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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

iLife '09 was officially released yesterday and people are getting their first experiences with Apple's latest updates to iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. Apple has detailed the biggest changes in iLife '09 in a series of Guided Tours:

- iPhoto '09 Guided Tour
- iMovie '09 Guided Tour

A few early impressions include:

- Mixed reactions about iPhoto's new facial recognition feature with some that are having better results than others.
- Apple's iPhoto facial recognition does not officially support pets such as cats and dogs, but Roberto Baldwin managed to get iPhoto to recognize and tag his cats. The results don't seem consistent, however, as at least one of our own forum members was unsuccessful at the same task.
- Macworld and Beau Colburn both have posted example videos of iMovie's new video stabilization feature.
The end result seems to add a certain “weight” to the video, in that it has the feel of being shot with a heavier camera that wouldn’t shake so much in your hand, versus the superlight Mino. It’s not going to eliminate all shakes, but it can certainly minimize them in the right situations.
- iMovie HD 6 has been removed from Apple's site, though a direct download [link] is still accessible for now.

Article Link: Early iLife '09 Notes and Impressions


macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2005
I'm more curious about the general feeling towards iMovie. Are those that went back to 06, that are now trying 09 pleased? Will they "upgrade"?


macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2000
Nor Cal
Seems to learn

My first impression is that it seems to learn..... the more I tag and confirm the more new photos I open up are tagged correctly (actually waiting for confirmation for its correct assumption).

Limited Dog success, but manually tagging them is no problem... I am definitely in love with this feature. it is so nice when you have almost 20,000 photos and you want two or three for a friend if you are making a gift or having fun with photoshop on their behalf... I prefer this vs searching events or folders.

Looking forward to playing with iMovie this weekend.


Wow... CATS and DOGS????
What are they thinking.....

weird blokes...


macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2000
Nor Cal
You can't ask Apple to do more than our Pets do

Even pets do not recognize faces.... that is why they sniff each others... well you know...:eek:

thanks for the link , on dl now !

Cats and dogs, who would want to face recognize them ? :rolleyes: those crazy Americans I expect ( no offense intended)


macrumors 68020
Aug 30, 2007
Atlanta, Ga
I have to agree with the negative comments on the complaints on the cats and dogs... I mean WTF? You give ppl a software algorithm that is very nice to have and Apple didn't have to do it and ppl still want to comp.... nvm who am I kidding... all we hear around here are ppl complaining. :eek:

But seriously, cats and dogs? Next we'll see comments on how it doesn't recognize fish species "zomg it doesn't recognize charlie my red beta from fred my blue beta" and hamsters, and pet rocks.

I can't wait to hear about the class action lawsuit to force Apple to change the documentation to include "Human Facial Recognition (iPhoto will not recognize faces from any other species other than homo sapiens)"

(although, I think it recognizes my wife's barbie doll photos HA!)


macrumors member
Oct 14, 2008
Does anyone know if the new version of iMovie allows you to specify where you want to make a new project? iMovie 6 does, iMovie '08 doesn't. I run labs of Macs with network home directories so the default movie folder isn't an option and has basically made iMovie '08 completely useless so we have been running iMovie 6, but I would like to always have the latest and greatest so our students learn the newest stuff.


Dec 29, 2007
I got '09 yesterday, and played with it last night and early this morning. Faces is a very easy tagging mechanism for people, but 3 of the 4 people in my house are female, and the two girls look like their mom. The system can't really distinguish between them. Add in the fact that the kids are still young, and the system can't tell the baby photos apart, etc.

The short summary is -- I can very easily tag photos, and the face recognition helps me zero in on who's in the photo, but it's pretty worthless in automatically discerning who is who. I've tagged over 300 photos across 4 people, and it still can't discern the difference. iPhoto 09 also feels like it's running a bit slower than 08. Not much, but noticeably. :-(

I didn't expect too much, anyway -- Apple is not an AI company -- but thought I'd report the experience.

Still, for $79 it's worth it to me to get the facebook integration, the vastly improved slideshow options, a real iMovie, and I'll try out the garage band lessons. I've only toyed with iMovie -- and there is more there, but how much/how easy I don't yet know.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2007
Wow... CATS and DOGS????
What are they thinking.....

weird blokes...

Actually, my wife asked about if would do that for our cats. I was like, "ah, I don't know. Maybe." I don't think anyone's really complaining about the lack of pet recognition; it's just kind of funny.

Oh, and face recognition for real people worked well for me. It tagged about 800 photos of my son; with only about 10-15 mistakes. I was surprised it worked that well. It also works great for the slideshows.

