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iLife is a suite of software applications developed by Applemarker for organizing, editing, and publishing photos, movies, and music. The suite comprises five applications: iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand, and iWeb, all of which run on the Mac OS X operating system. The latest release, iLife '09, was announced on January 6, 2009, and is included with new Mac computers as well as sold standalone.


iMovie is the oldest of the applications included with iLife. It was marketed by Apple as an easy-to-use video editing application that allowed novice users to quickly create professional-quality movies. The first version of the software was released in October 1999 and bundled with the iMac DV. On April 28, 2000, Apple began allowing users to download iMovie free of charge from its website. iMovie remained free until 2003, when it became part of the first iLife release, which was sold for $49. Apple continued to update and develop the existing iMovie software until the release of iLife '08 in 2007, when a new version, iMovie '08, was released. iMovie '08 was completely rewritten as a new application and introduced significant changes to the user interface.

iPhoto was the second application in iLife that began as a free application available for download from Apple's website. The first version was announced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2002. It was billed as being the "missing link" in photography. In addition to allowing users to import, organize, and perform basic edits on their photos, iPhoto also let users print photos in a variety of ways, including as a bound book. Subsequent versions of iPhoto have added a number of features, including automatic organization by events, faces (using facial recognition), and places, full-screen editing, and Photocasting (a way to share photos with others directly from within iPhoto).

iDVD was first announced on January 9, 2001. It was bundled with the PowerMac G4, which contained a SuperDrive that read and wrote both CDs and DVDs. The first version of iDVD introduced a simple way to design customized DVDs with menus, backdrops, slideshows and home movies that could be played back on most DVD players. iDVD was never released as a download as both iMovie and iPhoto were. It was bundled with the first version of iLife released in 2003 and is currently included with all new Mac computers.

The remaining two applications in the iLife suite were first introduced as part of iLife '06, released in 2006. The first version of GarageBand was designed as an easy way for both beginner and advanced musicians to create and edit music on their Mac computers. iWeb was touted as a way for users to create websites without having to know or write HTML or any other code.

Releases and History

Version Introduction Cost OS X iPhoto iTunes iMovie iDVD GarageBand iWeb
iLife Macworld Conference & Expo on January 3, 2003 $49 10.1 2 3 3 3 - -
iLife '04 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 6, 2004 $49 10.2.6 4 4.2 4 4 1 -
iLife '05 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 11, 2005 $79 10.3.4 5 4.7.1 HD 5 5 2 -
iLife '06 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 10, 2006 $79 10.4.3 6 6.0.2 HD 6 6 3 1
iLife '08 Special Summer event on August 7, 2007 $79 10.4.9 7.0 Not bundled with iLife 7.0 7.0 4.0 2.0
iLife '09 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 6, 2009 ( Press Release) $79 10.5.6 8.0 Not bundled with iLife 8.0 7.0.3 5.0 3.0
Notes about specific releases:

  • iLife '08: The company said that this is their most significant upgrade ever to the company's suite of digital lifestyle applications, featuring a major new version of iPhoto and a completely reprogrammed iMovie. iPhoto '08 automatically organized photo libraries into 'Events' and iMovie '08 introduced a new way to quickly make movies and share them online via a user's MobileMe account.

  • iLife '09: Brings major updates to the entire application suite, with the exception of iDVD.



iPhoto is an application that allows users to easily store, view, edit, and share their digital photos. Users can organize their photos in a number of ways. Events automatically groups photos taken around the same time. Faces uses facial recognition to identify photos containing faces, which can then be tagged by users and sorted according to who is in the photo. Places takes advantage of geotagging technology. Many cameras today embed metadata containing information about the location where the photo was taken. Places allows users to browse and see their photos on a map. iPhoto includes tools to crop photos, reduce red eye, add effects such as sepia and black and white, and to adjust the exposure, saturation, contrast and black and white balance of photos. In addition, users can have their photos printed by Kodak, create books (hard bound copies of which can be ordered), calendars and greetings cards.


iMovie is a video editor that can be used with digital video. The process of film capture by a digital camera via FireWire is automated, with iMovie allowing users to chop up their videos, add special effects, and reorganize them. It is also compatible with flash MPEG 4 cameras, AVCHD camcorders, HDV cameras, and the Apple iSight. Photographs may also be used, and a soundtrack may be added with tracks in the iTunes music library. These can then be exported into a variety of viewable formats, including Apple'smarker QuickTime Player.


iDVD integrates with iMovie to allow the burning of movies onto a DVD, including custom menus based on themes (many of which make use of the content of the movies) and custom chapter points. It also contains the MPEG2 encoder functionality needed to produce DVD-compatible content. Each new version adds more menu themes. There is no support for Blu-ray burning in the current version of iDVD. In iLife '09, iDVD was not updated.


GarageBand is a music-creation and podcasting application that includes over 1,000 pre-recorded loops. The program also supports software instruments and importation from real instruments, such as guitars and keyboards. In iLife '09, GarageBand sells pre-recorded instrument lessons made by famous artists.


iWeb is a product that was released at the Macworld Conference & Expo on January 10, 2006. This product provides the ability to share content from the other iLife applications using Apple templates, and with one-click uploading to MobileMe (previously called .Mac). The application also allows users to create links to their own podcasts and photocasts from the webage. This is the latest application added to the iLife suite.

MobileMe Web Gallery

The Apple MobileMe Web Gallery is a feature designed for easy photo sharing on the Mac platform. It allows users to create event or photo albums using the Web Gallery of their MobileMe account, and allows them to show their photos with visitors, who may also download the images and upload their own. This feature is accessible directly through iLife (iMovie, iPhoto, and iWeb) allowing users to upload without their web browser.

See also


  1. Apple Offers iMovie as Free Download for PowerBook and Power Mac G4 Users
  2. Apple Introduces iLife '08
  3. Apple Introduces iPhoto
  4. Apple Introduces iLife '08
  5. Apple Introduces iLife '09
  6. Apple Announces iLife '06
  7. Apple Brings DVD Authoring to the Desktop with iDVD and DVD Studio Pro
  8. Macworld | Apple Mac Event - Live Update
  9. Apple - iMovie - Edit and enhance your movies with new features
  10. Apple - iDVD - Create DVDs of your movies and photo slideshows
  11. Apple - GarageBand - Piano and guitar lessons: now on your Mac
  12. Apple - iWeb - Create your own website on a Mac

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