iLife '06 and iWork 06

So as some of you may know there was a new version of apples iLife software suite released about a week ago and I have since had the chance to get my hands on a copy of both iLife and the new iWork software. The software packages are broken down like so; iLife includes updates for iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, Garageband, and the newest member of the family, iWeb. iWork includes Pages, and Keynote.


Of all of this new software the upgrades that I was looking forward to the most were iPhoto and Garageband. iPhoto is a wonderful app and I have used it for quite some time now to upload and organize photos from my camera and keep track of all of the photos I take. On average I will end up loading a good 3000 photos or so every couple of months and the program handles this very well and makes it easy to make quick edits via a nice full screen editing mode as well as order calendars, greeting cards, books, and prints of photos. There is also a slick new feature that allows me to make a quick 'photocast' using any album in my library. This is in essence an rss feed that can be viewed using a rss reader or another copy of iPhoto.


Garageband also has a whole slew of new features and Id have to say that it is very very cool. It is simply the best program out there for making a quick, easy, great sounding podcast and one the newest features within the app is a podcast studio of a sort so now you can either work the program like before and use it for simple multitrack recordings or use the great new podcasting features that let you make an enhanced podcast so so easily. There is a track for photos now and a place you can title sections of the podcast and add links to the file as well! Very nice. There is also a way you can import movies you are making in iMovie to make a soundtrack for the movie using a video track within the program. This has got to be the first consumer level app that I have seen that will let you sync music and sound effects so well and easily into your home movies!

I have to admit that iMovie does not get as much love from me as iPhoto and Garageband but it is a wonderful piece of software as well! Maybe once i get a chance to look into the newest in that app I will write a bit about my impressions here. I did see some amazing new motion graphics that you can add video into that are included within the program. Its amazing what they have done with that software. No other Consumer level video editing app can come close to working as elegantly as iMovie. iDVD is the same way and although I do enjoy using this to make dvd slideshows I have now yet used it and so I cant really say to much about it at this point.


So onto the new kid on the block, iWeb. I have only spent a small amount of time with this app so I dont have to much to say on its behalf. First off this app is best suited to be used with a .mac account. You do have the ability to export pages you make with this program and upload them to a server of your choice but the program is designed to be as tightly integrated with .mac as all of the others are. First off I would like to comment on the user interface which I see as needing a good bit of improvement in the future. Although it is really straightforward, I would like to have seen a more refined interface to work with. That is probably my only complaint other than not having the ability to have one click publishing to a server of your choice. Other than these things the program is really impressive. It handles laying out a web page as if you were laying out a brochure with a layout program like Pages. You can layer images over one another and rotate them, you can even add a nice little reflection to images and place text anywhere on the page. Its really pretty remarkable how they allow you to do all of this and export it to look exactly the way you want it onto the web. I am looking to possibly moving my podcast over to my .mac space and using iWeb to handle it because it makes it so easy to do so. It works along with Garageband so you can export your podcast directly from Garageband to iWeb and sets up a new entry ready to go. One other addition i would like to see here is the ability to save a template that you etit for use on multiple pages on your site. It seems as though this would be an easy addition to the app.

I think I have gone on long enough for now. I wanted to talk a bit about iWork a bit but I need to get going with my day so I am going to leave it at that for now. There is a whole lot more to the apps that I talked about here and if you are curious to know more I suggest you check out apples website for a better overview. Man, I love being a mac guy.