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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 30, 2010
I'm not sure how to review this: some people could potentially be buying this to upgrade a very old version of iLife. If I review this as a standalone piece of software, it's fantastic and quite a value. For less than $50 you get a world class digital music studio, one of the best photo organizing programs, and a remarkably capable video editing package. (Oh, and passable web editing and DVD authoring programs, but nobody cares much about those, least of all Apple.) Easily five stars.

However, if I judge this as an upgrade from iLife '09, it's extremely weak. Here's what you get of any substance: the ability to better edit audio in iMovie, slightly better full screen modes in iPhoto, really impressive time warping facilities in Garage Band to fix timing, and some very nice guitar and piano lessons which actually show you where you making mistakes. All great features, to be sure. But are these worth $50 if you have '09? Probably not.

The frustrating thing is that the most major feature in this upgrade is just plain silly: they added the ability to make cutesy little fake "trailers" in iMovie. This is apparently their big innovation. You can now replace your boring home movies with one of eight or so two minute jokes that I guarantee you will get old very quickly. Very quickly. They also added a fake news program theme, and a fake sports theme. All very gaudy and over-the-top, even for iMovie standards. And not at all useful beyond just playing with them once.

It's pretty clear that Apple's focus has shifted away from Mac OS X and iLife and on to the greener pastures of iOS: the iPad and iPhone. In fact, from now on we'll likely see features come first to their consumer devices, and then later to their desktop computers. I'm afraid the days of getting truly major updates to iLife every two years is a thing of the past.

So, as an upgrade from '09, I give this one or two stars at best. If you're upgrading from '09, I hope I've saved you some money. Otherwise, this is a great software package, easily five stars, just not much of an improvement from what you could get two years ago. As such, I'll split the difference and give the package three stars.
3030 comments305 of 310 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon October 25, 2010
I have used the iLife Applications ever since I returned to Macs in 2003. I love the iLife applications, but is the iLife 11 update worth this purchase price?

While my purchase of a new Mac often coincides with a release of a new version of iLife, I now always have one or two older machines that need to be upgraded. It is not always fun to feel the need to purchase the upgrade to the latest version of iLife, but in the Mac universe, you often find you need to stay on top of releases to keep all your Apple products functioning, syncing, together, effectively. They all work together.

The primary application I use in iLIfe is iPhoto. I have tried the professional applications such as Aperture and Light room, I use them occasionally, but most of the time I prefer to keep my primary photo library in iPhoto. It's clean, simple, and easy to use.

This newest iPhoto has several new features. It's one of the most visually different looking releases for some time. Some have complained of their photo library not updating correctly, when installing this new release. I have thorough backups of my iPhoto library, so I took the plunge. Be sure you have a backup! Some have reported losing pictures.

However, I must say, I did not lose a single picture or movie during the update process. Hopefully the problems are rare.

Sadly, the iLife '11 applications have not been rewritten in 64-bit, so there is not the speed increase some other Apple products saw, when they switched.

The most significant change is iPhoto's encouragement to enter "full screen," mode. You can enter full screen mode to do anything now. Browse photos, edit, view, full screen mode can be used for anything. It does look gorgeous. You leave the operating system world, and enter a world devoted solely to iPhoto. It's very interesting, focuses you on your images, and works fantastic. However, the actual features in iPhoto '11 are not much richer than iPhoto '09. The features are found in a different way and have some more gloss on them, but there is not much new here. The professionally printed books, if you order one, are said to be higher quality when purchased from iLife '11. I have not tried this.

iMovie I use several times per year. I find it's great for creating a short, special film after an event or trip. Keep it short and simple, and it will look its best. iMovie '11 adds the ability to create Movie trailers using a wizard. You can then advertise your home movie to family and friends. It's easy and "cool," looking. Not much else can be said about it. The advanced audio editing will be the most welcomed feature of iMovie '11, as many complained about the lack of serious audio control in iMovie '09.

Garageband I plan to play around with more this release. I have a USB music keyboard, so I am going to try out the 20-odd included basic piano lessons. The professional artist lessons did not seem to catch on, so now generic lessons are included and for sale as add ons, to help one learn to play better. Nevertheless, it's questionable whether you actually learn music, or just wear to place your fingers. Of course, Garageband's long loved audio editing is once again back at its full greatness, and for many the primary use of this application.

iWeb and iDVD return, but there is even less new in them to talk about.

Overall, iLife 11 is another update to the iLife line. LIke OS X, the iLIfe suite was already quite mature. Therefore, the updates are beginning to seem less significant. I am normally excited about the new iLife releases, but honestly, I'm not necessarily going to be using any of the new features on a daily basis. I could have lived without this update for a while. I'm a bit underwhelmed.

Do note you must have OS X Snow Leopard and be on update 10.6.3 or later to use iLife '11.

Very recommended product when it comes on your new Mac. A bit annoying at this point to pay for this upgraded version, for very few additional features, perhaps the price should have only been $29 this time. Make the best decision for yourself, or wait until your next Mac that includes iLife '11. iLife '11 is a quality product, but the quantity of "new," here is smaller than in past updates.
11 comment128 of 134 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 8, 2010
Normally, I love the upgrades to ilife. This version (if you can really call it an upgrade) doesn't have any major upgrades over the '09 version. In fact, iPhoto is actually WORSE. I don't like the new UI, and it managed to destroy an entire library of approximately 400 photos during the "upgrade" process. I did manage to recover most of them from another computer and some backup discs, but all the metadata that went with them is gone.

