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Title: IMovie  
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Subject: MobileMe, Comparison of video editing software, Final Cut Pro, .Mac, Adobe Premiere Elements
Collection: Ios Software, Os X-Only Software Made by Apple Inc., Video Editing Software
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iMovie 10.0.6 running on OS X Yosemite
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release October 5, 1999 (1999-10-05)
Stable release 10.1 / October 14, 2015 (2015-10-14)
Type Video editing software
License Proprietary
iMovie for iOS
iMovie for iOS
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release June 24, 2010 (2010-06-24)
Stable release 2.2 / September 16, 2015 (2015-09-16)
Operating system iOS
Type Video editing software
License Proprietary

iMovie is a video editing software application sold by Apple Inc. for the Mac and iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch). It was originally released in 1999 as a Mac OS 8 application bundled with the first FireWire-enabled consumer Mac model – the iMac DV.[1] Since version 3, iMovie has been an OS X-only application included with the iLife suite of Macintosh applications.[2] From 2003, iMovie is included free with all new Mac computers.

iMovie imports video footage to the Mac using either the FireWire interface on most MiniDV format digital video cameras or the computer's USB port. It can also import video and photo files from a hard drive. From there, the user can edit the photos and video clips and add titles, themes, music, and effects, including basic color correction and video enhancement tools and transitions such as fades and slides. There are currently hundreds of iMovie video tutorials online.


  • High-definition video support 1
  • Version history 2
    • Mac 2.1
    • iOS 2.2
  • iMovie HD 5 3
  • iMovie HD 6 4
  • iMovie '08 5
    • Criticism of iMovie '08 5.1
  • iMovie '09 6
  • iMovie '11 7
  • iMovie 10.0 8
  • iMovie 10.1 9
  • iMovie for iOS 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12

High-definition video support

Starting with version 5 (from 2005), iMovie processes high-definition video from HDV camcorders, in later versions also from AVCHD camcorders and H.264-compressed video from MPEG-4 or QuickTime Movie files (.mov)., e.g. as generated by a number of digital photo cameras with HD video recording feature. To facilitate this, iMovie/iLife installs the Apple Intermediate Codec on the system as a QuickTime component. iMovie transcodes (‘optimizes’) HD video upon ingestion (‘import’) using this codec and stores it in the QuickTime file format (.mov).

Version history


Version Release date Availability System Notes
iMovie October 5, 1999 Bundled with iMac DV, later issued as a free download. Mac OS 8.6 and OS 9
iMovie 2 July 19, 2000 Bundled with FireWire-enabled Macs, also a separate purchase and later bundled as part of Mac OS X. Mac OS 9 and OS X Added new sound effects (including some from Skywalker Sound), but removed older ones; also removed the Water Ripple effect.
iMovie 3 January 7, 2003 Bundled with all new Macs, also a separate purchase (iLife), later as a free download. Mac OS X Bundled as part of iLife.
iMovie 4 January 6, 2004 Bundled with all new Macs, also a separate purchase (iLife '04). Mac OS X Bundled as part of the iLife '04 package.
iMovie HD 5 January 6, 2005 Bundled with all new Macs, also a separate purchase (iLife '05). Mac OS X Bundled as part of the iLife '05 package.
iMovie HD 6 January 10, 2006 Bundled with all new Macs and separate purchase (iLife '06), later as free download for owners of iLife '08. Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther), Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Bundled as part of the iLife '06 package.
iMovie '08 August 7, 2007 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase (iLife '08). Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard). Bundled as part of the iLife '08 package. Redesigned.
iMovie '09 January 27, 2009 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase (iLife '09). Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Bundled as part of the iLife '09 package.
iMovie '11 October 20, 2010 Bundled with all new Macs sold on or after October 20, 2010 or for separate purchase in iLife '11. Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) Bundled as part of the iLife '11 package. Also available for purchase in the Mac App Store.
iMovie 10.0 October 22, 2013 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase from the Mac App Store Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9 and later) The last version available for Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9 and later) is version 10.0.5.
iMovie 10.0.6 October 16, 2014 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase from the Mac App Store Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10 and later)
iMovie 10.0.8 April 23, 2015 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase from the Mac App Store Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10 and later) YouTube uploader upgraded to API 3.0 to retain ability to upload directly from iMovie after April 20. Older versions of iMovie can no longer upload to YouTube directly due to API 2.0 being killed off 3 days prior. Can now use Sony XAVC-S format.
iMovie 10.0.9 June 25, 2015 Bundled with all new Macs and for separate purchase from the Mac App Store Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10 and later) Fixes issues with importing CineForm codec GoPro videos and crashing during YouTube uploads.


