So recently I got my new MacBook Pro, thanks to IBM.

We do more and more things now with rich media and especially video that the team thought it would be a good idea to get a few of us in the Systems & Technology Group comms team Macs to help us do some of that stuff ourselves. I’ve never really played with a Mac and so getting used to the keys, touchpad and interface was something new. I’m still not totally happy with Finder. Some features it shares with it’s distant cousin Linux so that helped  little.

What really helps though is the speed. This is has an i7 processor with 8GB memory and a 250 GB SSD – to say it is fast is something of an understatement – especially when you compare it to my Lenovo T400.

Before using iMovie and Final Cut in anger on a real project for work I started using it at home. By the way we got some video cameras too, Panasonic HDC-TM700 which take great video but aren’t supported for direct import into Final Cut. So home movies… I was at my parents a week ago, for my birthday, with my wife and kids. Being that time of year there was loads of food around in the garden and on the trees, so that was my theme, especially as I was in the middle of IBM Summit at Start, for which I knocked up another clip – more on that later.

So this is my first go at using iMovie. May be I shouldn’t be surprised at how easy it is to use but most of the features were pretty easy to work out and there are quite a few others that let you control the action with a bit more control.

So the following Wednesday I think it was I went to Start and got to walked around the gardens and took some clips of the Garden Party in the morning before most of the people show up.

Obviously by this point I had found the music and transition section and was play a bit too much with them. However, it’s not until you’ve played with all the bits and bobs that you realise what works and what doesn’t – plus going over the top lets you find the good and bad in the product.

The drag and drop interface does mean you can create videos in seconds, but for tight editing it wasn’t always the right tool but as it integrates into Final Cut I found a rough cut can be exported as XML to Final Cut – just don’t bother adding fancy transitions or music as all will be lost in the move. Simple cross dissolve will remain though.

So Final Cut is the next thing I need to take a look at and start playing with, think that will be a longer job.

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