Living with iLife

If you are a Mac user,you would want to know about Apple’s utility tool iLife which got upgraded to iLife 09,along with their office suite,iWork,which is now iWork 09.

Written by Gagandeep S. Sapra | Published: March 8, 2009 2:57 pm

If you are a Mac user,you would want to know about Apple’s utility tool iLife which got upgraded to iLife 09,along with their office suite,iWork,which is now iWork 09.
iLife is a Mac suite of utilities that has four essential multimedia tools that most of us need. A photo management utility called iPhoto,a website builder called iWeb,a music making and rearranging utility called Garage Band and iMovie for moving editing. Now that most of us use digital cameras to take pictures and make movies,iMovie and iPhoto can be handy. So we’ll look at these two tools this week and keep Garage Band and iWeb for another column.

iPhoto 09
When Picasa came out,it made life simpler and Facebook and Flickr made photo tagging fun. But sadly,a Mac had no such tool till iLife 09 came out. iLife 09’s iPhoto allows you to tag faces in the pictures and then it uses a complicated algorithm to recognise faces and sort pictures by faces. It has an accuracy of roughly 90 per cent. And when it gets stuck,it checks with you to see if this is the person you are looking for. The other feature in iPhoto 09 is the ‘geo tag’ for images. That is,you can tag the place where they were taken and then search for photos on the map. The map lets you drop pins for locations and you can mark favourite locations. Other new features allow you to create thematic slide shows and export slide shows as movies and share them on Flickr and Facebook.

iMovie 09
Every time I do an installation for a customer,I use my standard digicam to record a video of the customer talking to me and I keep them for records,hoping that one day I will have enough case studies to make a training file. I could take them to a professional movie editing studio and get them to add titles and other fancy things,but as someone said,if you have a Mac,you could do it all by yourself.

The new version of iMovie 09 lets you add fancy titles. iMovie 09 also features eight new transitions,such as fade-in and fade-out,and 19 video effects,including Aged Film,Sci-Fi,and Cartoon.

If all this is a bother,iMovie 09 has something called Dynamic Themes. Apply the theme and IMovie does the rest for you—adding animated titles and transitions to a movie. My favourite feature here is ‘video stabilisation’. Video cameras now have up to a 400x zoom and it becomes impossible to shoot a stable video at high zoom rates without a tripod. iMovie analyses how much your camera was moving and reduces the camera shake for you. This feature helps to add a professional touch to your home video.

If you want to burn the movie to a DVD,iLife 09 has a tool called iDVD that lets you author DVDs. For a sound track for your home movie,use the Garage Band,or if you simply want to upload it to a web server,use iWeb. For more information on iLife,check out Apple’s website at http://www.apple.com/ilife. In case you already own an Apple,the list price on the new version is $79. Apple India’s suggested retail price is Rs 4,320 plus taxes. You can’t really run iLife on a PC,so if you don’t have a Mac,you must upgrade to one.

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