ScreenFlow vs. iMovie

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Video editing: some people love it, and some people absolutely hate it. It’s hard enough trying to write a script and craft the perfect video without then having to worry about learning how to use complex video editing software.

Just pause for a minute, why should you edit your video anyway?


Good video editing can give you not only a professional video but also a great viewing experience. Something too many people fail to consider.

"Ok Jay, so editing is important. What are my options?"

  • Hire someone on Fiverr
  • Pay a professional editor
  • Just do it the quick and cheap way of doing it yourself

I know when you’re starting out it’s easy to choose the cheapest option, but before you make that call, I want you to ask yourself this question…As a business owner, is this a good use of my time? Can I outsource it to someone who’s better at it than me so I can focus on doing the things I’m most efficient at?

If you do decide to go it alone and take the plunge into the world of editing, you’re going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to software.

This article is geared specifically towards people whose brand of choice is Apple if you’re a Windows user I recommend reading this article on editing software for Windows

Now that we’ve identified that you're an Apple user, let’s take a look at two of the most popular tools. In this article we’re going to be comparing Screenflow vs. iMovie and looking at 5 key areas:

  • Training
  • Usability
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Cost

1. Training - When you’re learning about a new piece of software, you’d like to know that there is plenty of support if you get stuck. Having a solid library of tutorials is the best way to train your user. After comparing both the iMovie and the ScreenFlow training pieces, you'll see (image below) that iMovie has a well-populated library of "how-to" guides using images to demonstrate tasks. ScreenFlow, on the other hand, uses video tutorials; this is a huge win over iMovie because you can actually see a real human completing the task.

undefined(iMovies training library)

People do learn in different ways and while I understand not everyone will like video training, for most this is the most effective way to learn. Round 1 goes to ScreenFlow Ding Ding!!!

2. Usability - Software that is difficult to use is going to lead to overwhelm and eventually you’re going to stop using it. A good clear interface is what makes both iMovie and ScreenFlow a good fit for beginners. Drag and drop all your video files into the software, where you can quickly get to work on editing your masterpiece. When you compare a high-end software like Adobe Premier Pro to one of these tools, you will really see how much they have dumbed down the interface. This enhances the usability of the tools.

undefined(Adobe Premiere Pro’s more advanced interface)

3. Features - Both iMovie and ScreenFlow are packed with fantastic features, some of the main ones include:

  • Blue Screen
  • Green Screen
  • Text Overlays
  • Audio Level Controls
  • Background Noise Removal

And the list goes on…

In this section, I want to focus on the main differences in both platforms. Starting with iMovie, the first great feature is the auto adjust option. This feature allows you to bring the colours and lighting in your video up to a professional standard, or you if you fancy giving it a go yourself, you can use the manual adjustments. Feeling like adding some drama to your audio? Detach the audio and then add effects like base boost, an effect I absolutely love. Ken Burns is also a great cropping effect as it allows you to break up scenes without it looking too "jumpy".

Something ScreenFlow doesn’t have is the option to increase or slow down speed - something I think should be part of every editor's toolkit. Finally, we have the movie maker templates. Take advantage of pre-configured templates, add your videos, and let iMovie do the rest.

ScreenFlow - The feature I love in screen flow is its built-in screen recording software, great for making tutorials with fantastic post screen recording options. Unlike iMovie, in ScreenFlow, you have the option to be more flexible with the text overlays. Change font types, sizes, colours, and so much more. Despite my love for the screen recording, the "Best Features" award does go to iMovie.

4. Performance - In a world where we are getting less and less patient, it’s important for a tool to perform not only on quality but also on speed. Having used both sets of software for a number of years, I can tell you straight-up that Screenflow wins on performance. Open multiple projects at once, and you’ll still be able to carry out other tasks. iMovie, on the other hand, drains your processing power resulting in slow, sluggish editing when you're not privileged enough to have a powerhouse gaming PC.

5. Price - Priced at $99 ScreenFlow is good value for the money, but when compared to iMovie, which is free, it’s hard to turn down a bargain. I believe ScreenFlow’s screen recording software justifies the price, but for someone starting out with a low budget, it makes sense to start with iMovie.


Despite iMovies almost irresistible free offer, I’m afraid that for me ScreenFlow is still my winner. Quick and easy to manipulate with a simple interface and a ton of extras, my editing software prize goes to ScreenFlow 5.0.

I’m sure by now you’ve made up your own mind on what’s your favourite and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.

Jay Williams

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