5 Awesome New Features In iMovie ’11 [Mac]

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imovie featuresBack in August, I described ten features 10 Reasons To Use Apple's iMovie '09 [Mac] 10 Reasons To Use Apple's iMovie '09 [Mac] Read More in iMovie ’09 that made it as useful and some ways better than the original iMovie HD editor. Many long time users of iMovie, including myself, put off using the ’08 and ’09 versions because their features (or lack of) seemed to make the editing process slower, and the editor lacked support for third-party plug-ins.

While Apple has still kept the application closed to third-party developers, it recently released iMovie ’11, which is a part of the latest iLife suite of applications. iMovie ’11 has a handful of additional features that bring back many of the missing features that made iMovie HD so great.


As far as I”˜m concerned, the number one missing feature is the return of the timeline in iMovie ’11.

imovie features

When you first launch the latest version, this feature is not evident by default. You get at it by selecting a project, then clicking the swap button, which will put the Project Storyboard at the bottom of iMovie and the Event browser at the top.

imovie help

Then you click the rows button to view clips in single or multiple rows.

This feature makes longer video productions a little easier to manage and edit.

Audio Features

Another resurrected feature is the ability to adjust audio levels right on the clip without having to open a separate editor panel. This can only be done with clips in the Event browser. To access this feature, you need to select clips and then click the auto button in the iMovie toolbar.

imovie features

Apple also brought back audio effects and an equalizer. So now you can apply voice and other enhancements to audio.

imovie help

Movie Trailers & Themes

One significant tool I can’t wait to use with my next project is the Movie Trailer feature, which allows you to select clips from a project to create a really professional looking trailer. While it’s a template-based tool, allowing for very little customization, it’s a great way to share parts of your movie in a fast-paced short clip. In addition, a few other themes are included for making news and sports productions.

imovie tutorial

People Detection

The process involved in building movie trailers is to include individual clips with one person or a group of people in them. The new iMovie helps streamline that process with what is called People Detection. This not like the Face Detection feature found in iPhoto Use Face Recognition to Organize Photos With iPhoto [Mac] Use Face Recognition to Organize Photos With iPhoto [Mac] Read More . It doesn’t try to find individual unique faces, it simply tracks and tags clips of how many faces are detected in clips, and the distance they are from the camera.

imovie tutorial

It’s takes a while for iMovie to analyze clips for this detection, so be prepared to take a coffee break while you wait. After you click the filter search button, you can view tagged clips by one person, two people, or a group; as well as of people in closeup, medium, or wide shots.

imovie tutorial


Apple also added options for where you can quickly share your iMovie projects. In addition to YouTube, you can now directly upload to projects to Vimeo.com, CNN iReport, and Facebook.  If you have a Mac Os X Server, iMovie includes a feature for creating and publishing podcasts to what is called Podcast Producer.

imovie features

It’s great to see iMovie evolve and start to become a powerful video editor for beginning and advanced users.

Let us know what features you like, or what you still find lacking in the program. Also check out my other article on how to add opening and closing credits to your project in iMovie How To Add Opening & Closing Credits To Your Movies With iMovie '09 [Mac] How To Add Opening & Closing Credits To Your Movies With iMovie '09 [Mac] Read More .

Explore more about: iMovie, Video Editor.

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  1. Keith
    February 2, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I am looking for a way to quickly add a large arrow (or spotlight) to identify my son at the beginning of a soccer highlight video. Can this be done easily in the latest version of iMovie?