“We’re really disappointed in the amount of media hype, and sales, that we got from our most recent announcement,” admitted Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook in a phone interview Friday, referencing Apple Inc.’s recent introduction of The Beatles’ complete collection in digital form to iTunes. “So we’ve got something else to announce next Tuesday: Auto-Tune in GarageBand.”
The plugin, created by Antares Audio Technologies, is normally a $69-$179 plugin, and is already available for the 2008 and 2009 editions of GarageBand, Apple’s entry-level audio editing suite that comes with every Apple-branded computer. Cook explain Apple, through a huge volume licensing agreement with Antares, was bringing the price of the plugin to zero for all future Mac buyers, as long as the plugin was used for GarageBand rather than Apple’s rather spendy Pro Tools pro-level audio editing suite.
Cook noted that the inclusion of Auto-Tune within GarageBand comes on the heels of the introduction of GarageBand ’11, which includes other…um…band awesomeness increasing features like Flex Time and Groove Matching, which modify audio waveforms upon user request to snap off-kilter audio tracks into perfect rhythm sync with just a few clicks. “With this trifecta of audio improvement features, anyone can now churn out an amazing-sounding piece of aural art that we can turn around and sell on iTunes. Anyone,” Cook emphasized.
GarageBand ’11 with Auto-Tune, as the new package is called, will be included as a free upgrade to all iLife ’11 users through Apple’s Software Update service. Users of previous iLife suites now have one more reason to upgrade to the latest edition of the software. Cook admitted that Apple had toyed with the idea of releasing the update for-pay for current iLife ’11 users “because they’re early adopters,” throwing out a $19 price tag when purchased through the upcoming Mac App store. “But we decided that we didn’t want a huge media backlash like what happened when we dropped the price of the original iPhone by $200 after all the early adopters dug in,” Cook stated. “Also, the Mac App store isn’t quite live yet and we want to get this out the door now. Oh, and the $49 iLife ’11 upgrade price is more than $19. That helps too.”