The Bottom Line
Apple is aiming at a fundamentally different target audience with iMovie '08, which isn't a complete surprise, considering the explosive popularity of YouTube. Unfortunately for many of us, this means a giant step backward in capabilities, just so iMovie can better address the needs of individuals who want to make quick, short videos for YouTube and similar purposes. In making this change, Apple abandons the amateur film and video creators who were the bread-and-butter of previous versions of iMovie.
- New video library can organize clips by events
- Supports both Standard Definition and High Definition (HD) source material
- Simplified drag-and-drop editing
- Can publish directly to YouTube or a .Mac account
- Lets you store finished movies in iTunes, for easy viewing on Apple TV, iPods, and iPhones
- Poor timeline viewing
- Loss of multiple audio tracks
- No DVD chapter markers
- Real-time scrubbing though clips
- Video clips are organized by event
- Project area replaces timeline
- Drag-and-drop editing
- Video slideshows
- Real-time transitions
- Built-in voiceover editing
- Real-time titles
- Can export to YouTube, .Mac, or iTunes
Review - iMovie '08
OK; on with the review. iMovie '08 is awful. There, I said it. I find it difficult to say that about Apple products, but it's the truth. What was Apple thinking? Obviously, the company wanted to offer an application designed specifically for easily creating videos for YouTube and similar purposes. What Apple should have done was create a new application, perhaps called iVideo, and left iMovie to its previous function, which was to create and edit large screen and/or longer movies.
iMovie '08 does have its good points. Without question, it's easy to use. Other video editing applications claim to be easy, but this is the first one I've seen that literally anyone could use to create decent film clips. In this respect, Apple has succeeded in creating what may very well be a new genre of video editing programs.
Editing is a simple matter of dragging and dropping clips from your video library, a feature implementation that is similar to iPhoto. iMovie stores video assets by event, just like iPhoto does with photos. If a clip is too long, just right-click it and select the Trim option to adjust its length. Want to enlarge a clip to better fill the screen? Use the crop tool, just as in iPhoto. Color a little off? Try the iPhoto-like adjustment palette to correct it. When you're satisfied with your work, you can export the video clip to YouTube, a .Mac account, or your iTunes library.
iMovie '08 has the potential to be a great addition to iLife. It's perfect for individuals who want to create small format, short video clips. It's just a shame that Apple chose to change iMovie so radically, when it would have been just as easy to release a new, separate application.