Several weeks after the release of iLife ’06, Apple released a new version of iWeb that tackled a major thorny issue I noted in the Web-publishing program’s debut. While several improvements in version 1.0.1 cleared up a host of concerns and altered the program slightly, the most significant improvement in iWeb 1.0.1 is its treatment of images. And that caused me to recalculate the rating.
Version 1.0 converted most images placed on its formatted pages to the PNG file format. This was a problem not only because PNGs, on the whole, tend to be larger than the more popular JPEG image format, and thus take longer to download, but also because they take up a lot of space on .Mac and other servers. While iWeb still does not let you specifically choose whether or how to optimize images, version 1.0.1 publishes most images and photo thumbnails as JPEGs, except in cases where an image contains a reflection, shadow, or rotation.
This improvement significantly speeded up download time for most pages, even those containing large images. For example, one image I published was originally posted as a hefty 644KB PNG. Reposting the image with version 1.0.1 resulted in a more-slender 180KB JPEG. That makes a big difference.
• Apple has enhanced iWeb’s photocasting feature to fix some minor URL issues and to add a Photocast icon to the link.
• Apple also improved minor blog-related issues such as updating the summary image for an inline audio file, fixing an issue with the Undo command, and changing the name of the Add Blog Entry button to simply Add Entry. The new version also should eliminate the iDisk Quota error message some users were getting when they tried to publish to .Mac.
• The new version allows you to use the same page names on multiple Web sites, so that if you’re publishing more than one site, you can have two “Welcome” or “About Me” pages. iWeb now automatically adds a number at the end of the page name.
• A movie preview improvement makes available some time information that was missing when sending movies from iMovie to iWeb, according to Apple.