files wont play on iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Katilea, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Katilea macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #1
    Hi

    I am new to iMacs, I previously had windows XP and had used windows movie maker as my main desktop pc with all photo/video editing software on etc.

    The problem I have is even when i have just shot new video clip on mini DV camcorder it will not import to iMovie. I have tried connecting the camcorder direct and clicked on camcorder button but it only finds built in iSight camera.

    I have tried removing the SD card and putting it in card reader connected via USB to iMac, it finds the card but when i go through menus to find the image it is greyed out and i cant even select it to import.

    The files are there as when i connect it back to old tablet windows pc it finds it though its so painfully slow you got time to go off bungee jumping before its loaded it all! :D

    Its driving me nuts! :eek: Can anyone please recommend a model of camcorder that saves video files in a mac compatible format? which transfers straight into iMovie no problems?

    Or is there another video editing program for mac (besides iMovie) that might be able to import and edit these videos for me?

    Thanks

    Kati
     
  2. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #2
    Don't give up on what you're using already, just yet. What are the make and model of your camcorder? Which version of iMovie are you using?

    You say you're using a miniDV camera - this should be connected to your Mac with a Firewire cable, not USB. With miniDV camcorders, USB is for transferring low quality video and stills only.

    Andrew.
     
  3. shawnathan macrumors member

    shawnathan

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #3
    iMovie can only download DV from a camera that is connected via Firewire. Is your camera USB?
     
  4. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #4
    ok whats a 'firewire'? Is it some kind of connection lead?

    Its only cheap miniDV camcorder thingy i got off ebay few years back for about £60! Its called Mustek. It only has a USB connection (the small usb end) goes into the miniDV and then other end has regular USB end.

    So iMovie will download from any camcorder that can use this 'firewire'? whatever file format the camcorder saves it in?

    My next question would be where can i get a reasonably priced mini DV that has firewire connection? Would i get the 'firewire' lead with it?

    Any model names I can look at, so I know what I am looking for?

    The iMovie is what came with the new iMac i think its called iLife 08. The Mac says its version 10.5.5 i can't remember which animal this is..lol! Total novice here! (to the mac world) :D

    Thanks :)
     
  5. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #5
    "Firewire," also known as "IEEE 1394" is a high speed data transfer protocol developed by Apple but now fairly universal, a bit like USB but able to maintain high speeds for longer. It is pretty much the standard for connecting miniDV camcorders to computers which is why I'm a little surprised your camcorder doesn't appear to use it. If you're using a recent iMac then you definitely have Firewire on your computer.

    Take a look at this wikipedia article for more information on Firewire, including what Firewire ports and cables look like, and how they're labelled: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FireWire

    If your camcorder doesn't have Firewire, then that explains the problems you're having importing video from it: there's a good chance that iMovie just doesn't support the video format your camera records to, across a USB connection. But I'm not familiar with the camera so I can't say definitely one way or the other.

    You can get good quality miniDV camcorders for a bit more than you paid for the Mustek - they're not that expensive. I'd recommend either the Canon MD205 or, for a bit more, the Canon MD235 or Panasonic GS330. The Panasonic will give you better-looking pictures, but the Canon has the advantage of allowing you to plug in an external microphone for better audio should you wish to go down that route some time. Any of the Panasonic or Canon (or even Sony) miniDV camcorders will be better than the Mustek.

    Andrew.

    EDIT: Generally speaking you'll have to buy the Firewire cable in addition to the camcorder. They're not expensive, though some stores will try to rip you off. Take a look online to see what the going rates are. E.g. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/307820-REG/Belkin_F3N401_06_ICE_FireWire_4_pin_to_6_pin.html
     
  6. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
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    #6
    First of all, I use imovie HD 6 (actually final cut pro but at first imovie hd 6). you can download it here: http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/imovieHD6.html. I think it works nicer and easier. more options as well. Firewire is invented by apple. On your back you'll find a square thing, this is firewire 800, only a few products support this, so the other port is more usefull (firewire 400). 800 stands for 800 mbit's a second and 400 400 mbit's a second.
    You'll be going to use FW400. http://www.perucelular.com/mercadolibre/FIREWIRE_002.jpg one side for your mac, and the smaller side for the camera. Now you'll only need to find a camera with firewire. For camera's that write direct on your sd card (or flash memory) I'm the wrong the person, I can't help you with that.

