Looks as though Apple has boobed with the new version of iMovie (one of my favourite programs). Here’s an excerpt from David Pogue’s searing review in the New York Times:
Most people are used to a product cycle that goes like this: Release a new version every year or two, each more capable than the last. Ensure that it’s backward-compatible with your existing documents.
IMovie ’08, on the other hand, has been totally misnamed. It’s not iMovie at all. In fact, it’s nothing like its predecessor and contains none of the same code or design. It’s designed for an utterly different task, and a lot of people are screaming bloody murder.
The new iMovie was, as Apple admits, designed primarily for throwing together movies quickly. It lets you scan through a clip to see what’s in it, isolate the good parts, and rapidly drop them into a sequence.
But iMovie 6 was just as good at those tasks; you could scrub through, chop and drag its clips just as easily. Meanwhile, iMovie ’08 is incapable of the more sophisticated editing that the old iMovie made so enjoyable. The old iMovie offered the essential tools of professional programs like Final Cut Pro without the cost or complexity.
The new iMovie, for example, is probably the only video-editing program on the market with no timeline-no horizontal, scrolling strip that displays your clips laid end to end, with their lengths representing their durations. You have no indication of how many minutes into your movie you are.
The new iMovie gets a D for audio editing. You can choose one piece of music to put behind the video, but that’s it. You can’t manually adjust audio levels during a scene (for example, to make the music quieter when someone is speaking). You can’t extract the audio from a clip. The program creates a fade-out at the end of an audio clip, but you can’t control its length or curve.
All the old audio effects are gone, too. No pitch changing, high-pass and low-pass filters, or reverb.
The new iMovie doesn’t accept plug-ins, either. For years, I’ve relied on GeeThree.com’s iMovie plug-ins to achieve effects like picture-in-picture, bluescreen and subtitles. That’s all over now.
You can’t add chapter markers for use in iDVD, which is supposed to be integrated with iMovie. Bookmarks are gone. “Themes” are gone. You can no longer export only part of a movie.
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.
Incredibly, the new iMovie can’t even convert older iMovie projects. All you can import is the clips themselves. None of your transitions, titles, credits, music, or special effects are preserved.
On top of all that, this more limited iMovie has steep horsepower requirements that rule out most computers older than about two years old…
Looks like the criticisms are having some impact in Cupertino. Pogue reports that Apple is offering a free download of the previous iMovie version to anyone who has iMovie ’08.
Hmm… I’ve ordered iLife ’08. Better check that it has a ‘custom install’ option.