doing more with less


the age old cycle of release product, add features, release next version of product has gotten out of control. so many products and software now have such an overwhelming number of features that most people can’t figure them out. Apple has been guilty of this, but they are also one of the few brave companies to buck this trend too. they’re not afraid to remove features if they’re under used, confusing, or even if they place a low-end product too close to one of their high-end offerings. it’s good business in every sense. too many features scare most users and apple recognizes this. if you want more features, upgrade to an “pro” level product (hardware or software).

so when apple announced imovie ’08 everyone freaked out. it doesn’t just have a whole new interface, it works in a whole new way, and in doing so it drops a number of the advanced features in imovie ’06. in what he calls a review, david pogue spends the bulk of his time listing the features apple removed from imovie and complaining that now he can’t do what he used to. however in the process, pogue made it perfectly clear that he was using imovie for pro-level like work. and now that he can’t do that anymore, he’s upset because he has to go buy final cut express. i can’t really blame pogue, who wants to pay $250 for features that he was getting for free.

but what about all those other people, mr. pogue? the ones who just looked at imovie and said “i can’t figure this shit out. too many buttons and windows and choices. forget it.” the new imovie is a refreshing change for these folks. it finally works like an apple / ilife application – the way it should have all along. now when you open imovie, you see the clips you’ve already imported. plug in a camera and an import window automatically opens up, and lets you choose to import all new clips by default, or manually select specific clips to import. using selected parts of your clips is magically easy. adding transitions is instantaneous. text overlay are easily adjustable and editable on the fly. everything a beginner might have wanted to do works better, and faster with less effort.

yes, there are fewer choices of transitions and text titles now. there is far less control over audio and you can no longer separate the audio from the video on clips. and you no longer work in time codes, but in simple minutes and seconds. but you know what? if you need those features, you need a pro app. admit it. what entry level user even understands time codes? and why should they be forced to learn that just to edit their video?

after reading pogue’s review i decided to try imovie ’08 for my latest video review. i admit i had to make a few changes to some of the things i normally put in my video reviews – i could no longer use a custom color for the title bar at the beginning, and i couldn’t chop the audio from the video so that my voiceover continued while the video faded into the credit screen at the end. but none of those are particularly critical features of my video.

but the joy, the joy of being able to quickly select the good parts from all the video i imported, string it together, add titles and the credit screen, and then crop the video from HD to standard definition with 3 clicks… 3 clicks! it was such a good experience. and uploading it to youtube from within the much more reliable imovie interface as opposed to youtube’s completely wonky web uploader. well, it was amazing. and not just amazing, it was efficient. it took me at least 30 minutes less to do this all in imovie ’08 even though i had to learn how to use it, than it took using imovie ’06. i got back 30 minutes of my life yesterday.

so, mr. pogue, for those of us who aren’t pro level users who refuse to admit it. for people who want to edit video quickly and easily, imovie ’08 is a huge leap forward, not a step back.


HELP sorry, i have tried to respond to many of your fine comments with comments of my own, however is currently having problems letting its members comment in their own posts. i am not ignoring you and i am keeping up with the lively conversation below. as soon as this is rectified i promise to jump in.


73 Responses to “doing more with less”

  1. 1 David Pogue

    “but you know what? if you need those features, you need a pro app. admit it.”

    Absolutely not. Final Cut Pro is INSANELY complex. Orders of magnitude more complicated than iMovie. Don’t blame Apple’s mistake on us, the users.

    The whole POINT of iMovie, GarageBand and the other Apple apps is that they let you do professional WORK without the learning curve or expense. They give you professional technology packaged in an easy-to-use form.

    Besides, I’m not taking anything away from iMovie 08. It’s great for quick-and-dirty “video slideshows,” just as you say. So yes, let’s have it. Call it iMovie Lite. Call it FlyMovie. Whatever.

    But there’s no reason to kill off the successful iMovie in the process.


  2. 2 eric L

    thanks for the feedback, honestly.

    i too was initially scared of final cut (express, not pro) back when i first started using iMovie, but after a year or more of experience in iMovie, using many of the very same features that you miss in iMovie 08, i am no longer put off by its complexity. in fact i’m happy that want i want to go all out and make the most professional movie that i can, that i can now use FCE and not spend every second thinking i’m going to break it. all that time in the timeline view of iMovie 06 really helped me there.

    but i don’t think that most iMovie users ever want to move up to that. in fact, i think the majority of apple users (not necessarily imovie 06 users) are going to be very happy with these changes – precisely because they were put off by the unclear interface and lack of non-destructive editing in iMovie 06. i am not blaming the users here, if anything i’d like to blame apple for (a) ever launching iMovie 06 with such an awful UI and (b) not integrating more of the effects and other features of iMovie 06 into iMovie 08. i easily think we could have seen things like splitting audio and video tracks, more advanced controls over audio tracks, as well as more of the transitions and titling options in iMovie 08 without any negative impact on the new interface. – i don’t miss working in time codes, however, and i don’t think any other non-pro user would either. again, the desire to work in time codes, a very user un-friendly format, is an indication that you want pro-level features.

    Mr. Pogue, i absolutely agree with you on this – iMovie 08 should not have been called iMovie, it IS a completely different product. and it DOES still let those of us who aren’t pros do some incredibly pro-level type stuff, not on the level of garageband, but certainly on the level of the latest iPhoto (i think garageband is now the exception to iLife, it is for more pro-level and complex than any of the other apps).

  3. 3 ben K

    Pogue: “The whole POINT of iMovie, GarageBand and the other Apple apps is that they let you do professional WORK without the learning curve or expense. They give you professional technology packaged in an easy-to-use form.”

    Speaking as a new editor out from a year of film school, I have to caution against this generalization. While a professional (trained/educated user) might be able to make “professional” work using iMove and GarageBand, that ability comes from the knowledge gained from the necessary learning that comes hand in hand with using the proper tools. You can’t expect a novice to turn out a “professional” (in-spec, broadcast-safe, editorially cogent, etc.) product by just handing them any app, be it iMovie or FCP.


  4. 4 ToWS

    The normally spot-on and reliable David Pogue is surely protesting too much. He still has the old iMovie that he likes so much; the new program is an extra, no-one has taken anything away from him.
    I haven’t used the new iMovie, so am not really qualified to comment, but from what I’ve seen it seems a great idea. Kudos to Apple for being so brave.
    But should this bravery stop there? I’d love to see Adobe, to take one random example, take a similarly fresh look at, say, Illustrator, indeed the whole Creative Design Suite is surely crying out for a radical makeover of this type.

  5. 5 Norbert K

    The new iMovie sucks especially for beginners:

    1. The UI is made for drag&drop, but you can’t drag around more than one clip. This makes editing very complicated. Imagine a wordprocessor where you can only edit one word at a time.

    2. Autosave. If you try out something you should first duplicate your project. If you forget that, you can easily destroy the work of hours in a few seconds. Yes, you can go back with Command-Z – but that doesn’t work always as it should.

  6. 6 JT

    Spot on.

    As a user with absolutely no need for pro level features, the few times I had to use IMovie 06 it was a royal PITA. Left me with the very un-apple like feeling of working with software that was more complicated than necessary.

