I am writing an assignment about basic video editing software, and I need to mention video editing software that is Mac OS X compatible.

As a Linux user, I personally don't have access to a computer running Mac OS X and have never used one. I would therefore like to know what software comes pre-installed on Mac OS X (I'm not sure if this may vary for each release, but say for the 3 latest releases (10.6 - 10.8)), as well as the most used paid / free software available.

I'm not interested in every available application, but only the most commonly used for basic purposes.

5 Answers 5


Like Ian C. mentioned, Quicktime is the only thing pre-installed. You can do the basics: rotate, scale, and merge clips.


iMovie is the consumer standard. It comes with the iLife suite. It has an easy to use interface and can create some pretty fancy and professional looking videos. The current version has a tool to make trailers for home movies, includes great control over the audio, has facial recognition, and supports the AVCHD format.


Final Cut Pro X is the prosumer application for video editing. It is the successor to Final Cut Express 4 and Final Cut Pro 7. It, like iMovie, is a paid application. It has a important feature which is not in iMovie: multicam editing. Final Cut Pro X allows you to overlay multiple video tracks, then edit them simultaneously. It also is a 64-bit application.


  • "It also is a 64-bit application, which allows it to run faster." -- that is not true. In many cases going from 32-bit to 64-bit addressing actually slows applications down. Word sizes are much bigger which means the smallest blocks you can move in and out of memory have suddenly gotten larger. The advantage of 64-bits is in the addressable memory space: it's essentially unlimited compared to 32-bit addressing which can get you, at best on modern OSes, 4GB of addressable space.
    – Ian C.
    Feb 25, 2012 at 18:40
  • @IanC. Ok, I'll take that out. Thanks for letting me know!
    – daviesgeek
    Feb 25, 2012 at 19:42

Pre-installed? QuickTime is really the only thing pre-installed. You can rotate and merge video clips with it, but not much else.

You can buy, for very little money, the iLife pack of applications. You'll find that it's pretty common for Mac owners to buy this one. This bundle comes with iMovie and that's the entry-level video editing application most Mac users know.

  • 1
    My MacBook Pro came with iLife. Feb 25, 2012 at 17:23
  • @Mahnax neat. Mine didn't. Neither did my iMac. I think, possibly, my wife's MBPro did...
    – Ian C.
    Feb 25, 2012 at 21:44
  • Huh, interesting. When did you get them? My MBP is late 2011 (bought it ~ December 1). Feb 25, 2012 at 21:49
  • 2008, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
    – Ian C.
    Feb 26, 2012 at 3:31
  • Ah, okay. My Mac Mini came with it too, from 2008. Feb 26, 2012 at 3:53

Just to note that iMovie can be considered to be a pre-installed App when you buy a Mac, it is merely not included with OS upgrade disks.


There's also avidemux for Mac OS X.

  • Welcome to Ask Different! Thanks for posting an answer. It is most helpful not post just a link, but to add information about the link as well. Could you please add some more information to your answer about avidemux? What are the pros/cons of it? Do you use it? If so, what do you like about?
    – daviesgeek
    Feb 28, 2012 at 22:01

Apple iMovie is the best for Mac

  • Exposing why your answer is correct would go a long way in helping the OP and others who have this same question understand your reasoning.
    – Allan
    Mar 27, 2020 at 9:27

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