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iMovie Review – Is It The Best Video Editor for Mac Users?

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published May 25, 22, updated Jul 12, 24

If you are a Mac user and you are getting started in video editing, it is better if you start with a free video editing software. There is no need to download any external free video editor when you are a Mac user. This is because Mac comes with a pre-installed free video editor called iMovie editor. iMovie is a video editing app from Apple where you will get all the standard and some advanced features.

iMovie is extremely popular among Mac users for video editing because it is completely free and easy to use. In fact, iMovie is also available for iPhone and iPad users. You can start your video editing on your iPhone and transfer the same work to Mac to continue editing on your Mac. But the most important question is if iMovie editor is the best video editor for Mac users. Read our iMovie review and find out a better alternative.

Part 1. Key Features of iMovie

Even iMovie is completely free to use, it competes with several premium video editors in terms of features. There are only a handful of free video editors available that lets you edit 4K videos, and iMovie is one of them. Similarly, there are only a few premium video editors available that support editing the same video project on different devices like iMovie. Here are all the key features of iMovie that you should know.

Templates and Themes – iMovie comes with different templates and themes for creating different types of videos including cinematic videos. There are classy and trending themes available to create trailers and short films. These themes and templates have limited customization options so that you can adjust as per your requirements.

Basic Editing – iMovie lets you combine video clips, split a large video file, trim video parts, crop and rotate video. Besides, you get to zoom videos as well as resize them as you need. You can add texts and titles as well as apply different transitions wherever you want to.

Advanced Editing – You can change speed and turn your video clips into slow-motion videos. You can correct the color as well as stabilize them. Besides, you can apply green screen effect and split screen effect. Moreover, you can reverse video as well as put overlays on videos. iMovie is also capable of recording video and audio if you want to record your screen or webcam video.

Audio Editing – iMovie lets you edit audio as well which is an essential requirement in video editing. You can increase and decrease volume, change speed and add beat markers to a video if required. Coming to audio effects, you can apply fade-in and fade-out effects. You can mute the audio in your recorded video and add a background music instead. Moreover, you can add voiceover and choose royalty-free audio clips.

Transitions and Effects – Even though there are limited visual effects, there are unique and eye-catchy. iMovie keeps on adding new and trending effects with every update so that the users have enough options to make their videos stand out. iMovie also provides different backgrounds that you can use on your video to enhance its quality. Apart from visual effects, there are several standard audio effects available.

User Interface – iMovie comes with a simple and intuitive user interface that lets everyone edit videos instantly without prior experience. This is exactly why some users never go for premium video editors. The user interface is clean, and all options are readily available. You can upload media files on Media Library, and they are automatically categorized from where you can access them instantly.

Part 2. How to Edit Videos with iMovie?

iMovie comes pre-installed on Mac, and hence, there is no need to download and install the application. Coming to how to use iMovie, there are three types of projects you can choose on iMovie. They are Media, Projects, and Theater. Media is where your footages reside, Projects represent the main workspace, and Theater is where your finished projects reside. Here are the steps regarding iMovie edit video.

Step 1: Open iMovie and click on Projects. You will see two options Movie and Trailer. Click on Movie to edit your videos.

imovie project movie

Step 2: Click on My Movie under Project Media and go to My Media. Import your video clips and audio files under My Media.

imovie my movie my media

Step 3: Drag and drop the video clips and audio clips on the timeline in proper order. You can go for iMovie edit audio and video such as trimming as required.

Step 4: Go to Transitions located at the top bar beside My Media and place the desired transitions in between the video clips.

imovie transitions

Step 5: Similarly, go to Titles located at the top bar beside Transitions and place them on the timeline wherever appropriate.

Step 6: Finally, check your edited video on the canvas and then go to the top-right corner and click on Export. You will have to option to save it in Theater and share on social media as well as through email and iTunes.

imovie export

Part 3. Alternative to Edit Videos - Filmora

In spite of iMovie being a good video editor, Mac users search for a better alternative. This is because there are limited transitions and effects available. You can have two video tracks only on the timeline and there is lack of customization. Besides, the advanced features of video editing such as motion tracking are not available. Moreover, there are limited file formats supported for importing and exporting.

Wondershare Filmora is the best alternative to iMovie for Mac users. Filmora is a premium video editor where all the shortcomings of iMovie are taken care of. Filmora supports almost all file formats for media files. There is a wide range of transitions, effects, elements as well as animations available. Besides, there are different styles of texts and titles available along with stock media library. Here are the steps to edit videos with iMovie.

Try It Free

For Win 7 or later (64-bit)

Try It Free

For macOS 10.12 or later

Step 1: Download and install Filmora on your Mac. Launch Filmora and click on New Project.

Step 2: Drag and drop your video clips and audio files Project Media folder. Drag and place the video clips on the timeline and arrange per perfectly. Place audio files on the timeline on a different track.

filmora arrange the photo

Step 3: If you want to apply transitions, go to Transitions at the top bar and drag any transition in between video clips on the timeline. You can also insert texts from Titles and objects from Elements from the top bar.

filmora beautiful transition effects

Step 4: Play the video to see the changes you have made, and click on Export button to save the video when you are satisfied.

filmora export your video

Part 4. FAQs about iMovie

Is iMovie good for video editing?

Yes, iMovie is good for basic video editing. You can edit 4K videos, and iMovie is available on macOS and iOS. If you are a beginner, iMovie is perfect for you. If you want advanced editing features, we recommend Wondershare Filmora.

What's better Premiere Pro or iMovie?

In terms of features and functionalities, Premiere Pro is far better than iMovie. However, Premiere Pro is more for advanced video editing while iMovie is more for beginners. iMovie is simpler to use than Premiere Pro, and hence, beginners will love it.

Can I make YouTube videos with iMovie?

Yes, you can make YouTube videos with iMovie as it has all the required tools and options. Import your video clips and audio files on the timeline, go for iMovie edit clip like trim and crop as required, add transitions, texts, and effects as applicable and publish your finished video on YouTube.

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