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My biggest gripe with AppleTV: iMovie Support

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by fivepoint, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816


    I wish that AppleTV would access my movie folder and iMovie projects directly without having to export the files into iTunes. Similar to the way it works with iPhoto...

    With a large library of DVD titles, I don't want to just drop my few home movies in with that group. I want to keep them all organized. FrontRow on my iMac can at least access the movies folder on the mac... but why can't AppleTV? Seamless integration that we have come to expect from Apple, should definitely include iMovie! Don't you agree?
  2. macrumors 68020

    huh? you want the atv to be able to play dv streams ( the most common format inside an iMovie project ) ? Not likely.
  3. macrumors 65816


    The AppleTV is a computer... why couldn't it play DV streams? If there is some really good reason why, then fine. How about Movie Folder access like FrontRow? That should be EASY!

    The big question here is "WHY?". As in "Why can't I access home movies from my iMac on my AppleTV?" When guests come over, I shouldn't have to reimport all of my home movies into iTunes, clustering them with all of my hollywood movies. Home movies should be simple and easy to access from the AppleTV... just like my home photos.
  4. macrumors 68020

    Well, technically its feasible, but to play a dv stream from your computers folder means it would be streaming them via your network, have you looked at the typical bitrate of a dv stream ? *Could* it work ? Yes. Could it work reliably, not really. If you sync'ed them it might work okay playing from the atv hdd, but tbh it seems to me it would negate the convenience you are looking for. Frankly I think the mass appeal would be far to low for them to even head in this direction, seems they have much bigger fish to fry tbh. But, you never know what will be in the next update.
  5. macrumors 68020

    What if you just created a genre called "Home Movies" since the atv does separate by genre ?
  6. macrumors 601

    Another Solution (that works now)

    :apple:TV is strongly dependent on the itunes connection. The iphoto connection works not because the photos are in the pictures folder, but because iTunes was updated to facilitate the connection of personal photos. Now, it would be nice if Apple would add a lot of capabilities to :apple:TV, so that many of the (many) wishes about what :apple:TV could/should do could be granted, but whether they'll choose to ever get to any particular wish is always up in the air.

    Here's another way to get closer to your wish.

    When it comes organizing video so that they aren't in the one long "movies" list, you need to tag them as TV shows. With TV show tags, you have fairly good capabilities to organize content as you desire (though they still have to be managed by iTunes (and thus exported out of iMovie for this purpose).

    Because, like you, I didn't want home moves mixed with (non home) movies, this is exactly what I did:
    1. I tag all of my home movies as a TV Show (Get Info, Video tab, Video Kind- TV Show).
    2. In the "Show" field, I put in Home Movie (for all home movies, NOT using distinct names in this field)
    3. In the "Season" field, I put in the 4-digit year in which the home movie was shot (for example, 2008)
    4. In the "Episode ID" field, I put in a 4-digit month/day (example: 0614 for June 14). If I don't know the exact date, I use best estimate.
    5. In the "Episode Number" field, I put in an incremental episode number based upon when this video was shot vs. others shot in the same year. For example, if this is the 5th home movie I shot in 2008, the Episode Number will be 5).

    6. In the "Info" tab, "Name" field, I punch in the name as I'd like it to be shown in :apple:TV. Unlike the "Show" field above, this is where individualized home movie names work best.
    7. For "Artist" I use "Home Movies" (all of them are tagged this way- no distinct artist names).

    8. Lastly, in the "Artwork" tab, I put in a nice tall image often culled from (iPhoto) photos taken at the same event in which the home movie was shot. If there are no photos available, I open the home movie in Quicktime, then screen grab it using the grab option in the Preview application. I always try to grab images that are about 2ce as tall as they are wide, much like movie posters. As such, when grabbing from QuickTime, I am cropping content from the sides so that I end up with an image that is taller than it is wide. To my eyes, these tend to look better in the :apple:TV equivalent of cover flow.

    With them tagged as described above, they'll show up as a single line item (Home Movies) in TV Shows on :apple:TV. Clicking into that item will show them grouped by episode ID number, most recent to oldest home movie, with the names you entered in #6 as on-screen video descriptors). And if you tagged them as above (using 4-digit year for Season field), your movies will be split out as "seasons" by year, giving you a nice chronological organization to your home movies.

