If you get to the Expo floor early enough in the morning, you can actually play with the new toys. I decided to give iPhoto 2.0 a complete tour using an iMac G4 (800 MHz) with 512 MB RAM.
First thing I noticed was that the performance was about the same as with iPhoto 1.1.1 — that surprised me a little because I thought that a speed bump would certainly be part of the upgrade. So I’m sticking with my current advice concerning library size: Keep them to 650 MBs, archive them on CD, and use iPhoto Library Manger to switch between libraries. That way you’ll have snappy performance as you dash around the application.
Both the Enhance and Retouch tools work great. You can’t set any parameters with either of them, but you don’t really need to because they’re so effective as is.
One of my favorite features, sending email attachments directly from iPhoto, now allows you to use Entourage, Eudora, and AOL as well as the .Mail client. Good move!
The entire search function, including Keywords, has now been moved to a submenu beneath Edit. At first I didn’t like this, but the new search function is so much more powerful, it won me over.
iPhoto 2.0 has added some new printing templates, including “Sampler” and “N-up,” that are welcome features for those who like to dash off prints from their ink jets. “Sampler” allows you to create those mixed-sized pages like we used to get from the school photographer.
The “Burn” function is a biggie and simplifies the archiving of iPhoto data. And with Jaguar, you can use 3rd party DVD burners as well as SuperDrives. Yaay! CD-Rs work as expected.
Lots of other little improvements, such as easier access to your iTunes library, make iPhoto 2.0 a worthy download. I’m hoping to see a little better performance and a sharpening filter in the next version. But until then, it remains my digital shoebox of choice.
iPhoto will be available as a free download, or part of the iLife shrinkwrap, on Jan. 25th.