Best way to handle huge videocam imports?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Drewski, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. Drewski macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2011
    Somewhere else
    Short version: How can I process large (3GB+ each on the camera) video files with my mac? I imported some from the camera via iMovie, but I can't seem to access them. When I click on the imported file and make a new project, I can't do any editing at all, no matter how long I let the computer run. Help!

    Long version:
    Hey all, I've only gotten into iMovie and processing videocamera files within the last 6 or so months, so any help is quite welcome. I've been using my Panasonic HDR-S200 as a kind of "security camera" of sorts, just to monitor a certain area. I set the camera to record to its HD and it will record all day, and automatically breaks the recording into 4 hour chunks. The camera has a setting for resolution too, so I set it for the lowest resolution. After 24 hours, I imported the files into iMovie directly from the camera to the iMac, (2011 2.7 i5, 12GB RAM, Mavericks, about half the space on the 1TB HD available.) I also just copy the files directly from the camera HD to the Mac HD, just in case I need other options. So while using iMovie, the files import into the event library no problem, and I can actually browse through them. But I have been unable to edit them as projects. I can drag them to the project window, but after that, iMovie gets a little screwy. I just can't edit them. The little files are no problem. All I really need to do is add a time/date stamp and speed up the replay for easy review and note-taking. That's the extent of what I need to do.

    I assume that the file size is what is borking the project here, but I don't have a way to reduce the file size any further. How can I edit these files? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Can you import shorter version of the files?

    Instead of doing that you should use Mac apps such as EvoCam
    to only capture footage with movement
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You might try using FFMpeg to chop the large file into a set of smaller files. It has a LOT of options and I can think of several way you might use it to chop a long file. FFMpeg has it's own forums and you might ask there. But there are options for the salting position and the max length of the output file.

    It can also speed up the files and transcode it into something smaller. Many options.

    FFMpeg is the software inside Handbrake. Handbrake is really just a user interface over FFMpeg.

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