentioned during the keynote, the "precision editor" wins the prize. Dynamic themes and animated travel maps are fun but maybe window dressing. And automatic video stabilization! Nice one.

9:30 PT - DM: Automatic video stabilization to help take away the caffeine jitters. So let's take a look at the demo. And they've asked the engineer who recreated the movie to come up: Randy Ubillos, Chief Architect of Video Applications.

9:31 PT - JS: Randy was the guy who came up with the original software that became iMovie '08. Don't blame him, friends -- iMovie '08 is great for what it is. The fact that it replaced the old iMovie, that wasn't Randy's doing. He's a really smart guy, and it will be interesting to see just how much Apple has done in iMovie '09 to address the issues with iMovie '08 and make it a more suitable tool for people who need to do more advanced work.

9:32 PT - DM: He's skimming along to take dialog from one segment, then dropping it in the project; he gets the audio only part and it layers that in under the other videos. That kid's acting is worse than Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace, though.

9:33 PT - JS: The pop-up item that lets you select what you want to do with a clip -- insert it, just insert the audio, etc., is going to add a huge amount of power to iMovie. Really nice. Can't wait to get my hands on it. And I like iMovie '08. iMovie skeptics, feel free to remain skeptical. We'll report more when we get our hands on it.

9:33 PT - DM: The new "action" pop-up shows the precision editor. It shows all the different material that could be used for the edit; just a click lets you move the edit seamlessly. You can easily join two clips together and set the point at which you want to cut between them. If the audio isn't as smooth as the video, you can edit the audio separately from the video, extending audio from the first clip over audio from the second clip to cover the sound differences. That's nice.

9:35 PT - DM: There's a new Project Library that shows you all your film clips. Showing us a clip taken in a jeep in Africa. But iMovie does stabliziation; it figures out the motion by comparing frames to subsequent and previous frames. Okay, that's pretty darn impressive.

9:36 PT - JS: That is one of the most impressive demo tricks I have ever seen. (I imagine he's using a Mac Pro with a zillion cores to demo the image-stabilization feature, but it's still very cool.)

9:37 PT - DM: Now he's going to show us clip adjustments, like the speed. So you can slow down that really quick moment, like this shot of a leopard jumping down the tree. There's video effects; instant previewing, no rendering. Ooh, aged film. For your home silent film movie projects.

9:38 PT - DM: Animated Travel Maps. Alright, I admit: I've always wanted to be Indiana Jones. Drag a map in, type a couple letters and it helps you find the location. You can drag a new map in and it just replaces it, remembering the location. Works with multiple cities, just in case you're running around the world looking for the Ark of the Covenant.

9:39 PT - DM: On to Themes. There are five themes, he's going to show us Photo Album. Adds titles and transitions, mixing with cross dissolves and it puts in a credit "Directed by Phil Schiller." Ooh, meerkats. Looks almost professional (assuming you have a really, really nice camera and some skills).

9:41 PT - DM: Just one more app Phil wants to spend some time on: GarageBand '09. And here's the one feature Phil loves: "Learn to Play." Built in HD videos of instructor, and it shows you the instrument in front of you. The instructor talks just like Bob from the iPhone videos. It includes 9 basic lessons for guitar and piano for free. Download them when you need to use them.

9:44 PT - JS: Important point: Instructor Tim is the teacher in both videos. I wonder how many instruments he knows how to play?

9:44 PT - DM: They've also got Artist Lessons: musicians teach you to play their songs. Here's a few: John Fogerty; Colbie Caillat; Patrick Stump; Sting. Piano: Sarah McLachlan; Ryan Tedder; Norah Jones. They're going to add more and more. I think this really illustrates how much Apple really loves music. Can't wait for the iMovie feature where Martin Scorsese tells you how to direct a world-class drama.

9:46 PT - DM: Here's another clip of one of the lessons, John Fogerty talking about being fascinated with Beethoven's 5th symphony opening. Pretty cool: but I bet they can't teach you how to play Guitar Hero.

