iMovie '09 and Previous iMovie Versions


I recently was asked about iMovie '09's compatibility with previous versions of iMovie, including compatibility with iMovie '08. (Thanks for the question, Ana.)

Here are four things to know about the compatibility issues you can expect when upgrading.

iMovie '08 to iMovie '09
1. All of your event library footage from iMovie '08 will work in iMovie '09 without a hitch. There will be some processing time required to use the video stabilization feature. But even when that processing is done, event footage in iMovie '09 will still be backwards-compatible with iMovie '08.

2. Projects in iMovie '09 are *not* backwards compatible with iMovie '08. This means that when you upgrade, you will not be able to transfer your projects to a computer running iMovie '08 and edit those projects there. As I understand it, iMovie '09 projects won't even show up in iMovie '08.

iMovie HD (and previous) to iMovie '09
3. iMovie HD projects imported into iMovie '09 work the same as when you import them into iMovie '08. This means that any transitions, effects, titles, themes, and audio edits will probably be lost. You will just get the clips in your project edited to the lengths you cut them in iMovie. (Still images added to your iMovie HD project also make the trip.) These clips are added to your event browser in a new event, and iMovie '09 creates a project with the same name containing the clips in the identical order and length.

4. If you want to import a fully edited iMovie HD project, you can do this if you export your movie as a Quicktime file first. (I recommend using the Apple Intermediate Codec.) Once you have your Quicktime file, select "Import Movies" from the File menu and select the Quicktime file you exported. iMovie '09 will add the movie as an event, which you can then add to a new project you create. Be aware that you will not be able to change any of the edits you made in iMovie HD.

If there is one very Jobsian lesson in all of this, it's that you shouldn't plan on looking back. Luckily, the future looks good with iMovie '09.


Anonymous said...

Very worthwhile input.
One question in migrating from 08 to 09: Is the stabilisation function default on, or is it possible to migrate (so install iMovie09 and open it) without every project to go through the stabilisation function ?


Aaron said...

Hi, MacGB. I just answered that question in today's post. Here is a direct link:

Quick Look: Image Stabilization

Anonymous said...

hi i just got ilife 09 today, and upon opening imovie 09, my extensive event library does not show up. do you know what the right way to import it is? i'm afraid of screwing something up.

Anonymous said...

to clarify, my issue may be because in imovie 08 i moved my event library to an external drive, so imovie 09 doesn't know those links. does anyone know how to redirect imovie 09 to look at another drive, short of me copying everything back to the default location and then moving all the events manually from within imovie??

Anonymous said...

hi, just wondering if it's possible to import imovie HD or imovie '08 themes to imovie '09 library...

can't seem to find the imovie '09 library when i look into library/application support/