iMovie Help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Simple Living, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Simple Living macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I'm looking at using iMovie for the first time and need some help trying to get movies into it to edit. I bought a Casio Exilim Digital Camera that takes video as well. I tried to download and import the movie into iMovie but it won't allow it. I tried saving it to my desktop and then dragging it and dropping it in the area that says "Drag and Drop Media" but it won't allow it. It's in .mov/Quicktime format, so why won't it accept my video clip?

    When I try to import it from my files or iPhoto or anywhere else I've tried downloading it to, it's grayed out and won't let me select it to put into iMovie. I'm doing exactly what the video tutorials are saying to do, but things aren't happening like they show in the video.

    I'm new to Macs but I'm starting to get very frustrated with it. No manuals, no instructions and its not nearly as intuitive as it thinks it is. Windows was a massive pain in the butt, but at least I knew how to use it - or even figure out how to do something without instructions.

  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Step 1. Open iMovie
    Step 2. Click Help > Getting Started PDF
    Step 3. Print out all 48 pages of instructions

    Step 4. Read page 5. Chances are your camera is not recording video in any of the formats that iMovie says it's compatible with. See if your camera can be set to record using MPEG-2 or MPEG-4.

    If not, you have two options:

    1. Return the camera for one that will record in MPEG-2 or MPEG-4
    2. Find software that will convert the video from whatever format your camera records in to MPEG-2 or MPEG-4. VisualHub would do the trick.
  3. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Thanks. The instructions to the camera don't say what kind of video the camera takes. I've read every word of the instructions and no mention of this at all. I've even looked for more online information on this camera and nothing...

    What I don't understand is this: If iMovie doesn't like the type of movie the camera recorded, why does my computer play it just fine? Why would iMovie require a different video format than the actual computer? None of this makes sense.

    I bought the useless One to One training but it was a waste of money because I can never get an appointment. The only times they ever have available are when I'm at work. I'll be looking for my money back on that "deal."
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Video players have always been able to handle way more formats than video editors. This is how it's always been, and it's not just a Mac thing.

    For example, ...

    Sorry that's not working out for you. Remember that all Macs come with 90 days of telephone support (or 3 years of it, if you bought AppleCare). AppleCare can help you with Apple application issues like this, too. Call the 1-800 number.
  5. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    When I open iMovie, none of the iPhoto photos even show up where the tutorials say they should. This is what I don't understand. I'm doing everything as instructed and nothing does what it says it should. It's not just this program, either, it's several others. When the instructions say to click a certain file and then to select an option, I can't do it. My options are always grayed out.

    For example. When iMovie said it couldn't play the video file I transferred, it said it's because it hasn't been set up to be shared yet. It says to click "Share" and then "Media Browser." When I click on Share, EVERY option under it is grayed out.

    I feel that I'm doing everything I can to make this system work for me and it's fighting against me.
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    To insert a picture from iPhoto, the instructions shouldn't say anything about the "Share" menu. That's only used when you're done editing your iMovie and want to share it. If you don't have a movie, there's nothing to share, thus everything is grayed out.

    To insert an iPhoto picture, click on the icon of the camera that's on the middle right of the screen. To its left should be an icon of a musical note (this is your iTunes library), and to the right should be icons of a T (used to insert text into your iMovie) and a weird one that lets you do transitions between clips.
  7. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    It's giving me the "Share" message when I try to import the movie from my camera (not a photo) into iMovie. I downloaded the movie into iPhoto, as instructed. Now it just won't import it from iPhoto into iMovie.
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Try this test.

    In iPhoto, find your movie.
    Drag 'n drop the movie to your desktop. This should cause iPhoto to put a copy of the movie there, ... it won't move the actual movie.

    In iMovie, click on File > Import Movies
    On the left side of the pop-up window, point it to your Desktop.

    If the movie from your camera is compatible with iMovie, the file name will be in black and you should be able to select it. If it's not compatible, it'll be grayed out.

    For example, in the screenshot I posted, you'll notice that the file 100_2466.MOV is grayed out. I cannot import that movie into iMovie unless I convert it first. MVI_0465.AVI, however, is compatible, and I can import it.

    Anyhow, see if the movie from your camera is compatible. If it's not, it's pointless to try to import it directly into iMovie (via any method) without converting it.

    Attached Files:

  9. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    That's exactly what's happening. I'm beginning to wonder if this is worth the hassle at all. No matter what I try to do with computers, there are a thousand steps to complete any of lt. Now I have to learn how to convert to .avi, too.

    Some of us aren't naturally inclined to technology. With everything technology can do, you would think that they could make things user friendly.

