No. of Recommendations: 2
I haven't used iMovie HD in quite a while, though it still starts on my Mac running Mountain Lion. Compatibility alone may be enough reason to eschew it and remove it from your drive. Some old transitions and plugins may no longer work.

However, I found the current incarnations of iMovie (up to and including version 9.0.9) to be vastly inferior to iMovie HD (also called iMovie 6.0.3) as a movie editor. When iMovie transitioned to its current form, it lost a tremendous amount of its old editing capability, including lots of transitions, titles, and other effects, including a plug-in architecture. Worst of all, what editing and effects that were retained and even restored in later versions lacked the fine control (e.g. in timing, placement, volume, etc.) that long-time users of iMovie HD were used to.

Some people suggested that heavy iMovie HD users switch to Final Cut Express, but FCE offered rather a large learning curve relative to iMovie HD.

Also, now that Final Cut Express has disappeared and been replaced by Final Cut Pro X -- which adopted the same user interface conventions as the current iMovie and was met with rather pointed criticism from the professional movie editing community -- there's not really a good replacement.

I will say that the current version of iMovie excels as a video archiving application, something that iMovie HD was never intended to be. For sticking up YouTube videos of your cat using the toilet, or editing together a video podcast you recorded in your garage, the current iMovie is just fine. And if you're a professional user, you can switch to Avid or try to make do with FCPX.

But for a prosumer or hobbyist trying to put together something nice without making the investment in the higher end products, iMovie 9 simply isn't as capable an editor as iMovie HD.

"But you're not the average user." Yawn. Pro users aren't "average" either, but at least they have an Apple product, crippled though it may be. If anything, YouTube posters aren't likely to be "average" Mac users either. To listen to my naysayers, one might conclude that all anyone needs is the "average user" requirement of e-mail and web browsing and nothing else lest it be "too confusing." Yawn again. I've heard it before, and not just regarding iMovie, but that kind of response misses the point entirely, which is that Apple crippled a perfectly fine preexisting prosumer product, rather than adding to its capabilities.

On the other hand, in addition to noting that the current iMovie is good at archiving videos, I will also say that the current iMovie performs better than iMovie HD did. Some of my very large iMovie HD projects could bring a Mac to its knees, until I started to divide them into shorter projects. Also, because the current iMovie refers to a library of videos, you can use a given clip in multiple projects without the application making multiple copies of the clip. With the old iMovie HD, my clips were kept in my individual project folders, which was a horribly inefficient use of disk space.

My 2 cents.

-awlabrador
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