Update 2: Latest version of iLife debuts

Posted by Mark Raby

Cupertino (CA) - Apple has just unveiled iLife '08, the company's catch-all software suite for entertainment applications.

The new package has all the same applications, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, and iDVD, that were seen in the last version of iLife, but the 2008 version expands on the scope of the entertainment functionality.  

As part of iPhoto, Events organizes digital image collections by placing them into event categories.  Basically, instead of manually grouping thousands of photos into different folders, Events lets users tag a photo as "birthday", "wedding", or even create a filter at a later date by searching a group of photos imported on a specific date.

The new version of iPhoto will also include integration with .Mac (dot Mac), Apple's Internet subscription service, allowing users to share images on the Web with a couple mouse clicks.

Additionally, iMovie has been completely overhauled to give users a more quick, user-friendly movie creation tool.   Doubling as a video storage application, the video editing process is mainly drag-and-drop.  It can take in virtually any video source and output in multiple formats, including one specific for iTunes and portable device playback, and a click-and-send tool for YouTube, automatically encoding the video for optimization on the video sharing site.

With iWeb, Apple wants to ease the process of creating a website with Web widgets, making it a one-click process to add things like Google Maps or Google AdSense to a basic page layout.  Finally, in iDVD, Apple has added new encoding tools for users to burn their own DVD videos.

The new iLife will be included with all new Mac purchases beginning today.  A standalone version is available for around $80.