Apple stirs controversy with iMovie's '08 overhaul

in Mac Software edited January 2014
Hailed as a breakthrough in movie editing by Apple chief Steve Jobs, the complete rework of iMovie for iLife '08 has angered some customers who found that many longstanding features had suddenly gone missing.

The company's support discussions for its new video editing tool were the home of several vocal debates in the weekend following its launch, with at least a few disappointed customers arguing that they had been misled by an Apple marketing campaign which suggested a direct successor to iMovie HD '06 rather than a from-scratch product with missing features.

"I even bought iLife just to install iMovie 8 next to my versions of Avid and Final Cut Pro," said one user. "I was thinking that for quick cutting of simple projects this would get me there faster than my 'pro' apps. [But] it is a weakling compared to the old iMovie. [There's] no decent audio control, [a] loss of rubber banding, and weak video [effects]."

Users elsewhere have also complained about the lack of chapter markers and exact playhead positioning, the need for a 1.9GHz G5 processor or better just to run the software, and the inability to port over earlier iMovie projects. Apple's release of iMovie HD 6 as a free download for customers of iLife '08 has been seen by many in the discussions as an attempt to placate early adopters who were disappointed by either the feature set or the lack of continuity from earlier versions.

For some, the shift in focus from preparing complex movie projects to simpler titles for YouTube and other websites was enough to suggest that just naming the program iMovie was an error, and that it should have been released as a companion product rather than a direct replacement. "It should have been named iTube or iVideo," one user reported, making allusions to its YouTube upload feature.

The reaction may spell trouble ahead for Apple and its hopes for the editing suite in the short term. The Mac maker declared at its August special event that iMovie '08 was a completely new program inspired by one of its own staffers. The employee had been frustrated by the difficulty in quickly editing footage he had captured during a diving vacation and created a prototype editor himself. This became the foundation for the final program, Apple said, as it potentially signaled a far easier way to assemble final videos than the conventional timeline.

But for those buyers with more advanced needs or who have simply become familiar with the basic concepts behind earlier versions, the new iMovie has so far been interpreted as an experiment that didn't justify the $79 price for an existing user.

"After discovering this was a stripped down version, I fortunately found my other version of iMovie HD and dragged the icon into tool bar," said one complaint. "I feel ripped off and as a recent Apple from PC convert, I'm still not totally sold on Apple products. I'm hoping they'll take this software back and [I] can uninstall the entire iLife '08 software."


  • Reply 1 of 289
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member

    Where have you been? You didn't have to go to an Apple discussion board to hear those complaints. They've all been said here.\
  • Reply 2 of 289
    imovie08 is great, idont think i will go back to version 06; though some more video effects are welcome !!!
  • Reply 3 of 289
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,591member
    My complaint is Steve gets up and hails iMovie with the Panasonic camera as great and going to change everything. Then when I order my Panasonic HDC-SD1 and import footage into iMovie '08, I have one channel audio. Did the Steve not have this problem with his camera? Funny how everyone who went and bought this great camera, and it is sharp!, is having the same problem with iMovie or FCP 6 with basically 1 channel audio.

    Now, I am stuck with one channel audio in iMovie '08 and FCP 6.0.1. Apple has something screwed up in all their video software right now.

    I like iMovie '08 better because I can churn out a movie in minutes. When I do serious Movie stuff, I have FCP 6.
  • Reply 4 of 289
    bacillusbacillus Posts: 313member
    If they wanted to revolutionize the home video editing sector - they should have integrated H.264 hardware encoding into the new iMac and in time across the line; thereby significantly reducing the the time it takes to encode a movie.
  • Reply 5 of 289
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    iMovie 08' is junk. iLife 08' should not have been released.
  • Reply 6 of 289
    what's the big deal? apple still lets you download imovie 06 if you don't like 08.

    the fact is, imovie may be too hard for some people. now it is unfortunate that imovie had to lose features, but don't you think that with a few tweaks and additions that imovie 08 could have potential to be a better program than 06?

    if you're buying ilife 08, use the old version of imovie, and use the rest of the great apps.

    meanwhile, apple has already gotten the complaints, and they do listen. that's why they let ilife 08 users download the old version of imovie.
  • Reply 7 of 289
    rdas7rdas7 Posts: 32member
    First up, it's not $79 for the iMovie '08 upgrade alone... there are other apps in there. Secondly, iMovie '08 does not overwrite iMovie '06 if you already have it installed.

