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Old Apr 11, 2013, 09:30 PM   #1
axisD
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importing clips in imovie

hello all, just got my first mac, and I'm about to experiment with imovie for the first time. Sorry if this is a simple question, but I want to know how to import only a part of a clip from my HD video camera.

I have my Sony HDR-CX160 connected via USB, and I'm at the import menu. The controls only give me the option to play, go to the next clip, or go back a clip. Then when I click on "import checked", it gets ready to import the whole clip thats stored in the camera. Some of the footage I recorded is over ten minutes long and I only want to use about 30 seconds of it. How do I choose the part of the clip that I want to import into imovie?

I used to use premiere about ten years ago, so Im used to being able to just play the clips in the capture screen, and click on "record" at the part I want. Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 10:31 PM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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As you probably used tape back then, it was easier to just capture a portion of a take (clip), but now with files, it is a bit more complicated. As far as I know, iMovie does not give you the option to just import a part of a clip (take).

You can either use QuickTime Player to trim the clip and then Save As or Export the trimmed clip to then import that trimmed clip in iMovie, or you can use MPEG Streamclip to open the clip you want, set in and out points (use the keyboard "I" and "O" to set in and out, "J", "K", "L" can be used to play forwards and backwards at different speeds) to trim it to the selection you want, then press CMD+E to export as QuickTime (.MOV) using the Apple Intermediate Codec as Compressor and Uncompressed as Sound if you want to further import into iMovie.

If you have more questions, ask away.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 10:40 PM   #3
axisD
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that definitely helps. It was driving me nuts wondering why I couldn't find one bit of information on doing this, haha. So if I use one of the methods you mentioned, will there be any loss in quality from my clips? I want everything to be in it's original form if possible.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axisD View Post
that definitely helps. It was driving me nuts wondering why I couldn't find one bit of information on doing this, haha. So if I use one of the methods you mentioned, will there be any loss in quality from my clips? I want everything to be in it's original form if possible.
Since the original material will be captured by a sub-par sensor and then compressed using a highly compressive and lossy codec (AVCHD), using MPEG Streamclip will not introduce further quality loss, and using QT Player will probably not introduce a further visible quality loss.

Since you have to handle MTS files, these two threads might prove helpful, though the Video Container Switcher first before going the longer route I lined out.

You could try the following two methods involving free applications to get editable or playable video files from .MTS files.
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 12:31 AM   #5
axisD
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thanks a bunch! i appreciate the help.
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 04:23 AM   #6
daybreak
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You have all the information at your finger tip. iMovie HELP section and YouTube. Key in iMovie.
What version of iMovie are you using. You should be able to import and then stop. Also can can import and then delete you unwanted material.
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 01:41 PM   #7
axisD
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I'm not sure what version it is, but it came with the 2012 imac. and yeah there's no controls that let me start or stop sections to capture. I ended up finding this thread:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1066849

the guy posted a screen shot, around 7 posts down. that's exactly what my import screen looks like. it kinda sucks they didn't come up with a better way to do it.
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 02:15 PM   #8
daybreak
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Right lets start from basic. Open iMovie, once open go to the iMovie on the left side of iMovie in the dock and press :About iMovie' that will tell you what version.
Then open "HELP" section and there you will find information regards what... how... when... trouble shooting section.
Once you understand the basics go unto YouTube. Have a look it is a cheap form of tutorial on iMovie.
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Old Apr 12, 2013, 05:52 PM   #9
axisD
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thanks for the tip.

----------

btw, simsaladimbamba... I meant to ask, why is it that you say the original material will be captured with a sub par sensor, and compressed with a lossy codec? I dont know much about it, but is imovie a bad choice for capturing video in the first place?
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 05:04 AM   #10
Dave Braine
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iMovie does not give you the option to just import a part of a clip
That's correct. Only when importing from tape, can you stop and start the import as you choose.

Importing from memory cards, camcorders with hard drives etc is a bit like copying a file from an external drive onto your Mac. You can't just import half of it can you?
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 03:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by axisD View Post
thanks for the tip.

----------

btw, simsaladimbamba... I meant to ask, why is it that you say the original material will be captured with a sub par sensor, and compressed with a lossy codec? I dont know much about it, but is imovie a bad choice for capturing video in the first place?
I meant the camera, which has a sub-par sensor and a lossy codec, but since it is a consumer camera, it is acceptable. As iMovie transcodes the clip to a proper editing format, no loss in visual quality, that already exists with the original material, should happen.
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