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iMovie for iPad. Are you making the most of it?

iMovie is a gleaming jewel in Apple's content creation crown. Much like GarageBand, an app that we feature weekly here on iPad Creative, iMovie enables everyday folk to create beautiful things. iMovie for iOS has always been a pleasure to use, but it wasn't until the latest update that it became essential for just about every iPad owner.

Not just for iPad or iPhone video

What you may not know is that iMovie for iOS now supports a broad range of video formats. As long as your camera encodes video using the MP4 container format there is a good chance that it will work. So far we have tested several smartphones, including the LG Optimus 3D, Nokia N8, and a handful of video cameras, all of which worked perfectly with iMovie. The video seen above features video clips captured using both the iPhone 4S and Nokia N8.

The basics

Getting your raw video into the iPad for editing with iMovie can be a tad tricky. Basically you have just 2 options. You can either import your video into iTunes via a regular computer and then sync it over to your iPad as part of an iPhoto album, or you can transfer your video from your camera to your iPad using the Apple Camera Connection Kit. The iTunes route is much more reliable (and cheaper for those with a computer), but the CCK option is quicker and more direct. We suggest you try the iTunes route first, you can always invest in the CCK at a later date.

Why iMovie for iOS is often more satisfying to use than iMovie for OS X

At this point you may be wondering why you shouldn't just stick to using iMovie on the Mac? It's certainly true that the OS X version of iMovie will give you many more options, some of which are hard to wave goodbye to, but what you sacrifice in options you make up for in speed and simplicity with iMovie for the iPad.

In iMovie for iOS Apple have called upon the considerable power of the graphics processor to assist the the CPU with the heavy lifting. What might take 1 hour on a fast MacBook Pro will likely only take 30 minutes on the iPad, yes, even when working with 1080p video. Not only is it quicker but there will be no fan noise or excess heat coming from the iPad.

Still room for improvement

iMovie for iPad has plenty of room to grow. There are many features yet to make their way over from the Mac version, but don't let the simplistic nature of its current incarnation put you off, you might be surprised just what you can create.

App Store Link: iMovie

Further reading: All GarageBand posts

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Reader Comments (4)

Well, iMovie isn't bad, but a main problem is the lack of options. Adding text to the video should be mandatory, but they only have 10 or so predefined designs and 3 positions on the screen. Making a simple movie with just two types of cuts (hard and blend) is probably fine, but once you want to get creative it let's you down. Basically the opposite of Garage Band.

Oh, and uploading a 10-minute movie to Youtube takes a couple of hours. So the gain of speed through processing is lost compared to the desktop version.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertickbite

Interesting. I've not found uploading to YouTube to be any slower.

Regarding options: Yes, it certainly needs more options, which will come in time, but getting the basics in place was surely a priority and with the most recent update Apple achieved this - and then some in my opinion. To be fair GarageBand is also missing many features from the Mac version too. In short, there's work to be done, but that doesn't mean that the current versions of both apps are not perfectly usable.

November 23, 2011 | Registered CommenteriPad Creative

I've just got back from holiday in Paris and have been editing my video footage on my iPad 2 using iMovie and my camera connection kit. It is awesome to say the least. I was even editing video whilst in my hotel room at night and on the flight home too. My Toshiba Camileo HD camera works perfectly.

The main benefit for me over the desktop version is like everything in iOS, convenience.

1 feature I hope they bring over soon is the ability to have music layered behind audio in video clips, rather than it automatically ducking out. Oh and the ability to use iTunes purchased music that still has DRM applied (it would cost me £100s to upgrade to non-DRM.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternizy

Strike my last. I've found a way that you can layer music and other sounds with iMovie for iPad. If you slightly increase the volume of your music track (double tap the track) it will remove the automatic ducking.

November 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternizy

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