updated 3/14/2011 2:10:33 PM ET 2011-03-14T18:10:33

As part of its big event today announcing two new MacBook Air notebook computers and new Mac OS X Lion software, Apple also introduced the latest version of its entertainment software package, iLife 11.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his lieutenants demoed a number of new features aimed at providing users with improved ways to craft videos, record music and work with photos.


iLife's iMovie program now has improved and simplified audio editing, Apple said, in response to the number one request from the user base.

iMovie also now boasts the ability to automatically throw together some nifty-looking and sounding movie trailers.

To give these users' homemade movie trailers an epic vibe, Apple recorded 15 short symphonic soundtracks at Abbey Road Studios in the United Kingdom – performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, no less.

In recognition of the continuing growth of social media, iMovie also allows users to directly post their creations to YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, among other Web destinations.

(See: Video Editing Software Reviews )


For musicians – or for those who wish to describe themselves as such – Apple's iLife program GarageBand now offers new Auto-Tune-like features to correct for bad notes or disjointed play.

Flex Time lets one stretch out or shorten recorded notes to get the timing right. Similarly, if a jam goes out of control (or the drummer stinks), another feature called Groove Matching can bring the whole mess back into alignment.

Users simply select one of the instrument audio tracks as a reference and then the software matches the other tracks to it. "It's like an automatic spellchecker for bad rhythm," said Xander Soren, a senior product manager who demoed Garageband at the event.

Yet another GarageBand addition is "How Did I Play?" which tracks users as they play guitar or piano and points out where they botched a note.

(See: Audio Editing Software Reviews )


One of iPhoto's upgrades is an enhanced slideshow generation feature, showcased in some snazzy templates by Apple earlier today.

Users can also integrate the location of where their photos were taken with an overhead map – a handy way to index the various pictures snapped during a vacation, say.

Another new feature is full screen views of photos, in keeping with the use-the-whole-screen-approach taken by Apple's mobile products the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad.

In addition, users can more easily create books and cards and have Apple do the printing, and a new letterpress photo card option for embossed, professional-looking cards is now offered.

(See: Photo Editing Software Reviews )

iLife 11 will come free with all new Mac purchases, Jobs announced, and upgrading to it on a currently owned Mac will cost $49. The creative suite is available today.

•    Apple Brings iPad Features to the Mac with Lion OS
•    Apple Offers Two New MacBook Air Notebooks
•    7 Quirky Gadgets for the Home

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