iMovie 08, I Like It

iMovie 08

The new iMovie really has some people up in arms. I'm not sure if it is just a vocal minority or Apple's got everyone mad. What happened is Apple dumbed it down. Gone is the timeline as well as several other tools. In is a really cool skimming feature and much simpler formatting and transitions.

So, I've been reading about all these rants and decided to give it a try. I had about 20 minutes of miscelaneous footage on my hard drive taken with the video function of my point-and-shoot Kodak that I haven't gotten around to processing in Final Cut because I just haven't had time. Sounds like a perfect opportunity to try this new "controversial" software.

I didn't crack the manual and just went for it. Importing the video was easy but time consuming. The program builds that skim library for you so it spends a little while chuging through. Rather than watch it go through that process, I had every intention of catching up on email but instead ended up playing frisbee with the neighbor's dog.

I came back about 15 minutes later and it was done. I don't know how long it took, but it was done. Then it was really easy. You scan the clips and drag the mouse to select the portion you want to use. You then drag the selected clip into your project. You can drop in transitions, titles, and music very easily. Frankly, I can't get over how quick and easy it was.

With about 10 minutes work, I had all the video cut down to a 7 minute funny clip with titles, transitions, and music. I then uploaded it to my .Mac account and had an email out to relatives across the US, London, and the Philippines. Apple, I get it.

For John Q Public, this program is excellent for getting video cut and completed with very little trouble. I also use Final Cut and I'm not willing to give up those extra tools but I also really like iMovie 08. If you want those extra tools you can still use iMovie 06, which remains availbable, but I recommend buying Final Cut Express. You get LiveType, Soundtrack, and all sorts of tools to unleash your inner Spielberg. The other nice thing about the new iMovie is you can export directly to Final Cut, which helps streamline my workflow for the serious stuff as well.

So at the end of the day, the new iMovie is a definite improvement in my video production. I appreciate the complainers, sort of. But with iMovie 06 still available, and the very powerful tools you can get with the $300 Final Cut Express, I also think they need to get over it.