iLife '06

iMovie HD 6.0.1

At a Glance
  • Apple iMovie 6.0.1

    Macworld Rating

iLife '06

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In my review of iMovie HD 6 (   ), I predicted that Apple, as it did with iLife ’05, would soon release a bug-fix update to address some of the glitches I encountered. And true to form, Apple’s patch to iMovie HD 6.0.1 arrived in mid-February.

The update arrived one day before the print edition of Macworld went to press, so I was able to take these fixes into account and subsequently raised my mouse rating from   to   .

What’s new in this update?

Apple’s 6.0.1 release notes indicate that Ken Burns Effect rendering performance improved, but I haven’t seen a difference in image quality, and Apple hasn’t specified the exact nature of the improvement. I did notice, however, that Apple fixed a bug in which the live preview of the Effect would continue even after users disabled the Ken Burns Effect checkbox in the Photo Settings palette.

Apple also says that version 6.0.1 improved the Scrubber Bar editing performance. Previously, if multiple clips were selected in the timeline, and you dragged the crop marks that appear below the Scrubber Bar (useful for selecting a large amount of footage), iMovie HD 6 would frequently give you the spinning rainbow cursor and lock up for a few seconds. That problem is now gone.

Apple didn’t address my critique that the Scrubber Bar’s extension to the edge of the iMovie window makes it appear that the playhead is never at the absolute beginning or end of the bar. But, that’s still just a cosmetic issue.

Another criticism was that the image quality of video or photos within themes was rendered at fairly low resolution. The difference was especially apparent when creating an element such as Chapter in the Reflection-Black theme, where the video zooms to fill the entire screen. The good news is that the image quality is better, though the difference between theme and regular video footage is still noticeable.

I’m happy to report that one major problem I ran into now appears to be fixed: Locking an audio clip to a video clip now retains the connection when you reposition the clip in the timeline. I haven’t been able to reproduce that problem since I upgraded to version 6.0.1.

However, I stand by my observation that iMovie remains an often inconsistent player that works fine for some people (such as on my two Macs) while giving others fits.

If you fall into the latter camp, be sure to run a suite of diagnostic procedures (repair permissions, delete iMovie’s preferences, try running it in another bare-bones user account on your Mac), and give Apple your feedback.

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Real-time previews are helpful
    • Audio effects are a welcome addition
    • New themes are visually interesting

    Cons

    • Performance annoyingly seems to vary by machine
    • A few cosmetic glitches persist
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