Throw Out the Old

The debate over iMovie ’08 continues — with many people expressing disappointment over the loss of timeline, visual effects and sound functions. I haven’t used it and I’m not sure if I ever will. But I love the idea of it. Why? Three reasons:

First, it embodies a clear and uncompromising point of view about what the “end user” really wants. And it fearlessly throws away old ideas to get there.

Second, it comes from the mind of one person. According to Apple, it was initially developed by one engineer, who, frustrated with current tools, including iMovie, created something else, at first just for himself. Groups rarely design great software. People do.

Third, it includes new user interface elements (skimming) that increase human/machine bandwidth. You feel a connection to the software because it does a better job of connecting to your nervous system. Think of the mouse, the iPod’s scroll wheel, or the iPhone’s multi-touch screen. They all connect you to the machine much more closely than what came before. You have a greater sense of control, and you enjoy using the machine more.

Frankly, I’m also unmoved by all this nostalgia for the old iMovie. The notion that it allowed for precise editing is silly. It was impossible to trim a cut carefully or do all kinds of things professionals expect. And it was slow. The idea that there wasn’t a better way was never credible to me.

Finally, the new iMovie is designed to shine in all-digital work environments, which frankly, is where the consumer (and everybody else) is going, sooner rather than later. I’d be very surprised if any home user is shooting on tape five years from now.

Apple now has a new platform. And they’ll add all kinds of features as time goes by. Creative destruction is what new things are made of.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Consumer Editing, User Interface, Workflow

One Comment on “Throw Out the Old”

  1. Robin Buday Says:

    Don’t worry, people will catch on. Did you notice they incorporated that skimming functionality into the web as well? I love Web 2.0…

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