When I saw Avid show up in the app store the other day, I was excited to see some additional video editing tools available for the iPad.  The feature descriptions looked cool and although I wanted to wait for it to go on sale – I jumped in pretty much right away.  I’ve used iMovie more than a few times to edit video and have found it to be lacking in some areas most of which seem to be accommodated by Avid’s offering.  After my purchase and a deeper review, I’ve found that not everything is roses but Avid does beat iMovie in a few key areas.  What I’m really hoping for is that each will continue to update their product such that editing video on the iPad will become even better over time.

Please see the following table for feature descriptions and comparison between the two applications:

Both applications offer multiple sharing options and I would have to say iMovie probably wins in this category.  Both export to YouTube, Facebook and through iTunes.  Avid offers sharing through email but that seems impractical.  iMovie allows sharing to Vimeo (a plus) and CNN iReport.  I don’t plan to use this feature but I’m sure some people must find it useful or it wouldn’t be offered.

Avid makes it easier to make detailed edits and cuts to clips.  The controls allow for very precise cutting and pasting of content right in the timeline.  Similar features in iMovie seem less precise or don’t exist (i.e. you cannot insert a photo in the middle of a video clip) and Avid titles and font effects offer many more options than what you’ll find in iMovie.

On the flip side, if you’re creating a video explaining what is going in a scene or reviewing software, not having the voice over capability is a pretty huge missing function and I could not quickly determine a viable work around.  Also, I’ve read that the first generation iPad has trouble with Avid, so if you’re using the older model, proceed with caution.

Based on what I’ve seen thus far, I can’t determine a clear winner.  Both cost $4.99 so price isn’t a consideration either.  I’ll likely be using some combination of both until one of them steps up to offer missing features.

Have you tried either or both of these editing tools on the iPad?  What are the features you like best?  What would you like to see added.


Versions reviewed:

Software:

Avid Studio, Version 1.0 by Avid Technology, Inc.

iMovie, Version 122 by Apple Inc

Hardware:

iPad 2 iOS 5.0.1