Macworld 2009 Keynote Highlights

While there were no new iMacs unveiled during this year’s Macworld Expo Keynote (sorry JDS), several other exciting announcements were made.

1.  A brand new version of iLife  — iLife 09

iPhoto 09 has two new organizational features: Faces and Places.

Faces uses facial detection so you can find a person’s face in the photo and type in their name.  It uses facial recognition to find the same person in multiple photos.  Phil allowed that it’s not perfect, but that it works really well.

Places allows users to organize photos according to where they were taken.  It uses GPS Geotagging, which is built into a few cameras and, of course, the iPhone.  iPhoto determines where your images were captured — even a specific landmark, like the Eiffel Tower (as per Phil’s example).  There’s also a location database so users can map older non-Geotagged photographs.

iPhoto 09 also has support for Facebook and Flickr!

iMovie 09 has been completely revamped.  There’s an advanced drag and drop system, automatic video stabilization, animated 2D and 3D travel maps and new video effects and themes.

GarageBand 09 has a feature called “Learn to Play,” where users can learn to play guitar or piano and read music.  Nine basic guitar and nine basic piano lessons are free.  There are also artist lessons priced at $4.99 each online, where users can learn to play the songs of professional musicians.  Users can learn guitar from John Fogerty and Sting and piano from Norah Jones and Sarah McLaughlan (among others).

2.  New version of iWork  — iWork 09

New features have been added to Keynote, Pages (the full screen view is pretty nice) and Numbers.  There’s also a new service —  It’s free right now and in beta, so check it out.

For users who haven’t upgraded to Leopard yet, there’s a box set with Leopard, iLife and iWork for $169, which ships late January.

3.  The New 17″ MacBook Pro!

Beyond its fabulous looks, the 17″ MacBook Pro is also:

  • The World’s Thinnest 17-inch Notebook at 0.98 inches
  • The World’s Lightest 17-inch Notebook at 6.6 pounds

The 17″ MacBook Pro also features 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, 140H/120V viewing angle with both glossy and matte versions offered, 700:1 contrast ratio and 60% greater color gamut.  It has a 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 8 GB of memory and has a 320 GB drive (which can be upgraded to a solid state drive of 256 GB).

The best feature might be the battery — 8 hours on a single charge!  It can be recharged up to a thousand times — 3 times over the industry standard — and has a five year lifespan.

The 17″ MacBook Pro ships late January.

4.  iTunes in 2009

This April, a new pricing model will be introduced.  There will be 3 new prices for songs: $0.69, $0.99 and $1.29.  Apparently there will be more songs priced at $0.69 than $1.29.

Also, with the introduction of iTunes Plus, there will be DRM-free music (finally!).  Starting today iTunes is offering 8 million songs DRM-free, and by the end of the quarter there will be an additional 2 millon DRM-free songs.

Also today, the iTunes store is on iPhone via WiFi and 3G.  It’s no longer the WiFi store — just the iTunes Store.  Same price, same selection and same quality as on the regular iTunes Store.

And there you have it!  Phil wrapped up the keynote and Tony Bennett came out to sing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” (very apropos choice of song).

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