It's official: iMovie and iPhoto no longer free

by Volker Weber

There has been a lot of speculation about the fact that the download links for iMovie and iPhoto have been removed from the Apple site. Also, Steve Jobs did not say anything about upgrades during his keynote. It does not take rocket science to get to the conclusion, that these programs will no longer be free downloads.

So what does one do? You go through the proper channels to ask Apple. In my case this is Apple PR. Did not do this myself since TC of Computerwoche Online had already done so. Today I received confirmation from Apple PR via TC that iMovie will no longer be available as separate downloads. You have to buy iLife.

That means you get it free with every new Mac (caution: until March you will need to use an upgrade procedure that will incur a nominal fee), or you buy it at a store.

Now take a look at the rest of your Apple software. Do not expect to upgrade it for free. Not forever. Whatever it is. Apple has to make money to develop the software and make some profit from it.


damn, i was checking the apple update every couple of hours since the keynote to finally get a usable version of iPhoto.
I wasn't expecting to get Garageband for free, but a simple update to one of the most necessary tools?

Andreas, 2004-01-09

Hmmm... how is iPhoto more “necessary” than GarageBand though? I’d use the latter all the time, yet I only fire up iPhoto perhaps once or twice a month.

My point is that clearly everyone has different needs and interests, so I’m not convinced that one iLife app is “more fundamental” than another.

Whichever way you look at it though, $49 for the whole lot — even if you only use one or two of the apps — is a pretty compelling deal.

Ben Poole, 2004-01-09

I'm more than happy to pay for the iMovie/iPhoto upgrades. I don't remember it saying anywhere that you will always get it for free.

However, they better make sure it works this time. Any iMovie user will know the trouble that came with version 3. Now it's a packaged paid for product the quality control needs to be improved.

Aidan, 2004-01-09

Well, except iTunes, is there any software from Apple left, which is really free ?

Bjoern, 2004-01-09

I haven't seen any price tag on Xcode as of yet. Having said that, I want to make clear that I'm also fully aware that Xcode really isn't an application the average user would be using or even be aware of its existance on his harddrive. And maybe even Xcode will cost some money in the not too distant future, depending on how the software market for OS X evolves.

Stefan Rubner, 2004-01-09

I fully support this decision. This software is worth WAY more than the asking price. As an amateur electonic music hobbyist, I fell in love with GarageBand as I was watching the keynote. That, alone for $49 is an absolute steal, as the most similar product I can think of (and bought) is ACID Music, which now goes for about 6 times that much!

I wonder, though, if it wasn't intentional that they added a download-unfriendly piece of software (GarageBand = huge media files) to the suite to fully justify requiring a shrinkwrapped purchse. Hmmm...

Jeff Chausse, 2004-01-09

iDVD is the original download-unfriendly piece of software.

Volker Weber, 2004-01-11

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