Is it possible to import movies to iMovie via USB?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mjmar, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Mjmar macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I have a mini dv camcorder, and I want to import movies to iMovie. I don't have the firewire cable, and I was wondering if I could just use USB. Considering the fact that the new MacBooks don't even have firewire i figured that I might be able to do this. If I can, how would I go about doing this? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    If there's a USB port on the camcorder, I don't see why not. If not, you're out of luck.

    They do make USB A to 4-pin FireWire 400 adapters, though. They should be very cheap.
     
  3. Mjmar thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    There is a usb port, but when i plug it in nothing happens. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong...
     
  4. rKunda macrumors 65816

    rKunda

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    #4
    I think the issue is your camera. Mine does this. I has firewire and USB, but the USB is for downloading the images taken by the still camera function—it doesn't allow for offloading video that way. You'll need to get the FW adapter.
     
  5. akm3 macrumors 68020

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    #5
    For me, I have to plug it in, it mounts as a drive, and then I go to imovie and 'import' from the drive. Everything is peachy.
     
  6. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #6
    you are turning the camera on before you plug it in arnt you? otherise you may as well be plugging in a hairdryer. just turn the camera on in playback mode, or if it has a special computer connect mode then that one.
     
  7. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #7
    I haven't use the USB port on my dv camera for some time, but I believe you have to manually start the import. With a firewire connection, iMovie can control the camera, but with USB you need to start the import in iMovie, then start the camera playback (having manually rewound to the start of the tape, assuming you're using tape)
     
  8. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #8
    With all the seemingly endless discussion of the idea of a USB to Firewire adapter after the FW-less MBs came out, I never saw one example of one that was available and worked. Have you seen one that actually worked as described? There were plenty of references to why the fundamental communications method/timing incompatibility between USB and FW would make this impossible without an elaborate interface box, so was just curious if you had found one? :confused: Maybe I stopped reading those threads too early! ;)
     
  9. JediMeister macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Just to clarify for all parties involved, iMovie 7 (a.k.a. iMovie '08) is the first, and only, so far, version of iMovie that allows direct importing of footage from USB-capable camcorders. If you have a previous version (6 and before) you can technically only import from FireWire mini-DV camcorders. There are some exceptions to the rule however. For one, JVC Everio camcorders write a file format that can be converted using MPEG Streamclip and Apple's QuickTime MPEG2 Playback component. The resulting files can then be imported into iMovie for editing.
     
  10. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #10
    This should clarify a lot.

     
  11. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #11
    I don't know... the one I have is just a little dongle that came as part of an adapter kit for USB to eight different things.

    I don't have anything that uses 4-pin FireWire, so I can't test it... sorry! :eek:

    WAIT! Old camcorder! I'll charge it and report back.
     
  12. akm3 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Skil was saying a Firewire to USB coverter, not USB to Firewire. I still haven't seen any of them, but it may be very much easier to go one way rather than the other.
     
  13. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    #13
    FWIW I import .avi video from a Canon digital point and shoot into iPhoto using USB.
    Then I import into iMovie from the iPhoto folder. The files listed in iPhoto are actually stills; I have to dig into the folder labeled 'Originals' to find the actual video footage.
    This is in iMovie HD.
     
  14. LTX macrumors regular

    LTX

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    #14
    Generally, DV and MiniDV video cameras don't allow you to capture the video over USB (I remember this because several years ago, when I didn't have a Firewire cable I couldn't do it, so I had to record the video to the Memory Stick [the camera supported recording from tape to MS internally] then copy the AVIs from the MS to my computer). I'm pretty sure you can't do it unless your Macbook has a Firewire port (which the new ones don't) and you have a Firewire cable, or else you're going to need to use another computer with a Firewire port in the meantime. The transfer technologies behind USB and Firewire are completely different so you can't just use an adapter.

    Good luck,
    Josh
     
  15. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #15
    Well given the technical difficulties with the protocol differences, I would just be happy to see a link for one in either direction-- although I suspect the circuitry would be the same in either so they would essentially be the same thing (as in a FW800 to FW 400 cable when turned around is a FW400 to FW800 cable! :D).
     

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