In case you were wondering -- iMovie and iDVD are still categorical piles of shit. I'm pretty sure they are the worst designed, worst implemented, and buggiest software that Apple has ever released. How did this happen?
Tags: , ,
Current Music: Fluke -- Atom Bomb ♬

55 Responses:

  1. boonedog says:

    iMovie and iDVD are still categorical piles of shit

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    I was wondering when another person was going to pull their head out of the "Mac is God" fog long enough to agree with me on that!

    (don't get me wrong ... I love Macs ... some of my best friends are Macs ...)

    • jwz says:

      I'll thank you for not making me your strawman.

      • boonedog says:

        Don't worry ... I don't actually know what a "strawman" is.
        I really do prefer Macs but iMovie has been driving me nuts lately. I figured it was just cause I don't know much about computers.

  2. gleamicus says:

    Well, they're probably the least used part of the iLife suite, and they don't make apple any real money (since I don't think many people pay for a boxed iLife)...

    and they're both baby steps to Final Cut Pro/DVD Studio Pro, which do make apple real money.

    I think they're just really neglected in favor of iPhoto/iTunes and Final Cut Studio.

  3. Well, something's got to be the worst designed, worst implemented, and buggiest software Apple has ever released, right?

  4. kfringe says:

    Tight deadlines. Limited budget. Unclear specifications. Uninteresting problem set. Anyone who cares spends money to buy something good. Categorical piles of shit are industry best practice. God hates you and wants you to suffer.

  5. dr_memory says:

    A completely un-researched, fact-free guess that I am nontheless 100% sure is correct:

    Nobody uses them.

    I mean, obviously, somebody uses them, or tries to at least. But I'd bet cash money that compared to the number of people who use iPhoto, the userbase for iMovie/iDVD approaches zero. People actually use photos they take, but home movies have been back-of-the-closet dust magnets since the days of the Super-8 camera: everyone thinks it'd be a great idea to edit together a DVD of baby's most precious moments, but nobody actually values their time so little as to actually sit down and do it. The audience being entirely hypothetical, the software languishes.

    Meanwhile, anyone who actually cares about video editing warezesbuys Final Cut.

    • dr_memory says:

      (I really need to write an LJ client that will let me know that I've used the same adverb 4 times in 2 paragraphs.)

    • maxmin says:

      The first thing I do every time I install/upgrade my OS is delete iPhoto.

      And yeah, I use FCP and DVD Studio Pro, so the next step is to delete iMove and iDVD.

    • lrc says:

      I use them for getting in-car video (from when I race) off of my DV tapes and on to DVD.

      • dr_memory says:

        Yeah, I've used them to pull video off of a few old DV tapes as well. My (again, completely made up) assertion isn't that literally nobody uses them, just that the userbase is a tiny, tiny fraction of iPhoto's, and that bugfixes and UI improvements get scheduled accordingly.

    • Never hear of YouTube and the plethora of other video sites? The hoards are using something to edit their home movies posted to them.

  6. violentbloom says:

    So I happen to know how this happened in fact. I'm surprised you don't remember. So back when I was at macromedia we had this project, final cut, that they spent something like 2 years working on and never had anything to show for it. Next thing you know they'd sold the whole team and their project to apple. Then unbelievabley 6 months later they released a product. At the time we wondered how apple had managed to get them to finish the product so fast.

    • twid says:

      But Final Cut, the product you're talking about, is pretty much best-in-class for video editing now and not a buggy piece of crap, so your point doesn't address the original post.

      For me, only iDVD is craptastic. I haven't had any real problems with iMovie other than the occasional hard crash. It always starts right back up, so I've just learned to save often.

    • this_old_man says:

      So I also happen to know how this happened -- I was one of the co-authors of iMovie 1.0. iMovie shares no code with Final Cut; the original idea was to lobotomize the FC codebase, but the subsystems were so integrated and frankly too much for us to get our heads around in the time we had, so we wrote iMovie almost from scratch, starting with an app framework I'd written earlier. It was an extremely tight schedule, to correspond with the release of the first firewire iMacs in '98. We had something like six months to write it. QuickTime didn't support DV at the time, so we had to figure out a lot (reading a lot of poorly translated technical docs), and write/invent a lot of new UI code (iMovie was written on OS 9 originally). There were big disagreements on the team about architecture; e.g., destructive vs. non-destructive video editing, handling timebases, etc. So 1.0 was a frankenstein of sorts. But mostly it was the insane schedule that lead to engineering decisions that we all hated and regretted. The small 1.0 team split up not too amicably. 3.0 was a rewrite that left the codebase worse than before. The project seems to chew up engineers and spit them out.

