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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok let's try a real review here
I think the purpose for a review is to get a sense for the product being reviewd. Unfortunately user submitted online reviews can and do end up becoming bully pulpits where people who feel slighted launch invective towards a product. Let me say that this will not be that type of review. It is abominably long however so pick and choose which apps you think are the most...
Published on February 14, 2009 by Harrison Murchison

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had to buy old version
Apple loves to upgrade their programs which is fine as they do improve them. However, they improve them to the point that the older versions of their computers can not utilize them. I don't like to buy a new computer just to correct a minor programming problem.
Published on November 14, 2012 by alaskajon


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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok let's try a real review here, February 14, 2009
This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
I think the purpose for a review is to get a sense for the product being reviewd. Unfortunately user submitted online reviews can and do end up becoming bully pulpits where people who feel slighted launch invective towards a product. Let me say that this will not be that type of review. It is abominably long however so pick and choose which apps you think are the most important to you.

I own a Mac mini 1.66Ghz Core Duo with 2GB of RAM that shipped with iLife 06 (I skipped the 08 upgrade) . Even by the standards of 2007 it wasn't a barn burner. I have become aquainted with iLife 09 (hereafter IL9) and here are my thoughts.

iMovie 09 (IM9) - This is the second version of what has become a hot button issue for many users. My computer shipped with iMovie 06 aka iMovie HD and I have tried to edit some video in it. The anger comes from the fact that Apple scrapped iMovie HD for new application called iMovie 08. The problem was that iMovie 08 was such a radical departure from iMovie HD and it had much less features. The uproar was so loud Apple capitulated and allowed iMovie HD to be downloaded separately. Now we have the second generation of this new movie editing application and the iMovie HD fans are back with a vengeance but are they justified again? I do not believe so and here's why.

Apple switched to a whole new video app for reasons that we can only guess but I'd surmise that they felt that iMovie HD had grown too complex with plugins and time lines and audio editing features that are truly best served in a higher end application like Final Cut Express. They decided to go back to the roots. iMovie 08 would be a video app for people that only need to edit every now an then or total newbies.

They have succeeded. iMovie '09 rectify's most of the issues i've seen that actually hampered the ability to edit video easily. It supports chapter markers for easy DVD creation in iDVD. The audio editing is improved (you can keep just the audio from a clip or just the video easily). The speed of this app is superb. Where as you had to render some effects and whatnot in iMovie HD in IM9 almost everything happens in realtime. I found this kept me in a creative mode where I could try out different titles or transitions very quickly and find something I liked. Here's a feature that you're going to love and use. Apple has taken a feature from their pro video software that analyzes your video and then takes a majority of the camera shake out. It really works provided your were shaking the camera like a tambourine. This feature alone will save those shots that you thought you lost because your hand was unsteady. It does require some hefty processing so it's one of the features that isn't "instant" and you can control how much shake gets removed. You can now edit with precision and you have many more editing choices. Want picture in picture? It's easy. Editing in iMovie 09 is basically dragging clips around and choosing the ideal text and transition. The new templates are very nice and of course integration with your iTunes music, and your iPhoto pictures is a sidebar away. I'd like to see Apple re-implement plugins because 3rd party developers can do amazing things and I want them to but for now iMovie 09 is likely going to be a nice app for tossing together something appealing.

iPhoto - Is certainly not as much of a hot button issue. The new iPhoto makes a big deal out of Faces and Places. With Faces you are supposed to be able to tag your friends and family and the software looks for facial features and groups them together. In practice I've found this to be rather iffy. It works well if you've framed someone's face in a good straight on shot but it can get lost with more obscure photos. Surprisingly it does work on some pets. I imagine that it will improve over time but honestly even a human sometimes can err in doing the same task. Places is a godsend for those who travel. It allows you to pinpoint where you were during a photo via your longitude and latitude co-ordinates. Now there are cameras that will put this information right into the metadata of the photo you take but they are still pretty rare. I expect that in a couple of years all but the most inexpensive cameras will do Geo tagging. Fear not! You can manually tag your photos in bunches. That Greece trip you took last summer is easy to tag. Once you've accumulated your geo tagging data you can view a Google Earth map right from within iPhoto and there are pinpoint detailing everywhere you've taken photos. At any time you can double click a pinpoint and the photos assigned to that location are displayed. This is yet another way to look at your photos! Here's another feature ...if you use Facebook you can upload photos right from within iPhoto. Facebook fans are always adding tag info to their friends photos. If you upload say a photo of you and other people to Facebook and someone tags their their photo, iPhoto will sync that tag information back to your library. There's more to iPhoto but these are some of the salient features. My wish is that the Flickr export options grow to have more controls and I'd love to see iPhoto find a way to edit image files without creating a copy.

