Any drawback from importing video via FW on iMac G4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by davidg4781, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    I have an iMac G4 (in my signature) and I'm planning to convert some VHS tapes to DVD. I purchased a Canopus ADVC 110 and was wondering if I'd lose any quality or anything if I use the iMac to record the video via iMovie (or any other App that may be better).

    I can always use my MBP but if it works easier to use the iMac I'll do that. I'd have to transfer it over the my MBP since I'm thinking the editing part would be easier, or am I wrong on this?
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    iMovie should be fine - coming in via FireWire, the only real option is "import in raw DV format, or transcode to something compressed on import?"

    iMovie versions prior to '08 only import DV video as raw DV. It means it takes a lot of space, but it's exactly what the DV device sends to it.

    You can then use iDVD (or Toast, or any other DVD writing software) to burn it to DVD. Obviously, that's when you're going to do the transcoding to DVD-standard MPEG-2. (iDVD and Toast both have multiple options for quality vs. capacity.)
  3. davidg4781, Mar 16, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015

    davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    Thanks. I'll have to install iMovie '06 since '08 is not compatible.

    How should I get it over to my MBP for editing? HDD? Home network? The main editing issues are trimming it up to to different movies and maybe adding a title page or something like that.

    Edit: Scratch that. '08 is the earliest iLife that I have. I guess I sold the '06 version a while back.

    Attached Files:

  4. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    Connect the iMac to the MBP with an Ethernet cable, and enable File Sharing on the MBP. Then mount the MBP's HD on the iMac and transfer the files with the iMac. Or you could do it the other way around, turn on File Sharing on the iMac and transfer the files with the MBP.
  5. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Are you going to burn the DVD on the MBP? If not, don't bother - you can do the editing right on the iMac.

    Also note that Apple made iMovie HD '06 available for free to owners of iMovie '08. Partly due to compatibility problems (older machines that couldn't run '08,) partly due to the outcry over how completely different '08 was from '06.

    Sadly, Apple appears to have removed iMovie '06 from their download site, so you'll have to find it elsewhere. (Google can help with this - which I don't think is a big deal since Apple offered it for free directly in the past.)
  6. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    I'll burn it on whichever is easier. I'm thinking it might just be easier to keep it all on the MBP.
  7. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    How would it compare using a DP PowerMac G5? There are a few on Craigslist at pretty good prices. They're missing displays and such but I've got all that.
  8. Cox Orange, Mar 18, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    incoming DV footage from the VHS tapes via Firewire is 3MB/s so you do not have to worry about that.

    If you use iMovie 8 be aware, that it already does something to the material, during import, it interlases it no matter, what you need later (you would have to make the interlased material, which was progressive on your camera/VHS progressive again). iMovie 6 will take just the incoming signal and save it and you can decide later, if you want your movie to be progressive or interlased.

    What do you mean by editing with the PowerMac G5 being better?
    It all worked with my iMac G3 back then with iMovie 5 (and 6 later). IF you talk about cutting.

    With iMovie you will create the project in which you can cut and edit.

    from there on there are two ways:

    A) save all changes and effects you added in iMovie, then go to "export as" (or "send to" in newer iMovie versions) and save the file as "highest quality" (you will get a DV file). This will have all the effects etc. in it.
    Unfortunately iMovie is transforming the video from DV to DVcPro, which is really unneccessary and stupid by iMovie, because you loose a bit of quality.

    A-1 Then you use Handbrake to convert it to h.264 (which gives the best picture at smallest file size)
    A-2 instead of exporting as a DV file directly choose "send to iDVD" (you get DVD-conform mpeg2)
    A-3 you use the saved DV (DVcPro) file and open it in Toast and choose make DVD from source. It will then convert the file to DVD. If you are after quality choose 8MB/s for video and the rest for audio (I think 256kbps is the biggest possible). If you want to get more on one disc you can of course choose lower bitrates. You should also choose VBR instead of CBR in Toast, bevore converting.

    I said, you can use Handbrake for converting to h.264., iMovie has that option, too, if you choose "export/send" and then "as Quicktime movie". Next you get a window, where you can choose: avi/mp4, h264, divx, xvid, jpeg-movie,... (you can also choose DV, DVCpro, DVCpro25, DVCpro50, but even with DV, the result will be a DVCpro50 file!)

