|[6:00 AM] MW Tokyo - Blow By Blow Tokyo Keynote Coverage
by Bryan Chaffin
The following blow by blow coverage was taken during the MACWORLD keynote by Steve Jobs. The oldest posts are at the bottom, with the newest at the top.
[Tokyo 11:07 AM] Steve said "The devices we make like the iPod" are contributing to the digital world. Does this hint at future devices? We hope so. The keynote has ended, and we are off to the press room to upload this report.
[Tokyo 11:04 AM] This iPod contact feature is free, and includes new AppleScripts that Apple has developed. It is available now, from Apple's Web site. Steve is now going over the company's product line in a recap of sorts. The keynote was to end 4 minutes ago, so we are running a bit behind.
[Tokyo 11:02 AM] Introducing the ability to include contacts on your iPod utilizing the v-card standard. In case you haven't had your morning coffee yet, this means you can use your iPod as a contact database. Of course, you can't enter new contacts on your iPod itself, and one needs something like Entourage or Palm Desktop to load up the contacts themselves. The contacts themselves basically look like any other iPod play list. It holds up to 1000 contacts. Pretty cool.
[Tokyo 11:01 AM] The company will offer personalized engraving on the stainless steel back of the iPod. The cost of this is US$49. The Japanese attendees around us seem to think this is the cat's meow.
[Tokyo 10:59 AM] New 10 GB model, and the world rejoiced. Says you can make 6 round trips from San Francisco to Tokyo without hearing the same song twice. The new unit is priced at US$499, with the 5 GB unit still priced the same.
[Tokyo 10:58 AM] Steve has moved on to the iPod. Touting the Technical Grammy the company won for its contribution to the music industry. Says there are three new things for the iPod.
[Tokyo 10:55 AM] Commented that it took Apple to make the technologies we mentioned below to work, and says that it appears it will be that way for Bluetooth as well. Introducing the Cinema HD Display! This is a 23" LCD. wooooHoooooooo! The unit looks like the earlier Cinema Display, but with an updated appearance that matches the current PowerMac G4 line. Has a pure digital interface, the usual USB ports, uses Apple's insanely stupid and proprietary ADC connector. It is shipping at 449,00 Yen (a bit more, but we didn't catch the price. That works out to just under US$4000.
[Tokyo 10:51 AM] Steve has moved on to Bluetooth. Talking about wireless connectivity. It look sit is going to take Apple to make Bluetooth a success, just as the company did for USB, 802.11b, and 1394 (FireWire). Bluetooth allows one to connect peripherals wirelessly, the same way your Mac connects to a base station. He just showed us a USB Bluetooth adapter that seems very nice. He is demonstrating Bluetooth now with a Palm. Worked great! Says that the USB adapter will be shipping soon.
[Tokyo 10:46 AM] Steve is prepping us for a price hike on the iMac. He cited higher LCD and RAM costs, and says that Apple can either remove features or hike the price. He says that each iMac will be raised by US$100. Apple will honor all existing orders at the original price, as of orders received before today.
[Tokyo 10:41 AM] Steve is back on stage. "I have some good news and some bad news. First the good news. It's a big hit (applause). We are seeing incredibly huge demand for the iMac. The demand is so high, we have been unable to meet it." Steve says that Apple has shipped 125,000 new iMacs. Steve is talking about whether or not resellers are getting the short end of the stick on the supply. Steve says that 10% of shipped units have gone to Apple Store, but glosses over the fact that 10% is going to only 27 stores, a hugely disproportionate number at even a cursory examination. A completely bogus claim by Steve. Steve also says Apple is shipping 4,000 to 5,000 units per day.
[Tokyo 10:36 AM] Just showed the newest iMac commercial (in Japanese), and is showing a video now. It's the same video we saw in San Francisco, but with Japanese subtitles.
[Tokyo 10:34 AM] Steve is trying to say that including an LCD display on a consumer computer is a first. It's not clear if he means by Apple, or a first for the industry, but Dell, Compaq, and Gateway have all had consumer models with LCDs for more than a year. Apple was actually late to that party...
[Tokyo 10:33 AM] Steve is moving on to iMac. Showing us quotes in Japanese from reviews in this market. The real question, of course, is whether or not he will talk about the distribution problems the company has faced on this unit. Currently talking about all the features of the unit.
[Tokyo 10:32 AM] Touting the one million downloads of iPhoto in the first 60 days since its release.
[Tokyo 10:26 AM] Steve says that the ability to order prints online through iPhoto is not yet available in Japan. Apple is working on it, talking to both Fuji and Kodak as the company tries to bring it to this market. Did not talk about the very cool photo books that are available in the States as well.
[Tokyo 10:21 AM] Going over iPhoto. Talking about the abilities in X that make iPhoto possible. This too is the same presentation that has been offered in other markets.
[Tokyo 10:17 AM] Going over iTunes now. Blah blah blah...
[Tokyo 10:14 AM] Going over iMovie, iTunes, and iDVD. For those of us who have seen these presentations 436 times, ideas of playing a quick game of Myth III dance in our heads... THERE WILL BE ORDER! That's in reference to an IDG official chasing Darla Sasaki, contributing editor for TMO, back to her seat as she was trying to take pictures. It seemed of GREAT importance that she be in her seat, at least to this person... This is the sort of thing we can normally do in the States.
[Tokyo 10:11 AM] Steve is back on stage, discussing the Digital Hub. This is the same presentation we were given in San Francisco, and builds on all of the Digital Hub pitches we have gotten during the last two years. Steve is talking about the need of a PC from which to run one's digital devices, pitching iApps as well.
[Tokyo 10:10 AM] WooooHooooo!! That trailer gives us hope that Episode II will be far better than was Episode I.
