The Mossberg Solution reviews Apple iLife ‘08: ‘a pleasure to use’

“Apple Inc. last week introduced… a major update to its iLife software suite, which comes loaded on all its Macintosh models — not just the new iMac — and can be purchased by existing Mac owners for $79. The suite includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb and GarageBand — programs that help average people organize, edit, share and publish photos, videos and music. These uncluttered and intuitive programs have been best of breed, so Apple’s decision to update iLife is intriguing, if for nothing other than to see what major improvements could really be made,” Katherine Boehret reports for The Mossberg Solution from The Wall Street Journal.

Boehret reports, “This week I tested iLife ‘08 [and found that] new programs in iLife ‘08 are a pleasure to use.”

Full review, focusing on iPhoto and iMovie with much about Apple’s new iMac, here.


  1. I hope iWeb is fixed, latest version crapped out on me.

    Copied dozens of links on my web page, worked fine on my machine. When uploaded, didn’t work worth a damm.

    I was so fustrated, uploading over and over, but it still wouldn’t work. So I gave up.

    I paid for a whole year at the maximum dot web price, and I can’t even fscking use my site because of crappy iWeb.

  2. I personally love the new iLife, and the new iMovie is particularly good. Sure it’s not got as many features as the old one but it’s so much easier to use. I think the old one was too complicated for some users and for what people wanted to do for it and not advanced enough for others. Final Cut is perhaps now too big of a jump so they could perhaps do with an interim app but for iLife I think it’s just about right.

  3. i’m still adapting … but i noticed some problems (that apple store wasn’t able to solve) between iphoto events and front row … they simply don’t work together … let me know if i’m the only one

  4. I think I’ll wait for the first or second round of bug fixes before jumping into iLife ’08. The buzz about iMovie, good and bad, is surprisingly loud. I’d like to try it out first before buying.

  5. iLife 08 is all good except for one giant, un-Apple-like disaster: iMovie 08.

    Unlike most of the contributors to this MDN forum, iMovie faithful have waited longer than ever before for a true update to iMovie HD with improvements long requested and even longer ignored by the moguls at Cupertino.

    So, some spare engineer goes diving (or so master marketer Steve said), decides he can’t make a movie fast enough (can anyone say ‘magic imovie’) so Apple reinvents iMovie, downgrades it to toy level, and calls it a breakthrough. BALONEY!

    Now, we iMovie faithful are stuck with a fading iMovie HD that Apple no longer supports and doesn’t engage the power of Intel.

    No question this is the biggest mistake ever from the iPhone-beleaguered, Mac-neglected team at Apple.

    We all wondered where the disaster of putting all the talent onto Steve’s favorite product would show up. Now we know. It’s iMovie and it’s really, really a shame.

    So, blast away with all your claims that we still have iMovie HD, that ’08 is better (for children), and whatever else you want to say to defend this indefensible blunder, but that’s what it is!

  6. I don’t even own a photo camera, let alone a camcorder, so iMovie is sort of a non-issue for me, but the demo looked interesting enough. Can you elaborate on what exactly is wrong with it, as opposed to iMovie HD? I’m just curious.

  7. Apple’s iMovie 08 discussion forums are full of the answers to your questions – unless, that is, you don’t get to them before the Apple censors (working at a fever pace never seen before) take down the comments that are full of outrage.

    Summary, though, is loss of critical and necessary editing functions for both the video and audio (especially the audio), loss of chapter markers, loss of themes, loss of any plug ins (there are 100s for iMovie HD), loss of a timeline, not really a storyboard, overall ‘feel’ of a true video editing experience – the thing is a toy – it seems that, horrors or horrors, iMovie 08 is a knock-off of MS Movie Maker.

    Can you believe Steve would actually copy something from the PC world?

    If you are a beginner, then ’08 may be great for you. But, if you, after a while, want to do something better than a faster or fancy video slide show, you will soon be bored and frustrated!

  8. I always thought iMovie was in a strange place. It was not quite Final Cut, but it still had a learning curve. In the past, I often would start a movie project in iMovie if I was just looking for a simple production, but always found myself moving the footage over to FCP within a few minutes of not getting quite what I wanted in iMovie.

    It seems that iMovie 08 has finally gotten focus and differentiated itself from FCP. Now it seems to truly be good at getting a quick movie going. For those of you who are complaining about a “dumbing down” of iMovie, try FCP Express — it is what you are really looking for. Maybe they should rename FCP Express something like iMovie Pro

  9. Mistake, If by saying “iMovie HD doesn’t take advantage of Intel,” you mean that it’s not a Universal Binary, you’re wrong. It is.

    I like the new iMovie. This comes from someone who’s edited film and video in the analog days, then went to Premiere, Avid, and finally Final Cut Pro as my main tools (though I also used several tools or learned others so I could consult).

    What I like about the new iMovie is best represented in what I didn’t like about the old iMovie. It was stripped of so much functionality (available in Final Cut Express or Pro) that much of its structure and UI didn’t make sense. This would’ve been ok if it was geared more towards the idea that people would grow from one to the other (like how people can from FCE or FCP), but the design of iMovie HD did not help with people making the transition.

    iMovie ’08 is designed specifically for people either new to editing, or only with the needs of a low-end app. For some of my very simple and basic projects, I even may end up using it.

    The one problem, is that if you aren’t very familiar with other various editing apps, but do know iMovie HD you may find iMovie ’08 different without necessarily being better until you get past the learning curve.

    This is why every review that is critical of iMovie ’08 (compared to iMovie HD) usually says things that aren’t true…specifically in regards to the timeline.

    So far, my experience with getting newbies up to speed has been that ’08 *is* easier.

  10. The iWeb situation is even worse than portrayed above. Many, many users have lost data, entire web sites have been destroyed, and the peasants are lighting torches to march on Cupertino. I was spared due to a healthy backup regimen, but even some who thought they were safe had their files trashed by this update from hell. I can’t remember any Apple update in the past that caused so much damage to so many. If iWeb was a toy, it would have been pulled from stores by now. The problems must be huge and deep, because there’s been no word on a fix as of yet.

  11. It’s not just iMovie – even iWeb seems a disaster as well.
    old pages do not upgrade without some reformatting, and the new photo pages look horrible with all the additional buttons that they come with. and unlike before, they offer less customization.

  12. @ January 24, 1984

    “…After looking at the newest version, I bought FCE.”

    Because that is what Apple wanted you to do, along with all the independent and/or low budget filmakers who have been using the previous versions of iMovie.

    For many filmmakers, iMovie’s feature set was more than adequate, especially considering its price when compared to FCE/FC. For future young filmmakers, going from the new iMove to FCE/FC is going to be a frustrating experience.

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