Apple iLife '05 Initial Impressions

A couple random thoughts about my experience with iLife '05 – Apple's update to its digital hub, digital media suite of applications which include iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and GarageBand.

1) GarageBand – Wow. I'm am so impressed. But perhaps the best find is the integrated instrument tuner. Simply pull this up and tune your guitar or other instrument. Plus, its ability to correct pitch, fix tempo drifts and a host of other features makes this a serious music production system — and it's free with every Macintosh.

2) iPhoto – Not sure what happened but after installing and then updating the Photo Library, I lost all of my photo albums. No, I didn't lose any photographs — just the albums. And I had quite a few. Anyone else experience this. I'm bummed. Where do I find time to recreate these? The photo editing capability is much improved, and I like the horizontal image browser that has been included at the top of the iPhoto Window in Edit mode. And how about those new books? Now you can create nice softcover books at very reasonable prices. I'll be taking advantage of that soon.

3) iDVD – A cool feature is the ability to bypass iMovie and simply go direct from a DV camcorder into iDVD and create a DVD on the fly. Great if you don't care about editing and just need to move footage to a DVD for previewing. But when I tried it, the system crashed and although it had encoded nearly an hour of footage, I was unable to initially retrieve it. iDVD keeps this as a temporary file that is invisible through the finder. Using RBrowser I was able to find it and move it to a non-hidden directory. Not sure why this didn't work. I'll try again in time.

4) iMovie – Looks promising, but frankly I haven't had a chance to play with it.

So far I'm impressed. But like any software application, until I really dig in and have a real world project, I can't offer much more than my initial impressions.