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Use another Mac to do iMovie Firewire import?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by akm3, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Hi, with the lack of Firewire on the Macbook, I have two options.

    1) Buy a Macbook Pro.
    2) Use my existing Mac Mini as my firewire conduit into iMovie.

    Is there an easy way to do the capture and clip rendering on one mac (on an external, USB hard drive) and then do the actual editing on another Mac?

    Or to put it another way, once it is captured to the hard drive, can I just copy it or attach that drive to my 'new Mac' and away I go, as if I'd captured it on mine?

    That is the only solution I can see to make a Macbook a viable purchase for me.
  2. macrumors 68020


    Yeah you can capture on another and import over. If you captured in iMovie, all you'd need to do is transfer the project file.

    Still a bit of a pain in the backside.
  3. macrumors 68020

    Well, all my Firewire hard drives also have USB...If I can swallow that bitter pill, and use this work-around...I guess I could settle for one of the new Macbooks. :eek:

    I like how it is basically just like my Wife's MBA, but a little chunkier with some improved specs. Seems like a great, powerful, travel laptop.

    But maybe I should just spring for the MBP.

    The other option of course is the refurb (the $1349 MBP is a *killer* deal) but I think I want the new machines...

    Choices choices choices
  4. macrumors 6502

    Akm3, editing over USB is like pulling teeth... If you are doing anything above H/DV I would highly suggest avoiding it at all costs.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    I had the same idea as akm3, although I don't know what will happen down the road with Snow Leopard and possibly newer versions of iMovie requiring it (assuming that Snow Leopard will be a total no-go with a machine sporting the GMA 950 like my Mini). That brought me to my next question... I can't believe I'm having to ask this, but is there a way to pull HDV into a Windows box and then transfer it to the Mac without re-encoding it multiple times? My wife's parents use Windows Movie Maker, so I guess I could check that out as a first step, but I have no idea if it uses some intermediate codec similar to iMovie's AIC. I could end up with a re-encoding to some Windows Intermediate Codec, then a re-encoding to some cross-compatible export codec, then a re-encoding to AIC.

    I have a Canon HV20 and make maybe 4 videos a year, so using one machine to capture and another to edit isn't that bad for me. I'm trying to think beyond the life of the Mini, since I lived with a Hi-8 camera for 10 years, so my 1.5 year old HV20 will probably be around for 7.5 more years.
  6. macrumors 68020

    Well, I just broke down and bought one of the new Macbook Pros instead. It is beautiful, and I'm good for one more generation at least, when Firewire is likely to disappear all-together.

    Hopefully I have upgraded my camcorder by then, and USB hard drives can do Firewire tricks.
  7. macrumors 68020


    You are a brave person.

    Hopefully they wont pull FW800 from the MBP's. If they did... I don't think I actually want to think that far ahead!

    I'm just praying they don't pull 400/800 from the iMac now.
  8. macrumors 68020


    No kidding. That is a scary thought.

  9. macrumors member

    Stupid question maybe:
    Is there a cord or device that can have Firewire devices (ie DV cameras) plug into USB slots?

    I imagine not, but it seems like a feasible idea for the now FW-less macbooks.
  10. macrumors 68020


    Unfortunately, no. The chips that drive USB and FireWire are fundamentally different. There are some adapters that include a chip inside of the cable to convert the video, but these cables are expensive, Windows only, and they reduce the quality of the video in the process.


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