I need help organizing my movie files

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by BeeCareFree, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. BeeCareFree macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    I am new to the Mac, so far I've been downloading all my images and videos into Iphoto. I would like to try making a short video using IMovie but I'm not sure how to go about getting my video from IPhoto to IMovie without it going thru all my files and taking what looks like up to 4 hours. Should I be storing all my photos and video on an external? Is it easy to import video and photos from a hard drive to I MOVIE?
  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    While iPhoto is certainly capable of storing and organizing video clips, especially those from point-and-shoot cameras and flip cams, importing your footage into iMovie is a much better solution. That way you will have access to all your clips for use in any and all projects you want to create. The exact instructions for importing your movie clips into iMovie depend on the type of camera you have (tape-based, flash or hard disk based, or flip-style cam). But if iMovie doesn't immediately recognize your camera when you connect it, then go to File--> Import and choose the correct option, then drill down and find your footage. Keep in mind that movie clips will take up a large amount of space (the exact amount is dependent on the resolution), so make sure you have a large enough drive. Also, you should import and store your footage on an external drive, preferably a firewire one. Be sure to archive and backup all your clips in case of a drive failure.

    In the meantime, you can access your iPhoto pictures and movies from inside iMovie. One of the many benefits of the Mac OS over Windows is the tight integration between all of the iLife apps.
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Assuming you are using the current version of iMovie right now, you have easy and unlimited access to all of your movie clips that are in iPhoto. No additional work, and they are all organized by import date.
    On the bottom of the iMovie app, under Event Library on the left side, under your hard drive name, you will find the 'iPhoto Movies' folder where all of you iPhoto movies can be found for easy placement along your iMovie timeline.

    I'm not sure Spice Weasel, why you say the OP will not have access to the video in iPhoto right now? KariCastle has access right now to all iPhoto loaded and catalogued movie clips with no hoops to jump through.

    Assuming use of iMovie9....not iMovie HD that is.
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I guess I wasn't as clear as I could have been.

    You can certainly use iPhoto to store and access your video, but it's not meant for editing (obviously), so iMovie is a much better choice. For flip-style cams, it doesn't really matter whether you use iPhoto or iMovie. For regular camcorders, you will need to use iMovie. However, I still think iMovie is a better choice. Maybe that's my OCD speaking - movies in iMovie, photos only in iPhoto.

    As I wrote in my last two sentences of my earlier post, you can access your iPhoto library from within iMovie, just as mstrze says.

    Now, this may be pure coincidence, but I know two people who put a ton of Flip Mino clips into iPhoto, along with all of their photos, and had their iPhoto libraries get corrupted. Certainly not statistical proof of a problem, but perhaps iPhoto has a problem when you start weighing it down with HD video?

    Hope that clarifies things.
  5. BeeCareFree thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    still a bit confused

    Thank you both for your help however I"m still just a bit confused.

    I use two different cameras for video. A small point and shoot and a helmet cam both shoot HD video.

    So far when I download off the cameras I have everything both stills and video go into Iphoto.

    Yesterday Imovie scanned and imported all my video from iphoto to imovie.

    I"m assuming I now have double the space taken up by having movie files in both iphoto and imovie? OR what is showing in Imovie are not the actual large files but only "clips" or something like that??

    I do have an external hard drive....not sure what you mean by needing a firewire??? Should I store everything both pics and vids on it and only access the hard drive when I need to work on something??? and if so how do I do it??

    Thanks for your patients with a newbe....
  6. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I'm pretty sure all iMovie did was generate thumbnails for yout iPhoto clips...not copy them over. :) Do you recall if that's what the dialogue box said? Mine had been bugging me to generate thumbnails for a week now...but I have been using other footage, so I didn't want to bother yet.

    Spice was suggesting you store and archive everything (photos and video) on a FireWire drive which is a drive that would plug into your FireWire port on your computer. He said FireWire and NOT USB (another method for connecting an external) because FireWire has the speed necessary to shuffle the video back and forth during the editing process. Video files can be HUGE, so there is no way one can have all the video clips resident in memory to edit them. iMovie accesses what it needs at any given time from your drive...and if it's on an external, it's much better having in on a FireWire drive, as the connection is faster.

    Depending on how much hard drive space you have...and how much video you expect to load/store in the future...you may or may not want to store everything on an external drive. If you are just a typical hobbyist...it may not be worth it, since you are a newbie and just want ease of use. I mean, it's not impossible, just a small 'project' we would have to walk you through to move your current libraries and such.

    BUT what is ALWAYS worth it is buying an external hard drive and using Time Machine to back up your computer.
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen

    As your point-and-shoot camera and your your helmet camera most probably use some kind of compression to save storage space on the device, iMovie will convert those files to video using another codec, that is meant for editing, and which takes up more HDD space.
    The codec iMovie uses is called Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC), look here for file size and some other info about it.

    Firewire is an interface like USB or eSATA to connect peripheral devices to your computer.
    USB and Firewire is currently implemented in all Macs, except the Aluminium MacBook 13" (not Pro) and the white Unibody MacBook introduced in 10/2009, which do not have Firewire.

    To edit properly, one should always use an external HDD (Hard Disk Drive), as the constant access to the video files while editing or viewing material in iMovie puts a lot of strain to any HDD. If you use the internal HHD where the Mac OS X resides, you will get slowdowns, due to the OS (Operating System) also accessing the internal HDD from time to time.

    Thus an external HDD is recommended and Firewire is the best current interface for that, as it allows the data throughput without any hiccups, something USB is not quite equipped to.
    We are talking about 7 to 14 and more MB/s here, and that is a lot of data.

    If any of my information is hard to understand, feel free to ask. Editing and the surrounding technical terms and requirements can be a little hard to grasp, as any other technical or specific field of interest.

    Also have a look at the following links, as the information presented there might be helpful in your future endeavours into Mac OS X and could clear up initial confusion and may even prevent harm to your system or your files.

    http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/ - text

    http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/ - videos

    http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/ - text

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1343 - keyboard shortcuts
  8. BeeCareFree thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    less confused thank you....:)

    Thanks both of you for helping me to better understand all of this. I'm starting to get it.

    I do not have a firewire HD but will look into getting one for the future.

    I'm traveling at the moment and I have a external HD with me that I use for storing pictures/videos from the past...before my new Mac.

    I would like to store the photos/video that I NOW have on my mac that is in Iphoto onto this HD but I'm not sure how to go about it??

    Is it possible to walk me thru this process??

    And then walk me thru directing the computer to this HD when I want to access the photos in Iphoto or I movie???

    I'm assuming I can safely take off all my picture/movie files eventually to free up my Mac B Pro's hard drive right?? And keep everything on a HD...??

    At home I have a dedicated ex HD for the time machine back up.....

    so many HD's ???!!!!

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