ilife box small iLife 09

Work’s done (with iWork of course), and now it’s time to get a life. Find out if iLife ’09 continues to fulfill the Mac’s promise of being a great platform for photos, movies and music.

ilife09box iLife 09
iLife ’09 (photo courtesy of Apple)

Walk into any shop selling Apple products and there’s a strong likelihood you’ll come across an iMac with one of the iLife apps running in the foreground. The iLife suite has been a great ambassador for the Macintosh platform, often attracting many new users to the Mac through these store demos.

The recently released iLife ’09 continues this fine tradition with brand new versions of iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand and iWeb. iDVD is also included in the suite, but this time round there is no major refresh. Bar some minor code changes, the application remains identical to what is shipped with iLife ’08.

Getting up and running
The installation process is largely similar to iWork’s (which we have covered here), the only notable difference being the time taken. Not surprising, since there are five applications in iLife, compared to iWork’s three.

Unlike iWork, all the iLife applications are located on the top level of the Applications folder, and together they take up roughly 1.8 gigabytes of space. Apple’s official recommendations indicate a minimum disk space of 4 gigabytes required for installation. If your Mac is a recent model, you shouldn’t have a problem with the disk space.

For RAM, Apple states 512 MB minimum. Please don’t go with that, have 1 GB or more, as programs dealing with photos, music and videos have always been RAM guzzlers. The older Intel Macs can’t deal with more than 2 GB of RAM installed, so do take note.

If you are still on Tiger (10.4.x), iLife ’09 would not run on it. You’ll need the latest revision of Leopard (as of writing, 10.5.6). Leopard has definitely matured since its release in late ’07, and we assure you that it’ll be a worthy upgrade over Tiger.

There are also extra performance requirements for some programs which we will mention in their respective reviews.

First up – iPhoto.