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iMovie '09
Developed by Apple Inc.
Latest release 8.0.1 / March 26, 2009
Type Video editing software
License Proprietary
Website Apple iMovie Site

iMovie is a video editing software application which allows Mac users to edit their own home movies. It was originally released by Apple in 1999 as a Mac OS 8 application bundled with the first FireWire-enabled Macintosh model[1]. Since version 3, iMovie has been a Mac OS X only application bundled in the iLife suite of Macintosh applications.[2]

iMovie imports video footage to the Mac using the FireWire interface on most MiniDV format digital video cameras. From there, the user can edit the video clips, add titles, and add music. Effects include basic color correction and video enhancement tools, and transitions such as fade-in, fade-out, and slides.


[edit] Features of iMovie 4

Major new features and enhancements compared to iMovie 3 and its predecessors:[3]

  • Direct trimming of video and audio clips in the timeline
  • Snapping sync for video and audio, audio waveforms and listening to audio while scrubbing
  • Multiple clip selection, direct import from iSight

Other features include (also in earlier versions):

  • Full-screen previewing.
  • One video track, two audio tracks.
  • Sample sound effects included, some from Skywalker Sound.
  • Voice-over narration can be recorded from a microphone and added to an audio track.
  • Titles with effects such as 3D spin, converge, bounce across and ending credits motion.
  • Transitions, such as cross dissolve, disintegrate, twirl, scale down and warp out.
  • Video effects, including fast motion, slow motion, reverse fast/slow motion, brightness and contrast, electricity and fairy dust effects.
  • Creation of still frames from video.
  • Splitting clips.
  • Extracting audio from clips.
  • Exporting a movie or scene as a QuickTime movie, or sharing it via e-mail, Bluetooth or .Mac homepage, or sending it back to a digital camera.

[edit] Features of iMovie HD 5

iMovie HD includes support for HDV (720p and 1080i) and integration with the rest of the iLife suite, with toolbox buttons allowing the importing of images from iPhoto, music from iTunes and the setting of chapter markers ready for exporting to iDVD.

iMovie HD 5, imports mjpeg files as dv by default, which introduces noise; mjpeg files are cryptically lumped with "isight" files in this version.

Another new feature is 'Magic iMovie', which attempts to automate the whole process of video editing, by allowing a common transition to be added between scenes, a music track to be synchronised with the video and a DVD to be created with the accompanying iDVD software

[edit] Features of iMovie HD 6

iMovie 6 was released in January 2006 as part of the iLife '06 suite. It is integrated with iPhoto, iTunes, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb. New features include:

  • Themes. Designed for ease of use, themes allow the user to drop movie clips or photos into professionally-designed backdrops. Each theme includes full-motion graphic bumpers and transitions.
  • Real-time effects. iMovie takes advantage of the computer's graphic processing unit to perform some effects without rendering.
  • Real-time titling
  • Enhanced audio tools and effects
  • Multiple open projects
  • Video podcasts and blogs (using integration with iWeb)
  • Refined look based on iTunes 5 and 6.

[edit] Features of iMovie '08

iMovie '08 (7.0) was released in August 2007 as a part of the iLife '08 suite. iMovie '08 was a complete redesign and rewrite of iMovie.

New features added include:

  • Much better HD output, and more formats to convert to.
  • A completely redesigned interface with an iPhoto style library. This is limited however by an undocumented restriction on supported codecs. iPhoto uses the QuickTime library and can create thumbnails for all QuickTime supported formats, but most of these cannot be used by iMovie '08. Indeed, even some of the very few formats that iMovie '08 is able to import will not be recognized when they are added to an iPhoto library. Motion JPEG encoded AVI files do appear to be recognized, this is the most common format used by digital cameras. The tile based editing interface was also promoted as something unique and groundbreaking, even though it is functionally identical to the interface of the Toaster Flyer non-linear digital editing systems released for Amiga computers by NewTek, Inc. in 1993.
  • A new feature called skimming for quickly previewing video in the library at a user controlled speed.
  • A feature that allows one to highlight parts of video clips just like highlighting text.
  • The ability to add more than two layers of background sound, including multiple music, narration and sound effects; previous versions only had two spare audio tracks.
  • More exportation formats with support for iPhone size video and many other sizes.
  • The ability to export directly to Youtube
  • Support for non-tape based HD such as DVD camcorders HDD camcorders, & AVCHD.

