iMovie on the new Special Edition Graphite iMac : LUSENET : Editing DV Films : One Thread

Has anyone purchased or seen a demo of the new iMovie miniDV editing software on the new iMacs? Is there any initial buzz on the product? It is hard to tell from the marketing how sophisticated it is. Does it have filters? Can it generate and EDL? Is it any good?

The low price point seems like an answer to my dreams, but I'm afraid I'm going to find out the software is useless. Any thoughts would be very welcome....

Thanks. Julia

-- Julia Morrison (, October 10, 1999


julia, I just purchased the new imac dv special edition. I works great. So fast, so simple. The imovie software is crap however. Sort of like avid cinema. You could call it Dv For Dummies. You can run Premiere 5.1c on it if you down load the plug-ins from adobe.

-- jamie degrazio (, October 18, 1999.

Is it a serious contender?

Jamie, you've bought one. I'm on the brink of purchase. How 'professional' is it? Is it good enough to make small documentaries on? 30 minutes or so? Can the 13 or so gig hard drive be upgraded? What is the sound like? Will it complement my Canon XL1 in my attempt to make and edit broadcast quality films?! Any other info appreciated.

-- BG (, October 18, 1999.

Here's my initial review, I'll post another after using it again:

I edited with the ImacDV Special Edition & the iMovie software for about a hour using its outdoor dog bathing DV footage. I would wholeheartedly recommend it for any beginning DV editor and for anyone wanting professional type editing for their home movies. With good footage you could even edit a 30 minute DV quality documentary on it. I think 13 GB's would give you about 40 mins or so.

Its the easiest to use DV editing software there is. I was able to start editing a short 2 minute segment after only 10 to 15 mins reading info and playing with its interface. However there is a number of limitations with it.

It does do variable length fades, dissolves, slide in and a couple of other effects. There is not too many transition effects but all the basic ones are there and not too many to confuse a beginning editor. It renders each transition fairly quickly when you drop it in the timeline. Titling works pretty well and renders quickly from the included fonts. I didn't get into the titling much this time. Of course cuts don't have to be rendered.

There is only 3 stereo audio tracks which should be enough for most people. You have the DV camera stereo track, a stereo track for music/ effects and another for narration or effects.

I plan on reading the audio section in the manual that is available from Its a .pdf file which you'll need the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader(free at or the Mac shareware/ freeware web sites) to view.

A bonus of the software is its ability to output a variety of file types so you can have compressed files for Web, CD Rom or other uses. There also is a number of audio files and effects and more available to download from apple. For home use you can use any track from any audio CD.

There is no batch capture, logging program or EDL. Thats no surprise as no basic NLE has that. For most home movies that is not needed. If your production is a short one you could always make a EDL out on paper with the PC1 word processor(pencil).

One would have to go to Edit DV software to be able to get batch capture, log & EDL features. I'm not sure if Strata Videoshop has those features but I'll check on that. One could use Premiere 5.1 or Final Cut Pro that has those features but you would have to put in another 128 megs of memory. I believe there was also software called Pipeline that had a stand alone batch capture and logging program. If you could get just the EditDV 1.6 software at a good price that should give you most of the features you need without needing to buy extra memory.

I didn't notice any filters but you could do that in Quicktime with good shareware like is in the latest November MacAddict CD or something else or even After Effects.

Bottom line was that from a cold start I was able to digitally edit a short 2 minute piece with fade ins/outs, dissolves, slide/push in's, some music and sound effects within a hours time. It was easy to understand and easy to use and made a professional looking/sounding video.

For a basic NLE on a great new ImacDV SE its a great combination that will introduce NLE to the masses. Apple will sell a ton of ImacDV's and ImacDV SE's.

Michael C

-- Michael C (, October 24, 1999.

imovie is very easy to get the hang of. there are too few transitions (and "double exposure" and slo mo would be most welcome), but if it only had insert edit capability (separating the audio and video track), i would happily edit a feature on it. need for more RAm and HD space will be obvious quickly after starting to play with

-- boyce (, February 11, 2000.

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