What to Expect in iMovie '09

There are a lot of changes in iMovie '09, more than Apple showed in the keynote at Macworld Expo yesterday. Some new things they showed, but only in passing. Here is a list of the especially interesting changes:

Chapter Markers
Let the rejoicing commence! iMovie can now do custom chapter markers. None of the old workarounds are necessary any longer. The markers are actually really cool and easy to use. They are easy to move and to name. Not only did Apple restore this feature to iMovie, but they have done the best implementation of chapter markers yet.

Then, best of all, you can tell iMovie to send it straight to iDVD. No more wandering through the Media Browser first.

But the enhancement doesn't stop there. You can now insert reference markers as well. These are great for editing purposes, because they help you mark and later find the spots that need constant attention. For example, you can mark a beat in your music track and iMovie will then snap edits to the beat marker for you.

Event Date Editing
If you imported old family VHS tapes, your event dates told you that little Jimmy was born last week (when in reality he is asking to borrow the car). You could've tried this trick, but it was tedious and didn't always work. In iMovie '09, you can edit event dates directly and simply in iMovie.

Projects Go Where You Want Them
In iMovie '08, your projects had to live on your startup drive, and moving them somewhere else manually would keep iMovie from recognizing them. Now you can save projects onto external drives. You can even pick a project and tell iMovie to gather all the event footage to one place, which makes it incredibly easy to move to other computers.

I did a poll on the old blog asking about the special effect users missed the mot. Fast/Slow/Reverse was the most requested by a mile (over 80% of respondents wanted it back). It's back and works really, really well. And, in true, new iMovie fashion, there is no rendering.

Green Screen
If you watched the keynote, you might have noticed Randy mention a green screen option. You need to have shot against a real green screen, but that's something a bucket of paint can provide.

The list of changes in iMovie '09 goes on and on, well beyond this list. We will be giving them all a full treatment once iMovie ships. Until then, there is a lot to look forward to.


WT said...

Did you get your hands on an early version of iMovie09? If so, I'm really jealous.

I always liked 08, as it was simply and easy, but many folks really disliked it because it was limited. I think the proposed changes in 09 will really make an app with broader appeal, and the cool interface approach is likely to drive usage.

Just waiting now to get mine in the mail.

Aaron said...

Hi, WT. I have played around a bit in the new iMovie. Needless to say, it was really impressive. I agree that this version will bring in a lot more of the the iMovie HD holdouts.

One thing I am excited to do is move the blog beyond the tips on replicating what could be done in iMovie HD. Since video effects, chapter markers, and the like are back and easy to do, I don't have to spend a lot of time talking about them. Now, I can work on cooler things like how to get an image to scroll with your credits or how to do really easy B-roll segments like you see on the evening news.

There is a lot of cool stuff to look forward to!