create. share. enjoy. (Part 1)

create. share. enjoy. (Part 1)

This isn’t the iMovie you’re used to - but it makes it amazingly painless to create movies quickly.



Apple sure loves to reinvent things. It reinvented the graphical user interface with the Lisa and then the Mac. It reinvented digital music with the iPod and the iTunes Store. It reinvented the cell phone with the iPhone. And now, with iMovie ’08, Apple has reinvented digital video editing. We’re not kidding: This new iMovie is not merely an upgrade to Apple’s entry-level video editor. It’s a whole new animal that approaches editing from a very different - and very fresh - direction.


And that shift, as you might have already heard, has created plenty of controversy. Not only does iMovie ’08 feel absolutely alien to iMovie die-hards, but it also lacks some arguably key features that the previous versions of the software had acquired over the years. Noting a chorus of complaints about this new version of iMovie on Apple’s online discussion boards and other websites, we launched it with considerable skepticism, wondering how Apple could have gone so wrong.


But here’s the thing: Once we used the new iMovie, we were quickly struck by how incredibly easy it is to edit home videos. It’s really, really easy - noticeably easier and more intuitive than editing in iMovie HD 6. This newfound ease of use made the method behind Apple’s madness abundantly clear.


Capturing and Editing. At the heart of iMovie ’08 is a streamlined approach to previewing all the video footage on your Mac, and then turning it into your final cut. But it all starts with video capture. You can now hook up just about any MiniDV, HDV, MiniDVD, or AVCHD camcorder and capture all onboard footage or just select bits. Either way, iMovie ’08 recognizes the footage from a day’s shoot as a distinct event. For instance, last month’s surprise birthday party footage is one event, and last Saturday’s skateboarding footage constitutes another. Naturally, you can name each event as you see fit.


You can view all the events you’ve ever captured in iMovie ’08’s Event Library, and clicking an event shows all of its footage in the Event Viewer. It certainly is nice to have all of your captured footage available anytime, regardless of what project you’re working on. The footage is laid out in a filmstrip view, with a new thumbnail image representing every couple of seconds, so you can get a rough idea of your video’s contents at a glance. And it gets better. To preview your footage, simply drag your mouse across the filmstrip and iMovie ’08 automatically previews it. No more clicking on individual clips to open them, then dragging a playhead or pressing a Play button to see the footage in each clip.


When you spot a clip you’d like to edit in iMovie ’08, you click the filmstrip where the good footage begins and drag your mouse to where the footage ends; the app highlights that segment. This, too, is much easier than dragging the old iMovie’s In and Out points around. Now just drag the highlighted area to iMovie ’08’s Project window (the equivalent of the old iMovie’s Timeline), and iMovie will lay down your edit - again, this is much simpler than iMovie’s former copy-and-paste method. You just keep doing this, dragging new segments of video to the beginning, end, or anywhere in the middle of your movie.


Trimming clips that are already part of your project is a cinch. Again, just click and drag your mouse across the area of the clip you want to trim, and then choose the Trim command to remove any video outside your selection. You can also enter Trim mode to add or remove frames from the start and end points of clips already in a movie.






+ Add a Comment


Where is the rest of the iDVD review? You started it on the second page, right after the iMovie review, but the third page starts with iPhoto. So what happened to the rest of IDVD? What rating did you give it, and the rest of the scoop? Please remedy this.



Automation is a major addition to GarageBand. This feature wasn't even available in Logic Express the last time I checked (just Logic Pro). It even works with plug-in software instruments, though it's somewhat tedious to find the parameter you want. Unfortunately, it seems you still can't assign parameters to midi controls, or record automation live.

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.