iMovie '09: is the hardware or the software the problem?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by tom9189, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. tom9189 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #1
    I've been using iMovie '09 to edit short movies, generally around 15-20 minutes. It seems to be agonizingly slow. Sometimes I'll have to wait for minutes for iMovie to respond. I'm using a 24" 2008 iMac with 2 GB RAM, 2.8 GHz Intel core 2 duo and 320 GB hard drive. Is iMovie not good enough to handle such big projects, or is my computer too slow? Basically what I'm asking is should I upgrade to a more powerful mac or upgrade to something like Final Cut
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    What kind of footage do you edit - SD or HD?

    Have you a dedicated HDD for your footage, as using the same HDD as the OS resides on is not recommended to store the footage you use, thus an extra and in your case external scratch disk us recommended.


    Have a look at Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities) and select All Processes and sort by CPU to see what the culprit may be.

    image below uses sorting by CPU as an example
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #3
    I use my MacBook(2Gz, 2Gb RAM) and it's internal HD using SD miniDV footage and it works OK.
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #4
    DV has a data rate of 3.125MB/s, so the HDD is not that stressed, but for good use, and to put not that much wear onto the internal OS (constant reading of video, some writing due to iMovie), it is better to part those two. But for private use it can be done.
     
  5. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #5
    Thanks, Spinnerlys. It's only occasional use but I'll bear that in mind, but I was making the point to the OP that it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  6. robo456 macrumors 6502

    robo456

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #6
    I too have a similar problem.. I was trying to transfer some of my wife's exercise VHS tapes to DVD and it is very slow to do anything (even clipping/trimming off the front and end excess few minutes) My machine is C2D 3.16 with 4gb ram running 10.6.1.

    My original problem was they were MPG files I captured on my PC using Pinnacle Studio 11, so I said ok, I'll use handbrake to convert them to MP4 files so iMovie would stop complaining about them.

    I understand it takes a long time to encode them (or to put them off to iDVD) but, just being able to scroll thru the timeline brings the system to a crawl.

    FCE any better for working with bigger files? (the longest is SD video about 45 minutes at 1gb)

    --rob
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #7
    Using the H264 codec (the .mp4 format/container points to that) is CPU intensive and not recommended for editing.

    Try MPEG Streamclip to convert the original MPG files to .mov files using the DV or Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).

    And 1GB for 45 minutes of SD video points to a highly compressed format, as the DV or AIC need at least 3.125 MB/s to store the video, which amounts to 12-13 GB/h if you include the uncompressed audio.
     
  8. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #8
    He,

    we have the iMac 24" 2.8 ghz, 4 Gb RAM, 500 GB hard drive and NVidea 8800 GS.

    Final Cut Studio is a lot faster than iMovie. But Motion 3 is very slow. So yes, it could be the software. I experience the same. (iMovie is slow with big projects, final cut pro is blazing fast in that perspective). But FCP is a lot less user friendly. Guess that's where the resources for iMovie go :).

    What you also could do is to collect all your important data from the hard drive, store it on a second hard drive and reinstall mac os x and all your programs. That will make your mac a lot faster. To be honest, we installed so much junk on our iMac (we really need to reinstall it), that my latest macbook pro basic version (only the hard drive is bigger) loads things faster. But it only has the necessary things installed: iwork, final cut studio, photoshop CS5. Nothing more. (ok, a few extra programs like airvideo and transmission).
     
  9. robo456 macrumors 6502

    robo456

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    Thanks guys! hopefully the tips will work for the OP too!

    --rob
     

Share This Page