Importing miniDV Into iMovie

Dave Braine

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Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
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Warrington, UK
I import from miniDV into the latest iMovie.

Any ideas how it determines clip lengths? When I import long, continuous clips it breaks them down into multiple clips of varying lengths. Some are as short as a second or less, some a couple of minutes.
 

dandeco

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Dec 5, 2008
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Brockton, MA
When a video-editing program captures MiniDV footage, it often goes by the timecode of the video. If there is a sudden break or change in the timecode, then it stops there and begins a new clip.
If that's not it, which version of iMovie are you using? I never really heard of this kind of problem.
 

Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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Are these old tapes that you're importing? If so, they probably have some errors that cause the separate clips. I have been working with a large amount of legacy footage recently (over 200 hours) and see this problem with Final Cut Pro also.

What are you using to import the footage? And old video camera? For starters I would get a head cleaning tape and use it as per the instructions. If you have not cleaned the heads regularly, that could be the problem. You might also try a different camera or video deck. Perhaps you could rent a professional video deck, or purchase a used one. They should be more robust than an old consumer level camera. However, individual cameras (especially cheap ones) can have their own idiosyncracies that makes it hard to import their tapes on another camera.

Also, what format did you use when recording the tapes? If you did not use the SP format (that gives about 60 minutes per tape) then you will probably have a lot of issues, especially with old tapes. You will also probably have issues if you used the longer tapes that could hold more than an hour in SP format.
 

Dave Braine

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Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
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Warrington, UK
If there is a sudden break or change in the timecode, then it stops there and begins a new clip.
Yes, that's how it used to work, way back with iMovie6HD.

which version of iMovie are you using?
The latest, iMovie 10

Are these old tapes that you're importing?
No, just recorded.

What are you using to import the footage?
A JVC miniDV camcorder

If you have not cleaned the heads regularly, that could be the problem.
Thanks, I'll give that a try.

Perhaps you could rent a professional video deck
Not for simple home movies.

Also, what format did you use when recording the tapes?
Standard format.
 

Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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just recorded.
A JVC miniDV camcorder
DV camcorders are getting pretty old, I stopped using tape in 2010 when I traded my Sony HVR-Z1U for an XDCAM-EX1 that records to memory cards. Ended up buying a used Sony pro deck to ingest all my legacy tapes. I can appreciate why that might not meet your budget. But you could look for another used DV camcorder, they are pretty cheap now. Was discussing this on a video site recently, people say you can get a high quality prosumer level DV camcorder like the Canon XL1 for around $100 used these days. A camera comparable to yours might cost $50 or less.

But really, you might think about finally moving away from tape and DV. Lots of inexpensive options for tapeless cameras today. And you will also save the cost of purchasing tapes. :)
 
Last edited:

dandeco

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Dec 5, 2008
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Brockton, MA
Yeah, I began to go entirely tapeless around 2014, using a Canon PowerShot point-and-shoot still camera that could shoot 720-HD video, and my iPod Touch 5G and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone (both of which I can shoot and edit HD video on!) Then just last year I got a Canon VIXIA HF-R600 AVCHD camcorder, which really made a boost in when I make vlogs and such. (I got the R600 because it was cheaper, and because it's actually no different from the R700 and R800.) But I am still keeping my Canon Optura 60 MiniDV camcorder for if I ever need to import any DV tapes again; same with my Sony Digital8 camcorder that I primarily use for digitizing my old Hi-8 video recordings. (I also digitize older home movies from tape to DVD for others, so they also come in handy for that.)
 

Frank Maxwell

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2015
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0
Have you notice once it is old, it passes it sell buy date?. I do a batch capture and then delete what is not wanted. Many family video's are on the old format. I still use my old format. As long as it works and does the job, I dont need Apple to dictate or close the door on the old formats.
 

Dave Braine

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 19, 2008
3,668
231
Warrington, UK
DV camcorders are getting pretty old, I stopped using tape in 2010 when I traded my Sony HVR-Z1U for an XDCAM-EX1 that records to memory cards. Ended up buying a used Sony pro deck to ingest all my legacy tapes. I can appreciate why that might not meet your budget. But you could look for another used DV camcorder, they are pretty cheap now. Was discussing this on a video site recently, people say you can get a high quality prosumer level DV camcorder like the Canon XL1 for around $100 used these days. A camera comparable to yours might cost $50 or less.

But really, you might think about finally moving away from tape and DV. Lots of inexpensive options for tapeless cameras today. And you will also save the cost of purchasing tapes.
Thanks, but it's not a camcorder problem, and the one that I have suits my needs.
 

judeharr8

macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2020
3
0
I import from miniDV into the latest iMovie.

Any ideas how it determines clip lengths? When I import long, continuous clips it breaks them down into multiple clips of varying lengths. Some are as short as a second or less, some a couple of minutes.
i have the exact same issue and i think it is your computer buffering, the time skips a second or two occasionally for me when it happens which shows the computer is struggling to keep up with the capturing, it used to be something that would happen occasionally but now it always happens
- - Post merged: - -

Are these old tapes that you're importing? If so, they probably have some errors that cause the separate clips. I have been working with a large amount of legacy footage recently (over 200 hours) and see this problem with Final Cut Pro also.

What are you using to import the footage? And old video camera? For starters I would get a head cleaning tape and use it as per the instructions. If you have not cleaned the heads regularly, that could be the problem. You might also try a different camera or video deck. Perhaps you could rent a professional video deck, or purchase a used one. They should be more robust than an old consumer level camera. However, individual cameras (especially cheap ones) can have their own idiosyncracies that makes it hard to import their tapes on another camera.

