Steve Jobs said, “This is the most exciting iLife upgrade ever.” He was right.
iPhoto, iTunes, iWeb, Garageband, iMovie, iDVD, all get more features, Intel Mac compatibility, better integration.
Garageband, the recording studio application for the rest of us, gets attention, too. It’s faster, more responsive (still a resource hog), and comes with a bunch of new tools, and it’s better integrated into the rest of iLife ‘06.
On the surface, iLife will look about the same. Under the hood, there’s changes aplenty.
Garageband records audio. Not just loops or musical instruments via a midi connection on your Mac. Voice audio. Podcsts. iChat. iMovie audio. And now it’s very good.
iPhoto has a nice little pop up during the scroll process that tells you where you are in the Library of photos.
Garageband has a nice little pop up during the scroll (left and right) that tells you where you are, in minutes and seconds, within the recording.
If you’ve used Garageband before, you’ll pick up on the changes quickly, though they’re well integrated. If you’re not a GB user, fire it up and give it a shot.
Making music that sounds good on Garageband is a treat, using the loops and jingles and sound effects that are built in.
The New Project window has new options. “Podcast Studio” and “New Movie Score”.
Garageband lets your Mac become a studio for recording podcasts. Not just simple audio, but podcasts with video, chapter markers, photos, multiple tracks of audio, even blending iChat conversations into a podcast.
GB’s podcast feature has built in support for voice audio recording that reduces ambient noise from your microphone (and does a good job), and reduces the background music levels (it’s called “ducking) so the voice can be heard.
Just as beneficial is the ability to use Garageband to record or enhance audio tracks from an iMovie project.
iMovie 5.x HD was limited to an additional audio track (and the audio with the video). No more. Finish your movie project and send the whole thing to Garageband, add tracks of music and voice.
That’s lots of power for a single application inside a suite that’s only $79.
Garageband does a podcast track (for photos) or a video track (for movies), one at a time, not both at the same time.
But for sweetening audio and adding tracks to a movie, it’s great. Once you’re done, export the whole project to a QuickTime movie.
I would prefer to have the whole project go back as an audio track to iMovie, but this is a good start. And better integration than ever.
I’ve been around audio recording tools for over 20 years. Garageband is NOT Logic, or SoundTrack, and doesn’t come with the price tag of either.
However, Garageband still records digitally, still has many tools that would have cost thousands of dollars just a few years ago.
If you use iMove but want more audio, GB is great improvement. If you’re interested in creating your own podcast, but are bewildered by all the tools, start with GB. It’s difficult to make it much easier and still retain high quality.
Garageband is just one of the half dozen applications that make up iLife ‘06. The whole is still greater than the sum of the parts. But the parts are very good.
Tera, where’ve you been? OK, GB is mature. Finally. iWeb is not.
Jack D. Miller
For the money of iLife, Garageband alone is worth the cost of entry. Nicely done. Still a resource hog.
Tera, Bambi—are you planning a podcast for Mac360? They’re all the rage these days.