In my last entry I took iMovie 4 to task for…well, for its general funkiness. After receiving a comment or two that ran along the lines of “So, what would you do to make it better without turning it into Final Cut for Babies, smart guy?” I thought I’d offer my suggestions here.
1. Improve performance.
iMovie 3 and 4 are far less frisky than iMovie 1 or 2 ever were. I know why — the switch from a Carbon base to a Cocoa base — but I don’t much care. If it can’t run better in Cocoa, rewrite it (again) as a Carbon app.
2. Show me your units.
Image Units, the graphic plug-in architecture that will be included with the next major release of Mac OS X (Tiger), looks very cool. Incorporating it into iPhoto is a no-brainer. I hope Apple thinks lending its benefits to images in iMovie is just as worthwhile. It would also be swell if, instead of pulling audio snippets out of iMovie in order to apply an effect, I could access Audio Units effects from within iMovie’s Audio tab.
3. Draggable assets.
Speaking of pulling snippets out of iMovie, with an Option-drag I’d like to make copies of selected assets — stills and audio- and video clips — on the Desktop.
4. Multiple movies.
It’s time to let iMovie users have more than one movie project open at the same time — and to allow them to drag assets from one project to another.
5. Smart soundtrack scoring.
Apple has an easy-to-use movie making application in iMovie. Apple also has an easy-to-use music making application in GarageBand. Let’s make the two work together to create custom soundtracks cut to the length of the video or to bookmarks within a movie. Select a section of video — two bookmarks, for example — select a style and mood a la GarageBand (Urban/Intense), and click Create.
Soundtrack in an instant.
6. iMovie plug-in store.
This is part of a larger idea, but one it would behoove Apple to implement. We understand the brilliance of the iTunes Music Store — crave, locate, buy, own. It’s time for the Shop For iMovie Products command to earn its keep. If you need an effect, transition, or title not included in iMovie, select this command to be transported to an Apple Media Store that sells iMovie plug-ins, Audio Units plug-ins and instruments, GarageBand loops, and iPhoto filters. Pay your 99¢ and the plug-in you need is downloaded to your Mac and installed in iMovie.
Those are my ideas. How about yours?