Apple recently introduced a new suite of programs for 2004. While much of what is included is just updates of already available software (iTunes, iDVD, iPhoto and iMovie), there is one bit of new kit inside, Garageband. Now Apple has touted this as something that will turn everyone into a musician. They have even inlisted Sheryl Crow and some prat from MTV to sing its praises. In practice its a frustrating and counter-intuitive piece of kit which does not let itself to tinkering. One could argue this is a good thing considering all those people who have used iMovie and iDvD to foist crap family movies on an unsuspecting world. Apple, was quite fortunate however as soon after the suite’s release, Howard Dean made his famous screech, provoking hundreds of clever clots to try their hand at “re-mixes”. I am supposed to get a copy of Jam Pack which adds more to Garageband to review. This costs an addition $99, over and above the price of iLife. Overall purchasing iLife is an easy way to update the i-family of software short of purchasing a new machine. Those who don’t use all these programs but are tempted by Garageband might be wise to try it on someone else’s Mac first. Of course, on the plus side, iLife is easy to install and works well together. A must for home photo, movie and dvd tinkerers, but users of iTunes have little need for this suite of software.