Apple to ship iLife ’09 tomorrow

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Apple to ship iLife '09 tomorrow

Cupertino (CA) – Apple said that iLife
09, the latest version of its comprehensive suite of integrated digital
lifestyle applications, will be available tomorrow. The application
suite will come pre-installed on every new Mac free of charge, but
existing users will upgrade for $79. The long overdue refresh to iLife ’09 brings interesting feature sets that extend
the capabilities of each application into new areas. To date, iLife
has remained an important part of the overall Mac appeal, one that entices new
users to Mac’s fold. It is remarkable that despite years of iLife
existence, Windows PCs still lack such a tightly integrated package to
manage digital media.

SLIDESHOW:
iLife ’09 (6 pictures)

As TG Daily reported,
Apple unveiled iLife ’09 at Macworld Expo this January. The updated
application suite brought major new features to the already strong
set of iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb. iPhoto
’09 now features new Places and Faces features in addition to the
existing Events. The former taps geodata information attached to images
taken with iPhone or GPS-enabled camera to put them on a world map.

The
latter takes facial recognition technology (first introduced in Google’s
Picasa application) a step further: When users label a
person in a photo, iLife ’09 automatically finds that particular person
in all images across the user’s libraries. Also new to iLife ’09 is Facebook integration. This allows iPhoto ’09 to post images directly to your Facebook account, updating names of people in iPhoto ’09 library with name tags that
Facebook users apply to Facebook albums synced with iPhoto ’09.

FACES AND PLACES
iPhoto ’09 adds Faces feature that taps advanced facial recognition technology to automatically discover images of a same person across your image library and group them together. Places also uses geophoto information embedded within images to pin them to a world map.

iMovie
’09 addressed many concerns from users who didn’t like the limited feature
set from the previous version. As a result, Apple basically re-wrote iMovie, resulting in many advanced editing features being dropped – much to
the dismay of users. iMovie ’09 fills these holes, however, with advanced editing
capabilities that leverage the new Precision Editor, an advanced drag and
drop, as well as a comprehensive media manager. Also new is a video stabilization
feature that helps stabilize shaky camcorder clips. And animated travel
maps automatically put your clips on a world map with Indiana
Jones-style animation.

GarageBand ’09 gets minor
feature and interface tweaks. In addition to 18 free lessons that
teaches novice users how to play piano and guitar, lessons in HD video
feature artists such as Sara Bareilles, John Fogerty, Norah Jones and
Sting. These leverage the user interface to vividly illustrate how and where
to press down to obtain desired chords, for example. The application also comes with a
built-in store that will sell additional lessons for $4.99 each. Each lesson teaches users how to play their own songs. Additional lessons are
available in select markets.

CELEBRITY PLAYING LESSONS
GarageBand ’09 comes preloaded with 18 guitar and piano lessons provided as HD video. A built-in store lets you purchase additional playing lessons for $4.99 each. These feature celebrity artists that teach you how to play their own songs.

iDVD ’09 was updated with more Hollywood-style templates while iWeb ’09 adds new widgets, such
as iSight video and photos, a countdown timer, YouTube video and RSS
feeds. A newly integrated FTP publishing feature finally makes it possible to publish websites
to virtually any hosting service, while site updates can now be
automatically added to a user’s Facebook profile.

iLife
’09 requires Mac OS X Leopard version 10.5.6 or later, QuickTime 7.5.5
or later, a DVD drive for installation and 4GB of available hard drive
space. The suite works on any Mac with Intel processor and also those Macs with PowerPC G4s and G5s with at least an 867
MHz (or faster) processor. 512 MB of RAM is minimum but Apple recommends
at least 1GB. Apple will continue to bundle every new Mac purchase with
a free pre-installed copy of iLife ’09.

Existing iLife owners can
upgrade to iLife ’09 for $79 starting January 27 (tomorrow). The iLife Up-To-Date
upgrade package is available to all customers who purchased a
qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on
or after January 6, 2009 for only a shipping and handling fee of $9.95. The
iLife ’09 Family Pack includes five licenses and will be available for
$99. Apple also said that the $169 Mac Box Set bundle will combine
iLife ’09, iWork ’09 and Mac OS X Leopard.