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iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual by Aaron Miller, David Pogue

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Chapter 2. The Lay of the Land

If you’re coming to iMovie ’09 from iMovie HD (also known as iMovie 6), you’re likely to be a bit confused; the design of this program is completely different. If you’re coming to iMovie ’09 from any other video-editing program, you’ll be equally baffled. And if you’ve never used a video-editing program at all, well, you’ll probably have no clue what’s going on.

Before you delve into the actual experience of chopping and rearranging your video into a finished masterwork, therefore, it’s worth sampling this brief chapter on what, exactly, iMovie is up to. Here’s where you’ll learn what’s where on the screen, how to tailor the setup to your work habits, and where iMovie actually stores your video.

The Concept of Movie Projects

A project, in iMovie lingo, is an edited movie. The reason you’re learning iMovie in the first place is to create these projects.

In previous versions of iMovie, a project was an icon on your desktop. It was really a cleverly disguised folder, and inside, you’d find all the gigantic movie clips that you’d used in your movie. This was convenient in one way: You could move the whole thing to another computer or back it up easily, for example.

But in another way, it wasn’t ideal. If you wanted to use a particular piece of video in more than one project, you’d have to duplicate it (by pasting it into the second project), which ate up a lot more hard drive space.

iMovie ’09 operates on a totally different system. The idea here is that your ...

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