Apple iMovie Editor's Review
For higher end video editing and post production related needs on Mac OS, the preferred choice is FCP in most instances. However, not all Mac users need to deal with a feature laden, sophisticated editor for casual needs. For casual to moderate video editing iMovie is more than adequate. Apple’s user friendly and entry level video editor is light on wallet too. The update that came with OS X 10.9 Mavericks sports several enhancements and workflow changes.
New users need to pay a small amount to use iMovie while users of old versions can get this for free but only when they upgrade toOS X 10.9 Mavericks. The system requirements are moderate and you will need 4 GB RAM to run it smoothly.
The new version of iMovie boasts a clean and sleek UI. This becomes apparent when you compare the app side by side with any other mid-level video editor. The default darker interface of the app also helps users focus on the content better.
In iMovie, you do not get greeted with the commonplace storyboard and timeline view separately. Apple has chosen to merge the two. The app, however, has a familiar three panel layout. There is a source window, video preview and revamped timeline at the bottom. As is the case with its elder sibling, FCP, iMovie has magnetic timeline. This ensures when you trim or add a clip, the remaining movie adjusts and so there are no gaps. The preview window is clean by default and icons appear when you place the mouse cursor over it. It may appear a little too minimalist to users habituated to using top end editing apps.
While iMovie allows you to perform several undo actions the inclusion of a history panel is needed. The keyboard shortcuts work just fine and you can find the list under Help menu. The editing buttons are stacked at top of video preview window. You get buttons for audio/video effects, equalizer, noise reduction and stabilization etc. The effects like Titles and Transitions are placed at bottom left section of the UI.
When video media is connected, the app’s import window gets into action. The new version has improved importing speed. You are not given many options for importing. After the clips are imported, you can organize and tag them. iMovie shares another trait with Final Cut Pro X- background tasks. There is no annoying progress bars for tasks like sharing and rendering any more. However, you can check the importing process through a background tasks icon resembling a clock that pops up in the UI’s upper right corner.
When it comes to format support, iMovie can satisfy all users barring the most demanding ones. It can import files with extensions like MOV, MP4 and MTS. However, WMV files cannot be imported. The FaceTime camera integrated into Mac can also be used to capture video. It still does not support importing 4K UHD video.
One new and interesting feature that iMovie comes with is Match Color. Its White Balance tool is even more helpful. It allows you to deploy a dropper to select a white region in clip to correct other colors in it. The inclusion of skin tone balance also deserves applause.
Making slow motion videos or adding more speed to a regular clip is something iMovie deals with aplomb. The Speed Editor can be used for this purpose. It uses a turtle and bunny icon to indicate slow and high speed. It also displays the time change in percentage when you alter speed of a clip. You may also tinker with interesting effects like Freeze Frame and Flash and hold. The app’s inbuilt stabilization mechanism produces realistic results but the processing can take time. The crop button also comes with a rotate option.
This edition of iMovie features revamped Picture-in-picture capabilities. There are 4 overlay options- Picture in Picture, Side by Side, Cutaway and Green/Blue Screen. Competing apps like PowerDirector allow using fancy effects in PiP mode. The video effects are decent though not exactly aplenty. iMovie now comes with 15 amazing themes. They are quite sleek and lend a professional quality to your footages. There are plenty of text styles to pick from. The text customization options are somewhat limited compared to that of rival apps.
Trailers can be deemed as customized themes that turn a home video into Hollywood-style compelling promos, replete with nice background music. You can now use still image in trailers. Apple has packed iMovie with oodles of sound effects and editing options. Using audio clips from iTunes library is also another possibility. The audio effects can be applied to existing tracks and effects like room acoustics and robot voice can create some amazing results. It is also possible to record your voice.
As expected from a program of this caliber, iMovie offers you plenty of export and publishing options. The share icon leads you to export options and that includes export to email and Facebook. This should be enough for the majority of home users. However, you will get a separate tab for iMovie Theater. Anything you place in iMovie Theater becomes accessible to all other Apple devices you use including iPod Touch and iPhones, owing to iCloud integration. However, you cannot see these movies in web browsers. The iOS devices should have iMovie app installed.
Apple iMovie offers an overall snappy performance in all departments. It blows away Windows Movie Maker in sheer number of features but faces steep competition from Adobe Premiere Elements (for Mac). The latter however costs much more than iMovie. Apple is yet to introduce some cool features in iMovie such as 3D video editing, multicam editing and motion tracking.
• Streamlined and uncluttered User Interface.
• Enhanced import speed, stable performance.
• Wide export options with iMovie Theater.
• Plenty of audio effects.
• No support for WMV, 4K Video.
• No support for 3D video.
• No Advanced Pip Control.
Apple has clearly come up with a winner in iMovie. The App now contains several features found mostly in higher-end video editors. The UI is much more streamlined and user friendly. There are small but useful workflow enhancements. Overall, the app seems snappier, especially in rendering. Busy users will like the background processing feature. The export options are aplenty and Apple users will love the iMovie Theater functionality. However, there are a few omissions that may irk seasoned video editors. The lack of support for 3D video and 4K UHD format is one instance. The PIP works well but customization options are rather limited. However, there is no denying iMovie offers enough value for its price.
Apple iMovie Publisher's Description
iMovie for Mac lets you enjoy your videos like never before. Browse your clips more easily, instantly share your favorite moments, and create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood‑style trailers. And when you’re ready to premiere on all your devices, iMovie Theater rolls out the red carpet.
Free download from Shareware Connection - iMovie for Mac lets you enjoy your videos like never before. Browse your clips more easily, instantly share your favorite moments, and create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood‑style trailers. And when you’re ready to premiere on all your devices, iMovie Theater rolls out the red carpet.
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