As is my custom, I spent some quality time in the Apple booth on Thursday, and got a run through the major new features (or at least, the ones that I care about), for iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand in iLife '09:
Here is how things broke down for me:iPhoto '09:
- The themed sildeshows are rastered out to a Quicktime movie when sync'd to the iPhone. But you can also instruct iPhoto to just save the movie to disk, so that you can upload it to wherever you'd like.
- The online sharing to Facebook and Flickr looks decent. I had the Apple person giving the demo modify the metadata (title, comments, etc.) on the photo, and sync it up. These bits made it to Facebook/Flickr. But the really great thing is that if you make changes on Facebook/Flickr, those changes will sync back down to iPhoto.
- Unfortunately, it's still cumbersome to add the title and description to photos in iPhoto. It's mind-boggling (to me) that Apple still hasn't figured out that people want to share their photos online, and they don't always want the title to be "CIMG0112.JPG" when they do so. What I'm looking for is to be able to annotate each picture in a set, using only the keyboard. Doesn't seem like this would be so hard to implement, and in fact, I found a different photo management application that does just that (but more on that later).
- I'll be interested to try out the facial recognition stuff - I think it might provide a new way for me to "pivot" on my photos, and see them in a whole new light.
- I'm not as keen on geotagging, but again, it could be interesting. I'm certainly a lot more interested in getting GPS on my next camera, that's for sure.
- iMovie has a "Library Browser", which let's you grab videos out of your iPhoto library with just a drag 'n drop. This is great for me, because all of the video that I shoot comes off of my still camera, and just goes into iPhoto.
- The image stabilization stuff looks pretty killer. As I understand it, there is some sort of pre-processing step that you have to do on your video clips, and then the stabilization effect can be applied in realtime. I tried to get the Apple employee to show me the preprocessing step, but he wouldn't. I read somewhere that it takes 3-4x clip length, which is probably why I couldn't wrangle a demo. ;)
- Like I have said before, I've never really used iMovie before, but it really looks like this new version provides a strong combination of ease-of-use and advanced features, so I'm really looking forward to giving it a shot.
- As I have already mentioned, the killer new feature in GarageBand are the music lessons. Based upon what I've seen, the only reason why I wouldn't pick up a Guitar and start learning will be lack of time. If Apple could release some sort of personal time machine, that would really help me out. :)
- But the other sick feature that I got a demo of was the new guitar features. You can drop down an amp, and up to 4 pedals on your virtual practice space. Then you can click on the amp, and adjust the knobs, The same with the pedals. Looked pretty amazing, for a consumer-focused application that ships as part of an $80 suite (my guess is that this functionality used to be present in much higher-priced applications).
- It looks like in general, there has been some UI polish and ease-of-use enhancements made to the app. GarageBand is another one of these iLife apps that I don't use, but maybe if I start needing royalty-free music to accompany my movies, I'll be checking it out. :)
Pretty-much the only iLife application that I use with any regularity is iPhoto, so it's a testament to iLife '09 that I'm actually thinking about using two of the other applications in the suite. I'll definitely be picking up the new version when it comes out later in the month.