iPhoto 6 is ‘like magic’ according to Apple’s ever-modest CEO Steve Jobs, because it introduces “Photocasting“, where, for the bargain price of ‘just’ $US99 a year, you can automatically upload your photos to your .Mac account and let your family members automatically download them into iPhoto or an RSS reader of your choice.
Wait, did I just say an RSS reader of your choice?
That’s what Steve said, more or less, in his recent keynote address at MacWorld San Francisco.
But now it turns out that the RSS generated by iPhoto 6, if viewed in any RSS viewer other than Safari, advises the user that they should use Safari instead, which sounds surprisingly like “best viewed in Internet Explorer”. Groan.
Here’s the message when you try to go to a MacNN reader’s photocast using a browser other than Safari:
(example photocast: http://photocast.mac.com/bobbistyle/iPhoto/bobsiteone/index.rss)
One MacNN reader even points out that Apple says on its iPhoto 6 product info page: “Oh, and if Aunt Sophia doesn’t have iPhoto or she has a computer that runs Windows, she can still subscribe to your Photocasts via any RSS-compatible browser or RSS reader.”
Well, er, no.
Another reader thinks, though, that it’s just an oversight on Apple’s part: “Give me a f***king break. Safari’s share is under 2%, and it won’t run on a Win/PC which has a 97% market share. You really think Apple considers crippling iPhoto photocasts for non-Safari web browsers a GOOD IDEA? Especially after they declare it compatible with any RSS reader?”
Despite how it appears, the latter reader may be right. The error message above does include a link which allows the photos to be viewed in a regular RSS viewer. (The difference is that the URL has “web” in place of “photocast” in it… you get redirected to http://web.mac.com/bobbistyle/iPhoto/bobsiteone/index.rss)
However, Apple is playing a dangerous game by creating a ‘new standard’ for photocasting which is really just a bastardisation of an existing one – RSS. If you do view Bobbi’s photocast in Safari, iPhoto automatically fires up and asks if you’d like to subscribe to the photocast. Apple is presumably trying to create the ‘seamless iTunes Music Store experience’ for photocasting, but it won’t win any friends in the wider tech community by going down the ‘Microsoft Java’ path.