Download Apple iLife: Sources for old software and more

Recently a reader of the Sir Apfelot Blog asked where you could get Apple iLife for an old Mac. Jens and I discussed this and that's how this article came about. There are various sources for old software that you can use if you want to equip a vintage computer or set up a virtual machine. While Jens found a more specialized website, I would like to show a more general solution - some of you probably already know it.

To equip your retro Mac, you can use various download sources for operating systems and apps. Here you can find the iLife download from two different sources.
To equip your retro Mac, you can use various download sources for operating systems and apps. Here you can find the iLife download from two different sources.

What is Apple iLife?

But let's start from the beginning. Let's first clarify for all Apple newbies what "iLife" is: Apple iLife is a program package for the creation, management and use of digital media that was offered from 2004 to 2013. In addition to discontinued programs such as iDVD and iWeb, it also included apps that are still offered and updated today - for example GarageBand and iMovie.

iTunes was also initially part of iLife, but was then separated as an individual offer. The iPhoto app also became a standalone offering with the Photos app. iLife was available as a program package for a fee, but was preinstalled on newly purchased Macs. Today, the programs that are still available are free; similar to Pages, Numbers and Keynote from the “iWork” package, the office counterpart to the iLife offer.

Where to download old versions of iLife?

This is where the two solutions mentioned at the beginning come into play. On the one hand, you can get an old version of iLife at (here) find. On the other hand, several different years can be found in the Internet Archive (here) download. With both sources you should pay attention to compatibility with the existing Mac or operating system.

The Macintosh Repository offers the download of a DVD image in the form of an ISO file from its own server as well as by linking to the Internet Archive. In addition, you will also find numerous other software offers for old Macs on the site: operating systems, apps, games, etc. There is even software from the flopped game console “Pippin”.

The Internet Archive, on the other hand, offers you Mac, Lisa and other Apple software as well as systems, apps, drivers, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs and the like for all sorts of other systems. A lot of retro content can be found there, from Atari and Amiga to Windows 3.1, Windows 98, Windows XP and Co. to old games and apps. The Internet Archive also offers many other media – scanned print materials, music, films, books and archived websites (via the so-called “Wayback Machine”).

Summary: Equipping retro hardware is no problem

Thanks to many people and companies making their old floppy disks, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, and useful hard drive contents available through sites like the Macintosh Repository or the Internet Archive, it's quite easy to keep an old Mac or PC running. From installing an old operating system to using iLife, old iWork versions, games, etc., everything can be done. And often you can even find the digitalized instructions in the form of a manual PDF alongside the software. An intensive browse here is worth it in many ways.

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