9:48 PT - DM: There are also new versions of iWeb and iDVD '09 as well...but we're not going to talk about those today. $79 for upgrade; $99 for Family Pack. It ships at at the end of the month. That's the first thing Phil wanted to talk about.

9:49 PT - JS: That's a lot of stuff in iLife '09, and of course you know there's a lot more that we didn't even see. Sorry, iWeb, you're in the penalty box with iDVD now.

9:49 PT - DM: Moving right along. A completely new version of iWork '09. Very, very sparse applause. Keynote '09: Phil's using it for this presentation (taking a page from Steve's playbook). Here's what's new.

9:50 PT - DM: Magic Move: you set up your slides and Keynote does all the options for moving objects between your slides. Looks a bit like the way Flash does animation.

9:51 PT - JS: Yeah, in a more professional tool you'd call Magic Move "tweening" -- you set a start and an endpoint and the program figures out the in-between. Also, this appears to be an example of Apple's Core Animation framework in action.

9:51 PT - DM: Object transitions: simple animated transitions. Text transitions: swing transition. Energy shimmers into Efficient. ("That's for you Al," Phil says to Al Gore, who's sitting right in front.) Anagram: "twice as fast" to "half the price." There are plenty of transitions between charts and graphs as well. Woooo...? New themes as well: Kyoto, Showroom, Brushed Canvas, Venetian. One more feature: new Keynote Remote. It's an iPhone/iPod touch application that lets you control your keynote presentation. In vertical mode it shows you slide plus speaker notes; horizontally shows you current slide and next slide; flicking through your presentation advances in your slides. It's a $0.99 application—"you can see we've already given it five star reviews."

9:55 PT - JS: It's rare to get woos and cheers for a presentation program. But the animation effects are very cute. And more importantly, the Keynote Remote app will be a boon to presenters. Although, 99 cents, Apple? Do you really need that cash? Why not free? Or if it's really valuable, why not $10?

9:55 PT - DM: Pages '09. First up: full screen view. "It was a dark and stormy night" says the page. But you want to stop and focus on your writing (oh, boy, that's for me!). It excludes everything else so you can just see your work, like WriteRoom or many other Mac writing apps. Move your mouse up and you still have access to the menus. Dynamic outlines: type your outline, different levels, different font sizes; reorganize your thoughts; and your page view reflects any changes.

9:57 PT - DM: Support for MathType & EndNote: formulas that scientists and engineers want to use. EndNote is for scientists, engineers, people publishing papers. EndNote support is pretty huge in academia; nice to see integration in Pages, since it's a big Microsoft Word feature. New templates as well: certificates, envelopes and letters, etc. And that's Pages '09.

9:58 PT - DM: And the third product is, of course, Numbers '09. Finally, a fun, easy-to-use spreadsheets (uh huh). So they've added table categories. A new "categorize by this column" choice and it automatically creates a table based on that category. Most advanced feature requested was more powerful formulas. Over 250 functions; new function view, type in and search for the function you want. Passing your mouse over a variable in a function gives you a tool-tip and it's all color coded.

10:00 PT - DM: New chart options. Mixed chart types; multi-axis charts; charts with trendline; error bars. Really important to people doing financial or scientific charts (yes, I imagine you need error bars in the financial industry these days; *zing!*).

10:01 PT - JS: My turn to woo-hoo. Linked charts! So now you can make a great chart in Numbers and embed it into a Keynote presenatation, with updates when the data changes.

10:01 PT - DM: You can link charts into Pages as well; change it in Numbers and it reflects the view in your Pages doc. Lots of new templates in Numbers too. And that's Numbers '09. And that's iWork '09. I can barely contain my excitement. $79 for iWork and $99 for the Family Pack. Or $49 with a new Mac. iWork '09 is shipping today.

