Apple Announces iLife ’11

Apple announced iLife ’11 include iMovie ’11, iPhoto ’11, and GarageBand ’11, all part of the iLife software suite.It will be available immediately for $49 for those wanting to upgrade an existing iLife suite, or free with the purchase of a new Mac.

iPhoto ‘11 The new book layout feature is pretty incredible – iPhoto will customize a book tailored to a user’s set of pictures, but allow a wide degree of individual choice. Once it’s laid out, it’s uploaded to Apple’s servers and, if desired, lets you order the book just a few days later.

Major new features in the new iPhoto include:

* New full screen modes
* Facebook enhancements
* Emailing photos directly from iPhoto
* New slideshows
* Big leap in books

Other updates include improvements to photo sharing and deeper integration with Facebook photo publishing, a full-screen mode reminiscent of an iPad app and an amazing book generator.

iMovie iMovie ’11 brings a number of enhancements as well, including real-time audio waveform editing and better video tagging (bringing with it the face detection algorithms from iPhoto). The improved iMovie really looks to like Apple is trying very hard to help people show what they want to show – it walks users through a number of basic activities.

New features in iMovie include:

* All new audio editing
* One step effects
* People Finder
* News and sports themes
* Movie trailers

Garage Band ‘11 GarageBand was also given a few major updates before being added to the iLife ’11 suite. Flex Time lets Mac users correct timing mistakes on individual tracks in a compilation. Keep in mind that this won’t work if multiple players are playing on a single track. Flex time can be used to increase the length of a rest measure, note, riff or even just a beat.

New features in Garage Band ‘11 include:

* Flex Time
* Groove matching
* “How did I play” feature
* New effects
* New piano and guitar lessons

Hand in hand with Flex Time, Groove Matching is also a useful new tool for correcting minor performance mistakes. Again, used most powerfully when dealing with multitrack recordings, Groove Matching lets users pick a single track – Apple’s example uses an on-tempo drumline as the lucky one – and Garageband ’11 automatically fixes and rearranges every other track to be in sync with that one. It’s a pretty slick feature.

The lessons aspect of GarageBand was also updated. While Apple has included free and pay lessons since the program’s inception, they’ve been expanded upon in the iLife ’11 group. This time around, in addition to a widescreen player, the program can analyze, grade and score your playback performance. It even tracks your scoring over time so you can follow your progress as you improve.

The last components of the iLife ’11 suite of applications, iWeb – a WYSIWYG HTML editor – and iDVD – a DVD authoring program. They weren’t really mentioned during the presentation, however, and even the Apple website plays them down.


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