Why I Can’t Wait to Get My Hands on iLife ’09

On Tuesday, Apple announced the next version of their iLife suite. I have been using iLife since the very first version and have faithfully upgraded with the availability of each new version. While each version has had its own nice new enhancements, I am drawn to this newest iteration more than its predecessors.

What is so special about iLife ’09? Well, let’s start with iPhoto. The features that interest me the most are Faces and Online Sharing. Apple has included face detection and face recognition functionality in iPhoto for the first time, and I could not be more excited. Almost all of our photos are of our kids or friends and family, and I spend a significant amount of time tagging and categorizing our photos by person. The Faces feature will make it so much easier for me to manage out photos that I might actually be able to post new photos before they’re old and dated.

Going along with the Faces feature is the new ability to share photos on Flickr and Facebook directly from iPhoto. I have been using FlickrExport from Connected Flow for quite some time, and it is a great iPhoto plugin, but I am excited to see Apple embracing online sharing sites other than its own MobileMe. Both Flickr and Facebook offer APIs that Apple has been able to use (I assume), and it also appears that Apple has worked directly with both of these companies because the functionality seems to go beyond functionality created by other companies. As a Flickr and Facebook user, I am excited to try the new integration with iPhoto. I have avoided posting any photos on Facebook because I already use Flickr, but now I should be able to share the same iPhoto albums or events in Flickr and Facebook with a click or two. What’s really cool is that the Faces feature in iPhoto works with the tag feature in Facebook. Cool stuff.

I am also excited to give the new GarageBand a shot. With the new MacBook, I will finally be able to connect our Roland digital piano to a Mac via MIDI to see what kind of music I can create. It should be fun to see what I can do. It’s been a long time, but I’m sure it will all come back to me. The piano and guitar lessons will help me along, I’m sure. Plus, how cool will it be to learn Roxanne from Sting and Proud Mary from John Fogerty? I’ll post anything cool I come up with.

Once I get my hands on iLife ’09, I will report back and let you know if it lives up to my expectations. Based on what I saw in the keynote, it certainly looks like an upgrade that everyone will find useful.