iMovie is KILLING me

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by JBaker122586, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. JBaker122586 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #1
    Alright, I have a Hitachi BX35A DVD camcorder. It doesn't have a computer adapter, so I decided it wouldn't be too much hassle to just finalize a DVD, rip it with handbrake, and edit in iMovie.
    Boy was I wrong.

    The 3 minute 30 second file took half an hour to rip into mp4 with Handbrake. Long, but bearable. Now, when I attempt to import the 40 mb 3:30 mp4 file into iMovie, I have 258 minutes remaining. I began importing about 45 minutes ago. How can a 3 minute file take 5 hours to import in iMovie? I am only running on a 1 ghz 768 mb G4, but there's no WAY it should be taking this long, right?

    Is there anybody with any solution? Am I doing something wrong? Is there a more efficient way to do this? Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated. I plan to continually create and edit short videos for a website I run, and I won't be able to deal with the hassle if this is the best way to do it.
     
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #2
    I'm actually not shocked by this performance, given the age of your machine.
    You might try messing around with the .mp4 settings in Handbrake to see if that helps speed things up. Also, you might try ripping to .mov, just to see if that makes a difference.

    Sounds like a good excuse for a new machine to me!
    :p
     
  3. lostless macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #3
    for one thing, Hand brake is a terrible idea to import dvd footage into imovie. It uses very lossy compression and the quality would be severely lost. You should only use handbrake if you want to rip for ipod or apple TV AFTER the editing is done. To keep the best quality for editing, cause there will be slight loss, would be to rip to DV. DV will retain all interlacing info and rip pretty fast. and imovie will import DV with no issues since thats what it uses to edit.
    Now for the kicker. The best program to do this converting is MPEG stream clip. Its free, but for what you need to do, you need apples quicktimes, mpeg 2 decoder to read the data that dvds store (mpeg2). Mpeg streamclip does not have its own MPEG decoder. the plugin is 20 bucks, but well worth it if your going to be doing this conversion a lot. It sold at apple.com under quicktime i believe.
    Well back to mpeg stream clip. With that all you have to do is open the video_ts folder on the dvd. select a .vob file. Itll ask you if you want to open all parts, depending how long the video is. Say yes, if so. Then just export to dv. Let the program use the default options. after that, a .DV file will result and will work right away with imovie. No second conversion and you keep as much quality as possible.
    The rip will still take a while, but nowhere near as long as your current method.
     
  4. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #4
    I think your computer is not as big an issue as the camera you are using. DVD cameras are a bad idea for any form of editing. Better off with Mini DV.
     
  5. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #5
    Something's wrong. I just tried this with a 117MB Handbrake .mp4 (ripped to iPhone specs) and iMovie '06 says it'll take 30-minutes on my 4-year-old 1GHz iBook G4. And the progress bar was moving right along. So by comparison, a 40MB import should take only 10-minutes.

    All things considered, you might want to invest in a MiniDV camcorder that's FireWire -friendly.
     
  6. JBaker122586 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for the help. Are there any free programs that rip into DV format?
    And I do plan on getting a new iMac, but not until after the holidays, so I'm stuck with this for now.

    And yes, I'm aware that a miniDV camera would be a much better solution. I was given this as a gift by a family member, so I didn't really have much say.
     
  7. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #7
    There is no easy way without firewire. You need to get a DV camera and import from the DVD camera.

    There is nothing wrong with returning crap stuff.:p
     
  8. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #9
    Will that loose any quality ripping from a dvd.
     
  9. lostless macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #10
    In essence yes, but will not be completely noticeable until it is reconverted to dvd because of double mpeg2 compression. But still, the quality loss probably wont be noticed by the average viewer. I have doen this with a professional video i did when the original footage i was handed was from a dvd camcorder. converted to dv, edited, back to dvd. Did I notice the double loss? YES. Did they? NO.
     
  10. Orng macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #11
    Definitely stick with Mini DV until the technology allows hard drive based cameras to be archived inexpensively. The problem with DVD cameras is that they use DVD-R, which I only trust for very temporary use, like shipping a big file or a rough cut to a client. I'd never ever store anything long term on a dvd-r, so unless you have a nice fat external HD and are willing to archive uncompressed video on it, your raw footage is going to start to degrade faster than you expect.
    On top of that, as already mentioned, the DVD camera is using compression already, so when you edit, iMovie will take longer to process it and it won't look as good.
     
  11. hdayala macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    #12
    Your mp4 file is now on your computer. There is no need to "import it" into your iMovie folder. If you do, it will Copy it. Why Copy it when it is already on your comnputer? If a file is already on your computer, Right-click, or Option Click the iMovie application to show Package contents. Simply Drag in the movie file to the correct application Folder within the iMovie app. This way you are simply "Moving" the file, and not Copying the file. Now open up iMovie. when it fires up, you will probably be told that have some files in the trash and if you would like to view the trash. Drag the Trash stuff onto the Panes on the right side, and you are ready to start your project on iMovie.

    Good luck
     
  12. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #13
    This will not work, as iMovie cannot edit mp4 files directly. This method would only work if you had a movie clip in dv format.
     
  13. EMU1337 macrumors member

    EMU1337

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #14
    ffmpegx will allow you to convert any format to any format known to man. Its fairly fast, however, you need to install the codecs from the supplied website addresses in the program, this can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing.

    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15473
     
  14. martychang macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    #15
    My experience: the problem is iMovie itself.

    I had a 2.66 GHz Quad Core Xeon Mac Pro, and it took hours to import or export anything from iMovie. Granted, I was working with 40 minute(on average) uncompressed 1080i HD clips, but it did take 2-5 hours each way. This dropped to 10-15 minutes when we switched to Final Cut Studio.

    iMovie is just not meant for importing/exporting common formats, IMO. Seems to me that iMovie is ONLY meant for capturing, and burning straight to iDVD, and the slow import/export is meant to force you to buy a Final Cut package.
     
  15. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #16


    I couldn't agree more. It is way too slow. It's really sad because 1) most people can't afford FCP, and 2) it is perfect for many peoples' needs.

    iMovie '08 just proves it more.
     
  16. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #17
    I have exported 720p iMovie projects with AppleTV preset. I remember it taking 90 minutes or something for a 30 minute or so project. It is a long time, but my iMac still stays usable if I want to do other stuff and I can start the export before dinner, going to bed or something like that. That is quite acceptable for a consumer product.
     
  17. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #18
    I think that's what Apple was trying to accomplish. They probably wanted to cut down on CPU usage so that the average consumer would still be able to use his computer while exporting. Final Cut Pro of course, is geared towards speed, so that the professional using it can get on with his work.

    That doesn't explain the handbrake thing, though. Maybe the handbrake code is optimized for x86 (small implementation differences w/small delays repeated 1000's of times a second... add up :().
     
  18. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #19
    Besides, they may have licensed some algorithms to speed things up and it may increase the cost of iLife too much if they include that algorithm with iMovie.
     

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