As you'll undoubtedly have noticed, Macworld UK has started posting video clips via YouTube of late. This is something we've been mulling over for a while, but with the rumour that Steve Jobs would be attending the Apple Store event it seemed a good idea to do a test.
A test was all it was supposed to be, we thought we take a camcorder along, film a few bits and bobs and use it mess around with iMovie ’08 and perhaps YouTube on a private setting.
But Steve Jobs was charming as ever and, even though some of the video was shaky, we thought we'd share it with the world. And the world - at least according the 20,000 or so YouTubers who've looked at it – seemed to appreciate the video, wobbly cam or not.
We've learnt a lot from this experience. Mostly that next time we'll fight for a better seat and take a tripod or monopod with us. But also it gave us the chance to really test out the latest versions of iMovie and iLife in a work setting, so here's some things of note:
1. Cliff Joseph's review of iLife '08, which used the quote "we can't help thinking that Apple has thrown the baby out with the bathwater by abandoning many of the features that made the original iMovie so easy to use" was unfair. While it may technically be true, and that many features that made iMovie 06 are absent. The sheer speed that iMovie '08 enables you to work at when taking video from an event and putting it up online more than make up for it. iMovie 08 is weird at first, but then incredibly fast and intuitive. Sorry Cliff, you're normally bang on the money but this time I disagree with you. iMovie 08 rocks!
2. Final Cut's SmoothCam function is a lifesaver and even if it didn't save every wobbly clip, it improved them no end. Apple, please, please, please transport this function over to iMovie 09 (at least in a basic form). It is perhaps the one truly useful function that's missing from iMovie. However, in the meantime, SmoothCam alone is worth investing in a copy of Final Cut for.
3. It would be nice to have round-trip capability between iMovie and Final Cut. iMovie is so good at logging and skimming / selecting clips that even a pro user of Final Cut would use it to capture and scan footage. Exporting and importing clips is a pain (although we did notice an Export XML function that needs further investigation).
4. YouTube is bloody slow. Honestly, I uploaded another four clips five hours ago and they've still not been processed. Don't get us wrong; it's great to be able to upload clips and embed them into a site without having to sort out bandwidth issues (plus watch them on the Apple TV and touch/iPhone) but if you were in the business of web broadcasting that five hour wait could mean the difference between commercial success and failure. I'll blog on the separate clips from the Steve Jobs presentation tomorrow, but if you want to see them when they've finished processing click here.