10:02 PT - DM: But if you want to get both and haven't upgraded to Leopard. Now there's a "Mac Box Set" where you can get Leopard, iWork '09, and iLife '09 for $169 (that's a pretty darn good deal). It'll shape in late January with iLife '09.

10:03 PT - DM: One more thing with iWork: it's iWork.com (I think *one* person just clapped). iWork.com is a new service to share documents with other people online, including collaboration. You can invite people who can then go view your documents online, add comments and notes, and then download a copy in multiple formats. Don't have to copy-and-paste your documents in email. Phil's going to give us a demo.

10:04 PT - DM: A Pages document about the Mars Phoenix Lander. "In my spare time I'm a rocket scientist," says Phil. There's an iWork.com button on the toolbar; it prompts Phil to send an invitation, linked in to your address book. Pages creates the different formatted versions of the doc and sends it to iWork.com.

10:05 PT - DM: Here's what it looks like on the other computer. There's an email that asks you to view the document; click it and it opens in any popular browser. You can flip through and leave comments. There's a download button that lets you choose to download it as a Pages document, PDF, or Microsoft Word file.

10:09 PT - DM: Surprise! You can also share Keynote presentations and, presumably, Numbers spreadsheets. This is the beginning of a new service, says Phil. You can sign up free for the beta, but there will be a fee later. There's a place where people can send in comments (and Apple can presumably ignore them). You can use it to access your documents from anywhere in the world. It's available as the beta today.

10:10 PT - DM: And on to thing #3. It's the new 17" MacBook Pro. It's finally getting the unibody upgrade. Let's take bets: will it have FireWire? 400? 800?

10:11 PT - DM: For the last 8 months running, if you look at the list of laptops sold in US, MacBook has been #1 on the list. So here's the 17": 0.98 inches thin. World's thinnest 17-inch notebook. It's 6.6 pounds, which also makes it the lightest 17-inch notebook. 1920x1200 LED backlit. 140-degree height/120-degree width viewing angle. 700:1 contrast ratio; 60% greater color gamut than previous notebook display. It's got a glossy display, so they've also got a $50 anti-glare option. Same display properties as last 17".

10:13 PT - DM: Ports: FireWire 800. 3 USB ports, ExpressCard 34 slot. Battery life indicator, Ethernet, mini DisplayPort. About what you'd expect. New glass trackpad as on the previous unibody MacBooks. 2.93 GHz, up to 8GB of memory at 1066 MHz DDR3 ram. Built-in both the GeForce 9400M and the GeForce 9600MT. 320GB hard drive standard. Up to 256GB SSD drive option. Plus the usual backlit keyboard, iSight, magnetic latch, etc. Works with the new DisplayPort Cinema Display.

10:15 PT - DM: Innovative new battery: longest lasting battery life ever, but keeping notebook just as thin and late. Phil's going to run a video about *batteries*. Bigger battery means more capacity, but the problem is where do you get the space? Turns out it takes a lot of space to make a removable battery. Duh duh DUH!

10:17 PT - JS: This is amazing. It's really an entire video that's been built to explain why Apple's not allowing the battery to be removable in the 17-inch MacBook Pro. I know this is a controversial topic, though I do agree that most users will never buy a second battery. However, Apple's been pretty skimpy on licensing the MagSafe power connector to allow people to build external backup batteries. It would be nice if Apple would loosen the restrictions on MagSafe while it's preventing people from swapping batteries.

10:17 PT - DM: Doesn't use the same cylindrical AA cells that most batteries do. Instead they use custom-shaped cells. Lifespan of cells is 3x industry standard. It's hypnotic, watching them make batteries.

10:19 PT - JS: Prediction: The MacBook Pro battery video will be the new processor pathway video of that Macworld Expo New York keynote earlier this decade. Legendarily random and long and self-congratulatory. But it's green, I'll give 'em that.

