This is a post I'm making to try and get discussion on the future of the iLife suite, to offer my opinion and gauge those of other readers on here. Before I start, however, I want to make the following clear: I have no issue with paying for software that is - for my own personal usage - worth the money the creators charge for it. I am not stating that the iLife suite should go back to free of charge. I am not stating that Apple are a rip-off company. If I don't like it, I won't buy it. I'm simply wanting to know if I'm the only one who thinks this. That stated, here goes. I purchased my first Macintosh back in the summer of 2003, a white iBook G3 which I bought as an additional system to my slowly ageing PC. I was enthralled by the ease of use of the system, the robust UNIX based core which was so much more solid than Windows XP, the efficiency and elegance of OS X, etc etc etc. I was also looking forward to playing with the excellent iLife suite, notably iTunes and iPhoto. iTunes has quickly become my favourite piece of computer software ever (I'm a hobbyist) and I found iPhoto an excellent concept, if horrifically slow. I was sure that updates would come. Come January 2004, Steve Jobs announced iLife '04, with 'major' updates to iMovie, iDVD and iPhoto, and a new app called Garageband. Garageband proved to be huge amounts of fun, and I've really enjoyed playing with it. The 50 I paid for it (was living in France at the time) was entirely justified for Garageband alone, however I couldn't help but feel that the update to iPhoto (for those who don't remember, it consisted of Smart Folders, increased speed, a couple more slideshow transitions and, er, not a lot else) was only described as major to excuse the fact that for the first time, two of the core iLife applications were no longer free. As stated though, this became somewhat moot because of the Garageband issues. January 2005. Steve Jobs announced iLife '05, a series of 'major' updates to all four Mac-only iLife applications. This time, the key app for me - iPhoto - had quite a few nice little additions, notably advanced photo editing, folder additions to the iPhoto Library, a much more efficient interface, more increased speed, and so on. It was a greater update over iPhoto 4 than iPhoto 4 was over iPhoto 2 (the one it replaced, bizarrely). However the price suddenly became US$79, £49 back in England (where I'd moved back to during the life of iLife '04). Suddenly, this seemed quite expensive given the fact that my use of iDVD and iMovie were minimal, my Garageband use plummeted to zero as I left the friends I used it with when I left France. So suddenly that iPhoto upgrade all but attained a £49 value for me, which for me is a lot of money for an application, but I paid it. In all, it's a good improvement, just not £49's worth. January 2006 isn't far away. My gut feeling says that Apple have gradually been working towards a $99 pricetag for iLife, and I feel we're going to reach it this year. Whether it does or not, one thing is clear, for me, unless iLife sees serious tweaking, this is one paid update too far, whether it's at £49 or circa £65. There are clearly a lot of users for whom the entire iLife suite is something of major use, and hence the four apps for $79 (or even $99), circa $20-25 each, is nothing short of a bargain. But for those sans DVD writers and a DV cam, iDVD isn't much use. For those sans a DV cam, iMovie doesn't get much use. Garageband is great for a play around, but it's an acquired taste, and I can certainly see how someone could just completely fail to "get" it. So what's my point? It's this - I don't feel I should have to buy all the pieces of the iLife suite in order to get my iPhoto upgrade that I will invariably want. I have a digital camera, but not a DV cam, nor a musical instrument. I see no need to upgrade iMovie, iDVD or Garageband, since I've opened them an approximate total of ten times this calendar year. But I use iPhoto multiple times daily, and it's a major part of my Mac life. It seems curious that Apple won't sell the apps separately, either as a download or boxed. I've already stated that I'm a BIG iPhoto user, and to even consider not purchasing an upgrade seems remarkable for someone who uses the app so much, but if they're expecting another £49+ worth of fees to pay for apps I'll never use, then they've lost an almost certain customer. I'll stick with iPhoto 5 or just look for a rival product. I hope that the invariable arrival of iLife '06 in January brings something special (big upgrades, significant new features, maybe a new app?) because otherwise, I can't help but feel I wouldn't be the only one to say enough is enough. Thoughts?