Now that you've heard about the delights that await you when you use iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD, how do you get them? Well, there are several options available.
First, you should check your Applications folder to see if they are already installed. If you find them, you'll want to check their version numbers to ensure that you have the latest software. You need to have at least version 3 of iTunes, iMovie, and iDVD and version 2 of iPhoto to get the most from them. (Earlier versions were not designed to integrate with each other.)
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Apple often makes minor updates to their applications that make them run better, so even if you have the versions mentioned above, you'll want to visit the Apple Web site to see if there are newer versions, or version updates, listed for download. For instance, there was an update for iMovie 3.0.2 listed at the time of this writing.
If you don't find these applications on your hard drive, you have two options. The first, if you want iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie, is to download them from Apple's Web site.
If you have a slower Internet connection, or if you want to use iDVD, you'll need to purchase the iLife software package. (This package includes all four applications, even though the other three are free in download.)
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iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie are available for free via download ”why isn't iDVD? The answer to that lies in the size of the iDVD application and files. Basically, it's HUGE and trying to download it would tie up a lot of your computer's resources for a very long time. Trust me, if you want iDVD it's worth the money to pay for the installation discs.
To install, double click the installer icon or disc icon that appears on your desktop and follow the prompts. You will be asked to authenticate yourself first, which means you enter the password for the administrator (or owner) of the computer. When you do that, just OK the license agreement, click the various Continue and Install buttons and the software will be set up on your computer in short order.
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Apple recently released iTunes 4, which adds access to the iTunes Music Store to iTunes' previously existing features. (The music store allows you to purchase and download song files from participating recording companies.)
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If you purchase iLife, you'll actually receive two installation discs. One is a CD containing iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie; the other is a DVD containing all four applications. (I said previously that iDVD is HUGE ”in fact, it's so large that it has to be offered on a DVD rather than a CD.) Having two separate discs helps ensure that those without the Apple SuperDrive can still reap the benefits of iLife without having to spend hours downloading the components . Make sure you use the right disc for your system.