First Look: iMovie ’08

My first-look at iMovie ’08 article for Macworld has just been posted: First Look: iMovie ’08. It ended up being much longer than what my editor assigned, just because so much has changed since iMovie HD 6.

Take what you know about iMovie, put it into an imaginary box, and store that box in a corner of your brain for now. When Steve Jobs unveiled iLife ’08 (Best Current Price: $69.98) and mentioned that Apple is “completely replacing one of the key apps with something that takes it to a whole new level,” he wasn’t exaggerating. iMovie ’08 is a completely new video editing program that just happens to have inherited the iMovie name.

For some, the application is a welcome change. Until recently, most video has been shot using camcorders that store high-quality video on MiniDV tape, but those tapes are piling up, unedited, because of the time it takes to import and fine tune the footage. iMovie ’08 is designed to make video editing simple and fast.

For people who’ve used iMovie in its previous iterations, this new version may be especially frustrating. Not only does iMovie 7 throw out the familiar iMovie interface, it’s missing some features that have been used for years. It also ditches long-standing video editing conventions, such as timecode, in favor of simplicity, making iMovie ’08 feel a bit like Apple has created an iMovie Express.

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