iMovie leaves a lot to be desired on the iPad. It’s under-featured and actually does more to help the notion of the iPad as a toy than it does the opposite if you ask me. Other apps have the functionality down, but aren’t overly user friendly. The newly released Avid Studio however might finally have combined these two.
When you first open up Avid, you immediately know what to do if you’ve used any other video editing program. Everything from the idea of projects to the layout of the video editing screen is taken straight out of the textbook, and the split screen view with a time line, preview window, and file browser is very much standard. You can import videos, photos, and music from your library as well as play with some included transitions and montage tools that add some animations here, and put text on top of everything. The storyboard works by having a square icon representing your visual media item and an expanded view of that which varies depending on the length. That way it’s easy to both see the individual files in the timeline and how they all mix together. You have three audio tracks, and naturally you can change volume on different elements to mix it all together.
The interface is very iPad-like, with things like pinch to zoom to adjust the timeline scale. Still, I wanted to smash my iPad to pieces several times when I played with this as not everything is overly intuitive. Inserting media into automatic montage segments for instance is as backwards as anything I’ve ever seen, requiring you to first drop something on top of the montage item and then select the spot for it to go in rather than having that step be drag and drop too. Minor annoyances like that exists all around the UI, but it’s generally easy to use.
Video editing on a tablet makes more and more sense as tablets get more powerful, even though the internal cameras still lack a lot for most tablets. Avid, like other iPad video editing apps, supports external video from at least some cameras (it’s not like I have tested them all, hence the qualifier). Between the price of the app ($5), the functionality, and the ease of use, it’s definitely an app worth having – and in my opinion preferable over iMovie.[iTunes]