create. share. enjoy. (Part 1)

create. share. enjoy. (Part 1)

1. Music for this movie is bounded by the yellow-outlined box. 2. These are your sound effects; you can layer multiple effects together. 3. These little icons represent transitions between frames.


Audio and Effects. On the audio front, iMovie ’08 takes a unique new approach, thanks to the elimination of tried-and-true audio tracks. To add background music, you select a file from the Media Browser and drag it to an empty spot in the Project window. iMovie ’08 responds by placing a colored box that represents your music behind your edited footage. You can trim the music to play any segment you want, and move it around in time. Adding sound effects works a bit differently. Since a sound effect typically plays in sync with video, you simply drag it to a frame in your video edit, and it attaches there, represented by a green bar that extends the length of the effect.


This is an undoubtedly unusual approach to audio editing, but it’s nonetheless easy and intuitive. The big limitation in iMovie ’08’s new approach is the extent to which you can control the volume on your audio. You can set each clip’s individual volume (and automatically normalize the clips, so no one clip overpowers the others), but you can’t use iMovie HD 6’s old “rubber-banding” feature to manually change a clip’s volume over time.


You can also add transitions and title effects simply by dragging and dropping them anywhere over your edited footage. Gone are the beautiful motion-graphics themes introduced in iMovie HD 6, but there are still plenty of slick text effects for title cards or over-video captions. iMovie ’08 lets you do iPhoto-like image correction, so you can adjust a clip’s levels, exposure, saturation, and other related settings, but it ditched all the other effects filters found in iMovie HD 6 (no soft blurs, no aged film, no fog, no lens flare, and so on). On the bright side, you can rotate video clips, crop them, and still apply the ol’ Ken Burns effect to still photos.


When you’re finished with your masterpiece, iMovie ’08 makes it much easier to export the video and share it with others. Under the Share menu, you’ll find options for exporting to iTunes; to the iLife Media Browser, which makes it available in other iLife applications such as iDVD; to .Mac’s new Web Gallery (if you’ve paid for a .Mac account); and even directly to YouTube. iMovie ’08 lets you export in four different sizes that are preset for playback on a video iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, your computer, or online, and you can actually batch-export all sizes with a single click.


The bottom line. There’s no denying that iMovie ’08 lacks some of the firepower of its predecessors, but many of those missing features only served experienced movie editors who should’ve stepped up to an intermediate editor like Apple’s Final Cut Express ($299) anyway. For regular folks who want to edit fun, casual movies with as little effort as possible, iMovie ’08’s new drag-and-drop interface is a huge leap forward. Since iMovie is, after all, an entry-level video-editing app, Apple made the right decision in getting back to basics.




PRICE: $79 as part of iLife ’08; free with a new Mac

REQUIREMENTS: Power Mac G5 (dual 2.0GHz or faster), iMac G5 (1.9GHz or faster), or any Intel Mac; Mac OS 10.4.9 or later; 512MB RAM (1GB for HD editing); 3GB free disk space

New interface makes basic video editing a breeze. Directly imports video in the AVCHD and MPEG-2 (MiniDVD) formats. Easier to export movies online and to other devices.

Requires experienced users to master a new interface. Missing features from earlier versions, such as audio “rubber banding” (keyframes), chapter marker placement, themes, and many text and effects filters. Doesn’t work with G4 Macs.




For starters, iDVD ’08 has noticeably peppier performance, so you can switch from one theme to another more quickly and play smoother real-time previews. Better yet, iDVD can now use the same two-pass, VBR (variable bit rate) encoding engine that Apple’s high-end DVD Studio Pro uses. The result? Your movies look sharper, although encoding times will increase, and you’re more likely to see a difference in shots with a lot of movement, rather than static shots.


iDVD ’08 also comes with 10 beautiful new themes (4:3 and widescreen versions), and either includes or lets you quickly download every theme that’s ever shipped with past versions of the app. A new Drop Zone Editor also lets you see your project as you edit your drop zones, so it’s easier to try out different design ideas.


But DVD authoring has taken a step back in one notable way. iDVD ’08 doesn’t let you add chapter markers to your movies, and iMovie ’08 no longer lets you embed them either. The only way to add chapters is to import a movie into GarageBand or iMovie HD 6, add markers there, and then import back to iDVD ’08.






+ 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.

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