    Anytime you make such a drastic change to an app that many people use, you're bound to rock the boat. Just look at Windows Vista to see how backwards-compatibility can curtail innovation.

    As a Final Cut Express owner, I welcome the changes to iMovie '08. It's perfect for comping together short, quick videos ?*something that iMovie was weak at. iMovie was great if you wanted to author a dvd or make a short movie, but treaded that ground dangerously: you had to be just the right customer who could use the features and workflow, but not become too frustrated with its limitations. Just about every time I worked on an iMovie project previously, I'd run against one or two limitations that really hindered me (hence moving to Final Cut Express).

    With iMovie '08 just sitting down for 15mins is enough time to put together something reasonable and it certainly makes "working with movies as easy as working with photos".

    I think that iMovie HD merging into a sort of FCE solution might placate users. Although, equally, adding features to iMovie '08 (such as chapter markers, etc.) in some x.1 updates would be another solution.
  • Reply 8 of 289
    jawportajawporta Posts: 140member
    They took so long to update iLife that half of it doesn't work on my computer. I have the last G4 PowerBook before they went to WinTel, I mean Intel and half of iLife doesn't work. iMovie and Garage Band won't load and iDVD now crashes when trying to launch. This is a sad attempt by Apple to force it's customers to update to a wintel Mac.
  • Reply 9 of 289
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

    what's the big deal? apple still lets you download imovie 06 if you don't like 08.

    the fact is, imovie may be too hard for some people. now it is unfortunate that imovie had to lose features, but don't you think that with a few tweaks and additions that imovie 08 could have potential to be a better program than 06?

    if you're buying ilife 08, use the old version of imovie, and use the rest of the great apps.

    meanwhile, apple has already gotten the complaints, and they do listen. that's why they let ilife 08 users download the old version of imovie.

    I agree. Obviously, all the first complaints about the software are going to come from the people who already were using '06 and switched right away- and obviously a ground-up redo is not good news for those people. Give it time, however, and I think iMovie could easily be a hit with first-time movie makers. I agree with the assessment in Steve's little story about how hard it is to slap together a decent movie in a short time- and the new "scrub" selection tool is an awesome way to fix that. The old iMovie was not something that a complete novice could just jump right into and make a good first movie in an hour or so. The new iMovie can do this. 'nuff said.

    Rember, people: this is a CONSUMER software suite.
  • Reply 10 of 289
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,658member
    I would have to agree they really screwed up this time, I smell a lawsuit coming Apple's way.

    I found it interesting that Job kind side stepped the whole it does not have the same features as the old Imovie issue. He did the "it is different enough so we gave it a new logo things." but never mentioned anything about the whole class of products which it would not work on. I was kind of surprised to see the warning come up that iMovie would not load on my old imac.

    Besides this, they made some fundamental changes to the other programs as well, they changed how things are done. It took me a while to figure out how to doing something that use to be easy. Such as export photo from iPhoto, you use to easily export and scale an image proportionately, now you have to scale height and width separately and it take a few extra steps and it is not obvious at first.

    I think there is going to be lots of back lash from this release.
  • Reply 11 of 289
    My largest complaint with iMovie '08 is the fugly icon. It doesn't blend in with the other Apple icons at all. Looks like it was just a placeholder icon during development that they forgot to replace.
  • Reply 12 of 289
    iMovie '08 Pros: Quick and easy creation of projects.

    iMovie '08 Cons: Everything else.

    I am glad '06 is still on here. I was able to throw together a project in almost no time, but I really miss the ability to control volume, put in effects, etc.

    I have to think there is either an update coming in the future or Apple is going to push those of us who want more features into Final Cut.
  • Reply 13 of 289
    This is the first time that I have heard that iMovie 08 is based on inspiration from a 'staffer's vacation'. I think that's funny - as I look at how __I__ like to take videos. I take 5 minutes here and there, maybe 20 or so on a vacation. SO... I miss the chapter marker thing greatly. I just want to create markers for "summer vacation 08', 'trip to grandparents', 'fall break', "Christmas", etc and then burn a DVD.

    I rushed out to get iLife08 (and also iWork08) just to compile a video that I made for our church. I spent a long time in iMovie 08 looking for the chapter markers, etc. That's when I posted a message elsewhere in this forum and learned that 08 had been crippled. After going back to '06, it took me maybe 15 minutes to create my chapters and start a DVD burning.