Version Release date Availability System Notes
iMovie for iOS 1.0 June 24, 2010 App Store iOS 4.0 or later Initial release for iPhone 4
iMovie for iOS 1.1 September 8, 2010 App Store iOS 4.1 or later Added support for iPod Touch (4th generation)
iMovie for iOS 1.2 March 10, 2011 App Store iOS 4.3 or later Added support for iPad 2, and later iPhone 4S
iMovie for iOS 1.3 March 7, 2012 App Store iOS 5.1 or later Added support for iPad (3rd generation)
iMovie for iOS 1.4 September 19, 2012 App Store iOS 6.0 or later Added support for iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th generation), iPad (4th generation) and iPad Mini
iMovie for iOS 2.0 October 22, 2013 App Store iOS 7.0 or later Added support for iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad Mini 2
iMovie for iOS 2.1 September 17, 2014 App Store iOS 8.0 or later Added support for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3
iMovie for iOS 2.2 September 16, 2015 App Store iOS 9.0 or later Added 4K support on iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPad Pro

iMovie HD 5

A blank movie project in iMovie HD, included with iLife '05.

iMovie HD included support for HDV (720p and 1080i) and integration with the rest of the iLife suite, with toolbox buttons allowing the importing of images from iPhoto, music from iTunes and the setting of chapter markers ready for exporting to iDVD.

iMovie HD 5 imported mjpeg files as dv by default, which introduces noise; mjpeg files are cryptically lumped with "isight" files in this version.

Another new feature was included called "Magic iMovie", which attempted to automate the whole process of video editing, by allowing a common transition to be added between scenes, a music track to be synchronised with the video and a DVD to be created with the accompanying iDVD software.

iMovie HD 6

iMovie 6 was released in January 2006 as part of the iLife '06 suite, and was also originally optionally included with iLife '08 as a substitution for iMovie '08 (due to the new version's incompatibility with older Power PC Macintosh computers). However, this option was removed after iLife '09 was released. It was integrated with iPhoto, iTunes, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb. iMovie HD 6 was designed for ease of use, and included new themes. Themes allow the user to drop movie clips or photos into professionally-designed backdrops. Each theme included full-motion graphic bumpers and transitions. iMovie HD 6 also added real-time effects, which took advantage of the computer's graphic processing unit to perform some effects without rendering. It also introduced real-time titling, enhanced audio tools and effects, the ability to have multiple projects open at once, video podcasts and blogs (using integration with iWeb), and a refined look based on iTunes 5 and 6.

iMovie '08

iMovie '08 (Version 7.0) was released in August 2007 as a part of the iLife '08 suite. iMovie '08 was a complete redesign and rewrite of iMovie. It had much better HD output, and more formats to convert to. This was limited, however, by an undocumented restriction on supported codecs. iPhoto uses the QuickTime library and can create thumbnails for all QuickTime supported formats, but most of these cannot be used by iMovie '08. Some of the formats that iMovie '08 is able to import will not be recognized when they are added to an iPhoto library. Though Motion JPEG-encoded AVI files do appear to be recognized, this was the most common format used by digital cameras. The tile-based editing interface was also promoted as something unique and groundbreaking, even though it is functionally identical to the interface of the Toaster Flyer non-linear digital video editing systems released for Amiga computers by NewTek, Inc. in 1993. A new feature called "skimming" for quickly previewing video in the library at a user controlled speed was added, and so was a feature that allows the user to highlight parts of video clips just like highlighting text. iMovie 08 also had the ability to add more than two layers of background sound, including multiple music, narration and sound effects; previous versions could play multiple tracks but could display only two extra audio tracks. It included more exportation formats, including iPhone-sized video. It also supported non-tape-based HD video, such as AVCHD and footage from DVD and HDD camcorders. iMovie '08 also has the ability to export movies to the YouTube video sharing website.

According to Apple's system requirements, iMovie '08 requires a Mac with either a 1.9 GHz or faster PowerPC G5 or Intel processor. G4s are not supported, even though Apple sold its last G4-based Computers (iBook G4s) 14 months before the release of iLife '08. However, a system hack enables iMovie 7.1 or higher to run on a PowerPC G4.[3]

Criticism of iMovie '08

iMovie 08 was criticized due to its drastic abandonment of some iMovie HD 6 features. Former New York Times reviewer David Pogue said "iMovie ‘08 is an utter bafflement... incapable of the more sophisticated editing that the old iMovie made so enjoyable...All visual effects are gone — even basic options like slow motion, reverse motion, fast motion, and black-and-white. And you can’t have more than one project open at a time."[4]

Features removed included the classic timeline, the ability to create DVD chapter markers, support for plugins, and in-timeline audio adjustment and control. iMovie '08 imports to a much more limited set of video codecs and metadata formats than previous versions of iMovie or today's QuickTime Player. For example, QuickTime Player can be extended to support the FLIP Video 3ivx MPEG-4 codec, but iMovie '08 cannot. iMovie '08 also removed the ability to import DV footage. As a result, all resulting videos have lossy compression applied and there is no facility for managing full format video. The peculiar lack of QuickTime support means QuickTime Pro can edit a larger range of video than iMovie '08.

