MacWorld: iLife, but not as we know it

MacWorld: iLife, but not as we know it

ILife -- Apple's bundle that includes iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes, iDVD and GarageBand -- received an update as Steve Jobs unveiled iLife '05 during his Tuesday morning keynote at Macworld Conference & Expo San Francisco. The package will be available on Jan. 22 for US$79; all new Macs, including the new Mac mini, will already include it. iTunes 4.7.1, which is also available separately, comes with a single addition -- the AutoFill option that grabs a random mix of tunes for the new iPod shuffle -- but the other applications offer a slate of new features.

IMovie HD picks up support for 720p and 1080i high-definition video and MPEG-4 as well as three new transitions, 10 new video effects and 12 new Skywalker Sound audio effects. In addition, its new Magic iMovie feature automatically imports video and adds titles, transitions and music. IMovie HD also includes a media browser for importing photos and video clips from a digital camera as well as such new editing tools as virtually unlimited undo and the option to save work in progress in a new file, in case you encounter problems with the remaining video.

IPhoto 5 also gains support for MPEG-4 movies, as well as the RAW format used by high-end digital cameras. The image editing and organizing software also includes a new calendar view, the option to store photo albums in folders and editing tools that tweak color saturation, tweaks, exposure and sharpness settings. IPhoto's slideshows now include new effects, including the "Ken Burns" pan effect, and you can choose from new designs and sizes when ordering books. Professional picture printing through iPhoto has also been reduced to $0.19 per print.

IDVD 5 offers 15 new themes and includes drop zones where you can place video clips or photos and have them move across your DVD menus, like on many Hollywood DVD releases. The software also now supports all single-sided DVD formats and includes OneStep DVD, which automatically builds and burns a DVD in much the same way Magic iMovie creates videos.

Finally, GarageBand 2 adds support for 8-track recording, corrects pitch and timing and displays and edits musical notation in real time. Apple has also released its latest Jam Pack for the music software: Symphony Orchestra.

ILife '05 system requirements call for Mac OS X v10.3.4, a 400MHz G3 processor, 256MB RAM and QuickTime 6.5.2. GarageBand 2 requires a 600Mhz G3 processor, with a G4 or G5 needed for software instruments, while iDVD 5 requires a SuperDrive and a 733MHz G4 processor. IMovie HD requires Mac OS X v10.3.6, a 1GHz G4 processor and 512MB RAM if you want to work with high-definition video and iPhoto 5 requires Mac OS X v10.3.6 if you want to work with RAW images.

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