MacWorld Keynote: So-So

Steve Jobs gave his keynote address at the MacWorld San Francisco Expo earlier today, making several product annoucements, including:

Nothing earth shattering, really. I’ve never had the chance to use Final Cut Express (I’m still working with iMovie 3), so that doesn’t excite me much. The new Xserve’s will be nice for corporate America and education institutions, making some wonder why it was announced at a consumer expo.

The new iPod mini’s are small and cute, but left me and others underwhelmed. For $250 you get a business card sized iPod with 4 GB of storage, good for about 1,000 songs according to Apple. Now, compared to the high-end flash memory players Apple claims the mini is competing against, this isn’t a bad size/storage/price ratio. Someone in that market could very well decide that the image and reputation of the Apple iPod is worth a $50 premium. When you put it up against the players in the hard drive-based jukeboxes, however, it just doesn’t make sense. As of today, the low-end regular iPod is $300 and includes a 15 GB hard drive. This means that for an extra $50 you get an additional 11 GB of storage. Maybe I’m underestimating the number of people looking for small expensive digital audio players, but I don’t see this thing staying at $250 for very long.

The iLife updates seem to be worth the money. I’ve already sent in my $30 for the education version. GarageBand makes me wish I had at least one musical bone in my body. I might have fun playing around with the music loops though. If Steve Jobs can do it, I think I can too.

I found it somewhat surprising that the Apple rumor sites practically got 100% this time around. Think Secret seems to have had the best record, basically predicting every major annoucement. Either things are getting very leaky at Apple, or they’re throwing gimmies to the rumor mongers, leaving the big guns for a later date.