    On the other hand, iMovie 08 felt exactly right for what it is, a consumer-oriented product. Perhaps I’ll change my mind if I ever have to produce a video blog for the NY Times. But for my admittedly non-pro needs, iMovie 08 is something I’ll actually enjoy using.

  7. 7 Thomas

    First off, no-one is forcing anyone to by iLife ’08, if you don’t feel the new versions are worth the money over the old ones then stick with the old ones. Even if you like all the other apps but not iMovie ’08, I still think iLife is worth the cash – especially after not having to pay for a new version for 2 years.

    It has been suggested that the whole point of iLife is to make professional looking work without the expense of learning curve. Well that may be true, at least partially. iMovie ’08 still lets you create professional looking work, in so much as your work looks like it’s had some thought put into it, it also has as small a learning curve as you can get. iMovie ’06 allowed you to do things that you were more likely to see in a professional app but that doesn’t mean that professionals or people using it for work purposes are the target market.

    The target market is the people who put things on YouTube, who want to knock up a quick video of something they shot, who just want to trim out the crap as opposed to polishing up the whole thing. This is the market Apple have now firmly refocussed iMovie on. I never used iMovie before, I didn’t create enough video to warrant it, now if I have a couple of minutes of stuff I’m more likely to give it a go. I’m also more likely to maybe shoot something on my phone or my stills camera because I’ll now have the tools to do something with it that warrant the time spent on it.

  8. 8 c miller

    Another “I don’t care about the features they removed, therefore they’re too complicated/not needed/belong at the pro level” piece. This has predictably become the default defense of iMovie ’08.

    I wonder why video editing is the only application that this reasoning holds for? iPhoto is arguably much more complicated than iMovie is now, wouldn’t it make sense for Apple to take out some of those “confusing” view and editing options, to make it easier for people who don’t care about anything more than posting their pictures to Flckr? And if some people want more detailed control over their settings, why can’t they just get Aperture, for heaven’s sake?

    What about Pages? Good lord, it’s a wilderness in there, what with all the crazy font options, and user definable page layout choices, and bewildering references to “lists” and “arrange”. It would be so much more sensible for to offer, say, 4 fonts and ten preset page layout styles that can’t be edited. I mean, really, all people really use a word processing program for anymore is for composing IM, twitter and blog entries, so all the ponderous “writing a letter” type stuff is for the greybeards, anyway. And there’s always Word, if you make your living at big elaborate “documents”, or something.

    And don’t even get me started on Keynote. It has all these, I dunno, options. It’s really, really confusing. And you have to, like, import media and decide what you want to do with it! Instead of the program just deciding for you that a series of 3 second slides with a two second dissolve is probably all anyone could ever really need. Just show me where my iTunes music is, so I can put some totally hot beats over the whole thing, and I’m good to go.

    Come on, Apple, iMovie ’08 should be the model going forward. If it takes more than 30 seconds, it’s not worth doing.

  9. 9 Joshua Ochs

    I must agree with Mr. Pogue. The beauty of iMovie was you could immediately create professional results with an absolute minimum of effort and skill. That is what iLife is all about, not arbitrarily limiting features and what you can do.

    You said it yourself – they made amazing improvements so you were done 30 minutes sooner, but on presumably your first project, you hit something you could not do. Not something that was complex or out of the ordinary, not something you could work around or do with some effort – something you couldn’t do. Period.

    As for iMovie ’06 still being used – doesn’t that say something HUGE about Apple’s confidence in iMovie ’08? Have they ever done that before? Having iMovie ’06 handy is no reason to deflect criticism of iMovie ’08 – all new improvements, features, etc will go to the broken program, not to the one with the features we still need. It will continue to stagnate.

    The new iMovie has some great features and streamlining, but face it – it missed the boat in a HUGE way when it comes to audio support (separating audio from the video is basic, as is having multiple audio tracks – background music and voiceover, anyone?) and the timeline to organize it. A video library was long overdue, and instant rendering of transitions and previews was likewise long overdue. That doesn’t make up for the hacking away of basic features.

  10. 10 PCH

    First off – the comment that if your not happy with imovie 08 stick with imovie 06 – what do we do when Leopard comes out – there is no guarantee that apple will support imovie 06 for any length of time.

    What most people miss is that FCP and express have one major flaw – they suck for quickly importing MP3 files for your soundtrack. FCP and FCP express FORCE you to convert it to AIFF before adding to the project. This makes it very difficult to play with multiple tracks choosing the best one for your project. Forget about integration with itunes.

    Sony Vegas Video is probably the best example of a very powerful product with an extremely easy to use interface. That (and Visio) are the ONLY two apps I really miss since going mac only over 3 years ago.

  11. 11 rf

    I’m sorry, I must have missed the part where installing iMovie ’08 completely BLOCKS you from using iMovie ’06. Jeez, folks. You can keep using 06 AND 08. Different tools for different needs and all…

    A few days ago I had to make a screencast with multiple edits, background music, title cards, and a voice-over track. Thought I’d give iMovie 08 a try. Yes, it was fast to edit and assemble the parts, but when time came to export the whole thing out to QuickTime it barfed out garbage (it took a random still frame from the middle of the piece and showed only that. The audio track worked fine). Being under the gun, I ran out and picked up FC Express (with a side-trip to Barnes and Noble to get a ‘How to’ book). Yes, I could have stayed with iMovie 06, but I didn’t want to take a chance and get stuck again.

    The video tutorial that comes with FCE took a few hours to watch, but by the end I was ready to try again. The book has come handy to fill in the gaps, but it really only took maybe 2-3 hours of initial effort to be able to produce something decent. Yes, the FCE interface is complicated, but you quickly find out a workflow that works for you and from then on, it’s pretty straightforward. The screencast took almost no time and went so quickly I even had time to muck about with LiveType to put together a fancy opening title.

    The trouble with iMovie is that you know it’ll get you to the 80% mark quickly, but the last 20% will kill you. With FCE it’s harder (the first time) to get to the same 80% mark, but then it’s pretty smooth sailing the rest of the way.

    Having said that, I think I’ll use iMovie 08 for doing quick family clips after a vacation, iMovie 06 if I want to do slightly more complicated stuff, or if I have time to organize things and want to have full control I’ve got FCE waiting in the wings. Those people grousing about iMovie 06 vs. 08 vs. FCE (Hi David!) should realize they now have three pretty decent tools at their disposal to fit their needs.

  12. 12 DDA

    People are claiming that, since iMovie ’06 is still available (and is, in fact, a free download if you buy iLife ’08), anyone who likes the older program can still use it and that is *currently* true. But it has been “end of lifed”; no bugs will be fixed, no new features will be added and it may well not work well in Leopard. It’s like Watson, and now, Sherlock; it will eventually cease working and *that* is the big deal. Anyone using it will eventually have to move on to another tool and I’ll bet the new pseudo-iMovie won’t be it.

  13. Great write-up. It’s nice to see someone who ‘gets’ what iMovie ’08 is all about!

    P.S. Two notes:
    – You _can_ extract audio by holding down cmd-shift when dragging from the events browser.
    – You _can_ set the color of the bar in your title. Just click on it while you are editing the title and you’ll get a color/transparency picker.

  14. 14 KAMiKAZOW

    I’m sure that Apple know that this update will be controversial. And that’s why Apple made iMovie ’06 a free download for all iLife ’08 users immediately after the ’08 release:

  15. 15 Scott

    Regarding the fact that OSX saves your old copy of iMovie 06: it also saves your old copies of Pages and Keynote too. They are both right there in the Applications folder. But not iWeb.

