Yesterday's announcement of iLife '11 brought some cool new features across the suite... well, most of the suite anyway. As many people have noticed, only iPhoto, iMovie, and Garage Band were updated. iWeb and iDVD got no love besides small code changes that make them compatible with the new iLife '11 apps. So, what does this mean for the future of the two apps?
Sorry, iDVD fans, but the app is as good as dead. The last time iDVD got a major upgrade was back in 2006 with iLife '06. A year later, iLife '08 brought minor changes to iDVD, restoring some themes from the first two versions of the software. Since then, two versions of iLife have come and gone, but iDVD has not changed one bit.
Back in 2003 or 2004 (I don't remember which year exactly), my group at Apple was in a meeting with people from the iLife team. One of the project managers threw out a question to us. He asked why iDVD was so essential to the iLife suite, which at the time also included iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie. This wasn't just a question he was asking us either -- it was one of the interview questions for programmers that were hired to work on the iLife suite. The answer: iDVD was essential because it wrapped a user's digital life up into one tidy package. Music, photos, and movies could be edited and burned onto a shiny disc for distribution to friends and family. As an interesting side note, the programming manager told us that no one on the iLife team ever got the question right on their first try.