Apple ended a 20-month drought between iLife overhauls Tuesday by unveiling iLife ’08, the updated version of its suite of digital lifestyle applications. Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new iLife features during a press briefing at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.
iLife is comprised of the iPhoto digital-image management program; iMovie for editing digital video; iWeb for building Web pages; iDVD for creating DVDs; and GarageBand for recording music. All four applications underwent an update for the new version of the suite.
The updated suite, which is now available, will sell for $79. iLife ’08 will also be bundled with all Macs, including the revamped iMacs also announced on Tuesday.
Major changes to iPhoto include a new Events feature that makes it easier to navigate through collections of photos associated with events like vacations, holidays, and other occasions. A “skimming” feature in iPhotos lets users see different photos associated in an event by moving their mouse over the event icon.
Users can now hide photos in iPhoto as well as look for images by date, keyword, and rating under a new unified search feature.
New editing tools in iPhoto include the ability to copy and paste adjustments made on one photo to other images, improvements to books and calendars, and theme-based home printing.
The digital-video editor iMovie adds support for the AVCHD format for High-Definition video. iMovie also adopts the “skimming” feature found in iPhoto-users can skim through videos without having to play clips to see what they contain. A Share menu lets users export movies to the iPod, iPhone, Apple TV and .Mac Web Gallery; there’s also built-in YouTube sharing.
iWeb, the web-page building tool introduced in the last version of iLife, now supports personal domains. The previous edition of the software had focused on integration with .Mac.
Other changes to iWeb include a live Web widgets tool for dragging-and-dropping things like Google Maps and YouTube videos onto a Web site. iWeb also builds in Google‘s AdSense technology for adding text ads to a site.
iDVD’s changes focused on enhanced performance, pr-grade encoding, and new animated themes. Tweaks to GarageBand include multi-take recording, visual EQ, and basic notational printing. Apple also unveiled a new feature called Magic GarageBand, which makes it easier to create music projects, offering “a way into GarageBand for musicians and non-musicians alike,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said.
Jobs also announced that Apple’s online .Mac service would be enhanced to support the new features in iLife ’08, such as the Web Gallery additions to iPhoto and iMovie. Also, .Mac subscribers will get 10GB of online storage space, with the data-transfer limit rising to 100GB per month.
Macworld will have more details as they become available.