Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004

A Quick Look at iPhoto 4.0.1

Yesterday, Apple released an iPhoto update -- version 4.0.1. Based on my experience so far, it's a winner.

iPhoto 4.0.1 fixes all of the smart album problems that I've whined about here since iPhoto 4 debuted. It also fixes a serious smart album problem that I haven't had time to describe here: in iPhoto 4.0, a smart album set up to look for photos with specific text in their title will often fail. iPhoto 4.0 will find a few photos, but ignore others, even if they meet the criterion you specified. Now you can create a smart album with a criterion such as "title contains beach," and it will work.

iPhoto 4.0.1 is also faster. The new version draws thumbnail images in a different way, and the new method enables faster scrolling and faster thumbnail resizing.

When you first run iPhoto 4.0.1, it informs you that it will have to update your photo library's thumbnails for the new format. Give it time. On a photo library containing about 4700 images, iPhoto 4.0.1 took about an hour to update my thumbnails. (This was on my test bed machine, a dual 800MHz G4 running Panther. I haven't updated the thumbnails on my main G4 yet.) And although the update went smoothly for me, be smart and back up your iPhoto library before you launch 4.0.1 for the first time.

Back to work -- I'm in the final stages of revising The Macintosh iLife '04. (And I dare say I've come up with a few GarageBand tips that are downright scary.) Look for the book and its all-new DVD soon, and pre-order your copy today.

Oh! And one last thing. I finally have this site's XML feed up and running properly, so if you're using an RSS newsreader such as NetNewsWire, please subscribe to the feed -- you'll find the pesky little orange XML button at the bottom of the sidebar to the right.