    Over time your iMovie raw files will get dramatically larger and larger, always putting pressure on your readily-available hard drive storage situation. So rendering them down to H.264 will make it possible to have an "always available" copy of your home movies in relatively modest hard drive space. Then, you can move a relatively huge iMovie file offline (as in off your main accessible storage) when the day comes that you have so much iMovie video stored and not much room for more (readily available) hard drive storage.

    I have nearly 2 terabytes of home movies in iMovie format (they do add up quickly). But they take only about 50gb as H.264, :apple:TV-ready videos available to iTunes.

    Until Apple makes some meaningful adaptations to iTunes for better video tagging & organizing purposes, the above is the best way I've found to get fairly close to at least some of your objectives.
  7. macrumors 65816


    DV (I believe) uses a fixed bitrate of around 25 megabits per second, or less than half of even a normal 'G' network's bandwidth.

    I don't see what you mean by not appealing to the masses. iMovie is used by millions of people... similar to iPhoto. Everyone who takes their own photos, has probably atleast experimented with taking their own videos as well. (YouTube is a good example) The integration of the iLife apps is their best feature. I see no reason why iMovie projects (or at least your Movie Folder) couldn't be viewed via AppleTV, so all of your home movies could be seen from the comfort of your recliner. Surely I can't be the only one who thinks so!

    I see what you're saying about the 'genre' solution... but that is a band-aid solution for a gaping wound problem, at best. Think iPhoto/iTunes integration.... or Movie Folder/Front Row integration. This isn't that far of a jump. There is no reason to defend Apple here, it would be an awesome upgrade to AppleTV, anyone can see that.
  8. macrumors 65816


    I want to thank you for posting that information. That is a much more elegant solution than the 'genre' one. I like the idea of keeping them organized in 'TV Shows' as opposed to 'Movies', as I don't want to clutter the Movies section.

    This post I think makes the need for an Apple Solution even more evident. While I posess the technical knowledge to follow your steps, there are many who do not and/or are not willing to take the time to do so. The major problem with this is the amount of time it takes to implement, and the fact that all of your data is duplicated and double-stored.

    I think I will follow your suggestion in the short-term, but strongly hope that Apple answers quickly with a long-term solution fo their own. The solution is an obvious thing Apple over-looked, and something that many of their customers would LOVE to have. It seems 'obvious' and I'm sure they are already working on a solution. At least, I hope so.

    Thanks again for your input! Well thought out, and implemented. I will be duplicating your setup for sure.
  9. macrumors 68020

    Um, technically true, but in practice we all know that a 5mbit/s video streamed can cause stuttering on the atv. At any rate here's to hoping you get what you want from a future update :) . Funny thing how everyone has different things they want the atv to do. To me it means its a great idea and just needs some new features to really take hold.
  10. macrumors 65816


    I agree with you, 100%. I love my AppleTV... it just seems like (because it is in its infancy) there are a few simple features Apple could add to make it irresistible. iMovie integration seems like a simple/obvious one. It fits perfectly into the scope of the device and the legendary iLife integration.
  11. macrumors 65816


    I almost wonder if Apple purposely leaves out these features so as to not alienate the majority of AppleTV owners (PC users) who can't take advantage of those features anyway.
  12. macrumors 6502


  13. macrumors 65816


    I couldn't have said it better myself. :)
  14. macrumors 68020


    You almost never get those headline numbers unless there is nobody else using a nearby network, there are no microwave ovens or cordless phones in use around and the computer is next to the base station. Besides, the signals from your computer have to reach the base station first and then the base station has to send the stream to AppleTV. This reduces your throughput even more.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Yes - Please

    I am all up for this. iLife is a beautiful sweet of apps because they are tightly integrated with each other. I chose to store all my home movies in the new iMovie because it essentially now works as a lovely Library enabling me to organize and sort (the same way iTunes has for music). All my movies are mp4 format. All I need the appleTV to do is look at my Library and if capable play the files.

    I see no point of using it as a library system and then exporting (duplicating!) files out to iTunes. You end up with a mess and that's not the apple way.

    I'll wait patiently to see if this integration comes along but in the meanwhile it's looking like a patch-stick so I can just browse to the files....
  16. macrumors 65816


    Aaaammmeeeennn! You're speaking my language, Nessy. If there is one thing Apple got right with the new iMovie (besides live scrubbing) is the ability to organize movie files just like iTunes and iMovie. It's a true blessing for those of us with ever-growing libraries!

