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I got my copy of iLife '09 (Family Pack) today and installed it on my Power Mac G5 and on my MacBook Pro. I had hoped to report a little on first impressions of the package, but right now, my first impression of the package is that it's unstable like crazy on my PMG5 -- my main home machine where I keep all my family photos.

iPhoto hung after or toward the end of converting my iPhoto library, leaving me with the sick feeling that any number of photos may have been lost to my iPhoto library. I have 17k photos, so even if the photos are safely on disk, as I expect, there's no easy way for me to know that nothing was lost to the database. My latest Time Machine backup was from last week, because I turned off backups while I was working to transfer files off a recently purchased Seagate hard drive with possible firmware problems. Also, for some reason, one of my large web galleries needed to be republished for no apparent reason. And Faces didn't identify any faces -- though it did seem to work on the tiny iPhoto library on my MBP.

iWeb needed to republish my entire web site. The whole damn thing, for no apparent reason. At least iWeb appears stable on my PMG5.

Garageband hung after startup, after I tried to open an existing project. It didn't get around to asking me which project. I had to force quit. I haven't tried it again.

iMovie seems stable on both machines, though I tried it extensively only on the MBP. I wanted to see whether the Precision Editor restores all the functionality lost from iMovie HD 6. I assume it restores most, if not all, but the interface is sufficiently foreign that I have yet to figure it out completely. However, iMovie does seem buggy. One or more clips copied to a project failed to play, no matter how I tried to fix the issue with the inspector, although the clips played just fine from the library pane.

-awlabrador
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And Faces didn't identify any faces -- though it did seem to work on the tiny iPhoto library on my MBP.

Okay, I think I found out why Faces on my PMG5 wasn't working. Apparently, it needs to do a scan of my iPhoto library before it can begin recognizing faces, but it wasn't doing so because it was republishing my largish web gallery first. Also, my PMG5's iPhoto library is very large, and it looks like I'm going to have to let it scan overnight. On my MBP, the iPhoto library is miniscule in comparison.

Recent versions of iWeb have gradually lost the ability to format the main blog page and the archive page. For example, in the original version, you could omit a blog entry date. In the next version, you couldn't omit the date, but you could fake it by, say, changing the date color to the page background color on the archive page or the main blog page. In the new version, I haven't figured out how to do even that -- the entry list panes on the main blog page and the archive page show up as completely blank in the layout window. However, the newly published page retains the formatting I put in place with the previous version of iWeb. Go figure.

Not that I use it much, but the new version of Garageband appears to have lost a lot of my loops. When I click on a lost loop, it gives me the option of installing it, but when I click OK, the installer says I need Garageband 4 or newer -- and this is Garageband 5.

So, my first few hours with iLife '09 have not been very promising so far. :-(

(FWIW, I received iWork '09 some time ago. I really only use Keynote, and I haven't made a presentation recently. However, playing with all three iWork '09 apps has resulted in a glitch-free experience so far. IMO, Apple put much more polish into the new iWork versions than in the new iLife versions.)

-awlabrador
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It's Vista's fault.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Faces on my PMG5

After the scan, wow. Just, wow.

In my iPhoto library, I have keywords for my wife and for each of my two sons, but I never bothered to set up a keyword for myself. So, I selected a photo of myself, and iPhoto proceeded to go through the entire library and find a lot of photos with me in them. Of the photos it selected, I'd guess about 99% correctly identified me, though a small handful had others -- my father, my wife's uncle, and some random guys in crowds. iPhoto presents you a set of candidate photos, and although it says to click on each photo to verify that it has identified the correct face, it's easier to click-drag to select all photos and then click individual photos to select misidentified faces.

You have to go through the verification process multiple times, as iPhoto goes through several scanning iterations to try to find faces in more and more difficult photos. I assume iPhoto refines its search algorithm with each iteration. While the positive identification works remarkably well and the process of eliminating misidentification has not, so far, been too difficult, I have no way of knowing how many photos of a given face iPhoto failed to identify, i.e. if I had a thousand pictures including myself and if iPhoto found only 900 of them.

I have yet to try some more difficult faces, e.g. my two sons. Though separated by a few years, they look remarkably alike to strangers, especially when comparing photos at the same ages, e.g. my older son at 3 years and my younger son at 3 years.

-awlabrador
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(FWIW, I received iWork '09 some time ago. I really only use Keynote, and I haven't made a presentation recently. However, playing with all three iWork '09 apps has resulted in a glitch-free experience so far. IMO, Apple put much more polish into the new iWork versions than in the new iLife versions.)


I've been working with iWork 09 for about 2 weeks. Overall, lots of improvements, very stable.

