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iLife '06 adds Podcast studio to GarageBand

iLife '06 adds Podcast studio to GarageBand

At the Macworld keynote today, the focus leaned away from the iPod and toward the Mac. In the software realm, the announcement centered on iLife '06, which adds several improvements to the apps already available in iLife--iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand--and includes a brand-new program for budding Web developers, called iWeb. But the big news for digital audio fans is the enhancements to GarageBand. Steve Jobs mentioned that many improvements were made in the updated GarageBand, but he went only into the main addition: Podcast studio. Now, I don't make my own podcasts, but I can still recognize a cool feature when I see one. Podcast studio uses the already-present recording feature in GarageBand for capturing audio but adds a podcast track line for dragging in artwork to correspond with the time line of the audio so that as you listen to the podcast, you get a slide show to go with it. GarageBand will also now include more than 200 royalty-free sound effects and more than 100 royalty-free jingles; maybe I will start podcasting after all. The coolest feature to me (and to the keynote audience, based on the oohs and ahs) is the automatic ducking effect, which lowers the background music of your podcast when the speech comes in--talk about user-friendly. This is why I use a Mac. Jobs also announced a new JamPack of World Music. Just like before, the iLife suite is a steal at $79; $99 will get you a family pack that's good on up to five computers. It goes on sale today.