    Thanks for your patience and your help. I'm not a complainer by nature. I'm really not. It's just that everything seems to coming against me lately and I was hoping to relax and take my mind off things by making a few little videos to share online. Seems that's just adding to the hurt.

    Thanks again.
  10. Simple Living thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I did some checking online and found a review for the camera I purchased. Based on that review, here's the problem:

  11. GradientMac macrumors regular


    Dec 5, 2007
    Download iMovie 06 from the Apple website then.
  12. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    Just to expand on Gradients answer a bit, if you have iMovie 08 you can download (for free) a copy of iMovie 06 from
    Many users prefer the interface of '06 and its' slightly different way of handling some movie files.

    If you don't want to do this there are a number of free and low-cost utilities that may help, but you'll need to research them - Handbrake, a combination of MPEG Streamclip, Quicktime and Apples $20 QT playback component, maybe Mactheripper and a few others.
  13. czachorski macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    I understand completely what you mean. The best advice I can give you in that circumstance is to stick to the intended design for each tech system you use. Unfortunately, in this day and age of 100 step tech processes for everything tech, that means using a digital camera for pictures, and a video camera for videos. I know it sucks, but it is when you start using digital camera for video, or video cameras for photos that you are getting outside the intended use, and stepping into those 100 steps.

    I have been so well trained by my bad experiences with tech products, that every time I see some extra feature or added benefit of a tech device outside that intended main use, I just write-it off. If you can get it to work, you probably will have a huge hassle to make use of it. That is what you are experiencing.

    Please don't blame that on Apple. They are not attempting to solve this disaster of a problem in the tech world. What they are trying to do is more fundamental: get products to work easy within their intended use range. That is a large enough challenge, considering how horribly user-unfriendly everything tech has gotten the last 5-10 years. So if you had bought a firewire camcorder, and plugged it into your Mac, you would be amazed when iMovie immediately recognized it, and just a few minutes later with very few instructions you were editing video. That is a rarity in this day and age, and that is what Apple means with "it just works". It is just a marketing buzz to celebrate getting something to work they way it should already for its base functionality. But since no other tech company can seem to muster anything close to this, it is useful for Apple to celebrate this achievement in marketing.

    Best advice: you have found the right place for help. These forums are amazing. Just keep posting everything you are trying to do, and many, many people will help. For this problem, I highly recommend you try visualhub. It costs $25, but it is very easy to use, and I believe will solve your problem. You can even download a fully functioning version for free that will allow you to export a test clip to verify it works for your situation, before buying it.

    Good luck!
  14. miazz2475 macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2011
    Need help with imovie!!!!!

    i recently filmed some things and imported it to imovie, when all the videos were finally uploaded, i dragged them to the timeline and watched it, for some reason the video hasn't fully uploaded and has left out about half of the video!!!!

    please help :(
  15. JessieJean macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2011
    imovie audio muted

    I have a little home movie with audio background (song) that was working last night but when I opened it this morning, the green audio bar is still there but there's no sound. Speakers are on and other movies are working fine. This movie has a little yellow yield sign at the beginning of the audio bar - never noticed that before and suspect it's part of the problem but I don't know how it got there or what to do from here to get the sound back. Thanks for your help.
  16. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Is the song part of the movie or something that you've added? The yellow sign normally means that the file that iMovie is trying to play has been deleted.


    Just tried adding a song to a project from iTunes, and then deleted the song from iTunes. The green bar still shows in the Project, but it has the yellow sign and won't play.
  17. JessieJean macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2011
    The song was something that I added. I think you're right, the song is deleted even tho the green bar is still there. I don't know how I managed to delete it! After reading your reply, I deleted the green bar and re-added the song. Thanks very much for your help. Much appreciated.

  18. NikhilK macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2012
    Well okay, but ...

    Please don't blame that on Apple. They are not attempting to solve this disaster of a problem in the tech world.

    I think iMovie should still be sorted out by Apple. What's the point of the entire app if you cannot even export your videos to your own desktop? When I tried, the Share menu was entirely grayed out. Which means I am unable to either export it or share it on Facebook. The movie in question was made using iMovie. So why this problem?

    What good is the app? What am I supposed to do in this instance? I don't expect such problems the first time I am using iMovie. Let alone the tech world, Apple ought to address all such issues with its own products.
  19. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    That would indicate to me that you have imported some video into iMovie which puts the video in the Events Library, and have then tried to Share from there.

    Did you drag your video clips from the Event Library into a Project? You need to do that before you can Share/Export.

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