Keynote has a great feature that surprised me the other day. Used to be an annoyance compared to Powerpoint was when you has more bullet points than the font size in the text box would allow. In Powerpoint, it resizes text automatically, which I think is bad because I want the control and I'd sometimes rather rephrase to keep the font size up. Keynote lets you know that you are overflowing. If you double click the overflow indicator it resizes the text to fit.

Numbers has tons more functions, comparable to Excel. I think it may be equal for somewhere close to 90% of excel users.

Pages doesn't look meaningfully different, though tables now act like reduced function spreadsheets.
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(FWIW, I received iWork '09 some time ago. I really only use Keynote, and I haven't made a presentation recently. However, playing with all three iWork '09 apps has resulted in a glitch-free experience so far. IMO, Apple put much more polish into the new iWork versions than in the new iLife versions.)


I've been working with iWork 09 for about 2 weeks. Overall, lots of improvements, very stable.

Keynote has a great feature that surprised me the other day. Used to be an annoyance compared to Powerpoint was when you has more bullet points than the font size in the text box would allow. In Powerpoint, it resizes text automatically, which I think is bad because I want the control and I'd sometimes rather rephrase to keep the font size up. Keynote lets you know that you are overflowing. If you double click the overflow indicator it resizes the text to fit.

Numbers has tons more functions, comparable to Excel. I think it may be equal for somewhere close to 90% of excel users.

Pages doesn't look meaningfully different, though tables now act like reduced function spreadsheets, which is good.

I'm still exploring and learning more new features.
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Numbers has tons more functions, comparable to Excel. I think it may be equal for somewhere close to 90% of excel users.

Though I've been a big fan of Keynote since version 1, I'm unlikely to use Numbers. I'm a heavy Excel user, and one of the things I appreciate -- among many -- is Excel's performance with large spreadsheets. It's been my observation that Apple's basic productivity applications struggle once document sizes grow beyond small-ish sizes. I noticed it first with AppleWorks, when my docs got beyond ~5 pages of word processing or 2-3 pages of spreadsheet and the application slowed down remarkably. The same seems true with Numbers and Pages -- small documents are fine, but big documents require Office, IMO.

Anyway, back to iLife, I'm starting to see other people making early reports of glitches and other problems, along the same lines I've been seeing in my own tests. Performance is an issue -- either an app hangs or crashes, or it gets bogged down so much during startup or some other function that it's as bad as hanging. With a lot of things going on in the background sometimes, quitting iPhoto sometimes takes a very long time, making it seem as if iPhoto has hung.

I suppose that if I hadn't been so eager to get beyond the massively disappointing iMovie '08, knowing what I know now, I would have held off upgrading to iLife '09 for at least a month or until the next set of updates. Faces is a cool feature of iPhoto '09, but it's not worth the glitches I've faced so far. The most up-to-date versions of iLife '08 (minus iMovie '08) plus iMovie '06 (or iMovie HD) are a perfectly fine combination of apps.

-awlabrador
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1. I wonder if iPhoto can recognize the faces on individual animals like dogs. And different kinds of birds? Etc.

2. I wonder if Numbers can be read by PC users?

I cannot afford to have iPhoto mess up my photo files. I wonder if upgrading would then force me to get Aperture or Lightroom. I normally download pics to iPhoto and then edit in Photoshop.

Although I do very little video editing anymore, I kept the older version on my computers.

Birgit
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1. I wonder if iPhoto can recognize the faces on individual animals like dogs. And different kinds of birds? Etc.

According to a MacUser (Macworld) post, iPhoto can recognize cats, and other people are trying other pets. Dogs may not be possible, because of the snout. I'll try it with my dog photos.

http://www.macworld.com/article/138484/2009/01/iphoto_knows_...

2. I wonder if Numbers can be read by PC users?

Probably not, but Numbers can export in Excel format. (Save As..., click Save a copy as "Excel Document".)

-awlabrador
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According to a MacUser (Macworld) post, iPhoto can recognize cats, and other people are trying other pets. Dogs may not be possible, because of the snout. I'll try it with my dog photos.


Hmmm. Don't people have noses? And most of ours are quite similar LOL

Probably not, but Numbers can export in Excel format. (Save As..., click Save a copy as "Excel Document".)


Exporting Excel has always been possible, even into my Appleworks. But at least I have to share my database information with PC users. So I guess I am stuck with Excel which is not my favorite. I was pleased to open a word doc with Pages that needed to be transferred to a web page. Word normally wrecks html, but the document opened in Pages only had one html font correction to be made!

Birgit
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I wonder if iPhoto can recognize the faces on individual animals like dogs. And different kinds of birds? Etc.

Maybe.
http://www.webomatica.com/wordpress/2009/01/27/iphoto-09-fac...

PF
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No. of Recommendations: 7
"1. I wonder if iPhoto can recognize the faces on individual animals like dogs. And different kinds of birds? Etc."

When it reads lips about turning it off and flushes us out the air lock then we've got a problem! <swoosh>
B
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