Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know

Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know

Summary: As predicted, Apple officially announced the new iLife '11 software suite, with notable upgrades for iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware

As predicted, Apple officially announced the new iLife '11 software suite, with notable upgrades for iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.

These three apps certainly got serious revamps, so let's go over each one in detail.


As presented by Senior VP Phil Schiller, developers have honed in on slideshows. The most fascinating by far is the global map slideshow, which pinpoints your photos on places and then goes through them with listing the location during the presentation. This is already present to some extent in Flickr and other photo storage programs, but it's nice to see it added to iPhoto. (Speaking of Flickr, you can also pull photos directly from an account there as well.) Furthermore, users can share and e-mail photos directly from iPhoto without opening any other programs.

Apple knows that not everyone wants to reject printed photos altogether, so bookmaking has gotten touched up as well. While it's not entirely revolutionary compared to the last version of iPhoto (you could drag and drop photos there too), photo books are saved to shelves (à la iBooks). Apple has also taken paper 3D as well...sort of, with letterpress cards. How perfectly timed for the holidays.

Finally, similar to what Microsoft did with Contacts in Windows Phone 7, Apple has brought Facebook to iPhoto. Users can upload their photos to Facebook (same as before), but now you can check out all of the comments that people post about a particular photo directly from iPhoto.


Like iPhoto, iMovie is also getting Facebook as well as Vimeo on the sidebar. Also like iPhoto, users will now be getting face detection - except this time with video, obviously.

Based on the keynote today, iMovie has been basically made into Final Cut Pro for dummies. Audio editing has been made easier with one-step effects and the ability to adjust just segments of sound.

That aforementioned face detection feature is part of a larger utility called Trailer Tool. Allowing for 24fps video, the Trailer option asks for specific types of clips (i.e. close-ups, landscapes, multiple characters, etc.). The user simply drops these clips into the box at the bottom of the screen, and Trailer Tool takes it from there.

Budding directors and video editors can also make movie credits simply by filling in a form, which will automatically be displayed at the end of your movie. Finally, you have some trailer music options to choose from, which are recordings of the London Symphony Orchestra.


While it doesn't replace in-person music instructors and lessons altogether, the developers of GarageBand definitely stepped up guitar and piano instruction. Dubbed as "an automatic spellchecker for bad rhythm," the Groove Matching feature essentially fixes the audio emitted from individual instruments in case they are offbeat. Flex Time will aide that as this feature allows users to make notes shorter or longer.

Back to Lessons, this app goes fullscreen with recorded videos of an instructor. So if you can't afford real lessons (which do get very pricey when charged by the hour), this is a more budget-friendly option. Finally, there is a new function called, "How Did I Play?" that identifies onscreen which notes you hit and missed for both piano and guitar.


iLife '11 is actually being made available today. It will be free with all new Macs sold or for $49 as an upgrade. If you've recently bought a Mac and you're now kicking yourself for not waiting, don't feel too bad as you can probably still upgrade for only $6.99.

CEO Steve Jobs said this was one of the best software deals in the world at the moment, and it's a bit hard to argue with him.

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Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • I had been led to believe there would be much more today

    I would be kind to say that this is totally underwhelming.
    • In other words

      you are easily manipulated.
      • Me and millions others

        @frgough <br>I would agree. I give Steve Jobs full props for being the best P. T. Barnum since P. T. Barnum.<br><br>Come on frgough, even <b>you</b> have to be underwhelmed by this one. If not, please describe in detail what you think was revolutionary in today's announcements.<br><br>And yes, a perfectly acceptable answer is: <i>I wasn't expecting Apple to announce anything exciting today. I always knew that today's announcement would end up being dull and boring.</i> I personally was expecting something more from today's announcement but then again, as you've pointed out, I'm easily manipulated. I did, after all, buy an MBP and an iPhone. ;)
      • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know

        @NonZealot shhhh.... first there has to be a command from the Master that common users are allowed to have their opinion. Opinions that are not approved by the Master will be censored by the Apple store.
    • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know


      You obviously can't play an instrument. I look forward to some of the changes to Garage Band.
      • LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        [i]You obviously can't play an instrument.[/i]

        If you need Garage Band to fix your tempo, you obviously can't play an instrument either!!!!!!


        PS Yes, I actually do play electric guitar thanks to my Windows 7 desktop. :)
      • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know


        What kind of guitar you playing?

        Big fan of what G&L for electric Great Value and quality. The wood that the Quebec makers use tend to lead to great sounding acoustics.

        What software are you using on your Windows 7 computer and to do what?
      • Ha, I didn't say I could play the guitar well!!

        I won't pretend to be a good player, I'm not. I just found it funny that you accused me of not being able to play an instrument while playing up all the features in Garage Band that are designed to help people who can't play instruments!

        To answer your question though, I have a Fender Strat and a Line 6 USB peripheral for my PC. And if you want to try to insult my guitar playing or my equipment, go ahead, you would probably be right. I just play for fun. :)
      • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know


        Still love the Strat's but I find you really need to pay to get the quality. One day I'll do the Fendor Custom Shop thing as a guitar can be a great investment.

        I've always liked Garage Band for its ease of use and the fact it came with my Mini. Having software that will nag me about my timing will be useful. Sure beats having other players nagging me. Keeping time is still the most difficult thing about the instrument.

        What software are you using on Win7?
      • Software for Windows 7

        @maskman01 <br>I use the Line 6 software for modelling and the free version of RiffWorks: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a></a> for recording.<br><br>I haven't been playing guitar often enough (or well enough) to get serious about recording anything although I have recorded a couple songs just for my pleasure which was dead simple in RiffWorks. The <b>biggest</b> reason I switched from an amp to the computer though was that my condo isn't very big and is an apartment style so I have neighbors to think about. I just realized how silly it was for me to lug out my big amp only to plug headphones into it. So the recording aspect isn't actually very important to me. I just have fun practicing and playing along to pre-recorded songs.<br><br>I actually did take a look at Garage Band on my MBP but by the time I got the point of actually wanting to hook my guitar to a computer (I was just using a regular amp at the beginning), I had stopped using OS X. Considering how much more productive I am in Windows 7 than I ever was in OS X, one piece of software for a minor hobby of mine is not going to make me switch to OS X.<br><br>And yes, I agree, keeping time is far more difficult than one would imagine before actually trying it.
      • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know


        I find recording and playing back the best way to hear how good (bad) you are.

        I'm moving out of a condo but while I was in the condo I picked up a Pignose. You can crank it up and get an aggressive sound but still sneeze louder then it. I'm told many recording sessions have used Pignoses with the sound all the way up. I also like the single dial as I have a habit of getting lost when there is too many settings.
  • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know

    Looks good. But Live essentials '11 is more than enough ,and free.
  • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know

    Here's something else that some of us need to know. It appears that iWeb and iDVD, though not mentioned at the event, are still part of iLife '11 (per But there is no indication that there are any changes from earlier versions.
  • RE: Apple iLife '11: Everything you need to know

    Now I realize why Apple products are named i-something.<br>It is about I the god and not the users. Thats the way the iboss sees it i think .