HELP: iMovie 09 project beachballing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nomad01, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    I think this is beyond repair but thought it was worth asking here first...

    After spending days compiling an hour long holiday video, I had sound issues with the exported video so I went through detaching the audio from each clip to try and sort the problem out.

    I got to one particular clip and got a beachball. Eventually I had to force quit the application.

    Now whenever I load the project all is okay until I try to play or preview the project (even if my pointer accidentally touches one of the clips and starts to preview it). As soon as the video appears in the viewer, it beachballs and I can't do a thing.

    Anyone else had this? Anyone got a workaround or fix?

    I think the underlying video is all okay as I've managed to export the project to a HD video. My plan is that I re-import the exported video and re apply the music where required and finish editing. Not sure what the result will be there though.

  2. Blueflame1138 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    iMovie 09 Project beachballing upon opening.

    It seems I'm not the only one having this problem.

    I have a 1hr 24min project that has taking me ages to put together. All has been going well, but now whenever I load the project iMovie hangs and i get the beachball.

    The project itself is stored on my internal drive. All the clips (56GB) are on an external drive with the iMovie Events folder being aliased to the external.

    I've been working on this project for over a year, on and off, and it was complete and ready to send to iDVD.

    I don't want to start it all over again.

    I've reported it to Apple and have posted it on their discussions site.

    Any help gratefully received.


  3. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    does iMovie make back up copies of your project?
    (FCP does, but I don't know for imovie)

    do you have all the latest updates?

    have you tried deleting the "offending" clip?
    you might have to go through one at a time. I reccomend trying chopping the final half of the project and play it. If it plays, then you know the offending clip is in the later half. try it with the first half if that fails.

    try deleting the audio, saving the project as something else and then close the project and open it again and add that audio back.

    these are just troubleshooting techniques.
  4. nomad01 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    If this is the same issue I had, you can't chop anything.

    As soon as I let the mouse pointer touch the video, it beachballed.

    Only way round it I found was to export the movie in as high a quality as I could. Then import it into a new project and finish it off.

    It does lose a lot of quality doing this though.
  5. Blueflame1138 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    My project beachball's the instant I move the mouse into the area with the project in it. I don't even have to place it on a clip. So no clips are clickable, editable or delete-able.

    I've tried to send the project to iDVD from the project selector. It chugs away then locks up with 'about a minute to go'.

    I've tried exporting it via QT and the Export option and I get the same response "about a minute to go" even when left overnight.

    I do have FCE installed and have exported the XML file. But I really wanted to avoid re-editing clips and adding the soundtrack and titles again.

    Big sigh.
  6. nomad01 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    Yep that's the same issue I had. I had to export via QT using the menus and make sure my mouse didn't touch anywhere near any of the clips.

    Sorry that's not working for you. I feel your pain.
  7. eddysparks macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2009
    I'm afraid guys your screwed. An iMovie project longer than 40-45 mins with precision editing, detached audio and other bits and bobs will bring iMovie to a sudden stop. Only thing you can do is try and move around the events folders. You can save the video, but just not the edit.

    This has been happening since march 09, and apple has made no acknowlegment that the problem exists, or any attempts to fix it.

    imovie is for short films, aka youtube videos. If you want a heavily edited film, you will need to make it in parts then export and join together in another app. iMovie can not handle big edited over over 40 minutes.
  8. suekoopman macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2011
    iMovie 09 project beachballing

    I have the same problem... I was chugging along on a 10 min project and it balled. I got rid of preferences and no improvement. I opened a 2 min project and it balled. All projects load, but the moment I hit a space bar or anything, it balls.

    Are all my projects now useless? Is iMovie 09 useless? I would love some help. Thanks
  9. lia77 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2007
    I´m having a similar problem!! In my case it´s just a 6-7 min video, but it is made up of many many still images (stopmotion) so I guess that is why it stresses the software eventhough it isn´t so long.
    I have gone to the macstore, reinstalled imovie etc, but nothing seems to work..

    I have worked on this project for 4 months and it feels awful, i know..

    I posted this some days ago btw:

    in it is a link to another site and a guy who suggests to remove cache files.
    I tried it and it didn´t work, but maybe it will for you.

    Good luck!
  10. elhurst macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2012
    Durban, South Africa
    Does iLife 11 or Final Cut Pro X Solve Problem?

    I have just finished editing a 80 minute iMovie 09 video and it has started exhibiting the beachballing problem & there seems to be no solution to it. Does anyone know if upgrading to Final Cut Pro X or iLife 11 will solve the problem?:confused:
  11. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Final cut express for the WIN!

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