Capturing video using Aluminum MacBook and external hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by dandeco, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. dandeco macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    Hey, I am in the market for a new computer and am considering a MacBook (because my HP laptop has been giving me a lot of trouble lately), but I think I might get the new aluminum one because it looks tempting, but the fact it has no FireWire might be a deal-breaker for me, because I have a MiniDV camcorder. I don't want to buy a new camcorder just to use with the new MacBook (it would admittedly be pretty stupid!), and at one point I was considering a MacBook Pro but I didn't want to blow a lot of money just buying a Mac. But someone suggested an idea to me:

    Suppose I buy an external hard drive to use as a video scratch disk, and it connects via USB 2.0 and FireWire, and I connect the hard drive to the MacBook via USB 2.0, connect my camcorder to the FireWire port on the drive, and directly capture to that hard drive? Would iMovie or Final Cut Express be able to recognize that? If that is the case, then I will consider buying an aluminum MacBook.
  2. SHADO macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2008
    Umm, I'm pretty sure files have to go through the computer in order to be stored on an external, but I'm not positive. If your friend has an external, ask him to try it to see if it's possible.
  3. dandeco thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    We will try and see if that works for sure.
  4. Applepwns macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2008
  5. dandeco thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
  6. vandlism macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    So it sounds to me like you want to connect your external hard drive to a new MacBook using USB2. From there, you want to use the FireWire port on your external drive as way to bridge in your mini DV camera. As far as I know this is not going to work. The internals of the external hard drive enclosure are not meant to be able to act in a daisy chain sort of way (ahh how I love FireWire). There is also no way to directly dump the video footage from the mini DV tape straight to the hard drive.

    So seeing as that is not a viable solution, I will propose this question. Why not look at getting an iMac? I realize that laptops (and particularly the new MacBooks) give you the freedom of portability, but something like an iMac would give you more performance on the dollar as well as a larger screen - ideal for video editing.
  7. shawnpringle macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2008
    USB cannot be "daisy chained" as they say. I agree with the other poster, "ahh how i miss firewire".
    If you want a laptop, consider the newer Macbook Pro, or the last generation (great deals going on for them), or a last generation (white/black) macbook. This will give you firewire, which in turn will give you much more freedom. I don't know what i would do without firewire. USB 2.0 is much to slow for moving photos like i do (photographer).
    Apple has made a big mistake, but lets save that for the 1048483948 other threads about that!
  8. dandeco thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    On the contrary I HAVE been considering a newer MacBook Pro. They look really tempting, and it is obvious that Apple designed the MacBook Pro with video editing in mind. And besides, I also plan on getting Final Cut Express for video editing, and I'm sure it would run better on a MacBook Pro than a regular MacBook. The only other accessory I would buy for it other than a mouse would be a FireWire 4-pin to 9-pin cable, and I'd be all set for video capture.

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