[Tokyo 10:08 AM] Again, he said "Attack of the Clones" with a straight face, but he also says this is the first time the trailer for the movie we are being shown has been seen in Japan. It's the new Episode II trailer recently released. BTW, can we comment on how well Ewan McGregor has altered his voice to sound like a young Alec Guiness? Nice work, Mr. McGregor!
[Tokyo 10:06 AM] Mr. Gregoire is going through some Maya animation work for Episode II that was done with Mac OS X (and Maya, of course). He is talking about how easy it is to do the things that LucasFilms needs with Mac OS X. Talking about integrating After Affects with their Maya work.
[Tokyo 10:04 AM] Steve is back on stage, now talking about video editing in general. Says that Apple is the world's largest video editing supplier Introducing Dan Gregoire, Animatics Supervisor for LucasFilm. We are about to be treated to a presentation on Episode II. We are getting a message from R2D2 that basically said "Go With The Force." Very cool. Mr. Gregoire was actually able to say "Attack of the Clones" while keeping a straight face.
[Tokyo 9:58 AM] More FCP 3 demo stuff. Showing rendering features and other effect capabilities. It's all happening in real-time, which is most impressive.. Blah blah blah.
[Tokyo 9:56 AM] Mike Evangelist, that's his name, seriously, from Apple is showing us Final Cut Pro 3 for Mac OS X. The Japanese version of FCP 3 was recently released. The demo is a video from a band called Love Psychedelico. They sound a lot like Sheryl Crow, but that's just us.
[Tokyo 9:54 AM] We now have a presentation for FileMaker Pro from a FileMaker, Inc. rep from the States. This is for FileMaker Mobile, a database solution for mobile phones. That requires Mac OS X. The Japanese mobile phone network utterly outclasses the networks available in the States. This works in conjunction with the Internet too. This is an important development for the Japanese market.
[Tokyo 9:52 AM] Steve just made a crack related to the presentation below to the effect of "Sorry Windows." The audience cracked up and applauded.
[Tokyo 9:48 AM] We are being offered a run through of how Japanese characters can actually be displayed correctly with software from Ergosoft. A run through of many different variations of a particular character drew "oohs and ahhs" from the crowd, followed by applause. We are now seeing more information on Kanji characters that are specific to Japan, again showing a very cool feature for X. Kanji is actually the Chinese character system, which the Japanese also use for much of their writing. The Japanese specific characters are drawing more applause as the Ergosoft person said "this can't be done in Windows."
[Tokyo 9:46 AM] Yoichi Erikawa of Ergosoft is offering a presentation on fonts.
[Tokyo 9:45 AM] As with other Tokyo Keynotes, the audience is actually quite polite and quiet, unlike US shows. Steve just snuck back on stage and cut the Adobe presentation short. Steve is talking about Mac OS X's Japanese font abilities, which again are quite nice. Having worked with some Japanese text on a couple of TMO projects, we can attest to this.
[Tokyo 9:42 AM] Back to Photoshop. We are getting the presentation in Japanese again. The audience seems appreciative.
[Tokyo 9:40 AM] Mac OS X's Japanese abilities are actually quite nice. In addition, switching from one language to another is as simple as hitting Command-Spacebar, something which the Windows world can not boast. For those keeping score at home, the "Lord Of The Rings" is being used in the InDesign demo. The window actually reads "Load of the Rings," in English, but that's just nit-picking.
[Tokyo 9:38 AM] Mr. Jarayen is talking about publishing principals in the digital age. We are now getting a run through of InDesign in Japanese from a local Japanese Adobe rep. We are hearing something along the lines of "Blah blah blah - Hai!" but the locals seem to understand it.
[Tokyo 9:36 AM] Touting Office for X, and now bringing out Shantanu Jarayen of Adobe to show off Photoshop. This seems to be the same presentation we saw in San Francisco, but with a new version of Photoshop.
[Tokyo 9:35 AM] We are being sheened through the standard Mac OS X presentation. "We now have over 2500 applications running natively in Mac OS X." The total is actually 2650.
[Tokyo 9:34 AM] We are starting with OS X, the Digital Hub (or the "Degital Hub" as we have seen it referred to in Japan), iMac, Bluetooth, iPod
[Tokyo 9:33 AM] "Surfin' USA".. Hey, Steve is here!
[Tokyo 9:31 AM] Ignore what we said about the event starting on time...
[Tokyo 9:29 AM] We met up with Shawn King of Your Mac Life in the line for the press. He says hi. He also let the TMO contingent cut in line as he was here before us.
[Tokyo 9:27 AM] More Beach Boys... Blah blah blah...
[Tokyo 9:25 AM] Just like the trains, it appears that this event will actually run on time. The announcements to shut off cell-phones has been made.
[Tokyo 9:23 AM] The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann" is the music being played, for those keeping score at home. Make that "Good Vibrations." We would love for the event to start...
[Tokyo 9:21 AM] For all intents and purposes, the set up for this keynote looks exactly the same as the States-side events. Hopefully the content of the keynote itself won't also be exactly the same as the San Francisco event.
[Tokyo 9:17 AM] The place is filling up fast, though in an orderly and appropriate fashion as befits the Japanese psyche. Seeing the differences in crowd behavior is one of the many things that we have found fascinating about this country.
[Tokyo 9:11 AM] We are in the keynote itself. The room for the event is approximately the same size as the halls in the Moscone and Javitz. For whatever reason, the press are actually seated in a reasonably good position, near to the front and center of the event. In the States, the press is shunted off to the side like the red-headed step children Apple thinks we are.
[Tokyo 2:20 AM] This is a test...
[Tokyo 2:00 AM] This is a test...