Help with iMovie on the Mac

macOS and Mac Apps

Hello all, I need step by step directions on being able to create a movie, and first adding an audio clip which starts and finishes playing prior to adding a video clip to the same project. I hope this makes since. I'm using the Mac Book Pro for this project.



Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Friday, June 26, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

iMovie is accessible, but you have to wrestle with it. Frustrations aside, yes you can create a basic video with it. The tutorials which helped me out were this one: and this one: .

Your best friend are the keyboard shortcuts. There should be a list accessible through the help menu. The three biggest frustrations I faced were playhead positioning, volume control, and transition effects.

The playhead isn't too bad. It's a matter of getting accustomed to the keystroke commands, but occasionally the playhead may be positioned in the middle of a frame. You can easily fix this by nudging the playhead forward or back with the arrow keys, but it's something that can throw you off if you're not prepared. Volume control is a massive pain. The volume control handle on the video object in the timeline does not work. You have to coax the volume control in the clip control window into working, and even then it will jump up and down in irregular steps. I would vent my frustrations, but then my post would be removed. On a related note, your best option for moving a clip around once it's already in the timeline is to select, cut, move the playhead to where you want it to start, and then paste it. Interacting with the dragh handles and using the arrow keys will only move it one excruciating frame at a time, and most videos have at least 30 of those per second. Lastly are transition effects. They work, but you better like the default effect applied with the keystroke because that whole drag and drop thing does not work. Other than that, it's just a matter of getting used to the interface. VO+j is your bestest friend to jump around the various sections in the iMovie window.

Last thing: iMovie is best suited to video. Cutting and deleting an unwanted section of footage will cause the next section of footage to move back in the timeline to start right after the previous bit of footage. This is in contrast to working with audio where this process must be done manually. If you want to work with audio, I suggest you work in another program and then drop the completed audio track into iMovie afterward. I recommend you don't drop background audio into the dedicated backghround audio track. It's a broken, buggy mess which will throw Voiceover into a loop.