Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Does anyone remember SoundJam?

Those guys over at Panic (a really great software company in Portland) help fill in some of the story of the birth of iTunes, through the story of their own product, Audion. Sound convoluted? Well, it's not really. Just read the story.

It's a little on the lengthy side, and certainly features too much Jobs-worship for Jason's taste, but it's really, really well written, quite funny, and features lots of little anecdotes and historical graphics.


Blogger monocle_man said...

I remember SoundJam.

And the Apple menu did NOT suck. You just had to know how to use it.

12/16/2004 07:59:00 PM

Blogger espd said...

It wasn't that the Apple Menu sucked.

It's just that the stuff they put in it was almost completely utter crap that no one ever used. I mean, other than the first time you booted up after you got your new Mac, did you ever use the Map? C'mon.

But you're right Mein Monocled Mann, it was all about how you used it that made the Apple Menu extremely valuable. Firstly, I would always move all the crappy little mini-apps out of it. Then I would put an alias of my entire hard drive in it -- boop -- instant access to every file on my computer just by mousing up to the menubar.

Then I would add aliases of my most-used folders and ones I accessed semi-regularly but that lived at otherwise obscure locations on my HD, like the Control Panels fodler and the Fonts folder, and even an alias to the System Folder, since in the OS 8x and 9x days I had to access it a lot.

Then I'd add a folder of aliases to all the apps I used regularly, so I could launch an app simply from the Apple Menu, without having to search through folders to find it. And yes, this was always better than double-clicking a file. If you don't know why, gentle reader, then the ´┐Żber-users like Monocleman and I will take pity on you and explain: What if I wanted to edit a JPG in Photoshop, but the default program to open JPGs downloaded from a server was set to be JADE or some other tiny viewer app? Double-click the JPG, and JADE laucnhes. But wait, I wanted Photoshop! Moral of story: You always launch the app and use the Open dialog to locate your file. Or, thank bog for Drag and Drop.

12/17/2004 10:48:00 AM

Blogger ynnej said...

Jesus Mark, you're a wordy fellow, aren't you? I'm *so* not reading that whole comment up there.

I have no idea what SoundJam is, but I remember Audion. I remember Audion on the schoolies' computer, and how that one function we found let us slow down that terrible Whitney Houston song to a hilariously deep, drawn-out piece. I remember rolling on the floor crying, unable to breath.

12/17/2004 03:18:00 PM

Blogger monocle_man said...

But the BESTES thing was to have (a) folder(s) with all your most used applications in both the apple menu and open but as tabs at the bottom of the screen. Easy launching of applications from the Apple menu, easy dropping files onto their non-deafult editing apps too, all with one click.

And Keycaps was a pretty cool little applet. I never used Keyboard viewer or whatever the hell they call in on OSX often enough to put it in my dock (especially in my iBook with minimal screen real estate to spare) but then it was a major pain in the butt when I needed to track it down to write Cyrillic.

Tangent: Just watched "The Terminal" the other day. Catherine Zeta-ones asks Tom Hanks what the BH on his luggage stands for. Victor Neborski. I get it!

12/18/2004 04:17:00 PM


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