Apple released iMovie HD 6 as a free download to those who had purchased iMovie '08.[5] However, in response to the release of the subsequent newer version of iMovie '09, Apple removed the download in late January 2009[6] while also reducing the $299 price tag for Final Cut Express to $199. Several of the features removed from iMovie '08 that were previously included with iMovie HD 6 have been restored into iMovie '09 and, more recently, iMovie '11.

iMovie '09

iMovie '09 (Version 8.0) was released January 2009 as part of the iLife '09 package. It introduced some new features and restored some features from previous versions of iMovie, including basic video effects (such as fast/slow motion and aged film) and image stabilization as well as travel map functions for marking locations where a video was shot. iMovie '09 also introduced simple implementations of more advanced features such as picture-in-picture and Chroma keying. It also improved editing with a precision cut editor and a clip trimmer, improved support for hard drive-based cameras such as the Flip Mino, added some new titles and transitions, and added full iDVD support (which was unavailable in iMovie '08). In addition, it introduced a Full-Screen Library Browser with which the user can find and examine all of his or her video in one place.

iMovie '11

iMovie '11 (Version 9.0) was released on October 20, 2010 as part of the iLife '11 package. It has the ability to make trailers for home movies, more control over audio, instant replay and flash and hold effects, facial recognition, news themes, and the ability to watch the video on a Mac, iPad, iPhone/iPod touch, or Apple TV, as well as sharing on Facebook and YouTube. It now supports the AVCHD Lite format.

Apple worked with Abbey Road Studios in London, England to bring original music/film scores to iMovie '11. The music is most notably used in the "trailers" feature provided by the software.

On January 6, 2011, Apple made iMovie '11 (along with Aperture, the iWork suite, and the rest of the iLife suite) available on the then-new Mac App Store.[7]

iMovie 10.0

iMovie 10.0 was released on October 22, 2013 by Apple Inc. This version of iMovie was a complete redesign with more options to share a movie, more movie and trailer theme options from iMovie for iOS, easier to make picture-in-pictures, cutaways, side-by-sides etc., more realistic green-screen effects and easier refinements.[8]

iMovie 10.1

iMovie 10.1 was released on October 13, 2015.

iMovie for iOS

On June 7, 2010, Steve Jobs announced in his WWDC keynote that the upcoming iPhone 4 would support a new, iOS-native version of iMovie that supports many of the basic features of the Mac version of the software.[9] The app may be obtained by downloading it from the App Store for $4.99. iMovie for iPhone was officially available on June 24, 2010 to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 4.

On September 1, 2010, iMovie was made compatible with the new 4th-generation iPod Touch. An iPad version of iMovie for iOS was made available with the release of iPad 2, announced at an Apple media event on March 2, 2011 and released seven days later.[10] On March 7, 2012, Tim Cook announced an updated version of iMovie for iOS along with the third-generation iPad. Nowadays Apple is looking forward to make this video editing software more user friendly and compatible with more iOS and Mac OS devices.[11]


  1. ^ Apple Computer (October 5, 1999). "Apple's iMovie Software Brings Digital Video Editing to Consumers and Classrooms". Apple PR. Internet Archive. Retrieved December 23, 2006. 
  2. ^ Apple Computer (January 7, 2003). 07ilife.html "Apple Introduces iLife" . Apple PR. Apple Computer. Retrieved December 23, 2006. 
  3. ^ Parker, Nathan (May 14, 2008). "Running iMovie '08 on a G4 Mac". Truth is Still Truth. 
  4. ^ Pogue, David (August 27, 2007). "Apple Takes a Step Back With iMovie ’08". New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2008. 
  5. ^ "iMovie HD 6 still available to iLife '08 users". August 10, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2007. 
  6. ^ Chris Foresman (January 27, 2009). "iMovie HD fading into the ether as Apple removes download". Ars Technica. Retrieved January 30, 2009. 
  7. ^ Snell, Jason. "iLife, iWork, Aperture now available on Mac App Store". Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Serenity Caldwell (June 7, 2010). "IMovie Now a Coming Attraction for the iPhone". 
  10. ^ Rosa Golijan (June 14, 2010). "Additional iMovie iPhone App Details Slip Out". 
  11. ^ "iMovie for Mac". July 15, 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
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