Either you need a funny Christmas video for your office, or for a business presentation: if you’re a Mac user, iMovie is more than enough for all your needs.
Apple is developing iMovie since the late ‘90s, so is pretty obvious that its user interface is carefully elegant and simple, yet full of choices for those who need control. The usual three panel layout is used, with the canonical source – playback – timeline division. Apple choose to hide every distracting button from the interface, leaving it with a sober minimalistic look. If you took a good look, you’ll find all the tools in the right tab or under the right button. This minimalistic look and feel doesn’t maim the software because the most important features, edit a movie, is enhanced and streamlined by this decision.
In the video editing consumer space, maybe only Adobe Premiere Elements has more features; but as always ease of use is a strong value for an Apple product, and iMovie is a typical one: extremely linear in its day-to-day usage, very powerful under the hood, no tinkering allowed.
Once you have imported your clip (which is a very fast process) you can then skim them for the right moment to put in the timeline. iMovie 10 supports multi layer editing, so that you can try different editing solution, or just get a side-by-side or picture-in-picture shot. You can select the precise moment in which change cut between two clips, and it’s a pretty accurate choice you can make. You can tweak every clip’s color output, audio waves, slow them down or speed them up. Other precision tools includ Skin Tone Balance, White Balance, and Match Color: the latter is a basic but functional color correction tool. Your last option is the “Auto button”, which automatically balance every aspect and you usually get a good quality from it.
If you have ever used Final Cut, especially the latest version, you’ll find many similarities between the two software; a useful feature is to export an iMovie project as an XML file for Final Cut and then finish it on the professional suite.
Even iMovie for iOS let you share a project between your iPhone or iPad and your Mac, this features isn’t available for iMovie 10. Instead, Apple rolled out a new feature called iMovie Theater that let you share your movie on any device with iMovie installed – just the edited version, not the project.
For any information about how to use the software, Apple’s website is chock-full of information. You won’t find any video tutorial as with other software, but we found everything we searched for, exposed in plain English (an often translated to many different languages). iMovie itself has an help guide which we found very clear and useful.
iMovie comes pre-installed in all newly bought Macs: so if you recently purchased a Mac, iMovie is already on your machine; otherwise you have to buy it – exclusively through the Mac App Store – for a really small amount of money. As with every other app in the Mac App Store, you can download it on every Mac you own without paying again.
iMovie is probably the best video editing software for a consumer usage, even if it’s not the most powerful, but it’s a Mac-only app and that’s a huge drawback for everyone who’s not on the platform. There’s no other way to use the software.
|Usability: 9 /10||Speed: 9 /10||Features: 7 /10||Support: 8 /10||Price: 9 /10|