    Not sure why, but it’s curious. I don’t think an iLife upgrade has ever saved old versions before.

  16. I can understand why people are upset, but I agree and think Apple made the right call here. iLife is targeted squarely at the market that doesn’t have much ability or time to learn about video editing. Normal people. That’s why it’s called “iLife”.

    How many people do you know who shoot loads and loads of video, but never edit it or do much with it? I know a lot. That’s the bulk of the iLife consumer base I suspect. So, if through some great UI work and simplification, they can produce a product that will encourage people to -do- something with their reams of video they shoot, that’s a no brainer for inclusion in iLife I suspect.

    My small prediction is that Final Cut Express has been out for quite a while now, and with the release of pro 2.0, could be in store for an upgrade. And it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the next version of express included a simplified, iMovie-like mode as well that will help introduce advanced, displaced iMovie users to FCE.

  17. 17 Luke

    Interesting comments. One thing everyone seems to have forgotten is Garageband’s movie scoring capabilities. If you really needed to play around with fancy fades and proper voice overs, throw together the vision in iMovie 08 then share to Garageband and you can add as many layers of audio as your heart desires!

  18. 18 Jadon

    I’m all for ripping up the old interface if it didn’t work; that’s good housekeeping. However, you NEVER make a product better by removing features. You make a product better by making it more intuitive and self-teaching. You make it better by getting a better understanding of your users and educating them.

    If a feature is in the way, the PROGRAMMER probably didn’t understand the feature. Simply move the feature out of the way when it doesn’t fit and bring it back into play when it does. You could even move features out to an entirely separate post-editing tool. To characterize removing features in this “update” as anything other than regressive seems silly.

  19. 19 Nemesis

    8: c miller – I couldn’t agree with you more. Another great example is Garageband – why not just replace Garageband ’08 with nothing but Magic Garageband? Let users change instruments on pre-played tracks and make their own song in 30 seconds! Forget all that confusing playing, timing, coming up with ideas, etc.

    Regrettably, the way Teh Steve downplayed DVDs it seems the way I create videos is going the way of the Dodo. Sucks to be marginalized, though.

  20. 20 Russ Russel

    Pogue doesn’t say anything unless it is self-serving. In this case, he’s just pissed that iMovie 08:The Missing Manual will need to shrink in size, and be completely re-written. He can’t just add 10% to the page count and re-sell the same thing like he does with every other revision.

  21. 21 monkyhead

    if the “whole POINT of iMovie” was to “let you do professional WORK,” then it would be a part of iWORK, not iLIFE.

    My in-laws switched to the Mac a little over a year ago. I sat down with each of them many times to show them what they could do. With every task it was very easy to get started. This is iPhoto. Plug in your camera here. Your pictures show up here. This is iTunes. You put in a CD, and click this button. You can buy more music here.

    This is iMovie. Um. Well, you kinda have to… uh… Ok. If you want to make a movie, right, first you…Well… Just watch what I do here, and… Let’s go back to iPhoto.

  22. 22 Jim

    Perhaps what iMovie needs is a progressive user experience, where the user could go from “level 1” to, say “level 5,” and as they do that they get progressively more options and controls across the app. I wonder if Apple has ever tried anything like that… 😉


  23. 23 Marcos

    The continued availability of iMovie ’06 is only a bandaid on the problem, because it has not been updated to say, support AVCHD, nor will it likely ever be. Who knows if it’ll continue to work properly with Leopard and whatever other cats are down the road.

    I agree with David Pogue here – iMovie ’08 should have been an additional application – QuickMovie or whatever – and iMovie should have continued to be improved from what it was as well. The new iMovie is a giant step backwards to a lot of users who were used to iMovie ’06, and while it’s good that we can keep iMovie ’06 around… in the long term it’s going to continue falling behind in terms of camera support, etc.

    For now, people like Mr. Pogue and me can just keep using iMovie ’06 but … at some point it’s going to stop working or not work with the latest camera and then what? Apple should find a way to make all its users happy in iLife ’09; both those that need features and those that want to quickly mesh clips together.

  24. 24 steve

    As said earlier and I want to repeat, Garageband lets you do all the audio work you need and also puts in chapter marks for idvd.

    So you do your video editing in imovie ,share it to GB, do the audio and chapters, send it to idvd or where ever.

  25. 25 Kendall Gelner

    iMovie 08 really is a seperate application. But why should the old iMovie get to keep that name, which is so much more appropriate to the new one? Someone using iPhoto would expect iMovie to work like the current one does, not like 06…

    I think we should see what kind of overhaul FCE gets before griping too much.

  26. 26 Matt Chaput

    There’s a lot of HCI literature on progressive disclosure UIs. Bottom line, it’s really, REALLY tough to do right… maybe impossible. Microsoft tried it with Office… hiding almost all of the functionality from the menus at first. It hurt more than it helped.

  27. 27 cmiller

    I’m having trouble seeing how being forced to export to a secondary app fits in with the whole ‘iMovie ’08 is better because it’s so much easier” idea.

  28. 28 Ranger

    Great Review,
    I completely agree. I used to work with high school students, went to lots of events and camps, etc. and loved putting together videos afterwards with iMovie 6. The problem was that it took forever to put together simple videos, just because the program was so bloated with features that the average user never touched.

    For users like me, who I believe are the regular and simple users, iMovie 08 is a very good improvement. I think one of the big reasons that digitial photography has really taken off is because of the millions of 15-25 year olds that could take great pictures and transfer them over to their computers with ease. With iMovie 06 this same type of ease wasn’t possible. It appears that it is with iMovie 08.

  29. 29 Jim

    And HyperCard did progressive UI quite well. That was the unsaid part, was that one of the first progressive UI apps made was, in fact, an Apple product.

  30. Matt Chaput:

    True, but some degree of discoverability is the hallmark of virtually every other Apple app. iMove ’08 is really quite remarkable in that it achieves its “simplicity” by such a radical truncation of functionality. As I implied in a previous post, users would go berserk if Apple applied this technique to any other existing application.

    The difference appears to be that video editing is now regarded as an esoteric skill that can only be made accessible by making it mostly automated, whereas every other medium apparently lends itself to taking some time to learn what’s possible.

    My best guess about all this is that it really is a You Tube app; that is, You Tube invites “video production” at the level of texting– off hand and disposable, so iMovie ’08 is designed to cater to that impulse.

    I imagine is there were an audio equivalent of You Tube– a social networking site where random bits of conversation or recordings of street altercations could be posted– then Garage Band would get a similar treatment. Whereupon we could have it explained to us that the old Garage Band was, in fact, much to hard to use, and that people who wanted to actually make “a song” would be well advised to check into Logic.

  31. 31 Domenico Bettinelli

    What we need is a movie editing application between iMovie and Final Cut Express for, say, $100, that does everything iMove 06 did and more. Looks like Apple’s opening up a market for a forward-thinking, risk-taking developer. Any takers?

  32. 32 James

    I don’t understand this argument that iMovie 6 is hard to learn. It is about as hard to learn as a Word Processor, and just as most WPs will let you produce a simple letter with no prior experience, so iMovie will let you cut a simple Movie together easily and simply the first time you use it. As your needs increase you can explore the application, which like nearly all Apple apps, is very intuitive and easy to find your way around.

