Without answering my own question I’ll leave it as ‘different strokes for different folks.’ Apple’s iMovie is a great video editing app with all kinds of bells and whistles aimed mostly at the rest of us, and not the videographer, the professional, or the wannabe. That’s where MovieMator fits.
What you get with MovieMator obviously is a labor of love. Oh, and just like iMovie, MovieMator does 4k video editing (which, by the way, can be captured in an iPhone). Whether its a commercial app or a free app, the key is product differentiation so MovieMator has a few options you won’t find in iMovie.
The user interface is familiar, more so if you remember iMovie from back in the day when it was a classy and inexpensive non-linear video editor. Movie clips to the left, movie to the right, video clip timeline on the bottom.
Can you say ‘unlimited tracks?’ MovieMator does that. Drop in text and titles over video clips, even set up a simple picture-in-picture effect with multiple video clips. All the basics are built in– trim, crop, merge, split, rotate, plus color options for brightness, saturation, contrast and a whole bucket load of transitions and effects filters.
The app shares much with iMovie of yesteryear, including all kinds of transitions, dozens of video filters and effects, but the claim to fame here might be in the number of video formats that can be imported into MovieMator.
Over 160 different video file formats can be imported into MovieMator; some I’ve never heard of. These are the basics:
AVI, MP4, MPG, MPEG, WMV, ASF, RM, RMVB, TIVO, DPG, VOB, 3GP, 3G2, DAT, MOV, FLV, F4V, DVR-MS, MKV, MOD, TOD, AP3, AIF, DV, NUT, NSV, WebM, MXF, VRO, WTV, OGV, M4V
No decent Mac video editor is worthy of the platform unless it can do audio, and MovieMator is no slouch, either. I can handle most of the familiar audio formats and a few that are seldom used but might be.
MTS, TS, M2TS, TP, TRP,TOD, HD WMV, HD MKV, HD MOD, HD MOV, HD FLV
That’s for importing video and audio. Exporting a finished video project can be done using formats from 4k to FLV.
4K, M4V, MJPEG, MOV, SWF, VP9, WMV, WebM
AVI(DivX), AVI(MJPEG), AVI(Xvid), AVI(MPEG4), AVI(WMV), AVI(H264), AVI(HUFFYUV), AVI(RAW),
MKV(H264), MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MP4(H264), x264-medium, x265-medium, XDCAM-HD42, 3GP, ASF, F4V, FLV(H264)
MovieMator is also web friendly and socially happy, so videos can be uploaded to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo and other online destinations. There’s much to like here, especially considering the price tag. It’s free. That bothers me. But only a little. The app developer has other video converter and player apps that have a price tag so there’s a business model in there somewhere. Plus, MovieMator competes directly against iMovie, also free, so it’s not like a hefty price tag would encourage users to try other apps from the same developer.