      A lot of people use iMovie, and I find it useful for occasional simple DV work. It does have an orthogonal view of video editing, compared to Final Cut. Folks I know who love Final Cut hate iMovie, and vice versa. iMovie was designed for non-pro users familiar with the conventions of editors in other domains: word processors, etc. ignoring the conventions of higher-end video editing stations.

      And iDVD shares no code with iMovie.

  7. yosh says:

    Apple doesn't really care to provide *quality* software so long as it's just good enough to get you to buy the hardware. All software sales combined is less than 5% of their total revenue. (the iTunes store brings in something like 10%)

    They just like people to think they're a software company.

    • jesus_x says:

      But no one buys macs for just the hardware. You buy a mac because either you want OSX/OSX only software, or because you're an idiot who is buying the look. We'll ignore the latter because they also buy Hummers in suburbia. If you just want the hardware, you'll buy from another cheaper vendor and get the exact same hardware in a different case. You buy it for the software. Apple is a software company who thinks they're a hardware company.

  8. Is there anything between iMovie/iDVD and FCP/DVD Studio Pro in capability and price? I only use iMovie/iDVD for making DVDs of videos of gigs, and shelling out big bucks for FCP would be overkill. Having said that, iDVD's collection of cheesy, vaguely Hallmarkish home-movie menu themes is a bit naff.

    • dr_memory says:

      Final Cut Express is $300, dunno if that qualifies or not. There doesn't seem to be anything sitting in the mid-range between iDVD and DVD Studio Pro -- mabe Roxio has something that fits the bill.

  9. curlyeric says:

    The more I talk with people the more I think that the less you know about computers the more usable the two applications are. My father has never used a video editing/dvd creation software in his lie and he took to the two applications like a fish to water, I on the other hand cant stand either one.

  10. lrc says:

    I think that the only way you could say that is if you've never used iPhoto.

    • jwz says:

      I have used iPhoto (enough to know not to try to use it again). And it sucks, but seriously, iDVD is like, a hundred times suckier than iPhoto. I realize that is saying a lot.

      • lrc says:

        It's possible that since I've used other photo editing software, I know how bad iPhoto is. Since I haven't used other video editing software, I don't fully appreciate how bad iMovie and iDVD are.

        In retrospect, it occurs to me that none of them even approach Apple documentation in sheer suckiosity.

        • meadelante says:

          I just like how I have 22,000 pictures in what I consider one big page so I can find an image without browsing folder by folder and leave my editing to CS3

          • lrc says:

            I'm not sure what CS3 is.

            The "only one library" feature of iPhoto really sucks. I have pictures that I may not want everyone (like my 13 year old nephew) stumbling upon quite so easily. Without downloading 3rd party software, it's all in one big, unmanagaable mess.

            Then there's the scaling issues when libraries get that big, it takes about two weeks for my laptop to bring the software up.

            • meadelante says:

              I apologize, I meant Photoshop CS3. On my computer though, which is very new, I have zero delay or issues with it so for me it works just fine.

              I know what you mean about pictures other people shouldn't see =D Even worse is that unless you take them out you can't use the screensaver. I should have left them in and warned people to stay out of my computer room

              • bino says:

                You can have multiple iPhoto libraries... hold the option key while iPhoto is starting up and you can create a new library or change the one to load. I use that to keep digital camera shots separate from game screenshots I am organizing.

                I do minimal photo editing, and rarely at that - I would not choose iPhoto for anything more advanced.

      • edouardp says:

        It gets better with every iLife release. The current version is ... acceptable. Well, for my "archive the photos from my camera" needs anyway. For editing I call out to Photoshop.

        I tried iMovie once, and it was no use to me - perhaps for just DV footage and some simple editing and titling needs it might be OK...

