USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple iMac, iLife: Best desktop home computer, best multimedia software

“Apple’s svelte iMac computers always turn heads. But I’m also smitten with the Mac’s rock solid OS X operating system and top-shelf iLife software suite — programs that tame pictures, videos and more,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today.

“Enhancements to some iLife programs were relatively modest: In iWeb, you can add Google Maps, Google AdSense targeted ads and other live “widgets” to your website. The iDVD program has new animated themes. And GarageBand added a fun Magic GarageBand feature that lets you ‘audition’ with a virtual band by selecting a musical genre and then clicking on various software instruments, or using real ones,” Baig reports.

“Changes to iPhoto and iMovie were more dramatic. The makeover of iMovie was so substantial — dumbed down, some will say — that in eliminating features found in previous versions, it may frustrate advanced users. But the old version is still at hand,” Baig reports.

“The result is sort of iMovie on a diet, simpler for beginners to create polished videos quickly but lacking editing tools that more-seasoned video editors have come to appreciate, notably video and audio “timeline” tracks. Installing iMovie ’08 as an upgrade leaves the previous version, called iMovie HD, intact on your system. Or if you buy a new Mac with iLife ’08, Apple lets you download iMovie HD for free,” Baig reports.

“Taken as a whole, iLife remains the best collection of multimedia software. And in looks, design and pizazz, the iMac is still the best desktop computer for home users,” Baig reports.

More about Apple’s new iMacs and iLife ’08 in Baig’s full article here.

33 Comments

  1. One thing everybody seems to be forgetting – when they say the new version of iMovie is supposed to be better for beginners and low end users – are the outrageous system requirements: far more than anything else in the iLife suite, and even worse than Final Cut!

    Also, MDN’s take – that iMovie shouldn’t be as powerful as it was beacuase it was too cheap – conveniently forgets the fact that iLife sells Macs, not just itself. Indeed, iMovie was probably the single biggest source of switchers of any Mac software.

  2. Maybe Apple should have put both versions of iMovie in iLife ’08. They could have slightly upgraded iMovie HD and then added this new “dumbed down” version too. They could have called the new version iMovie Express for the Amateur users. Maybe that would have appeased all the irate iMovie HD users.

  3. I doubt iMovie was a source of switchers. I don not know anybody who uses it. People here tend to forget that simple truth – most Mac users don’t use iMovie/Garageband/iWeb – because they have no reason to. The only one everybody uses is iPhoto.

  4. There was no reason to dumb-down iMovie. It’s just a greedy ploy by Apple to sell more copies of Final Cut. iMovie has now become a totally amateur application for creating lame-assed amateur videos. Apple has sold out it’s iMovie user-base. If MS did something like this everyone here would be laughing at their greed and incompetence.

  5. Benjamin Lachkar:
    “I doubt iMovie was a source of switchers. I don not know anybody who uses it. People here tend to forget that simple truth – most Mac users don’t use iMovie/Garageband/iWeb – because they have no reason to. The only one everybody uses is iPhoto.”

    imho- iMovie was/is one of the biggest draws in the iLife package and the reason I upgrade iLife. When I show people what iMovie can do and so easily, it has caused people to change platforms. My brother was a PC head (very stubborn… “I’m not gonna get a Mac!” now has a 20″ iMac. His sons have a G4 Ibook and a Macbook so they can create movies of the vacation which they’re enjoying at this moment

  6. With all the hysterical ranting and raving about iMovie, it appears that Apple probably should have had both versions together with the ability to switch between the quick version and the more advanced. I would imagine they are trying to simplify things in general to make it easier for people possibly switching to the Mac. But it appears they may have made a miscalculation on this. Maybe they will rethink this situation. Personally, I’ve never used iMovie or owned a video camera. But after seeing the demos of the new version, I am tempted to get into video. Yeah, I know, that’s not a logical reason to do so. I can be gullible when it comes to technology.

  7. I’ve never used iMovie, but I’m tempted to use the new version because it sounds easy. Apple probably plans to add back many of the missing editing features. This may have just been an innovative new app that Steve was excited to share and it’s not fully baked. Remember OS X 10.0? It was definitely not ready for prime time.
    Frankly, I’m a little tired of all the ignorant whining by former iMovie users. You can still use the old version and you DON’T know that the new version won’t improve. Give Apple a chance! Ever heard of waiting until all the evidence comes in before jumping to conclusions? Guess not. You must either be the products of a poor education, or just jerks. Well, which is it?

  8. Luke: “There was no reason to dumb-down iMovie. It’s just a greedy ploy by Apple to sell more copies of Final Cut. iMovie has now become a totally amateur application for creating lame-assed amateur videos. Apple has sold out it’s iMovie user-base. If MS did something like this everyone here would be laughing at their greed and incompetence.”

    Umm, is that why they’re allowing people to download iMovie HD FOR FREE – so they can sell more copies of Final Cut? Yeah…that makes about as much sense as a bull with tits.

  9. Hey you won’t hear me bitch. I have my cake and eat it too, iMovie’08 for fast & casual edits, and ’06 when I want/need to be more serious. Win Win!
    I does seem a sensible concept to have just included both to begin with, perhaps with a more “mass market/amateur” name for ’08.

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