Apple's iLife 08... the way I usually tell it to people is that you get this FREE with a new Apple Macintosh computer, yes free! So whilst you read my review, bare this is mind. What many people forget is that you can also buy this. So if you have a Mac with this suite of applications, or perhaps an older version, is it worth getting?
Well, I bought my copy of iLife 08 from the Apple Store online for £55. You can also get a 'family pack' version which can be installed on upto five Macs for £69. Yes, I already had an older version, but having just upgraded the OS on my Mac and having used iLife for many years the new features seemed very worthwhile.
For those of you who are new to the Mac and/or this application. iLife is a collection of applications that you would use more or less every day. First up is iPhoto which allows you to organise, view, edit and share your digital photos. It really is so nicely set out that you will love it. Plugging in your digital camera can automatically launch iPhoto. You then select which photos to import or simply import the lot. The application sorts your photos into 'Events' which are like individual albums dependent on the date you took the photo. You can then create slideshows, print photo albums, email the photos, print them to your local printer... the list is endless.
iMovie 08 does much the same for your camcorder movies. It allows you to quickly and easily put together stunning looking movies. It includes the ability to add soundtracks, voice overs, titles, transitions (like flashy wipes between scenes) and then share your results with friends and family. It is an awesome application.
GarageBand 08 allows you to create your own music and podcasts. With virtual instruments, special effects and a whole host of tools are your disposal. If you have news to share, the podcasting feature allows you to create mini-news episodes that you can share online, with friends or with the world.
iWeb 08 is for creating websites. This application has its limitations for the power users. For everyone else it is fantastic, so so easy to create a website that looks absolutely fantastic. With lots of template designs to choose from you could have your own website online within about 10-15 minutes... for real!
Last up is iDVD 08. This allows you to pull in all your video, photo and music footage onto a DVD that can play of more or less any DVD player. Again the templates are fantastic, allowing you to create really professional looking menu systems for your DVD. There is also a MagicDVD option that does all the hard (or I should say easy) work for you.
My own personal experience
I use iPhoto a lot. Whenever I get home from a family day out, importing the photos is really quick and easy. It also gives me peace of mind that my photos are backed up. When my Mum comes around to visit, the fact I can quickly just click one button and have a superb slideshow with music, allows us to share our experiences with her. I also publish the photos to an online album, which is then shared with other members of the family.
iWeb 08 is also a favourite of mine, I have two websites out there that I created with iWeb. The fact that it allowed me to create a website with no knowledge of coding is superb.
iMovie 08 is also very cool. I mainly use it for quick family videos. I choose to use it for these as accurate editing is not essential. I just want it to be fun and easy to create something to share. I do video every week for my job and use Final Cut Express for my pro-videos.
I don't use GarageBand or iDVD that often, but on the occasions I do they are very easy to use.
In my opinion the cost of iLife 08 is very very cheap. Just any one of the applications alone is worth the asking price. For a new users it is essential (and free if you are buying a Mac as it is in the box), for those upgrading this latest version is very polished indeed and has a host of new features that more than justify the price.
iLife, the mac alternative windows vistas basic apps. Being an avid mac user i use these set of applications on a daily basis. The disk contains 5 applications, iPhoto - the itunes of photo librarys, very easy to use and organsies you photos into 'events' as apple puts it so you can quickly fin the images you want to view. iMovie - the updated version of imovie makes movie making very easy to use, using technology apple calls skimming produced using core image, you can simply drag the mouse over the movie clips and watch the movie progress. iDVD - to acompany iMovie iDvd makes it easy for you to transfer your homemade movies to dvd with fancy looking menus. iWeb makes it even easier to produce professional looking websites, apple makes this simple by giving you the option of using templates to make this happen, you could really benefit with purchasing .mac (soon to be mobile me) because this makes publishing your web even easier. And finally garage band this is a simple application to create tracks in a couple of minutes.
Overall i think iLife is a really usefull piece of kit, it is included free with all new macs but for those of you who still own iBooks etc its a great buy!