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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

From Macworld: Steve Jobs on new versions of iMovie and iDVD

Just posted a quick dispatch from this morning’s Steve Jobs keynote at Macworld San Francisco, over on the Fast Company blog.

But I wanted to mention here two of the product demos that were most relevant to the CinemaTech audience: new versions of iMovie and iDVD.

On iMovie:

Jobs said, “The cost of HD cameras has really come down. You can get an HD camera for under $1600 – and they’re continuing to drop. You can edit HD right in iMovie. This year, we’re adding animated themes, real-time effects and titles, new audio tools and sound effects. You can now have multiple open projects. To export to iPod, it’s one command. It will compress [the movie] and put it in the right format. And you can create video podcasts right in iMovie.”

He does a quick demo. The animated themes offer really nifty possibilities for opening titles and transitions. The sample footage involves a family traveling through Italy, and at the transitions, there’s a theme that looks like a passport being stamped, with videos moving across the screen. Another gives you a scrapbook effect, with still photos and video “taped” to the pages.

On to iDVD. (No demo of this.) “You can make widescreen DVDs now, which is great if you have a widescreen TV. Magic iDVD lets you choose a theme, and drop in movies or photos. We’ve got new themes, vastly improved slideshows, and enhanced map video editing. We also now support third-party DVD burners.”

It’s neat stuff – but I was surprised about two things.

- Even after last week’s Google Video Store announcement, Apple still forces indie content creators to give their work away for free on the iTunes Music Store (only big media companies are permitted to charge for their video content.) That seems like a losing strategy, especially for a company whose products are intended to foster individual creativity.

- Still no feature films offered by the iTunes Music Store. Do Hollywood studios not trust Apple's FairPlay DRM for their most valuable products?