The D.I.R.T. on iMovie


Another D.I.R.T. review…

I created an unboxing video, my first one, using Apple’s iMovie for Mac. What follows are my first impressions.

My 13″ MacBook Air didn’t have iMovie installed so I visited the App store to get it. Reviews weren’t glowing, with the average rating for the current version being 2.5 stars. Complaints were about the current version not being able to do basic editing, file sharing not working, previous versions being easier to use and one theory about Apple wanting people to be so disgusted with iMovie they’ll be forced to shell out $350 for Final Cut Pro.

I wouldn’t know anything about all that, this was my first time.

Last week, my son was saying how loud the fan on his 11″ MacBook Air was. There’s a fan in the MacBook Air? Obviously, iMovie uses a lot of resources and generates a lot of heat while doing it. The program worked throughout the editing, never slowing down. The fan fired up, first time ever, he was right.

The camera created an AVCHD file, not the expected MP4. You don’t get a second chance when creating an unboxing video so I went about figuring out how to import the file into iMovie. Early research indicated this format wasn’t compatible so I looked around for a converter, even downloaded a couple. Turns out, iMovie can import these files directly, two hours wasted there.

I imported the video into iMovie and started editing. Here’s what I learnt:

  • Detached the original audio track and deleting it. Surprisingly easy, a few clicks.
  • Found a music track a bit longer than the video to allow for titles and credits. Added fading at both ends.
  • Added title and credit pages. Hardest part here was figuring out which one to use, lots of options. In the end, a simple black screen with white text did the trick. Keep it simple I was told.
  • Added transitions after the title page and before the credits. Again, lots of choices and again, kept it simple with a fade effect.
  • Added text throughout the video, more for levity than for any practical purpose.
  • Exported an MP4 at 1080p for eventual upload to YouTube, this took about thirty minutes.

Overall, I really don’t have that much negative to say about the application. I created a movie with a few effects, in HD, that looked good. I could have played around a lot more, done some tweaking, got in to the advanced features but I wasn’t ready for that. The whole exercise lasted three hours.

2.5 stars is harsh in my opinion. As a beginner, I give it 4.

Took a star off for making my fan turn on and proving my son right.

Thanks for your help Josh, you’re a good teacher. Visit his page here.


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