I wanted to give ilife '11 a fair I re-installed it, updated it through the on-line software update and re-imported the photos that I was able to recover from the first time around. This time I got to play around with '11 and get a look at what some of the changes were. In sort, after re-launching the program a few time over the course of a few days, it crashed and burned again, corrupting my photo library along with it.

I went back to '09 and haven't had any more troubles (aside from having to re-import, and re add faces, and locations to all my photos...again)

I am sticking with '09 for a while longer, it's stable, and it works.
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on October 26, 2010
I am a bit of a Mac fan boy and when Steve tells me to upgrade I upgrade. So I bought iLife 11 and installed it but the first time I opened iPhoto it told me to upgrade the photo database. No problem with this but after 15 minutes it tells me that the database is corrupted and can not be used. I have been using it every single day with the previous version of iPhoto so I am confused why iPhoto 11 would have an issue with it. Lucky Steve also told me to buy a timecapsule so I have a backup but the internet is filled with thousands of people who lost all their photo's after upgrading. I have spend nearly a day trying to get this to work but have not been able to. I will try to get the previous version of iPhoto back installed and I am hoping that my timemachine is actually working. Some people managed to get passed the upgrade process to find that some of their pictures are missing.

Stay away from this version until apple has fixed all these bugs.
1010 comments130 of 144 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 7, 2010
Recently upgraded to ilife 2011. A mistake. If you load pictures of groups (teams, party groups, graduation groups) faces will create a photo for each face giving you-potentially-hundreds more unwanted pictures of people you never wanted a picture of, and you can't turn faces off! The new interface is more awkward then the old. I see no new filters and no real benefit to the change! Sending photos through email is the same. Have yet to try imovie but if you expect an improvement in iphoto from 2011 forget it.
I Just tried imovie 2011. It crashed and closed five times importing video. Next it put the cover and introduction page of the project at the end of the movie. I had no trouble with imovie 09. This package is REAL trash. A real shame. I enjoyed imovie 2009 and I now have a barely functional 'upgrade'!
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on October 27, 2010
I purchased iLife '11 mostly blind, hoping for improvements to iPhoto when dealing with Faces, Places and in general. Unfortunately after some use I wish I could uninstall and return it.

I did not suffer the corruption issues others have reported, but I've found it to be distinctly unpleasant to use for the following reasons:
* No full screen for images. Any full screen maintains significant amounts of menu bars around the image
* Email exporting is terrible - it uses only the bad built in email client, you can't use the default one
* You can't zoom in on a picture
* Export doesn't work as reliably
* The interface for tagging faces is way, way more awkward to do in bulk
* There aren't actually any material improvements to faces & places that I can see. You can't really do anything better with places like see photos on a map, and faces looks exactly identical, but tagging is slightly harder to get to.
* The info pane now takes up a huge portion of the right part of the screen. In the past it was just a small part of the left side bar.
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on November 8, 2010
Apple rushed this like they rushed the iPhone 4 (um, theme here?). This product is not ready for regular users. Seemingly simple things like renaming an Event in iPhoto have become very complex, requiring Googling solutions to do things the previous versions did with a click. Even Apple's Help is wrong, the product does not work the way they describe. Simple functions like flagging photos have disappeared into the menu tree and out of the interface. AND you can no longer click Email to add photos as an email attachment...Apple forces you to use these dreadful Microsoft-like templates with cursive writing and cutesy borders, with severely limited text boxes, to send your photos...completely unacceptable that you can't just email any more. What were they thinking?

Some of this product is an improvement, some is a huge step backwards losing key functionality. If you are willing to take all that on, fine, but for normal Mom and Pop users, wait a few versions until Apple has fixed this product to actually work correctly.

And I did not lose any iPhoto pictures in the upgrade.
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on November 13, 2010
I've been using iPhoto for a long time. It's been pretty good and got better with each new generation. Until this one, that is. I've been using iPhoto '09 since it first came out. I have almost 50,000 pictures in my album and iPhoto '09 works just fine. iPhoto '11, on the other hand, is slooooooooooooow. It's unusably slow. But that's not all. Many functions have actually gone backwards. iPhoto '11 has already wasted so much of my time that I'm not gonna spend more time writing about it. Just take my word (and many other people agree) and skip this upgrade.
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on November 9, 2010
Dutifully bought this updated version of iLife. Trusted Apple. BIG mistake. It has systematically lost imported pictures and forgotten about events I've created (hours of work). I quit the app come back the next day and my recently imported pictures and work are lost. Gone... This has happened twice.


This is even after two bug fix/updates from Apple. I'm on v9.1 and the application has since lost my work and pictures.

I'm going to go back to Apple and ask for my money back.
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on November 17, 2010
I would wait till next year when all the bugs are fixed.
Apple is becoming like Microsoft.
They do not properly test their products. Initially they come out with bugs and issues and have the consumer field test them.
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