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Apple Wiki


Developer Apple Inc.
Operating systems iOS, iPadOS, macOS
Release date October 5, 1999 (Mac OS 8.6)
June 24, 2010 (iOS 4)
Latest release 10.3.4 (macOS)
3.0 (iOS / iPadOS)

iMovie is an application program, created by Apple Computer (later Apple Inc.) and provided freely to users of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to edit their own home movies.

When iMovie was first released for classic Mac OS in 1999, it proved popular due to its simplicity, with most tasks easily accomplished by clicking and dragging. Its praise was so widespread, that even PC magazines gave it positive reviews, one even giving it the front page. It was unusual at the time for PC publications to publish such reviews for Macintosh software. To reach more users, it was also included with with Apple's iLife suite of applications.

Originally integrated with FireWire, it took the raw footage from most digital video cameras and loaded it onto the Mac. From there, iMovie could edit, add titles, and music. Effects such as fade-in, fade-out and slides were included by default.

Mac version history[]

iMovie 1[]

Released on October 5, 1999, it was bundled with iMac DV, later issued as a free download for Mac OS 8.6 and 9.[1]

iMovie 2[]

Released on July 19, 2000, it was bundled with FireWire-enabled Macs, also a separate purchase and later bundled as part of Mac OS X. Version 2.0.3 was the last to support Mac OS 9. It added new sound effects (including some from Skywalker Sound), but removed older ones; it also removed the Water Ripple effect.

iMovie 3[]

Released on January 7, 2003, it was bundled with all new Macs, and was also included as part of iLife. It only supported Mac OS X, and was later made available as a free download.

iMovie 4[]

Released on January 6, 2004, it was bundled with all new Macs, and also included as part of iLife '04.

iMovie HD 5 (2005)[2][]

File:Imovie 05.jpg

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

Beginning with version 5, iMovie was renamed to iMovie HD,[3] and included support for HDV (720p and 1080i) as well as 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 (2006)[4][]

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 (2007)[5][]

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. 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 sounds; 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.[6]

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."[7]

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.[8] However, in response to the release of the subsequent newer version of iMovie '09, Apple removed the download in late January 2009[9] 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 (2009)[10][]

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 (2010)[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 '09 suite, and the rest of the iLife '11 suite) available on the then-new Mac App Store.[12]

Prior versions of iMovie had the ability to split an event so that the unwanted portion of a long event could be deleted in order to save memory. This feature was removed in iMovie ‘11 and is no longer available in iMovie or Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). But in FCPX, as a workaround, you can cut out all but the desired part of a project, export that project in ProRes 422 format, and then import that export. This can be used as a smaller source clip instead of the original larger one.

iMovie 10.0 (2013)[13][]

iMovie 10.0 was released on October 22, 2013. 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. Because it was not compatible with projects created with iMovie 9, upgrading to iMovie 10 did not replace the earlier version, but instead moved it to a folder where it could still be used.

iMovie 10.1 (2015)[14][]

iMovie 10.1 was released on October 13, 2015. It added support for 4K video editing and included a major user interface overhaul, as well as the removal of some peripheral features.

iOS version history[]

On June 7 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in his 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.[15] 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.[16] On March 7, 2012, Tim Cook announced an updated version of iMovie for iOS along with the third-generation iPad.

The app was later made free and preinstalled on future Apple devices for no extra charge. Later versions have added support for 4K resolution in version 2.2,[17] Metal graphics processing in version 2.2.5,[18] external displays,[19] and green screen effects in version 2.2.7.[20]

iMovie 3.0 (2022)[21][]

In April 2022, Apple introduced their new version iMovie 3.0 with new features that enable easier and faster creation of edited videos on the iPhone and the iPad. These new features, namely Storyboards and Magic Movie, have been designed to enhance the overall experience of storytelling and movie making process for aspiring creators. The new iMovie Storyboards provide pre-made templates for easier sharing on different content formats and the Magic Movie feature allows effortless transitions and personalization of videos.[22]

System requirements[]

As of September 2022, the minimum requirements are:

NOTE: Older devices that do not support the latest operating system from Apple may be able to download a preceding version of the app.


  1. The history of Final Cut Pro and iMovie detailed in 'Timeline' by Nathan Ingraham, The Verge. 2011-11-09.
  2. Apple - iLife - iMovie HD (2005-03-09). Archived from the original on 2005-03-09. Retrieved on 2019-08-03.
  3. Macworld: First Look: iMovie HD (2005-02-04). Archived from the original on February 4, 2005. Retrieved on 2021-09-27.
  4. Apple - iLife - iMovie (2006-02-02). Archived from the original on 2006-02-02. Retrieved on 2019-08-03.
  5. Apple - iLife - iMovie (2008-03-17). Archived from the original on 2008-03-17. Retrieved on 2019-08-03.
  6. Parker, Nathan (May 14, 2008). Running iMovie '08 on a G4 Mac. Truth is Still Truth. Archived from the original on June 23, 2008.
  7. Pogue, David. "Apple Takes a Step Back With iMovie '08", New York Times, August 27, 2007. Retrieved on January 30, 2008. 
  8. iMovie HD 6 still available to iLife '08 users. (August 10, 2007). Archived from the original on October 31, 2007. Retrieved on August 11, 2007.
  9. Chris Foresman (January 27, 2009). iMovie HD fading into the ether as Apple removes download. Ars Technica. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  10. Apple - iMovie - Make a movie on your Mac. (2010-02-12). Archived from the original on 2010-02-12. Retrieved on 2019-08-03.
  11. iLife - iMovie - Read about movie trailers and more new features. (2011-08-18). Archived from the original on 2011-08-18. Retrieved on 2019-08-03.
  12. Snell, Jason. iLife, iWork, Aperture now available on Mac App Store. Retrieved on April 22, 2012.
  13. Apple - iMovie for Mac (2014-01-16). Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved on 2019-08-03.
  14. iMovie for Mac - Apple (2015-12-18). Archived from the original on 2015-12-18. Retrieved on 2019-08-03.
  15. Serenity Caldwell. "Coming attraction: iMovie comes to the iPhone", June 7, 2010. 
  16. Rosa Golijan. "Additional iMovie iPhone App Details Slip Out", June 14, 2010. 
  17. "Apple updates iMovie with support for 4K video, 3D Touch and more", September 16, 2015. Retrieved on November 7, 2018. 
  18. Juli Clover. "iMovie for iOS Gains Support for iPhone X Display and Adopts Metal for Graphics Processing", April 12, 2018. Retrieved on November 7, 2018. 
  19. Juli Clover. "Apple Updates GarageBand, iMovie, and iWork Apps for Mac and iOS", November 7, 2018. Retrieved on November 7, 2018. 
  20. Use a green-screen or blue-screen effect to superimpose one clip over another. Retrieved on 2019-07-31.
  21. Apple introduces new version of iMovie featuring Storyboards and Magic Movie (en-US). Apple Newsroom. Retrieved on 2022-04-20.
  22. Peters, Jay (2022-04-12). Apple’s latest iMovie update adds new features to help you create videos more quickly (en). The Verge. Retrieved on 2022-04-20.

See also[]

External links[]

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