iMovie HD '06 is well integrated with other Apple iLife programs. Photos and music can be imported directly from iPhoto and iTunes respectively without leaving iMovie. GarageBand works with iMovie two ways: compositions can be accessed just like iTunes files, or projects can be exported for easy scoring in GarageBand.
As always, iDVD integration is central to iMovie. You can add DVD chapters within iMovie and then easily export the movie to iDVD where you add chapters and burn the disk.
Speaking of exporting, iMovie HD '06 offers multiple options that make it easier than ever to share your video projects. Not only can you send the movie to iDVD to put it on a disk, iMovie has built in compression settings that let you automatically save a project for emailing, Bluetooth, uploading to iWeb, or downloading to an iPod.
This takes a lot of the guesswork out of video compression and is essential now that more and more movies are being shared in ways other than just on DVD.
iMovie HD '06 is a great place to start video editing. Beginning editors and hobbyists will find it easy and intuitive to use—a perfect program for putting together family movies or basic video projects.
If you’re ambitions are to make movies on a larger scale, you’ll find that iMovie allows for a lot of customization and creativity. However, there are certain limits and idiosynchracies that you’re sure to run into as you push the software to its limits. For example, multi-track editing—unavailable in iMovie—is a must for efficiently completing complex projects.
Many of these limitations can be addressed through third-party plug-ins, which can be downloaded and installed to build iMovie into an editing program on par with Final Cut Express or Adobe Premiere Elements. However, if you want those features, you may just be better off paying for one of those intermediate editing programs.
But if you’re satisfied working within the parameters of iMovie—and most beginning and hobby editors will be—you’ll find there’s no reason to pay for a more intensive editing program. With the multitude of audio and video effects, along with the integration with other iLife programs and the ease of sharing, iMovie HD '06 is perfect for family videos, home movies and short creative projects.