The Mac/PC Time Warp

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Sometimes, being a Mac user feels like being trapped in a strange, distorted time warp. In some ways, we’re well behind. Games are the classic example of this: many games reach the Macintosh platform at just about the time the PC version hits the budget ranges. At other times, you feel well ahead of the PC pack – I was wearing those distinctive white iPod earbuds long before the little white music player became a mass-marlet phenomenon, and almost a generic name for MP3 players.

I was struck by this feeling again, as I read this article, linked by Brian:

Andrew Teh was tired of nobody ever watching his home movies. �Even my own wife wouldn�t sit through my videos, and she was in half of them,� he recalls. So, when his daughter Cynthia�s wedding loomed last January, he vowed to create a show that people would sit through without being emotionally blackmailed.

The key, Teh realised, was editing his amateur footage into something friends might find more appetising. �If the material was cut down to the best bits, arranged to tell a story, dressed up with a few eye-catching effects, explanatory titles and backing music, I thought people might even ask to see it.�

This is sold as news. Silly season news, sure, but news. Now, I was doing all this nearly five years ago. The circumstances were less than ideal: my Dad was dying, my brother bought a video camera so we could capture some of his reminiscences of his life before he went, and I picked up a new iBook so I could edit the footage in iMovie. All the stuff that’s proclaimed as revolutionary in the article was available to me, hardly an enthusiast or hobbyist, nearly half a decade ago.

However, there is a reason behind this hitting the papers about now: the launch of Windows XP Service Pack 2 last year.

�Best of all, the Windows XP Service Pack 2 update came with this great editing application called Windows Movie Maker 2, which is far more powerful than the original version, letting you add titles, apply filters to give your video a special look or change scenes with good-looking transitions.�

But then, perhaps that’s the point. Most Mac users are early adopters, of a sort. They tend to be more willing to mess around with things in a creative way. That’s why the Mac ethos, its look and feel, appeal to them. What this article is marking is the passing of the idea that originated with Apple passing into the mainstream. And the mainstream is, most definitely, Windows.

Technorati Tags: apple, dv, imovie, mac, pc, windows, video

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.