January approaches, and iLife '06 with it

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by thequicksilver, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2004
    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.

  2. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    I can see what you're saying, who wants to buy the whole suite when you really only use one application from it? In my opinion, however, each of the apps in iLife is worth at least $79.00 by itself. People in the Windows world pay well over $100 each for apps that are nowhere near as good as the ones in iLife. I think if Steve had charged $79 or even $99 for iLife when it first came out we would have thought it was a good deal and many of us would have purchased it. However there are also many who would not have purchased it, not wanting to risk the money on a product they were unsure of. But by giving it to us for free at first, Apple created a much wider base of users who knew how valuable the iLife suite was and therefore a wider group of users who would be willing to pay for it later. Personally, I use all of the apps in iLife, and therefore I think it is a good deal. I would still think so even if the price went up to $99 (although I hope it doesn't).
  3. prophet621 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2005
    The basic thought I have always held with any new versions or upgrades is that to justify the cost of people spending additional money the amount of new features must be great. The problem I often see is that software makers like to brag about how many features were added but when you look closer it's typically very few actual new features with a bunch of things that should have been included into a free .X upgrade. Tiger is one of these how mac often spoke of 200 new features but counted every little thing they changed to boost that number and sound more impressive. Not that there weren't major additions but 200 is a artificially bloated number.

    As for the cost of the entire package versus what people actually use because of hardware requirements to get full effect from it or just from not interested, I'm sure many would like to see the option of only upgrading those apps they actually use.

    On a more personal note, I kind of hope apple does try to make everyone upgrade the whole thing to get an iphoto boost because as you mentioned, it may get more people writing competing apps. I for one don't really use anything in the ilife suite and wouldn't even have it if it didn't come with my ibook. I hate iphoto with a passion and would love nothing more than to see someone else make a more flexable application that doesn't try to force users to do things the way Apple thinks they should.. it's a bit too Microsoft to me. I MAY consider getting an upgrade if they would stop making me import every photo I want to view and open only the photos from the folder I want it to but even then it better have other major improvements.
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Since everyone pretty much has all the iLife programs already, iLife is really an upgrade package and Apple should remember that as they price the upgrades.

    The current price point is as high as they should go unless they're also willing to break out the applications seperately as well. And the family pack is a good idea, I have more than one Mac, the family packs save me money.

    So Apple, remember, as long as you cover your costs, you want the price point that will sell the most copies (instead of people pirating).
  5. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    First off, I'd say, let's wait and see whether the iLife 06 functions are worth the upgrade cost. If they really don't appeal, or if you plan on getting an Intel Mac next year, then there might be no point.

    I can see what you're saying with regards to being able to buy components separately but I have a dreadful feeling that if they did that, the cost for the whole suite would rise by more. I think the component cost would be around $25 so it would be easier to justify having the full one at $99.

    Since the iApps are pretty tied together and it's one of the marketing features that you can use them seamlessly, if you've only updated iPhoto and then you try to use an old iMovie with it, you'd have serious difficulties since iMovie 04 wouldn't have the references to use iPhoto 05 which stores album/book data completely different.

    I'd also say that you sometimes never know what you might end up using; if the 'component' option had been in place in January, I would have bought the iPhoto 5 update on its own. Over the course of the year, I've bought a mini DV camera (which I didn't expect to in January) and will be using iMovie HD and iDVD in earnest over the coming weeks. iMovie 04 apparently wouldn't have worked very well with my camcorder since it didn't recognise native 16:9 footage. So I'd be out then buying iMovie HD etc.
  6. thequicksilver thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2004
    Yep, I certainly see this point of view, and it's one I shared in relation to iLife '04 - it was 50€ (£35 IIRC in the UK) and I didn't think I'd use anything but iPhoto, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and found Garageband to be amazingly good fun. This package was completely worth it to me with the regular use I got out of iPhoto 4 and Garageband.

    But the price went up to £50 last year and then suddenly that's a psychological barrier - £35 is a couple of decent nights out, whereas £50 feels like a lot more money - and certainly a 30% increase over a 12 month period can do a lot to change a person's mind. If something feels cheap, you don't mind paying for features you might grow into, but if you feel you're paying over the odds for your uses, you can easily start to resent that extra breathing space. That's where I am with iLife right now.

    Another user mentioned that a Windows user would pay a lot more for the four applications that you get for the money in iLife. This I am sure is entirely true. For me, however, whose only real reason to upgrade is iPhoto, suddenly when you take a quick look at Picasa on Windows XP (free, fast, a bit quirky but an reasonably adequate replacement for iPhoto nonetheless), it's here that the need to buy an app separately to keep the value of the package realistic to its usage. iPhoto is better than Picasa, but not £50 better. That's why I'd like to be able to purchase iPhoto separately for a fee of around £15-20 (probably $20-25 in the States).
  7. 20rogersc macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2005
    Brighton, UK
    I do see your point, especially when I got my iBook just before christmas 2004, and then iLife 05 came out. However I didn't buy it due to the fact of iTunes being free, no need for garagemband, the occasional use of iMovie, and an already fine version of iPhoto which I use regulary.