Also, what format did you use when recording the tapes? If you did not use the SP format (that gives about 60 minutes per tape) then you will probably have a lot of issues, especially with old tapes. You will also probably have issues if you used the longer tapes that could hold more than an hour in SP format.
i have the same issue as
Are these old tapes that you're importing? If so, they probably have some errors that cause the separate clips. I have been working with a large amount of legacy footage recently (over 200 hours) and see this problem with Final Cut Pro also.

What are you using to import the footage? And old video camera? For starters I would get a head cleaning tape and use it as per the instructions. If you have not cleaned the heads regularly, that could be the problem. You might also try a different camera or video deck. Perhaps you could rent a professional video deck, or purchase a used one. They should be more robust than an old consumer level camera. However, individual cameras (especially cheap ones) can have their own idiosyncracies that makes it hard to import their tapes on another camera.

Also, what format did you use when recording the tapes? If you did not use the SP format (that gives about 60 minutes per tape) then you will probably have a lot of issues, especially with old tapes. You will also probably have issues if you used the longer tapes that could hold more than an hour in SP format.
i have the exact same issue with imovie, it isnt anything to do with the camera settings or the tapes etc, i know this because i used external software to upload the same tapes and it works fine, its just its a longer process and the audio isnt in sync so i wanna go back to imovie but i cant
- - Post merged: - -

When a video-editing program captures MiniDV footage, it often goes by the timecode of the video. If there is a sudden break or change in the timecode, then it stops there and begins a new clip.
If that's not it, which version of iMovie are you using? I never really heard of this kind of problem.
yes there is a break in the time code how do i fix it
 

RogerWilco6502

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2019
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i have the exact same issue with imovie, it isnt anything to do with the camera settings or the tapes etc, i know this because i used external software to upload the same tapes and it works fine, its just its a longer process and the audio isnt in sync so i wanna go back to imovie but i cant
- - Post merged: - -


yes there is a break in the time code how do i fix it
Firstly, I'd recommend something like iMovie 6 (I use iMovie 2, iMovie 4, and iMovie 6 for the majority of my editing). It is designed for use with MiniDV and I can say from personal experience that it works exceedingly well.

Secondly, there is no way to fix a timecode break other than to re-record.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,668
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
the time skips a second or two occasionally for me when it happens which shows the computer is struggling to keep up with the capturing
Anything is possible, but that seems very unlikely. I gave my daughter an iMac DV (cherry red!) when she graduated from high school in 2000. It had no problem keeping up with DV. I used to edit it on my PowerBook G4. DV has a data rate of around 4 MB/sec. That shouldn't pose a problem for any recent computer, unless something else is wrong.
 
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judeharr8

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Apr 8, 2020
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Firstly, I'd recommend something like iMovie 6 (I use iMovie 2, iMovie 4, and iMovie 6 for the majority of my editing). It is designed for use with MiniDV and I can say from personal experience that it works exceedingly well.

Secondly, there is no way to fix a timecode break other than to re-record.
What as in iMovie version 2.0
 

RogerWilco6502

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Jan 12, 2019
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What as in iMovie version 2.0
Yep! I use iMovie version 2 for Mac OS 9 on my iBook and Power Mac :)

iMovie 6 can be run on Intel processors, although you have to hack it to work with newer OS X versions (and it won't work with the newest versions given it's a 32-bit app).

Anything is possible, but that seems very unlikely. I gave my daughter an iMac DV (cherry red!) when she graduated from high school in 2000. It had no problem keeping up with DV. I used to edit it on my PowerBook G4. DV has a data rate of around 4 MB/sec. That shouldn't pose a problem for any recent computer, unless something else is wrong.
I concur. I use a Power Mac G4 and iBook G3 to edit videos on DV and Digital8 tape and they both handle it without an issue. I also use a 2009 MacBook occasionally and that doesn't pose an issue either when using iMovie 6.
 
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dandeco

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Dec 5, 2008
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Brockton, MA
Yep! I use iMovie version 2 for Mac OS 9 on my iBook and Power Mac :)

iMovie 6 can be run on Intel processors, although you have to hack it to work with newer OS X versions (and it won't work with the newest versions given it's a 32-bit app).


I concur. I use a Power Mac G4 and iBook G3 to edit videos on DV and Digital8 tape and they both handle it without an issue. I also use a 2009 MacBook occasionally and that doesn't pose an issue either when using iMovie 6.
Yep, my PowerMac G4 handles MiniDV and Digital8 footage on both Mac OS 9 (iMovie 2, Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 and Adobe Premiere 6.5) and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (iMovie HD 6, Final Cut Pro 4.5 HD and Premiere 6.5 again) pretty well. Of course, I rarely shoot anything on DV tapes anymore, as I prefer to use my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (which can even shoot 4K) and my Canon Vixia HF-R600 camcorder to shoot stunning high-definition video I edit on my quad-core i7 Mac Mini using iMovie 10 and Final Cut Pro X.

Oh, a little FYI about the old iMovie versions; if you have widescreen 16:9 DV footage, you will want to use iMovie HD 5 or 6, as those were designed to work with 16:9 video in addition to 4:3. The previous iMovie versions before HD 5 only work with 4:3 footage, and will distort your 16:9 footage during the capture process.
 
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RogerWilco6502

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Oh, a little FYI about the old iMovie versions; if you have widescreen 16:9 DV footage, you will want to use iMovie HD 5 or 6, as those were designed to work with 16:9 video in addition to 4:3. The previous iMovie versions before HD 5 only work with 4:3 footage, and will distort your 16:9 footage during the capture process.
Good thing top note, I completely forgot that ;)
 
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