I have to admit, one of the apps I’m having most fun with in Leopard is iChat. With all the new features Leopard brings to applications like Safari and Mail, iChat’s 24 new features outnumbers all others. With the new video effects for example, you can annoy your friends pretending to be in Paris, or on a roller coaster or in space or just look weird and beautiful, with the many crazy and abstract, distorting video effects.
But all fun aside, it’s got some really huge features that photographers are going to find very useful.
I just discovered how you can host an iChat Theatre Presentation. Unfortunately at this time, we can’t share an Aperture slide show in iChat. But you can share QuickTime Movies and Keynote Presentations, as well as photos or anything Quick Look (space bar in Leopard) can preview. You don’t even need to have a camera built into your computer to take advantage of this useful feature.
iChat is a great way to share your work with friends, editors, students anywhere in the world in real time. Even when you’re in France.
For instance, you can select a bunch of photos and then show them to your Buddies, one at a time as a slideshow. They will not only see the slides, but see you (if you have a web cam, standard on all new iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros) and hear any narration you’re wanting to give. You control the show from a toolbar outside the video window. Same is true for Quicktime movies and Keynote presentations.
I have used a program called LiveSlideShow to make Quicktime movies of my slide presentations with words and music– and have inserted these Quicktimes into Keynote. When Keynote gets to a slide with a Quicktime Movie in it, it launches that Quicktime automatically. I’m hoping the next version of Aperture allows us to save slideshows as Quicktime Movies.
Using iChat, you can share elaborate presentations with Buddies all over the world, in real time. “What will you be presenting at the conference next week?” Let me show you on iChat…and talk about it as we move through the work. Or maybe you want to get editing opinions from a trusted friend a thousand miles away. There are so many possibilities.
I suspect iChat will work with the next upgrade of Aperture, but for now it lets you pick photo albums in iPhoto 08 to share. What is nice about showing work form these apps is, you use the iPhoto 08 or Keynote controls to make your way through the slideshows. Plus, you can record these iChat conversations and shows; iChat asks the other party if it’s okay and a small red light glows to let you and them know, the iChat is being recorded.
Also with Leopard, iChat utilizes something called H.264, which Apple says will give you higher resolution and sharper images with improved color accuracy using advanced video compression techniques.
I’m hoping to put iChat’s video conferencing savy to the test. I’ve been teaching a course at ICP in New York, but I may be heading to Rwanda in a couple of weeks and have to miss the last class when students make presentations. If I can secure a broad-band connection, I should be able to “be there” for that class, see the presentations and comment in real time. Of course the other great thing that iChat provides that real life doesn’t? You can turn someone off, at anytime. The students will love it.