Paul Thurrott reviews Apple iLife ‘04; calls for ‘iLife for Windows’

“At MacWorld San Francisco 2004 last month, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs introduced the company’s latest suite of multimedia tools, dubbed iLife ’04. Apple markets the $50 product as being ‘like Microsoft Office for the rest of your life,’ which is a cute way of saying that you’ll need the applications in this suite as much as you need products such as Word and Excel when you’ve got work to do. Although iLife ’04 isn’t perfect, it’s a stunning value for the money and a must-have purchase for every Mac OS X user. And if you aren’t running Mac OS X, fear not: I also explore some related offerings for PC users,” Paul Thurrott writes for Getting Connected. “Apple iLife ’04 includes five brilliantly integrated applications, and at least three of them are best of breed.”

Thurrott then reviews each app in iLife ’04. His bit about iTunes caught our eye:

“For Mac users, iTunes is just about perfect, and it’s a great example of the fit and finish Apple fans expect from their favorite company. On the interoperability side, things are a little murkier: Although iTunes integrates easily with the award-winning iPod, it doesn’t support any of the hundreds of other portable audio players on the market, or Microsoft’s pervasive Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, which most other music stores use. On the PC, you have several media players to choose from, but none are as simple and elegant as Apple’s offering, which also ships in a free PC version. For the best music-store experience on the PC, look into either Napster 2.0 or RealPlayer 10 (currently in beta), which is also a great media player. Windows users that need WMA compatibility will be best off with Windows Media Player (WMP) 9 Series,” Thurrott writes.

[MacDailyNews Note: if none of the WMA media players are as “simple and elegant” as the Apple iPod, then why buy one and deny yourself the ability to buy songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store? Wouldn’t the “best music-store experience on the PC” naturally be what the market is already proving: an Apple iPod and iTunes for Windows?]

Thurrott writes, “Apple’s iLife ’04 isn’t perfect, but it’s an amazing software value and a must-have application for all Mac users. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Apple Store, CompUSA, or Apple dealer, and pick up this package immediately


  1. I know this is beating a dead horse but every music player out there plays MP3s. iTunes supports MP3s on the Mac and Windows so iTunes supports every player on both systems. Ever his praise is thinly disguised FUD.

  2. That was the most accurate article I’ve ever read from Thurrott. Of course, it wasn’t totally accurate. He said, ” Although iTunes integrates easily with the award-winning iPod, it doesn’t support any of the hundreds of other portable audio players on the market…”

    That’s not true. Many other DMPs work with iTunes. They won’t directly play music purchased from iTMS but they will play your exisiting collection. This is one point that most “journalists” get wrong.

  3. Why am I not surprised? Thurrott’s praise of anything from Apple in other publications only emphasizes his hypocrisy in bashing Apple and the Mac when he’s playing for his audience on Wininfo. I would have far less of a problem if he stuck to a consistent Mac-hating position (which is his prerogative). He has zero journalistic integrity.

  4. The clamor for Apple products on Windows is good, keep it coming ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> Just leave them jealous and contemplating a switch!

    I won’t be giving Thurott any hits though.

  5. I love the idea of garage band on the iLife 04. What I dont like is the idea of comparing or trying copy from windows which sucks, what I have always loved about Apple is that it is different and has always tried to set standards for other operating systems, not copying from them.

  6. I suppose PC users can burn their WMA tracks to CD and then download them to iTunes. I know quality may sufffer somewhat, but… there is a way. As far as Thurrott not being interested in GarageBand. That’s OK. He doesn’t have a single creative gene in his entire body.

  7. I read his piece, just to see what he really thinks as better Windows versions. Somehow I don’t find him believable. But I did calculate his better Windows apps price, it came to about $130-150 without anything to replace GarageBand. And the Windows apps don’t work together like iLife does (or at all).
    I agree, buy a Mac already!

  8. The article mentions PC alternatives that cost more (yeah, I gave Paul a hit, but it wasn’t to his website so I got no guilt) for almost every category of iLife, but he fails to mention that there are also more expensive options for Macs as well. iLife is a winner because it combines all of these features into one suite for a very low cost. Adding up his cheapest alternatives more than doubles the price of buying iLife. Of course, if pc users simply switch, then they get a better computer AND the iLife suite free (oh yeah, that’s been mentioned) AND no mydoom! It is frustrating that anal-ysts can review this stuff and not figure out how to use iTunes across formats.

  9. One guy,
    Here in the U.S. ads are running on TV about why it is important that kids receive an education in the arts (including music) when they are young. The ads show kids without this education belittling musicians, paintings, etc. Maybe Paul T. could be the “poster child” for this campaign, given his lack of interest in GarageBand!

  10. Now Apple should concentrate to ip0rnSToRe.
    They all ready have the iMovie for editing, Garage Band for music, iDVD and .Mac for distribution. The applience could be something like iDild0 or iPu�y or iTiTs? This compined with iCal to share youre daiting calendar, AdressBook to share telephone numbers and iChat AV for van king.
    Though Apple must remember that there are children and Beatles, so they have to change the name for this service to iBanana.

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