iWeb - You know you want to make your own website or blog. iWeb is Apple's easy web page application. It's first two versions only allowed you to use it with .Mac (now MobileMe) that's changed now. iWeb supports FTP which means you can use it to create a web page for just about any web service provider. It comes with some handly drag n drop widgets that allow you to add an RSS feed or countdown or html snippet. IMO it's worthy of usage by people who don't have MobileMe accounts. Also they've modified it so that you don't have to publish the whole page for just a few changes which saves time by not sending a bunch of superfluous data. It's not an earth shaking update but we're on the right road here now.

GarageBand- this is a very misunderstood app. Many people feel it's an app for musicians and if they are not musically inclined they don't use it. Garage Band is a multifaceted tool. Not only can you play music into it via a midi keyboard or guitar (through an interface) but it comes with a huge collection of Apple Loops. These loops are smart. You can drag these audio building blocks to create tracks that always follow the same musical key and timing "automagically". I have no piano or guitar but i'm able to use GarageBand to provide music or sound effects for my video and if I had a microphone I'd be able to create audio or video podcasts. The new features in GB are built in training. If you want to learn piano or guitar there are 8 free lessons that you can download. These include video tutorials that allow you to play along and even record yourself. You get to see fingerings and slow the music down to grasp the licks. If these can spur even one hundred people to pick up an instrument it will have been well worth it. You can even download Artist series videos for $5. You want Norah Jones to teach you a little piano? Not a problem. If you're a guitar player then GB has you grinning from ear to ear. Apple has reworked the guitar simulations and GB can turn your electric guitar into whatever you want via multiple amp simulation and stomp box simulations. I've heard from professional musicians that these effects and simulations are superior to Apples Pro music apps. I'm eyeballing an acoustic/electric for some fun. Even if you don't plan on learning an instrument GB can be an asset to you if you get curious.

iDVD- Sadly iDVD has not had any changes. Apple is no longer investing in what they feel is a format in the autumn of its existence as a distribution format for computers.

There are some caveats here. If you have a PowerPC processor there are going to be features that you don't have full access to. There will be slow downs. iLife 09 really wants an Intel processor and dual cores at that. If you have these requirements and hopefully more than 1GB of RAM I'd say you can get a lot of value out of iLife especially in this Family Pack bundle. Remember it is a consumer oriented package yet you will hear complaints about missing features that are best reserved for higher end packages. Rest assured in knowing that GarageBand files upgrade to Logic and iPhoto information upgrades to Aperture. Apple generally builds bridges to the next step up application.

Don't let anyone tell you what's important to you or what's worth buying. I'm still learning new things about iLife every day. It is far from mediocre in my opinion.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Specific comment on iMovie audio, March 7, 2009
By 
James Petersen (Mililani, Hawaii United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
Of course, if one wants to produce a very slick finished product, the Final Cut suite is hard to beat. However, often times it's not the best tool for the job at hand. iMovie is a great way to get content out of the camera, organized, edited and communicated in a variety of ways in a hurry. It is also an excellent tool for working with students and teachers. I've been able to work with a number of students-as well as with their teachers-who have gone on to do well in such venues as the National History Day competitions. I worked with my own son who made it to the NHD Nationals last year in the Documentary division.

