Apple ended a 20-month drought between iLife overhauls by unveiling iLife ’08, during a press briefing at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters in early August.
iLife is comprised of the iPhoto digital-image management program; iMovie for editing digital video; iWeb for building web pages; GarageBand for recording music; and iDVD for creating DVDs. All five applications saw changes to varying degrees for the new version of the suite.
The updated suite, which is now available, will sell for $99. iLife ‘08 will also be bundled with all new Macs.
Major changes to iPhoto include a new Events feature that makes it easier to navigate through collections of photos associated with events like vacations, holidays, and other occasions. iPhoto automatically creates events based on the day the pictures were taken (replacing the old metaphor of “rolls”).
In introducing the latest version of iMovie, Jobs told a story about how one of the video engineers at Apple went on vacation and shot video of his trip. When he returned, he wanted to make a short video highlighting his trip, but he wanted to do it in about 30 minutes. After discovering that neither iMovie nor Final Cut Pro could do it, he wrote an app that would.
“We were so blown away, we decided to make it the new iMovie,” said Jobs. “It’s not an enhancement to the old iMovie, it’s a completely new way of editing video.” So completely new, in fact, that installing this version doesn’t overwrite your old version of iMovie. Apple has also made iMovie HD 6 available as a download for owners of new Macs who want the features of the old version.
Tweaks to GarageBand include multi-take recording, visual EQ, and basic notational printing; however, the most significant addition to the music-creation tool is a new feature called Magic GarageBand.
The idea behind Magic GarageBand is that the most difficult part of writing song is getting started. To speed up the process, Magic GarageBand provides a virtual stage and instruments that can be swapped out at any time, changing the tone of the song. Pick from any genre, and Magic GarageBand adds in loops.
Look for a full review of iLife ’08 in AMW’s October issue.