        Final Cut Pro seemed OK. (But avoid Apple Compressor - the FCP tool that outputs to various video formats like h.264 - it's worthless. FFMpegX is better, and free.)

  11. baconmonkey says:

    you clearly have not been drinking enough of the kool-aid.

  12. pushupstairs says:

    having worked at an Apple Store for a spell, I can cetegorically confirm that iDVD is the most gastronomically fucking annoying, horrid, useless piece of shit anyone has ever programmed.

    ... including the Atari 2600 E.T. game.

  13. toonhead_npl says:

    They're not THAT bad. I use them occasionally, and they're OK. I'd never pay money for them, though. I've never run into bugs, but the interface just doesn't have Apple's usual ease of use and intuitiveness.

  14. skreidle says:

    I wonder the same thing about that flagship app, Safari.

  15. momomoto says:

    Even worse than Finder?

  16. jieves says:

    iMovie gets used a LOT in schools. In fact, I would say that at this point schools are iMovie's primary reason for existing.

    For slapping some titles and transitions on some video you need to get out in a hurry, it's really great. My problem with it is that once you move beyond that usage it gets really hard to use because it straightjackets you.

    iDVD is not bad, provided that all you want to do is make an iMovie into a DVD.

    Obligatory: If you think that iMovie is bad, (don't) try Moviemaker!

    And while we're taking nominations: My vote for Worst Apple Software Ever goes to OS X Server 10.2 based on the sheer lack of sensible documentation for such a buggy amalgamation of half-written code. But I would imagine most of the people commenting never had the joy of working with it in a production environment ...

    • ultranurd says:

      My dad is the tech coordinator at an elementary school, and they gave iBooks to every student last year; the teachers have had them for a few years longer. Apparently they're doing lots of movie making instead of book reports.

      • pozorvlak says:

        Jesus. That school's clearly not short of budget...

        • jieves says:

          Apple discounts their laptops heavily for schools--and if you promise to do a "one-to-one" program, the discounts get even more dramatic.

          When you go with education pricing, Macs are usually cheaper than Dells--even with a license for Parallels and XP (if you have bulk XP pricing) so you can run them as either OS X or XP machines (for educational applications that absolutely require XP) and still get the hardware benefits.

          The only thing that's missing, ever since Appleworks was left to rot, is a bundled office suite.
          Well, that and Enterprise-level management ....

          Man, I sound like a PR tool ...

          • pozorvlak says:

            Well, the idea of an elementary school buying laptops of any kind for all its students blows my mind, frankly. I had to wait until grad school before an educational establishment bought me a laptop. And we were lucky...

  17. ninjarat says:

    Apple doesn't want the iLife suite competing with Final Cut Studio. They (iMovie, iDVD) are sufficient for slapping something together from a consumer DV camcorder but they are worthless for any kind of serious editing.

  18. hafnir says:

    For my cheapo, slap-it-together home movie projects, I've gotten the hang of iMovie and I think it's good enough. I wouldn't want to use it for anything anyone would pay for, though.

    But I still find iDVD pretty darn hateful. and generally insulting to the user. And Toast is only slightly better.

    • ilgazc says:

      Either while buying Mac hardware or simply upgrading OS X (if they included) you somehow paid for it. They actually sell iLife upgrade as a new package too.

      What saves the OS preinstalled software, browsers from critism is simply the fact that users think it is free so they don't critise too much.

      What preinstalled/bundled software does it: Nobody dares to ship a competing product.

  19. ilgazc says:

    I simply said the companies chickening to ship anything competing with Apple in Apple platform on Apple segment are to blame for the lameness and obvious problems with iMovie/iDVD.

    I am not a fanboy or any kind of fan to anything and thats why I get flamed especially on Mac scene. A OS like OS X and the only viable software to create a DVD movie is iDVD, doesn't sound strange? Forget the Toast by Roxio, it is and always have been a good DVD/CD burning software.

    I really know free software/open software scene as well. I know the professional software scene too as I make life over professional video. I am not nuts to suggest makeisofs to create dvds!

    I didn't read all the 50 comments and if there are people flaming you for daring not to like Apple software, they are the worst thing ever happened to Mac and they won't go away. I guess my comment and I became victim of them somehow.