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iMovie 08 Review

It appears that Apple has made some serious efforts into redefining it’s video software’s place in the market. It’s latest iteration of movie viewing, organizing, and editing software has been completely retooled to provide a much more comprehensive and efficient consumer application than ever before. Many experts in the sector are claiming that it can do so faster and more easily than any other application currently available. By streamlining the software’s features and abilities, however, there is a price to pay, and that price is more complex and advanced features.

It seems fairly evident that Apple has gone out of it’s way to target a consumer demographic rather than a professional one, much akin to the way iPhoto is designed for consumers while a more advanced graphics program like Photoshop is well suited to professional graphics designers. This is probably a step in the right direction, given that most people I know don’t bother with any sort of video editing because they think it’s too steep of a learning curve to get into (or perhaps because not as many average people use digital video?).

With this in mind, the way workflows are implemented is entirely different from previous versions of iMovie. The addition of “skimming” has been touted as a wonderful addition to the software. It allows in individual to move the mouse pointer over a video clip icon and see the individual frames from the sequence. This gives you a quick sense of what a video contains and allows you to determine whether you’d like to use it or not. If you’re looking to grab a shot out of a clip, for example, you can just skim, drag out the portion of the clip you want and place it in your project window. I like it.

The new version also allows additional video support, such as MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats. It also lets you see thumbnails of all the shots in a clip, and you can highlight and important what you want into your project.

When beginning a new iMovie project, it also lets you choose what type of ratio you’re working on, or more specifically whether you want your video to be properly displayed in standard, iphone, or widescreen format. This means you don’t have to worry about some of the more technical aspects of the video such as frame size, frame rate, or aspect ratio, as iMovie is now capable of handling all of that for you.

That’s what iMovie ’08 ultimately boils down to, an easy consumer experience. It’s ideal for people who want to do some light editing of their videos and share it on Youtube or Mac Galleries. While this may mean some limitations in editing and technical specificity, most users have seen the changes as a great improvement.

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