    I have a 10 year old son, who enjoys making small Lego animations with iStopMotion. He edits the movies, adding dialogue music and sound effects, transitions, special effects, titles and so on in iMovie. He picked it up all himself with no help from me, and although he is funny, talented and reasonably intelligent, he is no genius.

    If the new version is so much easier perhaps Apple ought to try marketing the new iMovie to toddlers and pets? Let your cats make a movie. hmmm… sounds good.

  33. 33 Mattjumbo

    “The whole POINT of iMovie, GarageBand and the other Apple apps is that they let you do professional WORK without the learning curve or expense. They give you professional technology packaged in an easy-to-use form.”

    Is that true? I mean I know Steve Jobs sometimes uses “looks as good as a Hollywood production” rhetoric, but were iLife apps ever intended to let you do professional work? I don’t believe that is the case.

    I believe iMovie 08 is the iMovie that should have been there all along. Yes, it’s regrettable that Apple had to ditch some features we got used to but iMovie 08 provides a super starting point for app to make the simple app iMovie should have been all along.

  34. 34 Mattjumbo

    “I don’t understand this argument that iMovie 6 is hard to learn.”

    Hard to learn and impossible to learn are two different things. Your son could use Final Cut Express or even Final Cut Pro as long as someone took the time to train him. I doubt very seriously your son sat down and, after a bit of fiddling, just began using iMovie HD. Which is *exactly* what you can do with iMovie 08.

    If he did, super. You have a Doogie Howser super smart kid. Congrats.

    The truth is that iMovie, prior to iMovie 08, was fairly complicated and prone to crash. David Pogue uses iMovie to cut together short videos and then uses Gee Three plugins to do things which iMovie really isn’t supposed to do. And the average consumer has no clue Gee Three plugins even exist.

    For a few people who figured out how to leverage a free iMovie app to do pro work, yes, iMovie 08 is a downer. For people trying to put together good looking home movies with a minimum of effort or fuss, iMovie 08 is what iMovie should have been all along.

  35. 35 Adrian

    I have to say that I think a lot of people are missing the key issue with iMove ’08. That is the fact that it is no longer a “movie making” tool. It is now an “online video” making tool. For those “amateur” videographers on YouTube it is a great tool. For those of us who want to make an impressive (yet admittedly simple) video of our vacation to the Grand Canyon, China or Europe, it sorely lacks the basics we need.

    I never had to learn all the ins and outs of iMovie to make a great vacation video, export it to DVD and share it with my friends, family and fellow travelers. But now I can’t even do that with iMovie ’08.

    The application has been “dumbed down” for the non-Apple switcher users of the world… those who are satisfied with the ungainly, “un-special” look of everyone else’s video editing programs. It’s not really an Apple style application anymore. I can’t obtain the slick Apple-esqe look of my video any more that left everyone saying “wow, how did you do that?”

    Goodbye iMovie… hello iPhoto slideshows exported to Quicktime. I might as well, I don’t get anything better from iMovie ’08.

  36. ben K – Agree with your response. By the way, “editorially cogent” is a googlewhack! Nice.

  37. I actually laughed aloud when I read Pogue’s argument that Final Cut is difficult to learn. Apparently it’s alright to cite the approachability argument when it works in your favour, but not when someone uses it against the old iMovie? 🙂

    I’m with the majority here – iMovie 08 is the app that iMovie should have been all along. Yes, it’s unfortunate that it’s resulted in fewer features, at least temporarily. But the majority – vast majority, even – of iLife users have gained, at the expense of a small subset who actually liked the app as it was. It’s more approachable, and can still produce high-quality visuals, but with a fraction of the effort.

    Some people seem to be mistaking simplicity with lack of features, making idiotic comments about dumbing down iPhoto as it’s too complicated… That’s utter tosh. iPhoto is a fundamentally simple app, which happens to be quite feature-packed. And yet, it isn’t a pro-level app. C Miller, I’m sure you thought you were being funny – but that’s exactly what Aperture is for!

    iMovie is actually considerably more comparable with iPhoto and iWeb now, in that it allows professional-looking results with amateur-level skill. Note that none of them have the flexibility of a pro app, whether that be Final Cut, Aperture or a text editor (GUI web design is for babies) – but the old iMovie was a great demonstration as to why they don’t need that flexibility. Pro level options in a consumer level app cripple usability for the target demographic.

    Sorry for the length. My last thought: Garageband really does look horrendously difficult to use compared to the others. I wonder…

  38. 38 Rich

    “but what about all those other people, mr. pogue? the ones who just looked at imovie and said “i can’t figure this shit out. too many buttons and windows and choices. forget it.”

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? My eleven-year old uses it, and she’s making movies that can’t possibly be recreated in the new dumbed-down version.

    “I doubt very seriously your son sat down and, after a bit of fiddling, just began using iMovie HD. ”

    Maybe your son couldn’t, but that’ EXACTLY what my daughter did. I’d estimate I’ve given her less than five minutes total instruction, and she’s doing stuff that blows me away.

    “i can’t really blame pogue, who wants to pay $250 for features that he was getting for free.”

    I paid three times for that “free” program. I’ve earned the right to bitch about it.
    The new iMovie sucks. Period.

  39. 39 OlsonBW

    I agree completely with David Pogue. More about that in a second.

    “P.S. Two notes:
    – You _can_ extract audio by holding down cmd-shift when dragging from the events browser.
    – You _can_ set the color of the bar in your title. Just click on it while you are editing the title and you’ll get a color/transparency picker.”

    Well that’s completely nice. The fact that David Pogue couldn’t find these tells me that MOST people won’t find these. My guess is that most people also don’t see this or other websites with this info so they’ll never know about it.

    And back to “more about that”. I’m obviously using a completely different version of iMovie ’06 than most posters here. I found iMovie VERY easily to use. It completely made sense to me and I’d never had any good luck at using any kind of movie editor on a computer before.

    In fact iMovie, more than any other application, is responsible for more than a dozen people I know buying Apple computers after they had mentioned trying to edit a movie with MS’s Movie Maker. They told me to PROVE that Apple and Mac OS X were easier.

    So they came over and here are the easy steps for making a movie in iMove ’06.

    1) Plug in your video camera’s power and connect it your Mac with iLink or whatever the camera company called FireWire.

    2) Start iMovie and when you see “Import” on the screen, click it and it imports everything off of the camera (oh, you might want to rewind before you start).

    3) See all the clips on the upper right hand side? Drag the clips you think you want down onto the timeline in the order that you want them. If you don’t like something, drag it back to the clips list.

    4) If you want part of a clip but not the whole thing … find the point at where you want to cut it and hold down the Apple key and hit the T button. It cuts the clip there. Drag the part you don’t want to the clip list. Repeat.

    5) Where it says, “Clips, Themes, Media, Editing, Chapters” towards the bottom right … click on Editing, choose Transitions and drag the transition(s) you want between clips on the timeline. Then do the same with Titles.

    6) If you have sound with the clip it is easy to adjust the sound level for that or turn it off completely. I figured this out very easily and with very few things to click on in iMovie ’06 so do all of the people I showed it too. (Note that I did NOT have to show it to them, they figured it out themselves.)

