Apple also announced a new version of iLife, now called iLife ‘08. As an iLife ‘06 fan, I have to say this new version looks incredible. Here is a brief rundown of the new features in each iLife application.

iMovie ‘08 – iMovie is being released as an all-new application, and has a new interface and icon to show it. The app is now centered around an iPhoto-like library, where you can catalog all your video. This is something I’ve always wanted – it should be very convenient to keep all the video on your Mac in one central location, ready to be watched, scanned, and even edited.

iMovie now claims to accept video from “any source,” and the video can be mixed & matched in single projects. It also features a newly expanded “Share” menu, with updated options for outputting video to iPod, iPhone, Apple TV – and direct exporting to YouTube. The YouTube feature is going to be huge. Steve Jobs is telling people to skip the DVD, and exchange high-res video files computer to computer, or computer to TV. iMovie also integrates with the new .Mac iWeb Gallery – which I’ll discuss below.

There are actually dozens of added features, upgrades, and enhancements throughout iMovie ‘08. It really is a whole new application. We’ll explore iMovie in depth in the future; you can read about some of the new features by clicking here.

iPhoto ‘08 also received some updating love. A new feature called Events allows you to easily group and organize huge iPhoto libraries. New photo editing features include noise reduction, white balance adjustment, selective improvement, guided cropping and more. You can choose to automatically show or hide photos based on your star rating (you do rate all of your photos with stars, right?) There are new books and calendars available (including much larger calendars than the previous options.) Photos can now be exported to a new .Mac Web Gallery, which promises a better way to post and organize photos online. You can contribute to the gallery “from anywhere” you have internet access. Read more here about the new version of iPhoto by clicking here.

Garageband is updated with a slew of new features. The biggest all-new feature is the Magic Garageband. This is a “virtual onstage band” that you can jam and record with. There are new interactive instruments that can be edited in real time. There is a new multitake feature. Garageband can now record high-fidelity 24-bit/44.1kHz audio. There is a built-in Mastering Engineer to make your songs sound like a commercial CD. There is a new visual EQ to allow you to graphically adjust frequencies for each track by clicking and dragging EQ bands. Parameter Automation sets the parameters of instruments and effects to change at multiple points within a song. You can now organize the structure of a song by using predefined sections (intro, verse, chorus, and bridge), print software instrument tracks as music notation with automatically formatted staffs and complete measures, and display the name of chords in real time as you play on a USB keyboard. Also – you can now export tracks as MP3s. Read more here by clicking here.

I’m glad to see that iWeb has been updated. First, you can finally easily switch iWeb themes. This was not possible in the previous version of iWeb. There are eight new themes to go along with this feature.

There are new animated web album pages. You can put 500 photos online per album. iWeb makes it easy to integrate Google Maps and Google Adsense on your web pages. A new feature called Web Widgets makes it easy to embed a snippet of live content from another website on your iWeb page. Web Widgets would include YouTube videos, stock tickers, weather reports, and more.

Finally, Apple has made it easier to use a personal domain name with your iWeb pages. Read more here by clicking here.

iDVD received the least love in this upgrade. The main feature is new, pro-quality DVD encoding. Apple says “the new professional-quality option in iDVD uses advanced encoding technology to maintain the highest possible quality for DVDs that are near or at the disc’s capacity.”

There are 10 brand-new themes, and the all of the older themes are also compatible. The interactive “drop” editor has been updated. Menu navigation, real-time preview, and theme switching are all faster. Indeed, iDVD touts better performance throughout rather than a glut of new features. Read more here by clicking here.

iLife ‘08 requires a PowerPC G4 (733MHz or faster for iDVD), PowerPC G5, or Intel Core processor, 12MB (1GB recommended) of RAM, and Mac OS X v10.4.9 or later.

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