Today at Macworld 2009, Apple showed off a new iPhoto with true facial recognition, a better iMovie and other iLife updates—$79 solo, $99 for family, requires Leopard, available late January.


It's a good solid upgrade full of very nice features. One big catch, though: You need Leopard for it to run. Here's the rundown, app by app:

iPhoto stuff:

Faces: Goes through and identifies distinct faces, automatically tagging them so you don't have to slog through all your photos yourself.

Places: Geotagging, basically. iPhoto gives you a map with pins of where photos are taken. If your camera or iPhone encodes GPS info, iPhoto can figure out if the shot was taken at a particular landmark.

Facebook and Flickr support: Automatically upload your pics straight to your service of choice. (So glad to hear that one!) iPhoto will even grab Facebook image tags and use them in Faces. Flickr geo tags can be used in Places.

Themes: Page layouts for slideshows, with different fonts, caption boxes, etc., with crazy transitions. You can save slideshows to iPhone and iPod touch. It can detect faces in shots, so that they are centered during the slideshow. There's a geo-tag slideshow called Travel Books that looks and acts like a scrapbook.



iMovie stuff: Sounds like they're finally putting back some power functionality—let's hope so...

Precision editor: It's an expanded timeline for audio and video, for tighter cutting.

Advanced drag and drop: You can drag one video on top of another and get advanced context menus.


Themes: Select a theme and it automatically sets style for titles, transitions and credits.

Advanced travel maps: Put in starting and ending points, and it renders a 3D globe of where you traveled.

Video stabilization: Helps you fix shaky shooting when you're editing. Takes some processing time, but the results are amazing.


Other editing features: Skimming, seeing edits (before and after cuts), overlaying audio.

New project library: Organize videos in a more logical way with helpful thumbs.

Garageband stuff:
Yes, Garageband is still getting developed, even though I think it's been a while since even Walt Mossberg recorded a solo project. (Knowing Pogue's talents, he probably has a nice ProTools rig, or at least Logic.) Good thing this version is apparently looking for new musical recruits...

Learn to play: It has an instructional feature that helps teach you how to play instruments like guitar and piano.

Artist Lessons: Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, John Fogerty, Sting and other FOJ jam for your edification. Only $5 a lesson. Hmmm. (More on this.)


There are also updates to iWeb and iDVD, but Apple didn't feel the need to show them off, so they must not be terribly exciting. Here's the press release:

Apple Introduces iLife '09

Major Upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie & GarageBand

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Apple(R) today introduced iLife(R) '09, which features major upgrades to iPhoto(R), iMovie(R) and GarageBand(R), and includes iDVD(R) and an updated version of iWeb(TM). iPhoto '09 builds on the ability to automatically organize photos into Events by adding Faces and Places as breakthrough new ways to easily organize and manage your photos. iMovie '09 expands on the revolutionary super fast movie creation introduced in iMovie '08 by adding the depth users want through powerful easy-to-use new features such as the incredible new Precision Editor, video stabilization, advanced drag and drop, and animated travel maps. GarageBand '09 introduces a whole new way to help you learn to play piano and guitar with 18 basic lessons and optional lessons from top artists such as Sara Bareilles, John Fogerty, Norah Jones and Sting. iLife '09 is included with every new Mac(R) purchase and available as a $79 upgrade for existing users.

"iLife continues to be one of the biggest reasons our customers choose to get a Mac," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "With iLife '09, we've made working with photos, making movies and learning to play music a lot more fun, and iMovie users are especially going to love the advanced but easy-to-use new features."

iPhoto '09 makes it even easier to browse and search photos, not only by when they were shot (Events), but by who appears in them (Faces) and where they were taken (Places). iPhoto automatically scans photos to detect people's faces and when you assign a name to any face iPhoto will automatically find more pictures of that person. The library can be searched by name or browsed using the new Faces View. Places automatically imports photo location data from a GPS-enabled camera or any iPhone(TM) or you can manually assign a location to any photo, group of photos or event. Once iPhoto knows where photos were taken, you can easily explore them with a simple search or an interactive map. iPhoto '09 lets you easily publish photos to Facebook or Flickr. Photos published to Facebook include assigned names, and name tags added on Facebook sync back to iPhoto. You can also share photos by creating a themed slideshow to play on your Mac, iPhone or iPod(R), or create a beautiful travel book, complete with customized maps of your journey.

iMovie '09 adds powerful, yet easy-to-use new features to let you create a movie quickly, or add refinements and special effects to your project if you have more time. Drag and drop one clip on top of another to reveal new advanced editing options, including replace, insert, audio only, and even picture-in-picture or green screen. With the revolutionary Precision Editor, you can skim and click on a magnified filmstrip to view clips up close and fine tune any edit, like identifying precisely how much to keep, where to cut, use sound from one clip with video from another and more. iMovie '09 analyzes video and reduces camera shake in clips when added to your project. New titles, transitions, cinematic effects, speed changes and animated travel maps add professional polish to your movie.

GarageBand '09, the updated version of Apple's popular software used by millions to play and record music, now gives budding musicians a fun new way to learn to play piano and guitar. Basic Lessons let you learn the fundamentals at your own pace with Apple instructors in beautiful HD video synchronized to animated instruments and notation. Artist Lessons feature original artists showing how to play their hit songs with everything from finger positions and techniques to the story behind the song. Choose from lessons by popular artists including: Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, John Fogerty, Ben Folds, Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and Sting. Artist Lessons are sold separately at the new GarageBand Lesson Store, available inside the GarageBand '09 application. GarageBand '09 also includes exciting new guitar amp and stomp-box effects, and Magic GarageBand Jam that lets you play along with a virtual band that you create.

iLife '09 includes iWeb '09 for authoring custom websites and iDVD '09 for creating DVDs. iWeb '09 adds new iWeb Widgets, such as iSight(R) video and photos, a countdown timer, YouTube video and RSS feeds. New integrated FTP publishing allows you to publish your website to virtually any hosting service and updates to your site can now be automatically added to your Facebook profile.

Pricing & Availability

iLife '09 will be available this month for a suggested retail price of $79 (US) through the Apple Store(R) (, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The iLife Up-To-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after January 6, 2009 for a shipping and handling fee of $9.95 (US). Artist Lessons are available through the GarageBand Lesson Store for $4.99 (US) each.

iLife '09 requires Mac OS(R) X version 10.5.6 or later, a Macintosh(R) computer with an Intel processor, a PowerPC G5 or 867 MHz or faster PowerPC G4, 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended), QuickTime(R) 7.5.5 or later (included), a DVD drive for installation and 4GB of available disk space. iPhoto print services and GarageBand Artist Lessons are available in select countries. Full system requirements and more information on iLife '09 can be found at

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

(C) 2009 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iLife, iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, iWeb, iPhone, iPod, iSight, Apple Store and QuickTime are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

[Macworld 2009 Full Coverage]