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Apples and Oranges

I recently got iLife ‘08 for my iMac; I had previously been using iLife ‘07.

I really like iPhoto ‘08. The “events” organization is awesome. However, I did have one repeatable crash when I moved one specific event’s pictures into another event. I’ve merged/moved/edited dozens of events; it was somehow only a problem for moving pictures from this one specific event to another specific event — I got iPhoto to crash 3 times in a row. I dutifully submitted problem reports each time. (Sidenote: I just got a software update for iPhoto — v7.0.2 — I don’t know if this problem has been fixed or not)

And I love the .Mac gallery publishing in both iPhoto and iMovie. That’s where I publish all my family pictures now. Gallery was good, but this is waaay better.

I used iMovie ‘08 last night for the first time to make a home movie. Eh; it’s ok. It definitely does have some nice new features, but there are also some features that I sorely miss from iMove HD (‘07):

Pros:

  • The video skimming is pretty cool/useful, but it takes some getting used to. I’m not totally used to it yet.
  • The ability to trivially specify which hard disk to save imported video is great (because video sucks up sooooo much space!).
  • Having all your video clips in one place — and being able to share them between multiple projects — is quite handy. I had to do some whacky stuff to share clips between multiple different iMovie projects (which usually resulted in quite a lot of wasted time and disk space due to clip copying).
  • Trivial creation of movies to multiple different resolutions, bundled with the one-click publishing to YouTube, .Mac, etc. is wonderful.

Cons:

  • Video skimming can be “jumpy” if you’re on older hardware, like my iMac G5.
  • There is no way to fade in/out audio tracks. You can set the audio level for a clip and the background music track, but you cannot fade it in or out. It might be ok if you could do this in conjunction with Garage Band, but the majority of home movies I make are paired with audio purchased from the iTunes store, but Garage Band will not let you use those tracks (yes, I know I could burn them to a CD and then re-rip them, but I don’t want to/shouldn’t have to. I purchased them and iMovie lets me use them — why won’t Garage Band?).
  • I found it very useful in iMovie HD that you could see the exact time/frame number where you were editing. iMovie ‘08 no longer shows this information; it made it harder for me to exactly edit the movie like I wanted to.
  • You cannot meaningfully import iMovie HD (‘07) projects; all your transitions, titles, and extra audio tracks are lost. An iMovie tutorial on apple.com calls this a “feature” (“Now is the perfect time to update your old project”); I completely disagree. Luckily, I found by accident that the iLife ‘08 installation does not overwrite the old iMovie HD application; so you can still access all your old projects though the original ‘07 application. But that kinda defeats the point of iMovie 08’s consolidation-of-all-video-clips feature.
  • I definitely ran into some bugs in iMovie ‘08. Here’s some examples:
    • Sometimes when I create a new project, it’s not possible to edit the name. I have to quit and re-launch iMovie for the new project’s title to be editable. That’s just weird.
    • Sometimes in the ;trim clip” view, the end-of-clip grab handlebar spans two clip heights making it difficult to grab-and-drag properly.

I’m not a big user of Garage Band or iWeb, so I can’t really comment on those.

All in all, iLife ‘08 is worth the upgrade, IMHO. The .Mac publishing alone is great. I was a little disappointed with the regression of some features in iMovie, but I’ll probably cope with a mix of using iMovie ‘07 and ‘08. Oh well.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 3, 2007 10:39 AM.

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