Apple Revamps iLife for '09 with iPhoto Facial Recognition and More

Today at Macworld 2009 in San Francisco, Apple showed off a new iPhoto with true facial recognition, a better iMovie and other iLife updates—$US79 solo, $US99 for family, available late January.

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 stabilisation: 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: Organise 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 $US5 a lesson. Hmmm.

There are also updates to iWeb and iDVD

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