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iPhoto 6: it begins

Wow. And I mean it in both the good and bad sense of the word. But mostly in the bad. iPhoto 6 delivers unto us our annual magical performance boost —which is wonderful in the way that only the ability to plug your camera in without stalling your entire computer can be considered wonderful— along with full-screen editing and a few mediocre features like broken RSS publishing that relies on a .Mac subscription and new ways to spend money on hard copies of your photos.

Surprise! Your $79 didn’t buy you any new features that weren’t added to induce further spending!

That said, the upgrade is kinda ‘worth it’ from a performance perspective. Oh, and you can arbitrarily rename film rolls now.

From my seat there’s nothing really wrong with iPhoto’s feature set. I can import photos, I can add keywords, I can search, I can organize them into albums… all the pieces are there. It’s just that the interface is so strained, and becomes more and more strained with every iteration, that it borders useless. I mentioned the ability to add keywords; yeah, I can add them, but it’s overly complicated and altogether too painful to endure. If it weren’t for Ken Ferry’s Keyword Assistant, I wouldn’t do it.

My eternal hope is that the next iLife release (and I hoped this last year, to no avail) will be the kind of release with just a couple of modest features and a complete overhaul of the suite’s UI. Not in the cosmetic sense, we just had that, but in the sense that things should stop being arbitrarily stupid for inexplicable reasons.

What will follow in the coming days will be a diary, of sorts, chronicling my discontent with what —as a digital camera user— is iLife’s central application. Stay tuned.