Computerworld reviews Apple iLife ‘08: ‘Innovations are definitely worth the time and $79 price tag’

“Last week’s release of iLife ’08 marked the first update to Apple’s digital media suite in more than 18 months. Originally created as part of Apple’s digital hub strategy as a single, user-friendly repository for digital media, iLife has grown into a creative suite of applications that make it easy for anyone to turn his digital memories into books, movies and DVDs, Web sites and beyond. It has become a staple for Mac users, shipping with every new Macintosh computer and offering tools for managing and editing digital photos, video and music,” Ryan Faas reports for Computerworld.

“Despite the long wait, the new version’s innovations are definitely worth the time and the $79 price tag. The components that have seen the most changes are iMovie and iPhoto, so we’ll start with those applications. GarageBand, iWeb and iDVD have all seen improvements as well, though — some major, some minor — and we’ll get to those in turn,” Faas reports.

Fass takes a look at:
• iMovie: For anyone who wants to edit digital video, iMovie ’08 is a must-have upgrade. There are no consumer video-editing tools on the market that come close to its interface for either ease of editing or organizational features. Add to that the professional-level titles, transitions and results that it allows, and iMovie alone can justify the cost of upgrading to the new version of iLife.
iPhoto: iPhoto’s ease of use as a single product and as a desktop- rather than Web-based application continue to place it above most competitors… Overall, this is a great update, even if you don’t use every new feature.
iWeb: The ability to add HTML code to iWeb pages, combined with its existing ease of use, makes iWeb ’08 one of the best consumer-oriented Web design tools available. And the fact that users can now take advantage of the special .Mac effects using a custom domain name adds value to both iWeb and .Mac.
iDVD: Apple has included a number of new themes and a number of new buttons. While not as exciting as iMovie’s new interface or iWeb’s ability to add Web widgets, [these are] a welcome addition to iLife.
• GarageBand: Without a doubt, this is the best version of GarageBand Apple has ever produced… All in all, it’s a great product that offers users a fun time as well as excellent sound.

Much, much more in the full article here.

27 Comments

  1. No one out there on any platform can claim that there is a better deal out there than iLife or iWork. I love and use Keynote all the time to give lectures to residents and medical students. Of course, I get the usual question every time, “how did you do that in PowerPoint?” So, after I educate them that there is PowerPoint for the Mac (and was initially released before the Winblows version), I educate them about Keynote. When I tell them that it is only $40 (now only $27 in iWork ’08) vs. $300 for PowerPoint, their jaws hit the floor. “You can do that with a $40 program?!?!?!”

    MW: “knew” as in, if the average person out there only knew how bad M$ bends them over, they would insist upon a jar of vaseline packaged into every product they sell!

  2. Wow. Someone out there gave the new iMovie a positive review.

    I think I’ll wait until after I upgrade to Leopard before getting iWork and iLife ’08. I bet there are features that will be “unlocked” by Leopard (ie. need Core Animation).

  3. Does anyone know how the new dock in Leopard will look positioned to the right or left on the Desktop?

    I couldn’t find anything on Apple.com. I think Steve showed it briefly during the WWDC keynote. I’m wondering how reflectivity and Stacks will look and work if the Dock is vertical.

  4. @Rory
    Actually – my wife is an expert with iMovie (she is writing a pretty amazing book about the ease of use to go from raw footage and turn it into a professional “document” with only iLife products) and at first she did not like the new iMovie… but she has used it solid for about 40 hours now – since last week and finds that she actually likes it better then the previous version.

    She has discovered all sorts of little hidden features that are not in the old version.

    So she is pretty pleased. She thinks that the people who are naysayers haven’t used it to any extent and are too lazy to learn new conventions.

    Biggest thing is in-process conversion that she used to do with 3rd party programmes.

    Oh, BTW – she is also quite proficent with Final Cut Studio 2 – so this is not from someone who is a wannabe in the post-production world.

    Cheers.

  5. I have but two bones to pick – Apple’s silly decision to lock the iPhoto 08 library is making it very difficult for the unskilled user to upload photos from their hard drive to the .Mac Gallery. When they go to upload their photos, the drop-down Finder window will not allow them access (greyed out), meaning in order to do it they are required to perform an export of the photos they want to the desktop so they can access them there. In this scenario, Windows users and those using iPhoto 06 and earlier have and obvious advantage. Apple needs to fix this ASAP by having the browser based Finder window allow access to the library or even to iPhoto itself.

    Also, there are some photos that I want the site visitor to have access to full size versions by download and the Gallery feature automatically dumbs them down to a few KB. If I want to add a full size photo I am required to upload the gallery then add the bigger photos via my browser. Just plain dumb.

    Other than these two things, I am immensely pleased with the new iLife 08. It is flat out fantastic.

  6. How is the library locked? You can “Right-Click / CONTROL+Click” the select “Show Package Contents” to view the hierarchy. Or simply right click an image in iPhoto and select Show File. Apple changing the iPhoto library to a package was a great move! Keeps the people who know just enough to get into trouble from fudging up their iPhoto Library by tinkering with the structure. I hope they do this with iTunes and make everything run from one package.

    Only problem I’ve run into with iPhoto ’08 is when your library is stored on a FAT32 HD (an external drive I still access from a PC). That causes frequent drop outs in the app when accessing the drive. A quick copy of the library to a Mac OS Extended drive solved that issue for me. Smooth sailing now, and love the new version.

  7. “How is the library locked? You can “Right-Click / CONTROL+Click” the
    select “Show Package Contents” to view the hierarchy. “

    Yes, but that does absolutely no good when you are trying to select photos from your BROWSER BASED Finder window that you are presented with after you click the icon to upload images. It will not allow you to unlock the library from this window. You might try it yourself before offering useless advice.

  8. Here’s something else to try: Create a new email, then click the “Attach” button, then navigate to your iPhoto 08 library and select a photo – you can’t. Oh, and by the way, let me know how you succeed with that “Show package contents” method.

  9. “Here’s something else to try: Create a new email, then click the “Attach” button, then navigate to your iPhoto 08 library and select a photo – you can’t. Oh, and by the way, let me know how you succeed with that “Show package contents” method.”

    Tried that method as well. Also worked successfully.

  10. @ No Squirt For You

    Dock in new leopard, when it is vertical, still look 3D

    reflectivity is same (vertical/Horizontal)

    The stacks will be only box type .. No fan type as seen in Horizontal

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