iLife ’04 with iMovie 4

Apple announced iLife ’04 at Macworld Expo today, which includes iMovie 4, iPhoto 4, iDVD 3, iTunes 4, and GarageBand, a cool new program for creating music.

iMovie 4 doesn’t look much different, but that’s just on the surface. Most significant is the capability to trim clips directly in the Timeline – simply drag the clip’s edge to make it shorter. It gets better: in iMovie 2 and 3, trimming or cropping a clip throws away the information you removed; in iMovie 4, you can simply drag the clip’s edge back to where it was to reinstate the footage you trimmed. That’s non-destructive editing, and it’s what professional editors such as Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express (which was also revved to version 2.0).

Also new are the capabilities to import video using an iSight camera, synchronize audio and video clips using sync guides, edit audio clips using visible waveforms, and share movies by exporting them directly to a .Mac account, email, or even to some Bluetooth devices.

Very cool stuff. iLife ’04 will be available January 16, and will cost $50. It looks as if Apple has pulled the free downloads of iMovie 3 and iPhoto 2, and I doubt they’ll make any of iLife ’04 downloadable this time around.

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