Best way to store and then edit lots of mini dv on MacBook


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 9, 2019
I have about 20-30 mini-dv tapes. I have the camera and I have the connections to my Mac. So I'm good with streaming the tapes to my Mac. Currently, I'm looking at them through iMovie. There's lots on the tapes that I don't need - jumpy camera, etc. I'm looking to edit what I have on all these tapes into some home movies. Is iMovie the best way to edit and save the new movies? I'd like to be able to share them with my family members. Last question - since I have so many recordings, I don't imagine that my MacBook Air will be able to store all the tapes/files. Should I upload to google drive or should I buy an external drive to keep the raw/unedited recordings as well as the edited recordings?


macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
You want the unedited captured video on a local hard drive otherwise it would be a PITA to scrub and edit. iMovie is good, FCPX is better/best especially if you want to tag and index. Hard drives are cheap. I have hundreds of captured miniDV tapes on a 2 TB drive.

Once you edit and share, you can distribute or save them anywhere. Perhaps someplace family members have access to. You may also want to back up those original captures, that could be anywhere.

Be prepared for months of work. If those are 60 minute tapes, you have 30 hours of capture work in front of you, double/triple that for editing and review. The best/easiest way is to send them out to a converter shop.
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macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2013
I would also recommend picking up an SSD and USB to SATA adapter (Sabrent EC-SS31). You can do the initial transfer and all edits on the SSD, then, transfer the files over the the external hard drive. Makes the editing process to much faster than using spinning drive.


macrumors 6502
Dec 5, 2008
Brockton, MA
A fair warning: on MacOS 10.14 Mojave, there is no sound when capturing DV footage into iMovie. (At least the current version.) But you can capture the MiniDV footage using the Quicktime Player, and the sound comes through. THEN load the footage into iMovie or whatever.