    This seems like an obvious addition to iTunes/AppleTV. Hopefully it comes soon. Maybe I'll send an email to sjobs@apple.com to see if he can get it done. He seems like a real 'go-getter.' :D
  17. macrumors 68000

    Maybe I'm just being dim, but why would you want the hours of unedited footage in your iMovie clips library available on your :apple:TV, including all the out of focus, wobbly, overexposed and just plain dull bits? Surely the idea is to edit your video in iMovie then export it in whatever format you want to view it in, except instead of burning a DVD like in the old days you export it in :apple:TV format to iTunes?
  18. macrumors 65816


    A few things here...
    1. That's just like saying: "would you want the hours of unedited photos in your iPhoto library available on your :apple:TV, including all the out of focus, wobbly, overexposed and just plain dull shots? Surely the idea is to edit your images in iPhoto then export it in whatever format you want to view it in, except instead of burning a DVD like in the old days you export it in :apple:TV format to iTunes?
    2. I want to see the iMovie 'projects' folder. Not so much on the iMovie 'Library' stuff... but it wouldn't hurt.
    3. I'd like to use iMovie like iTunes or iPhoto. Leave all of my video content in there (post-editing) for storing, organizing, etc. That is the biggest benefit of the new iMovie, but we lose all the benefits becuase we're expected to export everything for AppleTV. This was obviously Apple's intention as this is exactly how the YouTube and .Mac Gallery features function in iMovie. You edit the content into the iMovie projects section, and 'share' it from there. You shouldn't have to store it in iMovie, in iTunes, etc.
    4. Fast-forward exists for a reason.
  19. macrumors 68000

    My point exactly. Do you really keep every image you shoot? I don't and I'm sure most other people don't either. What would be the point of keeping OOF photos? :confused:

    Actually, the YouTube and .Mac Gallery functions work exactly like exporting to iTunes - it's just that the exported video is stored on .mac or on YouTube, not on your computer. Unless YouTube goes down when you turn off your mac, of course. :)

    I think you're in a pretty small minority if you never edit any of your home videos at all, to be honest.
  20. macrumors newbie



    Yes - sure. However, I want to edit the footage, put it in a format that will play on most stuff and then store it somewhere that makes sense, is easy to organize and easy to search. I want to store it in iMovie because they are movies. I would not have done this on the previous versions of iMovie but the who point of the new one was to use it as a library of events.

    I'll keep my movies, TV shows and 'film' movies in iTunes, I can handle that but if iMovie is going to work the way it does then being an iLife app I think it should keep the features that make iLife great....integration....shared data...makes sense to any users....etc. etc. if iMovie is simply an editor then I can of course understand why you put in, export out. It's not that anymore though and I quite like where they are going with it.....I just want it going to my appleTV also... :)
  21. macrumors 68020

    Um, maybe you guys should be writing apple.
  22. macrumors newbie

    been there... done that. You never know, they may read it....

    I think they'll come good. As I said, patch-stick for now....
  23. macrumors 65816


    I think you're right that it is a 'minority', but there are TONS of people that do it. There aren't very many people that use Garageband and iWeb either... but Apple includes them.

    I just want it to function like iPhoto/iTunes. Let me see the projects/albums, let me choose which ones to sync/stream to AppleTV, etc. It's not that difficult. Can't you see that?

    Already did.
  24. macrumors 65816


    Well... it's been several months, and I just thought this deserved to be brought back into the discussion again after ANOTHER AppleTV update came and went with no mention of support for home movies. This seems so strange to me... Apple continually pushes iLife as one of the major differences between Macs and PCs and the compatibility and interoperability between all of Apple's products.

    Why in the world would Apple's only living room component completely ignore Apple's bundled home-movie making software? Why would AppleTV be able to work with iPhoto, but not with iMovie? :(

    How about you? Would you use this feature?

    P.S. I love my AppleTV, don't get me wrong. This simple change, however, would make all the difference for me!
  25. macrumors G3


    I for one hate iMovie 08 with passion. To do simple things, it is very complicated. If you are into making home movies, Final Cut Express would be worth investing in at some point.

    The movies I make that I want to put on my Apple TV I too store them under TV Shows. Once I've finished editing, export using H.264 to the desktop, tag with MetaX, then pop it onto my external hard drive then sync with my Apple TV.

    Although that isn't the most user-friendly way of doing it all. While I wouldn't even go near it, iMovie 08 library access in Apple TV would be pretty useful.

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