According to Apple's system requirements iMovie '08 requires at least a PowerPC G5 1.9GHz or an Intel Processor. G4s are not supported, though Apple sold its last G4-based Computers (iBook G4) 14 months before the release of iLife '08. However, a system hack enables iMovie 7.1 or higher to run on a PowerPC G4.[4]

[edit] Criticism of iMovie '08

iMovie 08 was criticised due to a drastic abandonment of some iMovie HD 6 features. New York Times reviewer David Pogue said "iMovie ‘08 is an utter bafflement...[it] is incapable of the more sophisticated editing that the old iMovie made so enjoyable...All visual effects are gone—even basic options like slow motion, reverse motion, fast motion, and black-and-white. And you can’t have more than one project open at a time."[5]

Features removed included the classic timeline, the ability to create DVD chapter markers, support for plugins, and in-timeline audio adjustment and control. Most surprisingly, iMovie '08 imports a much more limited set of video codecs and metadata formats than previous versions of iMovie or today's QuickTime Player. For example, QuickTime Player can be extended to support the FLIP Video 3ivx MPEG-4 codec, but iMovie cannot. Limited import formats also excludes the DV format for storing raw format. As a result, all resulting videos have lossy compression[clarification needed] applied and there is no facility for managing full format video. The peculiar lack of QuickTime support means QuickTime Pro can edit a far larger range of video than iMovie '08. Some users[who?] have also complained of iMovie 08 being slower and less polished than iMovie 06, and taking a long time to render clips and thumbnails.

Responding to criticism[citation needed], Apple released iMovie HD 6 as a free download to those who had purchased iMovie '08.[6] In response to the new iMovie, Apple reduced the $299 price tag for Final Cut Express to $199,[citation needed] along with removing the iMovie HD 6 download in late January 2009.[7] Several of the features removed from iMovie '06 have been restored into iMovie '09.

[edit] iMovie '09

iMovie '09 was released January 2009 as part of the iLife '09 package. It introduced some new features and restored some features from previous versions of iMovie, including basic video effects (such as fast/slow motion and aged film) and image stabilization as well as travel map functions for marking locations where a video was shot. It also improved audio editing and added full iDVD support which was unavailable in iMovie '08.

[edit] Version history

Version Release date Availability System Notes
iMovie October 1999 Bundled with iMac DV, later issued as a free download. Mac OS 8.6 and OS 9
iMovie 2 July 19, 2000 Bundled with FireWire-enabled Macs, also a separate purchase and later a free download. Mac OS 9 and OS X Added new sound effects (including some from Skywalker Sound), but removed older ones; also removed the Water Ripple effect.
iMovie 3 January 7, 2003 Bundled with all new Macs, also a separate purchase (iLife), later as a free download. Mac OS X Bundled as part of iLife.
iMovie 4 January 6, 2004 Bundled with all new Macs, also a separate purchase (iLife '04). Mac OS X Bundled as part of the iLife '04 package.
iMovie HD 5 January 6, 2005 Bundled with all new Macs, also a separate purchase (iLife '05). Mac OS X Bundled as part of the iLife '05 package.
iMovie HD 6 January 10, 2006 Bundled with all new Macs and separate purchase (iLife '06), later as free download for owners of iLife '08. Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther), Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Bundled as part of the iLife '06 package.
iMovie '08 August 7, 2007 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase (iLife '08). Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard). Bundled as part of the iLife '08 package. Redesigned.
iMovie '09 January 27, 2009 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase (iLife '09). Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Bundled as part of the iLife '09 package.

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