How do you guys manage large video files in MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iNeedToDoHw, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. iNeedToDoHw macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    I'm planning to get a MBA soon and with SSD, the storage is very limited to 128 gbs. I don't have enough money to cash out extra 300+ for larger SSD.

    I'm planning to just edit my home videos with the 1080i Cannon HFS10, but the files are all very large. (using imovie)

    Do you guys use just store all your videos on external hardrive and move it back to SSD when editing them? What are you guys' methods?

    I'm planning to use upcoming MBA as my primary computer.
    I'm a student and like I said, I'm just storing/editing home videos and not fancy movie making, film classes, or anything fancy like that.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Oldandintheway macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2010
    You can keep your iMovie events on an external hard drive. iMovie will pick those up if it's plugged in and it will work like the hard drive on your mac. I also use Aperture with the Aperture library on an external hard drive. One added bonus is that you can use other computers to work on the same projects and they will all be in one place.
  3. cleric macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    I just keep it all my files on a BSD Server with ZFS running AFP. I can usually get around 20-22MB/s over wireless N I suppose the ethernet adaptor is an option too but I doubt you would see that much better performance.

    Plus you can always mount stuff on the go nice to stream those ALACs wherever you are :cool:
  4. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    I don't keep any large files on my MBA. I have it all on my iMac and use a USB drive when needed. I try to keep the MBA as light as possible. That's just one of the things you have to give for having a MBA. Just like you have to give up weight and size for a MBP.
  5. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Does the HFS10 record in AVCHD? If so, how does that change the way video editing is done on a Mac? (vs a Windows machine)
  6. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    For entertainment movie videos, I just use one of the tiny USB flash drives listed below (which are so small there is no chance of them breaking off if bumped while on a plane) or a standard flash "thumb drive" which I either leave plugged in, or simply copy the video I want to watch over to the computer and then delete it after I am done watching it (you can store a lot of video on a 64GB drive). These might work with your videos as well and are easy to carry (and lose!).

    Lexar Echo ZE 32GB USB 2.0 Backup Drive

    elago Mobile Nano II USB 2.0 microSDHC Flash Memory Card Reader

  7. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    If you're getting the 13" you could use an SDHC or SDXC card.
  8. iNeedToDoHw thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    Yes it does record in avchd, I thought iMovie recognized that.
  9. iNeedToDoHw thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    that's actually very useful. Thanks.
  10. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Belfast, UK
    If you're editing movies, you're buying the wrong machine TBH. The Air is an ultraportable, not a portable workstation. That's what the MacBook Pro is for...
  11. iNeedToDoHw thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    Editing movies in like once a month. I would much prefer the portability for the rest.
    i don't think i'm buying the wrong machine.
    I just want to get my home videos all organized using imovie that's all
  12. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure iMovie will take the already large AVCHD files and convert them into HUGE files in a different format.
  13. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
  14. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I guess the size (the video compressed/uncompressed) is all subjective and whatnot but for an example, I shoot using a Canon HF-S21. My first video I did was at the highest settings the file(s) end up being about 325GB after it was uncompressed in iMovie. The time recorded was around 5-5 1/2hrs. and I can't remember the GB's that the file was "archived" at before I uncompressed what I needed.

    As of now I record about 1.5hrs and then switch over to the second card and so on. These yield something around 10.5GB of space being archived of which I will work on each part one at a time. My day would look like this: Day 1 Part 1 (1.5hrs long), Day 1 Part 2 (1.5hrs long) and so on. This helps keep space to a minimum for the seminars I do video for. Your situation could be much smaller such as my last project. I did a QiGong walk through DVD and it started out being 32 minutes full HD (again what the camera could record) after it was edited it has become about 24 minutes and 12.6GB of uncompressed video. Hope this gives you some real world size ideas.

    I will say that for my first mentioned video I'm glad I had a big HDD or I don't even want to know the end result of uncompressing "all" of it at once. Now I use an external HDD to hold the video (my archive), edit what I need in iMovie and send it back to the external being the reason of the following…

    I only want the internal HDD (don't care if it was SSD or not) to handle running iMovie and let the other HDD do the lifting of the reading/writing so everything runs smooth and I have plenty of space when needed. I think if you do small amounts of video at a time you will be fine however it will take some time and space to do what you want using any machine.

    Last, remember to save the finished video as an archive to save on space also. If you have Toast 10 or higher you can watch the video with that to see the finished product before you burn anything to disc.
    Best of luck :D
  15. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    I use a 64GB Patriot Magnum USB drive to store a few movies at a time (planes etc). Works great. :)
  16. iNeedToDoHw thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    Thanks for the detailed response. That really helped. Thank you
    Yes, i do record my videos at the highest setting (just because I paid alot for the camcorder and i want to honor that) and I think i'll just keep my files in external hardrive (1tb) and transfer over to ssd when working on them.

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