    However I may well buy iLife 06 if the improvements from the '04 version seems good, especially in iPhoto.

  8. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I'm deaf. I've never used iTunes in my life. Nor do I use Garageband or any of the music apps.


    I tried out Pages, but found the interface frustrating. I still use Word, with its many faults, at least I know them, and can email files to other people.

    Keynote 2 - wow - much better than Powerpoint. I don't make presentations very often, but when I do, definitely a useful tool. Strange, I can deal with the Keynote interface, but not with the Pages interface even tho it runs on similar principles.


    iTunes - never used it, not once. Never even visited the iTunes Music store :)

    Garageband - ran it once - by accident. Eeek hearie thing!! Quick! - erase it from hard drive!!

    iMovie - useful, have used it a fair bit for sign lanuage emails and arthouse shorts. I find the compression presets unhelpful tho. Still a nice app for its quirks, and worth the entrance money.

    iDVD - potentionally useful, but never used it. i just burn stuff to DVD via Finder or Toast. most people I know play them on their laptops anyway.

    iPhoto - hmm. I have 3000 photos in it, I loved it at first, but it is becoming a bit of a pain. Loads in 3 secs on my PB with 512MB, but browsing is a bit of a pain, also one thing that is broken is not being able to smoothly put a photo into Photoshop and keep track of various versions inside iPhoto.

    Apple, even low-end amateur photographers with digital cameras are going to end up with thousands of photos after a few years. Fix iPhoto support for large collections please...

    ACSD or whatever it was called could instantly browse through all photos in a folder on my Duron 600 MHZ 128 MB and also automatically display them fullscreen resized, how come I can't do the same on my G4 PB 1.5 GHZ 512MB?


  9. camomac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    Left Coast
    It's called ACDSee, and it is available for the mac! Also it is a new version 1.6.5, so hopefully it has been fixed of a few buggy things and is up to par with the PC version.

    Also the new Photoshop CS2 includes picture bridge, which I really like.
  10. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Lovely thanks, I will check it out now.

    If it works same as on the PC, bye bye iPhoto.

    I might miss Smart folders a little, but with 3000 photos, I just can't be faffed to tag them all....

    I made a start, then after about 500 photos, each one having zero or more out of 8 tags, it just got to be too much hassle..

  11. Epicurus macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Maybe if Photo Pro comes out

    If, as the rumors indicate, Apple is planning on splitting iPhoto into two titles, iPhoto '06 (as part of iLife) and Photo Pro (a more full features app with better overall handling of massive numbers of photos and better batch editing features), then I, for one, will opt for Photo Pro over an iLife update. Right now iLife does everything I want it to, namely it has iPhoto. Like some others, I don't get regular use out of much else. I use iMovie some times to play with some video clips I take, but for what I need, I don't see what Apple could do to iMovie that would make me want to pay $79. Especially if I already paid $49+ for Photo Pro. I have high hopes that Apple does make some more significant changes to iPhoto, making it capable of better things. If that means sticking with iMovie '05 for a while longer, so be it.
  12. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I was reading the OP and pretty much agreeing with him 100%. I don't use GarageBand, iDVD or iMovie as I'm not musically talented at all, and use FCP and DVD Studio Pro (daily) for video editing and DVD authoring. So, the only iLife apps I use are iTunes and iPhoto. Unless there are MAJOR iPhoto improvements in iLife '06, I won't be spending $79 (or whatever it is) to upgrade. physics_gopher's got a good idea, but I've got a feeling that Photo Pro is going to be at least $79, and again, I don't think it'll be worth it for me to buy unless it's an overwhelming improvement to iPhoto, including features that I feel will really be helpful to me.
  13. prophet621 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2005
    I would consider getting iphoto pro since I don't use any apps in ilife if it wasn't very expensive (under $30 though doubtful they will go that low) and if they would stop forcing me to import my pictures that I already have organized by folder exactly how I need them on my external drive or DVD. I don't want to import my pictures. I guess I just want to see options to do things my way.

    Otherwise I'll continue to use my image viewer in Windows which actually works they way 'I' want it to, not how Apple thinks I should.
  14. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I'd buy "Apple Photo Pro" in a heartbeat if it were to actually come out. I've outgrown iPhoto, but I'm really not too impressed with the other apps out there (like iView Media Pro, etc).

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