iLife 2006

Apple Computer, Inc.

Well, another MacWorld is behind us, and Steve Jobs, that impish Pied Piper in a black mock-turtleneck, has announced the latest and greatest Apple products for the next few months. It came as no surprise that iLife, Apple’s personal multimedia suite, got an annual refresh. This year’s release saw the addition of iWeb, Apple’s new WYSIWYG web editor, to the suite. Additionally, iPhoto is considerably zippier, GarageBand has a new focus on podcasting, iMovie got some new editing geegaws and iDVD now supports widescreen menus. Since iLife 2006 is included on all new Macs, the question remains: Is it worth 79 bucks to upgrade? That depends on the end user. iWeb, while a decent enough app, pales in comparison to the features of full-fledged Web editors like Dreamweaver, and requires an expensive Mac membership to truly shine. It can be used with other web-hosts, but there are simpler solutions out there such as Blogger and Flickr. The newer versions of the other apps are marked improvements over their predecessors, but they’re more evolutionary than revolutionary. Most people probably won’t take advantage of the newer features and would be better served spending their money on more RAM or an external hard drive.