Saturday, September 01, 2007

iMovie '08: How the heck is it supposed to work?

So how is that never should have been released "iClip" (so-called iMovie '08) supposed to work?

This is my best guess, after making a movie from some digital camera AVI files:
  1. The clips are stored in iPhoto. (Despite my previous comments that Apple appeared to be abandoning iPhoto as a mixed media store.) This is pretty odd since iPhoto almost ignores AVI files, can't export them, can't share them, etc. Nonetheless, this is how iMovie/iClip expects to work. It has NO facilities itself for managing an clip store, it only manages references to clips. Now do keywords between iPhoto and iClip? I'd be amazed if they did.
  2. The outputs from iMovie (.mp4, forget those other formats) are to be stored and managed in iTunes. Not in iPhoto.
Now if you think about this a while, your first question will be ... how the heck do I move an iClip project, or a set of clips, from one machine to another?

Very good question.

My guess is, you can't. Ever. Move. Anything. Otherwise, all the projects will break.

Is it easier to use with clips than iMovie '07? Minimally, maybe. Once you learn the weird UI and application model you can throw something together very fast. You can also draw from a large number of clips for a series of different outputs. On the other hand, iMovie was far more powerful than iClip, and you could actually backup, restore and move your projects between machines.

iMovie isn't as big a fiasco as, say, Vista, but I'd line up to throw a (harmless) pie at a cartoon of the iLife product manager ...

PS. It's not been much remarked, but this is the first Apple software that has Intel only features. The newest digital video compression formats are supported only on Intel.

Update 9/2/07: As an experiment I relocated the iPhoto Library that iClip (iMovie '08) was referencing. I found, again, confirmation that Apple has abandoned file redirection in favor of hard coded paths. The video files were still on the local drive, but iClip could no longer find them.
The following Event used in this project is not currently available:
iPhoto Videos - MN State Fair Sept 1, 2007
The portions of the project which reference this Event will show black frames.
Update 3/25/2008: A Flip Video experiment exposed what a lousy product iMovie '08 is. Any longtime Mac users would expect that iMovie '08 would be able to import any video source that QuickTime can recognize.


iMovie '08 imports DV, .mov (quicktime) and MPEG4. It doesn't leverage QuickTime's infrastructure.

This is a truly miserable product.

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