10:18 PT - DM: Adaptive charging reduces wear-and-tear as you recharge. Up to 1000 recharges; 3x industry standards. There's a chip in the battery that talks to each the cells and reports on state to system; system adjusts current accordingly.

10:19 PT - DM: 17" MacBook Pro is free of many toxins. Highly recyclable aluminum and glass. The battery lifespan is supposedly extended to 5 years, meaning fewer batteries in landfills. There's a shot of the bottom of the 17", with no access panel (does that mean no RAM/HD upgrades either?).

10:21 PT - DM: They claim discrete graphics get you 7 hours of battery life; integrated gets you up to 8 hours. Three hours longer than previous 17" MacBook Pro; 60% increase. Will be interesting to see how the real-life tests bear that out. MBP is PVC- and BFR-free and takeback and recycling programs.

10:22 PT - DM: One configuration, but you can build-to-order. Still at $2,799. 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, both graphics chips, 320GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive. Starts shipping in late January.

10:22 PT - DM: And here's the environmental report card. Take that, Greenpeace. Arsenci-free, BFR-free, Mercury-free, PVC-free, highly recyclable, 34% smaller packaging, 1000-recharge battery. EPEAT Gold certification.

10:22 PT - JS: (Off topic: I am told we're having a musical guest today. I am going to assume that someone is going to teach us how to play guitar or piano.)

10:24 PT - DM: But we're actually going to talk about iTunes too. Started music store in 2003. Now it's 2009. 6 billion songs sold (one for every person in the world?). Over 10 million songs available, largest library. Over 75 million accounts with credit cards. Wanted to give people a legal way to purchase songs over the Internet. And, of course, they became the #1 channel for music. So what's new in 2009? Three things.

10:26 PT - DM: First, the price: we've had one pricing model for all songs. Starting in April they're giving them more flexibility: three tiers at $0.99, $0.69, and $1.29. More songs are going to be offered at $0.69 than $1.29 says Phil. The second thing: iTunes Plus which, as you know, is DRM-free. Encoded at 256kbps AAC encoding. One-click upgrades. New today? Starting today 8 million songs will be offered DRM-free (couldn't get that last 2 million, huh?). By end of quarter, entire catalog will be DRM-free. In case you missed it: All songs will be DRM-free in iTunes.

10:28 PT - JS: Big news. Amazon has had this for a while now, and the record companies were withholding the DRM-free songs from Apple's store. Now they get variable pricing, and Apple gets DRM-free. It makes it more likely that I'll start buying iTunes tracks again -- I've been using Amazon MP3 for the past year, almost exclusively.

10:28 PT - DM: The third new thing has to do with iPhone. Now the iTunes Music Store is no longer iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store; you can now download and buy on 3G network as well. Same price and same selection on the iPhone as on iTunes. Same quality too. You can preview and purchase and you can buy anytime, anywhere on 3G. This starts today.

10:30 PT - DM: We're ending on music. Ending our last Macworld keynote with an artist who's a legend in the industry. 15 Grammy awards, 2 Emmy Awards, Kennedy Center Honoree.

10:31 PT - DM: Annnnnnd it's Hannah Montana!

10:31 PT - DM: Just kidding, it's Tony Bennett.

10:32 PT - JS: "The Best Is Yet to Come," Tony Bennett sings. Message from Apple received.

10:32 PT - DM: I'm like twenty feet from Tony Bennett. That's crazy. The man has still got it. Great voice.

10:35 PT - JS: "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." You get extra points if you identified it from the preamble, which begins with "The loveliness of Paris..."

10:37 PT - DM: And Tony Bennett is retreating on the sliding stage, waving goodbye. Phil says "thank you very much" and it appears that that's our show. Phil is thanking family, people at Apple, etc.

10:37 PT - DM: It's a wrap. No new Mac mini, no Steve Jobs cameo. But we had Tony Bennett. So, you know, tradeoffs.

10:38 PT - JS: And that's the keynote! Thanks to Dan for an excellent job with the play by play. On with the show.

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