    7) The fun part was when they clicked on Media and found that since my iMac, oh, my year 2000 G4 800mhz G4 iMac, which I was showing it to them on, has a microphone, they were able to do new voice overs for their clips they wanted to do it on or for the whole movie. They also found that this is where you could drag songs to the movie/clips and it made sense to them and to me how to lengthen, shorten the songs.

    8) Last step? Burn to DVD which also made sense and they did all on their own.

    Actually the only thing I did was show them Apple-T to cut and went into the next room and told me to call them if they had any questions. When they did I asked them to think logically, based on the menus they saw above where THEY were put different options. I then had them look and almost all of the time the option is where they would expect it (not where Microsoft normally would – see MovieMaker as an example).

    One example is a friend that spent weeks trying to create a video resume (her job is VERY visual) and it made more sense to do a video for the prospective bosses to see along with a written one. She then asked me to prove Mac was easier. She was finished within three hours of editing and about an hour of burning the DVD. This was 2006 and with my 2000 iMac.

    So what did the prospective bosses think? They asked her how much she paid a production studio to make her video. This was her first time sitting down in front of a Mac and using it and obviously her first time using iMovie ’06.

    She bought a Mac within a week and played with the video (just for the fun of it) and has become more and more impressed with iMovie ’06 every time she has used it and is really, really, really good at it now. She is constantly amazed at the power and ease of use. Which is exactly how I felt and still feel.

    iMovie ’06 wasn’t/isn’t perfect. I haven’t played much with iMovie ’08 yet but I’ll have to see. I LOVED iMovie ’06 and I never made a good home movie or any other kind of good video before using it.

  40. 40 LKM

    My mom, who is a school teacher, sometimes used iMovie to cut school movies. She’s not good with computers, but she was able to cut scenes, add music, add transitions, add chapter markers and burn DVDs.

    With iMovie ’08, she can’t do that anymore.

    She couldn’t learn a program like Final Cut Express, and iMovie ’08 doesn’t have the features she needs. I see why Apple changed iMovie for version 7. It’s okay with me. But there’s a definite hole between iMovie ’08 and Final Cut Express. Why in the world did Apple not make a “real” iMovie 08 (maybe iMovie Pro) available as a stand-alone product if it had to remove it from the iLive package? How about selling iMovie ’08 Pro as a stand-alone products for those who need *some* pro-level features, but have to rely on the ease-of-use (and let’s face it, despite all the blah blah, iMovie wasn’t actually hard to use) of iMovie?

    Spin off the “old” iMovie, call it iMovie Pro, and sell an updated version for 60-100 bucks. Thanks, Apple!

  41. 41 Derek Bolander

    Mr. Pogie’s expectation of making professional-looking videos from iMovie is not infounded. This was Apple’s assertion when they released it originally, that was actually the phrase that was used: Professional Looking. For the Apple apologists, demand better from the company. Simplicity need not sacrifice utility. I agree that the layout is a fresh approach but its lack of so many staple features is more than disappointing.

  42. 42 Eduo

    Ehrm… I don’t know what iMovie versions people have been using prior to iMovie 6 but of the dozens of people I’ve seen open it for the first time and dabble here and there and start producing satisfying movies I have yet to see one that needs a manual to learn how to use the program.

    I mean, there was a comment above about someone having a “regular Doogie Howser” at home just because he could use iMovie without prior experience. Well, I always thought this was normal. iMovie (up until 6) had a normal learning curve. You could start right away and you’d peel new functionality as you used it (which is a good thing and is also the case of iMovie ’08).

    iMovie ’08 isn’t that different from 6 in the “learning curve” department. It just happens to use a completely different metaphor and has discarded a lot of functionality for no apparent reason. Probably some of this will come back, surely not all.

    What people should stop doing is trying to justify the missed functionality. The functionality is missing and the reason is, probably, because this is a brand-new program (funnily, I don’t see any “it’s a 1.0, be careful!”) and the cycle will start over just as it did with the first version of iMovie.

    If there’s an argument to be had is if the change in interface and editing paradigm warranted the discontinuation of iMovie 6. Functionality may or may not return but I’m convinced it wasn’t discarded because it was for the best. I believe it was discarded because not everything could be fitted in the new “philosophy” of iMovie. All the people that insist now that “what do I need twenty different transition styles” or “I don’t have a need to edit timecodes” were cruft may end up looking like stupid if any of those get added in iMovie ’08 v1.5 or v2.0 because getting rid of those wasn’t, probably, the point of ’08.

    FWIW, I prefer iMovie ’08 and find it tiring to have to wait again a few years for functionality I’m convinced will make its way as the new iMovie matures. I also wouldn’t mind Apple spinning off iMovie 6 but I understand this may not be a viable business path. They could open-source it, though and someone else could pick it up (yeah, I know, “keep dreaming”).

  43. 43 Peter

    I must admit that I actually like the new iMovie´08 – FOR WHAT IT’S FOR!!!

    As some has mentioned – it’s for quick videos to upload to YouTube or .Mac Gallery (the last one not useable outside the US because it HORRIBLY slow).

    For that task, it’s perfect. Iphoto pulls the video off of my NOKIA N95, and with iMovie´08 I can quickly cut out the parts I don’t need, maybe add a title or transition and publish it to YouTube in no time for my friends and family to see.

    HOWEVER, I also shoot a lot of DV footage of my family, and then create DVD’s that we can pull out whenever we want to go down memory lane. This is not longer possible with iMovie´08 (I know it CAN be done, but it involves double compressing the video (first H.264 then MPEG2) which I’m not interested in doing as I want to keep the quality as high as possible + it takes twice the time).

    I’m thankfull that I can still use iMovie´06 for making the archival DVD’s of our DV-footage, but I wish I could use iMovie´08 for the task, as it’s much faster to work with.

    I guess the reason for this new change is that Uncle Steve wan’t us all to ditch our DVD-players and just keep all our media on our Mac’s and buy an AppleTV to stream them to our flatscreens 😉

  44. 44 RET

    @ Scott #15: The old versions are retained because the new versions are being delivered as expiring demos. If you decide against upgrading and shelling out the cash, the old versions are still there once the evaluation period expires.

  45. 45 Martin

    Gotta agree with Eric here. Hats off to Apple for doing the right thing and not being afraid to start over with iMovie. Video editing for the You Tube generation and if you want anything more then yes you should be moving up to FCE.

  46. I think the really interesting thing about iMovie ’08 (versus older versions of iMovie) is how many features of advanced video-editing software it co-opts, along with some interesting UI innovations.

    It has a very Final Cut-like browser for your video content (a la the FC asset browser), with the improvement that you never have to worry about manually importing video assets from your hard drive (it finds them for you). All the editing work is about inpoints and outpoints–though you select them on-the-fly with the mouse, instead of with a video scrubber and hotkeys. And using the mouse to live-scrub back and forth through video clips is a staple of high-end software.

    In that way, it seems that an accomplished user of iMovie ’08 is in a better position to move up to Final Cut Express. The only new stuff you need to know is the different interface for importing your video and marking inpoints and outpoints. Oh, and the timeline, but I think iMovie 6 fans doth protest too much about losing that–the iMovie ’08 composition panel has essentially all the functionality of the timeline (except the valid nitpicks about sound levels–never tried GarageBand with iMovie, might have to learn).

