Sure, use iMovie. iMovie is easy to use and extremely fast. You will be able to produce quality videos much faster than you are used to, once you get up the learning curve.
At some point you may move to an HD-capable camera, and you will want to see them in HD. When you do, a DVD will be a poor option.
AppleMan, this is a good point. Presently, I'm using a dinosaur of a camera and still recording to Mini-DV. So let's say that I take your advice and climb up the iMovie learning curve. What do I do when I want to burn a DVD? Is it easy enough to take a movie and export it for importing into something else to burn? Is there a 3rd party package that will integrate *directly* into iMovie and save steps?
Thanks for your help!
You ask a great question. I will give you my opinion. Just keep in mind that it is only my opinion and not written in stone.
1) There are several alternatives for creating DVDs.
- There is iDVD. You can still get it from Amazon or eBay. Apple has not updated it in several years, so you can get iLife 11, iLife 09, iLife 08, or even iLife 06 and pretty much get the same iDVD. There are two advantages to iDVD. It has great eye candy. For example you can make motion graphics that include some of your movie and do it very easily. You can also create pretty complex menu structures with something that plays automatically, as well as a menu that includes multiple movies as well as chapters within movies.
- There is Toast from Roxio. It does a fine job of making DVDs. It does not have the eye candy or the complexity of iDVD, but it can make simple menus. A big advantage of Toast is that you can buy the BluRay PlugIn and burn disks that are playable in BluRay players. These are not true BluRay, but are AVCHD, which most BluRay players can read. True BluRay is heavily licensed, has big fees, and requires long press runs (ike 10,000 copies, so the Toast alternative with AVCHD is pretty much the only realistic alternative at the consumer level. With Toast, you can burn BluRay compatible disks if you have a BluRay burner. But with Toast, you can burn a BluRay compatible HD disk an a standard DVD. It will not have as much capacity as a BluRay disk, but for a short movie it is fine. You still need a BluRay player to play it, but you don't need a BluRay burner.
- There is Compressor from Apple. Compressor is a companion to Final Cut Pro X. You can burn DVDs or BluRay (AVCHD) disks from compressor. Compressor does not have the eye candy of iDVD, and does not easily make complex menu structures.
- There is a free alternative called Burn. THis is great for burning a simple DVD with limited menus. It is available here. http://burn-osx.sourceforge.net/Pages/English/home.html Information on Burn is here. http://www.creativetechs.com/iq/easily_burn_movies_to_a_dvd_without_apples_idvd. html I have tested Burn, and it works fine with Lion. For quickly sharing a movie or two it is fine. For a more complex menu structure, iDVD is the way to go.
2) When you get ready for HD, there are several alternatives.
- YouTube is a great alternative for sharing in HD or even in DV sizes. I have found that when I make a DVD, I generally try to fill the DVD, and then my audience rarely has time to watch the whole thing. I have found it to be better for me to quickly edit a movie, share it to YouTube so my friends and family can see it while the event is still fresh on their minds, and they can share it with their FaceBook friends etc. I have found that a lot more people have YouTube than have BluRay players.
- Roxio Toast is good for HD through the BluRay plugin feature, but I have found that I rarely use it because (at least for me) my Pioneer BluRay Player takes a long time to boot up (about 5 minutes) and it is a pain to keep up with the disks.
- The Apple TV is a great alternative. You can share your movies to iTunes and watch them at home on a big screen TV through your Apple TV.
- There are similar machines to the Apple TV. The Western Digital Media Player is one example.
- Apple's Compressor can create simple BluRay compatible disks.
iDVD was NOT included on my MBP with Lion, but iMovie was. I've been reading up on a lot of threads and it seems like I could go out and buy iDVD in a retail box of iLife
If you are still within your 15 day return period, nicely explain that you may return the computer without iDVD. That usually does the trick. You MUST speak to a senior advisor to get a free copy. The first tier people cannot do it.
Call Apple they will sent out iDVD at no charge. (There are no realistic substitutes for iDVD.)
I'm not sure why I would do that if Apple is no longer supporting it
Apple still sells iDVD. I received an update to iDVD from Apple not long ago. You simply must purchase it on disk as part of iLife 11 on disk. You'll find iLife 11 for sale on Amazon and eBay.
I *know* that I'm going to want to continue burning DVD's.
Naturally, most people like to make DVDs of their movies.
if I'm going to have to use a 3rd party software to author the DVD's
There is no “problem” with using DVD authoring software that is not iDVD. The problem is, (and I've tried them all) they are not as good as iDVD.
What software is everyone using for DVD authoring?
In the fairly large group of people that I know that are making movies and burning DVD's, they're all using iDVD. Many of us have tried other programs, and they do “work”. What many people like about iDVD is that you can create a DVD that is almost at Hollywood level.
Using iDVD you have a wide variety of themes, backgrounds, menus, moving menus, iDVD is a VERY nice piece of software. If Apple will not give it to you, I strongly recommend you purchase it.
Well I just got around to calling them.
To the person who mentioned the 15 day return period, that doesn't really apply here. I've had my MBP for a few months.
So anyway, I called them today. I had to make a case and speak to several different people, the last of which was a supervisor. But eventually, he did relent and tell me that he'd send me a retail box of iLife '09. He told me that they discontinued iDVD "two years ago", but I see that it WAS included in iLive '11.
So we'll see what happens when it comes, hopefully the end of this coming week.
Thanks for everyone's help!