iLife is a collection of software products created by Apple to create, organise, and view digital content, currently consisting of five components. iLife costs USD 49 from Apple and is included with every computer purchase in and after January 2004.

ILife 11 Box.png

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Components of iLife '04

iTunes 4

iTunes handles MP3 music files and supports other formats as well. iTunes 4 offers access to the new iTunes Music Store, which offers over 700,000 songs for download from hundreds of artists (Music Store currently available in United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Canada).

iPhoto 4

iPhoto is a photo organizer and editor that lets users store, view edit, and share their digital photos. iPhoto allows for photo album creation to display pictures on the internet or on CD, creates slideshows for instant on-computer presentation, imports from most digital cameras with no drivers required (built into Mac OS X by default).

iMovie 4 and iDVD 4

iMovie is a video editor that you can use with digital video. The process of film capture by a digital camera in via Firewire is automated, with iMovie allowing you to chop up your video, add special effects, reorganize it and send it to iDVD for burning onto a DVD with menus. iMovie 3 and iDVD 3 added support for chapters.


GarageBand is a program for creating music (Apple Inc., 2004). It includes over 1000 pre-recorded loops. To create a song, the user simply has to drag loops onto the creation area. The program also supports software instruments and importation from real instruments, such as guitars.

iTunes and iPhoto create libraries of music and photos, respectively, that are used by the other applications. GarageBand music can be exported to iTunes, thus making it part of the iTunes library.


The five iLife applications are designed to work together as a suite. Each program automatically connects to the libraries of the others to make use of their files. Each program interacts with each other in the following ways:

  • iMovie: add music from iTunes (including GarageBand music) for background music; add photos from iPhoto, "Ken Burns Effect" can be applied for panning the image; add chapters to movie, 1-click export to iDVD preserves chapters and creates a Scene Selection menu
  • iDVD: add music from iTunes (including GarageBand) for menu music or slideshow music; add photos from iPhoto for a DVD slideshow; add movies from iMovie
  • iTunes: import music from GarageBand (later removed from iLife)
  • iPhoto: use iTunes (including GarageBand) music in slideshows; 1-click export to iDVD, makes a slideshow in iDVD
  • GarageBand: export created songs to iTunes with one click

iWeb was later added to iLife, but it is now removed. For true compatibility, the libraries created by the applications are included inside the other programs. The iTunes library, for example, actually appears inside the applications that can use it, thus eliminating the need for the user to go and find the music. The same applies for photos. iDVD, in addition to accessing these libraries, can find movies created by iMovie on the hard disk by looking in the user's Movies folder. Any music purchased from the iTunes Music Store will be found and can be used by the other applications (with the exception of GarageBand).


All of the applications run in Mac OS X. Early versions of iTunes run in the classic Mac OS. Only iTunes 4.1 and later runs in Microsoft Windows. (The purpose of Apple's decision to allow Windows users to use iTunes may have been to allow them to take advantage of Apple's iTunes Music Store.)

Versions of iDVD before 3.0.1 operated only on Macs with Apple internal DVD-R drives (i.e., SuperDrives). Versions 3.0.1 and later can be installed and used on any Mac that meets the CPU requirements for the software, but DVDs can only be burned on Macs with internal SuperDrives.

History and availability

iLife is the latest in a line of both hardware and software products which are part of a "digital lifestyle." After his re-arrival as CEO at Apple, Steve Jobs began speaking of a person's Macintosh being the center, or hub, of their digital lifestyle. The original iMac was the first step in developing this lifestyle. It put a new face on not only the Mac, but computing in general, as PC companies began to change their form factor designs as well.

The first version of the products were released in this order: iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, GarageBand.

Apple originally made iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie available for free via the Internet, while iDVD was available only with computers that included SuperDrives. A while after the release of iDVD, Apple coined the name "iLife" for the whole suite, offering it on CD for USD $49.95, while continuing to provide everything but iDVD for free download. In January 2004, Apple released GarageBand, introduced new versions of iDVD, iPhoto, and iMovie, renamed the package iLife '04, and changed the availability. iTunes is separately available for free download through Apple's web site. Although previous editions can still be downloaded for free, the latest versions of iMovie and iPhoto are only available through iLife, which is now bundled with all new Macintosh computers.

iLife continued with updates in 2004, 2005, 20062007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. (namely, iLife '04, iLife '05iLife '06, iLife '08, iLife '09, iLife '11, and iLife 10.0).

Version history

Version Introduction Cost Mac OS Binary iPhoto iTunes iMovie iDVD GarageBand iWeb
iLife Macworld Conference & Expo on January 3, 2002 $49 10.1 PowerPC 2 3 3 3  –  –
iLife '04 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 6, 2004 $49 10.2.6 PowerPC 4 4.2 4 4 1  –
iLife '05 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 11, 2005 $79 10.3.4 PowerPC 5 4.7.1 HD 5 5 2  –
iLife '06 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 10, 2006 $79 10.4.3 Universal 6 6.0.2 HD 6 6 3 1
iLife '08 Special Summer event[1] on August 7, 2007 $79 10.4.9 Universal 7.0  – 7.0 7.0 4.0 2.0
iLife '09 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 6, 2009 (Press Release) $79 10.5.6 Universal 8.0  – 8.0 7.0.3 5.0 3.0
iLife '11 (retail DVD) Apple Special Event on October 20, 2010 (Press Release) $49 10.6.3 Intel 9.4.3  – 9.0.9 7.1.2 6.0.5 3.0.4
iLife '11 (Mac App Store build) Mac App Store launch on January 6, 2011 (Press Release) $15 per iLife app, $20 per iWork app 10.6.6 Intel 9.4.3  – 9.0.9  – 6.0.5  –
iLife 10.0 Apple Special Event on October 22, 2013 Free Upgrade[2]

$15 per iLife app, $20 per iWork app[3]

10.9.0 Intel 9.5  – 10.0  – 10.0  –

Notes about specific releases:

  • iLife '06: This was the last release to include iTunes. It now comes with every Mac computer and account, as well as every Apple device (i.e. iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple TV).
  • iLife '08: This release included a completely reprogrammed iMovie with a new user interface which omitted some of the features of the previous version. In response to criticism, Apple released iMovie HD 6 as a free download to anyone who purchased this version of iLife.
  • iLife '09: With this release of iLife the free download of iMovie HD 6 was discontinued.
  • iLife '11: PowerPC Macs are not compatible with iLife '11. Although iLife '11 originally supported Snow Leopard, the latest updates to iPhoto and iMovie require Lion.

See also

Sources and References

  1. Macworld | Apple Mac Event – Live Update
  2. Existing iLife ’11 or iWork ’09 users or Macs purchased from Oct 1, 2013 would receive a free upgrade.
  3. Users without iLife ’11 or iWork ’09 will need to buy iMovie and iPhoto at full price.

External links

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