Perhaps it's not perfect for everyone, but it worked well for me so far.


macrumors member
Jan 9, 2004
iPhoto impression

So, I've spent the day face-tagging and geo-tagging my 16k+ images. Phew! So what can I say. 70% of the faces were detected. 30% were not even detected as faces, even in high quality shots. Blurry backgrounds seems to distract the algorithm. A shirt with a square-patterns that I wear in some photos seems to generate in false face detections on the actual shirt. Kind of funny.

Geotagging then, well, I have now geotagged 16k+ images by hand and it was a tremendous amount of work and what did I get? Well the Places tab in iPhoto now runs painfully slow. On my Macbook Pro 2.33GHz 4GB RAM running on a SSD it takes about 15 sec just to open the places tab world map. That is about 15 seconds to long if you ask me. Using the zoom feature on the map is deadly slow and practically unusable. The funny thing is only one CPU core seems to be utilized when using the places tab so it seems likely that there will be an update in the near future where both cores are being used and we get increased performance.

So my overall impression is:
- iphoto seems slower
- iphoto uses more resources
- the new cool features need to be optimized for increased performance and accuracy.


macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2007
I can vouch for iPhoto's facial recognition being a bit buggy, or perhaps not quite as smooth as advertised, though still working as a decent facial recognition software. After clicking a photo of my sister, it put a box around her face and I tagged it as her. Then after clicking faces in the left column, it didnt automatically import all images of her into that album. it shows the one picture I tagged, then shows about 15 pictures below in a column that says basically 'i think these pitures are of your sister, drag them up if they are.' Kind of annoying, especially because it only shows like 10-15 pictures at a time. After you drag them up you get more pictures asking if that person is in them. If you have a huge library, having to do this for each person you tag would take a very long time. I dont really plan on setting aside a few hours to do this on my own library.

I'm hoping it just starts to learn more and more If I'll tag say 10-20 pictures of each person.

new iWeb is neat, FTP upload built in is great. I bought hosting at for two years at $20 (total) and was holding off doing much more than an intro page since I had to resend the entire site every time I wanted to upload it. I put some videos up from the inauguration and my sister just put up pictures from her trip to the Galapagos (hopefully they'll put FTP into aperture to use with it's webpage creator?).

Garageband lessons look neat. It only comes with the beginner lesson for piano and guitar and you have to download the other 8 lessons for EACH
instrument. These run between 250-500MB each, so they can eat up space quickly if you dont have much left. I have i think 3 more lessons to download and the folder is already at just over 4GB (library->app. support->garageband->lessons). I'm very much looking forward to trying these out, possibly using my younger brother as a test subject (isnt that what they're for?). I play guitar and know enough music to fiddle on the piano, but he's been wanting to learn guitar for a while now so I guess this could be the perfect/cheapest opportunity at the moment for him, and also for me to learn even more.

That was after a few hours of playing with the apps, nothing serious. I'm looking forward to having this weekend to play around with everything else. Definitely enjoying it so far.


macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
Canada, eh?
So the package just includes the same version of iDVD as before? Not even any new themes?

I'm not sure I want to pay full price for a package that only includes half the apps changed and the other half the same as I already have.


macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2008
I have had some great success with the facial recognition - so far iphoto 09 has been a lot of fun. Places is also very cool.

I need to play around with the other apps tonight


macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2008
Anyone receive the 9.99 upgrade? Does it come in the same packaging as the retail version?


macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
Havent putten that many hours in the iLife now but...

iPhotos appearance : The all white scroll bar.


Gone are the blue aqua bar where you could see at what point you are scrolling..
Now it is white. Now it is the same color no matter if the window is active or not.
About the worst UI change I have seen in a long time. Now you dont know if that iPhoto is active or not and searching the all white thing (the thing you can drag in the sidebar,what´s it´s name...) from the sidebar gets exhausting after a while..



macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2008
iPhoto '09 is extremely fast to load and scroll through photos, however window resizing is extremely slow. Facial recognition is excellent at finding faces but not so good at grouping them.


macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
Did they fix it?

I am picking up my copy at the local Apple store today. I really hope they fixed the issue where you pictures/events/last import vanish and the only way to get them back is to restore your library from a back-up. The core files remain in the iPhoto folder, but I think some data file corrupts itself.

EDIT: I think the other fix to this issue is to re-import the photos. PITA.

Jim Campbell

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2006
A World of my Own; UK
I run labs of Macs with network home directories so the default movie folder isn't an option and has basically made iMovie '08 completely useless

If you run a "lab of Macs" then perhaps you should be thinking about using Pro software rather than Home software? There's a reason why Apple differentiates these products, you know ...


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