The Last Word on the Eddys

We’ve been doing the Editors’ Choice Awards for 20 years now. But those aren’t the only awards Macworld has given out in its long history. Back in the depths of time (meaning before any of the present editors started working here), the magazine gave out Readers’ Choice Awards as well. This year we decided to bring them back. But things have changed a bit since the last time we asked readers to tell us which products they thought were best. Back then, the poll was conducted the old fashioned way: we put a notice in the magazine soliciting votes, and readers sent those votes in via snail-mail. Modern times call for a more modern approach, so, this year, we moved things online, conducting two separate polls. First we asked Macworld.com visitors to nominate their favorite products of 2004. Nominees were all over the place, from the obvious (iMac G5) to the obscure. To avoid a list of finalists that scrolled to infinity, we cut out the nominees that got just one vote, then put the rest up for a final vote online. (Special thanks to contributing editor Rob Griffiths for setting up the survey with PHPSurveyor.) We also sent the list of finalists to our readers’ panel (a group of Macworld subscribers who, every month, give their opinions on the magazine and what’s happening in the Mac universe) to get their input. In the end, both groups picked the same products as their favorites. The iMac G5 was the hands-down winner for hardware of the year, beating out (among others), the iPod mini, the fourth-generation iPod, AirPort Express, and the dual-processor Power Mac. Things were more wide open on the software side. From dozens of nominees, we narrowed the list to just nine: BBEdit 8.0; Final Cut Pro HD 4.5; LaunchBar 4; Maya 6.0; Mellel 1.8; NewsFire 0.24; OmniWeb 5.0; Quicksilver 1.0 b31; and Toast 6.0.7. After the votes were counted, Final Cut Pro emerged as the winner. And readers say we dote on Apple.

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