For those who don't read Japanese, this entry's title means "iMovie: loveMovie? hateMovie! But not really." I had a bad experience with iMovie the other day. But I still love it.
What happened was this: last Christmas, my dad gave my wife and I a digital camera. Since then, we've amassed a small collection of photos of our two year old son, which he is constantly asking to look at. They're all on the computer, so looking at them means stopping working to show them to him. As much as I love my son and the photos, I've gotten awfully tired of looking at them over and over and over... So my wife suggested making a slide show of them and burning them to video CD. Great idea! Enter kiraiMovie!
The first and biggest problem arose while importing all the still photos into iMovie. I couldn't figure out why it took so darned long to process each one--after all, once you've scaled the picture down to TV resolution and converted it to video format once, that shouldn't have to be done again for each frame. After the painfully slow process of importing about three-quarters of the pictures, a disaster struck, after which I discovered why everything was running so slowly. Why first, what came next second.
The reason that everything ran so slowly is that apparently iMovie applies the Ken Burns effect (which slowly zooms in on the photo) to still photos by default during the import process. Maybe I turned it on before starting to import, but I don't think so. So I had to wait while it scaled each photo 150 times (30 times per second for five seconds). Ugh. And as if that weren't bad enough...
The real problem came when my computer ran out of hard drive space for virtual memory. I'm not entirely certain why this happened--I had a free gigabyte on the partition where MacOS X lives--but my guess is that there's a memory leak in the Ken Burns effect. When space ran out, the OS suggested that I close some applications to free up memory. I did. Big mistake.
When certain applications close, they write their preference file to the hard drive. If there's no space available on the hard drive, they don't just keep the old file--they wipe it out and save an empty preferences file. So I lost my preferences for a few apps. The most serious problem was with Mail. The next time I launched, among other things, my in box was empty, and all but one of the email accounts was missing! After a little stress, I discovered that by reentering my account information, I was able to get all the mail in my in box back, but there's still a lingering problem where, when I return to my in box from another folder, it tells me that one of the mail boxes is already locked. Fortunately, it's one that I don't need to receive mail in these days, so I just open it read-only.
Okay, so I got that all cleared up. Whew! Then came the next little problem. I say little, because it's more of an inconvenience than a problem, and it's nobody's fault.
After I got all of my photos imported (no Ken Burns this time) and added some music, it was time to export in video CD format. iMovie (at least the version I have) doesn't have that capability built in, but I have a plugin from Toast that takes care of it. Unfortunately, the plugin only works under MacOS 9 (I've got an old version). So I had export the project to a QuickTime file (just to be safe--maybe the MacOS 9 version of iMovie could have opened the project, but I wasn't about to take that chance), reboot under MacOS 9, import the movie into a new project, export it in video CD format, reboot under MacOS X, and burn it to disk.
One of these days, I'm going to have a faster Mac with newer versions of iMovie and Toast. Until then, I'm pretty happy with what I've got. We watched the CD last night. That little boy of ours has got to be the cutest boy ever.