Apple resellers are running short of iLife '04 stocks as eager Mac users race to install the new versions of Apple's consumer creativity tools, but there's a snag for some.

iLife '04 includes two installation disks inside its £39 box. One disc – a CD – contains Apple's new iPhoto, iTunes and iMovie software; the box also contains a DVD, which holds those three applications along with iDVD and the much-vaunted GarageBand application.

Apple's decision to adopt DVD as the delivery mechanism for iDVD is understandable, as that product is primarily built to operate with that company's SuperDrive; but GarageBand does not require a DVD player once it is installed. Apple has warned users of the need for a DVD player in its system requirements list, which states: "DVD drive required to install GarageBand and iDVD".

This effectively means Mac users without a DVD-capable Mac are locked out of the new music revolution Apple is leading in 2004, its 'year of song'.

Apple's range included a number of non-DVD-capable Macs for much of 2003. As the year began, the company's entry-level iBooks, G3 iMacs and G4 iMac 700MHz models all lacked such support. This means owners of Macs that are just one-year old can't get the music-making tool. However, Apple's current consumer products all offer the capability to read DVD discs. The company continues to offer a non-DVD-ready eMac to its UK education customers – a key constituency for the iLife vision Apple propounds.

The move has not passed without comment. Some Macworld Forum readers are suggesting Apple sell iLife Lite, a CD containing Apple's new iPhoto, iTunes and iMovie software only; and others think GarageBand should be distributed on multiple install CDs, or made available for paid download for those who lack DVD readers in their otherwise GarageBand-capable Macs.

Macworld spoke with Apple representatives last week. They declined to comment but said they would "report back" on such concerns.

iLife 04's system requirements include: a PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 processor; a 600MHz G3 or faster required for GarageBand; G4 or faster required for GarageBand software instruments; 733MHz G4 or faster required for iDVD; 256MB RAM; Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later; QuickTime 6.4 or later; 4.3GB of disk space required to install GarageBand, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD; or 250MB to install iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie only.