Since iLife comes with every new Mac and Macs now start at $79, that either makes the Mac mini and absurb bargain, or Apple’s figured out another way to make us pay.
iLife ‘05 doesn’t really disappoint, though you’re left with a feeling that $79 ought to get you something more—until you figure out how good the whole package is.
Then you’ll probably complain less.
Here’s what you get in iLife ‘05:
iTunes 4.7.1. That’s not new and it’s a free download from Apple anyway.
iPhoto 5. This is the sleeper application that more Mac users use than any except iTunes. iPhoto has some new tools. You can import video clips in addition to digital camera images (including RAW). Search is faster, entering keywords is faster, entering comments and changing image names is faster.
There’s a new iPhoto menu selection called “Share.” You’ll see it more and more in iLife applications.
The editing tools are nice, though not as sophisticated as Portraits and Prints, or Adobe’s Photoshop Elements. But they’re free.
I was particularly pleased that iPhoto didn’t screw up my 7,500 image library with the upgrade.
Garageband 2.0. Nominal upgrade, though performance is better and live recording of up to 8 tracks is now possible. There’s also a real-time music notation tool and tune enhancements (for those of us who’d rather hum than sing).
You can even use Garageband to tune your guitar (assumes you have a guitar to tune).
iMove HD. Steve Jobs mentioned “HD” more often than he should, considering there’s not much of anything HD yet. Cameras. TV shows. Not much at all.
Hmmmm. Is something else coming with a little help from “friend” Sony?
Regardless, iMove HD is an enhanced application, not a block buster. However, it feels smoother, more precision in the controls, and performance is notably different. Not many extra barn-burner features, though.
iDVD 5. You’ll love this. Like iMovie 5, iDVD 5 is enhanced over all with a bunch of very cool Templates that have animated “drop zones.” You can drop photos or movies into the zones as they move across the screen.
There’s new Themes (as well as many old ones), and, as best I can tell without actually trying, iDVD will record the standard bunch of DVD media formats—DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, and do so on most non-SuperDrive DVD burners (correct me if I’m wrong on that).
So, what’s not to like with iLife ‘05?
Well, for one, you gotta pay for it. $79. Still, it’s a great value unless you just bought iLife ‘04 a month or two ago. There’s not a new application and not many major features for the applications already there.
Performance seems improved, and notable even on a dual 2.5 ghz PowerMac G5. Less notable on a PowerBook G4.
Oh, one more thing. The playlists are smarter and integration of files betwen the apps is much smoother. This is not a BIG upgrade, but it’s an important upgrade.
Since iLife ‘05 will begin shipping on Mac mini’s, you can expect a lot of former Windows users to be blown away.