iMovie export/import dv files

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by d82k, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. d82k macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Dear All,

    I'm playing around with iMovie, and since my camcorder is not working that good, just before it leaves me, I decided to import all my miniDV movie on my mac.

    As a result I have 300gb of movies in the "Event iMovie" folder, and iMovie is kind of slow now. I would like to move .dv files I don't use to an external HDD and re-import them when I'll need.

    Can I just copy (to the external HDD) and delete folders with dv files, and than copy back to the Event iMovie folder when I will need them or do I have to do anything else?

    I'm asking this because I have already tried to do this and after coping files opening iMovies it says something like "optimizing videos" and I was just wondering if it makes some kind of video optimization changing original files or not.

    Thank you for your answer,
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'm pretty sure that the "optimizing" step is creating a thumb nailed version of the movie that is used for the editing timeline; iMovie also tracks the motion of the camera to do stabilization, but I don't remember if that happens during the optimization step or after. Either way, the video file itself shouldn't be altered.

    In more general terms, yes, you can just copy the files elsewhere and back, and at worst you'll need to wait for it to go through the optimization step again. If you copied the right stuff, though, I'd expect iMovie to be able to re-use it's previous optimization file to save that step (this will probably involve manually moving things back into the library rather than dragging them onto iMovie to re-add them).

    Are your files all in the same event in the library? If not, you might try splitting them up; I haven't personally noticed any slowdown with iMovie even with a large library, although that doesn't mean it's not possible. Also, are you running the latest version? It's so cheap on the App Store now that it's worth upgrading if you're not.

    Final tip: With only 300GB of files, if you haven't already, make sure you have a backup. If you have the room on your internal, you could copy them to an external and leave them on the internal as well, and just remove them from iMovie's library, but not from the disk. I suppose if you're keeping the DV tapes that counts as a backup, but if you don't want to have to re-rip 22 hours of video, and possibly have to buy a new camera as well, if your old one is dead.
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    When you plug in your external drive, it's icon should appear in iMovie's Event Library. You can then drag your DV events onto the icon to copy them across. This way, iMovie will be able to find them if you want to edit them.
  4. d82k thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Thank you Makosuke and thank you Dave for your answers.

    Yes I'm running the last version on on a i7 3.4ghz and 4gb ram, and I really noticed is kind of slow..
    I will follow your advices and move unneeded videos on two different hdd so I have a double backup.

    Actually when I plug the external hdd it does not even appear the icon on my desktop, you mean plug it with iMovie already open?
    I will try.

    Thank you again for your support.

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