New Finder not good enough! What Apple should do...

in macOS edited January 2014
I know it is at least 3 months to 10.5 and the new Finder but from what Apple has shown, they did not go far enough with the new Finder. Cover Flow and QuickLook are great and are needed. Good work Apple. But what also is desparately needed is better metadata control and editing- especially with audio, video, and photo files.

I have over 20,000 photos in IPhoto and over 300 CDs in iTunes. Apple has no Video database program. This is a glaring oversight - maybe a new iLife will add this - I hope. Maybe as a new upgrade of iMovie. But Apple needs to go even farther.

In iPhoto and iTunes, metadata is very important and is a much better way to organize files then the traditional Finder way. The physical folder location of the file is not important as the metadata which is attached to the file. I use metadata for searching and locating files and also for putting the same file in multiple folders - playlists, slideshows, etc.

What I think we all need is for Finder to incorporate this metadata and database function instead of leaving it to iTunes and iPhoto. The new 10.5 Finder is far inferior to what iPhoto and iTunes does with file management of music and photos. This file management really belongs in the Finder. After all, the iLife/iWork apps have two brower views - the regular Finder browser view and the Media browser view. Doesn't this redundancy bother anybody?

Then the OS should load in the background the small edit apps needed for that datatype. When I want to edit, bang the edit app is already loaded into RAM and ready instantly. If I do not edit, then I never know it was there, ready in case I needed it. If I need heavy duty editing, then I can call up the pro level app for that datatype. This is what these iLife apps kind of do anyway - at least iPhoto.

The other big thing that is needed is an iLife file server for this data. For example, I have four computers and 6 computer users (me, wife, four kids) that need access to my iTunes, iPhoto, and libraries. I want to store the databases on my server and everybody have access to these files all the time. iLife is just not built well for this. It is designed for a single user with a little sharing. However, many families need much more robust sharing needs. By incorporating the iPhoto and iTunes libraries into the Finder, the OS file server an then do its job managing these libraries.

Apple just released FCP Server for corporations and that is needed badly. However, I think many families need this for all its media and Apple needs to get there quick. Apple needs to establish a home network line including file servers and RAID storage for media. They have given us good tools for content creation for the average person but the average person/family now has pro level storage and server needs.

In short, I think the iMovie needs a video library like iPhoto and iTunes. Then these apps need to be split between the file management and the editing side. The file management side needs to go into the Finder and the edit side into the OS, just like the long lost OpenDoc once proposed. Then Apple needs to add the Finder's new media management abilities to OS X Server. Apple then needs to position this upgraded OS X Server into a solution for families and small offices, not just FCP Server for multiple FC Studio users. Finally, Apple needs to package their XServe and XServe RAID lines for these markets.

This may sound like overkill but it is not. It is needed today by some of us, and in the future will be needed by most people. It is only a matter of time before all houses will have a central server, RAID storage, and ethernet wiring/wireless throughout the house.

Apple also needs to get into the livingroom in a big way. A hobby - not. A single remote livingroom entertainment system is desparately needed. Apple can and should deliver. This system should also robust enough for decent gaming.

With the iPhone growing up eventually and adding always connected internet with iChatAV, Apple is growing into a mega company that can be the next Sony. They are on their way and have the individual pieces. THey just have to combine/recombine them into the right products.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    Great post!

    Unlike just complaining about the Finder you've provide a cogent argument for what is deficient and what you'd like to see.

    I think your family is probably a few years ahead of the curve. We have quickly gone from the family sharing a computer to the family (all with computers) sharing data. I agree about the need for a home server and a need for client/server functionality in iLife. ZFS is important for the future not only because it handles gobs of storage but that it's built around protection, ease of use and administration.

    A simple chassis with bays for storage makes sense. Need another 2 terabyte? Plug in that in.

    iTunes client should have a local cache file that keeps user specific metadata. I'd love to be able to point my computers all at the same repositor of music but my wife or son may not rate "Along the Watchtower" a ***** like I do. They need a way of accessing the same file but appendng their own metadata. Embedded in this cache would also be ACLs so that my son doesn't have access to Prince's "Darling Nicki" before he's of age.

    Computers have come a long way but they seemingly have a long way to go. We're in the "spiffy UI" phase but beyond the veneer we see that usability is a harder beast to slay.

    Although I do acknowlede that Apple is moving towards this direction.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    visionaryvisionary Posts: 118member
    Good points. I too want to see what Apple will do with zfs. I also agree about the local user metadata and parental access control.

    Simplicity is the key to the home network system, media data management, and entertainment system. Even the OS and apps itself. This is Apple's specialty. There is no way Microsoft or any Linux flavor can come close to doing what Apple can do.

    We are all starting to have systems of systems. The livingroom entertainment system is tied to the computer and internet which is tied to central storage which is tied to handheld devices which is tied to another computer and on and on. It is not enough to develop individual systems but to make systems which all work together.

    Most people's entertainment system has a zillon wires in the back, ten remotes, and people cannot figure out how to record to their VCR like they use to. Each individual electronic piece works fine, but do they all work together with simplicity - no way. A company needs to step up and deliver this system of systems. I think Apple is the only company capable of doing so.

    I really think Apple has all the pieces and maybe is moving full steam along this path. They get closer one step at a time. But yet it pains me to see how slow the progress is. I see the light at the end of the tunnel but at this pace it will take years to get there. I think many people have needs today and wish Apple would invest in a number of new engineers/programmer who can speed up this train.

    I really do not think most people realize what their future could look like. If I had time I would love to do a full mockup of all these parts and how they work together. Once people see how things could be, they will realize that is exactly what they need and want.

    Apple has done some of these studies/examples before. Some of the posters in the forums here have pointed these out to me. I am not talking about unrealistic visions of the future, but a system of systems using off the shelf tech. There are no big tech hurdles to jump over, just bagging out code and unifying it all together with elegance.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,281member
    It would be better that Finder incorporates some Services that work with iTunes and iPhoto.

    UNIX is about leveraging specialized applications that work well for a specific need.

    NeXT and now Apple leveraged this notion and with Services 3rd parties collaborated on opening up portions of functionality in their apps that doesn't re-invent the wheel, but made the sum of their parts larger than each app's basic functionality.

    Make a service from iTunes that allows you to do what you think needs to be done in Finder, without bloating the Finder.
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