    On top of this, the FC timeline works, out of the box, exactly like the iMovie ’08 composition pane (stretched out to infinity). You have to get into advanced stuff like multiple audio or video tracks before it gets any more complicated than throw on a clip, drag on a transition, drag on a title, etc.

    In any case, the next version of iMovie will bring back sound level editing, and probably plugins, all those nice things. Until then, iMovie ’08 is two steps forward, one step back, in my book. The biggest problem I see is that the thing won’t run on my PowerBook. Yarrr…

  47. iMovie ’08 may be great, I haven’t tried it yet. However, I think your premise is fundamentally wrong. The new app doesn’t lack old features because Apple purposely removed them: these are missing becasue this is a version 1.0 app, and there was simply no time to implement them all. Rest assured that the next version of iMovie will have pretty much all of the old features again. (Otherwise, I will stand corrected.)

    As I’ve written in my piece on Numbers, there’s difference between bloatware and what I call clutterware. Clutterware, i.e. software that has a confusing, overly complicated user interface, is wrong. Bloatware is not. Features are good. People need them. But UI design must ensure that easy things are easy, and hard things are possible. The old iMovie may have missed out on the former (while doing okay with the latter). The new iMovie is set out to turn the tables, focusing on easy things, and sacrificing some of the more complicated tasks that fewer users want.

    But Apple knows that some users will want to do those hard things, and thus more features than the radically new iMovie currently offers. This is why they make iMovie ’06 available to download for users of the new version.

    I don’t see where “[Apple is] not afraid to remove features if they’re under used, confusing, or even if they place a low-end product too close to one of their high-end offerings.” I think iMovie ’08 creates an illusion that this may be happening, but in reality, it’s not. Notice how high-end features eventually trickle down to low-end products, both in Apple’s hardware and software. Apple ain’t buckin’ no trend here.

  48. 48 Matt

    I used iMovie ’06 a little bit, and found it harder than expected to figure out how to do things I wanted to do (not immediately obvious). iMovie ’08 is like a breath of fresh air in this regard, it’s ridiculously easy to use.

    We spent two days filming (all in all about 4 hours of ACTUAL filming), and it took me fifteen minutes to cut it all together, add sound effects, voiceovers, and titles, and export it. FIFTEEN MINUTES. This also included learning how to use ’08.

    That’s just insanely user-friendly.

  49. 49 Steve

    One thing is for certain. iMovie ’08 has polorized the Mac community. However, I don’t think this is entirely a black or white type of issue. If I may, I’d like to add my 2 cents.

    1. I don’t understand the knocking of the iMovie 06 interface. I have always found the iMovie interface to be very intuitive. The fact that my wife was easily able to add this tool to her third grade cirriculum pretty much debunks the issue of iMovie being to hard to use.

    2. I also agree with David Pogue in that FCE & FCP are to complex for most. I’ve taken the time to learn them, but I’ve found that I could do 90% of what I wanted to do in iMovie and the experience was much less frustrating. Even things like importing video are unnecessarily complex in FCP. I understand why PROs would like such options, but these tools are beyond the use of the average home movie editor. If Apple wants to sell this approach, they need to simily the interface to FCE a bit.

    3. Some claim that iMovie 06 is still available. Yes, we know that. That isn’t the point. It won’t be upgraded or patched further, will it? Existing iMovie users want an improvent to iMovie 06, not a product that is a step backwards in features, even if it does have a better engine and perhaps a more intuitive interface.

    3. At the same time, the iMovie 06 code base did have very significant limitations. That is, it did feel like it was developed as far as it could go. The destructive video edits, bugs, etc. made it clear that a better engine under the hood was needed. iMovie 08 feels like it has more of a Final Cut like engine under the hood. I see this as a good thing in the long term.

    4. I have to ask, are the new features like skimming, use of a video libarary, etc. all incompatible with the traditional iMovie timeline way of editting? I don’t think so. I don’t mind offering a simplifed interface, but a more traditional timeline isn’t a bad thing. I think the major backlash regarding iMovie 08 comes from the fact that Apple stopped short on what they should have delivered. What’s with the lack of DVD markers? Isn’t iMovie part of iLife anymore? Shouldn’t this product integrate better with Apple’s own products like iDVD? Also, are you really trying to argue that not being able to separate the audio track from the video is now a good thing?

    In my opinion, iMovie 08 represents a bump in the road for current iMovie users. iMovie 08 may very well appeal to a new audience, but I’m not sure it was a wise move to alienate the existing user base in the process. That said, I do believe there are a lot of positives that come with iMovie 08. The code base feels like it comes from the Final Cut herritage. That’s a good thing as it provides a strong future for a product that sort of hit the end of the road. Still, it looks like we’ll have to wait until the next iteration (at least) of iMovie before Apple delivers more of a finished product with the features we expect.

  50. 50 DanH

    I agree with OlsonBW re: how simple ’06 can be to use. The “fancy” stuff can be added as needed and skills grow. The choice between clip viewer and timeline viewer may be the breakpoint between simple and “fancy” approaches. I’ve been using the “old” version for over 4 years to produce family and travel DVDs that have received kudos from my various audiences, but I would not begin to think of them as “professional”.

    One of my frequent tasks is merging two-camera shoots of our church’s handbell performances, where i use the audio from one of the cams and pasteover video from the other, inserting short transitions at the blend points. I’ve not even begun to figure how to do this in ’08. I have no interest in learning GB just so I might be able to reproduce this effect.

    I’m glad Apple has continued to make ’06 available, but am also concerned re: long-term viability.

    One caveat: I imported an ’06 project into ’08 and it seems to have broken the ’06 version. 7.0 wouldn’t even complete this task, but 7.0.1 did eventually get it done, although many features are missing as noted in the software. Something else may have caused the problem, but I’m not interested enough in using ’08 as my production tool to risk other ’06 projects.

    Maybe the new version should have been called iMovieExpress, or does that give too much significance to ’06?

  51. What everyone seems to be forgetting (Puiz excepted) is that this is the first version of this new breed of iMovie.

    Thing can only improve from here.

    You want the ability to cut audio? Tell Apple about it!

    In fact, feel free to share your feedback about any of their apps.

    What we all need to remember is that Apple is very known for killing products in exchange for something that they think will work better. You still have iMovie ’06, use it, enjoy it, watch where iMovie goes form here. Just reading about how many people love ’08 shows that Apple’s doing something right.

  52. 52 Ted

    >> i can’t really blame pogue, who wants to pay $250 for features that he was getting for free.

    He wasn’t getting the features in iMovie 06 “for free”. iLife is $99. iMovie is 1/4 of that suite. So, iMovie ’06 was essentially $25 worth of software. I know you’re probably going to retort that he got it free if he bought a new Mac, but that price is built in to the Mac. That’s why we as Mac users don’t mind paying the premium.

    >>but what about all those other people, mr. pogue? the ones who just looked at imovie and said “i can’t figure this shit out. too many buttons and windows and choices. forget it.”

    To those people, I say “spend 15 minutes reading the built in documentation or the tutorials on Apple’s web site”. iMovie ’06 has fewer Windows/panes than iMovie ’08. The skimming feature of iMovie ’08 is nice, but why couldn’t that be coded in to iMovie ’06?