    Maybe you should try to find on the internet a "quicktime component" that supports your file. See if you know the file's name and try to find a quicktime component to decode the movie (I don't know if that's the problem, but it might help). Because you're new, you probably haven't heard of perian. Perian is a component package for the most common movie files (divx, xvid, mpeg2) etc. If you download that you can watch movies you download from the internet (or how you get them) that are .avi. Cause normally quicktime wont play those, only VLC player will, so it is kind of usefull to install the perian component. www.perian.org

    Good Luck.
     
  7. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #7
    All good advice (remind me to check my back for a firewire port!), but if you get yourself a quality, inexpensive miniDV camcorder and a firewire cable, you'll never have to bother with Perian, VLC, or any other third-party fix. Keep it simple. Sounds like that's what you want. The issues with "file types" do not affect miniDV camcorders, because DV is a well-established standard format for consumer video.

    But first off, make sure your Mustek camcorder definitely doesn't have firewire. Check the instruction manual, or look over the camcorder for a port (possibly under a plastic flap) labelled "IEEE 1394" or "DV". If your camera has a firewire port then all you need is a firewire cable to get you started.
     
  8. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #8
    Here is a pic of FireWire plugs.

    The larger one on the left is a standard firewire connector the other smaller one is a 'mini firewire' connector used when space is at a premium. Usually on cameras etc. The sockets are usually hidden under flaps and in compartments. The funny thing is the compartments are usually hidden too. :D

    My Sony Camera has a plastic flap that you have to lift up to access the firewire port. Without the instruction booklet I would never of found it.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #9
    What model of sony camera is it? stills camera or camcorder do you mean?

    I have checked and mine definately only has one mini USB port under the flap.

    Yes I would like the simplest solution possible so if a new mini DV and a cable is all i need to get my films from camcorder to mac that's fine.

    I had heard iMovie was a good program and I'm not a professional, i just like to take short films of dog training or video message in sign language and email it to my friends.

    Whilst I'm on that subject I tried to send something I did via iSight camera but when i tried to email it, it said file was too large. Under 'share' menu it only mentions ipods and iphones etc. How do I compress or zip it so i can attach video clips into emails?

    I know there's something on mac called 'unstuffit' which seems to do it automatically if i download a compressed file but where do i go to stuff something in a file myself? (if you get what i mean...lol)

    Theres 9 holes of varying types on back of my screen (24" iMac) i know 3 are USB they are full already, one's ethernet connected to modem and 4 others i havent a clue what they do. one has a pic of headphones above it.
     
  10. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #10
    [​IMG]
    Sorry, mine is a camcorder not a stills camera. I thought as we were talking camcorders, camera would suffice. Anyhoo... I can't remember the model number but it uses MiniDV tapes and has FireWire connectivity. Without it transferring files would take forever.

    Attached is the universal icon for firewire which on a mac will be displayed above all the firewire ports. I dont have an imac but I would guess the other 4 minus the headphones jack (this is where you plug you headphones if you want to) are firewire ports.
     
  11. a456 macrumors 6502a

    a456

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    #11
    This is what Apple support has to say on the subject of using USB with iMovie:

    Full article here:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2264?viewlocale=en_US
     
  12. shawnathan macrumors member

    shawnathan

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #12
    Some cameras support firewire without the owner of the camera even realizing it. See if there is an "iLink" port on your camera. That's the same as firewire. It's just that some companies don't like to use the name firewire, so they call it that instead. I borrowed a camera once that was like this, and it worked perfectly with iMovie.
     
  13. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #13
    I have already tried that. I managed to get it onto hard drive, but it wont drag across into iMovie just returns to finder.

