For those with a good memory, iLife applications were the first to be made available in the form of universal binaries – together with those of the iWork suite. Although the latest version brings several interesting new features – with the promise of being the best ever produced by Apple – many users will be disappointed to find features compatible only with Intel Macs.
Anyone who owns an older machine has one more reason not to upgrade to the new version: in GarageBand, the “Learnto Play” feature requires an Intel Mac with processor dual-core or superior. That is, even the first mini Macs with Intel chips are discarded, since they use Intel Core Solo chips, with only one core.
“Learn to Play” is one of the most attractive new features in the new version of GarageBand, as it allows users to learn to play instruments with the help of high definition videos, in which they can even feature artists teaching how to play some of their greatest hits (Artist Lessons). Some “video-lessons” already come with the application and many others can be purchased for $ 5 in a store owned by the new GarageBand.
In fact, little by little these applications will present features that require machines with much higher performance, and this is not new: the old iMovie '08, which was considered by many to be much lower than the '06 version, did not run on Macs with a G4 processor, and their minimum requirements were a Power Mac or iMac processor G5.
It is also important to remember that this does not stop here: advanced video effects and slideshows, high definition guided tours and better graphic quality are just a few features that will require faster Macs before they can be used in the future, making the total transition from PowerPC machine users to Intel as seamless as possible, and not forced.
Although some functions (“Learn to Play” and others) are not supported, all iLife ’09 applications run on Macs with a G4 processor of 867MHz or higher, which means that any machine compatible with Leopard can run them.