    Let’s be perfectly honest here – Apple redefined the low end. With this, I don’t have a problem. But to throw out an app that worked pretty damn good, and many people had incorporated in to their workflows, just doesn’t make sense. Sure, they can upgrade to Final Cut Express at 10x the cost of iMovie, but you know what? FCE is a pretty complex app. iMovie 06 wasn’t. So, in trying to make iMovie easier to use for the dumb fucks who can’t take 15 minutes to learn how the app works, they instead made it harder for the established base of iMovie users who now have to learn FCE to do what iMovie used to do for them.

    Is that smart?

    BTW – I say this as a long time Final Cut user (who uses Final Cut Express at home).

  53. I was helping a client the other day and we tried out the new iMovie. The ease with which we were able to put together a brief video, completely with transitions, titles, music, and voiceover was astounding.

    I am one of those people who found the old iMovie interface just too obnoxious to work with. I own FinalCut Pro and have used it for a couple of projects. Although it was harder to use, it made a lot more sense to me than the old iMovie interface.

    I appreciate that there are things you can do with audio in the old iMovie that can’t be done in the new iMovie. But they were really not that well implemented in the old iMovie anyway.

    I do wish the new iMovie had a quick and easy way to pass off to Garage Band and then bring it back after playing with the audio. This is a multi step process now, and could be made more similar to sending a video from FinalCut Pro to Soundtrack Pro.

  54. Oh, and the reason I started making the previous comment but forgot to put it in:

    I’ve talked to several people who found Windows Movie Maker easier to use than iMovie. That was a clear sign that iMovie needed an overhaul.

  55. 55 Bryan

    Count me in the group if those who don’t understand how anyone can say iMovie ’06 was hard to use, in any way. It was typical Apple- logical, well thought out, easy to use, and produced high quality results. What Apple should have done was add a basic interface to iMovie that was meant for what the new one does- quick and dirty movies.

    Also, I don’t know how anyone can say with a straight face “If iMovie ’08 does not meet your needs, just use Final Cut Express.” The learning curve gap between iMovie and FCE is huge.

  56. 56 karan

    I think one point that people would like, and is provided in a sorta-embarrasing way that is the “you can still get 06 if you want”, is to have the option of going back to some of the more “pro” features – maybe have iMovie Express ’08 along with minor updates to iMovie ’06, or a “advanced view/simplified view” option, because while sometimes you just want to jump in and out, other times you want to mess around a little more, and removing features as drastically as this has is not popular.

  57. 57 Kendall Gelner

    The learning curve between iMovie 06 and FCE *was* huge. As someone else pointed out, that’s part of why we have a new iMovie which works much more like FCP than the old. Heck, it even introduces the notion of sending the audio off to a separate audio editing application for fine control for more advanced users. Now you can start really simple, slowly explore the new iMovie as you find more and more feature, and when ready move to FCE if that is appropriate.

    I would add that the thing that makes the new iMovie a better candidate for the “iMovie” title is the ease with which initial clip selection takes place. People have called it a “video composer” with derision, but for someone just starting out with movies that exactly the action you want to make as easy as possible. Someone above posted a series of steps they used with the old iMovie to assemble clips, and right there you could see why the new one was much better in this regard – rather than importing clips for a single project, then grabbing clips to drag to the timeline, then slowly slicing the clips into the bits you actually wanted (all the while dragging unused clips out of the timeline manually) – now you import into your global video library, and pull whatever segments of clips you want directly with no extra cleanup. How is that not fundamentally a far better way to start working with movies?

    Furthermore people have complained because iMovie targets the web more than the old version. Yet how else now are you going to really be able to share movies in HD? I agree that iMovie needs chapter markers something fierce (heck, even useful exporting to the iPod) but with the growth of HD camcorders people need an easy way to get HD video somewhere people can see it and iMovie helps a lot in that regard, as it also does with assembling video sources from HD camcorders and smaller cameras together. For the person complaining about compresing with H.264 and then re-compressing to MPEG2 for DVD – have you considered that if you are starting with an HD source that recompression will not matter at all for output since DVD resolution is so much lower?

  58. 58 Robert Mohns

    “(i think garageband is now the exception to iLife, it is for more pro-level and complex than any of the other apps)”

    I must respectfully disagree. GarageBand provides excellent but essentially basic audio recording and loop-based arrangement, but it falls below the versatility level of iPhoto. iPhoto, for example, lets you create customized slideshows with per-picture transition styles and durations, while GarageBand after three versions still can’t manage a tempo or key change. GarageBand hasn’t had any radical improvements since inception; adding a music notation view and a lot of podcast fluff is really about it. (I haven’t worked with ’08 yet, but it appears the only significant change is a very pretty song setup wizard.)

    I love GarageBand, but I’ve outgrown it. GarageBand is limited, but very powerful within its limits — so I would not consider it to be an exception to iLife.

    My comments are free and worth exactly what you paid for them. 🙂

  59. 59 FCP Editor

    @ David Pogue –

    Final Cut is not insanely complex. I teach it to young’uns all the time. They pick it up fairly well, and quickly too.

    I haven’t used the new iMove, but from everything I’ve seen, it looks like a fantastic app for what it does. No other app like it existed before; and if it didn’t exist, Apple ought to create it.

    iMovie was not a bona fide iLife product.

    For those who want to edit movies I can only recommend that you learn Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro. They’re really top notch editing suites.

  60. 60 eric L

    i don’t even know where to start here. shwew. people started commenting as i went to go enjoy the day yesterday and i was unable to comment on my blog for the past 24 hours or so thanks to a problem with my hosting service (but no, i am not switching to .mac and iweb).

    so i will try to sum up my feelings here, which will no doubt get me in trouble. i understand why people are defending iMovie 06. i can see that some here honestly used some of the features missing from 08 (especially dvd-related features) and are upset about this. if i produced video for physical media instead of the internet, i would be upset that apple didn’t include in their newest software as well.

    but other people are defending imovie 06 saying it was plenty easy to use, or you liked it just fine. you’re welcome to your express your opinion here. i respect it. but i don’t think it’s any more (or less) valid than the others’ here who agree with me. however i wonder if part of why you’re being so antagonistic to the new version is because you put so much effort into learning the old version. i understand. i was there myself last week.

    i didn’t write this to be an apologist. in fact when i tried imovie 08 i expected to hate, or at least be disappointed with it. i wrote this counterpoint because i was so pleasantly surprised. not because i’m a fan boy or felt like i needed to defend apple.

    i was scared to try the paradigm, afraid to re-learn what i already knew so well. i have spent the last 2 years deep in imovie 06, after all. but i tried and found it so much easier, *even as an advanced, experienced imovie 06 user.*

    to those who said they’re kids use imovie 06 – that’s GREAT! i think it’s awesome that your kids have learned how to put movies together on the mac. and i don’t think your kids are geniuses or other people’s kids are stupid. however just because your child (or any of us for that matter) was able to figure imovie 06 out doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be easier, or more discoverable. and i think that’s why the new version is even better for beginners. also, the fact that everything is on the fly and non-destructive encourages even more experimentation – which your kids should love!

    i do agree apple will probably add back some of the old features that are missing from v1 of this new app. i hope they do. but i am not sorry about what they did in the least.

