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By the way, the Latin word for "yam" is diosporia

I just bought iLife ‘05, the newest version of the Mac photo / audio / movie / DVD creation software suite. It’s got some nice new features — and I’m actually pretty happy with it — but it seems to be a little buggy. I used to to make a DVD of all the little video clips that we’ve been making of the munchkins over the last few months, and made up 2 photo slideshows too. The end result was kinda nice. But I have a couple of quibbles:

  • It would be nice if there were tigher integration of iMovie and iDVD. As it is now, once you make the movie and export it to iDVD, you can’t really do any meaningful edits to the movie. You can’t add or delete anything to the timeline, you can’t edit the DVD chapter markers, etc. An example of where this matters is when you “finish” the movie, export it to iDVD, spend the several hours it takes to render the DVD, burn it to a DVD, go view it, and realize that there are now some more edits that you need to make. So you fire up iMovie again, make the changes, but then realize that you have to re-import it to iDVD, replace all your pictures and themes in iDVD, etc. #$%#$%
  • When you make DVD chapter marks in iMovie (in preparation for exporting to iDVD), there seem to be cases where they “stick” to an absolute point in time. That is, if you add a clip or a transition, the DVD chapter markers don’t move with the video — they stay stuck at time N, whereas the frame they used to be associated with moved to time M. This means you have to delete all the chapter marks and put them back in again, which is fairly annoying. This page seems to have a bunch of details on this — some of these issues are clearly bugs.
  • I found an interesting bug in the iPhoto slideshow transitions — when you use the “droplet” transition from a vertically-oriented picture to a horizontially-oriented picture, it doesn’t seem to work right. That is, before the transition starts, the vertically-oriented picture is shown on the screen with a lot of black background on the left and right of the picture (which makes sense — the picture is taller than it is wide). When the transition starts, you can see the droplet effect happening within the boundaries of the vertical picture, but the black sides are immediately replaced with the next picture (i.e., no transition).

OTOH, there’s a bunch of features that I really do like in the new version:

  • iDVD now recognizes my LaCie DVD burner (read: a non-Apple-native DVD burner), so I don’t have to do whacky workarounds to get my movies to burn to DVD — it works straight from iDVD.
  • The slideshows in iPhoto are pretty cool. Even Tracy liked them (she made the second slideshow on the Munchkin DVD).
  • Some of the themes in iDVD for the menu screens are pretty technically impressive. You can drag your own pictures in there and the themes move the pictures around — with lighting and shading. That’s pretty neat for a templated feature.
  • iDVD now shows you where it is in the rendering process. This may sound like a minor detail, but given that the process can take several hours, this is really handy.

Tracy was so impressed by the whole thing that she even brought up the topic of getting a mac for her to manage all the family pictures, movies, etc. Plus, right now, I’m doing all this stuff on my IU-owned Mac. While Lummy really doesn’t care (as long as it doesn’t interfere with my work — which it doesn’t), it would be nice to get a machine that is a) totally owned by us, b) a little faster, and c) has a much bigger hard drive. A Mac Mini or iMac might be in our future…


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Comments (1)


Woo hoo!!!! mac converts!!!! Definitely make an iMovie with just still photos and use the ken burns effect to make it come to life!! So much fun!!! All 70 of my students had to make an iMovie as part of their final project…there really is no limit to what you can create! I’m looking forward to the official adoption of Tiger so they’ll load it onto my laptop and I can upgrade my iMovie software…

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