    BUT!!! that takes longer. When converting 23min. of DV video to h.264 with iMovie on a PowerMac G5 Dual 2,3GHz, it took 3:30h, with Handbrake it took 1h (better algorhythms, newer software, also utilising multicores, just better written software).

    B) you hit just save (to save the project), then close iMovie. search for the files in the folder (in iMovie 3 you have folders with one folder "media", that has several 9min. clips in it and you can see them directly. With iMovie 5, you onyl see one black and white iMovie project Icon. you have to click on that by holding down ctrl. and then choose "show package content". A windo opens, go to "media", there you see the files).

    Take the files you see there and open in mpegstreamclip (an app). Here you can save the file again and export to any format you like (with any codec: divx, x.264...), but you can also just save the DV files, making one DV-movie file out of the several small files.

    Why this? Because the DV file you get, is not altered to a DVCpro file, but stays DV. So you don't loose quality already before you do the next step. (in mpegstreamclip you can also cut files). THE downside is, effects you have set inside iMovie, will not be copied and apllied!

    When you choose to just use mpegstreamclip to make one DV file out of the several small files (without having a degrease of quality in between), you can, after that, still use Handbrake (which I would prefer for h264/x.264 anyway) to convert the file to its final file format.
    If you are after DVDs, leave out Handbrake. (If you watch the movies on a Mac/PC or a h.264 capable DVD-player-set-top-box or as files on an USB stick, which you connect to your PVR, h.264 is preferred).

    Speed questions:

    - real time for every app and machine

    - same time on every machine

    - slow in iMovie and worse codecs (I am speaking of h.264 and the like. Not converting it to mpeg2/vob for DVD)
    - faster in Handbrake (and maybe mpegstreamclip) (I am speaking of h.264 and the like. Not converting it to mpeg2/vob for DVD)
    - different machine will be faster there. Do this on you MBP. A 23min. file converted to h.264 takes 12:30h on an ibook G4 1,33GHz, 1h on a G5 2x2,3GHz and 7min. on a Mac Mini i5 2x2,5GHz, so you MBP should be perfect. (It does however not make a big difference in iMovie, what machine you have, if you just export the DV file to DV (or DVCpro what will be the result), that is quick anyway, because it does not have to calculate a lot. mpegstreamclip is a bit faster, since it keeps the DV-file-format and not changes it to DVCpro.)

    If you do not have a lot of space on your disc, keep in mind, how iMovie works.

    1. iMovie 3: when you cut out scenes and then save the new state, it will really delete the parts out of the movie (i.e. gets shorter/smaller)
    2. iMovie 5/6: you will see in the iMovie window, that things are cut out, but the file stays the same size. When you then look into the projects "package content", you see, that indeed all is still there. So to say, iMovie only sets markers for itself, so, that, if you export the file later, it will know, what to omit. This was done by Apple, so you can go back in time, by just starting with the file again.
    If you have iMovie 5 or 6 and run out of space, use mpegstreamclip to first cut out all the crap you don't need and save with mpegstreamclip as DV. Then replace the DV file in the iMovie folder with the new shorter DV file (if you want to work with the file inside iMovie, e.g. for adding effects or for sending it to iDVD or anything else other than directly using Handbrake, Toast or mpegstreamclip). iMovie has to be closed, while you do this.

    PS: the degradation of quality from DV to DVCpro will not be much or even visible, but I like to keep all that I can from the quality.

    Hehe, I should make a video tutorial to save all the words. Also, my take on it might not be what other people find reasonable. I don't know....

    PPS: your MacBook Pro 2,4GHz 13" 2010 is slightly faster than the fastest PowerMac G5 (Quadcore 2,5GHz), but double as fast as a Dual 2GHz G5. Also a G5 consumes 4-5x or more power than your MB-P, doing the same time.
    I wouldn't invest in a another Mac. Also, you can get iMovie 6 for your iMac G4 by entering "iMovie 6 free download", just dig the search results.

Share This Page

7 March 16, 2015