There is a very simple trick for really fine-tuning the audio in iMovie productions. This capability is maintained in iLife '09: All you need to do is to bring your iMovie into Garage Band. You can bring it in with existing audio or you can remove the audio. Once you have the iMovie in Garage Band, you can then add narrations, effects, music tracks etc. while taking advantage of tools like "ducking", equalizers, and other more complex sound-shapers. Once completed, the file can be sent to iDVD, iTunes, YouTube, or utilized in a number of other ways.

This is a fairly simple strategy that can yield some pretty impressive results.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the upgrade, October 15, 2009
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This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
I recently upgraded from iLife 08 to 09 primarily for the iWeb application. I wanted to put together a website but didn't want to send days or months learning products like Dreamweaver. iWeb is a part of the iLife suite along with iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. With iWeb, and a little instruction from lynda,com, online training courses, I was able to get a website up and running in an hour or two. I know there are companies that offer templets where you can plug in your website text and photos, but I was looking for a little more control. iWeb (iLife) gives me that control to update anything I want at a moments notice. The 09 version of iLife also gives you some additional new features that make building a website easy. I would have paid the same price for just that application. You can also use the other three included applications to build on the capabilities of your website.

My use of iLife had a single purpose in mind, but any of the other applications are also worth the money alone. Again, well worth the money and upgrade.

iLife '09 Family Pack
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars iLife '09, December 15, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
This is an upgrade. It seems to be transparent as to what it "upgrades".
The iPhoto application which was an '04 version had a lot of information with the digital photos, often referred to as metadata. All of that information has been erased, which does NOT make me happy.
Problems with attaching an image to emails, is still somewhat problematic. Apple support advised drag n' drop onto the desktop, then attach the file to emails. Clumsy but it works.
There may be other parts of this application which are valuable, but there has not been enough time to examine them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works as usual..., December 1, 2009
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This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
Not much to say that a mac user wouldn't expect. It works well, upgraded without any issue, and has enough new features that make it worthwhile in my book. iPhoto alone makes it worth the price in my book. We're finally starting to convert 8mm tape to digital and iMovie is making it simple. I listen to people complain about Windows problems daily, I've given up trying to convert people at this point though. I buy a Mac usually at mid cycle maxxed out spec wise and just enjoy worry free behavior for 3-5 years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars iLife 09' ROCKS !!!!, June 29, 2009
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
I have never been so satisfied with a computer program purchase in my life. The added benefits that you get from 08' are tremendous. I would have paid twice what I did for this program. The options that are available for iMovie which I will be using the most as I use Lightroom for my pics instead of iPhoto but my wife will get to use iPhoto 09' as that is what she prefers. I highly recommend you go to apple.com and view the video for the features in this package and I know it will blow you away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars iPhoto is awesome., March 9, 2009
By 
Annie (Central Indiana) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
I've only really used iPhoto since I've upgraded. iPhoto alone is worth the upgrade. The Faces tool is awesome. It did a great job of recognizing people in the photos. I haven't used Places as much but it's also a pretty neat tool. I've never used GarageBand or iWeb (before or after the upgraded). I haven't played around much with iMovie, yet. But am looking forward to checking out the new features.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had to buy old version, November 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
Apple loves to upgrade their programs which is fine as they do improve them. However, they improve them to the point that the older versions of their computers can not utilize them. I don't like to buy a new computer just to correct a minor programming problem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I upgraded, March 10, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
Solid upgrade providing typical ease of use and integration with hardware and software. Effortless linking to social and location based services. Surprised at how well the facial recognition works for a product at this price point. Location tagging is easy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a big upgrade for iPhoto, January 1, 2010
By 
Bill M. (Houston, TX) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] (CD-ROM)
I got this primarily for iPhoto which I have used for years and is a great program. I purchased this to upgrade from the previous version and was very underwhelmed by the changes in this new version. The face recognition feature has problems. I had trouble getting it to find any photos after selecting a face and there are several hundred posts on this issue on the Apple support site. It appears to be an ongoing issue. If you are buying it for this feature it's worth checking that out beforehand. Other features of iPhoto (most of which are similar to previous versions) work just fine.
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iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION]
iLife '09 Family Pack [OLD VERSION] by Apple Computer (Mac, Mac OS X, PowerMac)
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