Alongside iPhoto, GarageBand, iWeb and iDVD, Apple's new iLife '09 suite features a revamped version of iMovie.

iMovie '08 didn't win many admirers amongst Mac users, so iMovie '09 only has to be about 10% better to make iLife '09 a worthwhile investment.

"iMovie '09 expands on the revolutionary super fast movie creation introduced in iMovie '08 by adding the depth users want," says Apple. Is this a veiled admission that iMovie '08 was way too simplistic?

Greater precision

Apple believes you'll be "blown away" by the new software – Steve Jobs would undoubtedly have shouted 'BOOM!' to ram the point home. "iMovie '09 adds powerful, yet easy-to-use new features to let you create a movie quickly or add refinements and special effects to your project if you have more time," says Apple.

"Drag and drop one clip on top of another to reveal new advanced editing options, including replace, insert, audio only, and even picture-in-picture or green screen."

During the Macworld 2009 demo, iMovie '09 certainly looked far tighter and more powerful. A new 'Precision Editor' has been introduced, enabling you to skim and click on a magnified film strip to view your video clips and fine tune any edits. It shows exactly where one clip ends and another begins.

Amongst the other features, iMovie '09 also serves up some clever video stabilisation technology (to reduce camera shake), plus a collection of new titles, transitions, cinematic effects, speed changes and animated travel maps.

iLife '09 will be available at the end of January and costs £69 ($79).