iMovie over NAS. Is it fast enough?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by fivepoint, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #1
    I've gotten to a point on my new 750GB iMac, where I need significantly more storage for video editing. I've determined that a consumer-level RAID device will best suite my needs for speed and redundancy (as opposed to a regular external HD and/or a server grade device/second computer). However, I've also determined, due to the unwieldily size of these machines, that I would really like to have the RAID device hooked up over the network (as a NAS) so it wasn't cluttering up my new desk.

    My question is this... if I go with something like the Drobo with DroboShare or a really any external RAID HD system (such as the WD MyBook World II) hooked up to an Airport Extreme Base Station, will I get the speed that I need from the drive to upload video content, edit that content, and export it, without any significant (or even annoying) speed reductions due to the network? My guess would be "NO" and that anything connected to the network won't be fast enough... but I wanted to make sure and check with you guys and your experience first.

    If any of you out there are currently editing your videos in this way... please share your experiences. What is your bottleneck? I am hoping it isn't the network speed, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it is... any real-world advice would be much appreciated.

    Also, what about HD video content? That can't possibly be fast enough over NAS, right?
     
  2. shinchook macrumors regular

    shinchook

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #2
    As a professional designer I am going to tell you what I know from experience. As of now I would not edit or work on any files even from a hard wired external. technically you could work on files from the external but you find that the program with run slow over time and possibly crash due to having to stream and update files not currently on the computer. A wireless setup would be even worse.

    Anyway, what I do is keep all finished work on an external (I have a wired and wireless setup, two separate drives). This leaves plenty of space on the internal drive to complete work. I never leave completed work on the internal. If I need parts from a past file I alway copy the files onto the internal drive.

    This way is faster and takes up less space on the internal as well as keeps be organized and keeps my files backed up
     
  3. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #3

    Excellent post. This is exactly the information I'm looking for. It sounds like NAS is NOT an option for me.

    Maybe it would be helpful for me to further explain what I am doing with my data to see if you or others have any recommendations. I have about 100 old family VCR tapes and miniDV tapes I am attempting to transfer to computer data files in iMovie. I am not currently planning on doing any major editing of the data, so was planning on using iMovie '08 to import all of the video and help me organize it accordingly.

    So, if I am importing everything into iMovie, I would assume that all of my 'in progress' video and 'complete' video would have to be stored in the same place... it all just depends on which file directory I point iMovie to, right? Either the computer's HD, or an external. But I don't think I can put the data on both internal and external unless I export the out of iMovie, which I really don't have a need for doing at this point.

    Any suggestions?
     
  4. shinchook macrumors regular

    shinchook

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    When you open up a new iMovie file and tell it to save to an external, if memory serves me correctly, all the imported files should go to the same destination as the saved imovie file.

    So your assumption is correct. You wouldn't be able to have different imported files on the internal and external at the same time. The only way you would be able to have certain imports on the internal and others on the external would be to make separate iMovie files for each import. You can alway pull imported video from one imovie file to another by dragging and dropping or exporting the video and importing that video into a different iMovie file you may be working on.

    My personal opinion/suggestion for you would be this. Make a separate imovie file for each tape or miniDV and then export the movie in the highest quality that imovie will allow. This will not only compress the raw data from the initial import but will also keep your files more organized on the external. If, in the future, you want to do some editing you can then pull these files into iMovie and edit them from there and just export a new edited movie... This will also help you keep all your original files/video untouched/unedited in case of a accidental deletion of part of the video. You will then only be working on a copy of the video not the original
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    Most NAS are too slow for movie editing (and too expensive for what they do). And they are typically loud or not well ventilated.

    External drives are fine. Firewire 800 has equal more bandwidth compared to internal drives.

    RAIDs, if set up properly, no matter internal or external, can be faster than a single internal drive.
     
  6. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #6
    Excellent points. The only downfall of your suggestion that I can see is that (in my experience) you do lose a decent amount of quality even when you export at the highest quality. The other downfall I suppose, is not being able to have all of the content in iMovie at all times to scrub through and show people at a whim. To me, this is the biggest (perhaps only?) benefit of iMovie '08. With such a large collection of video which I may or may not edit down, It'd be nice to have it all in one place where I could show people snippets quickly right in the iMovie interface.

    I could keep the entire iMovie library ( on the External (RAID O or 5?) and just make weekly copies of that HD on another (non-RAID external?)

    Do you think that the speed of a 0 or 5 RAID is necessary for scrubbing through data in iMovie? Or would any regular FW800 (7,200rpm or above) drive be fast enough?



    It looks like NAS is out of the picture for me now, for sure. I'll just have to deal with the clutter! :)
     

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