Mac integration

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by someone28624, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. someone28624 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    I'm pretty newbish to Macs, but loving my Macbook so far. Now, one thing I keep hearing about is how well all the programs on the Mac (ie, Safari, iCal, iLife, iWork (?), Mail) are integrated with each other. Can anyone give me examples of how this is the case?

    I'm just wondering, because while I am digging OS X, I'm still using Google Calendar, have no on-computer address book (except with e-mail addresses in gmail), and I'm using Neoffice and Firefox instead of iWork and Safari, even though I own the full version of iWork '08. I'm also using Adium instead of iChat. I've barely used iDVD at all, and definitely haven't used Garage Bank or iMovie HD.

    I guess I feel like I'm not taking full advantage of my Mac.

    I'm just wondering if going through the work of switching things over will save me time and effort in the long run.
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Use what suits you. I like the integration when it comes to things like adding photos to an iWeb site or to something in Pages, and the photos are all named properly and sorted into albums as they'd appear in iPhoto. The same applies for a lot of the apps. I guess it's a case of trying them to find out if they suit you better than your current batch. :)
  3. someone28624 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Ok, I guess my question is what integration? How do they work together?
  4. MikeTheC Guest


    Apr 26, 2004
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    Well, integration is more than just getting programs to interoperate, although that is a major portion of it.

    Integration is, in any meaningful sense, the "whatever it takes" to result in a workflow that is seamless and efficient, end to end.

    I'll give you two different examples of workflow.

    Scenario: Making a DVD of a recent trip
    • Starting before you ever get to your Mac, you'll know you're going to be taking still images and movies, and desire to have them as component parts of the eventual project.
    • So, you take photos on your digital camera (presumably) and, depending on how many flash media cards you own, their capacity, and your own personal preference, you'll either periodically throughout the trip put 'em into your laptop Mac and store them in iPhoto, or you'll dump them -- en masse -- when you get back from your trip.
    • You'll -- again, at some point -- connect your digital video camera to your Mac and transfer all the video on it into iMovie. You'll probably initially at least do some rough editing to pull out junk footage.
    • OK, now that you've gotten all your own stuff from the trip onto your Mac...
    • Go into iPhoto, sort through all the images you took, kill off the ones you really don't want, and then rank the remaining ones. Presumably, you'll take the ones you like the best and make a separate album from them.
    • Go into iMovie and edit down the video footage you shot so you have exactly what you're looking for.
    • Import some music into iTunes, either from your own CDs, from the iTunes Music Store, etc.
    • Now that you've got yourself all set up to do the DVD project...
    • Go into iDVD, tell it to create a new project, and then add still images into it. Some of them will be for backgrounds, some will be in the menu, others will be slideshows.
    • Bring your video footage into iDVD, adjusting and tweaking it to your own personal satisfaction.
    • Import the music you want from iTunes, stick it into the menus, put it over your slideshows, and use it to substitute for the audio portions of that video which is otherwise silent or who's actual existing audio content you don't want.
    • Continue to tweak the project until it's just the way you like, then burn it to DVD.

    Scenario: Creating an avatar for a message board
    • Shoot a photo of something you want to use as your avatar.
    • Import that image into iPhoto.
    • Export the image someplace, then open it up using Photoshop.
    • In Photoshop, use the Lasso tool to select the unwanted background around the object you're interested in.
    • Inverse the selection, so that now only the object itself is selected. Feather it by 2-4 pixels.
    • Copy and paste that image into a new document with a transparent background.
    • Save the image as a Photoshop document.
    • Resize the image as required to comply with the message board avatar requirements.
    • Re-save this image as either a PNG or a GIF, either of which support a transparent background.
    • Rename the file such that it takes up the minimum number of characters to be useful, and that the filename contains no spaces.
    • Upload the image to an image hosting site, say ImageShack or PhotoBucket. Once uploaded, copy the image link URL as provided.
    • On the message board in question, paste the remote image URL into the avatar settings area. Save your changes.

    So, as you can see, workflow varies, but the progression is logical. Now, in either of the above cases, as well as in many dozens more, Mac users typically perceive their experience on a Mac to be better because the applications we typically use are ones which generally obey Apple's traditional guidelines for user interface and workflow, and of critical importance is that the goal is NOT to dumb down the process nor the interface (which is frequently the case with Microsoft and other Windows developers), but to give you the flexibility to do what you want without unnecessary encumberment.

    I'm not sure if this is exactly the kind of explanation you are looking for, but I hope it helps.

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