iLife06 – iPhoto and iWeb: A Review

I previously owned a copy of iLife05, but iLife06 had features included in it that I have been waiting for mac to come out with. The hefty price of $80.00 concerned me, but you are also getting 5 programs. The integration with a mac account, something that I use regularly anyways was also a huge plus. Finally something that works with everything on my mac, and also has some cool new features, such as:

iPhoto 6
Full screen editing – Finally iPhoto allows you to adjust images full screen, and also you can crop images, without losing the resolution, depending on the crop. I previously had to take my photographs into Adobe to crop them down, iPhoto would previously blur them out.

Calendar and Cards – This feature I am probably the most excited about. I previously used services as Shutterfly or Photoworks to create photo greeting cards and calendars. As a photographer, I am purchasing these regularly. I have also ordered prints from these other companies of my work, and their prints do not compare to the .mac prints, so I am very excited and hopeful to the quality that will come out of this feature being added to iPhoto.

Photocasting – This feature allows you to create a photo album within iPhoto and share it with family and friends through RSS and iPhoto. This feature is really nice and anyone who subscribes to will automatically receive the updates. For me, since I use and keep all of my photo albums in iPhoto anyways, I think this is a really nice addition. Here is my sample of a photocast I created for my studio business.
[Karenleighstudios
Photocast


iWeb
I must say, I am a little disappointed in this program. I originally was excited about this program and this new addition to iLife and macs. I was hoping that mac would release a solution that worked with a .mac account and would allow blogging, and would also incorporate podcasting.

This program does do that, but I don’t feel that they included features, that other services already offer automatically. For example:

Right click or bookmark blogging.
Allowing commenting on your post.
E-mail blogging
Use of own domain name
Addition of html, not simple
Heavy templates take way to long to load

These features make blogging less of a chore to do. I am not use to having to open a program to post blogs. I thought those days were gone when blogs came out? All other services have some sort of right click, or bookmark posting as a way to share links that you would like to share while you are doing your travels on the internet.

The absence of allowing comments is a disappointment. For my personal blog, it wasn’t crucial, but in the end, it was something that is standard in blogs and is lacking with iweb.

E-mail blogging – not present

Use of own domain name – You cannot use this with anything besides your mac account, and even if you use your mac account you cannot point your own domain name to it. Of course you can put a forward on your domain name, or create a frame, but in my opinion, why should you have to go through this trouble? For me, I don’t feel that there is enough of a gain.

If I wanted to add my own html, I still have yet to find a easy way to do this.

The features that are really nice are:

Simplicity for adding podcast, photo albums, blog post (within the program)
editing of pages
Adding of images
Unique templates (they do look really good)

I think iWeb is perfect for someone who is just beginning to blog, who has a mac account, and is looking for a simple way to get started with podcasting and a easy way to publish a website. This program is perfect for that. I do not think that this program is beneficial for someone who is already a current blogger or podcaster, at least in my opinion. The lack of features was a big minus for me.

Here is a sample page I created that I originally intended to be my new personal site.
[Sample
Personal site created with iWeb

I am confident that mac will continue to update and add new unique features but for now, I think they still have a lot to be desired with what they have. Was it worth $80.00 instead of a upgrade price? I still feel that it was. The 5 programs total and the additions of features that they added to current programs, and the introduction of iWeb, definitely.

I will continue to support and look forward to their updates to these programs. I do hope one of the future updates includes the removal of having to have a mac account to use their programs and take advantage of groups.