iLife '04

Any of you who are followers of the great changes that are coming out of Apple, are sure to already know about the iPod minis (and their hefty price tag). And you also know about the G5 Xserves which are just plain sexy. I am personally a little excited about the iLife apps.

Normally the iLife apps aren’t big news for me. I don’t have a SuperDrive, so iDVD is pretty moot. I do use iTunes, but there have already been free updates to iTunes 4.2 by this point. I had a chance to use iMovie a month or two ago and while it made it quite easy to do what I wanted, it isn’t something I see myself using a lot until I get a video camera. However, iPhoto 4 intrigues me (Like the big spider). I have iPhoto 2 right now and I don’t much like it. I like the concept of it, as a way to organize my many many photos into albums and the like, but it is too slow and awkward to use. From what I have seen of the newest release, they have fixed most of this. It is now built fast, with no problem to handle up to 25,000 photos (which I many actually have if I go back far enough). It also allows you to rate the photos and arrange them into smart albums based on ratings and keywords and date and all that. So really… if it can handle all my photos in a way that I like, I will definitely use it. However, I don’t think iPhoto 4 will be a free download for a bit yet. I would buy the iLife package, but I really don’t care about the other programs. Except GarageBand - their newest addition. This program lets you compose music on 64 separate tracks using different samples and loops. You can also import your own music. I know I wouldn’t belt out some great hits in our time, but I think I would have fun playing with it. It kind of looks like and feels like Sonic Foundry’s Acid software, but it might not be all that. Or it might be and Apple is going for bust on this one. Which I find a little odd since Apple already has two professional sound composing tools on the market: Soundtrack and Logic Platinum. In any case, in this year - 20 years since the release of the Macintosh, we should see some sexy new things.

Written by Colin Bate