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iLife is a collection of software products created by Apple, designed for Mac OS X. These programs are used to create, organize, view and publish digital content, such as pictures, movies, and web pages. As of iLife '06, iLife consists of six applications: iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand, and iWeb. The application suite is included with all new Macintosh computers.


[edit] Origins

After his return to CEO at Apple, Steve Jobs began positioning the Macintosh to be the hub of his vision of the digital lifestyle. The original iMac was the first step in developing this concept. It put a new face on not only the Macintosh computer, but computing in general, as PC companies began to change their form factor designs as well. To address the concerns of prospective Macintosh buyers outside of Apple's core design, programming, and media industry niches, Apple has developed a growing suite of high-quality consumer-oriented software with a distinctive unified look and feel. The development of the iPod and its continuing popularity in the portable music player market, in conjunction with iTunes and the iTunes music store have helped Apple to re-emerge as one of the most important companies in the personal computer market.

The first versions of iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb were released in that order. The first three programs were originally available free via Apple's website, while iDVD was available only with computers that included SuperDrives.

In January 2003, the package was brought together as "iLife".

While iTunes remains a free program, the latest versions of the other components are only available through the purchase of the iLife package or bundled with a new Macintosh computer.

With the release of iLife '06, iTunes is no longer explicitly marketed as being part of the suite, but it is still included as part of the bundle. iTunes is also available free from Apple's web site and is the only iLife program that can be run on Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

[edit] Releases

  • iLife, introduced at Macworld Conference & Expo on January 7, 2003; $49
  • iLife '04, introduced at Macworld Conference & Expo in January 6, 2004; $49
  • iLife '05, introduced at Macworld Conference & Expo in January 11, 2005; $79
  • iLife '06, introduced at Macworld Conference & Expo on January 10, 2006; $79

[edit] Components

[edit] iTunes

Main article: iTunes

iTunes is a digital music (and more recently video) jukebox that handles MP3 and AAC music files, MPEG-4 and H.264 video files as well as other media formats. Additionally, iTunes offers access to the iTunes Store and synchronizes music, photos and videos (depending on model) to the iPod portable media player. iTunes is the only iLife application which can be downloaded separately for free. [1]

[edit] iPhoto

Main article: iPhoto

iPhoto is a photograph organizer and editor that lets users store, view, edit, and share their digital photos. iPhoto allows its user to create photo albums to display pictures on the Internet or on CD, create slideshows for instant on-computer presentation, construct calendars and greetings cards from photographs, and the ability to "photocast" photo albums. iPhoto can also import from most digital cameras with no drivers required (built into Mac OS X by default).

[edit] iMovie

Main article: iMovie

iMovie is a video editor that can be used with digital video. The process of film capture by a digital camera via FireWire is automated, with iMovie allowing users to chop up their videos, add special effects, and reorganize them. It is also compatible with flash MPEG 4 cameras, HDV cameras, and the Apple iSight.

[edit] iDVD

Main article: iDVD

iDVD integrates with iMovie to allow the burning of movies onto a DVD with chapters and menus.

[edit] GarageBand

Main article: GarageBand

GarageBand is a music-creation and podcasting application that includes over 1,000 pre-recorded loops. To create a song, the user only needs to drag loops onto the creation area. The program also supports software instruments and importation from real instruments, such as guitars and keyboards.

[edit] iWeb

Main article: iWeb

iWeb is a product that was released at the Macworld Conference & Expo on January 10, 2006. This product provides the ability to share content from the other iLife applications using Apple templates, and with one-click uploading to .Mac. The application also allows users to create links to their own podcasts and photocasts from the webpage. This is the latest application added to the iLife suite.

[edit] Integration

The six iLife applications are designed to work together as a suite. Each program automatically connects to the libraries of the others to make use of their files. Each program interacts with each other in the following ways:

  • iMovie: add music from iTunes (including GarageBand music) for background music; add photos from iPhoto ("Ken Burns Effect" can be applied for panning the image), add chapters to movie, 1-click export to iDVD preserves chapters and creates a Scene Selection menu
  • iDVD: add music from iTunes (including GarageBand) for menu music or slideshow music; add photos from iPhoto for a DVD slideshow; add movies from iMovie
  • iTunes: import music from GarageBand, get photos from iPhoto for sync to iPod.
  • iPhoto: use iTunes (including GarageBand) music in slideshows; 1-click export to iDVD, makes a slideshow in iDVD
  • GarageBand: export created songs to iTunes with one click; export [a podcast] to iWeb
  • iWeb: publish GarageBand recordings to podcast; publish iMovie videos to podcast; publish iPhoto photos to website (photocasts are separate from iWeb); import iTunes playlist listing with links to iTunes Store.

For true compatibility, within a particular program the user is presented with the library created by another application—for example, the iTunes library appears inside iMovie, thus eliminating the need for the user to leave iMovie to find wanted music. The library will appear even if iTunes is not open at the time. iDVD, in addition to accessing these libraries, can find movies created by iMovie on the hard disk by looking in the user's Movies folder, and any additional folders the user chooses. Any music purchased from the iTunes Store will be found and can be used by the other applications (with the exception of GarageBand).

[edit] See also

  • iWork - iWork productivity suite
  • .Mac - an online service integrated with some iLife features

[edit] References

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