    If i click on file>import movie> the file is greyed out and I cant select it to transfer into iMovie. File name is IMG0001.ASF I can open it with quicktime which open flip4mac and says 'importing' but it appears in small seperate window it will play but wont copy over into iMovie.

    I think I will proably just buy a new camcorder with firewire as it will be alot easier, so I'll look up some of the models you have mentioned.

    I was able to make small video clip using the iSight camera instead but I cannot email the clip as it says it is too big.

    if you can just tell me how do I compress the movie or make file smaller to send in email please?

    I'll just use the iSight camera for now until i can get a new camcorder.

    Thanks for your help guys :)
     
  14. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    #14
    I do have an iMac. the one that's round on the top and square on the rest is the firewire port you need (i hope you'll get what I mean): http://www.hardware-one.com/reviews/Yamaha8824FXZ/images/FirewireSocket.jpg

    The other one is firewire 800 (you probably don't need that one) it's the most square one (no a lot of pins in it), and there's your mini DVI connection. It has a lot of pins in it, also very small. By the way there's one headphone and one input for audio.
     
  15. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    #15
    It may be possible (because your camcorder was pretty cheap) that your camcorder doesn't have one. I wonder, does you camera has a tape or a flash card. And because it's so cheap it probably wont support firewire, has no firewire.

    Good luck.
     
  16. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #16
    Ok I got two holes with the firewire symbol above it, both look slightly different. maybe they are different speeds or something as you said.

    I can get a Sony DCR-HC53E off amazon for just over £100 (which is about my limit cos I got everyone else's xmas pressies to get yet as well!) it doesn't mention it on amazon site but i have looked on a different site (dealtime.co.uk) where it shows that this model has i-link/firewire available as both input and output, whereas the canon one only showed firewire for output.

    My question is which firewire cable do i pick to add to basket? its showing:

    Belkin IEEE 1394 6 pin - 4 pin
    or Belkin IEEE 1394 4 pin- 4 pin

    my other one doesnt run on tapes same as this but it does say on side of it DV3500, you just put memory cards in it though and only output is USB. It does only list windows under video capture driver and system requirements.

    The newer ones with hard drives and memory cards are a bit expensive for the few times I would use it and they mainly seem to be connected via USB only with no mention of firewire.

    Any advice on how to compress video files to attach to emails for friends to view?
     
  17. Sorkvild macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    #17
    Email is generally not used to send videos because of the exact problem you are having, they are simply too large. The recipient's inbox is usually the culprit here. (Mine is still only 10 MB!) How large are the movies you are creating? To find out right-click on the file and choose Get Info and look at Size.
     
  18. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    #18
    the "6 pin" and "4 pin" stands for the amount of pins inside the connection. You'll most likely need 6 pin to 4 pin, definitely not 4 pin to 4 pin (the iMac has no 4 pin input). In a very very small case (I've never heard of it) you need 6 pin to 6 pin, but that won't be the case, so go for the 6 pin -4 pin.
     
  19. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #19
    Thanks for all your help guys. You should get commission from apple as part of their customer services!! :D

    One last thing what about photos in email? I found that in iphoto if i click on email it will make a selected photo smaller for emailing. When I was on windows I had program called zip it or something so i could put several photos together in one file and compress it to send in email.

    How do I do this on mac?
     
  20. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #20
    "Stiffit" will compress photos by about 30% and costs about £30. If you do a google search for "mac free file compression" or variations on that theme you might come up with others.
     
  21. Rjjcvb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    #21
    dcr hc53e Is not compatible with our I-movie 11: http://help.apple.com/imovie/cameras/pt/index.html?lang=pt-pt

    I have this model, and Macbookpro late 2011 2.4. I bought a fire wire 800 to i link cable and i-movie is not identifying my camera.

    Even via bootcamp this is not possible.... I think the windows software is only compatible via, i-link to i-link cable...

    :mad::mad::mad:
     
  22. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #22
    I think that after 4 years, he might have solved that problem. :D
     

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