    With that said, I am not going to think about returning '08 - I just want the fire lit under Apple to make burning DVDs EASY.

    BTW - do chapter markers work with AppleTV ?? I would love to import my older iMovie-created DVDs into iTunes/AppleTV - SEEMLESSLY.

    One last thing - I like the '08 scrub/select thing - that is truely useful. But I would like to select a clip view like in 06. It's hard to see the big picture when you have 20 minutes of scrubbable "stuff" and have to scroll down to see the next clip.
  • Reply 14 of 289
    I'm not surprised that a totally new version of the app has fewer features than a version that has gone through several updates. Apple will grow the app and there will probably be 3rd party programmers that come up with features, primarily as shareware so you can use it on a Try & Buy basis.
  • Reply 15 of 289
    you get

    iMovie 06

    For Free.

    Now I know summer is almost over, but I think some people still need to head on over to camp qwitchyerbitchin pronto!
  • Reply 16 of 289
    magic_almagic_al Posts: 325member
    Mac user since 1984: when I tried iMovie '08 I found it much faster than any previous version. The workflow and integration are better and this is the first version of iMovie I could imagine my mom using. The old version required some commitment to master and programs that come with a Mac shouldn't be like that. Having a user library like iPhoto and seeing still-camera video in the iPhoto library are obvious improvements in overall iLife integration and definitely worth the trade-off of lost features for what most people want to do.

    Missing features will come back in future versions, but perhaps not the way people think. iDVD will probably get remade too and maybe chapter markers belong there, or maybe iDVD shouldn't even be a separate program. People should be patient, and in the meantime releasing iMovie HD 6 for free was a smart move. Remember how long it took for Mac OS X to evolve to do everything Mac OS 9 did.
  • Reply 17 of 289
    I still believe that it's being simplified to be a iApp on purpose. Making more room for Final Cut Express.

    Garageband is more about Podcasting now than audio. That's why they want you to buy Logic Express for audio creation, and Pro for the professionals.
  • Reply 18 of 289
    Come on geeks and gurus - This is what Mac is all about.

    iMovie 08 is a course correction for a product that was going the wrong direction. I loved every new feature they packed into iMovie... but noticed over the years my home video production was slowly dwindling down to nothing.

    When I upgraded to camera to HD, everything more or less came to a complete stand-still. I was constantly switching between FCP and iMovie 06. That's mostly because iMovie was trying to become a full fledged video editing suite - no longer the orignial "video editing for everyone" product that they originally brought to market.

    iMovie 08 has finally delivered on the Mac promise. Working with AVCHD is lightning fast and beautiful. My parents, in-laws and siblings no longer call me with irritating iMovie 06 questions. This app just works and works beautifully.

    Apple has cleverly omitted adding features that knock the real-time fun out of editing. This was the brutal, yet absolutely necessary pruning of all those silly iMovie effects. I will miss a few of them, but for the most part I'm OK.

    Media management was always the missing piece of the puzzle. For anyone that is into Final Cut Pro, you know that this is not a task that your mom is up to on her own. iMovie 08 makes it so painless to capture, organize and manage media across multiple volumes in a truly break-through fashion. Try helping your mom figure this out in iMovie 06!

    So, all in all. I'm going to be suffering without the ability to do some things like changing the duration of clips (slowing down and speeding up) and visual envelope settings for sound files, but for the most part - I'm grateful to have produced my first two home movies in about a year.

    Gimme something that works without hassles and I'll bet it's an apple product; iMovie 08 included.
  • Reply 19 of 289
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    The iMovie '08 interface should have been a quick mode built on top of iMovie.
  • Reply 20 of 289
    I've used iMovie since the beginning and by the time 06 came along, it has swelled up to bloatware. The Video FX were a waste of time at best and like a loaded gun in the hands of a child at worst. I saw my neighbor's video where they went medieval with the video FX and I nearly puked.

    Aren't chapter markers available in iDVD? I always thought the feature was redundant in iMovie 06.

    Don't get me wrong -- I'm keeping 06 around just in case I want to access one of the bloat features, but it looks like 08 is going to work for 90+% of what I want to do with videos.

    It is a bit of cold water in the face to think that my powerhouse computer (Dual 2GHz G5 PowerMac) is now the wimpiest computer that can run this program. As sad as it is that my computer is becoming obsolete, at least I am comfortable that my parachute pants remain as cool as ever ;-)
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