  61. 61 R L

    I think most people are looking at this the wrong way. Apple didn’t remove any features. Steve Jobs came right out and said it was a brand new application. That means the people who wrote iMovie ’08 weren’t working from iMovie ’06 and building from there. Those features that iMovie ’06 has and iMovie ’08 doesn’t have are features that weren’t ADDED IN. It seems too many people are thinking Apple had all those features ready to go and decided to gut the application so they can sell more FCE or FCP. Anyone who’s ever written any application before knows that 90% of the time is spent just getting the application up and going. These features aren’t there because Apple hasn’t had the time to put them in before iLife ’08 had to ship. iMovie ’06 was a mature application where installing new features didn’t mean having to write everything from scratch. With iMovie ’08, they were building from nothing.

    Since iLife ’08’s installer doesn’t remove iMovie ’06, and they built that installer long before Mr. Pogue complained, Apple’s clearly indicating that they intended to get iMovie ’08 out so that people could build movies easily sooner rather than later and that any more advanced features will just have to wait for a later version of the new iMovie. Leaving iMovie ’06 in place was obviously a stop-gap measure until iMovie ’08 could be brought up to some form of parity. They recognized that for many, iMovie ’08 by itself wasn’t enough for now.

    For those complaining that iMovie ’06 is EOL’ed, they’re right. But it seems people believe that iMovie ’08 is a static product that will never be updated. When Apple feels iMovie ’08 has enough to stand on its own, we’ll see the installer replace iMovie ’06 rather than just moving it to another folder. Now some features may never come to iMovie ’08 but those are probably the ones best left to the professional programs or those that don’t fit in with the new editing paradigm like time codes. It’s there that I strongly disagree with Mr. Pogue. iLife is NOT intended for the professional. It’s for the rest of us. Why bother with FCE and FCP if iMovie does it all?

  62. 62 Eduo

    What the hell is this “iMovie 06” people keep referring to?

    The current version of iMovie is 7, it’s part of the iLife ’08 release. The previous version was iMovie 6.

    There was never an “iMovie ’06” and it didn’t start referring as such until ’08 came along.

    Please, stop with the backronyms.

  63. 63 Bill

    As a first time Mac OS X user (latest Mac Mini – had a PowerBook 520 and Classic II), I made my first 5 minute movie, including 10 clips, transitions, background music, still images, titles, credits, and export to a high quality file in about 25 minutes – from first starting iMovie 7 (in the iLife ’08 package).

    I had never seen the interface before. I was a casual user of Sony’s Movie Studio.

    I like it.

  64. 64 Mike

    You know, this is the problem with Apple. You basically get what they give you, like it or not. You have no, or very limited options.

    I stopped using iPhoto years ago because there was NO LINK between keywords and the actual photos. I had 5K photos cataloged in iPhoto before I realized that there was no easy way to “get them out”… If the iPhoto database ever got corrupted, my work was lost. If I ever wanted to use something other than iPhoto, my work was lost. If Apple ever decides that iPhoto was “too complex” and completely changes it… My work was lost.

    I was forced to use Windows with MS Digital Image Suite to organize my photos. I now have 35K photos organized. Keywords are on each photo (in EXIF) and in a database. NO RISK. I now use Vista Photo Gallery, but could also use Adobe’s Organizer which will import my Keywords…

    I used Macs still EXCLUSIVELY for iMovie and its integration with iDVD… And Apple has TOTALLY and COMPLETELY blown it with iLife 08…

    I waited over a year, almost 2, for iMovie 08… With this new version people are saying “Well, Apple will surely add the missing features in the futire releases…”


    What makes you so sure Apple will do ANYTHING? Do you really want to wait around for another year hoping Apple makes iMovie 09 integrate with iDVD, add audio editing, add your favorite missing feature? Maybe Apple will come out with a dumbed down version of FC Express? Maybe Apple will come out with iMovie Pro???

    Yep, and maybe they won’t… Maybe they will drop iDVD (The writing is on the wall…)

    For me, I am DONE with Apple. I just sold all 3 of my Macs, (iMac 24″, MacBook Pro, and Black MacBook) on Ebay, and was able to get some pretty kick-butt Vista replacements.

    Vista MovieMaker is 95% of what iMovie 06 was, and is better in some respects. It is actually MUCH faster to edit a movie than iMovie was… DVDMAker is no iDVD, but at least I have other options.

    If I need to do more, I can get Ulead’s VideoStudio, Adobe Premere Elements, Sony Vegas, Pinnacle, Roxio, etc, etc, etc…

    My “trust” in Apple was shattered when they released iLife 08…

    I wonder how many of you people saying that “I really like iMovie 08” will run into a wall when you want to do ANYTHING extra? How quickly will you find iMovie 08 extremely limiting what you want to do? I bet withing the first 3 months of use… But hey, iMovie 09 will only be 1.5 years away at that point, and MAYBE Apple will add a couple features, maybe Apple will make it work with iDVD again… Maybe Maybe Maybe.

    Been nice knowing you Apple.

  65. 65 Aaron

    I used to work at a public access tv station where we moved people from analog editing to digital with iMovie and then eventually to FCP. We had success with some of our more challenged members by arranging the windows in FCP in a similar fashion to Imovie. We also set the project to display items in the browser as thumbnails instead of just a clip list by filename.

    Here’s a video tutorial from Apple on how old iMovie and FCP/FCE compare that may be useful starting point

  66. I’m a long time Final Cut Pro editor, and I think the new iMovie is a brilliant redesign. It’s pretty much perfect for anyone not doing pro work, it’s fast, streamlined, and smart. The live scrubbing on timeline clips and grouping by events is pretty brilliant.

  67. I’m a long time Final Cut Pro editor, and I think the new iMovie is a brilliant redesign. It’s pretty much perfect for anyone not doing pro work, it’s fast, streamlined, and smart. The live scrubbing on timeline clips and grouping by events is pretty brilliant.

    And Final Cut is not insanely complex to use, it’s insanely deep, if you want to go there. To make the sort of stuff you would make in iMovie, you need about 20 minutes with the first peachpit book. You won’t be sorry. Stop whinin’.

  68. 68 R L

    To Mike who asks how we know Apple will do anything with iMovie ’08 (or 7 if you prefer), we know because the installer leaves iMovie 6 in place. This was done long before anyone publicly saw the latest iMovie, so it shows that Apple was aware they were feature-light and would get complaints. We don’t know exactly what will come in patch releases (we don’t have to wait for ’09); we just know they intend to improve upon it. If Apple never intends to add anything more to it, why would they have left the old version lying around, something that’s unprecedented in the iLife installers?

  69. 69 MB

    I’m a novice user of iMovie. I was able to figure out how to separate audio clips, transitions, titles, etc. I even understand time codes. I’m definitely not doing pro-level work. I think I went to Help twice to figure things out. Since they’ve dumbed down iMovie 08 I guess I just won’t upgrade since I can’t afford Final Cut Pro AND a book to learn it. Ya I’m whining.

  70. 70 mcradge

    I tried iMovie HD (’06) once and it was too complicated. I have never used it again. With iMovie ’08 I found movie editing easy for the first time. It is hell a lot of improvement compared to the old one. Well done Apple!!!

  71. I am a beginner here……. and wondering whether to use imovie or windows movie maker… your suggestions are highly appreicated..

  72. 72 Alexwebmaster

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