Bugs & Fixes: Swatting iLife ’09 bugs

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With iLife ’09 now released, users are reporting the first crop of bugs. Here are two examples.

Getting GarageBand lessons to play

If you’re having problems downloading or playing Music Lessons, get the just-released GarageBand 5.0.1 update. It “addresses specific issues with downloading lessons from the Learn to Play Lesson Store.”

One issue the update will not fix, however, is an Apple-imposed restriction: Click Learn to Play or Lesson Store on any Mac less powerful than “an Intel-based Mac with a dual-core processor,” and you’ll get a message saying that the feature is not supported.

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As spotted on MacFixIt, there is a way around this. If you go to /Library/Application Support/GarageBand/Learn To Play/Basic Lessons, you’ll find the two free lessons included with iLife ’09. Double-click either file and the lesson will open in GarageBand and (with a bit of luck) play. I tried it on my Power Mac G5 with 4GB of RAM and it worked just fine.

In addition, you can go directly to the Lesson Store by entering this URL in your Web browser: http://store.apple.com/us/lessons/home. From here, you can download the additional free basic lessons. These will similarly play on an otherwise unsupported Mac. Alternatively, if you have two Macs, only one of which meets the requirements to download lessons from GarageBand, you can use the compatible Mac for downloading and (should you wish) copy the files to the other one for playing.

This works the same way with purchased Artist Lessons. However, as there are no guarantees, I’d be cautious before spending money on them. Test out the free lessons first. I assume Apple didn’t impose this restriction merely as a means to convince you to upgrade your Mac. At least some older Macs won’t be able to handle playing these lessons. Yours may be one of them.

iPhoto ’09 refuses to open Library

Numerous users have reported problems opening their iPhoto Library after updating to iPhoto ’09. In many instances, an error message appears stating that iPhoto can’t open the Library because “You have made changes in a newer version. Please quit and find the newer version.” As people are already using the newest version, this represents a seemingly unsolvable dilemma.

If this happens to you, your first step should be to rebuild your iPhoto Library. To do this, launch iPhoto while holding down the Command and Option keys. When the Rebuild dialog appears, select “Rebuild the iPhoto Library Database from automatic backup” and click the Rebuild button. An Apple article on rebuilding the iPhoto library notes: “This option is similar to the option to ‘Rebuild the iPhoto Library database’ in iPhoto ’08, except that it has the added ability to regenerate a database from an automatically backed up library database.”

If this doesn’t succeed (and according to some reports I’ve read, it won’t), you can try something a bit more risky (so make sure you have your iPhoto Library backed up first). Navigate to the Pictures folder in your Home directory and click to access the contextual menu for the iPhoto Library package. From the menu, select Show Package Contents. From the folder that opens, search for an item named iPhotoMain.db. If you find it, delete it. Now select to rebuild the iPhoto Library again. This time you may have more success.

If even this fails, there are more exotic fixes you can attempt, as covered in several Apple DIscussions threads (such as one and two).

Update on iPhone blurry photos

I previously covered the iPhone’s blurry photo problem. Apple recently released iPhone 2.2.1, which is designed to fix the problem. It did fix it for me and (based on what I have seen on the Web) most others. However, for many iPod touch users, the corresponding 2.2.1 touch update did not remedy the problem. Another update may still be needed.

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